The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

Tag Archives: Free to play

MicroVolts

MicroVolts is a Massive Multiplayer Online Third Person Shooter developed SK iMedia, a Korean developer and published by Toronto-based publisher, Rock Hippo Productions for the PC. The game in set in the real world where toys have come to life behind closed doors. A secret battle began between four original limited edition figures, code-named MicroVolts. Naomi, Knox, Pandora and C.H.I.P. were the names of the original prototypes, but they were soon joined by other modified versions. The toys now battle it out in an all out war for valuable battery resources and ultimate supremacy of their Micro World.

  • MicroVolts can be described as Toy Story meets Team Fortress 2 with anime figurines. The worlds are beautifully designed, bringing the scale of things to life and reflecting on the elements of detail that made Toy Story so successful.

  • MicroVolts brings back the hyperspace arsenal that was so popular in James Bond shooters; all the weapons are available to the player right from the start. Players can equip melee weapons, rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, gatling guns, bazookas and grenade launchers, each weapon with a unique attribute and application. The assault rifle proves to be superbly useful, allowing enemies to be dispatched from across the map, while some shotguns can pretty much one-shot any enemy at close range. The sniper rifle requires a bit of skill to use, but allows players to decimate enemy positions. The weapons’ powers are balanced by their limited ammo capacity.

  • As players accumulate wins, experience points and micro-points are accumulated, allowing for upgrades to be purchased. Contrasting Team Fortress 2, clothing articles provide statistical bonuses, including increased movement speed, health capacity and ammunition capacity.

  • I’ll show off some new gear in the next post about MicroVolts, alongside some additional settings. Having played FPS where the shift key acts as a sprint mechanism, I periodically hit shift…only for Naomi to taunt. Naomi is inspired by Japanese models and is designed as a friendly and charming high school girl. She applies her sweet charms and gleaming smile to mislead her enemies. In practise, this means that she has mannerisms not too dissimilar to Suzumiya Haruhi. From a gamer’s point of view, coupled with a good eye for sniping, this combination presents itself as a prime form of amusement.

I first heard of MicroVolts when a friend showed me a YouTube video depicting the trailer for game, as well as some articles discussing the game’s similarity to Team Fortress 2 in terms of graphics and weapons. I was not too interested at that point, given that Team Fortress 2 and Halo 2 already satisfied the FPS gamer in me. However, MicroVolts is a third-person shooter, in the same vein as Gears of War and 007 Blood Stone. With my curiosity was piqued and egged on by the promise of a relatively small client (around 2 GB), I picked up a copy of the client from Steam and hopped right into the shooting following the tutorial. The Gears of War like experience was remarkably amusing, save for the fact that characters can’t use cover or run. Then again, MicroVolts is a free-to-play game; given that I’m pretty much free to shoot things with awesome guns, I’m not about to complain.

Remember when they made Team Fortress 2 Free?

The most fun you could have online…is now free!

It’s been over a year since Team Fortress 2 was made permanently into a free-to-play game, and a year later, the multiplayer FPS is as popular as ever. The Meet the Pyro update was released just a few weeks ago, completing the “Meet the Team” series, and from a personal standpoint, this move was correctly foreseen by Valve to be a successful one, considering that I originally got on board with the entire TF2 business because it was free to play. For your amusement, and mine upon the viewer’s reactions when they see the following Team Fortress 2 art, I’ve presented some rather interesting takes on the playable classes in TF2. I just hope someone doesn’t get mad as a result.

  • Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, I hurt people. 

  • If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!

  • Mpphhh mphh mph mphhhh mphhh mhh!

  • One crossed wire, one wayward pinch of potassium chlorate, one errant twitch…and kablooie! 

  • Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe, *sniff* maybe. I have yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet. 

  • Hey look, buddy. I’m an engineer — that means I solve problems. Not problems like ‘What is beauty?’ because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems.

  • Let’s go practice medicine. 

  • Snipin’s a good job, mate! It’s challengin’ work, outta doors. I guarantee you’ll not go hungry, cause at the end of the day, long as there’s two people left on the planet, someone is gonna want someone dead.

  • This Spy has already breached our defenses… you’ve seen what he’s done to our colleagues! And worst of all: He could be any one of us.

A year later, I now have a premium account because I was compelled to enhance my experience in the game (actually, it was a consequence of purchasing items from the in-game Mann Co. Store for a friend), and I can attest to the success of the free-to-play model. Valve developer Robin Walker stated in an interview that there would be no hidden fees as with other multiplayer games. Instead, the entire game is funded by micro-transactions in the Mann Co. Store, much as the small payment I made. This model is hugely successful compared to other games in its implementation: as there are no hidden costs associated with getting game-necessary gear, players only pay to purchase aesthetic elements like hats. By making the game available to most anyone, this mechanism minimises piracy in that if the game is already free from the developers, there is no need to obtain an illegal copy.

With this in mind, this model would hardly be applicable to Valve’s other games, or MMORPGs. Nonetheless, this decision was a good one on Valve’s part and got me into the entire business of Team Fortress 2. Given I’ve had a year to mess around in TF2, I cite the game as one of my favourite means of blowing off steam after a week of course work, whether it be dominating F2P players or aggravating the more serious players with high-value items.  The only negative side effect of this is that my Halo 2 headshot skills have pretty much dissipated over the past year.

Offensive Classes

Defensive Classes

Support Classes

There is quite a bit of artwork out there depicting the classes in TF2, although not in a sense you’d expect. I’ve tried looking for unique art of the classes as they are in-game, but artists seem to have other ideas in mind. Nonetheless, I do believe that TF2-themed artwork, accuracy or not, is suitable for decorating this page. Who knows? Maybe I decided to talk about how I’ve enjoyed Team Fortress 2 for the sole purpose of showing off some TF2 artwork?