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Jobbie
Keep It Simple
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join:2010-08-24
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reply to Goggalor

Re: [SC2] Heart of the Swarm available for pre-purchase

Awesome, I will look for you guys tonight after some SP to get some games in.
--
When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.


Goggalor
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said by Jobbie:

Awesome, I will look for you guys tonight after some SP to get some games in.

Pfffft, I'll probably be so bad that I'll be in the Pewter league (the league even worse than Bronze!).


TruSm0ke

join:2005-07-21
Michigan
reply to Goggalor
I'll most likely be picking the HotS expansion up as I've been really into SC2 for the last few years or so. The unit additions and tweaks to the MP are enough for me to buy it. And I'm really interested in continuing the story of the SP as I've played through WoL SP multiple times already. Plus, I'll be able to get it for $20 since I have a $20 off code.

said by Goggalor:

I will be picking it up along with God of War: Ascension.

Don't even bother. It's kind of crappy. If you really have to play it though, go rent it first. The only thing I've heard that is halfway inspiring is the multiplayer "battle arena" newly added to the series. But as for the single player: it's not that great.


TigerLord
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reply to Jobbie
A few missions left, still stellar.


TigerLord
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1 edit
reply to Jobbie
My review of the SP experience

It has 20 main missions and 7 evolution missions. I will let you discover what evolution missions are. They`re short and cool and add a twist to the SP experience by adding units you will never see in MP. You’ll also get to revisit old units from SC and Brood War that were not available in WoL. Raptor lings are nothing short of pure unadulterated fun. In short, I would say this expansion is pure fan service.

The original StarCraft came out when I was a teenager and I spent countless bus trips coming back from school talking about strategy with the other kids on the bus. I’ve always had a bias in favor of RTS to begin with, but the narrative in SC was just something else. The world building was fascinating. Both Warcraft and Starcraft had well established lore for the respective races in each game, and the storytelling abilities of Blizzard made it so that even if it was a simple RTS game, you still managed to care for the protagonists of the story. Fenix, the Matriarch, Zeratul, Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan pre-Mengsk betrayal, Kerrigan afterwards, dragoon Fenix, etc. They were well voiced for one, and the story was engaging.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGZ45Eei ··· youtu.be

“Reborn” cinematic from the SP campaign

Heart of the Swarm is the zenith of that talent. WoL improved on the formula with cutscenes, which added to the narrative a lot. It wasn’t just small units on the field you were seeing, you had first person view of their interactions in-between each mission. The writing in HotS has noticeably improved in my opinion. The stakes in this game are bigger, and they manage to advance one major plot (the impending Xel’Naga invasion) and resolve one HUGE plot, Kerrigan’s quest for revenge on Mengsk. This expansion will resonate much more powerfully with original fans of the series since the entire point of the campaign is to close the loop on a story that began in the original StarCraft 15 years ago, almost to the day (March 31st will mark the 15th anniversary). Brood War, the one and only expansion, was entirely themed after Kerrigan, so to finally come full circle 15 years later brings a certain kind of satisfaction that cannot be properly described in words.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6S1AJ7n ··· youtu.be

“Believe in me” cinematic from the SP campaign

The graphics engine has been improved. I had to enable SLI to run at Extreme settings with Ultra texture quality to get 60fps at 2560x1600. While such settings don’t affect the gameplay graphics so much, they make a huge difference in rendered cutscenes.

But if I had to pick one superb quality of the game (I saved the best for last), it is its ability to make you feel as if you are truly controlling a swarm. Many of Kerrigan’s upgrades make it easier to pump endless amount of units. For the entire duration of the campaign, I felt incredibly powerful, but the game still presented a fair challenge on Hard. Beating it on Brutal will be satisfactory. All the new units unique to the SP experience allow you to make powerful armies that let you pull off crazy shit you would never see in MP. The cinematics (including the opening one) always emphasize on the numbers and just how many Zerg units there always are, but in the game, everybody is capped at 200/200, so that feeling of scale is lost. To make up for this, HotS gives us cool powers and abilities to pump units faster than in MP so “swarms” become reality.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1HttnRd ··· ttnRd7wE

“Shifting Perspective” cinematic from the SP campaign

Verdict
Of all nine StarCraft campaigns that exist and that I have played, HotS takes top honors. It’s even better than the Protoss campaign in Brood War, a longtime favorite of mine due to the mythology and world building surrounding the Dark Templars. I’m not saying it lightly either.

