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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October 8th, 2009

Hype DMS LosAngeles Graffiti Art by Flickr user anarchosynWhen the PC version of Assassin’s Creed 2 was pushed to 2010, I knew that my fall would not go as I had planned. And I was right — for the PC versions of multiplatform games, this fall has been, and will continue to be, an odd one. Borderlands’ PC release, for example, has been delayed one week for “optimization,” and since Gearbox has said in the past that PC is Borderlands’ lead platform, I think a more likely reason is that 2K wanted to give the console versions a week where they didn’t compete with .torrents of the PC version – a futile act. Still, the promise of add-ons would keep me from playing Borderlands on release day anyway, just as with Fallout 3. Similarly, the purported delay of Modern Warfare 2 PC (though it may only apply to the UK) doesn’t dissuade me from buying it on November 10th as much as its $60 price. There were also rumors leading up to Alpha Protocol’s delay; paying customers, including myself, were not sure of their validity until October 6th, the day it was meant to release. Even then, there was no formal announcement – the game simply didn’t launch, and Sega updated their store to say “Spring 2010.” Were I not confident in Obsidian’s ability to deliver, I’d ask for my money back.
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September 12th, 2009

I’ll be glad when the word “save,” as a verb, is no longer used when speaking of PC gaming. While not without its problems, the platform is no longer in danger. Regardless, Brad Wardell is making some valuable observations here.

Speaking of Stardock and digital distribution, Impulse Phase IV has just launched. The new website design is much easier to navigate, and I appreciate being able to filter by price. Ready To Play appears to be Stardock’s answer to Steam Community; I’m interested to see if Impulse will capitalize on what I think is a unique opportunity to one-up Steam on community features.

On a related note, EA has just partnered with, and added several games to, Impulse. Among them is Dragon Age: Origins (pre-order), The Sims 3, and Red Alert 3 along with its expansion, Uprising, which was previously exclusive to EA’s own digital distribution service.

Although Peter Moore’s view is probably limited to consoles, technically, the PC platform should be credited with having “laid the ground” for online multiplayer, communication, and content distribution.

News of this acquisition came as a relief to me because, due to 3D Realms’ tenuous existence, I’ve had concerns about Prey 2′s status. There is no telling if Human Head is still developing it, but the Prey IP should be in good hands now, at any rate.

This is nearly 30 minues of Jeff Gerstmann and Tim Schafer walking around at PAX while talking and letting their humor play off each other. Also, nerds.


April 4th, 2009

I purchased Mount & Blade during its Steam sale some weeks ago, but I still haven’t tried it out. So although I still haven’t played any of their games, Paradox is a publisher / development house whose games I’ve kept an eye on. There’s just something about them that screams “PC”.

Tim Schafer spills the beans on his Legend most Brutal. Very disappointed that no PC version was mentioned; Brutal Legend will be Tim’s first game without one — for now, that is. This is a two part interview; the second half is here.

Meta.

November 13th, 2008

Back in April I wrote a bit about a few of the games that I was looking forward to most this year. That article has remained pretty popular over the months, and since the future which that feature referred to is now, I thought I would do a follow-up. A few gaming trade shows, a major merger of two gaming juggernauts and a development delay or two later, not quite all of the games on my list have been released yet, but I have gotten my hands on several.

Let’s revisit these in order, shall we?
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April 7th, 2008

You may be expecting me to be talking about a new cheap game right now. Normally, that’s what I’d be doing. This week, I’m going to talk about some games that I’m looking forward to, and most of them won’t be cheap. These aren’t all of the games that I am looking forward to this year, but these are my most-wanted ones that aren’t the obvious picks. You won’t see Grand Theft Auto IV, Metal Gear Solid 4, Starcraft 2, Spore or Gears of War 2 in this post. Those are obvious; everybody cares about those. You have probably heard about these at some point, but there isn’t much new information floating around about them. In short, this is an awareness post.
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