I'm trying to get a StarCraft II match going with my one friend who's willing to play RTS games with as borderline an RTS player as myself. He's running on a guest pass I got with the game, and I'm hoping to burn through it before the weekend's out.
My son continues to insist I play Cave Story for him (he's still a bit young to pull off much platforming), which is still a terrific game. So far it hasn't been very difficult (I hear this persists for the duration), but I'm neither skilled nor masochistic enough to play something more challenging like Mega Man 9, which I've never managed to squeeze much more than 3 minutes of play out of. Cruel. Compared to that, Cave Story is a walk in the park. On Maui. At sunset.
How about yourselves? Any gaming in the works this weekend? Halo: Reach players, I'm looking at you ...
StarCraft II! I got a 2 week (or 7 hours of play, whichever comes first) guest pass from a friend, and it runs out this Saturday evening. So far I'm enjoying the game, but am woefully short on chops. I may spend a good part of my remaining time playing through the tutorials, just so I can exit with some amount of dignity. The first few levels were relatively easy, but as the game has added more things to keep track of at once, my success rate pitched dramatically downward. Some of this is that I'm not the best real-time strategy person, but getting some skills could really help.
My other plan is to play Cave Story on the Wii. I've gotten through a couple of levels so far, and I'm finding it pretty terrific. I wound up buying it in a roundabout way. I was trying to explain to my son that really old Mario games existed before Super Mario Galaxy, so I got Super Mario Bros. from the Wii store to show him what the old school was like. It's just as good as it was back when I played the arcade version at my local P & C grocery store, but the absence of modern things like savegames makes it a steep hill to climb, and the constant repetition (of me dying) has bored the boy to tears. The cure for that was Cave Story. It's also a platformer, but you can save, go backwards, shoot neat guns (bubble gun!), and not die anywhere near as often as in Super Mario Bros. Better yet, you don't have to pay for it if you don't want to! Cave Story was released for free on the PC in 2004, and is easily available to this day.
How about the rest of you? Got any thing good in the works for the weekend?
When you hear that a game has been in development for a very long time, it often spells doom, or at the very least mediocrity, for the title. Just look at games like Duke Nukem Forever, which was a disaster for several studios, and after 13 years of perpetual development it's still not out, or Too Human, which was announced during 3 separate console generations before it was finally released on the Xbox 360 to a resounding indifference. Way over at the other end of the spectrum, though, sits StarCraft II, the exception that proves the rule. Unlike most other developers, Blizzard is such a hugely profitable company that it can actually afford to keep a game in an extended development cycle, and today's release is the culmination of at least 7 years' work. I've known this for a while now, but I'm still a bit stunned they did that (mostly) on purpose. Here's to hoping it'll be as awesome as they clearly want it to be, and check below for extra tidbits about the game.
The game also ships with a very in-depth editor, which is a development environment in its own right. It can be pushed so far as to create games like Tetris, cart racers, or even bullet-hell shooters. Obsoive.
However, a few new tidbits have dropped recently and my head has officially been turned. First, the game finally (after 7 years of development, folks) has a release date: July 27. Second, Blizzard has revealed much more of the single-player campaign, and while the multiplayer has seemed very similar to the original, the campaign appears to be a massive upgrade in terms of available units and types of scenario. Finally, they started showing off challenge mode, which is a series of training missions designed to prepare the player for going up against other people. Roll all this up into one game (and hell, why not throw in a little Facebook while you're at it?) and I'm sooooo there.
Even though it's 12 years old, Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft is still one of the most popular competitive online games today. A big part of that success is due to its reception in South Korea. StarCraft has sold nearly 10 million copies since release, and 4.5 million+ of those were sold in South Korea. Over the years, South Korea's competitive StarCraft tournaments have evolved into a bonafide electronic sports industry, boasting millions of viewers and extensive corporate sponsorship for teams.
All of that could come to a screeching halt, though, since it was announced last week that widespread game fixing by illegal gambling profiteers has been rampant in e-sports since 2006. There is even some indication that tournament promoters were aware of the issue, but kept quiet, not knowing how to handle the situation. Several players have been implicated, including some of the most revered of all time. This is doubly bad news for Blizzard's upcoming StarCraft 2, which was hit with an adults only rating by South Korea's Games Rating Board just last week. Blizzard has stated they intend to fight the rating.