Why APB: Reloaded Will Succeed

Sometime in Q1 2011, APB will return as “APB: Reloaded.” The original designers are onboard thanks to the game and studio being bought by K2 Network. Numerous improvements are being planned, and there are a few reasons why I think APB: Reloaded will succeed. “Gasp! APB succeeding?” Why, yes. As a player of APB during it’s original run, I saw the huge amount of potential that the game has. Unfortunately, due to EA forcing Realtime Worlds to rush APB out the door, the game was not what it was promised to be.

APB: Reloaded promises to make the game what it was originally supposed to be while improving the bad aspects of the game that became evident during the game’s original run. So, what will APB: Reloaded do that will make this game succeed? I have three points that I think will lead to the game working out this time around.

1. Tougher Crackdown On Hackers
Towards the end of the game’s life cycle, APB was plagued by hackers. Countless people used aim bots, wall hacks, and god mode hacks. It was a little out of control, and Realtime Worlds are already discussing the matter of eliminating foul play from APB: Reloaded. There seems to be a good amount of confidence coming from them at the moment, and they’ve had a bit of time to learn from their mistakes in APB and, presumably, they’ll be able to close a fair amount of holes that hackers exploited originally.

2. Revamped Gameplay Focus
Realtime Worlds has stated that they want San Paro to be a more enjoyable city this time around, the core PvP gameplay will not be the complete focus of the game anymore. Apparently there will be true PvE objectives in parts of the city, and plans are in place to make players want to return to specific areas of the city. To the average reader, this sounds like Realtime Worlds wants to implement something in the districts that will make players want to hang around at certain streets and locations. Minigames? Fun and rewarding quests? I’m willing to bet on both. Perhaps we’ll have access to a miniature casino, an arcade, or something else along those lines? It’s completely probable judging from Realtime Worlds’ comments. They want people to want to hang out in specific areas of the districts. Something is at work here, and I feel that it will add a lot of replayability to the game. The fact that PvP will not necessarily be the core focus of the game is also a great idea. They want the cities to feel more like, well, cities. Let’s hope that the revamping of the gameplay is going in a good direction.

3. Free To Play/Microtransactions
Free. To. Play. Those are the three most important words in this entire article. Players will still be able to perform microtransactions to probably obtain premium features and items, but paying to play is absolutely not required anymore. This is fantastic, as the original APB simply was not good enough to warrant monthly payments at all. Not having to pay will give the developers a lot of breathing room, and players will have more patience with the game if it is still lacking when it relaunches. By not having to pay, more players will be likely to stay on and wait for improvements.

Overall, APB: Reloaded may very well be the game that we were originally meant to play. Can’t wait! Stay tuned for more info.

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AVGN: The Angry Video Game

“A game that is probably just as frustrating as the ones that James plays.”

The header, of course, is only fitting. This is indeed a frustrating game, but that does not mean that it is a bad one!

The AVGN Angry Video Game is made by Eric Ruth, a guy who is awesome at making platformers and video game demakes of many varieties. Most of his games are indeed fangames and he seems to be able to replicate various characteristics of the games that his are based off of very well. This applies to the AVGN Angry Video Game as well, and I’ll explain how.

In the Angry Video Game, you play as James as he just… I don’t even know. In traditional 8-bit fashion, the protagonist (in this case, James Rolfe) is thrust into a series of levels that don’t seem to make a lot of sense or have any meaning – just like the games featured in the AVGN episodes!

Another similarity between the Angry Video Game and the games featured in AVGN episodes is a distinct lack of good controls. James moves just fine with the controls he has been assigned, but they are in very awkward and unconventional locations on the keyboard. Those who cannot adjust to strange control layouts or do not have any tools to use their own gamepads (Hint: Joy2Key) will definitely have problems adjusting to the controls in Angry Video Game. If James were to make an AVGN episode about this game, he’d probably call the controls ass.

The graphics are actually very good. Graphically, the game sits somewhere between NES and SNES visuals. Eric Ruth has shown that he is no slouch when it comes to spriting. Everything looks pretty good in this game, except for perhaps one or two animations. James looks amusing and the enemies are all easily identifiable.

The game likes to thrust a lot of tough enemies at you, however. They aren’t necessarily difficult to defeat, but so many enemies shoot projectiles and move erratically that it just makes it a little frustrating if you’re not doing well. Bosses in particular are pretty annoying, as there are usually several projectiles moving across the screen all the time.

The game’s biggest redeeming factor is, coincidentally, James Rolfe. You see, as soon as you begin the game you hear his voice, and he doesn’t go away – ever. To diehard AVGN fans, this is pretty great. It’s a lot of fun hearing him curse at the game when you die, and he comments on various things in the levels as you experience them. It sort of makes it feel like James is playing the game with you, which is pretty cool. I know that it was done to emulate an AVGN episode, but the feature accomplishes so much more. Definitely the best part of this game.

There’s little else to say, so I’ll wrap up the review! If you’re a fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd or like tough platformers, give this one a try. It’s up in my downloads section.

Final Score

7.6/10