Can you hear that? That ticking sound? That’s the sound of the clock moving ever forward until next week and Darksiders 2. Then, a week after that, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Then, after that, uh…I don’t know. Who cares though? I’ll have Darksiders 2 and Transformers!
This week, Persona fans get the opportunity to beat the crap out of each other with characters from Persona games, PC players get to rescue their music in Symphony and Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade continues with Hybrid.
As you read this, the capsule carrying the Curiosity rover is rocketing towards Mars at 47,500 miles per hour. On Sunday, August 5th, fueled by a combination of engineering prowess, computer know-how and copious amounts of luck, this capsule will sync up with Mars’ orbit and deliver the Curiosity rover to the surface of Mars.
If you have an Xbox 360, you’ll be able to watch the landing from your dashboard, same as on your computer, same as on your television. I say they’re the same because watching the landing from a computer or your television or your Xbox is functionally similar, what I hope, though, is that the difference in the medium helps expand the audience of the message.
Following in the footsteps of dozens of triple-A games that cast famous people as voice actors simply because they think it will make the game somehow better, Bethesda announced today that a lot of famous people will be doing voice work in Dishonored.
Hey, I like Susan Sarandon and Brad Dourif and Carrie Fisher and Chloë Grace Moretz and Lena Headey just as much as the next guy, but when I see these announcements, I can’t but think that this is just a giant waste of money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that John Slattery and Michael Madsen will do a wonderful job with whatever they’re given, but are they going to do a better job than the hundreds of extremely talented voice actors and actresses currently working in games, television and movies today? Probably not, but I imagine they’ll cost a whole hell of a lot more.
Has anyone ever bought a game, or had their purchasing decision swayed because a Hollywood actor took on a voice role? Anyone?
Dishonored drops on October 9th, famous people in tow.
So I’ve now entered the hot and moist world of Steam and caught a lucky break: just before I upgraded my hardware (with the help of NHS user Hobbes), the Steam sale was on and I got to grab myself some bargains. I then went on holiday and had to wait another week to play them. Now I’ve managed some screen time with some of my new purchases, so here’s the lowdown on what I’ve played so far.
We frequently discuss topics such as DRM, connectivity requirements, and PR/marketing stunts; topics that don’t necessarily impact our gameplay directly, but ones that most certainly affect our experiences as consumers. Last month, an update (and subsequently retracted update) for FEZ on XBLA brought the issue of certification to the forefront. The gist of the story is that Polytron Corporation had to decide between leaving a bug in the game, or paying tens of thousands of dollars to (hopefully) patch the bug and get re-certified.
Until last month, I have to admit that I had never considered the role of certification in game development and how the results of that process trickle down to us as consumers. Certification on consoles was the topic of recent editorial by Kyle Orland at Ars Technica, but I found the full-length opinions and examples offered by Jonathan Blow especially illuminating.
While certification is meant to provide standards, FEZ shows how the process can be equally counter-productive. In the end, neither the consumer nor the developer come out on top. This is opposed to a PC release that can be patched for free. But, as Blow points out, a major problem concerning certification is the time spent coding and tweaking required features that have little to no impact on the final product.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a conundrum on my hands. On October 30th, Assassins Creed III comes out. I very much want to play this game. Unfortunately, Need for Speed: Most Wanted comes out on the same day. Now, I usually don’t care about the Need for Speed series, but NFS:MW is a Criterion game, as in Criterion from the Burnout series, as in Burnout: Paradise being the greatest racing games ever created.
Yes, ever created. I will gladly plant that flag in the ground and salute it daily.
I usually ask for AC games for Christmas, wait until the new year to play and, as a result, lag behind the Pope punching conversation. After seeing this new trailer though, I’m not sure what to do. This trailer looks sick and aside from some wildly hyperbolic statements, I am nine different ways of excited about this game. I did think it was odd that they mentioned Connor’s Native American background influencing his combat style right when Connor uses a redcoat as a human shield. What’s up with that Ubisoft? What are you trying to say about Native Americans. Also, what about how they mention the Un-United States of America and then mention exploring a continent. What’s up with that Ubisoft? What, do you think the US is an entire continent? Check a map sometime, wait, what? A Mayan Ruins single player level? Uh…well…carry on, then.
As we speak, the World Boardgaming Championships are going on in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This nine-day event, attended by some 1,500 gamers including our very own Bill Abner, features organized competitions, retailer and publisher exhibits, and of course tons of open gaming. I was asked by no less than eight people if I was going to put in an appearance, and I’ve also been asked from many different quarters if I would be at Origins or Gen Con. I’m on a large mailing list featuring pretty much every game player in the metro Atlanta area and I get invited to get-togethers, meet-ups, conventions, and other gaming event all the time. The answer to all of the above is always “no, Barnes will not be there”. Usually I cite my “won’t drive more than 15 miles to play games” policy, a parameter that has decreased over the years. But ultimately it’s because I’m done with playing games with strangers- particularly gamer strangers.
Tin Man Games, having published the most successful series of gamebook apps on iOS so far and fresh from winning the licensce to release actual Fighting Fantasy books, continue their run of form with a brand new Judge Dredd book to whet our appetites for all things Mega-City in advance of the new film later this summer.
Casting you in the boots of the legendary lawman himself, Countdown Sector 106 features additions to the well-worn gamebook adventures mechanics to mimic the sorts of fast-paced firefights you’d expect.
Written by a long-time 2000a.d. fan this looks to tick all the boxes for a quality experience. But there’s a full review in the pipeline, so I can let you know for sure once I’ve had the chance to play through it.
Yeah yeah yeah, I’ve been lazy about posting anything lately partly because I’m irresponsible, partly because I’m in the middle of both selling and buying houses, and partly because I’m ashamed to be a part of such an anti-Batman site as evidenced by some of the attitudes of its staffers. Anyway, this here board game looks pretty good and I thought I’d share.
If you don’t care to visit the advertisement site, Relic is a new title coming from Fantasy Flight Games that is effectively to Talisman what Scooby-Doo Monopoly is to regular Monopoly. That’s right, it’s a Warhammer 40K roll-and-move adventure game with most of Talisman’s mechanics more or less intact but with several coats of 40k paint (most likely overpriced and shoddy Citadel ones) layered over everything. I am 100% OK with this, although I would have been happier with a Timescape expansion for Talisman. Yeah, I liked it. There are at least 17 more of us out there.
No word on a release date, but it’s $60. I’ll definitely let you know how it is. Continue Reading…
I’m not one for freemium games, but when Outernauts launched last week I couldn’t resist. I mean, a space Pokemon game made by Insomniac? Sign me up, Facebook be damned. Sure, free to play, or freemium or whatever the hell they’re called may not be my thing, but I love Pokemon, I love Insomniac and I’m fond of space in that it is necessary for our survival.
For the past week, I’ve been able to successfully navigate around Outernauts’ weird, free to play restrictions, but all of that has, unfortunately, come to a screeching halt and all over my inability to do two things. Technically that’s not true. I am unwilling to do one thing, well, two really, and that makes me unable to do another thing.