February 18th, 2010

Sarah ShepardI played the original Mass Effect on Xbox 360 in 2007 as a male Infiltrator who followed the Paragon path. This was characteristic of me because I rarely play females and almost always play “good” characters. I think the only time I’ve defected to the dark side was on my third time playing of Knights of The Old Republic. But for the next two years I’d hear praise for female Shepard’s voice performance, and arguments in favor of the Renegade path.

I resolved that, when I played Mass Effect on PC, I would play as female Shepard, and I’d also play as a Renegade. So I created Sarah Shepard; I expected playing her to be fun, but not superior fun. I also expected to hate her. I didn’t like myself as a Dark Jedi in KoTOR. Force Lightning was fun, but I was a selfish asshole. I didn’t save the galaxy, I took it. My choices on Mass Effect’s Renegade path didn’t all result in such extremes, though; I could save the galaxy without having to mollycoddle everyone. I’d do it efficiently, and by my own rules. Playing Paragon or Renegade is analogous to playing as Superman or Batman would — that is, if either approved of killing.
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February 12th, 2010

Jul. 15th 2009: “Remedy has a deep heritage in PC gaming and would love to see a PC version available to its PC followers, ultimately however this decision lies with our publisher.”

Feb. 12th 2010: “Some games are more suited for the intimacy of the PC, and others are best played from the couch in front of a larger TV screen. We ultimately realised that the most compelling way to experience “Alan Wake” was on the Xbox 360 platform, so we focused on making it an Xbox 360 exclusive.”

What a heap of bovine excrement. By what logic is it not preferable to have a more “intimate” experience with the game Remedy is billing as a “psychological action thriller”?

Hooray. Take a cue, Redlynx, and give us a PC version of Trials HD.

I’m not sure that the first Bioshock had color blind accommodation, but it definitely had gamepad support and (after a patch) proper widescreen scaling. How and why do you remove such functionality in a sequel built on the same technology?

This is a fascinating feature about the best character in Mass Effect 2. For some nice shots (and potential wallpapers) of Thane, check out my Mass Effect 2 screenshot collection.

Still bracing for disaster.

I’ve liked and used SteelSeries mice and mousepads for the last few years because of their quality and customer service; now their chief marketing officer is publicly decrying one of the most effective marketing terms in his industry? SteelSeries, be my Valentine.

Have $5 worth of fun for $0.


February 5th, 2010

See my Bearly Commentary article for my thoughts on this news.

It took some time to get all three items, but I’ve gone to more trouble to get worse free stuff. It helps that you don’t have to input valid info. Worth it.

This skin is amazing. Opera should really make it an official option when version 10.5 is final.

Good or not, 3D Sonic has never made sense to me, so I haven’t played a new Sonic game since Sonic & Knuckles. I’m ready for this new game to be good; I love 2.5D. I only wish Sega had mentioned a PC version in their announcement.

Best headline of the week. Also, California is coming.

I love Black Box’s developer diaries, especially since they’ve affected a more casual, less scripted tone.

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February 3rd, 2010

I’ve just finished Mass Effect 2 after 36 hours of play spread across seven days. At some point during that, I decided to take screenshots. Not for any specific purpose; I didn’t intend to create a narrative or a photojournal, I only wanted to capture the cool moments I was seeing. Using Fraps and numpad forward slash, I had taken almost 3,000 screenshots when the credits rolled. After sorting — viewing, deleting, saving, converting — I have just over 300 moments to share. This is the first time I’ve taken so many screenshots of a game, and the process was surprisingly noninvasive. I just pressed the capture key whenever I liked something that was happening. You could say I used Fraps to applaud.

Thane and Shepard
If Shepard and Garrus were a band Doing what he does
Posing for a wallpaper

Click here to view a slideshow, or click here for a thumbnail gallery and to download full-size 1680×1050 versions.

January 23rd, 2010

I found this amusing at first, but Joystiq had a follow-up interview with Greg Zeschuk who revealed not all DLC will be restricted to the Cerberus Network. Anything that’s non-free will be sold through the Xbox Marketplace. For a moment I thought someone had finally taken a serious stab at GameStop, but it now seems to be a minor poke at best.

Also, Joystiq missed a headline opportunity: Cerberus Network’s Bark Worse Than Its Bite.

Not only is the game’s premise appealing, but it looks as though spells are cast using mouse gestures, as in Black & White.

All right; done.

It really does look rough. See as Ryan Davis struggles with the controls in Giant Bomb’s Quick Look:


December 12th, 2009

Congratulations to our pal Rob Geboers and his Schnauzer Radio Orchestra for getting onto such a great album.

Worf!

This is a gallery containing issue #1 of the Dante’s Inferno comic book. It helped me realize that my interest in the Dante’s Inferno may not extend past its marketing campaign.

At last; there’s been too much not-Sam-&-Max coming from Tell-Tale for my tastes. I only hope they’ll distribute this new season through GameTap as they did the previous seasons.

Jolicloud is a Linux distribution that is tailored for netbooks. The project’s leader is Tariq Krim, co-founder of Netvibes. If you’re interested in Google’s ChromeOS, give Jolicloud a look; it serves a similar purpose, and it’s available now.

Bill Harris writes about why he loves King’s Bounty: The Legend. I’ve been playing it over the last few months, and I love it as well. I’ve had some technical issues just as Bill did, but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with. Check out his article for a bit about why King’s Bounty is a great game.

This is a pretty nerdy gag for network TV. Kudos to whichever writer on his staff pitched this.

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.