March 13th, 2010

True. I might have bought Assassin’s Creed II if it weren’t for Ubisoft’s DRM. Maybe not at $60, but eventually. Now I won’t, not until the DRM is gone.

This is too bad for people who bought the game, but this is good for those of us who abstained because of the DRM. Keep making noise.

How’d he make his beard so pointy?

I think InstantAction and OnLive are too different to make any fair comparisons. OnLive render the game remotely and stream the video, whereas InstantAction streams the game itself and processes locally. GameTap is probably a fairer comparison in that regard as many of their games can be played when only partially downloaded. That functionality coupled with the 20 minute demos make InstantAction sound more like a 21st century shareware service.

This product couldn’t appeal to me less.

Preach.

I take this as confirmation of what we PC evangelists have been saying for a long time: the market isn’t dying, it’s changing.

And I expect Steam on Mac will make PC gaming’s growth this year even stronger.

And I thought I was going to make it to May without buying another new game.

November 28th, 2009

Ben offers some advice that I can agree with: vote with your dollar, and don’t be a hypocrite. I also agree that piracy is not a valid way to protest. But it’s not enough for gamers alone to take a more effective stance against game makers, and joining an advocacy group won’t solve anything. To really spur change, the press needs to come around as well, as Ben has attempted to here.

I rather liked that Torchlight didn’t have skill trees. It made me a lot less stressed out about picking skills during the early levels.

Were it not for this news, I would have bought Resident Evil 5 during Impulse’s Thanksgiving sale. I’m thankful for Shacknews for saving me money.

Adding Tropico 3 only a month after its release is a quick turnaround for GameTap. More publishers should follow Kalypso’s lead.

It’s good that not everyone at Pandemic lost their job last week, and that their projects will continue at EALA. It’s also good to see that some of those who did lose their jobs have been able to find closure.

Good luck, guys. I mean it; I grew up using third-party memory cards in my consoles. They’re cheaper, they work just as well, and they come in wacky colors and capacities.

So cool:

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 10th, 2009

GameTap is kicking ass lately. Heroes V Gold was added last week, Trine this week, and Trackmania is coming next week. There are about two dozen existing games being made 64-bit compatible, and just look at that list of new games being encoded. I’ll say it again: GameTap is the best value in gaming.

Is joke thievery illegal yet? Do I need to get a lawyer?

I suppose this means that Trackmania 2 will also be developed for consoles. Perhaps in time for Summer of Arcade 2010? That went well for RedLynx with Trials HD.

Watching this, I feel like Saw’s concept is a better fit for games and should have been applied to them in the first place. This doesn’t look bad — I wouldn’t be opposed to playing it in a year or so when it’s $10.


September 25th, 2009

The Choices by by Flickr user Zrin ZebestChoices breed indecision, therefore preventing indecision requires identifying and eliminating our choices. This is our boon, our burden, and our charge as PC gamers. We mull over choices such as which video card, which mouse, how many cores, and how many watts. Digital distribution’s increasing popularity has, despite its merits, introduced the choice of where do I buy? The default choice, for most of us, is Steam. We would be justified, but competition is important for an industry to thrive. We must not surrender our opportunity to choose, and we must not surrender to complacency. To consumers and businesses, complacency is a common enemy. As consumers we should act out of self-interest, but we should be mindful of when supporting competition is in our interest. We must do more than merely acknowledge competition — when it’s deserving, and when it’s to our advantage, we must also support it.
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September 19th, 2009

Earlier this week I rewrote my Painkiller article to be consistent with the Cheap Gaming posts we write today. Have a look.


The first Cheap Gaming post that I wrote about an MMO will also be our first Cheap Gaming post to expire. This news is disheartening as Dungeon Runners is not a bad MMO, and worse games have succeeded. Dungeon Runners game servers will be on until the new year, so treat yourself to playing before it’s too late.

The skill-based progression Cryptic is describing sounds similar to how I remember Star Wars: Galaxies’ progression to be (pre-revamp). I didn’t play SW:G for long, but I admired its skill system for the freedom it gave players to gradually shape their character’s class.

It’s old footage that wasn’t meant for public view, but I am glad to know that a sequel to The Witcher is coming, however unceremonious the reveal was.

I didn’t buy Trine for $30 because I felt it was expensive and I wasn’t sure I would have fun playing it by myself. Now, a few days before its price dropped to $20 on Steam, there’s news that it will be a part of my GameTap subscription — and just in time for my transition to Windows 7 64-bit. Score!

Just as its predecessor in 2007, Skate 2 is on track to being my favorite game of 2009. It’s definitely the game I’ve played the most, so I’m predictably glad to hear of another sequel. Some are saying it’s too soon, but the release cycle is consistent so far — about 15 months between each game (Sept. 2007, Jan. 2009, May 2010). Unless you weren’t satisfied with Skate 2′s improvements on Skate, there’s no precedent for concern yet.


July 23rd, 2009

Raz at summer camp, aka Psychonauts training grounds“Mmmm… Bacon!” If that doesn’t ring a bell in your ear, you may have a gaming nutrient deficiency. Previous sources of this vitamin include the Monkey Island games and Grim Fandango. The most potent of Tim Schafer games, however, is the mind-blowing Psychonauts, released by Double Fine Productions in 2005. Initially overlooked by most gamers (except maybe the color blind), Psychonauts went on to garner Gamespot’s “Best Game No One Played” award among numerous other commendations for writing and voice acting.

The story begins with Raz sneaking into summer camp. You know, the one where it’s actually a secret government training ground for psychic soldiers, also known as Psychonauts. Consequently, his dad is called to pick him up, so Raz is determined to train as much as possible before that happens. What Raz doesn’t know yet is that he’s more special than the other kids at the camp (and trust me, there’s some “special” kids there). What’s more, it’s the start of an adventure only a madman like Tim Schafer could produce.
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