Kalypso Media Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Kalypso Media RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Kalypso Media Teases Next Tropico Game https://www.gameskinny.com/5g6o4/kalypso-media-teases-next-tropico-game https://www.gameskinny.com/5g6o4/kalypso-media-teases-next-tropico-game Thu, 01 Jun 2017 16:44:09 -0400 ActionJ4ck

Earlier today, Kalypso Media, publisher of several strategy and simulation games that include Urban Empire and the Tropico series, released a teaser trailer for the next entry in the popular Tropico franchise. 

The teaser, simply titled "Rule Again", depicts the series' staple El Presidente listening to current events on the radio and noting that it is "Time to get back into the game...". 

For those unfamiliar with the series, the Tropico franchise is a strategy and government management simulator similar to SimCity, except you play as a comically parodied version of Fidel Castro. But don't light your cigars just yet. The currently untitled entry in the series is not set to arrive until an unspecified date in 2018. For now, fans of dictatorship simulators will have to be content with Tropico 5 - Complete Collection, which released on the Xbox One Store earlier this week. I, personally, will be using this time to research the best methods of maximizing rum production. Viva Tropico!

 

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Urban Empire Review - A Political City Sim at the Genre's Most Mediocre Point https://www.gameskinny.com/u36i8/urban-empire-review-a-political-city-sim-at-the-genres-most-mediocre-point https://www.gameskinny.com/u36i8/urban-empire-review-a-political-city-sim-at-the-genres-most-mediocre-point Tue, 24 Jan 2017 11:46:54 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Urban Empire's abrupt announcement and release had me very excited. A new politically-oriented strategy game published by Kalypso Media, the company that granted us the immensely charming Tropico series. Sure, Urban Empire was developed by Reborn Games -- but Kalypso knows their way around politically-steeped city builders.

Now to preface all this, I didn't go into Urban Empire expecting Tropico. You could see from streams pre-release and the trailer gameplay footage that it was nothing like the aforementioned series. This is the last time I'm going to mention it: Don't go into Urban Empire expecting an El Presidente experience.

So what should you expect? A lot of optimization problems, a nonsensical political system that grants minimal consequences for your choices and actions, and a great deal of time staring at your town's income rise and fall.

With a heavy heart, I have to concede that I do not recommend the purchase of Urban Empire in its current state and would even so so far as to say the game is more suited to be an Early Access title considering its current, painfully mediocre state.

The Good

Before we get to the full whinefest (like a wine festival but it won't get you drunk), let's go over some of the better points of Urban Empire.

A lot of people have gone into the game expecting it to be a city builder first and a political simulator second. That is not the case -- politics and your characters' growth come first, with city building itself squarely on the backburner (aside from district and service placement).

Urban Empire presents an array of political parties as you press through each era and make decisions affecting your city. These parties vote on bills and edicts in the city counsel and are present in the game's many events. You'll see political parties rise and fall as your character has children and raises them to succeed your rule.

Spying on and manipulating the parties in events is fun, as long as you're paying attention to what they are, what they stand for, and so on. Reducing the power of a party that never votes toward the things you want to have approved is gratifying after finally being able to push through a bill that's been held back time and time again.

In the game's campaign mode you start with a single character, and as you progress you answer questions steering your character's life and personality. This adds variety between each family you can start with. as each one has different events -- and in time your first character will retire and pass the torch onto its chosen heir.

You see the effects of your life decisions more and more as you progress your lineage, which is a great personal touch to a playthrough. But like many of the game's aspects, the effects of these choices on your gameplay are almost indiscernible. Does it really matter if people think I'm crazy for doing electrical experiments on dead bodies in my spare time? Will the public claiming my son's mental deficiency is a punishment from God actually do anything? The answer to these questions and many more is a firm "no."

The Bad

This is where the praise officially stops. You can see the praise slowly disintegrate above because, despite all the details put into the game, it's all dreadfully dull and criminally half-baked. You have all these facets of the Wheel of Life (citizen needs) to deal with -- but when it comes down to it, you can let your citizens wallow in squalor and raise their taxes to the sky and they will still populate your city and you will still be rolling in dough.

