B3 2012- Kremlin reprint CONFIRMED

Hoo, doggy. B3 is kicking off with a bang. Jolly Roger Games has come forward with their plans to reprint the classic Fata Morgana/Avalon Hill game of Russian power politics, Kremlin. This game is a true Cold War relic, offering players a chance to pick a couple of Soviet politicians and try to guide them through the ranks of the Politburo and to the presidency. The goal is to get one or more of your candidates to wave to the crowd at the May Day parade three times. The problem is, they can get old, get sick, and get shipped off to Siberia. It’s a very unique area control/majority game with lots of secret information, intrigue, and of course politics.

The new version is reported to have old fashioned Soviet style artwork, which could be very cool if it’s in a Radchenko/Constructivist sort of style. The original editions had these really cool editorial cartoon style caricatures along with some vulgar character names, so that’s going to be hard to top. But the new edition also lets you play in three eras- the “golden age” of Soviet communism from 1920s-1930s, the “silver age” of the Cold War”, and the modern era all the way up to Putin.

I’m pretty excited about this because it’s a game that I sold off last year for a pretty penny and I kind of regretted it. But the new version sounds like a winner.  No word on release, but Kickstarter is being considered. Continue Reading…

B3 2012 Preview Trailer

Right now, there’s a tubby nerd making sure he’s got an extra asthma inhaler ready for when MORE news about Assassin’s Creed 3 this week.  A dudebro is swiveling his Oakleys to the back of his bald head, applying eyedrops that will keep his eyes moistened (read: disguise his tears) while he watches trailers of Black Ops II, Halo 4 and the new Gears of War game. Some girl that smells of shampoo and mildewy teddy bears is stroking her inadvisable Yoshi tattoo, hoping and praying that Nintendo doesn’t bungle their Wii U presentation. That’s right, it’s E3 week.

And since I’m not there to join the vagabond NHS crew, lead by the destitute , drug-addled Bill Abner, that also means it’s B3 week! I won’t be feasting on lemon bars, gawking at desperate “models”, or in a back room signing an an agreement to give every EA game an 90 or better rating in exchange for a Lamborghini Countach. I won’t get to hob nob with celebrities like Tom Chick and Snoop Dogg, nor will I get to dine on the epicurean delights of California Pizza Kitchen.

Like last year, however, B3 will be far more awesome than E3 has ever been. To prove it- and in the spirit of bullshit marketing- here is a one hour and twenty six minute trailer for B3.  Although it shows no actual gameplay footage, it captures all of the majesty, pageantry, and sheer amazingness that B3 offers. It should tide you over until the torrent of teasers and empty advertising crap starts to wash over us all. Come for the vikings, stay for the octopus. Really, you’ve got to see the octopus. E3 doesn’t have an octopus, does it?  Octopus revealed and confirmed at B3!

Calendar Man – Week of 6/4

I’m going to keep this brief as I have E3 to pack for and I already lost this post once due to a one-in-a-million timing issue with my stupid internet service dropping out just as I try to post a screen shot of Inversion.

Stupid Inversion.

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #126

No High Scores Podcast Logo

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m running behind to make my flight to LA for E3, so I’m stealing Brandon’s show synopsis from the Libsyn page:

It’s the Pre-E3 show! Also, Bill is high on painkillers, so woohoo! First we get into Bill’s unfortunate end as E-i-C of GameShark.com, then we talk about what we’re most looking forward to at E3 (hint, it’s hugs) and then Brandon talks about Harley Quinn’s revenge and Dragon’s Dogma.

Enjoy!

Direct Download
iTunes Link
RSS Feed
Past Episodes
Edit Type: Skype
(The embedded feed is after the break.)
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Overwatch Updated to 1.5.0


Overwatch: Version 1.5.0 – Mod DB

If you’re not familiar with Overwatch, it is a Source-powered multiplayer real-time strategy shooter. In other words, a Half-Life 2 mod in which multiple players take control of the rebels, much like any FPS, and go head-to-head against a single player controlling the Combine forces ala an overhead RTS.

