Welcome to Casual Fridays, where we kick back, relax and take off our pants. In Typing About Games (TAG), two of the Piki Geek staff face off in a no-holds-bar chat conversation. Beliefs are challenged, points are exclaimed, hype is harnessed, and video games are dissected like insects. Enjoy a look into the discussions that plague the Piki Geek chat day after day.
Jeroen: Yes, let’s.
Lucas: It’s this F2P FPS that prides itself on speed and nonsensical action. Basically it’s a Michael Bay movie, except good.
Jeroen: Yes, I know that. Why are you telling me what I already know? Thanks a lot, Captain Obvious. Are you going to tell me it’s the first game in the series since Tribes: Vengeance back in 2004, which was made by Irrational Games and headed up by none other than Ken Levine? Because that too would be stating the obvious.
Lucas: Nope, I will not telling you that. I just wanted to get the basics out of the way! And now that that’s done…
Jeroen: Oh, good. Because I would have slapped you otherwise.
Lucas: I would have done the same, but we’re getting off topic here. I’ve only been playing for a month, but I love how rewarding the game is once you learn the controls. After not getting space bar (Ski) and Right Mouse(Jump/JetPack) mixed up, I really felt like I kept getting better after each match. Very few games can claim that feeling.
Jeroen: I would really hope all games are rewarding once you learn the controls. Otherwise something’s wrong. But there really is a knack to learning how to ski. Any scrub can hold space and glide down the hills and gravity won’t let them do in real life. It takes some damn fine experience and control to know how to manipulate it to your advantage.
Lucas: Well, moreso than most games. Obviously you’ll get better at any game if you spend a lot of time with it.
Jeroen: You’ve never played StarCraft, I take it.
Lucas: Yeah, something has to be said for that great feeling you get when you ski/jetpack across the entire map, take out the enemies defenses, and quickly turn around in one swift move. Hey, we promised we wouldn’t make fun of Ryan’s noobness in SC2. Why did you bring that up?
Jeroen: Because I’m a jerk. Anyway, what’s that thing about llamas? I looked up some videos but I’m still not sure if it’s a good or bad thing. Or if I’m supposed to do it or not.
Lucas: A llama is someone who isn’t going fast and, in a game built around speed, that’s a bad thing. Friends don’t let friends llama.
Jeroen: Once a bug, now a feature.
Lucas: This is also one of the few games that gets microtransactions right. I like that while you can buy new guns/gear/perks with real money, you have to use in game XP to upgrade them. It adds up to a system that doesn’t neccesarily make you better for spending real money
Jeroen: Can you get new items without paying real world money? Or is that the only way?
Lucas: Nope, you can also unlock new items with in game XP, it just takes a shitload. The 100000 range.
Jeroen: Daaaaaamn. Well, it’s a nice way to balance it out then
Lucas: Overall, it’s a game where skilled players will always be able to outdo someone who buys the stronger weapons
Jeroen: Unless they let you buy a BFG9000 for, like, $50. Per match. That’d be funnier than annoying, though. It’d be like that guy on the highway driving his H2 and blasting 50 Cent with spinning rims.
Lucas: Speaking of balanced gameplay, it’s also nice how every class is useful in the game. I play a technician (a defensive character) and I’m still able to top charts by staying at the base and repairing damaged turrets and sensors.
Jeroen: Really? That’s a shame. I was looking forward to calling whatever class I get killed by overpowered bullshit. I like playing the heavy role for that reason. It’s not a mobile class but if you use it like that while landing your shots right, people get maaaaaaad.
Lucas: They have classes to fit a variety of gameplay types
Jeroen: UNTRUE. There’s no Batman class.
Lucas: Well obviously…if they had a Batman class, everyone would play him and the game wouldn’t be fun anymore.
Jeroen: Here’s a thought: what if EVERY class is the Batman class?
Lucas: Then we would have matches filled with “THIS CITY IS FULL OF PEOPLE READY TO BELIEVE…IN GOOOOOOOODDDDDDD.”
Jeroen: You’re thinking of Battlepope. But I digress. So, competitive gaming is on the rise. Call of Duty is unfit for that duty, Halo is getting old. Unreal is MIA and Quake Live hasn’t proven to be too big. Is Tribes: Ascend the next big one?
Lucas: And we don’t mention Gears of War…
Jeroen: Those shotgun jackasses ruined any chance of that.
Lucas: But yes, I think Tribes: Ascend is becoming the next big thing and at the asking price of $0, it’s hard to pass up.
Jeroen: Zero dollars is a great price with which to get people coming into your game and check it out when they see entire tournaments and leagues built around it. But can it sustain? Does it have enough nuances and is it balanced enough to hold?
Lucas: Only time will tell I suppose, but Hi-Rez is continually patching the game with balanced fixes and new maps and the patches/new maps are free.
Jeroen: Which is always nice. Nothing worse than when you patch your game in to imbalance the shotguns after fixing it from your stupid previous game. I’d hope so. A freemium game with pay-per-patch? That’s a shot in the foot and then some.
Lucas: True…anyways, Tribes: Ascend is a great game and is great throwback to classic shooters. I want it to last for years to come.
Jeroen: You just don’t want to pay $60 upfront for your games.
Lucas: Not true…I’m paying for Xenoblade aren’t I?