March 20th, 2010

Good show. Third party DRM in Steam games makes no sense.

I could follow my instinct to disbelieve Ubisoft, but I think if Valve were taking a moral stance against DRM by removing games from Steam, they’d do it in all territories.

I clicked this headline in my Google Reader expecting to be taken to an article at The Onion.

$5 per new map? Who else is glad they didn’t buy Modern Warfare 2? Phew.

Good one here; I’ve been enjoying the mini-series. I hope it’s in for as good a run as the Knights of The Old Republic comic was.

Perhaps Microsoft and EA weren’t the villains we thought? Ah, probably they were.

I’m more excited for Skate 3 than ever. Graded challenges, landing feedback, and hardcore mode are longstanding features of the Tony Hawk games. Jason Lee was in the last good one (Project 8), too. They should fit well.

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.

October 31st, 2009

This is the most important piece of games journalism written all week. This, too, is good, and offers a different perspective on the issue.

I am glad at this; I only hope the chart will track more than just sales in the UK.

PseudoKnight: I hadn’t expected to be this thrilled by simple screenshots of NS2, a sequel to one of my most beloved multiplayer games, Natural Selection. The independent team has had a wild ride but are finally seeing the fruits in the form of $220,000 in pre-sales.

It’ll take a while to get used to the Windows key being useful after years of hating it and avoiding it at all costs (sometimes by removing it from my keyboard), but this list will help. A favorite of mine, and a boon for anyone with multiple displays, is Win + P.

The marketing for Dante’s Inferno is a work of art.

As I said last week, we’ve been playing a lot of League of Legends. This interview gives insights into Riot Games’ design process, ideas on game balance, plans for updates and making money on a free game, and their thoughts on the competition.

Although Shattered Horizon is a tragically generic name, the game itself looks and sounds like anything but generic. I might have pre-ordered it on an impulse if it weren’t launching the day after Dragon Age.

October 24th, 2009

First the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 gets a console price tag ($60), and now it’s getting the console multiplayer experience. Without player-controlled dedicated servers, there are no mods, no custom maps, and the competitive scene diminishes. Matchmaking is impersonal and unpredictable; it discourages community. I’ve never made a new friend in a game that uses matchmaking — there’s no such thing as “regulars” in Halo — but this very website probably owes its existence to dedicated servers. If we who still play multiplayer FPS games on PC wanted a console experience in MW2, we would simply play the console version. No one asked for this.

Being lied to is a bummer.

On the very day of my transition to 64-bit Windows, GameTap released their first big batch of 64-bit compatible games, and they’re free for the weekend. Notable among them are Unreal Tournament 2004, Overlord, Tomb Raider: Legend, Sacred Gold, and Hitman: Blood Money. Unreal Tournament 3 was also added this week.

Yes. Perfect. As I played through Kane & Lynch, Willis is exactly who I thought should play Kane if a movie were ever made. This makes up for the oversight that was not getting Jason Statham to play Agent 47.

PseudoKnight, Noct, and myself have been playing League of Legends with friends over the last week. It is great fun, and seems to be a worthy successor to Defend of The Ancients. Giant Bomb has a Quick Look (featuring the old UI) to watch while you download:


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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August 22nd, 2009

This isn’t news, just in case anybody was confused.

This is not okay. It’s uncalled for and it’s setting a bad precedent. They’re going to get away with it, but that doesn’t make it okay.

I very much enjoyed getting a look at Randy Pitchford’s office; he seems like a really cool guy. I can’t wait to get at a Borderlands demo, but Gearbox has recently said there won’t be one until after the game releases in October.

This may be my favorite trailer since the World in Conflict: Soviet Assault trailer from earlier this year. ArenaNet gives us a background on Guild Wars 2′s story, the races, some fantastic looking animated concept art, and finally, several minutes of in-game footage; those city designs are bananas. Also, BEARS! There are links to 720p and 1080p versions of the trailer at GuildWars2.com.