I don't know how many times I've started a new campaign at this point. No matter the family I start with, no matter the different strategies I try (high taxes out the gate, all-mixed zones, sticking to default zones, using utility grids, not using them at all) there is minimal variety in playstyle. You're still mostly just waiting for time to go by for the counsel to vote on the next bill and watching your city's bank balance rise or fall, based on how heavily you tax your population (Protip: You're going to jack their taxes sky high).

For a game that appears to have all these intricacies, Urban Empire culminates to a very vanilla and overall boring experience. No matter how many times you start a new game or how far you push into a single one and open up new gameplay aspects it all culminates to the same thing: waiting for time to go by.

Another thing to mention is that, while the game proclaims itself to be a political simulator, the clear overwhelming benefits of specific bills leaves little wriggle room in the policies of your growing town. Sure, limiting employment for citizens under 10 years old is the right thing to do -- but there is no benefit to not doing so, as the bonuses you get for doing it are too good to pass up. Whether you want to or not, your rule is going to be left-leaning just to progress. And that's a disappointment when Urban Empire's whole catch is its political system.

I'm not sure whether it is like this by design or because the game does not explain how to play properly. The tutorial only goes so far and it doesn't touch on enough to give the average player the information they need to succeed. The digital manual doesn't delve into the depths, either -- you're stuck figuring them out on your own. That would be fine and dandy if the effects of anything you did were obvious, but they're not and often they don't do much at all.

Having to figure out how to play a game on your own is fine with me, but not when it feels like an uphill battle just to have fun. I keep trying to enjoy Urban Empire and no matter how hard I try I keep drawing the same conclusion: "This game doesn't feel finished."

The Ugly

One can see the framework for a solid game in Urban Empire, but in its current state it barely passes as either a city builder or a political simulator. Instead I'd more call it a "timesink" in its truest sense, because most of what you're doing is watching time go by and watching your counsel vote.

If your political or social choices had meaningful impacts or more obvious effects on your ruling, it would be a different story. This whole review would read very differently -- but as it stands, the game feels half-finished and unrewarding.

It's a real shame. Urban Empire's music really draws you in and the changes your town sees as time goes by feel good to achieve, though their luster wears off quickly when you're still mostly just waiting for time to go by.

None of this mentions the technical issues, which are numerous at the time of writing. Reborn Games is patching the game, but the most glaring issue players at large run into is a pretty hefty memory leak that eats RAM like candy. Most players seem to run into it either a couple hours in or once they hit the third era. I myself can attest to RAM usage starting to get to be a problem around the third era and I am running a fairly new rig.

I can't wait to finish this era and then play the game in stop-motion.

Urban Empire has the potential to be a worthy addition to the many politically-oriented games on Steam, but as it stands it's one option I can't recommend. This is especially the case with its $39.99 price tag, which feels like far too much for a game that offers so little in player engagement that it seems better suited to be labeled as an in-progress Early Access title. It's very hard to justify the cost.

While it may have the groundwork for a very compelling and deep city manager with political options, as it stands Urban Empire is not compelling nor deep -- with your choices ultimately meaning very little and your mayoral political-leanings irrelevant.

Were it released as Steam Early Access title I would be willing to give Urban Empire more leeway, but to release a game in this state at such a high price point is simply ridiculous considering the staggeringly good competition in the PC space.

As it stands, it is simply too mediocre to compete with other city and political strategy games on Steam. I keep booting the game in hopes that I'll have fun, and each and every time that fun falls on its face. I sincerely hope Reborn Games tweaks Urban Empire to be a fun and engaging strategy game, but it's got a long road to go and with the game in a full-release state (and hefty $39.99 price) it's hard to imagine it seeing the changes it needs soon enough to be able to stand on its own two feet.

(Full disclosure: Writer was given a review copy of Urban Empire to write this review.)

