NationStates Review

Following new legislation in Felix Terra, the nation is ravaged by daily union strikes.

Gee, all I did was give in to union demands…

For a while now, I’ve been spending most of my time with NationStates, a free, in-browser, text-based political simulator. This is how it works: you set up a nation, with your motto, national animal, currency, etc. Then you respond to “issues” once or twice every day. You then watch as your political, economic and civil freedoms unfold.

Now, this probably sounds like the most boring game in the world. And if it was just the issues, it would be. But it’s not. Although there’s no formal war or diplomacy mechanic, there is a forum where the users have created their own. Basically, you get on the forums and talk war, peace, riots, oil, water, the environment-all the fun things of geopolitics. Unless you don’t like forums, this is were you will spend most of your time.

Again, this isn’t a very detailed game, unless you’re a fan of forums, but I enjoy this game a lot. 9/10.

My flag. It even waves.

While your here, I guess I’m obliged to promote my region, 10000 Islands. Very friendly community, no chance of invasion(see the FAQ of the site), has an offline forum(which I haven’t joined… yet) and is generally a nice region. Check it out if you join.

Now, back to utopia building…

Top 5 Best Strategy Games That I’ve Played

In my humble opinion, these games are just awesome.

#5: Medieval II: Total War

I got this game recently, and I think it’s really cool. Then again, medieval warfare is inherently cool, so that’s a plus. But besides that, it has beautiful graphics, a great interface, amazing scale and… *Gasp*… It actually makes you think.

So why isn’t it higher?

Because I haven’t played it enough. I can’t really call something I haven’t played much, but I do put it at number 5.

I would hate to see THIS outside my walls.

#4: Star Wars: Empire at War

You’ve probably guessed that I’m a huge Star Wars geek. My first Star Wars was Episode II, at a hospital. I waved around a toothpick like it was a lightsaber, and my parents knew I was a born fan. So naturally, I wanted this game immediately.

This is THE Star Wars RTS if your a Star Wars fan. With everything but the kitchen sink to have X-Wings blow to smithereens, I loved playing with all the cool toys. The cinematic camera option just tops it off, and it’s cool in itself. And I really liked the Death Star. Blowing up planets is just so fun… 😈

All in all, enough cool to put it at number 4.

If you do not think this is cool, you do not know the meaning of cool.

#3: Total Annihilation

I’m not sure if this was my first strategy game, but it’s certainty very, very close. I thought about putting Supreme Ruler 2020 here, but Total Annihilation really outclasses it, in my opinion. Why? For me, it really set the bar for all strategy games. If it is as good-or better-than Total Annihilation, it undoubtedly succeeds. If not, it inevitably fails, only to be messed around with ounce in a while when I’m bored.

Setting a quality check alone is enough for me to put it at number 3.

I used to love starting forest fires.

#2: Civilization IV

If I didn’t like this game, would I be doing a lets play? Civ 4 is the best turn-based strategy game, like, ever. I’m not a huge fan of board games, but Civ 4 is is far better than Scrabble or Monopoly. Civ is  exciting, something that physical board games cannot match. Plus, it makes nuclear warfare sound appealing. That takes talent.

Excitement level puts Civilization IV at number 2.

Sign that I’m sick #672: I like doing this to all the other civilizations.

And now, number 1. Drumroll please…

#1: Rise of Nations

 This game is pure awesome. You cannot call yourself a true strategy fan until you’ve played Rise of Nations. Because, really, what other game lets you experience all of history, in RTS form? With so much content, it is infinitely replayable. And the Conquer the World campaign, which I think is supposed to be the main game mode, is amazing. So, Rise of Nations, the best strategy game ever, holds top title.

Yes, this game is as awesome as it looks.

But wait… don’t go away. there’s one more game, a game that must be mentioned for my list to be truly complete…

#0: Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

This is my other contender for prize of my first strategy game. I loved it. It was my favorite game. If I didn’t like strategy games before then, I did now. Who cared about the retro graphics? Who cared about the impossible late-game scenarios? I loved it. And I still do, even now. What a game.

Oh, and then there’s Simon the Killer Ewok. Pure cool.

Simon has found you, Darth Vader. Run as fast as you can.

I will eventually do a lets play of all of these games. Why? Because they are all awesome.

 

 

Civilization IV Lets Play

I’m writing this in real time. Awesome, right? This is also my first try of screenshots, so remember I’m a newbie.

I will be going for a conquest victory. Those are always fun… 😈

Settings:

Edition: Vanilla (I got all the expansion packs in a gold pack, but I want a classic game)

Map: Pangaea (for a nice, easy game)

Climate: Temprate

Sea Level: Medium

Map Size: Small(Duel is too easy)

Civilization: Aztec (the best civ for a conquest victory)

Diffuculty: Settler (the easiest level; I have never won on chieftain :sad:)

Speed: Standard

The settings.

Lets begin!

Not a great starting position.

I’ll send the scout to… scout, and the settler to found my first city.

Oh, a goodie hut! It gave me… another settler. Darn.

Ugh.

Tenochtitlan has been founded!

