the-inbetween posts categorized as Gaming

Yur-Gaming

As I mentioned in my two reports (part one, part two), Essen Spiel had more than just boardgames and LARP gear: it had some videogame content too. These came in the form of retailers selling their games or the occasional licensed products based on boardgames. There was one exception: an entire, new videogame console! The Yuraku Yur-Gaming V-MAX32. A couple extra photos can be found in my Flickr stream There’s not much to say about products like this. Like the…

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Writing About Games is Easy; Writing About Music is Hard

The topics that I write about tend to be, more often than not, game centric. There was no overt decision to focus on this topic on this here weblog[1], it is simply what I know best. Hell, when I started this by creating an account on Blogger I wasn’t even that much of a gamer. Back then, fresh out of high school and in my first (and only complete) year of university, I was a mere dabbler. I had no…

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GOTY 08

Idle Thumbs is currently taking nominations for Gamse [sic] of the Year at the not-so-subtle GOTY.cx (the little wedding ring on the flourish, however, is quite subtle.) I emailed my nomination last week but it wasn’t entirely lucid so I won’t be quoting it here. Maybe I can look forward to them reading it out loud on the podcast next week! Hopefully not. My pick was: Civilization Revolutions for the DS. My impressions of the game from September are part…

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Mirror’s Edge, Post-Completion

After the final cinematic for Mirror’s Edge played, the credits rolled, and the trophies for completing the game and never shooting anyone popped up, I was sad that it was over. It was a surprising feeling because during the campaign there were at least four moments during which I nearly gave up entirely and/or came very close to snapping my controller during an expletive filled moment befitting The Big Lebowski. I should have been feeling relief. My relationship with Mirror’s…

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Playstation Home, Theatre

I just want to clarify my hate-on for Playstation Home. Yes, it’s great that it’s free and this is something new for a console and yadda yadda, but this is a system for dealing with people that I don’t want to deal with. The theatre was the last place I saw. I walked in there, took a seat in the straight in middle in the center row and waited for the “film” to start. The screen had a big, fat…

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World Beneath Her Feet

The world of Mirror’s Edge is well realized without being explicit. Unlike the worlds of, say, Kojima, DICE does a great job of “show, don’t tell.” The exposition in the between-chapter cinematics always revolves around the protagonist, Faith, and her interactions, often brief exchanges, with other characters. There are no long soliloquies here. More so, the environment that Faith traverses says a lot itself. There are news bulletins in the elevators (slash loading screens) that tell the city’s story, but…

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Atari, 2019

At one time, Atari was the future. Then overpriced junk flooded their systems, they misdirected their focus into computers rather than games, and they rejected a proposal from a little company called Nintendo. As the NES took over the world, defining the modern console gaming world, Atari was left in its dust. There were attempts to stay relevant in the newly Japanese dominated market — Nintendo, SEGA, NEC — but they all failed. After years of valiant attempts to regain…

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Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix Demo

My review in brief: zero out of ten. As a demonstration of the game, this is the biggest failure in the entire XBox 360 marketplace. A caveat, first: I am a long-time fan of Street Fighter II. Many quarters were spent on it in convenience stores and many, many more quarters — and I had to save for a long time — were saved to purchase Street Fighter II Turbo for the SNES. It cost a little over $100 after…

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This Week in Digital Downloads

If you haven’t played Rez yet and you have an internet enabled XBox 360 and you’re in the US, then there’s no excuse now: it’s on sale. If you are in the rest of the world, no such luck for you. In a bizarre decision, Microsoft’s online sale is restricted to the US. Now, I understand it when they can’t offer content or features here — like Netflix — because of all the copyright and ownership restrictions, but not discounting…

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Essen Spiel Report, Part Two

After discovering that I missed half of the bloody show, I started wandering some more. These lost halls were quite a bit different, in content and atmosphere, from the big boardgame publisher halls. They were the Kentia Hall equivalent for boardgames. Here you’d find all sorts of games by small game makers and two-person companies looking to get noticed. This is where all the comics were stashed, which I ignored. There were also a few jewelry and knick-knack sellers here…

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Brief Thoughts on the NXE

Microsoft saw fit to unleash their NXE acronym, which I assume stands for “New XBox Experience,” upon the masses today. This major XBox 360 OS update, which completely revamps the system navigation and appearance, adds a few welcome features, and one that no one was clamoring for: avatars. After minutes of using it I have to say: “I want my old experience™ back.” The old system wasn’t perfect, it had a lot of flaws with organization (especially in the online…

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I Did 99 Laps and the Trophy Ain’t Won*

I have a love em/hate em relationship with Achievement Points and, now, Playstation trophies. On the one hand, as I’m sure you’ve noticed with my nods to Geometry Wars Evolved 2, I am a very competitive person. Trophies and points are a good measure of that. On the other hand, these rewards feel like artificial extensions for the games they are attached to. There are exceptions. Some are very well designed, getting people to try different things with the game…

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Catching Up: Quick Impressions of Some Games I’m Playing

Over the last two days I’ve been gorging on videogames. I’m indulging now before reality hits me and the worries of money, finding work and finding my own place take over. Before then, I can numb it all down with a barrage of new and old games. Here’s some brief impressions. Geometry Wars Evolved 2. The original Robotron-inspired twin-stick shooter, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, was the game that was played on my XBox 360 on more days than any other.…

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