The 1.5.0 update adds player-created maps, modifications to old maps, and additional abilities. By no means is Overwatch a new game (the Half-Life 2 engine sure is showing its age), but the update has pulled many old fans back into action while Red Matter is helping to organize play-sessions.

Hexagon Hits the Third Dimension

Remember Hexagon, the geometric game from Terry Cavanagh sure to make you feel like a bumbling no-skill loser? It’s coming back, but now he’s pushing Hexagon further, with 3D planes and cameras, more varied walls, and cleaner visuals. And, there is now the potential for support on mobile devices.

I want this game right now.

Frozen Synapse Goes Red

Rightfully deemed one of the best turn-based tactics games in years, Frozen Synapse is back with Red, the first paid expansion pack.

Some of the new features include 15 new missions, 10 challenges, full co-op through the main campaign, and some free music for your collection. Important to note is that expansion owners and non-owners will still be able to play together online. Read the full list of details and additions at the Mode 7 blog. Additionally, the core game of Frozen Synapse has been updated with a Hotseat mode, timed turns, and non-randomized maps for competitive play.

Check out the launch trailer after the break.

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No High Scores at E3, Unemployment, Advertising, and MRIs

Now there’s a nifty headline, eh?

That’s a very old E3 image. Apparently the revolution was supposed to begin September of 2005. Oh well.

A few things on my mind today that I wanted to share before I hopped on a plane to L.A. to see mostly trailers that you guys will see within minutes after we do. We’ll talk about how we saw “Cool Game X” but in reality, we likely saw a trailer. Yeah technology! You know there used to be a time when you really needed the press to be on-hand at E3. Gamers would wait anxiously for updates from websites (or ..gasp..even a print mag!) to find out what was new, what looked good, etc. Most games were hands-on. I played the original Age of Empires for 45 minutes at E3 in 1996 or 1997 (I forget which year). But the Ensemble rep gave me a five minute speech on what they were trying to do with the game, he asked if I wanted to play and I said, “Oh hell yeah”, and I played.

And I LOVED IT. It represented everything that was awesome about going to E3. I played games. ALL DAY.

There are still plenty of games at E3 that remain hands-on. I play EA Sports games every year. Madden, NHL, NCAA, etc. As my desire to play the yearly sports game dance has waned, so has my joy in grabbing a gamepad and playing Ohio State vs. Michigan for an hour at the show. And for the first time in YEARS I can’t tell the EA Sports dev that Michigan is laughably overrated. (And they were. Every year.)

But most of my appointments will be like this:
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The Underbelly of Diablo III

Although I am not a marketing guru by any means, I occasionally have a knack for analyzing and connecting the seemingly disparate dots of strategies. For this reason, when a marketing idea strikes me, I assume that someone more skilled has already posited that same plan and hashed out the details three steps ahead. Call me a “conspiracy theorist” if you will, but I believe that something bigger is lurking behind the scenes of Diablo III.

Gamers and critics have been very vocal regarding the distaste for Diablo III’s required internet connection. Blizzard knew this would happen, and yet, it imposed this particular constraint under the banner of anti-piracy. Diablo and its sequel (both DRM-free) generated massive sales numbers, and this form of DRM is sure to repel a segment of would-be players. And, with 6.3 million sales in the first week alone, Diablo III’s success has already been assured. Anti-piracy? I don’t buy it.

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Humble Indie Bundle V Available

Remember what I said about not paying full price for indie games? Case in point: the Humble Indie Bundle V.

For the next two weeks, you can pick up Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Limbo, Psychonauts, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP for the low price of pay-what-you-want. Soundtracks are included with each game, and people who pay more than the average price will also receive a copy of Bastion. All games are for the PC, DRM-free, and as always, a portion of the proceeds goes to charity.

You can check out the Humble Indie Bundle V trailer after the break.

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