July 16th, 2009

The PC is treated as a second-rate game platform. This is evidenced most strongly both by game publishers’ treatment of the PC versions of their multi-platform games as well as how the games press covers PC games whether they be multi-platform or exclusive. For roughly the last six years the PC has been perceived as being a dying platform. While some players have definitely shifted from PC to video game consoles during this same time frame, things aren’t that bad; the PC platform’s biggest problem is still the perception that gamers, game makers, and game journalists have of it. This problem, left to fester, has begun to have distinct effects on the way PC games are treated.

Publishers, when they even make a PC version of their game, don’t treat it as well as they do the console versions. Development of the PC version of multi-platform games is often outsourced to a third party, and the quality of the product suffers as a result. But it isn’t always a problem of outsourcing; sometimes developers are simply told to focus their foremost efforts on the console versions. Marketing of the PC version also takes a hit; it is not uncommon for the PC version of a game to be released weeks to months after the console versions. Rarely will the PC version even be mentioned in magazine and comic book ads, much less television adverts; it will just be tossed out and left up to word of mouth and the virtually non-existent retail spaces to sell it to people.
Continue »

July 11th, 2009

I am ambivalent to this bit of news. It would be unfortunate if Microsoft decides not to bring Alan Wake to PC, but I can’t say that I would be surprised. Very little concerning Alan Wake’s very existence was anywhere near set in stone until this year’s E3, after all.

No, wait. Come back; this is a top 10 list that isn’t terrible.

I got a big kick out of this article. Enjoy.

June 6th, 2009

It’s impossible to not make this weeks’ Bearly Noteworthy post completely about E3 and E3-related announcements. Since most of the E3 coverage that I consumed originated at GiantBomb.com, I’m also finding it difficult not to make this a post that links solely to GiantBomb.com. So fuck it. They simply killed it on coverage with basically five dudes. Tons of video content, daily podcasts, interviews, wrap-up posts, and very little of the premature, judgmental snark that is endemic to rapid-fire coverage.

Bullet-point highlights from the Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft conferences. My favorites from Microsoft: Crackdown 2, Alan Wake. From EA: Crysis 2, hooray! The Saboteur looks rad. And Ubisoft: I am stupid amounts of excited for Splinter Cell. Rabbids make me sick.

Sequels! More Mario looks good.

Price drop? Aw. Really, though, I was glad to see Final Fantasy XIV will be coming to PC in addition to PS3 just as XI did.

Brink is the game that I most wanted information about when going into E3. I haven’t made up my mind on S.M.A.R.T. yet (it’s explained in the video embedded below), but I think it may make more sense within the context of the game. I hope we get to see some gameplay soon. I’d also like to know what Bethesda’s involvement is with this project; they haven’t said much, only Splash Damage has. I’ve got a feeling Bethesda may just be publishing on this one.


May 30th, 2009

While I always enjoyed swinging with a mouse instead of a toggle stick, the PC versions of Tiger Woods were getting the shaft on features for a few years. I’m very glad to see that Tiger’s coming back in such a “PC” way.

A very interesting development. This is no doubt to cater more to the console audience, as the Sam & Max games have been appearing places like XBLA and WiiWare. But as I recently expressed in my Broken Sword 3 post, I’m not married to the point-and-click control scheme in adventure games, as long as the alternative is well implemented. I’m not gonna lie, I do enjoy leaning back in my desk chair with a gamepad from time to time, when playing an appropriate game.

Dude, E3!!

April 18th, 2009

This is probably just my tinfoil hat talking, but GameStop doing this feels like an intentional slight against Stardock’s Impulse service. Anyone who buys Demigod at retail will shortly have their eyeballs on a competitor’s store, as the game requires Impulse activation. Customers bringing the game home and attempting to activate could have hit a brick wall and been left with half a game. This would have no doubt sullied their attitude toward the service. Fortunately, Stardock was on the ball and that didn’t happen; the game’s release was moved up a day.

After what was probably the cruelest April Fool’s joke to come from the games industry just a few weeks ago, Microids has officially announced – fo’ reals this time – plans to develop Syberia 3. It seems Sony could impede their ability to turn a profit, however.

Please forgive the GameSpotness, but they got the interview. Ugh. Anyway, lots of interesting info in here. Particularly a video that I hadn’t seen elsewhere, kind of a tech demo from inside Rage. Also, word of some as-of-yet-unannounced games that will debut at E3. So far we know about Wolfenstein, Doom 4, Rage, and Quake Live (still technically in BETA). Could it be Quake V?

This game looks like great fun. I’m surprised to see another PC/PSN game, we don’t see many of those. I think the last one was Everyday Shooter. Trine’s from the same developer that made Shadowgrounds, so here’s hoping its multiplayer isn’t local-only too.

March 3rd, 2009

Way back in April of 2008 I made a post talking about some of the games I was most looking forward to in 2008. Later, in November, I made another post reflecting on that list, what I’d actually gotten to play, and what I my impressions. Right now is that time of year just before games start getting announced en masse; GDC is just a few weeks away, and E3 has been moved to June this year, up from July last year. There are some PC games that we’ve known about for a while now which will probably be coming out this year, so I think I’m ready to share my list for 2009 right now.
Continue »

July 28th, 2008

If you know anything about me, you know that gaming is my passion. I love this medium. I love this artform. I love this industry. I feel fortunate to be alive during a time of such innovation in the melding of visual and interactive entertainment. But for the last few weeks, ever since the beginning and ending of E3 and its aftermath, I’ve been worried about the state of certain facets of our industry — namely, our gaming press.

I have been wanting to write a post addressing certain issues for quite some time, but I could never collect my thoughts well enough to put together a case to present. So during this year’s E3 I made a point of listening to responses from both the gaming community and the gaming press via forums, comments, blogs, and podcasts.

It is apparent to me that the press is not happy about where E3 stands as an event. I haven’t been able to discern whether or not if, overall, they are dissatisfied as games journalists or simply as gamers, but I am not sure that it matters. I don’t know that they have much reason to be upset either way.
Continue »