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.


September 3rd, 2009

This squid is a new character in Peggle Nights PC.

Following its release in February of 2007, Peggle Deluxe for the PC was not a game that a self-respecting hardcore gamer wanted to be caught playing. The game is colorful, it’s made by PopCap (the guys who make those jewel games that your sister plays), and it has cute anthropomorphic animals that you don’t even get to kill. Although Peggle rose in popularity throughout the year, it wouldn’t pique the interest of the hardcore crowd until just before the release of Valve’s Orange Box in October of 2007. At this time, someone with the business acumen of, at the very least, Warren Buffett’s tie, decided that taking a special version of Peggle — a game where you shoot a ball at pegs and then watch stars and rainbows happen — should have Valve game characters tacked on to it and be released on Steam for free under the name Peggle Extreme. This move paid off for PopCap in spades: sales of Peggle Deluxe skyrocketed, and PopCap went on to port it to the iPod classic, iPhone, World of Warcraft, and Xbox Live Arcade. In 2008, a full sequel titled Peggle Nights was released for the PC; this sequel would later be bundled with Peggle Deluxe and ported to the Nintendo DS. The version I prefer to play, and will recommend here, is Peggle Nights for the PC.
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July 2nd, 2009

You read it backwards!!Official Casebook Vol. 2: The Miles Edgeworth Files is the second entry to the Del Rey-published manga series based on Capcom’s Ace Attorney video game franchise. Over a dozen creators contributed stories to The Miles Edgeworth Files. It was released in the US in February of 2009.

Just as The Phoenix Wright Files was chocked with fan-service and silliness involving fan-favorite characters from the Ace Attorney games, so is The Miles Edgeworth Files. If you aren’t prepared for absurdity such as Edgeworth going to extreme lengths to keep Pearl Fey from being exposed to the sad ending of a TV movie, or seeing Edgeworth fight a bear while armed only with Pink Princess Chocolate bars, look elsewhere. Or just skip those stories, because there’s plenty more where they came from. Over twenty, in fact! Many of which have obviously been written with the swooning fan-girl in mind, but any fan of Ace Attorney should still be able to appreciate even the most frilly stories. Not every entry in The Mile Edgeworth Files is a stranger to seriousness, though; the very first tale in the manga concerns Edgeworth considering ending his career in prosecution. The legendary “frienemy” relationship between Miles and Phoenix is also spotlighted throughout the book.

That is to say, if you’re a fan of Ace Attorney — and especially if you’re looking forward to the upcoming Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth game — you should definitely pick up Official Casebook Vol. 2: The Miles Edgeworth Files.

May 16th, 2009

Another Todd Hollenshead interview. This time he’s talking about businessy stuff; the size, success and direction of the company and their projects. He sounds happy with how their mobile games are performing. Why do I care? Well, while I don’t have a phone to game on, I am still holding onto hope for an Orcs and Elves sequel that would eventually make its way to DS!

The next game from Klei Entertainment, developer of Eets for PC and XBLA. Though early in development, Shank is only being shown for the Xbox 360 here. The video has me hooked, my fingers are crossed for a PC version.

In the words of Sam himself: “Bring it on!”

May 9th, 2009

If you ever wanted to know how to completely kill the sales potential of the PC version of your game in an entire region by encouraging piracy… well, this is how. Thanks for the lesson, Sony.

It’s still pretty cool to see that people are paying attention to Broken Sword again. I get sad when I hear people older than me say the Wii and DS Director’s Cuts of The Shadow of the Templars is the first time they’ve heard of the series. Just cast Tim Robbins as George Stobbart and Audrey Tautou (shh! no, that similarly themed movie that she was just in… yeah, that didn’t really happen) as Nico Collard and I’m on board.

Overgrowth’s dev tools are pretty impressive and all (seriously, go watch some of their other videos on GameTrailers), but this video in particular is great because it brings the funny. This video’s worth a look whether you’re interested in the tools or not. Bonus, if you are!

That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!

October 15th, 2008

Video game lore that extends beyond the games themselves, specifically through comic books, has traditionally been disastrous. With the high volume of video game comics these days, however, there are bound to be a few hits. For instance, I found that The Darkness Levels comics released just prior to the video game’s console debut in the summer of 2007 complimented it nicely and enriched my experience when I played through the game. Conversely, I had a bad run-in with the World of Warcraft comic and its lack of substance. Then again, as evidenced by the Halo comic, sometimes a venture into the wonderful world of sequential art can fail simply by being tardy; Issue #1 released in August of 2007 with #2 arriving that following November. We didn’t see issue #3 until August of 2008, a year after the series started. Disaster!

Unbeknownst to me until very recently, a manga based on the Ace Attorney series of video games have been coming out in Japan since 2007. Fortunately for us fans, Capcom has a hit on their hands and in September of 2008 they, along with Del Rey Manga, brought it to the western world under the name Official Casebook Vol. 1: The Phoenix Wright Files.
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October 1st, 2008

Third party Wii titles are a dime a dozen. Many don’t succeed, mostly due to quality, but also in no small part due to underexposure and Nintendo’s failure to properly promote them. A couple recent examples are Zack & Wiki and Boom Blox. Fun, well executed games that just didn’t have very stellar sales. One game I am hoping will not fall by the wayside is the Wii version of De Blob. You may remember this as one of the first cheap games featured here as Downloadable Suicide.

In my original article I mentioned that THQ is bringing it to Wii and DS sometime in 2008. The Wii version dropped a week or two ago and seems to have been met with critical success. It’s currently the 17th highest ranked Wii game on Metacritic with an average score of 82. Worthplaying gave it a 90 and said “It is a rare game that can appeal equally well to both the casual and hardcore crowds, yet de Blob does just that.”. EuroGamer had a grim comment that I hope won’t turn out to be true, “Probably the best and worst thing about de Blob is that it’s got ‘Destined For Cult Status’ written all over it.” GamePlayer felt De Blob worthy of a perfect 10 saying that it is “The first third-party Wii game that would have Mr Miyamoto bowing in awed respect.” Nice.

Reviews aside, the purpose of this post is simply to remind you about De Blob and its roots as a student project on the PC. While the breadth of its gameplay has evolved significantly during its transition to the Wii, its whimsical spirit and aesthetics appear to have stayed intact. Check it out on PC and consider giving it a look if you happen to own a Wii. The DS version looks like it’s going to bake a bit longer before it’s ready for consumption; it’s the version that I’ll be giving a try.