October 27, 2008


No, this isn't a test post.

So I was thinking the other day about this game I've been excited about for about a year now. It was supposed to come out soon, but got pushed into 2009. It's Prototype. The delay seems kind of scary considering Activision dropped a couple of other games completely, most notably Ghostbusters and Brutal Legend (apparently Activision still has active sites).

The game looks to be a sandbox full of people and creatures to kill in order to absorb whatever the target knows, any powers they might have, and collect another piece of some unknown puzzle. The fast-paced running and awesome powers look great and a lot of fun to play around with. Basically, I can't wait to see how this game develops with this extra time.

But why a delay to a game already showing so much progress? I think it's only Activision taking what spotlight Prototype has away and onto all of the other titles they already have coming out this season.

Guess it gives me some more quality time with Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, and Mirror's Edge then.

Okay, and Warhammer Online too...

--"Are you classified as human?" "Negative, I am a meat popsicle."

October 22, 2008

Future of the MMO

One of the reasons for a post concerning MMOs and their future is certainly the recent reveal of the MMO we all knew was coming (I even met one of the writers working on it at PAX, though of course he couldn't confirm or deny): Star Wars: The Old Republic. Are you excited? Should you be? Hopefully it's not a child-focused, visual abortion the latest Clone Wars turned out to be (unlike its predecessor done by Genndy Tartakovsky). But I digress, this one is done by Bioware.

Anyway, what I wanna know is where the MMO is going? I think WAR has done a great job in doing what EQ did for UO and what WoW did for EQ. But these days, everyone and their mom is making an MMO. Where will everyone have any time to play these games? If we play them, where will people find time to play all of the other great games? The market for MMOs is quickly approaching (if not already) full saturation. For games meant to be played for months or years at a time, each one is expecting an amazing commitment.

I predict we'll shift in how MMOs are conceived. The first to change should be the monthly fee. $15 has been the standard since the original Everquest upped it from $9.99 during a transition to one of their first of 15 expansions. It should shift to either a lower monthly amount or, more likely, a different way of processing transactions such as ::gasp:: an hourly fee. I dunno exactly.

Another change will come in the expectations of time commitment. If we are supposed to play these games on top of a plethora of others, we can't be expected to waste our lives away for an exorbitant portion of our after-work hours on them. Thankfully, WAR feels more pick-up-and-play for as little amount of time as I want than any other I've played before.

Lastly, our concept of what an MMO provides us should change, for gamers and developers. These games are by far some of the most immersive universes we can participate in already, and yet most of this relies on game mechanics and playing with friends. Why can't their be more story we care about? As they evolve, I think we'll see something more to this effect.

To put a blanket on this still growing flower bed, just think about what still has yet to come out: APB from the creators of Crackdown, Star Trek, a possible Firefly endeavor, DC Universe, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and an as-yet unannounced MMO from the creators of Oblivion and Fallout 3. I'm sure there are many, many others out there as well.

If the MMO bug hasn't bitten yet, be very careful to keep applying that online-shooter bugspray and keep them away. I'm already a lost cause.

-- "I'm a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar."

October 18, 2008

Classic Video Game Themes

I just got done watching the Top 10 Video Game Themes (they keep it classic) of all time on gametrailers.com. This list is very good, rather comprehensive, and filled with great choices. There are a few that I loved, and a couple I thought had no place in the top 10 (or top 50, who knows).

That pirate lizard boss theme from Donkey Kong Country for N64? Maybe it's because I never played the game, but that music was rather underwhelming...even after the "darker" themes start to creep in.

And Duke Nukem 3D? It was a great game back in the day, but really? The songs seemed so forgettable. The only things I remember from that game are the cheesy one-liners and warthog police officers. The music they played for the segment was pretty good though. ::shrug::

As for ones that gave me goosebumps? You just see the games on that list you consider your favorite games of all time, and you see why the music is touted as the best ever. Nostalgia coupled with video game pinnacles such as Secret of Mana, Super Metroid, and the Legend of Zelda keep those games forever in the forefront of our minds.

