1 - Xmas Gift Guide 4 - Ninten Fail 6 - Sony Recap 2011 12- Terraria 1.

1 Preview 13- Uncharted 3 Review 15- Super Mario 3DS Review 16- Tom McShea Interview 18- Skyrim Lol

Hello GameSpot and hello SW! I am Fabz_95 and the fact that I’m writing this must mean that something has happened to Willy105. Has he quit SWM? Has he left GameSpot? Is he dead? Actually he just forgot to write this so I’m stepping in. Here I present to you SWMs Winter 2011 issue, one of our four rendered issues in the year and I hope you find plenty good reading within it. We have a Christmas gift guide (sure Christmas is over but what ever happened to buying people gifts for no good reason?), an article on Nintendo from Willy, the worlds no.1 Terraria fan Jynxzor comparing touching on the games latest update (and having a dig at Minecraft), a mammoth article from HarlockJC on the rollercoaster of a year Sony have had, a Skyrim article from Darklink and more. Anyway, that’s enough of a summary of the magazine you’re seconds away from reading so sit back, relax and enjoy the issue for this is SYSTEM WARS THE MAGAZINE.

Layout and Design Justin Misner (Jynx) Chief Wily 105 Editor Cherokee Jack
Writers and Contributors

Fabz 95 HarlockJC Darkspineslayer Jethrovegas Darklink 77

Giftr Guide

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

1

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

2

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

3

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

4

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

5

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

6

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

7

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

8

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

9

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

10

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

11

Maybe you missed the trailer for the 1.1 update for Terraria, the game often accused of being a 2D rip-off of Minecraft If you didn’t watch this trailer you may have totally missed out on the awesome Steam sale selling the game at the amazing price of 4.99. Well I’m here to make you feel bad that you didn’t buy it then, because that’s exactly what you will wish you have done after I finish blowing your mind. It’s hard to go over the addition that 1.1 will bring to Terraria, many of them are total game changers giving users far more creative ways to build amazing 2D constructs and a slew of new items and yes unlike the 3D cousin Minecraft this game has a heavy focus on fighting monsters and gathering loot. 1.1 is a game changer, beleive me on this one thing. If you begin the game from scratch next to nothing will appear to be changed aside from a few menu options and adjustments to the overall game (The new lighting engine is killer) Once you reach what used to be the “End of the game” where you had the most powerfull tools and armor available to Terraria kind...things get a little different. Via throwing your Guide Vodoo doll into the pits of hell you will spawn a extremly strong boss known as the “Wall of Flesh” manage to destroy this monstrous entity and you game will now enter...Hard mode. You thought you were strong? Think again next to everything in the game can now downright murder you in short time, new ores are waiting to be mined, new biomes are waiting to be explored...and yes new enemies and bosses means more loot! 1.1 brings a massive host of changes to the core game giving the game almost two to three times the longevity of the original game. With more updates promised in the future if you are a fan of minecraft but feel it needs more traditional game elements Terraria may just be the game you have been looking for. If you were on the fence about the game trust me it’s worth the full price of admission, but as luck would have it the game is a frequent item in Steam sales ranging from 25-75% off! This is a game you shouldn’t miss.

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

12

By: Fabz_95
Going above and beyond its predecessor, which was one of 2009’s best games, Uncharted 3 is a game that PS3 owners have no excuse to miss out on. In UC3 we find Nathan Drake in a familiar situation: he’s out to find a secret that will make him and his friends incredibly wealthy. Unfortunately for him, there exists an organization that would be more than happy to kill him to get their hands on the same prize. The plot is what you’d expect from an Uncharted game, but thanks to fantastic set pieces, interesting characters, and Naughty Dog’s distinctive storytelling styIe you’ll still be eager to find out what happens next. One quality that makes the Uncharted games so great is their pacing. There isn’t a dull moment in Uncharted 3, and just as you start to feel that one section is getting a little tedious, you’re thrown into a new one. One moment you’re escaping a sinking ship, the next you’re hanging from the back of a crashing plane. The kind of blockbuster set pieces that made Uncharted 2 so great are even better here, and are really a joy to experience. Not only is Uncharted like playing an action movie, it’s also like watching one, thanks to the game’s fantastic presentation. The characters are made believable by superb animation, genuine-sounding dialog, and very well done voice acting, and the conversations between them tell the story well and are genuinely interesting. Uncharted 3 is particularly successful in making you care about the characters and what happens to them; this time the focus is more on Drake and his relationships with Sully and Elena, and as they strain throughout the game you will legitimately want things to end well for all of them. Of course, the graphics themselves play a major part in bringing the game to life; UC3 is easily the best-looking game on consoles right now. The desert section in particular, with its shifting sand and weather changes, is stunning, and the level of detail in cities and the realistic motion of water in the boat sections is also very impressive. The character animation too is outstanding. Drake will place his hand on walls as he walks past them, his hair will become sandy when he rolls in it, he’ll wipe sweat from his brow and so on. It’s the little things that make the game so great to look at. It sounds great too, thanks to an excellent score and realistic sound effects. Drake’s grunting as he progresses through the game is a sound you’ll become very familiar with. Uncharted 3, however, is ultimately a game and not a movie, so the mechanics here are also very important. Thankfully, the game is great on that front too. It is largely a third-person shooter, but plenty of puzzle solving and platforming segments make it feel like something more. Climbing around levels is great fun, especially when you’re doing it under pressure from enemies, and although the puzzles aren’t particularly taxing, they’re still fun to complete. The cover-based shooting of previous Uncharted games returns yet again, and the selection of weapons and various ways of killing your enemies keep it engaging.