No, not Tenochititlan… Nateopolis!

I’ll build a warrior in Nateopolis, Then I’ll move my other settler into my borders.

Oh, techs! I’ll research… Masonry! (please forgive my bad writing… :roll:)

The tech screen.

Two turns pass. Hi, Tokugawa.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually pretty easy to get open borders with this guy. But more on that later…

I cant do much other than declare peace and send him away, so I do that. Now, I need a break. I was going to do save draft, but I think it will be cooler to  make regular updates. So if anyone comes across this quaint little blog on the ends of time and space (hey, I’m the first result on google!), please comment! its getting lonely on planet Nathan (or Ohio, whichever you prefer).

UPDATE: OK, lets continue.

I got masonry!

I can build walls! Yay!

And the borders of Nateopolis have expanded!

Tech screen is in the way, but you can see it.

I’ll research archery, and I think now is a good time to send out my settler.

This is a good spot.

Two turns later and my settler has arrived.

I call it… Sidville! (If you don’t know what I’m referring to, you have never played Civ)

I build a warrior in the city, and continue.

I finish archery and start animal husbandry, and someone founds Buddhism. Isabella’s probably in this game…

The Spainish are coming!

Next turn, I meet Qin Shi Huang of China!

Hi, Qin.

Immediate annihilation is bad, so I declare peace… for now!

Immediately afterward, I meet Julius Caesar.

No, I hate salad. But thanks anyway…

This guy seems nice enough to spare for awhile, so I do. Besides, his praetorian’s would crush me like a grape.

Animal husbandry finishes, I start bronze working, Nateopolis’s warrior finishes and I start building a barracks. and now… another break. If there are any Civ fans reading this blog, feel free to suggest a course of action.

UPDATE: I have bronze working!

Now I can hurt things!

And I can adopt slavery!

Why is this a good idea?

I adopt it and get to work on iron working.

A few turns later, I meet Gandhi of India!

My first target… uh, no, I didn’t say anything!

Just the usual, peace and continue.

A few presses of the enter key later…

A free sundial, thanks!

Iron working! That means I can build Jaguars and start my quest for world domination… 😈

Of course, I need to know where my targets are, so I’ll  research writing to get one step closer to paper and maps. The open borders will help, too.

Just realized that Gandhi got Buddhism, and I’ve meet all the civilizations possible in a small map, so there’s no Spanish. Darn… I hoped  I would get to crush them. Anyway…

I have writing!

Meh… not as fun as WAR!

Now to start mathematics and sign open borders with everyone…

Hey, a potential ally!

Um… ignore my previous statement about Tokugawa!

Now, another break. Like, comment, etc.

Why Minecraft is Awesome

In case you haven’t heard, Minecraft, from Mojang, is the single most popular downloadable game right now. You might be wondering: whats all the fuss? It looks like just another retro building game. But it’s not. It is awesome. You know the other building games? Farmville, Sim City, Zoo Tycoon, etc.? TOYS. This is the real deal, baby.

Here is why:

1.Unlimited possibility.

Ever wanted to live in a movie theater? Build one in Minecraft. Ever wanted to kill zombies? Go into a deep, dark cave in Minecraft. Ever wanted to climb a mountain? Find on in Minecraft. Ever wanted to… well, you get the idea. I’m building a sky fort. With a CREEPER FACE.

2.Customizable.

 There are skins(I’m Jet the Hawk, from Sonic the Hedgehog). There are mods(I’m a vanilla player, but my brother wants a mod). Awesome costomization options, right?

3. Creepers.

We loved them from the start. Creepers. Even if you’ve never played Minecraft, you can probably pick out a Creeper.

“Thatsssss a nice  blog  you have there…”

You need to buy Minecraft if you haven’t already. Like RIGHT NOW.

Universe Sandbox Review

There is a very cool program called Universe Sandbox. It lets you mess around with the universe by adding planets, changing the size of stars, etc. You can even place silly things like bowling balls and dice. I downloaded the free demo, which includes the premium features for an hour, and basic simulation viewing as long as you want.

I must say, I’m very impressed. I opened up the Solar System simulation and placed the biggest star I could find just outside the Asteroid Belt . The gravity sucked everything into it within days(seconds in real-time). I was strangely… pleased. 😈 Anyway, It is a very cool program.

Some screen shots from Google Images:

This is Endor. Yes, it is in the game. The Death Star is even there. Geeks UNITE!

I divided by zero, and now a bunch of stars are in a row. Never. Divide. By. Zero!

I wonder if eggs would really orbit bowling balls in zero-gee...

I am extremely impressed and I plan to buy it when I have the money. Here is the link:

http://universesandbox.com/

THE VERDICT:

Pros:

*Very cool

*Includes a Star Wars Easter egg

*Extensive tutorial

*Reasonably easy to use

* Graphics are simply stunning

Cons:

*A bit expensive, at an asking price of about $20, or $10 on Steam

*Not always accurate, especially on higher times per second in the Solar System simulation

*Planets just get a bright impact point when hit by a smaller object, but will occasionally get bigger when hit by another planet

SCORE : 8 out of 10