I really could not say how well a non-fan of the series will appreciate this expansion. Kerrigan’s story, and her relationship with Raynor, have been a center of the SC lore for fifteen years. It’s impossible not to be biased with that kind of baggage. As a whiny PC gamer with often high expectations, I was completely taken by surprise over the quality, especially if you consider how big studios have been disappointing everybody lately.

The last game I remember giving a 10/10 to was Ocarina of Time on N64. And even though HotS doesn’t approach its scope or magicality, it deserves such a distinction. However, accounting for the bias I mentioned, I would probably lower this to 9.5. Anything under 9.0 is an intellectual travesty.

I leave you with the (awesome) closing cinematic. Blizzard sure knows how to make ‘em.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9QkLE8q ··· youtu.be

“Ascension” closing cinematic of the SP campaign


Jobbie
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Thanks for the review Halada. Can't wait home to fire it up.


Goggalor
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reply to TruSm0ke
said by TruSm0ke:

said by Goggalor:

I will be picking it up along with God of War: Ascension.

Don't even bother. It's kind of crappy. If you really have to play it though, go rent it first. The only thing I've heard that is halfway inspiring is the multiplayer "battle arena" newly added to the series. But as for the single player: it's not that great.

I picked it up because A.) I had the Collector's Edition reserved for the awesome Kratos statue, B.) I want to play the Battle Arena, and C.) it's mutha-fuggin' Kratos.
--
From Psychonauts -
Lungfish Civilian: (describing Goggalor) He's impervious to bullets! ... and love!
--


Jobbie
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reply to TigerLord
I won't add anything to your review Tiger, it is spot on. I started playing around 20:00 and when I realized it was 03:00, it was really hard to step away from it.
--
When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.


Goggalor
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TL and Jobbie, do you all have any recommendations for beating the "All In" (last level) of the Wings of Liberty campaign on hard? I took out the air forces previously, so I'm stuck with Nydus worms everywhere. Once I get about halfway through the level, I get destroyed.


TigerLord
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reply to Jobbie
For when Kerrigan attacks, you need a marine ball. Tanks and high damage dealers do shit to her because of her armor. A stim'd marine ball will send her back to her hole pronto.

For the rest, I built a wall with multiple planetary fortresses with scv on the spot for repairs which blocks incoming units. Lots of tanks behind to take out incoming waves

I also had unlocked psi towers to mind control some of the incoming minions, which added to my army.


Jobbie
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said by TigerLord:

For the rest, I built a wall with multiple planetary fortresses with scv on the spot for repairs which blocks incoming units. Lots of tanks behind to take out incoming waves

This is how i did it, PFs tank while your real tanks lay fire on the ground units I think I had a couple of vikings around for air support with turrets in base.
--
When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.


Goggalor
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How'd you all deal with the far off Nydus worms? Mass Wraiths and/or BCs?

I may need to restart the campaign as I do not think I picked up the Planetary Fortress upgrade.


Jobbie
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A pack of cloak banshees took care of the nydus and the tanks took care for the ones in base.
--
When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.


Blockfire
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reply to Jobbie
said by Jobbie:

I won't add anything to your review Tiger, it is spot on. I started playing around 20:00 and when I realized it was 03:00, it was really hard to step away from it.

not before calling me on skype and telling me how badass you were.


Jobbie
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said by Blockfire:

said by Jobbie:

I won't add anything to your review Tiger, it is spot on. I started playing around 20:00 and when I realized it was 03:00, it was really hard to step away from it.

not before calling me on skype and telling me how badass you were.

