Metro: Last Light – Enter the Metro Short Film (4 minutes)

Yes, it’s short but I have to say this was shockingly well done.

Absolutely worth the watch.

Binky and The Straw: The Hexathon

Welcome to the first in hopefully a long series of games in which Bill and I fight it out on iPad board game field of battle. To coincide with Neuroshima Hex’s recently released multiplayer add-on, Bill and I went toe to toe in a desperate battle over some hardscrabble piece of post-apocalyptic land. Please forgive the cell phone pictures, but this is the wasteland. We make do with what we must.

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A Game of Thrones: Old School Role-Playing

I finished Chapter 1 today of the Game of Thrones RPG from Atlus/Cyanide. You have to understand that I go into this with a huge deal of skepticism simply due to my experience with Cyanide’s games — specifically Blood Bowl and the Game of Thrones RTS. I like Atlus as a publisher quite a lot so I’m hoping for the best but expecting…well, Cyanide.

This is merely a cursory look as Chapter 1 isn’t terribly long, but so far — I (mostly) like this game.
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Road to 100,000 – The End of the Road

To celebrate me hitting 100,000 gamerscore, enjoy The Doors singing The End. I hate the Doors, but Bill loves them for some unknown reason and right now he’s feeling pretty bad on account of losing to me in Neuroshima Hex last night.  This is the kind of guy I am, when I see a friend in pain, I help him.

In the interest of properly documenting the gravity of this achievement (pun intended), I have enlisted the aid of a crack journalist to interview me. Yes, that’s right, I have decided to interview myself. Boom. You’re welcome.

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Wasteland 2 Project Update – Designing on Unity

I am always, a bit behind the story on this one, but as a “Backer” for Wasteland 2, last week I received a fresh status update on the project, this one penned by John Alvarado, the game’s lead designer. In it, he discussed the team’s (his) decision to use the Unity 3 engine to power Wasteland 2. Danielle could surely tell you much more about Unity than I can. Mostly I know it’s supposed to be a great tool for delivering 3D-driven applications (primarily games) to multiple platforms. Given the team’s pledge to support Windows, Linux, and Mac, it’s easy to see the appeal there. (Evidently Unity, which doesn’t currently port to Linux, is working directly with inXile on the Linux port of Wasteland 2.) But does it suit a game like Wasteland 2? That’s what the rest of the update (which you can read in full here) is there to explain. Here’s a notable chunk…

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Lost Planet 3 Gameplay Footage

First off, this is in German. I have no earthly idea what these guys are saying but if you listen you can hear “Community manager”, “Survival Horror”, “Alien”, “The Thing”, “Dead Space” (twice!), “Mech”, “atmosphere”, and “Hamburg”.

Take from that what you will.

Judge Wants US Xbox 360 Import Ban

Caught this over at Eurogamer today. Courthouse News is reporting that judge David Shaw has recommened to the International Trade Commission that they place a ban on the importing of the Xbox 360 Slim 4GB and 250GB models due an infringement of a Motorola patent.

Judge Shaw also suggested that Microsoft “post a bond equal to 7 percent of the declared value of unsold Xbox inventory already in the country.” That’s huge.

This gets somewhat interesting.

The patents revolve around the wireless transmission of video content between controller and console, which Shaw says Motorola has patented, and that Microsoft well, let’s just say they “borrowed”.

According to Courthouse News:

“Motorola filed its initial complaint with the ITC in November 2010, claiming that the Xbox used Motorola-developed technology that allows set-top boxes to decode transmissions between its Droid2 and DroidX mobile devices.”

Microsoft’s response isn’t to argue the patent infringement but rather is, “Hey you shouldn’t do that because people won’t like it.”

Again, from the CHN article:

Microsoft argued that Shaw’s exclusion order does not serve the public interest because it would leave consumers of video game consoles with only two options to satisfy their needs: the Sony Playstation and the Nintendo Wii.

Shaw rebuked these claims as crazy talk. (my words).

This story isn’t going away, and it will be interesting to see what the ITC does with this.

The XCOM FPS Delayed Yet Again

Playing a little catch up with some news blurbs today as I was out gallivanting yesterday — actually took my daughter to play basketball and then I started up the Game of Thrones RPG on the 360 (more on that later).

Anyway, yesterday’s 2K news about the Firaxis developed Enemy Unknown shipping in October is countered by the news that the 2K Marin developed XCOM shooter has been delayed — again — this time to the staggering target date of April 2013 through March 31st 2014. Quite the window.

I’m no Amazing Kreskin, but I’m seeing a grim future for the XCOM shooter. After seeing the game at E3 over the past couple of years, this isn’t all that surprising.

The Cult of the Coming Soon

News came down yesterday that DmC, one of Capcom’s most electrifying lightning rods for internet (Devil May) crybaby fan whining, isn’t coming out until Q1 2013. On top of Colonial Marines getting the bump into next year as well as Bioshock: Infinite , some of 2013’s top games are already a year or more deep into video games journalism coverage.  And as the year rolls on, we’ll probably see more games pushed into what appears to be this console generation’s terminal year. This also means we have plenty of extra time for even more trailers, screenshots, hands-on previews, countdowns, DLC announcements, preorder bonus announcements, trailer announcements, screenshot announcements, preview announcements, countdown announcements, and announcements of announcements. Press agencies do your thing!

With these interesting and hopefully great games pushed further into the future (but not quite flying car, unisex jumpsuit, and meal-in-a-pill further) I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how so much of where games journalism goes wrong is precisely because so much figurative ink is spilled not in writing about the games we play or have played, but in writing about the games we will play. Fabled games writer Tom Chick mentioned something to this effect  recently over at Quarter to Three in regard to the upcoming E3 media circus that we’re about to be bombarded with and why he’s not a very good games journalist. He’d rather write about what we’re playing now than act as a marketing bullhorn. I’m on his side. Continue Reading…

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Base Building Trailer

A huge part of XCOM is what goes on outside of a mission — the goings on at XCOM HQ. This trailer shows off how this is all going to work inside the new version set to to release in October.

This looks great, but I’m hoping we can switch to each room quickly. After a while those neat visuals could get in the way if it’s not handled properly. Still, the details provided in the trailer are very encouraging.