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

13

Melee combat has been overhauled, and it’s now a lot more satisfying to take out an enemy with your fists than it was in previous games. Simply shooting enemies is fun too, but it could do with some work. It takes too many bullets to kill an enemy, and although there are plenty of weapons available, players will likely opt for the AK-47 in most scenarios. The shooting mechanics themselves are fine, but certain problems that were present in UC2 have not been addressed here. They’re minor problems, but in a game that does everything else so well, they do stick out. The campaign is where you’ll find the most enjoyment in UC3, but the multiplayer is very good too. It’s successful in translating the single-player experience to the online space; vertical maps allow you to make the most of the platforming elements seen in the campaign, but in a competitive game there is of course more of a focus on killing your enemies than on scaling the scenery. There are a lot of maps included, with plenty more to come through DLC, and the game has a good leveling system with plenty of perks and weapons to unlock, both of which should give the multiplayer component a long life. Things like the cinema mode and Uncharted TV are nice touches too. Split-screen online is something I’ve always been a fan of, and I’m very happy that feature has been included in this game. The new competitive game modes like Three Team Deathmatch are great, and on the cooperative side, the adventure missions are good fun as well. Uncharted 3 is what you would expect from Naughty Dog: a game that is polished, well-paced and most importantly, fun. It is a better game than its predecessor, and leaves you wondering how they’ll top this one.

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

14

By: darkspineslayer
The Nintendo 3DS launched in early 2011 to a post-iPhone world. With very few games worth buying and commanding a $250 price of admission, it wasn’t moving very fast. Advance to today, when the 3DS is a much-easier-to-swallow $170, with several key features now in place. Does Mario bring the stuff to make you put down your angry birds and feel good about your $40? Mario’s entourage will immediately notice this one is done a bit differently. The open-ish environments of the Galaxy titles are traded for linear courses, and the health system you’re accustomed to in the 3D titles is gone, exchanged for a power-up styIe echoing the 2D Mario games of the past. The game doesn’t simply allude to it screams ‘throwback’ to Super Mario Brothers 3, while advancing in ways the Mario series desperately needed to. The returning Fire Flower and the new Boomerang Flower grant Mario a projectile attack to take out distant enemies, while the long-absent Tanooki Suit makes a return for those gentle glides to the ground, and masquerading as a statue later in the game. Secret areas pop up all over the place and often contain Star Coins, which are necessary to unlock certain levels and advance through the game, but secret exits that lead to alternate levels are out. The level you’re on is the level you get, and there isn’t much for it besides persevere or turn the game off. Thankfully the difficulty curve is gentle through the main game, and helpful handholds will pop up if you die several times on a level. The sound design here is well done, unsurprisingly. Cheerful, catchy tunes accompany each level, while familiar coin clinks and grunts from Mario punctuate your actions, and in some levels give tips, such as when that platform will disappear. The visuals are about on par with Super Mario Galaxy: not eye-bleeding, nor cutting edge. The game makes great use of the native 3D on the system with stunning vistas, and this also gives you a sharper eye to land on that lone block. It’s not strictly necessary aside from a few rooms that will let it tip you off to a visual trick, but it’s so natural to use that you won’t want to turn it off. Super Mario 3D Land represents the perfect marriage of old school Mario with newfangled 3D gameplay and autostereoscopic visuals. 16 worlds of fun await for your $40, and it’s more than reasonable to take this wild ride through the Mushroom Kingdom. It’s Mario’s land...we just play in it.

