February 18th, 2010

Sarah ShepardI played the original Mass Effect on Xbox 360 in 2007 as a male Infiltrator who followed the Paragon path. This was characteristic of me because I rarely play females and almost always play “good” characters. I think the only time I’ve defected to the dark side was on my third time playing of Knights of The Old Republic. But for the next two years I’d hear praise for female Shepard’s voice performance, and arguments in favor of the Renegade path.

I resolved that, when I played Mass Effect on PC, I would play as female Shepard, and I’d also play as a Renegade. So I created Sarah Shepard; I expected playing her to be fun, but not superior fun. I also expected to hate her. I didn’t like myself as a Dark Jedi in KoTOR. Force Lightning was fun, but I was a selfish asshole. I didn’t save the galaxy, I took it. My choices on Mass Effect’s Renegade path didn’t all result in such extremes, though; I could save the galaxy without having to mollycoddle everyone. I’d do it efficiently, and by my own rules. Playing Paragon or Renegade is analogous to playing as Superman or Batman would — that is, if either approved of killing.
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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.

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February 3rd, 2010

I’ve just finished Mass Effect 2 after 36 hours of play spread across seven days. At some point during that, I decided to take screenshots. Not for any specific purpose; I didn’t intend to create a narrative or a photojournal, I only wanted to capture the cool moments I was seeing. Using Fraps and numpad forward slash, I had taken almost 3,000 screenshots when the credits rolled. After sorting — viewing, deleting, saving, converting — I have just over 300 moments to share. This is the first time I’ve taken so many screenshots of a game, and the process was surprisingly noninvasive. I just pressed the capture key whenever I liked something that was happening. You could say I used Fraps to applaud.

Thane and Shepard
If Shepard and Garrus were a band Doing what he does
Posing for a wallpaper

Click here to view a slideshow, or click here for a thumbnail gallery and to download full-size 1680×1050 versions.

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:


December 12th, 2009

Congratulations to our pal Rob Geboers and his Schnauzer Radio Orchestra for getting onto such a great album.

Worf!

This is a gallery containing issue #1 of the Dante’s Inferno comic book. It helped me realize that my interest in the Dante’s Inferno may not extend past its marketing campaign.

At last; there’s been too much not-Sam-&-Max coming from Tell-Tale for my tastes. I only hope they’ll distribute this new season through GameTap as they did the previous seasons.

Jolicloud is a Linux distribution that is tailored for netbooks. The project’s leader is Tariq Krim, co-founder of Netvibes. If you’re interested in Google’s ChromeOS, give Jolicloud a look; it serves a similar purpose, and it’s available now.

Bill Harris writes about why he loves King’s Bounty: The Legend. I’ve been playing it over the last few months, and I love it as well. I’ve had some technical issues just as Bill did, but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with. Check out his article for a bit about why King’s Bounty is a great game.

This is a pretty nerdy gag for network TV. Kudos to whichever writer on his staff pitched this.

December 5th, 2009

For now, I’m in favor of this. Although Microsoft’s efforts with the Games For Windows Live software have done little but bring the Xbox experience to PC gamers, so have Valve’s efforts with Steamworks and Modern Warfare 2. And if anyone’s capable of muscling some marketshare away from Steam, it’s Microsoft.

I was skeptical of Stardock’s claims as well. It makes sense to me that, based on seniority alone, Direct 2 Drive’s marketshare would be larger than Impulse’s. But is Impulse’s share really so small that it doesn’t even chart?

Happy 10th Birthday to my second favorite game of all time.

This story originally reported that Threewave was to shut down, and I’m glad to see that’s not the case. I have no affinity for their recent games, but I was an avid Threewave CTF player in Quake 3. I would hate to see them simply run out of work.

I’ve read four novels based on BioWare games and haven’t been disappointed yet, but I may skip these. Maybe. Okay, probably not.

I’ve never played a Medal of Honor game, but bully to EA for the timing of this announcement.

And Area 5, too. I hope this relaunch works out; I’ve gotten nothing but bad vibes from the idea of it until now.

To clarify, these same bans (in addition to server-specific bans) could have still happened with dedicated servers.

There’s nothing remarkable about this post except that the headline is ridiculous. But do check out all this Brink gameplay footage.

November 6th, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over by Flickr user kmevansI commonly experience flashes of euphoria for which I have no account. What I’ve felt over the last several weeks, however, is something different. It’s a sustained state of contentment — something that I can account for. It’s a feeling of fullness, and it’s because of video games.

I am full because of Brutal Legend. This game was almost perfect, from its story, its humor, and Jack Black’s performance, to its RTS and driving systems, and even its side missions — but I did say almost. The rate at which new Solos unlocked disappointed me; I think it was poor design to have four at the beginning, four at the end, but none in the middle. Still, I loved this game. I bought it on release day, and I finished all the missions by the end of the next. I never do that.

I am full because of Defense Grid: The Awakening. Tower Defense is a genre that gets a lot of flack — and it’s true, there are a lot of bad games out there — but if there’s a game that the skeptics should play, it’s Defense Grid. Its difficulty curve is fair, and its challenge modes suit it for repeat play. It even has character, an uncharacteristic attribute for a Tower Defense game that isn’t based on a license.
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