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"Kalypso Anniversary Weekend" Sale on Steam Has Some Great Deals on Kalypso Titled Games https://www.gameskinny.com/xpwpa/kalypso-anniversary-weekend-sale-on-steam-has-some-great-deals-on-kalypso-titled-games https://www.gameskinny.com/xpwpa/kalypso-anniversary-weekend-sale-on-steam-has-some-great-deals-on-kalypso-titled-games Thu, 11 Aug 2016 10:58:56 -0400 Mohamad Yehea Aldandashi

This weekend is the 10th year anniversary for Kalypso Media, and to commemorate this anniversary, Kalypso is offering a sale on all Kalypso titled games.

Some of those games are really good and worth mentioning, so here are some games we recommend in this weekend sale:

Tropico

Tropico is a city-builder sandbox game that has some comedy elements in it.

There are 5 games currently in Tropico series. While Tropico 5 is the newest Tropico game and has the best graphics between all the other ones, it isn't the top rated one on Steam. In fact, Tropico 4 is the best rated game in the Tropico series. It is currently available for $3.74.

Jagged Alliance: Crossfire & Jagged Alliance - Back in Action

Jagged Alliance is one of my favorite game series. It is a turn-based tactical game that has some RPG elements in it. You control a group of mercenaries and your object is to take some key locations in the map to win. While Jagged Alliance: Crossfire, and Back in Action are not considered the best games in the series, they are the only ones in the sale right now. Crossfire is currently $7.49, and Back in Action is $2.99.

More game worth mentioning include:

The sale ends Monday, August 15th at 10AM PST.

 

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Tropico 5 Teaser Released https://www.gameskinny.com/rqq8a/tropico-5-teaser-released https://www.gameskinny.com/rqq8a/tropico-5-teaser-released Thu, 27 Mar 2014 06:21:44 -0400 Red Blue Yellow

Kalypso Games has just released the teaser announcement for their newest Tropico game, coming to PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, and PS4 this summer.

True to the nature of the Tropico series, the trailer pays comedic homage to one of the most iconic scenes from a favorite Carribean pirate movie.

The Tropico series is a parody of Sim City where, instead of appeasing your townsfolk and running an effective government, you can choose to exploit them and the land you own for the highest profit possible. The game is very self-aware and often makes subtle jokes about how environmentally friendly you're being or how courteous you are to your island's guests. Using this profit you can play the US and Russia against each other in a Cold War setting similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Tropico 4 was a blast. There's something refreshing about going from traditional city building games and trying to appease all the different groups of people, from the elderly to the hippy bandwagon, and then moving on to Tropico where personal wealth is the only factor that will determine your success.

Sprinkle in an authentic and appropriate Latin American soundtrack complete with marimba, trumpets, and a bossa nova piano rhythm and you've got a recipe for an entertaining round at being Mr. Dictator. VIVA LA PRESIDENTE!

Bonus points: Listen to that smooth Spanish pasión!


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Tropico 5 Announced - El Presidente Finally Commands Multiplayer! https://www.gameskinny.com/17hqy/tropico-5-announced-el-presidente-finally-commands-multiplayer https://www.gameskinny.com/17hqy/tropico-5-announced-el-presidente-finally-commands-multiplayer Thu, 15 Aug 2013 21:39:10 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Have a taste for being called 'El Presidente'? Hold on to your butts, because Tropico 5 is on the way to put you in El Presidente's shoes once again to build up cities and oppress care for your people.

Fans of the series can mostly agree that while Tropico 4 was a good game, the fact that it was identical to the third game in the series in all but campaign missions and some unique features was a bit disappointing. People got more El Presidente, but no flair to go with those new missions.

Developer Kalypso Media is promising something new with the fifth entry to the Tropico series. El Presidente will now have to take care of the island of Tropico through all of its ups and downs, dealing with world crises from the 19th to the 21st century. Sound good? I thought so!

