February 5th, 2010

See my Bearly Commentary article for my thoughts on this news.

It took some time to get all three items, but I’ve gone to more trouble to get worse free stuff. It helps that you don’t have to input valid info. Worth it.

This skin is amazing. Opera should really make it an official option when version 10.5 is final.

Good or not, 3D Sonic has never made sense to me, so I haven’t played a new Sonic game since Sonic & Knuckles. I’m ready for this new game to be good; I love 2.5D. I only wish Sega had mentioned a PC version in their announcement.

Best headline of the week. Also, California is coming.

I love Black Box’s developer diaries, especially since they’ve affected a more casual, less scripted tone.

January 30th, 2010

I wish Ubisoft would just use Steam or Impulse for authentication, though there’s many reasons for them not to. Chief among them, I think, is that using their own log-in system sets the basis for their own distribution platform — if not for full games, then for DLC, and they wouldn’t be forced to share revenue with anyone else. But besides syncing some data (which Steam does already), almost nothing about this looks as though it will benefit consumers.

What’s worse is Ubisoft charging $60 for the PC version of Assassin’s Creed II. But we can’t blame Ubisoft alone; they’re only following the precedent set by Activison. Instead, we can thank everyone who bought Modern Warfare 2 for $60.

Still, this could backfire. Assassin’s Creed is popular, but not like Call of Duty, especially among PC players. Plus it’s a singleplayer game — many people view that alone as a license to pirate.

While I’m on the subject of games without multiplayer: Bioshock 2 probably should be one.

Noble, but I’m concerned the group is unintentionally implying that Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source aren’t still immensely popular. A lot of people won’t know better.

It’s not Lost Odyssey 2, but that’s all right. I’m one of the four people who liked Blue Dragon, so Mistwalker is 2-2 by my count. I only hope they’re using discretion in designing controls, as it’s a Wii game. I’ve been playing Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, and I think it’s a good example of how to use motion controls in an RPG (not for combat).

Also, is the title “The Last Story” a wry parody of the title “Final Fantasy” (they’re both Hironobu Sakaguchi games)?

Terry Cavanagh is asked about his origins and his influences. He’s also asked about Vx6′s $15 price. It felt high to me at first, but that was a habitual response. I know $15 isn’t too much for a good game of decent length. But I still haven’t bought it; I’ve been waiting to see about a Steamworks edition. And I’ve only just finished Braid — I need a respite before I tax myself with another such platformer.

January 23rd, 2010

I found this amusing at first, but Joystiq had a follow-up interview with Greg Zeschuk who revealed not all DLC will be restricted to the Cerberus Network. Anything that’s non-free will be sold through the Xbox Marketplace. For a moment I thought someone had finally taken a serious stab at GameStop, but it now seems to be a minor poke at best.

Also, Joystiq missed a headline opportunity: Cerberus Network’s Bark Worse Than Its Bite.

Not only is the game’s premise appealing, but it looks as though spells are cast using mouse gestures, as in Black & White.

All right; done.

It really does look rough. See as Ryan Davis struggles with the controls in Giant Bomb’s Quick Look:


January 15th, 2010

DICE won’t profit, but that’s not to say EA won’t. Still, I’m not bothered.

Very cool idea. If you haven’t, get Peggle, and then get these levels.

I’m so glad that the girls are back, and with Gail Simone writing them, as it should be. If it’s as good as her previous run was, she’ll be writing the two best team books in comics — one team of heroes, and one of villains.

I told you, I’ve got the hot scoop right here. Where’s my check?

Right. Let’s see some details and gameplay at E3, then.

Never before has using the cliché “don’t judge a book by its cover” felt more appropriate.

Vx6 (as I call it — “VVVVVV” is obnoxious) is a good game. Nearly everyone on the Internet has written about it in the last few days, so I don’t feel a need to (just yet). Do read Kieron Gillen’s article, though. Skip to “When I started playing this” if his massive post is intimidating, or if you already know a bit about the game — that’s where it gets interesting (albeit hard to decipher). Also see Giant Bomb’s Quick Look below.


January 10th, 2010

Most player-owned servers aren’t hosted from their homes, they’re rented from third-party hosting companies. As long as EA and DICE don’t keep dedicated servers first-party, all should be well. EA could still charge an exorbitant licensing fee thereby forcing hosts to raise rental fees, but that’s assuming too much. What’s disturbing is that there won’t be mod tools. These decisions together probably mean that EA plans to sell maps. The situation isn’t ideal, but it’s preferable to the precedent Activision and Infinity Ward have set with Modern Warfare 2.

There have been motion controllers for PCs in the past (Wii remotes can even be made to work), but this one shows promise. A video in the post shows the controller being used to play Left 4 Dead 2 on a mirror.

It’s noteworthy because it’s a good Jim Sterling post.

Although I’ve never had a problem using third-party memory units with my consoles, third party controllers have never felt right. This Razer gamepad, however, may be worth a go, especially if the D-pad feels as good as it looks. I use my Xbox 360 controller on my PC as well, so I welcome more buttons. Engadget has a video.

The most impressive statistic? 45% of Steam users have Direct X 10 cards.

A good, hearty article about making games more intuitive and enjoyable, without designing them for children. My favorite is the bit about “Positive Permanence.”

I’m glad that Ben wants to improve Steam, but his suggestions feel misdirected. Few of the problems he discusses are problems that Valve is in a position to solve.

Third-party DRM is redundant, but licensers, such as Sony with SecuROM, may not allow DRM to be patched out of games at the publisher’s discretion. Steam’s multiplayer API is good, and Valve makes the Steamworks middleware available, but it’s up to publishers and developers to power their multiplayer with it. Even then, do we want all games to require Steam?

I don’t like slow downloads and instability — he’s got me there — but that may be more of a problem with ISPs and the Internet in general than with Valve’s planning. Finally, I don’t know how I feel about selling games. I’m sure it could be structured so both Steam and publishers still profit, but I think it would also put stricter usage rights on games so that trading credentials couldn’t be exploited. It could be the end of Offline Mode.

At any rate, Valve’s listening.

January 2nd, 2010

This bit of unpleasantness is all that happened this week. It’s too bad; I hope you got a chance to play Dungeon Runners before it was too late.

December 26th, 2009

This new Schnauzer song made my Christmas better.

It’s a list of lists. I’ve also made a list.

A good read; one that I don’t have the energy to discuss at the moment, but a good read.

I think I’ve heard something about that.

Well, that seems unnecessary. If anyone should have exclusive claim over use of the word “bing,” it’s Ned Ryerson.