December 9th, 2009

Tesla towers are neatThe Tower Defense genre is regarded by many gamers as a grotesque derivation of the Real-Time Strategy genre; a genre replete with common contributions unworthy of attention. They’re right, of course — there are a lot of bad Tower Defense games. Hidden Path Entertainment’s Defense Grid: The Awakening, however, represents the genre’s potential.

There’s an archetype that Tower Defense games adhere to, and Defense Grid is no exception. Waves of enemy units travel unimpeded along a path until players build towers to suppress them. Strategy is called for by the stipulation that, while towers can be built to redirect the enemy’s path (“mazing,” colloquially), towers can’t outright block the enemy’s path. Both units and towers have their respective strengths and weaknesses, so tower selection matters as much as tower placement.
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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 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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August 15th, 2009

If I hadn’t been fortunate enough to snag a code for it from Ben Kuchera’s Twitter feed, I probably wouldn’t be paying attention to Trials HD right now. I had written it off as a port-and-rename of the PC version, Trials 2: Second Edition, but there is actually more to it than that. There are a bunch of mini-games, unlockable bikes (with varying performance), and a level editor. The bike physics also feel markedly different — not necessarily better, but heavier. These heavier physics have made climbing easier, but it’s now harder to pull off flips and wheelies.

Although Trials HD’s features are a strong argument for choosing it over Trials 2, Trials 2 is no less of a good game than it was before, and it’s cheaper. There’s also the possibility that Trials HD will come to PC (where it would be HDer). A thread on the Trials 2 Steam forum has a developer response saying, “At the time is only for Xbox 360.” If I didn’t already win a free code, I would be waiting to hear more about that.

Unless “configure and run their own private servers” means mod support — which would be great news for players if true — I hope they have more than just private servers planned for subscribers. I say this because I want to see Quake Live succeed; it’s unfortunate that selling ads isn’t working out for them.

Don’t let them think crap like this is okay: stop using Digsby. I recommend Pidgin or Miranda IM as alternatives.

I skimmed this. Not because it’s so long, but because I realized that I don’t want to know everything about Rage before I play it. I don’t need to know anything else. No matter what happens, I’m going to buy it, and I’m going to play it. I did watch the trailer, though, and it made me happy.


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!!

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!”

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March 31st, 2008

Today’s game is again, not a freebie, but it pays for itself quickly via Awesome Express. The game is called “Eets: Hunger. It’s Emotional.”and it was developed by Klei Entertainment. Not to be confused with its counterpart that was released last year for XBOX Live Arcade, Eets: Chowdown, the 2006 version I’ll be covering here is for the PC.

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