When I sit back and think about it, I have probably spent more time over the years playing Out of the Park Baseball than any other game. That might sound odd, and honestly it surprises me, too – the fact that I have spent so much time playing a text based statistical spreadsheet baseball game more than any other piece of software.
It’s true, though.
I got hooked on OOTP years ago with the release of version 4. Since then I have organized and played the “commissioner” role in a couple of online leagues, the most recent started with the release of OOTP 10 and has continued through versions 11 and 12. We have played over a decade’s worth of baseball in our league, forming our own rivalries, dynasties, cellar dwellers, player and owner personalities, and creating our own sense of baseball history. It’s fascinating stuff.
If there is genuinely a board game version of development hell, as distinct from the normal travails designers have to go through trying to get a publisher to notice their games, then Wiz-War deserves the award for the longest time spent therein. Originally published in 1985 and much beloved of the early Dungeons & Dragons crowd it went through seven editions before ending up, rather oddly, with dice manufacturer Chessex who promptly sat on the license for 15 years before handing it over to Fantasy Flight Games to release an 8th edition of the game. Shockingly, as someone who was playing board games back in the late 80’s, I never played the original but thankfully Fantasy Flight sent me a review copy so I could finally get the chance to experience this seminal title.
The concept is simple. Each player is a wizard, pitted against one another in some sort of labyrinth where they must gain ascendancy by killing other wizards or stealing their magical treasures or some combination thereof. Wizards have a hand of spell cards which consist not just of out and out attack spells but a very wide variety of magical effects covering such things as altering aspects of the labyrinth, summoning things, buffing, protecting and transforming the wizard and more besides. The range of effects is pretty spectacular and it’s from the unpredictable nature of combining and stacking these effects that the game gets much of its charm. If this reminds you a bit of Magic: the Gathering this is because the designer of that game was heavily inspired by Wiz-War.
I’ll let Pulver handle the description:
“Offspring Fling is a game about a poor forest creature that has misplaced all of her children. She’ll have to fight her way through over 100 levels of action puzzle platforming to get them all back home. There’s danger around every corner, but she wont rest until her family is safe again.”
You might remember Lone Survivor from my Indie Games to Watch in 2012 article. I am currently playing it and a review is inbound, but for now, I’ll say that it is turning out to be the survival-horror kick I wanted. It chucks the ludicrous puzzles and cheap startles of the genre out the window in favor of actual “survival.” With threats such as addictions, food poisoning, and sleep deprivation, Lone Survivor treats its audience as mature adults, and one thing adults have to do is live with the consequences of their choices.
Wow. Well hey at least it’s not cancelled right? Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium
Online which was originally supposed to be an action heavy MMO is now…totally not that. It’s a single /multi-player action game. There has always been a whiff of the weird behind this one. Back to back E3s I was at THQ’s booth and no one ever actually saw the game. We all just sat around talking about it.
So says the Ferrell:
As previously announced, we have been actively looking for a business partner for the game as an MMO. However, based on changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO, we believe the right direction for us is to shift the title from an MMO to a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay, robust digital content and community features.
Honestly the only bad thing that I take away from this news is over 100 people at Relic and Vigil have been laid off due to the switch, which sucks. Of course as a 40K fan and a RPG fan who is not an MMO fan, this makes me immediately more interested in Dark Millennium. If, in fact, THQ delivers and actually makes the game.
Then again how will this differ from Space Marine, exactly? More role-play’ish? Isn’t is sort of hard to take an MMO design and turn it INTO an single player game?
Hey at least GW is still backing it…
“We are genuinely excited about the new direction that THQ is taking with Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium, and we are sure that this will be a great addition to the ever growing stable of authentic and engaging Warhammer 40,000 video games,” said Jon Gillard, Head of Licensing for Games Workshop.
I’m sure they are thrilled pink.
I am a huge, huge, huge fan of Transformers.
How huge? If Bill’s board games were Transformers, he’d be me. I had to build custom shelving in my basement to hold all of them. I have a bin filled with nothing but instruction manuals. I review games, not so much to pay for new games, but to pay for new Transformers. When I return from Disney, I plan on getting an Autobot symbol tattoo. Money spent on these toys is well into the thousands. So, yeah, I’m a big fan.
My fandom is a relatively recent thing, spurred on at first by discovering and reading Shortpacked, but also fueled by the live action movies and the Transformers: Animated tv show. I know, I know, people hate the movies. I get it. I can understand why people hate the movies, I’m just not one of those people. Transformers: Animated though, should be loved universally because it was, in a word, excellent. Gone was the almost deity-like Optimus Prime whose decisions were always the right ones, replaced instead with a young, unsure Optimus who had washed out of the Prime program on Cybertron and now was in charge of what was essentially a maintenance crew. His evolution from unsure boss to the commanding leader we all know and love over the course of three seasons was a joy to watch, as was the characterizations of not only his support crew of Bumblebee, Bulkhead and Ratchet, but the other Transformers back on Cybertron. It certainly didn’t hurt that the Animated toys are, hands down, the best Transformer toys ever made.
Rockstar’s take on Max Payne is nearing release and after watching part one of the multiplayer trailer I have to ask: do you really care about this? I don’t mean so much Max Payne 3 in general, as I want to play this as much as the next guy. I may think Rockstar is overrated as a developer but the company does make mostly entertaining games.
But the Max Payne 3 multiplayer looks like something that people will dabble with and ignore, like the vast majority of multiplayer modes that aren’t Saints Row-ish/Left 4 Dead co-op or Call of Duty. Is there any chance that this will foster a large, loyal and dedicated multiplayer community?
Maybe I am misreading this, which is certainly possible, but if the single player suffers any due to this, was it worth it? Because I have to tell you, this video looks awful. Gang Wars and Pain Killer modes? Give me a reason to play multiplayer — a hook of some sort and I’ll play it.
But this looks like dudes running around killing each other. But hey…Bullet Time!
So here’s another video for Game of Thrones, the Cyanide/Focus Home/Atlus rpg production set in the world of incestuous blonde people. The text that accompanies this trailer announcement is incredibly adept at using a lot of words to say very little.
This new trailer will immerse you in the heart of the intrigue of the Game of Thrones RPG, a story tainted by treachery and backstabbing! Guided by vengeance, allegiance, honor and family, the two heroes of the game – Mors, sworn brother of the Night’s Watch, and the red priest Alester – will travel across Westeros and its most famous locales to accomplish life-changing quests. From the Wall to King’s Landing, the destiny of our two heroes weaves a complex tale as they meet famous figures, discover plots and conspiracies, all the while seeking answers to their questions.
I’m going to play this, don’t get me wrong, but Cyanide…the gun is getting empty. How many bullets does this company have left?
Obviously, this article will contain many spoilers regarding Mass Effect 3 including details regarding its fantastic, divisive ending. So if you do not want to know that the Illusive Man is Shepard’s father, that Shepard was dead and a ghost the whole time, or that FemShep was actually a fully-featured man then I suggest you turn back now. If you’re not sick of hearing about Mass Effect 3 and the ending, which includes the shocking revelation that it’s only a video game, proceed.