I had to tell you about the dragon lings, the lings!!!!
--
When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.


Goggalor
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Are those the ones from level 20 Zerg?


Jobbie
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It is the very first upgrade you get to choose, dragon lings that can jump cliffs or insta lings with 3 a pop instead of 2.
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When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.


Goggalor
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Ahhhh, gotcha. I got part way into the second mission when the game crashed for no particular reason.


Jobbie
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You get the upgrades when you finish all the missions on a planet, you will get an "Evolution Mission" to pop out the lab guy room.
--
When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.


Goggalor
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Jobbie can attest that I was up until 0300 this morning playing SC2. I went back in my original playthrough to a previous save in order to get rid of the Nydus worms. Soooooooooo much easier that way as I finally beat it on Hard (even with being so slow with my actions; I think I need to switch from Faster to Fast).

After that, I decided to finish off the WoL campaign achievements before moving on to HotS...

Thanks again TL and Jobbie for the advice.
--
From Psychonauts -
Lungfish Civilian: (describing Goggalor) He's impervious to bullets! ... and love!
--


Blockfire
Sarcasm is my native tongue

join:2010-02-11
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reply to Jobbie
i'm about 3/4 of the way through HotS now and I have to 100% completely agree with Tigerlord on his review. This is one of the best games I've played to date.


puppy

join:2010-01-28
reply to TigerLord
Wah... now I feel compelled to finish the first campaign, so I can play this one!


Jobbie
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reply to Goggalor
If you are an achievemnt whore HotS is awesome for you, every mission you get 3-4 achievements and you get more per planet completion.
--
When on dangerous ground maneuver, when on deadly ground fight.


Goggalor
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said by Jobbie:

If you are an achievemnt whore HotS is awesome for you, every mission you get 3-4 achievements and you get more per planet completion.

I definitely am and that's why I'm doing WoL over again; to get those last few that I missed. Though, I think I won't bother with the Lost Viking one.


ekster
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reply to Jobbie
How worth it is this game (and WoL) for SP alone?

I love RTS and played the hell out of SC, and all the WC and C&C games, but my schedule and other games means no time to invest in MP... so would it be still worth it for me when (or if) it goes on a nice sale?


TigerLord
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said by ekster:

How worth it is this game (and WoL) for SP alone?

I love RTS and played the hell out of SC, and all the WC and C&C games, but my schedule and other games means no time to invest in MP... so would it be still worth it for me when (or if) it goes on a nice sale?

Did you ever play the original SC?

If you're able to get over old graphics, I really suggest you play them.

Otherwise, yes, it's worth it for the SP alone in my opinion, but catch up on the story in SC or you won't understand a thing.


Krisnatharok
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reply to ekster
I bought HotS for mostly the SP (I've been out of the SC MP scene for too long, and getting back in would be like random-locking a LoL game then picking a random build). I'm on the third mission and it is fucking awesome. 10/10 would recommend so far.
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.


ekster
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reply to TigerLord
Yeah, I played the hell out of the original SC.

Thanks guys, I'll add these two to my wishlist then.


TigerLord
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said by ekster:

Yeah, I played the hell out of the original SC.

Thanks guys, I'll add these two to my wishlist then.

If you played SC and Broodwar and are familiar with the story this is a must buy for the SP alone.

Playing WoL and HotS back to back without the 3y wait will even be better.

I'm jealous.


Goggalor
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reply to Krisnatharok
said by Krisnatharok:

I bought HotS for mostly the SP (I've been out of the SC MP scene for too long, and getting back in would be like random-locking a LoL game then picking a random build). I'm on the third mission and it is fucking awesome. 10/10 would recommend so far.

This right here. My actions per minute has to be around 50 or so, if not less. Back during the original SC, when I played almost everyday, I was into the multiplayer scene. Nowadays, I just want to enjoy the storyline.
--
From Psychonauts -
Lungfish Civilian: (describing Goggalor) He's impervious to bullets! ... and love!
--