From the list of Tropico 5's features, it seems Kalypso is taking more of a traditional city-building approach as opposed to the island-hopping seen in the previous games. El Presidente will have children and die, passing along the title of El Presidente to the next generation of dictator. The game will also bring research to the series, a much-welcome addition to the series.

Perhaps the most exciting announced feature so far is the addition of multiplayer, something sorely lacking from the previous games and more than welcome in today's multiplayer-driven market. Players will be able to build individual cities on a single island, compete for or share resources, and declare war on one another.

Will Kalypso be able to retain the charm of the other games in this transition to a new city-building format? We'll just have to see, but here's to hoping Tropico 5 will have just as good of a campaign mode as the other games in the series.

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DARK - Start-up Fix https://www.gameskinny.com/pvgrv/dark-start-up-fix https://www.gameskinny.com/pvgrv/dark-start-up-fix Sun, 21 Jul 2013 17:34:26 -0400 Smoky Grey

DARK hit shelves last week and a lot of people are having trouble launching the game on the PC. I had the "Failed To Initialize The Engine" error every time I tried to start the game. If you have the same problem then I have two easy solutions for you to try.

 First Solution

Try to change the resolution fo your monitor. The game at it's current patch level does not support all resolutions. You can try the standard 1680x1050 resolution, if your screen does not support that resolution there are many below that just switch through them and one should work.

 Second Solution

If the first solution does not work for you, (It didn't work for me, but it does for some), then your problem is your monitor. I was using my 52" flat screen TV as my monitor and like many others it was not supported. This may not be as easy for some of you but i hooked up my old monitor and it ran just fine.

 For those of you who had to use the second option but do not like your crappy second monitor like me, I found out a solution. Once you get the game to run you can go into the options screen and change the resolution to one that your main monitor supports, then just exit the game hook back up your main monitor and it should run fine on either monitor now.

 The Game

Dark has received a lot of negative reviews. I can see why a lot of people don't like it but I had a fun time playing it. It is not the most in-depth game out there, and of course it has plenty of glitches. Overall I thought it was worth my time playing it, it is a very short game. The story is interesting at first and if you have any patience at all you will have a lot of fun stealthing around with your vampire powers and eating humans.

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Get Into 'Dark' On June 11th And Become The Ultimate Hunter https://www.gameskinny.com/qvpc5/get-into-dark-on-june-11th-and-become-the-ultimate-hunter https://www.gameskinny.com/qvpc5/get-into-dark-on-june-11th-and-become-the-ultimate-hunter Fri, 17 May 2013 06:41:27 -0400 Jamie K

Dark is a stealth-based action-adventure RPG where you play a newly created vampire named Eric Bane. Eric awakes in the game in a way that is fitting to its title - alone in the dark. He soon learns he has been thrown into a world that is full of blood and power, and he must use his newly acquired vampire skills if he hopes to survive it.

Many enemies lie in Eric's way - much to their own demise. As you play Eric, you will gradually build new skills to add to his arsenal against police, other vampires, and all who threaten him. The game's 3D cel-shaded graphics look pretty snazzy considering this genre, and make the game even more unique. Dark also incorporates dialogue choices as well so you may not have to be a total blood sucking killer as you make your way in its world. Not completely, at least.

Eric isn't entirely alone in his undead struggles. He learns that he must find his creator in order to free himself from becoming a mindless ghoul vampire. During his journey he gets the help of a vampire nightclub owner, Rose, and her head of security.

The Xbox 360 game - created by Kalypso Media - doesn't come out until June 11th, but a Pre-Order will nab you a digital download package:

  • Extensive strategy guide
  • Main theme song plus remix
  • Wallpaper
  • Digital poster

That sounds exciting, until you remember it says download. So it's basically saying that the poster you would have to print yourself,  and let's face it we don't need Kalypso to find an image to print out. Still, the strategy guide and song might be worth it.

Although Dark isn't being as advertised as some of the other up coming games, it's stealth play and vampire powers might make it worth picking up.

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