Category — Games
Dang, that’s a lot of gold coins to collect!
Mario maker banks $2.83 billion in net income, $6 billion operating profit; 26 million Wiis, 31 million DSs, 16 million Wii Fits sold during last fiscal year.
What’s even more amazing is that given the worldwide shortage of Wii’s, they probably could have sold twice what they did. Amazing that an array of such underpowered gaming platforms have been so successful. Just goes to show you that the casual gamer is here to stay!
May 7, 2009 4 Comments
January 16, 2009 2 Comments
Sweet! Gamespot has put up a video walking through the Xbox 360, the PS3 and the Wii versions of The Force Unleashed.
The Wii version isn’t nearly as good graphics wise as the other two, but that is to be expected. To compensate, you get some other cool features, like Lightsaber Duels and extra levels. Neat stuff!
September 7, 2008 No Comments
I’m a big fan of this game.
It is set in an extremely immersive world and honestly, simply running around a very beautiful rendition of the medieval Holyland is extremely fun. The fact that you can climb on nearly anything, hide from people and confront nearly any character in the game simply adds to the enjoyment. There are many ways to complete the tasks set before you, and its the openness of the game that really draws you in.
The game itself follows a fairly straightforward plot with additional weapons and abilities being bestowed upon you as you complete tasks for your master. There are no choices at each level up, but completing side tasks can help you gain stamina to last longer in a fight.
The basic plot is that you wake up to find yourself in a laboratory with some people who want to put you in a machine that allows you to live out the memories of your ancestors – one of which happens to be an assassin.
In the memories, each of several cities (Acre, Jerusalem, Damascus) are broken up into 3 sections, each with a plot to uncover and ultimately a target to assassinate. There is also Masyaf, the assassin stronghold to explore and the space in between the cities that is called “The Kingdom”. A lot can happen there too…
You play the silent hand of power in the larger struggle of the Crusades of 1191- the English king, Richard the Lionhearted wars against Saladin the Saracen for control of the Holyland. You assassinate members of both factions, doing the bidding of the Assassin’s master. In each section, you can either quickly do some basic research and get on with killing your target, or you can take the approach of doing everything there is to do in that section. The more you do, the more you “synchronize” with your ancestor’s memory of what happened, and the more hitpoints you essentially receive. If you do decide to do everything, you’ll probably feel like it is a bit repetitive, as the tasks aren’t really varied at all from city to city – just the same 7 or 8 basic jobs to do. Still though, I found it enjoyable.
There is also plot to be uncovered outside of the memories, though a lot of it feels very stifled compared to the openness of the memory portions. I suppose that could be intentional, as you are supposed to be held against your will.
Having been to the Holyland a few times, I was endlessly fascinated by the digital recreations of cities that I have seen only in the context of a modern city sitting squarely atop their archeological pasts. Regardless of how inaccurate the representation may be, to run around through that past in somewhat of a first person perspective was extremely rewarding in and of itself.
With such a good setting, the other excellent aspects of the game were greatly enhanced, and the few flaws of the game were effectively minimized.
Some may be offended by some of the games theological musings, but I took that all with a large grain of salt – just as I did the ability of the character to suddenly “disappear” from 20 armed guardsmen by jumping into a pile of hay for 2 minutes. Seems like they would look a little harder for someone who just killed the ruler of the city.
Overall, it was an excellent balance of “realistic” confrontation and action with a fairly palatable dose of required “suspension of disbelief” to keep things going.
The voice acting of the main character is fairly horrible early on – it either gets better, or I got used to it. Donno which.
I highly recommend this game for anyone that wants to run around and have their way with medieval history in the context of an excellent thinking man’s action game.
August 21, 2008 No Comments
I don’t understand Sony. How can a company that is so big, be so stupid and be so successful even though they are so stupid?
I like to play video games. I specifically like Pirate games, because Sid Meier hooked me on his game Pirates! years ago when I was playing games on an Apple IIgs. Now, even after a re-release and update of that awesome game, and many other ones in between, I’m still quite a sucker for launching a broadside of grape shot and grappling my way into some fancy swashbuckling. I just can’t help it. Some people have Gin or Poker, I have Pirate video games… But, enough about me.
Have you heard of Pirates of the Burning Sea ? It is an MORPG centered around privateering, piracy and naval battles during the height of caribbean mayhem. I’d tell you to check it out, but hear out my story first.
It is a very cool game. I spent some Christmas money ($50) on buying the game, and was ready to pony up my $15 a month after that to play this bad boy (I know, I’m nuts, but see paragraph 2 of this post) but there has been one major glitch. Flying Studio makes Pirates of the Burning Sea (PotBS), and they are a pretty neat game studio. Unfortunately, they have partnered up with Sony Station and Sony Online Entertainment (of Everquest infamy) to “distribute” the game and to do all the monthly billing.
Lets just say, that’s not going well. The game went live, and I can’t log in. I click on the Support link in PotBS and I’m taken to Flying Lab. I submit a question and within an hour or so they tell me that they can’t help me, that it is a Sony issue. Well, being the forward thinking person that I am , I had already submitted a question to Sony Station asking them the same question. I’ve given them my CC, I’ve tried to subscribe, etc. It tells me I have until February 25 to play, but yet says my subscription is closed. Who knows, its a screw up, but they’ll fix it right? Well, wrong so far…
I wait and wait and they never contact me. 2,4,6,8, 10 hours go by and still no contact. Thinking that maybe because I classified it as a billing question that it wouldn’t get handled until Monday, I tried to log a different technical support question just to see if I could nudge some action. Well, their system told me “Your question has NOT been submitted” and then continued to tell me that I’m not allowed to log a second issue until my first one is fixed. Excuse me? WTF is that? Nothing like making me feel taken care of…
So, that pissed me off. I then looked further into how to contact technical support and I found a page telling me that technical support is only available Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm so I was basically S.O.L until Monday.
