Best Game Ever — Baldur’s Gate 2, Shadows of Amn

When Jay asked me to write a “Best Game Ever” entry for Baldur’s Gate 2, my first instinct was to refuse the offer. Why? Because I love the game too much and I feared that nothing I could write would do it justice. It would be like trying to write a review for New York City. I mean where would you even begin something like that? How would you dissect something so steeped in its own mythology? Would you even want to? And just because here I am writing, does not mean that sentiment has changed. Whatever ideas I might express here will ultimately fall short of accurately encompassing the experience of playing Baldur’s Gate 2. However strong my control over language might be, it will ultimately prove woefully inadequate in approximating for you, the reader, the overall feeling I had as a player of Baldur’s Gate 2. →  Read the rest

It’s the end of Civilization as we know it, and I feel fine (I think)

There has been a recent hullabaloo about the pending Civilization Revolutions game. Having realized that the hardcore 4X PC gamer market is not as lucrative as say, every other platform, Firaxis has set about developing a new “made for console” version of Civilization.

Because a move like this smacks of “selling out” and “destroying the game concept,” and it coincides with what can only be described as criminal negligence of the Beyond the Sword expansion, the community has been at best, suspicious, and at worst, behaving like forum trolls at a n00b feeding frenzy. And they have every right to have this attitude.

For starters, Firaxis is cultivating as much ill will as humanly possible with the Beyond the Sword expansion. The launch version (like all PC games these days) was bug ridden, requiring a patch. →  Read the rest

Dreamcast Mania! – Canceled games: PC Ports

The Dreamcast was home to many excellent games, but due to its early demise, it was also home to many canceled games. These games, though varied, can be broken up into three main categories – ports of PC games, games that made it to other consoles, and games that never came out. Today, we will look at the PC ports and imagine how things would have turned out had the Dreamcast lasted a few more years.

Black and White
What was it?
A very well received god sim by Peter Molyneux.

Would it have been good?
Probably but it would be infuriating without the Dreamcast mouse.

Would it have sold?
Yes but not nearly as well as on the PC. Complex PC games and console games have different audiences.

Would it have actually come out? →  Read the rest

Review – Shining Tears

Shining Tears
Developed by Amusement Vision
Published by Sega

“Now Loading” looks so much classier in Japanese.

The Shining series is over. Sure games that have the word “Shining” in the title keep coming out, like the proctology based “Shining Down a Colon” or the clearly aimed at preschoolers “Rise and Shining,” but this doesn’t mean anything. If Steven Spielberg got drunk and in his stupor decided to film himself masturbating, would the resulting video be a sequel to ET? Even if he named it ET2: ET Bone Home, I say no, it would not be a real sequel. The Shining games are past the drunken stupor. What comes out with the name Shining on it these days is the vomit that was too chunky to go down with the first flush. →  Read the rest