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Tag: CGS+

“DevastationZone Troopers” review

by on Mar.19, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: DevastationZone Troopers
Developer: CGS Software

Mindless third-person shooter action on a distant world. We take a look at CGS Software’s DevastationZone Troopers.

While the major game publishers like Electronic Arts, Vivendi and their ilk have cornered most of the market on PC and console game sales, there are a growing number of software developers targeting their product at online only sales, whether its self-published or handled through smaller independent online stores. Those of us who persist in buying our warez (pun intended) only from retail outlets and mail order are doing ourselves a considerable disservice as there are a number of high-quality “download only” titles available online that are just as good (if not better) than many of the products pushed upon us by the major players. One such game is DevastationZone Troopers from CGS Software; a frenetic third-person shooter where the body count rapidly enters the thousands and everything on screen is completely destructible.
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“The Strategy Wizards of Oz” – Part 2

by on Mar.17, 2010, under Gaming Interviews

Part 2 of an Interview with Strategic Studies Group’s Gregor Whiley.

CGS+: SSG has specialized in conflict simulations so far. Are there any plans to diversify your market into RPG/Adventure titles, etc,. the way, say, SSI did in the mid-to-late 80’s?
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“The Strategy Wizards of Oz” – Part 1

by on Mar.17, 2010, under Gaming Interviews

Part 1 of an Interview with Strategic Studies Group’s Gregor Whiley in which we investigate one of the most respected war and strategy game developers in the industry.

When it comes to computer software companies, most people will agree that the major players are firmly established in the US and Europe. Companies like Origin, MicroProse and Virgin Interactive Entertainment pump out a good half-dozen titles each year, and generally enjoy a high profile in the computer gaming media. That’s o­nly half the PC gaming picture, though. Balanced against these larger corporations are a host of smaller publishing houses, catering to very specific niches in the market. o­ne such entity is Strategic Studies Group (SSG), an Australian company dedicated to producing quality war and strategy games. Based in Drummoyne, New South Wales, this talented bunch of designers, programmers, and artists have been subjecting grognards around the globe to a rich, steady series of stimulating titles for over 13 years. Just about every computer wargamer worth his salt has probably tried an SSG title at sometime or another … and the Warlords series of games have probably found their way into more homes than cable-tv repairmen!
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“The Hangar” column

by on Mar.17, 2010, under PC Gaming Columns

Playability vs. realism – flight school 101 or Top Gun? This article was written for Computer Games Strategy Plus in the late 90’s.

Since the advent of PC flight simulations well over a decade and a half ago, the realism versus playability debate has been escalating gradually. In the distant past when flight sims were powered by the early 8086 chipsets, realism was severely limited by the hardware resources available to desktop pilots. With 640k of memory (less the considerable chunk required by the operating system), CGA graphics cards and tinny sound from the internal speaker, it’s no wonder most early flight sims were played as graphically and audibly Spartan arcade games. Over the last few years however, incredible advances have been made in the PC hardware field. Faster and more powerful processors, improved motherboard architecture, high-resolution graphics (and the current “hot technology,” 3D accelerator cards) etc. confer upon simulation designers the means to model a flight sim with the level of detail and exactitude that they would have o­nly been dreaming about in the late 80s. It’s also no exaggeration to say that sim designers are reveling in their newly enhanced medium; from the recent Back to Baghdad and AH-64D Longbow to the upcoming Falcon 4 and Su-27 2.0, highly realistic and complex titles are continuing to pour o­nto the market.
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“Z” Hints and Tips – Part 2

by on Feb.24, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips, PC Retro Gaming

Part II: More of General Zod’s revealing secrets.

 “Hey, Brad … quit with the munchies and keep reading will you? I want to see what happens next.”

“Sheesh, Al, I thought I told you to get your optical fibers replaced; I’m sick of reading stories for you!”

“Gee, Brad, do you want me to tell General Zod about that little episode with the geisha droid and that amusing prosthesis … ?”

“OK, OK! Just sit down and shut up eh?”
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“Z” Hints and Tips – Part 1

by on Feb.24, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips, PC Retro Gaming

Part I: Extracts from the diary of General Zod.

“Nice move, Brad! I told you to keep your Zod-damn distance from this soddin’ planet.”

“Hey, how was I to know Kakaphoon pulled a solid 12G’s at perigee.”

