Critical Comaprison Corner

Hello all, welcome again to another comparison. Perhaps you remember one of my absolute first writings here, in which I compared Sekirei manga, Sekirei anime, Queen’s Blade manga, and Queen’s Blade anime, and came to conclusion that some were better than others, and that the Queen’s Blade manga had the most story and least fanservice, despite what the anime would lead you to believe.

Well, today, I have a new one. This time, I will be comparing a Chinese game I did not play with two western games. Why did I not play a game I am going to be talking about? Well, I played both games it shamelessly ripped off, and American IP addresses are blocked from playing the game. Frankly, if I need to learn IP address routing so it seems like I am in another country to play a game, it isn’t worth it. It’s okay to have you work towards a goal in a game, as succeeding at it brings a feeling of accomplishment. But having to do work in real life to get to play it, not get some reward? Not worth it.

For those that cannot read Chinese, the game they made is called Final Combat. The games I will be comparing are Team Fortress 2 and Battlefield Heroes.

First, a little bit about each game.

Final Combat is a class based multiplayer online first person shooter. Classes include the Fatman, a fishmarket guy with a minigun and a kukri. There is also a sniper, who has a gun labelled ‘Sniper Rifle’ and carries a stun gun (not a Taser,  they are a brand.)It is quite fitting, seeing as she is going for the sexy librarian/sexy secretary look. There is also ‘The Rocket’ who, quite fittingly, uses a rocket launcher. Finally, there is a clown who wields a flamethrower.

Battlefield Heroes is a class based online multiplayer third person shooter. It has a simple cartoony environment and three main classes. A gunner, who uses a large machine gun or rocket launcher. There is also a soldier, who uses lighter automatic weapons and moves faster than the gunner. Finally, there is the commando, who uses knives and sniper rifles, and is the fastest class.

Team Fortress 2 is a class based online multiplayer first person shooter. There are nine classes: The Scout, Soldier, Pyro, Demoman, Heavy, Enginner, Medic, Sniper, and Spy. It has a cartoony aesthetic to the characters and environments. It has several main gameplay types: territory control or capture the flag. You also have a choice of playing those in either a desert environment, an industrial environment, or for a change of pace, a desert industrial environment. Classes here are pretty easy to guess what each does. The demoman blows stuff up, the pyro lights stuff on fire, the heavy is a big guy with a big gun, the scout is light and fast, the medic heals people, the sniper snipes people, and the medic heals people. Each class has a basic weapon loadout that every first time player gets, but playtime, monetization, and achievements will give you all sorts of new gear. Needless to say, the continued release of new gear and the chance to get it keeps people in the game.

Final Combat basically takes all the environments from Battlefield heroes, but without the vehicles. Fine. I do not think I really need to cover it much more, as the core gameplay was taken from Team Fortress 2. To start with, I am not going to ridicule Final Combat for ripping off team Fortress 2. I am here to give it an unbiased and fair look. To strt with, Valve is considered by many to be one of the best western game developers. Which means that you can expect knock-offs, and really, knocking off one of the best western developers is a wise choice. What better way to examine how a good game is made (if you want to make a game) than to examine a game from a good developer?

My only criticism is that too much was taken straight from Team Fortress 2 (and Battlefield Heroes) that Final Combat lacks potential. Oh, it would still be fun, but by not really trying to break out and be different while still the same means it is a clone. That is what really bugs me about it: if Final Combat had been different enough to the point where it was Team Fortress 2 gameplay (not just Team Fortress 2 with a different look) but its own unique ideas added as well, it could have been something I would have loved to go play, at least to try.

Here, have some videos. Final Combat even copies the ‘Meet The Team’ videos, but without he dialogue that really adds to the characters in Team Fortress 2. While Final Combat gets that the videos should be funny, like Meet The Team is, it lacks the characterization of the Meet The Team videos. Take a look below.

Meet The Rocket:

Meet The Soldier:

One of the earliest Team Fortress 2 videos. Oh, and before I forget, Team Fortress 2 was released in about 2007, I think.

Notice in those two videos, however, that both go for the comedy sort of thing. the Soldier is an over the top stereotypically patriotic American soldier. He’s a parody. The rocket, however, seems to die from a hornet sting. While that is funny, the Rocket lacks the characterization that makes him as a whole, funny

Meet the Fatman:

Meet the Heavy:

Much better job this time. The Fatman, while he doesn’t ever speak, still conveys a sense of his character. He sits back and dreams of past battles (I presume past battles, and not just imagined battles) while listening to music. He also seems to lack the upper body strength that one would need to lift a minigun. Heavy Weapons Guy, however, likes shooting things, likes his gun, and isn’t very bright. He also is a perfect example of Mother Russia Makes You Strong.

Meet the Sniper:

Meet the Sniper:

Again, Final Combat doesn’t reveal to us anything about the sniper, other than she is female, and she shoots people. Meanwhile, the Team Fortress 2 sniper is Australian and has a personality. He has a job. We see him drive a vehicle (he even uses his turn signal.) In short, the Sniper has been written about to the point that he is a believable character. He could exist. While the Final Combat sniper could exist, we know absolutely nothing about her, while we know the Sniper doesn’t get along with his parents.

