Thoughts and Answers
In this section, we like to comment on today’s game topics, or just concepts of gaming. OK, it’s just a chance to voice our opinion for gaming, but feel free to send us an email with your thoughts. We may post them.
The other thing that we do is answer your questions. Since I teach gaming for Hagerstown Community College, I can answer a variety of technical questions. I may not want to go into 5 pages of Variational Calculus, but I can take time to try to answer anything that you are having a hard time with, even software issues.
Most Recent Topic - League of Legends Review
FRESH! Here's our most recent published review. Granted these our old school games, but what did you expect from us. We’re old school! (Just not Atari old school, more like 2000’s old school) Here you go:
League of Legends
League of Legends is a game that I thought that I wouldn’t like, but I did. It has all of the make up of a bad, boring game: simple maps, an obvious groping for mass appeal, limited gameplay (at simple glance), a huge multiplayer online game (self explanatoryJ) with a questionable community, and more.
However, I find myself addicted to it. Okay, maybe the word addicted is too strong, but wanting to play it and come back to it. I like Counterstrike, DoD, TF2, and plenty of online multiplayer games, but I can put them down fairly easily at the end of the day. This one gets me to think about it even when I’m not playing it.
LoL, as I’ll call it, is almost a hybrid game. It uses a multiplayer approach where you are usually on a team of 3 or 5, but the atmosphere they put you in more like an RTS than a traditional PvP Action game. I think this is where the fun begins, because you don’t have to always hunt after your opponents. You can attack minions (and yes, that is what they are called) to keep the action going.
Having minions keeps the game from going fully PvP, and I think allows it to have some elements of a PvE which translate into more dimensionality. It needs this, because of the list that I have mentioned earlier. If it was just a 3rd person 3 map system where 10 people stalked each other with essentially 4 hot keys, well you get the picture.
The last sentence is all that that LoL seems to be at first glance. In fact, I think that is why most people don’t dive into the game play. However, in this simplicity, there comes a lot of planning and strategy. Having less hotkeys, allows the players to focus more on other concerns and elements.
And there are other things to focus on. Teamwork would be one. That is why you can make money playing this game. Organizing each other to cover an entire map yet push in a vulnerable direction is harder than it looks. At first you think that you are getting the hang of it, and then you level up. Then, you realize you are just beginning to grasp the subtleties.
You also have armor, weapons, buffs and builds as you level to a maximum of 18 in game. This in game leveling is important as you have to choose in which way to grow and how you’ll arrive at 18. Sometimes you can beat everyone to level 18 to find that you can dominate. And then others, you realize as they come to 18, everyone becomes human again.
Riot Games does armor, weapons, extras and (for the most part) characters in a fairly balanced and varied way. They have many of said mentioned to pick from, the characters especially. I’m sure people complain about character balancing, but it’s hard to have as many playable characters as they do (114) with a wide range of powers and make them all equal. Instead they go for an approach where the champions play more of a role. They can all handle their own, but some will be more support versus others will be more tanks. In the end, it works.
That’s not to say that is the end of your character creation. Buying items is the most obvious in-game way to modify and strengthen your character. There is a certain finesse to doing it. Although, again, everyone can do the same build with identical stores.
Outside of the game, you can improve yourself by a global leveling system to 30. This translates into two major parts: Runes and Masteries. Each of the two will buff your character in certain ways. You can add strength, life, regeneration, magic resistance, and the list goes on. You can even do these buffs through different methods. All players start at the base level and quickly diverge depending on the champion that they play. It’s also built in a way that players can’t get multiple masteries like being able regenerate health and have high damage.
It’s not all about PvP matches, either. They have some AI games that you can use to sharpen your skills. That’s a good thing, too, because the community can get a little rough.
By rough, I mean that people flip out easy. They definitely have a large amount of peach fuzz playing this game. Teammates get upset when you die too much, but get mad when you “let” them die (by not coming to their aid.) I’ve played where some guys start complaining within 30 seconds of the game start. You can’t even attack an opponent in that time. Riot put a counter to this mentality by having a reward system that each player can give to others. This tends to get some good comments flowing and a better attitude of the overall play.
There are a few other things that will annoy you when you play. Load times can be long, even when you have an excellent connection. You load the entire game/map at the beginning. Remember also, you have to wait until the slowest player loads his game.
They only have really four maps, and game types can be simple. The good maps can be redundant after awhile. I’m sure there are one or two maps you just won’t play once you’ve played for a bit. This can kill replayability. You have to mix it up with the champions that you choose, and work your different Rune and Mastery pages to keep the game close to fresh.
However, this is definitely a well polished game. The art is campy and very colorful but fun. They have good artists that do well with the static art as well as concoct nice skins for the champions. It doesn’t really have a fixed art style since most champions are noticeably different. They do a good job making them all work.
Sound is sufficiently done, too. I usually don’t talk to much about sound unless it distacts or adds to a game. Here it adds. They do a good job with sound affects to get your attention and cue you to important game play. Soundtracks are fun as well.
I’m sure not all will love this game, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a neat diversion from the normal game. It won’t compete with your favorite video game. However, it’s free and on that curve it’s pretty good. There are ways for them to get your money, but you can go the whole time without paying a dime. I think at the end of your experience you won’t mind putting a few bucks down.
OVERALL SCORE: 8.8/10