The Mega Man 2 song they chose was awesome too, but I never got far enough to ever hear it before :-/

-- "Hello? Hello, Jesus? ... He hung up."

October 13, 2008

Forgotten Game of the Fall

Like so many games this Fall gaming season, a bunch of good ones will fall through the cracks. I completely forgot about one I was actually excited about.

Spiderman: Web of Shadows. It wasn't at PAX, so I never really put it in the long list of games I wanna see. Now the thought of another Spiderman game probably scares you like it does almost everyone who has seen the movies or played any previous ventures. After seeing one of the first videos of in-game footage, I'm convinced this game will be excellent.

But considering the season and the fact I'm back into an MMO, it'll still be excellent when it drops in price sometime next year. It comes out next week alongside Dead Space; it's another great game I won't be playing only because it would scare the bejeebus out of me. And the games I have lined up (see Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead) will already take plenty of my time.

Here's the latest trailer of Web of Shadows.

-- "Your children have touched me, and I'm pretty sure I've touched them too."

October 11, 2008

Diablo III: The Force Unleashed

Some of the first excitement in a long while has finally been released about Diablo 3. At Blizzcon 2008, they revealed the next class after the Witch Doctor (previously the Necromancer) and the Barbarian (previously the Barbarian). The Wizard debuted with a pretty cool trailer and got me super-psyched.

This Sorceress replacement doesn't look like a typical Diablo character because of the mysterious, magic orb in her hand; there's just something very different about it. Then you see the powers & spell mechanics arise, and it already feels really good to me.

Now if only they'd tell me it's coming out Spring 2009...

-- "I asked for a car; I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?"

October 07, 2008

Warhammer's Social Faux Pas

I don't want this blog to become a strictly Warhammer Online blog, but it'll be eating the majority of my gametime for the foreseeable future.

One thing I've noticed so far is the relative ease of amassing together and killing something in WAR. Whether it's a public quest people just haphazardly raid in, the open group system, or the open-world Realm vs. Realm objectives: people are lumped...er, grouped to enable everyone to collaborate easier. All well and good, right? For the most part, yes.

However, it's all rather impersonal. No one talks. People don't even shout in the zone asking, "where's mankirk's wife? lolz." When I'm off in a random area doing a quest, I can see someone there preparing to do the same quest(s), invite them, do the quest, and leave all without speaking. Speaks wonders for the simple, overarching system, but seems rather odd compared to all past MMOs I've participated.

But I did finally accept one of the multitude of guild invites. After all the time I've spent in my single life of solitude, it's a haven of ranting/venting. Even if I only get a response half the time, I'm just glad I can bounce some things off of others. It's easier to see the light blue chat (guild) than the regular white (zone-wide), so I probably get more views.

It's still just a random guild though, so I'd much rather prefer forming a band of friends over this any day.

-- "Nothing is over until we say it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"

