Episode 2 of Season 2 of Sam and Max continues the fresh trends we saw in Ice Station Santa. The pacing is brisk, the filler is minimal, and each location is compact. This is a good thing, because without these elements this episode might have been painful. The puzzles this time around are dastardly and obfuscated, harkening back to the old days of the adventure genre while not quite reaching the level of absurdity of a Gabriel Knight game. Just as striking as the spike in difficulty is the shift towards humor that is even more obscure and older in taste. Whether or not these are two trends for the future, or a sign of Telltale mixing it up as they see fit, remains to be seen. Whatever the case, this is a stumbling block for the series. → Rayman Reading Rabbids
Lately, I have been playing Eve Online. For those of you who don’t follow my every move on this website (and for those two of you who do, you’re awesome!), Eve Online is a space based MMO. Unlike other games, the skill training system is based on real-time training, which continues when off-line. Therefore actions in the game: killing spaceships, trading, etc, do not yield experience. So while I have been only tepidly interested in the game, and not playing, my character has been training, basically at the same rate as an active player.
As a result of having a nearly six month old character, I can fly all sorts of awesome ships, which makes the game fun. However, because I haven’t been playing–just training, I have no money–money is only earned from those activities in the game itself. → Imagine all the gamers playing for today
I know the argument about microtransactions has been done to death. As such, let me get my view out of the way before delving into a subject that I think has been avoided publicly for too long.
I like microtransactions and think that the idea has merit. I like buying VC games for a few bucks. I have a job and can afford to buy my TG-16 collection over again for pennies on the dollar. I know this isn’t the case for everyone; I am not writing from everyone’s point of view.
I like buying add-ons. I like Live Arcade and I like picking up schwag/gear/icons/whatever for my games. I endorse monetary obfuscation by way of numeric transmogrification; I think it is a neat idea that my American dollar is actually equal to 80 crazy moon credits and I like spending those moon credits on pointless crap to enhance my gaming experience. → Fear the old posts.
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. → Final Fantasy Mystic Post
If anyone has paid attention to Joystiq’s weekly WebComic Wrap-up, you’d no doubt run into a comic named VG Cats. I love this webcomic. The style is great, and the humor is right on key. The guy doesn’t go too deep into the whole video game lore thing (there’s a lot of Zelda and Final Fantasy VII commentary), so you don’t have to get out your Ultimate Videolamer’s Guide to Everything About Gaming and Dating(tm) to understand it.
He’s got 215 comics on his site, and most of them are hilarious. If you were looking for a great comic strip on video games, you can do no wrong with VG Cats.
And before I get bullied, I will say that I also love Penny Arcade. Those guys are great, but I prefer VG Cats’ continuous commentary on video games. → Monster Reader 4
Japanese consumers want the PS3
Famitsu surveyed people at the Tokyo Games Show and got some interesting if odd results. Although we are talking about Japan so odd is a relative term. About 56% of those surveyed felt the low end PS3 was pricey. Even considering that the TGS would be full of hardcore gamers, this number seems low. Compare this to the 13% who think the Wii costs too much and 25% who think the 360 is expensive.
When asked what system they most looked forward to, 58% said the PS3 and 34% said the Wii. Contrast this, though, to what people said about which system they plan to buy on launch. 11% said they’d get a PS3 at launch while 18% said they’d get a Wii. Further. 36% said they have no current plan for getting a PS3 and 33% said the same of the Wii. → All the lonely gamers, where do they all belong?
While rummaging through the ol’ Interweb tonight, I somehow got onto Wii’s official site and came across a whole slew of new videos that were posted yesterday. Most of them show people trying out the Wii for the first time, and they actually look like they’re having fun. Never mind the fact that they get paid to play with something we’re all dying for.
But what really interested me were some new videos for the Wii Channels. I’ll detail a few of them here:
The Internet Channel was finally unveiled, and I have to say it’s looking pretty snazzy. They pulled up Google and searched in a couple shots, and the browser, which is based on Opera by the way, ran fairly smoothly. They were using a widescreen TV, but the browser was formatted to a 4:3 ratio. → Beyond Read & Evil
Wii wins best in show award. So this justifies Nintendo’s actions. When they eventually get trampled in the free market they can at least say, “Oh well, other industry people thought it could work, too.”
Spore won best PC game and best original game. Gears of War picked up a few awards, and the DS Zelda won best handheld. I’m happy to see Bioware’s Mass Effect won something, too, as I am in love with that company. I’m totally having their babies.
In my daily effort to find affiliates for this site, I stumbled upon Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence. It was just ridiculous enough that I decided I should spend a little time reviewing the site. Maybe one day they’ll post a review of videolamer and tell the world how evil we are. Not because we are important, mind you, but because they think everything is evil.
The MAVAV site opens with a hyperbole about how video game addiction and violence are the fastest growing threats to children’s health and way of life. But before they went on about how video games are a problem rivaling drugs and alcohol abuse, I noticed their logo is a Play Station controller with a red line through it. → Read more? No, I’ll read it all.