Review – LostWinds

As I searched for the final area of LostWinds my entire family died in a flaming plane crash. I mean the game crashed as I was going from one area to another. The controller stopped responding and I was once again forced into physical activity by the Wii. I made my way to the system and shut it off, annoyed that I had stumbled upon one of the LostWinds glitches I’d read about but still psyched because I knew I’d finish the game in the next half hour. So I rebooted the console and loaded up the game again. All the save files were gone. Crashing and being turned off during the hang up removed all the progress I had made. It’s safe to assume I am reviewing a game I did not finish. →  Finger lickin’ read.

Will Blizzard get blown out the airlock?

Everyone is quivering with anticipation at Blizzard’s upcoming “major” announcement. They have been hiring MMO developers, and they have a terribly neglected (but still hugely popular, especially in Asia) franchise in Starcraft.

Although an RTS Starcraft 2 might be desired by some, Blizzard has no choice in this matter but to go MMO. First, the revenue opportunities of even a mediocre (by Blizzard standards) MMO are far superior to a blockbuster RTS– a fact most likely first and foremost on Blizzard’s parent company, Vivendi’s, mind. Now that Blizzard has established itself as such a cash-cow, they will be held to those standards until they fail (capitalism is great…just ask the USSR). Just to give you a flavor of what we’re talking about, the WESTERN MMO market broke $1 billion in 2006, according to this report with WoW accounting for 54% of that marketshare. →  Hey, hey, hey, it’s time to make some crazy reading!

Review – Super Swing Golf

After playing my first round of Wii Sports golf I couldn’t wait for a developer to make a golf simulator for the system. I’m a huge fan of the Tiger Woods and Links series and an actual real-life golfer and the possibility of getting a solid golf sim on the Wii was quite exciting. Until then, I’ll have to make due with Super Swing Golf.

The primary thing that makes Super Swing Golf practically unplayable is the swing controls. If you’re going to put out a golf sim you’d better made sure your swing mechanics are rock solid. I don’t care that it’s a pseudo-rpg. I don’t care about the cutesy graphics and plot. I don’t care about fantasy courses. I want to swing my Wiimote like a real golf club and get real club-like results. →  [do not click]

A FPS Japan likes

Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu has given Red Steel for the Wii a very nice review score of 34/40. This would be an 8.5 in English. American reviewers have not responded to the game well, but the odd thing is, besides Nintendo Power’s review, Red Steels two highest scores came from European sources (NGamer UK, Computer and Video Games UK). These Euro-sources are the only two obviously non-American reviews of the game, too.

So does this mean anything? Do foreigners like Red Steel more than decent, hardworking, red blooded Americans? The Japanese enjoying the title makes some sense. The country has never been impressed with our FPS output and the genre didn’t really catch on there. So a FPS with a different control scheme, more Japaneseness, and possibly added suck appeals to them. →  WELCOMETOTHENEXTARTICLE

Gears Of War In Bilingual Shocker, And I Think I’m Developing Mental Problems

According to some random guy hidden in the very deep dark depths of the Internet (don’t go there without rubberised protection and lots of sharp objects), Gears of War is apparently region free. His post isn’t all that informative in explaining his method of finding out, so like a good videogaming fan I must assume he is correct.

Try to skip the fact that Play-Asia blatantly tells this person that he is, in fact, wrong. As a British guy who isn’t getting the damn game for another 10 days, I’m now mulling over the possibilities of purchasing from Play-Asia on the off chance that the guy-from-the-random-website might actually be correct.

I simply can’t wait 10 days. Splinter Cell: Double Agent may be good, but this, this is something else. →  When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a game.

The Ethics of Farming part I

As someone who once used to rent the old school NES “cheats” videos (it’s how I learned to beat Castlevainia 2) I am not sure if I am the right person to talk about what is ethical in the gaming world. I will anyway though, so take that!

Anyone who has ever made it beyond level 10 in World of Warcraft knows that there are people in places usually not the US that grind away all day in game collecting items and gold (in game currency) to sell for real world currency. Big deal, right? Well here is what I think… No, it isn’t a big deal. Blizzard, in one of their more incandescent moments, decided to combat this by making the best in game items BOP, which means Bind on Pickup. →  Readout 3: Takedown

Diablo Musings

For the most part Diablo fans figured the series was dead, considering that the talent behind it had left for greener pastures.

Then BAM!

A Diablo 3?

Which is interesting, considering that Diablo wasn’t made by the standard Blizzard department that created Starcraft or Warcraft. In fact it was made by a separate Blizzard office, Blizzard North. Originally named Condor, Blizzard bought them out and renamed them to Blizzard North in 96, even though they had been contracted to start building Diablo a year earlier.

The three head honchos left Blizzard North due to strife with the parent company Vivendi over financial crap, typical corporate dicks screwing with the artists kind of thing. So they split and formed a new company which put out Guild Wars.

But it looks like Blizzard is going to do a Diablo 3 after all. →  Shining Post: Legacy of Great intention