Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Michael Vick = piece of shit.

More details have emerged about Michael Vick and his dog fighting "hobby". I will keep this short, because I could go on and on about this asshole and how I would like to see him die. One thing I will say is that if for some unfathomable reason the Vikings sign him to be their quarterback at some point in the future, I will cease being a fan after some 35 years. I will burn every piece of Viking paraphernalia I own and the organization will be dead to me as long as the people who are responsible for running it are still around.

Fallout 3 update. Back to playing now...

Bethesda Softworks Announces Creation Kit and

First Downloadable Content for Fallout 3

Editor to be Available in December;

Downloadable Content coming for January, February, and March

November 25, 2008 (ROCKVILLE, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced plans to make both its editor and downloadable content available for its award-winning game, Fallout® 3 in the coming weeks. The official editor for Fallout 3, called the G.E.C.K. (Garden of Eden Creation Kit), will be available for free download in December and will allow Games for Windows® users to create and add their own content to the game. In addition, the first official downloadable content, Operation: Anchorage, will be available exclusively for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Games for Windows® in January, and more downloadable content coming in February and March.

“We’ve always seen the original world of Fallout 3 as a foundation for even more content. Some created by us, and a lot more created by users,” said Todd Howard, game director for Fallout 3. “It’s fun to create your own character, but it can be equally fun to create your own adventures. We can’t wait to see what the community does with the G.E.C.K.”

The release of the G.E.C.K. provides the community with tools that will allow players to expand the game any way they wish. Users can create, modify, and edit any data for use with Fallout 3, from building landscapes, towns, and locations to writing dialogue, creating characters, weapons, creatures, and more.

Three downloadable content packs will be coming to Xbox 360 and Games for Windows Live starting in January that will add new quests, items, and content to Fallout 3.

  • Operation: Anchorage. Enter a military simulation and fight in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe – the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. An action-packed battle scheduled for release in January.
  • The Pitt. Journey to the industrial raider town called The Pitt, located in the remains of Pittsburgh. Choose your side. Scheduled for release in February.
  • Broken Steel. Join the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel and rid the Capital Wasteland of the Enclave remnants once and for all. Continues the adventure past the main quest. Scheduled for release in March.

Released on October 28 in North America and in Europe October 30, Fallout 3 has been hailed as one of the most anticipated games of 2008, and received a 10 out of 10 review score from Official Xbox Magazine, a result then repeated around the world with perfect scores by some of the industry’s most influential and respected critics including: Gamespy, GamePro, UGO, the Associated Press, MSN, The Washington Post, Guardian, FHM, G4-TV, The Toronto Star, and Eurogamer. MSNBC’s review offered the observation that it viewed “Fallout as a no-brainer for game of the year.” The Daily Star in the UK echoed that conclusion, saying “You can hold all bets on game of the year – I think we have a winner.”

Fallout 3 features one of the most realized game worlds ever created. Set more than 200 years following a nuclear war, you can create any kind of character you want and explore the open wastes of Washington, D.C. however you choose. Every minute is a fight for survival as you encounter Super Mutants, Ghouls, Raiders, and other dangers of the Wasteland.

Fallout® 3 has been rated Mature by the ESRB. For more information on Fallout 3, visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com and www.prepareforthefuture.com.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vikings beat up Saints

The Minnesota Vikings beat up the hapless New Orleans Saints last night 30 - 27. The score was closer than the play on the field would indicate as the Vikings manhandled the Saints in all aspects of play. Even with the Saints getting all kinds of questionable calls going their way, the Vikes were able to overcome the obvious bias of the officials and bring home the win.

I think it is obvious now that the Saints should be disbanded and the franchise given to another city who would hopefully attract more intelligent fans. I mean, what a bunch of Cro-mags! Seriously. I don't think the average Saints fan can count as high as the the number of points scored by both teams. I have heard rumours that the Saints ownership is actively trying to bribe the NFL so they don't have to play the Vikings any more since they get pwned every time.

Actually, that was one of the weirdest games I have seen in a long time and I think the Vikings were lucky to win. Good luck next week, Rikathos!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The game that will own my life for a long time...

Dragon Age.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Saints pwnage continues...

Thoughts on the game to follow soon, but I thought I would post more of me torturing the Saints.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Me, owning Deuce.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Props to the Madden producers

I have to give Phil and Ian at EA Sports some props for entering the Lion's Den and answering questions from rabid Madden fans and eliciting feedback from the restless mob that is teh Internets. Phil et al are haunting the forums over at Operation Sports and making quite a few posts. The plans they have outlined for this year's Madden are making me optimistic that we are finally going to see some good "next gen" football this year. Let's hope they can come through and meet the goals they have set for themselves.

I won't be getting Madden at Midnight tonight like some folks, but I will be picking it up tomorrow. I'll have some impressions shortly after that. Hopefully, Lucy won't pull the ball away as I am about to kick it again this year. Time will tell.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog goes to Comicon

Hilarity ensues.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Time to get schooled.

Wizard 101 came to my attention a few months back and I kind of just let it slip by without paying much attention. It's billed as an MMO for teens and that pretty much limited my interest right away. That goes to show you how good my instincts are. While the game MAY be targeted to that audience it certainly isn't limited to said demographic. It turns out the game is very deep, has great production values and most of all, is pretty damn fun.

