Post mortem: Machinarium

A couple of years ago I tried the demo for Machinarium and was not impressed.  After playing the three demo levels I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, and never even considered spending money on the game.  It turns out I didn’t have to – after gifting Lost Horizon to one of the hosts of the GameBurst podcast for a job well done, I was repaid with a generous gift of the Humble Indie Bundle #2 and #3, and specifically Machinarium.  Not wanting to be a prude, I fired up the quirky little puzzler and played it [... read the rest ...]

It isn’t often these days that a multiplayer title holds my attention for more than a few sessions, however Mode7′s pure strategy game, Frozen Synapse, has its claws deep right now.  My biggest complaint with multiplayer games is that I have to cater to other people’s schedules in order to enjoy them, however Frozen synapse elegantly sidesteps this flaw by allowing games to be played offline – almost like the “play by email” systems of old. Briefly, each turn combatants submit their moves for the next five second interval, and then once both players have committed their orders the game [... read the rest ...]

The dog days are summer are almost upon us, and while I don’t have nearly as much time for gaming (let alone writing) when the weather is this nice, I find myself spreading my miniscule gaming hours across far too many titles.  Here is a brief look at my current ongoing titles…. Bayonetta (PS3) I loved this brawler back when I demoed it, but it took quite a while for me to find a copy for a price that I was happy with paying ($15).  I’m three chapters in, and the game is every bit as action-packed and bat-shit insane [... read the rest ...]

A good delay

Gamers usually gnash their teeth and wail at the moon when a popular game is delayed, however I couldn’t be happier with the news that Bioware is pushing Mass Effect 3 into the first quarter of 2012: Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012. The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone’s expectations.” – Casey Hudson, Executive Producer Mass Effect series Bioware has been shoveling games out the door at an alarming rate, and the [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic

Back in February I asked for help in choosing my next big game, and the overwhelming choice from the options that I gave was that I should play through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR).  Released in 2003 by Bioware, KOTOR seems to be particularly beloved by fans, however gaming expectations have changed in the intervening years, and the new normal does not always favor the classics.  Of course, some games – like Valve’s first Half Life – are still wonderful to play even now, but games like that are the exception, not the rule. Star Wars: KOTOR [... read the rest ...]

Last August, in a fit of indecision, I asked you guys to help me choose the next video game that I would play.  From the diverse list of eight titles you ended up pointing me in the direction of The Witcher, which I then went on to play, conquer, and rave about to anyone who would listen.  Since then I’ve banged another three games off of that list, however I’ve added more than that to my backlog, primarily due to Steam sales. So, here we go again, please leave a message in the comments, below, and let me know which [... read the rest ...]

Downloadable is where it's at

It truly amazes me how quickly small downloadable titles have come to be so prevalent in the gaming industry.  With the robust success of PSN, Steam, and the Xbox Live Arcade, suddenly it doesn’t take a huge publisher and a multimillion dollar budget to get a game to market and make a bundle. Most of these small time developers are smart too:  they know how to put together a compelling demo that both offers a taste of their wares as well as tempts the player to open their wallet.  Here are five recent examples from Steam. Zeit2 Originally released on [... read the rest ...]

I have long asserted that the video games industry is pursuing copy protection all wrong, and hurting honest consumers while not affecting pirates in the least.  Instead of including DRM that is only strong enough to deter casual piracy, publishers continually try to foist more and more invasive schemes on the market.  It’s nice to see a company buck this trend, as Bioware seems to be doing with the DRM for next month’s Dragon Age II: Steam versions use Steam DRM, no other DRM is added. Non-Steam versions (digital or retail disc) are as follows: – No disc check, you [... read the rest ...]

Jan 282011
Demo: Winter Voices

Winter Voices is an episodic title by indie developer Beyond the Pillars.  The game, of which the first three parts are available for download on Steam for $4.99 each, is a unique roleplaying game that is unlike anything that I have  played before. Players used to big budget titles may be more than a little put off by the graphics that Winter Voices offers:  while crisp and clean, they are distinctly grounded in a Flash-like aesthetic that feels more suited to a free gaming website like Kongregate than on a downloadable for-dollars service like Steam.  The game is old school [... read the rest ...]

Sold!

It’s not often that I’m swayed to buy a game after reading a single article, but that’s exactly what happened today when I read Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s “5 Mistakes To Avoid In Magicka” piece this afternoon. Although I had heard the name ‘Magicka’ in passing recently, I didn’t know what type of game it was, what platforms it was releasing on, how much it would cost, or when the release date was.  The last three are easy:  Magicka is an indie PC title that is set to launch on Steam tomorrow and will cost a paltry $9.99. As for what [... read the rest ...]

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