Gamer’s Corner: League of Legends

by Teal Hudson and Tyler Bergen

Teal’s rating: five stars

Role Playing Games (R.P.G.s) have been popular for years. The first notable R.P.G. can be traced back to 1974 with the creation of Dungeons and Dragons, the famous tabletop fantasy game that is going strong to this day (it’s fun, give it a try some time). Now, there are tons of different types of R.P.G.s; ones for tabletop, for game systems, and there has been a massive increase of online ones. League of Legends is an online R.P.G., released in 2009, that has become popular in the past few years, and as of last year in 2014, the game had over 67 million people playing it. Holy cow is that a lot of people. I can’t even imagine what LoL conventions and competitions look like with that big of a fan base, but one day I will see for myself.

LoL is a battle-based fantasy game where players pick a “champion” out of a wide selection of characters, ranging from human warriors and sorceresses to tiny creatures that resemble leprechauns with rocket launchers and talking cats with bombs. What more could you ask for from a game? (My personal favorite is Tristana, the little
leprechaun with the rocket launcher.)

Players have the choice of four different types of battle to play, and within each are different levels and maps -different areas you can play in- and difficulties. Then players can choose to play solo and get paired with other players through the game, or they can create a team with friends and play against another team. For most of the battles, the point is to bring down the opponent’s base, if done successfully results in victory for your team.

Playing in teams can get players experience points and influence points, which they can use to unlock other champions to play as in battles.

You can also use real money to purchase Riot points that can get you
exclusive items in game, as well as a number of champion skins, that are differently themed versions of champions you already own. Personally, I prefer to not spend money on virtual games unless I’m guaranteed a physical copy of what I buy, but considering I’m a sucker for beautiful artwork, I’m actually considering wasting money to get a kick-butt version of my favorite champion.

The problem with online gaming is having a strong connection. If you don’t have a strong connection to the internet, it can seriously mess up the game for you and your teammates. I have experienced this firsthand on both ends. My connection cut and I couldn’t get back in the server and felt extremely bad about it, and then the next day 2 people on our team lost connection leaving it a three against five match. You can probably guess how that went. Not fun.

Over all, LoL is a wonderful strategy game that pushes you to try and outwit your opponents, with magnificent art and graphics, and fun array of characters to play. And if no problems arise, the game is very good at keeping it fair for both sides!

Teal Hudson is an aspiring concept artist whose favorite games are Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda.

Tyler’s rating: four stars

League of Legends, also known by the acronym LoL, is a video game that combines all the insanity of real time strategy games with tower defense and role playing. It belongs in the genre of games called M.O.B.A., or multiplayer online battle arenas.

The whole point of the game is to destroy the enemy team’s nexus with the help of minions and other players. There are five real players per team and each team starts with half of the arena under their control, fighting until one team destroys all of the other teams structures.

Players are referred to as “Summoners” and take on the role of one of many champions available to play as. There are over 150 champions to date, and each one is unique in its abilities and playing style.

The gameplay is fairly simple, there are four main keys used to cast spells, and the mouse is used for moving and targeting enemies. It’s as straight forward as that, however when there are five champions all whizzing spells and attacks at each other, it gets really hectic really fast.

There are also minions on both teams, which are little infantry computer bots that are there to get in the way as much as possible, as well as helping to destroy the other teams structures.

There is plenty of rage and bitter feelings to be found when playing online player vs. player, where the community of veteran players is ruthless, cutthroat and just downright mean to “Noob” players (like myself).

Another major flaw in the game is the fact that you can buy your players strength through the games store. Just like candy crush or whatever other free-to-play game, there is the option
of spending real money in exchange for powerups, or in this case better champions. This makes it a little unfair as some players can have quite an advantage over someone who is playing completely for free.

The game rewards players with something called Influence Points
(IP) after every match that allow them to purchase new champions
and runes once they have played enough games. Runes essentially act like permanent low-items that are important for early-game play since they can give the initial edge against an opponent.

I will say this however; League of Legends is a very addictive game. Even despite the long battles that seem to drag on for hours (which they can), it still remains fun and intense for every moment of that time. Overall as a free to play game, I would give League of Legends a four star rating. It is certainly unique and interesting, and for the last two years has been the most popular video game on the face of the planet. LoL has become the posterchild of the emerging E-Sports community. The World Championships held in Korea even offers a million dollar prize for the winners of its tournament.

Tyler Bergen is a Whatcom student and Horizon staff writer who loves metal and pancakes.

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