V.19 No.37 |

Video Games

What Are You Playing This Weekend?

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 ...

V.19 No.36 |

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?

V.19 No.35 |
Play Youtube Video

Video Games

This Week In Games 8.5.10

Duke Nukem Forever was playable at PAX this weekend. It's being developed by Gearbox (Borderlands), who will hopefully be able to put a cap on the game's 14 year dev cycle. Here's some shakycam gameplay footage.

Bangai-O, hands down my favorite Dreamcast game, is getting the Xbox Live Arcade HD treatment. Hopefully they retain the crazy. It debuted at PAX this weekend - here are some first impressions from TVGB.

StarCraft II sold over 3 million copies in its first month.

Swarm, the new title from Hothead games (Deathspank), has some, but not all of what made Pikmin great.

A new and more "hardcore" Xbox controller was revealed this week. Hands on.

In Australia, it's now OK to sell something, and then take it away without repercussion.

Kotaku has new Wii game stats up.

Game Informer's sweet October cover does it Saturday Evening Post style with Irrational's Bioshock Infinite.

The collaboration between Oddworld Inhabitants and Just Add Water bears its first fruit - Stranger's Wrath on PS3 for early 2011.

More Portal 2 was revealed at PAX this weekend.

Valve has some surprises in store for you in 2011.

Upcoming WoW patch leaves Power PC based Macs behind.

The Xbox Live Gold subscription price will go up as of 11/1/10 - buy those cheaper subs now, kids!

Killzone 3 is coming February 22nd.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona devloper, Atlus, will be dissolved into its parent company, Index Holdings, as of October 1.

Deadspace 2 multiplayer will be soldiers vs necromorphs.

There could be a Resident Evil 6 announcement very soon.

V.19 No.34 |
Robert Overweg

Video Games

This Week In Games 8.29.10

How awesome is this Dragon Age 2 trailer?

University of Florida adds a StarCraft studies honors course to teach resource management.

FTC slaps PR firm over fake iTunes store game reviews.

Hilarious: a Bible MMO and a Playboy MMO are both in the news this week.

Unhilarious: A 22 year-old solicited a 10 year-old for nude photos over Xbox Live.

Portland bike lanes now have Mario Kart powerups. Automobile commuters better watch out for that blue shell.

Virtual photographer squeezes unintended art out of game glitches.

Here's another entry in the ever growing realm of game generated machinima. This time it's Mirror's Edge meets the Half-Life universe.

EA isn't going to back down on including Taliban fighters in Medal of Honor multiplayer.

THQ exec goes full dipshit.

Mega Man Online trailer - more like Akira than NES.

Ever look back on your gaming life and think, "I should sue ..."?

Awesome video game tattoo. And another.

Zynga sued over Mafia Wars name.

V.19 No.29 |

Video Games

StarCraft II Released Today

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.

Collector's Edition unboxing!

Some pretty nice StarCraft II toys.

Overview of and the single-player campaign.

Known issues, and a good "what if it won't start" article.

A daisy chain of StarCraft races/building/crafts modeled in Spore's creature creator.

StarCraft II, the airplane.

Here's some advice on keeping your shiny new account from getting hacked.

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.

And, of course, you can already torrent the game at your convenience.

Video Games

This Week In Games 7.23.10

Microsoft Kinect finally gets a price. Is $150 too much to have your television watch you?

Julian Murdoch's MAME cabinet, Part 3.

Weird, nobody wanted this non-functioning, hand carved NES. Ebay.

Xbox Live Arcade's Summer of Arcade (try to ignore the "safe" rock) has kicked off with one of the most interesting small games in a while, Limbo.

American McGee still has it, whatever it is. Alice: Madness Returns teaser.

EA has announced Darkspore, a more focused looking spin-off of 2008's sprawling and less than stellar Spore.

The previously Britain-only Doctor Who adventure games are now available (exclusively) from Direct-2-Drive.

Here's a whole slew of Comic-con 2010 games coverage.

Also at Comic-con, a Dead Space 2 animated feature and graphic novel reveal.

Ron Gilbert's new weird game, Deathspank, is out this week on Xbox Live Arcade and PS3.

For all you stealth assassination fans out there, there's going to be a Hitman 5.

Eurogamer has put together an extended time lapse of Red Dead Redemption's stunning environments.

Goodbye, asshole.

StarCraft 2 is out this coming Tuesday, and Blizzard dropped this sweet trailer to celebrate.

Also, StarCraft 2 did not cost $100 million to make, Wall Street Journal. That was WoW (but holy shit!).

V.19 No.28 |

Video Games

This Week In Games 7.17.10

Check out these great Club Nintendo giveaway shirts.

Valve's new game, Alien Swarm, is a free, four player coop bug hunt, and will be available through Steam on July 19.

Season 4 of The Guild has launched!

PEGI replaces BBFC as the legally binding video game ratings standard in the UK.

Blizzard gives a calm and reasonable explanation of Real ID. Extremely calm, in fact, considering their forum goers' behavior during the debacle. Democracy in action?

Many, many people voiced their privacy concerns to the ESRB during the Real ID mess, and, with almost hilarious irony, the ESRB CC'd about 1000 of them at once.

A Song of Ice and Fire video game announced: A Game of Thrones: Genesis.

Red Dead Redemption is an unqualified success, and has held the top sales slot for the second month in a row. So that must be why Rock Star San Diego laid off a bunch of Red Dead developers.

For all of you retail-box haters, StarCraft 2 will be available digitally on day one.

Double Fine is working on 4 small games, and there will be no Brutal Legend 2.

Sony announces a variety of Playstation Move bundles and pricing.

V.19 No.19 |

Video Games

This Week In Games 5.14.10

I'm still hyperventilating a bit over Red Dead Redemption - May 18th can't get here soon enough.

Little Big Planet 2 got announced & the crowd sourcing looks nicer than ever.

Gamer pitches perfect game in MLB 2K10 and gets a 1 million dollar check.

The Medal of Honor reboot goes right for the "why we fight" duct.

Facebook is either getting right, or shitting where it eats, I can't tell.

The MMO that ate the world.

Graphic showing how game worlds are getting ever larger. And here I was thinking GTA San Andreas was huge. Small potatoes, guy.

StarCraft II Galaxy Editor is just wicked badass. It can even do a bullet hell shooter.

V.19 No.18 |

Video Games

More Peeps At StarCraft 2

Sometimes it seems like everyone in the world besides myself is in the ongoing StarCraft 2 multiplayer beta. That's OK, though, because I pretty well suck at playing against humans in real-time strategy games, so up until now I've only been paying scant attention to Blizzard's upcoming blockbuster.

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.

V.19 No.17 |

Video Games

This Week In Games 4.30.10

Starcraft II beta now on the Mac.

MS killed the original Xbox Live service on the 15th, but a group of dedicated Halo 2 players are keeping their boxes attached 24x7. Even though the service is gone, they can keep playing as long as they don't disconnect.

A California law criminalizing the sale of mature games to minors will go to the Supreme Court.

The battle between Activision and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 developer, Infinity Ward, just got substantially bloodier.

Cub scouts get video game awards.

This is a little bit old and out of date, but hey, so is Roger Ebert.

Wickedest cutting board ever.

A (potential) kids trading card game about actual real things!

French Atari bling.

Great animation by Simon Cottee. The music and imagery were produced entirely within Sleep is Death.

V.19 No.16 |

Video Games

South Korea Rocked By StarCraft Cheats

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.