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

15

BY: Willy105:
Do not think I’m exaggerating when I say that you have become Gamespot’s most popular reviewer. You even have your own meme on the Gamespot forums. Before, Kevin VanOrd was the one causing riots, but now you are the king. How does that make you feel? McShea: I’m not sure I would use the word “popular” to describe my place in the System’s War forum. I’d say that my reviews are divisive, and that causes a strong reaction from both sides. I tend to be harsh in my criticism, and have no problem saying a mega-hyped game is merely “Good”; this is a strong contrast to how reviews are often handled in this industry. Honestly, it makes me a little uncomfortable that I’ve become a bit of a meme, but I only know how to express myself one way. I’m brutally honest and don’t sugar coat the problems I see, so if you’re eagerly anticipating a new release, that could put you in a sour mood. Your opinion of Skyward Sword’s controls were very different than those of other reviewers. Why is that? What is your opinion of motion control in general? As anyone who has followed me should know, controls are the single most important element of a game to me. If they aren’t responsive all the time, I get frustrated, because it’s a problem that could have been averted had the developers been more conscious of the experience they were creating. In the case of Skyward Sword, the controls function as they should most of the time, but that’s not enough. When I swing and it doesn’t register, or I point toward the screen but Link looks at the ground, I get angry. Nintendo usually sets the standard for controls, so I’m shocked they would release a game in this state. As for motion controls in general, I like them, but it seems as though many developers struggle with how to implement them. Games like No More Heroes and Super Mario Galaxy are made better, because flicking your wrist complements a more traditional scheme. By letting some actions be controlled with motion while others use the stick or buttons, it makes things feel more natural than when motion controls are forced into places they don’t belong. I think the future for motion controls looks good and developers will understand this balance better the more time they spend with the technology. You made an error in your review regarding the game’s controls (which has since been amended by the time of this writing). Do you think that an error like that might unintentionally affect your opinion (and therefore the review) of the game? Not at all. In my original text, I said that aiming was handled by the infared sensor, when it’s actually controlled by the gyroscopes. Ultimately, you point at the screen no matter which method the controller is using, so, for the player, the result is the same. My problem with the aiming is that you have to recenter your view often, and that’s true no matter what the underlying technology is.

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

16

What would you like to see Zelda change in it’s formula? More freedom. The strange thing is, The Legend of Zelda (the first game in the series) had this freedom, and the series just went away from it through the years. Part of the problem is that you’re confined in a linear path, shuffled from one dungeon to the next, with only cursory exploration. Recent Zelda games are adventures that have you on a leash the whole time. I wish they would remove the leash. Let me enter dungeons out of order. Give me multiple ways to access off-the-path routes, so if I don’t have the hookshot yet, I can still use my bombs to open up a road. Make me feel as if I’m forging my own path rather than just doing exactly what the developer wants, when they want it. Skyward Sword is predictable and lacks a sense of adventure because everything is so structured and confined. Your experience is going to be nearly identical to mine. Everyone will take the same path, see the same enemies, solve puzzles the same way, and so on and so forth. I’d love to see Nintendo use The Legend of Zelda as a blueprint for their next game rather than Ocarina for the umpteenth time. Have you ever peeked down on the forums to see the reaction of readers over a review score, even if you didn’t write the review? Oh yeah, I love seeing how the community reacts to our content. And I’m always relived when they’re angry at someone other than me. Do you feel your part as a reviewer should be an immense influence on people deciding which games to buy, or should they just simply be an informative opinion? My role is to give an informed opinion. I try to paint an accurate picture of my experience, and you can judge for yourself if that sounds like something you would enjoy. I’d like to think that people who read my review of Skyward Sword will know exactly what to expect when they play the game themselves. Their opinion may be different from mine, but I don’t think they’re going to be surprised with what’s on the disc. Is there something you would like to say to those users who would have your head on a pike over your review scores? Play the game before you claim I was somehow unfair. And also understand that people have different opinions from your own. My job is not tell you what you want to hear or make sure my score is the same as the Metacritic average. Also, remember that we do have a 1-10 scale. I consider an 8 to be an excellent score (I gave my last three Game of the Years 8.5), so realize that amazing games can get a sub-9 score. Also, 7.5 means Very Good. It means that I liked the game and you most likely will, too. Do your reviews give you the same amount of lulz that they give us? I don’t think my reviews are particularly funny, no. Can you change the score? Nope! Please? Sorry Rate System Wars The Magazine and it’s contributors in a score out of 10. (Hint: The hype is AA)