Now, OK – maybe you are thinking “What’s the big deal? Its a weekend and their support is closed, what’s so crazy about that?” Well – think about it - these people host ONLINE GAMES! When the hell do people play online games?! At night and on weekends, yet these idiots are only open during the day on weekdays. Typical Sony bullshit – totally focused on themselves, and not on their customers. For a company that is supposedly focused on entertainment, they sure know how to ruin a good time.
They’ve screwed up their PC hardware (just ask my brother about his laptop), they screwed up by abandoning the Clie, they still stubbornly insist on putting Memory Stick on everything they make, and they have pissed people off for years with their Station online gaming. And yet they survive.
There was a “Rate our Answer” button on the page telling me that Technical Support wasn’t available on weekends, and I couldn’t resist, so I sent them the letter below. Maybe I’m screwed in the head, but this crap pisses me off. I only get so many free hours in a week, and lately whenever I try to spend a few of them blowing off some steam with a game, I end up in a tech support nightmare. Anyway, drop me a line and let me know what you think… Am I over reacting, or is Sony as clueless as they appear?
This feedback is about:
What can we do to make the answer to this question better?
It could say that technical support is available on the weekend.
Let me spell it out.
When do people play games? In their free time. When do people have the most free time? During the weekend. So, when do people play the most? On the weekend. And, when is technical support needed the most? When people are playing the most, which as we already know, is on the weekend.
Yet, Sony Station technical support isn’t available on the weekend. That’s completely stupid. And, typical Sony. How your company prospers in spite of itself is an enigma for the ages.
Now, the real question is, am I actually enough of a pirate whore that I’ll still pay these people to play the game?
Well, and now you know how Sony is still afloat – idiots like me.
January 27, 2008 2 Comments
Just wanted to let you know about a very cool FireFox extension called DownloadThemAll! It is a download manager / accelerator that is built right into FireFox. It has contextual menus so that you can right click a link and immediately start downloading, or you can queue up downloads, etc. While that is neat, the feature that I was looking for was the acceleration. By downloading multiple chunks of a file at the same time, the overall speed of your download is greatly increased.
I started downloading a 1.76GB game demo and I.E. was giving me 50K / sec download. 50K ??? What the heck? So, I looked for an accelerator that would fit in the browser. After installing DownloadThemAll! ? I was getting anywhere from 400 – 1800K / sec. Dang! Pretty nice speed boost. I left mine on the default 5 parts at a time so as to not be too rude to the file server. In fact, check out this screen cap of sustained 1.7 megabytes per second download:
Of course, your mileage may vary based on your Internet connection, file size, server speed, network congestion, black cat crossing your path or gremlins on the wire. Still, I’m pretty happy with this little piece of software. The price sure was right: FREE!
January 15, 2008 14 Comments
Sometimes a guy just has to blow things up. Figuratively I mean, not literally!
That’s when your favorite combat flight sim comes in very handy. But, as my latest luck would have it, any time I pull out a game, I end up spending all my time performing tech support for myself and never actually playing anything.
Take for instance tonight – I settled in for a few hours of playing my a new (though old) flight sim, Lock On: Modern Air Combat. I pulled out my trusty and hooked it up.
- Load up the software and go to the Input configuration screen.
- Dang, there is a lot of commands.
- No problem, I can just program the Joystick to work right.
- Oh shoot, the profile programming software isn’t installed.
- Get dusty finding the CD
- Put it in and the install won’t run. Just sits there.
- Go to microsoft.com/sidewinder. Shoot, they don’t support it anymore.
- Dang, they never made software that would run on XP
Hmm… This thing is huge. I remember buying this and then not using it much because there are SOOOO many buttons and shift modes, etc. It was difficult to get it just right and at the time, most games didn’t understand up to 32 joystick buttons. Let alone shift values, etc.
- I KNOW I’ll need the software for this…
- Hmm – Saitek actually has Windows 2000 drivers, which seem to work well with XP most of the time
- Hey, it loads up, everything is working
- I can even program the buttons.
- Awesome! I’m ready to go!
- Load up the game.
- Press a programmed button…
- Hardware reboot.
SIGH. Fine, these are old. I know I’ve spent almost $400 total on these two controllers, but what can I expect from hardware that’s, hmm 6 years old maybe? OK – I’ll buy a new one.
- Look online. Saitek makes some nice new stuff.
- So does Logitech, but not with throttles, etc.
- Thrustmaster always made the best – and still seems to.
- Crap, none of this stuff supports Vista yet.
- I’m not running Vista at this point, but I don’t want to have to buy MORE hardware later on.
- Saitek seems to have released drivers, but everybody complains that they don’t work…
- That doesn’t sound promising…
- Thrustmaster claims that the HOTAS Cougar has vista support.
- Crap – its over $200! *SIGH*
Screw this, I’m going to go read a book!
February 19, 2007 1 Comment