October 03, 2008


It's really weird when you listen to a lot of podcasts and you get behind because of vacation days and whatnot. You have to choose which ones to listen to first, and they all take up different amounts of time: 15 minutes up to 3 hours. Figured I'd make a list of all my current casts.
  • Achievement Junkie: A couple that talks about Xbox 360 games where one of them eventually got employed by Microsoft's community management team.
  • Big Download's BigCast: PC gaming-centric portion of Joystiq. The host also records/writes for Xbox 360 Fanboy.
  • Bungie Studios: The developers of Halo do a rather irregular podcast. It's extremely popular because of the fun they have on the show; reminds me of GFW Radio for game developers.
  • CAGcast: CheapyD, the proprietor of cheapassgamer.com, and his good friend Wombat put their two cents and a lot more into every show. Don't take it too seriously, and you'll enjoy.
  • Clark Howard Show: One of my few non-gaming related podcasts. All about consumer-friendly ways to be economical in all areas of your life. Haven't listened to him in awhile because of said vacation days. I'm almost caught up now though.
  • Digipen Podclass: Featured monthly discussions from Digipen Institute for game development.
  • Downloadable Content, Penny Arcade: Much like the Bungie Podcast but even less frequent, Tycho & Gabe put up a recording of them designing a comic. It usually revolves around getting something done quickly so they can go eat lunch.
  • Gamasutra: Another infrequent podcast adding more insight into the game development industry. The latest one featured Shawn Elliot of 2K Boston and former 1up Editor.
  • Game Theory: An interesting mix of developer-like discussion with enthusiast press. This one is brought to you by Edge Magazine.
  • Gamercast Network's Video Game Show: A collection of topics split up rather well between a collection of regular gamers. Ham sandwich to them!
  • Gamerscore Blogcast: Don't know if they'll ever put up some more podcasts, but this is the community management team for the Xbox 360. Got a picture of three of them at PAX!
  • GFW Radio: My favorite and now recently defunct after losing two of the greatest co-hosts: Jeff Green and Shawn Elliot. Still a great show to listen to older episodes because of the unexpected humor. Also includes some PC game discussion, but most people don't listen in for that.
  • Joystiq: Also one of my favorite podcasts featuring a great mix of three game journalists. Once again, it's the humor that makes these shows so great.
  • Joystiq Podcast Appreciation Group Podcast: Started as sort of a joke from the facebook group, but it's not bad. Features two regulars and some other random people from the group.
  • Maximum PC: It has some game talk, but the main focus is getting the most out of PCs. Also features the greatest Rant of the Week from Gordon Mah Ung.
  • Official Xbox Magazine: Guess who this features and what it's about?
  • PC Gamer: Funny how these past three all have the same great podcast producer in Andy Bauman.
  • Platform Biased: Recent addition to my list hosted by three engineers-in-test at Microsoft Games Studios.
Deep breath...
  • Sarcastic Gamer and the Humpday Update: One of the best made podcasts thanks to the hosts working in "real" radio. Lately contains more self-advertisement than video game content, but still entertaining.
  • This Week in Photography: Fun tips & info for any photographer, aspiring or professional.
  • Uncle Gamer: Funny chat between two friends about games. Give it a listen and tell me you wouldn't wanna hang out with Parris sometime!
  • The Untitled Clawson Blatt Project: If ever I listened to a podcast containing more nonsense, this is it. A couple of improv gents from Purdue wax philosophical about whether or not something is actually a dick move.
  • Video Game Outsiders: Two guys, a girl, and a podcast. The chemistry between the three is what has inspired such a long running show.
  • The Warpath: Two MMO vets take on Warhammer Online. They have experience podcasting, and it shows.
  • Xbox 360 Fanboy and X3F TV: The Joystiq network has all three console-fanboy affiliates, and these guys do a pretty good job. The host also examines video mainly concerned with new Xbox Live Arcade titles.
  • Xbox Live's Major Nelson Radio: Straight from the horse's mouth, Larry Hryb (pronounced hurb) gives us the latest Xbox news with his co-host E. Yes, just one letter.
  • 1UP FM, 1UP Yours, and 1UP Retronauts: Three of the oodles of podcasts the 1UP network puts on. FM, affectionately known as the "kids table," has some of the newer guys. 1UP Yours is the O.G. of the video game podcasting world. And Retronauts looks into classic gaming.
Finally Finis

"For just one night, let's not be co-workers. Let's be co-people."

October 02, 2008

Fallout 3 Fan Faire Fun!

I saw this yesterday morning and was gonna write up something last night, but I somehow got distracted again...

Fallout 3 and the team at Bethesda continue to go above and beyond expectations. The hype around this game is insurmountable, and the game itself should prove to be worth it. Another one of their old-timey videos was posted and listed prepareforthefuture.com at the end. What a great little contraption; be sure to check every channel! Channel #1 is my personal fave...something about giving a young boy a semi-nuclear weapon to chase away bullies puts a smile on my face :-)

-- "The worst part about being you is pretending to be so bad in bed."