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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Portal 2’s Release Mechanic, My Take

I’ve heard allot of fussing over Valve’s unique accelerated release mechanism for Portal 2, both good and bad. There are those who think it was fun to be part of the release clock and those who doubt playing the indie games Valve linked to their ARG system had any effect whatsoever. My opinion is that for a one-time gimmick it was fun. I enjoyed tracking the updates and playing the games was a good way to pass the time. It generated sales for indie developers too, so that’s a plus. My biggest worry is that this will become commonplace. It was fun once, but more then that could be too much. Maybe once a year I could tolerate it but I can just see some marketing exec seeing the fuss that this generated and trying to implement it for their own upcoming releases.

Some companies get more leeway then others. Valve, Nintendo and Bethesda, for example. Nintendo has a deep, core connection with gamers that no other company can match and people will buy their systems just to play the latest Mario, Zelda, Metroid and the rest of their first-party lineup. Valve has a huge reputation for quality and gets more patience from gamers as far as release dates and processes then most companies (save for Blizzard). Bethesda’s the wild card in this paragraph. My argument for them is, if any one else released games as buggy as their Elder Scrolls series – especially Daggerfall and Morrowind – people would have burned them at the stake and forgotten them. For whatever reason, their games get a huge pass on crashes, bugs and glitches. Personally, Morrowind would crash on me every 10-15 minutes, almost like clockwork. Any other game that did that to me would have been uninstalled in record time but I kept playing Morrowind, accumulating over 100 hours of play, easy. While I can explain Valve and Nintendo’s freedom, I still can’t put my finger on Bethesda’s magic touch.

In any case, Portal 2 now – according to GlaDOS @ Home – has under 30 minutes left before release. I’ll be there, will you?

UPDATE: At 12:30 AM EDT, Portal 2 is unleashed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ready to Hang Up my TF2 Gloves

hl2 2011-04-08 07-18-19-54

I think it’s time I quit playing Team Fortress 2, and the above picture is a small glimpse into why. It’s not just the 3 kills to 12 deaths you see here; I later got dominated by two players at once and fell to 4 kills and 21 deaths. The sad part was that until I checked the score screen I thought I was having a pretty decent round. It’s that thought, and not so much the kill/death ratio, that’s telling me it’s time to quit. When I’m dying more then 5 times as often as I’m killing and that feels to me like I’m doing well, I’ve jumped the shark.

I did grab the No-Hitter achievement later in the round for making a capture without firing a shot, but it took me almost four lives to do it. I got into the base and got the briefcase to the battlements before dying. I then got it and ran it to our front door and was killed. I then snatched it up and bolted for our intelligence with someone close behind me, peppering the walls and floor with gunfire. Just as I reached our intelligence and completed the capture – literally, it was less the a second difference - I was killed from behind by my pursuer, revealed to be a spy. That felt like a daring success, but that’s one success against how many losses? Too many.

I may log on for short jaunts now and again but my days of trying to be competitive are done. You win this round, Teenage Mutant Ninja Cyborgs – aka the other players I’ve faced – but I’ll be back in another game, and that one I will win.

And it will be sweet. Later, all

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Traffic Meter Change

Just a quick heads-up on the site visitor counter at the bottom of the page. It read, up until this morning, in the 170s. After an update it reads upwards of 1,200. Why the change? Because I’ve changed from tracking the last 30 days to counting all visits, starting from the oldest data I have, which is from May ‘09. It will now count every visitor to the site from here on out. Let’s see how high you guys can make it climb.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pick your favorite sites!

I’ve added a poll for everyone to vote on about your favorite network sites.
Which do you prefer?

nue is the root of the network. Games news, reviews and previews are found here. It’s been up and active for over six years now.


Our World of WarCraft blog, which has been inactive for a few months. It’s still up as an archive, chronicling both the game since launch of Wrath of the Lich King and my main, human paladin Gavelier from hapless level 42 soloer to experienced level 85 guildie.

The Jockeys

Our web comic about two radio DJs, their cousin Bernie Monster and their killer pet snake. It’s usually updated on the weekends, but due to varous factors is occasionally misses it’s release date.


nba2k11 2011-04-02 04-36-00-91
AlphaSports chronicles the career of one Rick Daniel in NBA 2K. Originally running on NBA 2K10, we migrated to NBA 2K11 when it released. Daniel started 2K11 playing point guard for the Miami Heat, but in his second season got traded to the Denver Nuggets and is now their sole star player.
So which is your favorite? Do you like AlphaSports’ biographical style or do you prefer a laugh with the Jockeys? Maybe you enjoyed Gavelier’s adventures and want him to come back, or just come here for the reviews. Let your opinion be heard!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Running the Rift

rift 2011-04-02 05-34-27-73

I picked up Rift yesterday and have been playing a for few hours on and off. The first thing to come to mind for me was that the combat didn’t have the oomph that DC Universe Online did, but instead is typical fantasy MMO fare. I helped close my first while going between two early quest zones near a Rudi’s Wagon in Silverwood. Once that was closed another opened no more then a stone’s throw away, which was just silly. While working together with other players was fun and there are nice rewards for it, these rift can also be a pain in the ass. I appeared inside a fiery invasion one near Argent Glade upon logging in, and nature ones later ruined my quest progress in Argent Glade proper, taking the north and sound ends. My avatar is a Mathosian warrior with Beastmaster, Riftblade and Champion souls. Why? I have no idea, they aren’t explained hardly, if at all, before you pick them. I read up on them before playing, which is the only way I knew anything at all about what I was selecting and even then I just knew I wanted the pet to help me fight, some ranged attacks and strong two-handed attacks. That’s it.

Rift can be fun, but how Trion Worlds can make a feature out of having your questing interrupted randomly and calling it ‘dynamic gameplay’ is beyond me. Other games do the same thing, but they just have other players doing it and call it PvP. I’m going to keep playing but there’s allot for this game to overcome at this point and when a game starts in a hole, that’s not a good sign.