the-inbetween posts categorized as Gaming

Vortex Competition

The schwag bag at last, last weekend’s FITC Toronto event had a pamphlet reminding me of the previously linked Vortex game competition. It was special. A simple two sided white piece of paper with black text, folded, amongst a sea of glossy pamphlets, art heavy calendars, illuminating yo-yos and free sample DVDs. The bad grammar and the incorrect spelling of the competition’s URL made it extra quaint. Perhaps too quaint. There was a brief consideration to join. The appeal, mostly,…

> READ THE REST…

WoW, Visa

A little over a year ago, Phillip Torrone of Make Magazine wrote The Future of Credit Cards – Earning virtual currency for spending in the real world & other world bridging. He predicted: Very soon, credit card companies and game makers will reward their customers who spend money in the real world using private label “rewards” credit cards. They will use gifts of virtual currency such as Blizzard’s World of Warcraft gold and Second Life’s Linden dollars. The future is…

> READ THE REST…

Guitar Hero II 360

There’s no accounting for musical tastes. Opinion and criticism of music is as varied and subjective as the people listening to it. You’ll never find a concensus, even amongst psychologists and academics trying to find out why we like what we like and what it says about us. Game preferences are equally subjective, but when you consider music games it enters a whole new realm of complication. If you like the mechanics and presentation of a music game, but hate…

> READ THE REST…

ChipTune linkage

A while back, before I became unmercifully busy, I posted episode 04 of my little podcast, which was all chiptune-esque. Chiptunes appeal to me, even if only for the faux nostalgia of it all. I compiled some links, but never got around to posting them. UNTIL NOW. Almost immediately after I posted the episode, one of the artists featured (in collab with Spamtron) released a new album on the always great 8 bit peoples net label. Phlogiston’s “Mode 3” is…

> READ THE REST…

Overheard on the Streetcar

On the streetcar this afternoon, a large black dude sits in front of me. Knit cap, bling in his left ear, talking on the phone. Just a normal guy. I pay no mind. At least, I did until I overheard his conversation. Yo! Yo, listen up. Listen up… tell Chris that if he makes it to level 70, I’ll buy him World of Warcraft and Burning Crusade… and… and I’ll pay him for three months. Yeah. … No. Seventy. Level…

> READ THE REST…

Why LittleBigPlanet Will Succeed

By now you’ve probably seen Sony’s recently announced LittleBigPlanet. The gameplay videos that are out there are alright, showing a cutesy co-op platformer. Nothing particularly mesmerizing. But it’s the full demonstration that you need to watch. The full demo showing the depth of creation and playfulness at hand. So why will this succeed? One easy answer: Line Rider. Here’s a simplistic pseudo-game toy that spawned all this user created content. Multiply that several times over and you have LittleBigPlanet. And…

> READ THE REST…

The Last Generation Starts When Sony Says it Should Have

In their continuing trek to make a mess of the Playstation 3, Sony has announced that they have settled with Immersion. SCE president Kaz Hirai is excited about the potential for new and innovative products incorporating their technologies. This is good news for gamers, right? It would be good news if it was standard from the start and, more so, if Sony hadn’t been so blatant about making dubious excuses to the fact that it wasn’t there. Everyone knew that…

> READ THE REST…

March is the Unofficial Shmup Month

Broadcast Gamer, one of the better independent gaming-themed podcasts, points out that March is now National Shmupreciation Month. And I say: “sure!” The shmup genre, short for “shoot em ups”, is an interesting one because, in a way, it’s a living dinosaur. It has survived and bred over the decades without ever really changing. Obviously, newer games have incorporated the latest technologies, but the fundamental designs of the game are unchanged. They are almost exclusively 2D (any 3D is mostly…

> READ THE REST…

Crackdown

What I appreciate the most about Crackdown is that it’s almost the complete antithesis to Grand Theft Auto 3 despite being, basically, yet another take on the whole GTA3 “open city” concept. Gone is the faux gangster aesthetic, what all the other GTA3 clones focused on, and in its place is a stripped down, bare bones sandbox. There is no real story here. No real characters. No Chatterbox Radio or imitations of it. And, above all, no linear mission structure.…

> READ THE REST…

Information Overload

There came a time, many months ago, when I realized that the wealth of information that I had subscribed to had become unwieldly. There was so much to read and watch that it became a fulltime job keeping track of it (which, you know, cut out time to actually read and watch it all.) At any given time, my Bloglines account had in excess of seventeen thousand unread entries. My so-called “shrinkwrap shrine” of games and movies (in other words,…

> READ THE REST…

Alzheimers for gaming weblogs

The problem with a lot of online media is that it tends to be forgetful. Anything that existed past the fifteen minute life span of the meme-du-jour is ancient history. This is more evident among the online gaming “press” and even more so amongst the big, commercial gaming weblogs who republish the same tired old shit ad nauseam. Take, for example, this recent “confirmation” on Joystiq about the possibility of original content coming to the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console. Mr.…

> READ THE REST…

Favourites of ’06

It’s that time of the year again. List season! I, too, have to partake and call out my favourite things from the past year from, in some cases, a rather small sample. But we make due with what we have. Favourite Games of the Year This was really the year of the XBox 360 (and DS). Sure, the Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii launched to much fanfare in 2006, but one console’s rediculous price and the other’s popularity (SOLD…

> READ THE REST…

Pacing

It seems as though the “older” I get, the more drawn I am to deliberately paced movies. I say “deliberately paced” beacause it’s a lot more appropriate and a lot more positive than the often used, and negative, “slow” label. Movies by the likes of Terrence Malick and Nuri Bilge Ceylan are some of my favourites, and I’m currently trying to catch up with the filmographies of Tarkovsky and Antonioni, amongst others. In the commentary for Antonioni’s “The Passenger”, Jack…

> READ THE REST…