You start out as a young student brought into a school for magic ala the Harry Potter stories. In fact, the game has obviously drawn a lot of inspiration from those books as well as World of Warcraft. By answering a few questions reminiscent of the old school Ultima days, your wizard type is given to you. These include Fire, Life, Storm, Death and many other types of magic. Then it is off to see your school master to get acclimated to your new environs. Movement is very much like the standard MMO fare using either the WASD classic set up or the arrow keys. You gain quests by talking to various NPCs throughout the starting city. It sounds rather run of the mill so far, but stay with me.

Combat is decidedly different than other MMOs. It consists of "duels" in the center of a fixed combat area that comes up when you encounter an enemy. The player earns spells by gaining cards they can add to their spellbook, and their deck of cards can be customized at any time. New cards and spells are acquired via combat, exploration and quest solving. The battle plays out sort of like a Pokemon meets Magic the Gathering contest as you strategically use your cards against the enemy. You can summon monsters which have great animations, cast spells directly on foes, friends, or yourself, and use one time use adventure cards. The strategy comes in to play when developing your spellbook and your wizard type. Different types of wizards have access to different spells. The school of magic you specialize in is the most powerful, but you can have a secondary school to focus on too.

The combinations of schools are huge. On top of all that customization, you can gain loot and items to equip on your character that help him in battle and look really cool to boot. I only got to play up to about 4th level before I went to bed, but the initial outlook for this game looks really good. It is something different and unique. It also has a great style and appeal that speaks to gamers of all ages. The game is in open beta right now so if you want to give it a try, click here.

Edit: I forgot about the mini games! When your character is low on mana and health you can go back to the city and play mini games to earn it back quicker (you can also find health and mana wisps by exploring). These mini games are re imagined from well know games like Dig Dug, Bejewled and Castle Defense. They all fit nicely into the theme of the game and are a blast to play. So what are you waiting for? Give it a shot. The game client downloads really fast and the game runs nicely on a wide range of computers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

That was me.

If you were wondering what that girlish squeal was just now, it was me after reading the latest producer blog for NHL 09. Here is the thing. The guys who have been developing the NHL series over the last few years get it. They know hockey inside and out and they also know how to create a compelling video game counterpart to the real life game. Here are some things you can expect from this year's version:

David Littman
Electronic Arts

Hey guys, David Littman here, Just wanted to say hi and sneak a couple of features out to everyone.

This is the most realistic game of hockey I have ever played in a video game. Obviously you guys will have to judge it for yourselves (and talk amongst yourselves about how we say that every year), but there are so many moments that just feel like hockey. We have balanced offense vs. defense to a point where there are some games where you will get lots of great scoring chances, and there are some games where you will only get a few. It all depends upon how you play.

More than ever you have to change up your style. Some CPU (and user) teams will play more of a trap style where you will have to dump and chase just to get the puck over the blueline. It is not a game of "take the puck down the wing all the time and gain the zone every time". You will also notice CPU defensemen are much more aggressive in front of the net, especially on the two higher skill levels. Even on Pro (default skill level) you won't always feel like you are on a power play like last year.

The other realistic part of the game is that for the first time I can remember, it is tough to get the puck out of your own zone. With the more aggressive CPU AI and the new forecheck strategies you can actually forecheck and cause turnovers. CPU players block passing lanes and sweep their sticks (which users can do also) to block and intercept passes that also make it tougher to leave your defensive zone. You can create your own breakout strategies to counter this, or like real NHL defensemen use the net as an obstacle, make smarter passes and when in doubt...dump it out. When an opposing team goes into a 3-2 style forecheck (3 forwards attacking the puck) which the CPU teams will do when they are down a goal with a few minutes left, dump the puck out (so you won't complain about catch-up AI).

Here are some other bits of info:

1. The default defensive control setting is:

Right stick is checking
Right bumper (R1 on PS3) is poke
Holding down the right bumper/R1 is an auto poke sweep
Holding down the right bumper/R1 and using the right stick is manual poke sweep

You can switch (basically reverse of above) to a different defensive control setting:

Right stick is defaulted to poke and sweep
Hold right bumper/R1 plus right stick to check

With the choice of control you can default to the set up you will use most. Some users check a lot, and some poke a lot. Checking is NOT easier this year (as I joked with Brian on a recent podcast). It is actually harder, and that is why Brian could not throw a check. happy We got rid of the hip checks and the big warping checks. Basically checking is similar to when you have the puck. Your left stick is your skates and skating direction, while the right stick is your upper body. Last year the right stick controlled your direction when hitting, so it just did not feel right. This also makes clearing the front of the net easier. Your defensemen can stand still and just use their upper bodies to clear the slot, while they still stay in position.

2. Loose pucks and one on one battles

This is the first video hockey game where I have seen users with the puck slow down on odd man rushes to see what plays develop and to see if they can bait the D-man into being overly aggressive. It is the first hockey video game I have seen where players bump and battle as they try and get loose pucks (there are way more loose pucks this year with our much improved puck physics and bounces, and blocked passing lanes).

3. Passing

Passing is not always tape to tape like last year. Although if you have a clear passing lane and you are facing the receiver, most passes will be great passes. We tried to put error on passing (based on passing attributes), and believe me, it is frustrating (there is a bit, but probably not as much as the realism junkies want). We did put more of a penalty on passes behind your back, and there is a huge penalty when trying to pass out of the one handed protect puck.

4. You can set period times by intervals of one (from 4 minute periods to 20 minute periods).

5. Demo - Yes we are doing one, and we are looking at giving you a small taste of Be a Pro, and a harder skill level.