Defending the Obsidian Knights

It is now common knowledge that Obsidian was forced to rush the release of Knights of the Old Republic II. As a result, one of the most common complaints about the game is that it has an abrupt ending. As a matter of fact, whenever I would tell any of my videogame savvy friends that I had finally picked up KOTOR II they would almost always unanimously say something along the lines of: “it’s good but the ending is rushed.” I believe it was Jay who actually told me that the game has bits of unfinished dialogue coded into it that the developers were forced to scrap due to time constraints.

After having beaten the game in just over 55 hours (and that’s long enough for me) I don’t see what the big problem is. →  Read the rest

Woah Vid-Lamer, Keep on Rollin’

It appears that our editor Jay has apologized in the post below for any lack of content during his trip to Japan. If he is referring to quality content, he may be right. But in terms of volume, all I can say is lies.

While the Jammaster himself is out (and Tyson is busy fulfilling his every whim), rest assured that I will make sure the site stays going with fresh content, while second in command Pat pulls my puppet strings from the shadows, making me dance a sauntering jig for the prize of a few choice comments.

Just what will you see? Your guess is as good as mine. There are many ideas – the question is which will be worth writing, and which will be more of my classic drivel. →  Read the rest

Is Nintendo Power biased? A semi-serious statistical survey

Nintendo Power is going to be outsourced to Imagine Media, meaning the long-standing and proud magazine will no longer be run by Nintendo themselves. This inspired Jay and Christian to resurrect this old project. Most people claim that Nintendo Power review scores cannot be trusted, or are at least suspect, considering they come “in house” rather than from an independent source. Now that this will no longer be the case, let us look back at the old Nintendo Power and see how they stacked up to the rest of the gaming world when reviewing Nintendo DS games.

A few nuggets of info before we start. The numbers used are the weighted averages from Metacritic, Nintendo Power’s scores, and the minimum and maximum non-Nintendo Power scores. All numbers are for the top 30 and bottom 30 DS games. →  Read the rest

Numbers are fun!

In the course of doing my job, I managed to stumble across some information about the stocks of video game companies. Turns out a Bloomberg terminal is a worthwhile investment (when I am not paying for it) after all. Basically, I am now able to put numbers (which will not be precise, since there may be some intellectual property rights at issue) next to musings such as “It seems the DS is selling a lot of unit,” or “What happened to the PSP, are there any games?” Please beware the frequent use of parenthetical statements (such as this one: DS = original DS + DS Lite).

Something that needs to be understood about the way traditional financial statistics apply to the video game industry (and entertainment media generally) is that there is a “round peg, square hole” problem. →  Read the rest

Best Game Ever – Suikoden

Growing up I always played games, but only recently would I have ever thought of myself as a “gamer.” I had a Nintendo for several years, then a Genesis, but until Playstation (and High School) I played mostly NBA Jam, and whatever the rest of the kids from school/the neighborhood were playing. This included a lot of games I would now scorn, such as games licensed from movies. I always noticed Genesis games on the shelves that looked as though they might be interesting due to the dragons and medieval knights on the covers, but I was apparently unable to take the plunge at the time.

He’s a goner.

Come high school, I met a bunch of people different from myself (basically I hadn’t met anyone not Irish- or Italian-Catholic) who did different things (other than play baseball and basketball). →  Read the rest

Making enemies move and shoot: An A.I. Primer part 1

Okay, so after I read the conversation on A.I. between Jay and Christian, I started coming up with comments. Then I re-organized them, and kept coming up with more. Well before I felt I had addressed things enough to post a comment, I had the makings of a brief paper on A.I. as it applies to video games. That was when I spoke with Jay about just writing it up as an article instead of posting a several-page comment, and he said to give it a shot.

Unfortunately I tend to go a little nuts when A.I. is concerned, and so it’s now turned into what’s possibly a multiple installment piece. In this first bit, what I want to cover are the uses to which we put A.I. for video games. →  Read the rest