March 20th, 2010

Good show. Third party DRM in Steam games makes no sense.

I could follow my instinct to disbelieve Ubisoft, but I think if Valve were taking a moral stance against DRM by removing games from Steam, they’d do it in all territories.

I clicked this headline in my Google Reader expecting to be taken to an article at The Onion.

$5 per new map? Who else is glad they didn’t buy Modern Warfare 2? Phew.

Good one here; I’ve been enjoying the mini-series. I hope it’s in for as good a run as the Knights of The Old Republic comic was.

Perhaps Microsoft and EA weren’t the villains we thought? Ah, probably they were.

I’m more excited for Skate 3 than ever. Graded challenges, landing feedback, and hardcore mode are longstanding features of the Tony Hawk games. Jason Lee was in the last good one (Project 8), too. They should fit well.

February 20th, 2010

This is the worst that PC game DRM has ever been. I shouldn’t be as jarred as I am, considering Ubisoft’s history with StarForce. At the same time, I’d also think they’d have learned from how customers responded to those practices and not gone on to worse ones. Read as they try to justify it, and give major respect to PC Gamer for grilling them. They expect me to pay $60 for a game that was released on consoles 5 months ago in addition to being treated like a criminal? No. Fuck that.

These are better reasons (half-truths, as opposed to total lies), but it’s probably best for everyone if Remedy and Microsoft just stopped talking about the PC version of Alan Wake until they’re ready to announce it.

This is just wonderful. I’ve been worried that the console, hand-held, mobile, and social versions of Civilization were indicative of the future of the franchise. Civ IV has aged so extraordinarily well that it almost made sense. But Firaxis is simply colonizing every platform; I’ll consider all of those as practice games for this, a new, proper Civilization game. With hexagons.

This is Stardock using known gaming personalities to show games to customers. I love the concept, but I’d prefer if they did second takes (Bob Came In Pieces) and sound checks (Sins of a Solar Empire) for some of the videos.

An indie contest sponsored by Activision? Ah, I see Master Kotick has developed an appetite for the young and uncorrupted.

Yep, yep. Yep.


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

This is Counter-Strike before Steam.Microsoft has announced that Xbox Live for the original Xbox is being discontinued so they can continue to evolve Xbox Live on Xbox 360 and future consoles. From what I’ve surmised, they used their old tech to make their new tech, but they can’t do what they want to their new tech without breaking their old tech — so they’re throwing it out. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s lack of foresight comes at the expense of their customers. While considering what this means for players and for the industry, I’m reminded of why I don’t like closed systems, and also of Valve and Counter-Strike’s transition to Steam.
Continue »

December 26th, 2009

This new Schnauzer song made my Christmas better.

It’s a list of lists. I’ve also made a list.

A good read; one that I don’t have the energy to discuss at the moment, but a good read.

I think I’ve heard something about that.

Well, that seems unnecessary. If anyone should have exclusive claim over use of the word “bing,” it’s Ned Ryerson.

December 5th, 2009

For now, I’m in favor of this. Although Microsoft’s efforts with the Games For Windows Live software have done little but bring the Xbox experience to PC gamers, so have Valve’s efforts with Steamworks and Modern Warfare 2. And if anyone’s capable of muscling some marketshare away from Steam, it’s Microsoft.

I was skeptical of Stardock’s claims as well. It makes sense to me that, based on seniority alone, Direct 2 Drive’s marketshare would be larger than Impulse’s. But is Impulse’s share really so small that it doesn’t even chart?

Happy 10th Birthday to my second favorite game of all time.

This story originally reported that Threewave was to shut down, and I’m glad to see that’s not the case. I have no affinity for their recent games, but I was an avid Threewave CTF player in Quake 3. I would hate to see them simply run out of work.

I’ve read four novels based on BioWare games and haven’t been disappointed yet, but I may skip these. Maybe. Okay, probably not.

I’ve never played a Medal of Honor game, but bully to EA for the timing of this announcement.

And Area 5, too. I hope this relaunch works out; I’ve gotten nothing but bad vibes from the idea of it until now.

To clarify, these same bans (in addition to server-specific bans) could have still happened with dedicated servers.

There’s nothing remarkable about this post except that the headline is ridiculous. But do check out all this Brink gameplay footage.

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: