November 21st, 2009

I don’t understand how EA can shut down a studio mere weeks before they ship a game. The Saboteur looks interesting, but its release is irreparably tainted by this news.

Hooray for that.

Stardock estimates that Impulse has 10% marketshare against Steam’s 70%, while Direct 2 Drive, GamersGate, and other services split the remaining 20%. 10% for Impulse feels generous, but assuming it’s accurate, I wonder how their marketshare will be fairing now that the Steam-exclusive Modern Warfare 2 has shipped. With MW2, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, and Day of Defeat, Valve controls most of the PC’s multiplayer FPS market. Consider supporting the competition, people.

Speak of the devil…

…and his pal Judas.

Such as first-party dedicated servers?

I’ve spent over 50 hours playing Dragon Age, and frankly, I can’t wait to throw more money at more content.

This sounded really cool until I read that one of the cases from the DS version will be excluded. What gives?

I feel silly for discussing box art, but people have been pretty down on this new Mass Effect 2 cover. Although they still have a planet/moon in the background that seems inappropriately close, I prefer this new cover to the old one. It reminds me of the covers of cheesy Sci-Fi paperbacks — in a good way.

I’m not ashamed to say that I enjoyed Kane & Lynch. They’re on the right track with the movie by casting Bruce Willis as Kane, and I’m digging the style they’re establishing for Kane & Lynch 2 with these teasers.


November 7th, 2009

Now, go forth and recreate Baldur’s Gate. I’ll check back in 2015.

This doesn’t bother me because Rage isn’t an established franchise for which I have expectations. Besides that, in contrast with Modern Warfare 2, the multiplayer isn’t what interests me about Rage.

Cue warm fuzzies.

My contribution: *sigh*

That’s cool, I’m not overly concerned about buying their game.

As apprehensive as I am about the new focus on co-op, a whole new city sounds great. I still play Skate 2 almost every day, but San Vanelona is starting to feel a bit familiar.


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 17th, 2009

I don’t know about the last twenty years — I haven’t been paying attention to console releases that long — but I agree that Fall 2009, while still exciting, has felt less stressful than at least the last four Falls.

This is the saddest story that I read all week. I just wonder if the moment was really as sombre as the writer conveyed it.

I forgot all about New Super Mario Bros. when I wrote my plans for Fall ’09. It looks amazing; add it to the list.

Assuming they aren’t just glorified advergames, Flash games made by a major developer could something great.

Moments later, zombies burst through the window.


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.


June 19th, 2009

Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne coverI am not ashamed to say it: I like books based on video game universes. Reading Fall of Reach was integral to my enjoyment of the story told in the Halo trilogy. So too did having read Revelation bolster my appreciation for what occurred in Mass Effect. My want for Mass Effect 2 after reading the second book, Ascension, could not be greater. I don’t need to see trailers or hear about how the graphics engine and gameplay have been changed for the sequel; I’m invested in the fiction. That is all the hype that I need. I was an understandably easy sell, then, when I heard earlier this year that Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, a novel based on Dragon Age: Origins and written by the game’s lead writer David Gaider, would be released.
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