Friday, 26 September 2014
Dynablaster Revenge (PC/Linux)
[This review was originally written by J. Monkman for indiegames.com, and has been reposted here with the editor's permission].
When it comes to party games, few can top Dynablaster (or Bomberman, depending where in the world you are) - so it's no surprise that Titan and Haujobb took first place in the game development compo at the Revision demoparty with Dynablaster Revenge. What is surprising however, is that hardly anyone outside the scene has yet taken notice of this fantastic tribute to Hudsonsoft's incendiary magnum opus. When I tested the game on Titan's server earlier this evening there were no other players other than myself and a few friends I'd hooked up with, but hopefully that's an issue we can resolve following this write up.
Ok, so first of all, the good stuff. Dynablaster Revenge features 10-player support, bots, three arenas (sized according to the number of players), power-ups/downs, skulls and tagging, in-game chat, play-recording, a killer soundtrack and commercial quality presentation - all for the bargain price of free. The few online games I played online were suitably short and frantic, exactly what you'd hope for. Adding bots to the mix really ranked up the challenge (they rarely make a bad move), and despite playing against opponents from different corners of the globe the lag was barely noticeable. So far, thumbs up.
However, getting the game up and running in multi-player was a far from an intuitive experience - I had to write to one of the developers to work out how to connect to the game's currently only dedicated server because the default IP address was set up for LAN, with no other options in the drop-down list. Thankfully, Matthias 'Mueslee' Varnholt got back to me with some super-helpful set-up advice (see below).
As well as going through the convoluted set-up for local and online multiplayer, Matthias explained that most of the issues present in the current build should be ironed out within the next couple of months, with a 1.0.1 hotfix planned soon, followed by a considerably more user-friendly 1.0.2 build. But hey, there's no need to wait for that - let's see if we can't get some games up and running on the server in the meantime.
Dynablaster Revenge is a hefty 230MB download and requires a fairly high spec machine to run, but if your PC is up to the task then there's a huge amount of fun to be had here. Definitely one to watch.
Important! Press F1 (either on the menu or in-game) to view a list of key-commands. Brief setup instructions follow.
Quick Guide to Local Multiplayer Setup:
1). Connect a load of USB controllers to your PC. A joypad is required for each additional player - wired Xbox 360 pads work perfectly.
2). Load the game, set the IP address as 127.0.0.1 and select 'Multi'. This will open a server on your PC. Create a new game and when in the 'Lounge', add your friends to the game by pressing [shift] and [+]. (See, I warned you it wasn't user friendly!)
Quick Guide to LAN Multiplayer Setup:
1). Set the IP address to 127.0.0.1, and select 'Multi'. This will open a server on your PC.
2). The other players then just have to connect to your IP address by entering your IP into the hostname field. If you don't know your IP just press F4 in the menus.
Quick Guide to Online Multiplayer Setup:
The best option here is to have a dedicated server (a 'Linux shell' or a Windows machine connected to a fast internet connection) you can run the server on. If this is not an option, you can use Titan's own server by typing 'dynablaster.titan-sucks.net' in the IP field on the title screen. There's a demo video here that explains the process.
If you just want to use your own connection in order to play over the internet, you can still set up a port forwarding from your router (if you have one) to your PC (i.e. make your router forward all traffic on port 6300 to your PCs IP). Host your server on 127.0.0.1, as you would for a LAN game, then tell your friends your internet IP address (not the LAN one of course) so they can connect.
Now go forth and blow each other up!
Download the game here (direct from the developer's website).