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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November 4th, Playstation 3

Tuesday was an important day. It was my first full day back in Canada after four months of being down and out in Paris and London. It was my sister’s 21st birthday (not a big deal in Canada, but it does make me feel old.) There was that whole election thing south of the border. And, as I maintained that I would, I purchased a Playstation 3. I am finally 100% new console generation compatible, unlike my old Playstation 2…

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Essen Spiel Report, Part One

I arrived at my hotel in Essen, conveniently right next to the station, at a quarter past noon. I was ten minutes late. After spending six and a half hours in stations and on trains (I was in the Metro station at a quarter to six in the morning), there was nothing that I wanted to do more than lie down and rest. That, however, would have wasted the reason why I was there. I dropped off my bags in…

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Essen SPIEL

I’m probably going to Die Internationalen Spieltage SPIEL in Essen, Germany this weekend. For those not in the know, this is essentially the E3 for German boardgames. Actually, that’s not exactly a fair comparison. The “Nuremberg Toy Fair” is probably more akin to E3, as they’re both trade shows (though E3 might not be exclusively that anymore, maybe?) The Spiel is a consumer show[1]. Semantic differences aside, if you like boardgames it is the place to go. I do. So…

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The DS: Under the Radar, Above the Moon

Every time Apple makes any announcement about the iPhone, whether it’s new functionality or sales numbers, the internet goes abuzz. Rumour mongers, Apple blogs and tech sites make a lot of noise. The mainstream press follows suit and everyone everywhere hears how great the iPhone is and how successful it is and how sexy it is. Apple does a good job of marketing itself in this regard. Now, I’m not about to rag on the iPhone — I like it…

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CD Shopping in Paris

I walked the Avenue des Champs-Elysees a couple of times, up towards the Arc de Triomphe and back down to Place de Concorde and Tuileries, covering both sides of the perpetually busy road. The Avenue was what I expected it to be: lined end to end with designer shops, restaurants, tourists and image-obsessed locals. A couple of Starbucks rounds out the picture. In all my time there I stopped in two shops, the FNAC (French Best Buy, basically) and the…

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Another Podcast Plug, and More

Speaking of podcasts, this week’s episode of GameSpot’s HotSpot features, as special guest, my friend JP. He does his best to not say anything about Bioshock 2. Since that was recorded the teaser video for Bioshock 2 has made it online and, well, not much else has been said. All that needs to be said is that the game is in fine hands. This is also a good opportunity to plug JP’s in-development indie abstract shooter, purity. There are builds…

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Idle Thumbs Podcast

Let’s face it, if you like videogames and you like listening to people talk about videogames, you might not have much of a life but you do have lots of options. The 1UP network alone publishes six podcasts every week, and that’s just one site. Multiply that by about every site that writes about games — it’s as if each one is lawfully required to start a podcast — and you have an ocean of nerdery. It is hard to…

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Paris, Tokyo Game Show

I should be writing about Paris, but there isn’t much to say: the food is good, the city is pretty and the girls more so. I’m loving the autumn colours along the many tree-lined boulevards and the equally radiant sunsets in the cool, but pleasant, evenings. Long walks, hundreds of photos, numerous atrocities committed to the French language and crowded, stuffy evening Metro rides home. I’m enjoying the city. What more can be said than that? Instead, I’ve been writing…

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TIGSource Demakes for OS X

if you are a Mac user, as I am now, looking at the TIGSource Demakes competition will probably bring one thought to your head: “wow, look at all those seemingly awesome games that I totally can’t play.” Most indie games are built on PCs for PCs. That’s where the majority of the market and the majority of the dev tools and majority of operating systems are. As a new Mac user, I miss the vast wilderness of low-key and big…

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Explore Photo Vomiting Rainbow Panda

I’m not sure what the origin story is for the Flickr explore Panda thing, it seems to start over here, but it’s another thing on the list of “Reasons Why I Keep Paying For Flickr.” It reminds me of the ancient (by web standards) classic: Prime Number Shitting Bear. A creation born in those goofy and weird no-more-money post dot-boom days, before everything needed to have a weblog, required to have ad words, and had to be social. So even…

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Gaming, as Viewed 20 Years Ago

The Independent’s Thomas Sutcliffe asks: Why don’t we take computer games more seriously? The answer to the question is easy: it’s generational. The mainstream newspapers and TV shows are still, more or less, ruled by those from a generation before gaming became ubiquitous. To them, it’s a fringe activity of no value. Any such attention is then naturally relegated to the fringes, be it some obscure cable channels, gamer-published “enthusiast press” and the internet. Give it time. It will change…

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Duo505 – Just An Illusion

B.Fleischmann is an Austrian musician that makes, for lack of a better word, electro-accoustic soundscapes. I have two of his CDs and, to give you a perspective, one contains two tracks (one is 52 minutes long) and the other is a double CD in which each CD contains one 50 minute (I believe, live) track. Some of his other albums are more conventional but these two are my first impressions of his work. You can get a sampling of his…

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