Meet The Striker:

Striker seems to be Final Combat version of the Scout.

Meet the Scout:

A perfect tie! Perhaps the scout makes up stuff due to an inflated ego, but all we know about these two is that they both hurt people. What I can also tell you is that an assault rifle in a game with lots of other weapons is a game breaker, or utterly useless. Assault rifles are accurate over all distances. While they have none of the precision or long range aiming of a sniper rifle, they can still kill someone with just a lot of bullets fired at them. They are a game-breaking weapon, and horrible to balance. Just keep that gun loaded with enough ammo, and most everything will die very easily. On the other hand, the Scout is well balanced. His scattergun can kill someone quickly at very close range. But his very low health means getting that close generally means you die. Back to the assault rifle. Balancing one out to be fair to gameplay, due to the sheer power of one, means you end up with a gun that isn’t very good in any situation. And the thing about class based multiplayer is not choosing your favorite class, but choosing the class that will best benefit your team and will be best for the situation. In a map with no water to extinguish people, a class that lights people on fire is a good choice. In a map with lots of chokepoints, a class that builds defense turrets or sentries is a good choice. If your enemy has defense turrets or sentries, a good choice may be a class that can sneak behind enemy lines to sow chaos and destroy the buildings is a covert way.

I would grade Final Combat vs Team Fortress 2 in the other remaining class (Final Combat hasn’t even released all of it’s classes yet) but Team Fortress 2 has not made a meet the pyro video (they seem to prefer the mystery around the character, partly due to the in-game actions of the character.)

So, for the laughs, I present to you the Meet The Sandvich, an item the Heavy Weapons Guy can eat in combat to restore his health:

In the end, I would suggest Team Fortress 2. It has a full release, and is balanced. It supports its community by allowing you to make and submit hats, items, weapons, or maps. Hats, items, and weapons may get sold in the store, which you will receive some portion of every sale for. Maps you can make money from if it becomes an official map, and is someone buys a map stamp. Final Combat, however, is a pared down not yet even finished Team Fortress 2 ripoff set in the Battlefield heroes maps.

So, which Should you get? Well, it depends on where you live. Both games seem to be free to play. Final Combat blocks American IP addresses, an is only in Chinese, but Team Fortress 2 is in pretty much every major language. However, if you live in a place where Final Combat isn’t blocked, seeing as you can play it with half the classes released, I suggest getting that one and joining in. Try to abuse every expliot you can find, and be active on the forums with suggestions. With that, a game that seems to be in public beta may move away from being a shameless rip=off to a more inspired by. And really, if Final Combat becomes its own recognizably different game, I would suggest getting it. Until then, get Team Fortress 2 if you like the shooters. You can dress the pyro up in a woman’s tea hat and purse, and hand little shoulder angel pyro dolls on him too.

Final Verdict: If you can get and play Final Combat, do so. See if you can help to shape it into something new and original. If you can’t get Final Combat, or don’t speak Chinese, get Team Fortress 2. Did I mention either game is free? In that case, there is no harm in trying either one of them out.

Now, if you don’t like shooters, even ones made in China (or Japan, but they didn’t make this one) then feel free to play whatever games it is you like, or if you don’t like games, do whatever else it is you enjoy. Feel free to ignore this article if you dislike videogames.

Final Combat can be downloaded from the official site here: http://fc.xunlei.com/

Team Fortress 2 can be downloaded through Steam and the official website at either of these links:

http://www.teamfortress.com/

store.steampowered.com (then search for team fortress 2)

And because I totally forgot, I need to mention the gameplay. Well, if Starcraft is any indication of how games against people from Korea are, and seeing as people from Korea and China will be playing Final Combat, you are pretty much going to lose as soon as the round starts. Not even the rest of your team. Just you. it will be ’round starts in 3-2-1 YOU FAILED!’

Team Fortress 2, on the other hand, is full of people who thing they are playing Me Fortress 2 and can’t work together as a team, so you will probably lose, but just at a slower rate. Also, you need Steam to play it, and Steam sales are like a vampire that will latch onto your credit card and suck it dry. And with all the unique items and item sets, most of which give some benefit in combat (one soldier set gives you reduced damage taken from sentries) the chat channel is full of people trying to trade stuff. Or you can buy it for real money at the Mann Co store. And that hat to complete your outfit that gives some great benefit? Up to $13 for a virtual hat for a virtual character.

So, really, both suck in the play department. Instead, buy Monday Night Combat, as almost nobody is playing it anymore (it is actually good though) so you can claim to be one of the top 30 players of the game. Which is easy, since only about 30 players (a little less actually) are still playing it.

Or, buy Deus Machina Demonbane, a very fun sci-fi Visual Novel with some sprinklings of the Cthulhu mythos and a 1940’s detective film noir feel. Did I mention Demonbane is also an anime, available for free on crunchyroll?

In the absolute end, it doesn’t really matter which you choose. Final Combat has shooting. Team Fortress 2 has shooting and trading. Either way, you will find someone who complains about somebody swearing, even though both those games seem to be rated M for Mature (17+)

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