Wednesday, 2 April 2014

World of Tanks

When I was first told about the game, I was 100% certain that any game which would feature tanks would not be of any interest to me. I kept reminding people that I in fact am a woman and tanks and soldiers aint toys that usually a girl would like. It featured two qualities which I never liked: Tanks and PVP. But funny how things work out. As it turns out this game is awesome. From the first time you sit down to play it will drag you in.

World of Tanks is a free to play, massively multiplayer online game. There is a premium option if you choose to go that way, for which you pay monthly but unlike many free to play models I have seen, you can easily play and improve your gaming without having to pay at all.

The beginning point of the game is your garage where you have got a number of tier 1 tanks from different nationalities waiting for you. The tanks you will see in the game range from early to late 20th century. Each tank earns its own xp but money you gain from each battle is naturally pooled to use on any tank of your liking. You can improve each tank individually and when you have got enough xp and money you can buy the next model.

There are 5 types of tanks in total, light, medium, heavy, tank destroyers and SPGs. You can follow which way you want to go from the technical tree of each tank that you own and through experience in battle decide on which role suits you best to go for it. I usually choose light tanks because I love scouting; and tank destroyers because their fire is ideal for blowing things up in one shot. Heavy tanks are very sturdy but moving with them is like a nightmare. Medium tanks in my opinion are by far one of the most difficult to handle because of their wide range of variety and roles within a battle. As for SPGs I do not like being stuck at the back rows for an entire battle so they are my least favorite.

The battles are quick and painless whether you win or lose. Victory makes you happy, Defeat doesnt affect you so much because you move on quickly to your next tank and keep on fighting. If you do something stupid you dont really care because every time you launch a battle it is in a different group of random players. Every battle takes an avarage of 8-10 minutes. The goal so far stayed always the same, either destroy every enemy tank or capture their flag (or in encounter battle, capture the common flag). There are 15 tanks in each group and there is a total of 40 battle fields to explore once you hit tier 3.

What I like best about the game is that there is absolutely no blood and gore. A kid could easily play the game without getting affected by it. My son watches me play and I let him play too on my low tier tanks and he gets a kick out of it. Political and racial debates on messaging window is absolutely prohibited which is another thing I like about this game.

I do have some minor qualms though. It seems to me that despite the fact that there are 40 fields the algorithm of the game does not work as it should and you might find yourself in Himmelsdorf more than you'd care for. As a matter of fact to the point of getting sick of it. Now on low tiers the game keeps you in specific fields till you learn how to handle your tank which of course is understandable but I wish they would introduce another scheme in the future which would not make you sick of seeing the same places over and over again.

Another negative I can think of is the fact that there are times when you are coupled in groups which are way higher than you in tier. Your tier 4 light tank can very easily find itself with those tier 8 tanks which gives you little if at all chance to survive the battle. I think 2 tiers higher should be the border and no more.

All in all I can say that World of Tanks is a very neutral, war zone, pvp mmo, very enjoyable and fast. You can log in for a quick battle or two for a half hour in order to rest your mind. One would think that as a pvp and tank game it would be stressful and demoralizing but I found it to be the exact opposite. I would recommend it to everyone who likes blowing off some steam through gaming.

Those who are interested can dowload the game here: World of Tanks Official Site

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

How I Met Your Mother Vs Friends

Now isnt this a big face off? Supposedly both series are sitcoms with a detailed insight into lasting friendships, relationships and love while letting us have a couple of laughs to lighten our day.

Friends was a Warner Bros production from the producers and some of the scenarists of Dream On, a very successful (in my opinion) situation comedy sitcom which ran on HBO between 1990-1996.

"Friends", as the title implies, was about the daily lives of six friends with their ups and downs while making you crack in almost every episode of the 10 seasons. Even though the tempo slowed down a little around the 7th season and so on, it never really lost its dynamic. Friends had one of the strongest comedy scenarists I had ever watched on tv who I might as well add, kept the fun going for 10 whole years. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe were all comedy makers in their own ways with their cardboard characters drawn elaquently so as to balance each other out. Actors were incredibly talented despite their weakest links who would be Courtney Cox and Matt LeBlanc. I have to give it to Matt though; playing that dumb a character must have been hard on him. What I most admired about Friends though was this: They never had a specific character, shouldering the entire comical elements of the show which is exactly the case with How I Met Your Mother.

How I Met Your Mother was an originally CBS production about a guy telling his children how he met their mother and it had impressed me during the first 3-4 seasons. It had a unique structure with a light-hearted and understated comedy. Over the years I watched it succumb to the worst kind of mushy, sticky melodrama. The character Barney (aka Neil Patrick Harris) had to shoulder 99% of the comedy because the rest of the gang were so dramatically un-funny.Robin turned incredibly sour and Lilly turned annoying while Marshall grew dumber and Ted...oh my oh my Ted...well suffice it to say that from a character I hardly liked he turned into a character I truly loathe. The scenarists could think of no more original jokes and so they fed us the same old used up humour of theirs under the name of retrospection. I hardly ever laughed during the last seasons and I was unmoved during the last episode which I just finished watching. As for the very last 3 minutes of the last episode I actually said the words : "You have got to be kidding me!" How I Met Your Mother began its career from a very strong point, started to fall periodically until it fell to the point of being cheesy. I have got one suggestion though, change the title of the show...we now know (and somehow, have always known) that mother of Ted's children was, in reality, just a stepping stone...It never was about the Mother.

I had watched Friends on and on again when I just wanted something light for a restful evening. I would never do that with How I Met Your Mother. Once was more than enough! I am afraid I would get a condition of "rolling eyes syndrome" or something...No offence meant to the fans of the show though.

Now in all fairness, I have to say that it is not easy to keep the pace of a show for a very long span of time but Friends showed us that it, in fact, can be done. I am sorry but "Friends" wins my face off without even breaking a sweat.