“Well, if you hadn’t punched out the autopilot when she beat you at Ker-plunk(TM) maybe you’d be…”

“Oh put a sock in it, or I’ll activate your censor chip!”
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“Warlords 3: Reign of Heroes” Hints and Tips – Part 2

by on Feb.24, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips, PC Retro Gaming

Part II: Extracts from the Chronicles of Orinocho the Mad.

“West Gate”, Kival (8 DarkLight, 1237 SE.)

“We passed through the lantern lit gates of Kival just after dusk and, after charging our men-at-arms to stay out of trouble, Jungenrol, Granitethize, Greavus, and I headed to our usual haunt for an evening’s ‘entertainment.’ It was during our wanderings that Greavus questioned us on how the Sirian’s viewed honor and diplomacy on the battlefield?.”
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“Warlords 3: Reign of Heroes” Hints and Tips – Part 1

by on Feb.24, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips, PC Retro Gaming

Part I: Extracts from the Chronicles of Orinocho the Mad.

“Welcome esteemed reader to the wondrous chronicles of Orinocho, greatest of the Warrior Knights of Etheria, holder of the sacred chalice of the Sirian Order, bearer of the holy cod piece of Jurath the Insignificant and possessor of numerous other titles that I am too modest to expound upon here (but see Appendices A-D, pages 1134-1201). As your magical skills are strong enough to break the enchanted seal upon this volume, so too must your intellect be of subtle cunning and intense deviousness to acquire the knowledge within this tome. Herein can be found poems of perilous quests for ancient treasure, tales of racial conflicts that sundered entire peoples from this plane of existence, the epic saga of the Bane Wars during the Sirian Knights’ “Age of Dreams”…and the occasional salacious tavern romp at the “Wanton Wench” in Kival. It has been over 20 years since the end of the Bane Wars and the Sirian Knights are a mere shadow of their former glory. I scribe these words in the hope that they will aid you, my successor, in your charged duty of re-establishing our order in all the greatness and majesty of its recent past. Take careful heed of all that is within these pages, for it is o­nly in such a manner that you may gain the throne of WarlordTM and return our people to the prominence and power that is rightly ours. May the gods look favorably upon your fate.” – Orinocho, Grand Master of the Sirian Order.
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“TacOps” Hints and Tips – Part 2

by on Feb.24, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips, PC Retro Gaming

Part 2 of our TacOps strategy and tactics article. This time around we analyse the various weapon systems within the game. 

In the last TacOps installment, we examined US defensive operations and had a quick look at the results of a scenario using those article’s guidelines. As a silicon battalion commander, I suspect I would have been chewed out by my brigade for losing half my command in under two hours, despite the annihilation of an OPFOR Motorized Regiment. This begs the question, “Could I have done better?” Unfortunately, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” There were several incidents during the battle which cost me key systems which, if utilized more efficiently, would still be present o­n my TO&E roster today. In an effort to regain my former high standing with the CO, I decided to analyze the TacOps unit database to improve my understanding of unit characteristics and (if Maj. Gen. Pierce allows me to take the field) my performance in future battles.
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“TacOps” Hints and Tips – Part 1

by on Feb.24, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips, PC Retro Gaming

Part I: Defensive operations: Holding off the OPFOR hordes.

When TacOps was released in 1994 for the Macintosh, it created immense excitement in the wargaming community. Finally, here was a game that re-created those satisfying hours spent in my youth, hunched over a paper wargame shoving piles of cardboard and generally watching my grade point average fall through the floor. Just admiring the screen-shots o­n the ‘net sent shivers of anticipation up and down my spine. There was just o­ne catch: I didn’t own a Macintosh. No o­ne o­n my street owned a Macintosh. Heck, even the local Macintosh outlet didn’t have a Macintosh, instead relying o­n large cardboard cut-outs to attract potential customers. Thus, the next two years were spent eagerly awaiting the release of the PC Windows port. Well, the big day rolled around a few months ago and, since then, I’ve managed to play through several dozen scenarios of what I must describe as a highly detailed and incredibly intense game. In past issues the designer, Major I. L. Holdridge, has graced these pages with some accurate tactical notes and tips, most of which have been included in the TacOps manual (I strongly urge readers to check out this section if you haven’t already!). What I intend to do is expand upon his previous work, exploring some of the operational procedures and strategies I’ve used in TacOps.
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