the-inbetween posts categorized as Gaming

Picard’s Alien Flute

Paramout wanted to clear out years of Star Trek junk from its warehouses and have decided that the most efficient way to deal with it is to auction off its overpriced props to overly enthusiastic nerds. The props range from the (cool) actual special effects models of various ships (expected to go for well over $10k!) to some (lame) t-shirt someone wore on the (lame) Star Trek V (expected to go for over $1k !???) Of the highlights shown on…

> READ THE REST…

E3 Crabtacular

Due to the “me too” nature of a lot of game publishers, pretty much every E3 has a very visible trend, like toon shading or World War 2 shooters. The trend that was noticeable this year, to me, was crabs. Yes, crabs. It became very obvious right from the start during Sony’s press conference. Microsoft’s subsequent showing confirmed it. While the crab-filled games were a vast minority on the showfloor at E3, they remained very visible because of their name…

> READ THE REST…

Alpha Geek

Several days ago I was browsing the trailers on Apple’s site (speaking of which, go see Cache — good film.) Some were good, some were lousy, some were so-so. One of those trailers that I came across was Alpha Dog. In the first minute of that trailer, before they even started to expose what the movie was about, I noticed one thing that pretty much forever soured the movie for me. Perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic, as it is an…

> READ THE REST…

The Shadowrun Cycle

Shadowrun on the SNES was one of my favourite RPGs of the time, precisely because it was just so different from its contemporary Final Phantasy Mana Triggers. While I never did play the non-videogame RPG, I was certainly aware of its universe and I liked it. A mix of dark future cyberpunk with orcs and goblins and magic and high fantasy? Sweet. With each generation of consoles, I was disappointed that no one would take on the Shadowrun name. It’s…

> READ THE REST…

Launch Prices

The 3DO console launched with a price of $699.95 USD. The high price reflected the system’s “revolutionary technology”. It launched into a competitive market with lousy games and poor support, with equally powerful (more so) but substantially cheaper consoles, with better brand recognition, on the horizon. It flopped. The Neo-Geo launched at $649.99 USD with with two joysticks, a memory card, and a single pack-in game. It was a premium priced system for a premium, niche arcade-focused market. While it…

> READ THE REST…

E3 Sony PS3

With my convenient setup, I was able to watch both game two of the Senators and Sabres series and Sony’s E3 press-conference at GameSpot’s E3 Live site. When one got dull and boring, I’d focus on the other. I didn’t miss much of the hockey game. Perhaps I’m becoming increasingly jaded and I need to lighten up, but the majority of the content that Sony was peddling looked uninspired and dull. After talking sales, Sony showed a number of PSP…

> READ THE REST…

Listening to Your Customers

Time magazine has a story about Nintendo at E3, its direction, and some first hand contact with WarioWare Wii. The article is illicitly making its way around the internet. What stood out to me, more than any revelations about the hardware and the games, is one paragraph. But the name Wii not wii-thstanding, Nintendo has grasped two important notions that have eluded its competitors. The first is, Don’t listen to your customers. The hard-core gaming community is extremely vocal–they blog…

> READ THE REST…

What’s in a name?

The Nintendo “Revolution” is now the “Wii” and as you can imagine, the world wide web is abuzz about it. Abuzz with purile jokes, mostly, which says more about the core gamer demographic than about Nintendo’s branding decisions. That central group is one that Nintendo wants to seperate itself from anyway. The name is getting a lot of flak for being unconventional, but that’s exactly what they need to convey. They are no longer in the same game as Microsoft…

> READ THE REST…

Another World

I purchased the high-res Windows port of Another World / Out of this World. Surprisingly, this is only my second ever digitally distributed game purchase. The first was Half-Life 2. The price (a mere 7 euro, which is less than $10 CAD) definitely had something to do with. I could buy two copies of Another World and a beer for less than it would cost to purchase derivative shit like Zuma. Maybe the replay wouldn’t be as big, but at…

> READ THE REST…

Tetris DS is broken

Nintendo has done the unthinkable, they have broken Tetris. Tetris DS, the package, is still good. It has a varied bunch of game modes, a lot of puzzles to solve, good multiplayer, online play, and a fantastic multiplayer “Push Mode” (the best thing to happen to Tetris since Tetris happened.) Unfortunately, “Classic Mode”, the very essence of Tetris, is irrevocably broken. Classic mode has a lot of new features that ruin the gameplay of Tetris. The first is that the…

> READ THE REST…

Mario Blocks

Just because del.icio.us won’t let me re-link something: the original site for the Mario blocks, How to Make Your Own Totally Sweet Mario Question Blocks and Put Them Up Around Town, has updated with a response to the idiocy in Ravenna. WARNING: Question blocks in Ravenna are considered harmful and may bring about the bomb-squad and cause you to get charged. It’s as though that city is the Lost Levels equivalent to the original Mario Blocks’ home, Toronto.

> READ THE REST…

Waldschattenspiel

Boardgaming and boardgame design is alive and well. Or so I hear. As far as anyone knows, the market is virtually dead. All there is are old Hasbro owned games like Scrabble and Clue and the many, many (boring) variants of Monopoly; various puzzle games that aren’t really “board” games per say; and maybe Settlers of Catan (and its many variants). Other games don’t often show up and when they do, they are pretty much relegated to a pretty strong…

> READ THE REST…

Game Art revisited

Today I went down to the so-called “Entertainment District” to get a burrito for lunch and do a little bit of media shopping. Eating my large steak burrito (everything on it, no guacamole, light on the jalapenos) I browsed through a copy of Toronto’s free paper “Now”. In it was an article about The Fine Art of Video Games, which focused on two game-related art shows in the city: Microsoft’s PR-laden Play: The Art of Xbox 360 and the more…

> READ THE REST…