7.5

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

17

By: Dark link 77
Ah, there you are! I was hoping all of you would arrive soon. I bid you welcome to the Palace of Wisdom. Please, come in. Can I offer you a cigar? No? They were rolled on the thighs of virgins. Not tempted, eh? Some fine liquor, perhaps? No? Very well, then. Step into the sitting room. Please, remove your shoes. These rugs cost more than your education. Now, then, make yourself at home. I suppose you are all wondering why I, DarkLink, King of Kings, Lord of Hate, and Ruler of System Wars, have called all of you here. After all, it’s not every day that I allow the rabble of System Wars into my home, and offer them the pleasures that only the Palace of Wisdom can provide. You see, ladies, fanboys, and Stevo, I have invited you here to talk about Skyrim. Ah, you are familiar with it? Good. Because it sucks. And for some inexplicable reason, all of you are jerking each other off to it. It’s no secret that this industry rewards mediocrity. Look at Call of Duty, the most recent BioWare games, pretty much anything Valve has ever released, or a large majority of the PS3’s exclusive line-up (Uncharted, Killzone, Resistance, Modnation Racers, etc) if you need examples. RPGs, BioWare’s trash aside, used to be exempt from this crap, but not anymore. Now, I know what you’re going to say: “But my King, Skyrim is a great game!” Now, a less monarch might be enraged that a peasant would dare to question his King in his own house, but instead, I’ll answer your statement with a question: “Can you name one aspect of Skyrim that is good that’s not the amount of conetent or the ability to explore?” Go ahead, I’ll wait. Nothing? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

18

Skyrim is one of the few games that manages to do almost nothing well in any sense of the word, and yet the industry is piratically holding a giant circle-jerk in the game’s honor. The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences even nominated it for Outstanding Innovation in Game Design. Innovation in fucking WHAT?! It’s a sequel. It does nothing new, and little well. Skyrim is the only game I’ve ever played that manages to make fighting dragons a chore. Avoid fire, raise big ass axe, bring axe down, rinse and repeat. In fact, that sums up pretty much all of the combat in the game. Sure, it might change a little bit if you use a different weapon, but the fact of the matter is that it’s the same f*cking combat system that’s been in the Elder Scrolls Games since Morrowind, and it’s still about as satisfying as it was then. Which basically means it’s the video game equivalent of shoving a corncob up your ass. And on top of that, it’s ridiculously easy to break. Bethesda may have removed Oblivion’s level-scaling system because every gamer with a brain on the face of the Earth understood that it was a bad idea, but they sure a sh!t don’t understand why it was a bad idea. In Skyrim, they over corrected, and now everything is stupid easy at the end of the game if you’ve bothered to actually do some of the sidequests. And you know what? None of that would matter if the rest of the game was great, but it isn’t. You’re sure a shit not playing this game for the story, and if you are, I recommend that you stop playing and go read some decent fantasy. The main quest is so boring that almost no one can be bothered to finish it, and those that manage to struggle through it are like, “Eh, it’s all right.” I mean, the writing in this game is atrocious. And when it’s not atrocious, it’s lazy. Are you sworn to carry my burdens, Lydia? Really? I didn’t know. Say that again. Say that one more goddamn time and I will chop you up and feed you to the next dragon we run into. And you’re not playing it because it’s pretty, that’s for damn sure. There are games on the original Xbox with better animations than this. And sure, the graphics may be alright for an open world game, but if you’re here for the eye-candy, you’re doing it wrong. And the bugs. Oh, Lord, don’t even get me started on the bugs. I don’t know about you, but I love falling through the world when I come out of shops, and having quests break on me for no good goddamn reason, and when I don’t receive credit for killing a dragon. And if you’re playing it on the PS3, I hope you like slideshows, because that’s what your game is going to turn into after a few hours.

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

19

And the thing that kills me about all of this shit is that any other game would be crucified for it, but Bethesda titles are somehow immune. Shit story? No problem. Shit gameplay? We’ll roll with it. Shit animations/graphics? Who gives a crap? Lots of content? Game of the Fucking Year. And it’s the same things everywhere. GameSpot’s awards this year were essentially a hot and heavy love letter to Portal 2, but Skyrim walked away with the prize, and it wasn’t even a nominee in most of the “Best Of” categories, so even the critics know that the game is nothing special on blow-by-blow basis, but they just don’t care. “More than the sum of it’s parts” is something I hear Skyrim fans throw around a lot, but that’s a load of sh!t when the game does one thing well and everything else poorly. I mean, f*ck, all Skyrim is is a really big version of Fable, but somehow it gets a free pass for all the stuff Fable does wrong? Bethesda must write some big ass checks. We should expect better. We should stop settling for mediocrity because something is ambitious and big, especially in a year that delivered games like Arkham City, Bastion, The Witcher 2, Gears 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and a crapton of other amazing games. Because when you stack Skyrim up against all of those games, it’s only saving grace is that it’s not some cinematic piece of garbage like Uncharted 3 or straight up sh!i like Dragon Age II. But hey, when you’re [paying $50-60 dollars to beta test, I guess expectations are low. Now get the f*ck out. I have Kingly shit to do.

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

20

Playstation VITA
SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE
The handheld with the only legal bear mauling simulation on the market

21

SYSTEM WARS MAGAZINE

22

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful