Friday, June 26, 2009

SEGA Handheld

Huh. Kotaku reports on this new handheld device, which plays Genesis and Mega Drive cartridges -- ! Wow, didn't see that coming. You can buy it for yourself next month. Looks like a pretty sweet little device, assuming it is of decent quality. Can't really tell how nice the screen is from the catalog shot provided. Pretty neat that it plays US and foreign games! And only $50...a retro gamer could find worse ways to spend the cash. Too bad I'm not a bigger Genesis fan. I'll bet this could sell in the UK. Anyone interested?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Battlefield Heroes

Like a stealthy soldier ninja commando guy, Battlefield Heroes quietly launched today. I never did manage to get into the beta, so I was eager to check it out. I created my dude, a gunner named Capt. Falcon (ha), but I could not get a match to load. Will keep trying, I guess. Made it through the tutorial, however, which was short and sweet, despite the fact that I crashed the hell out of a plane at the end.

I love the polish the game has. Great sound, great look, nice UI. Yes, there are obvious visual design comparisons to TF2, but so what? This is a much different game aimed at a much different audience. However, even though Battlefield Heroes is supposed to be "casual" it still feels like a gamer's game. I hope EA knows what they're doing...



Look for some impressions later, when I get the game to work. For now, enjoy the awesome (and hilarious) opening cinema.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Speed and Style

Massively reports on the first FusionFall content update -- called Speed and Style -- which includes vehicles! Coming this summer to a computer near you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Playing as Fast as You Can

Great article in the Escapist this week about speedrunning and the people who do it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

FusionFall Cards

FusionFall pre-paid game cards are now available at Target and will be coming soon to Toys R Us, 7-11, GameStop and a little mom 'n' pop operation called Wal-Mart. Get one today!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Champions Online

So I have been in the preview (beta) of Champions Online for a few months now, but I actually played the game for the first time today. Let me 'splain you. The Champions preview sessions were running 5 pm to 9 pm Pacific Time, Wednesdays and Fridays. This ain't super convenient for someone on the East Coast, with young kids, who also has to get up early in the morning. (And Friday night is movie night in my house.) Anyway, I jumped in one Wednesday evening some time ago, and played around with the character creator (I'd tell you all about it, but I can't). Then the login server crashed, and I lost my character. Sigh! I considered going back in a number of times, but never did.

Until today, when I realized that they started running the scheduled preview sessions earlier! (One of the perks of game development: you can play games at work.) Looks like they started running longer preview sessions back in May, but I hadn't noticed. Oopsie. The game is, well...I look forward to posting some impressions when the game is open to the masses!

(HINT: superheroes are awesome.)

Sweet Klonoa Music

So I started playing Klonoa for the Wii the other night. What a charming, charming game. I missed this title the first time around, as I never owned a PlayStation. (I was also too busy making movies in the mid-90s to play games. Sigh.) What I especially love about it is that it is a 2D platformer firmly grounded in a 3D world. When the environments rotate, you can see into the distance, noticing places or objects that you would like to reach. In a traditional 2D platformer, the edges of the screen naturally limit your ability to do this. But in Klonoa, you have the illusion of exploring a huge 3D world, firmly grounded in a design that really only lets you move left and right. It's a brilliant mechanic that makes the game feel very modern, even if it is a decade or so old. Bonus: if you go to the official site, you can listen to a good 15 minutes or so of the soundtrack, which is really excellent.

(I am a nerd with a soft spot for game soundtracks. What are you gonna do?)

As reported by 1up and other online sources, the controls in Klonoa are really tight and the game overall feels like a standout representative of what is today a withering genre. Also, I am playing the game with the "gibberish" language and not with the new English voiceover. The presentation is very cute, very Japanese. Recommended!

In other game news, I finally finished Bioshock last night, only two years too late. Maybe some day I will post my thoughts on that game, as well as Half-Life 2, another critically-adored shooter. Both games are excellent in their own right, but I cannot help but notice some annoying things about each title that prevents me from completely gushing over them. Again, the Schwartz Theory of High Expectations Media Consumption rears its ugly head; I went into both titles with unrealistically high expectations. There was no way they were going to be met.

Oh, and I am also this close to finishing Dragon Quest V on the DS.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Scribblenauts

So the kids at Joystiq are crowing about Scibblenauts, a new DS game shown at E3 from the folks who made Drawn to Life. It looks like Scribblenauts is more of a puzzle game than a platformer, but the same level of creativity is there. You type in objects that you want your character to use, and they appear! I wonder how many options truly exist, and how esoteric and weird you can get. I preferred the ability to draw my own objects in Drawn to Life, although the platforming was not very challenging. If Scribblenauts can avoid descending into a series of "Will it draw this? How about THIS?" mini-games, it could be pretty fun.

How fast will you ask it to draw a dick?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

OMG New Metroid!

Holy crap I think I just soiled myself.