Quantum Link Remembered

Hey reader(s),
None of us at videolamer (that I could get a hold of) recalls the Quantum Link service, although many of you no doubt remember its successor America On-Line with no small amount of fondness. This is a pretty darn cool article about the Quantum Link worthy of attention:

https://www.tinytickle.co.uk/quantum-link/

We’re not really in a state to reincarnate at the moment, but we do fondly recall the times we would write several articles a week, some of which were worth reading. We’ll keep them online as long as we can.

Keep on keeping on.

Great Greed: Or, I play bad RPGs so you don’t have to

Many, many years ago I was an avid reader of Nintendo Power.  I had already developed a taste for RPGs, although they were a bit less numerous back then.  A bunch of them were bad — and often, even Nintendo Power was willing to admit that.

Regardless, I would read each article about an RPG with fascination.  When it was a game I knew, I would enjoy flipping through the various artwork and reading about the tricky parts.  Otherwise, I’d quietly file it away in a hidden corner of my mind, to play later.

I’m finally working my way through the last few of those games I filed away — recently Paladin’s Quest and 7th Saga, and a year or so back I played through a good chunk of Arcana. 

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We need to talk about the PSP Vita.

We need to talk about the PSP Vita.

It isn’t exactly lighting up the sales charts.  True, it isn’t technically out yet in the West, but if it is true that its Japanese numbers are still hovering around half a million units, then the 3DS almost matched Vita sales in its first week alone.  Unless fortunes reverse, and the Vita ends up doing gangbusters over here, I think we can agree that Sony has a problem on its hands.

What frustrates me is why this is happening.  For all appearances, the handheld is a marvel of hardware design, is relatively cheap, and has strong launch titles. … Read the rest

2012 Gaming Uncertainty

I wanted to write a 2012 predictions piece about how uncertain I am about what gaming in 2012 will look like.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to format such an article.  By sheer coincidence, Tim Bray recently wrote a similar piece on his personal blog (albeit about topics much more serious than gaming).  I liked his approach so much that I had to unashamedly use it as a template for my own attempt.  Here then are my Bray inspired 2012 Gaming Uncertainties.

Playstation Vita – Will the West embrace it as tepidly as they did the PSP?  And will it perform as well in Japan as everyone thinks (and hopes) it will?  … Read the rest

Time isn’t on my Side (and I’m okay)

Former VL writer and Powerhead Games designman Matt recently posted a question on Twitter, to which I responded as succinctly as a I could.  All told, it’s an interesting topic, so I wanted to elaborate on it a bit more in a meatier blog post.
Matt’s initial question was the following:

With so many new games being released every single day, what does that do to a player’s appreciation for a single title?

I’m not exactly sure what, if anything, he is getting at with the question, but I know what it means to me.  My response was this:

honestly? It makes me appreciate that title more, if I’ve come to see most of those new games as “noise” in the release year.

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Digital Distribution is the Future — and Soon it Will Have the Past too

This evening I felt the need to sift through my old book of CDs — mostly PS1 and 2 games, but a smattering of PC.  First I noticed one game I had a digital copy of, then another, then another… and, well, things went on like this for a while.  By the end of it I had a small pile of games I had bought twice — voluntarily, of course, to support distributors bringing such old games back.  And surprisingly, I play them, too — I had not actually beaten Baldur’s Gate II until a few months ago, when I purchased it from Good Old Games

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Portal 2, and Three Reasons Why I Don’t Like Sequels

This isn’t about how I don’t like Portal 2. Tomorrow (or perhaps earlier?) will be a historic day in my life. Not just because I’ll be playing Portal 2, but because it will be the first time in I-don’t-know-how-many years that I’ll actually play a game on its launch date. I barely ever pay full price for games anymore, much less preorder them. With that said, I don’t think I need to go into further detail how extremely excited I am for Portal 2.

I want to emphasize that fact so that the rest of this post isn’t misinterpreted as being critical of Portal, or any specific game.… Read the rest

iPod Gaming Report

Now that I have owned an iPod Touch for several months, I figured it was time to come back and report on the iOS gaming experience. The only problem is that there hasn’t been much of an experience to speak of. I bought quite a few games, most of them highly acclaimed, and only played a handful of them. This is, in a way, a good thing. Since the games were so cheap, I didn’t waste more than a few bucks on bad purchases, and it taught me quite a bit about this brave new world of gaming.

Specifically, it is no different than the old one.… Read the rest

Weekend in Review – Weekends Happen Once a Year

Sometimes Pat and Jay hang out and play video games. These are the chronicles of Pat and Jay hanging out and playing video games. Here are some of the old chronicles of Pat and Jay hanging out playing video games: Some month a long time ago, some month less a long time ago.

Project Berkley – No obsessive Shenmue fan’s collection is complete without the Japanese release of Virtua Fighter 3tb, since it came with a disc of scenes and interviews about the making of Shenmue (codenamed Project Berkley during development). Neither of us speak Japanese, but we were lucky enough to be joined by Jay’s girlfriend, who also doesn’t speak Japanese.… Read the rest

Potent Portables

So both Sony and Nintendo have revealed their next generation handhelds. I suppose it is time for new hardware in the portable space, though considering I only got a PSP in 2007 (and a DS in ’08), these launches still feel premature based on my own time with them. I’ll probably treat the 3ds and PSP 2 the same way I did their predecessors — I’ll largely ignore them, and wait for the price drop, the hardware to be revised, and the software library to improve before I make any move. In the dedicated console space, hardware revisions don’t mean too much (I don’t know anyone who is embarrassed for having an original 360, and people are proud of OG PS3’s), but with portables they can make a huge difference.… Read the rest