November 2008 Archives
Now, the problem with most gaming blogs is simply that they either focus on the business of games (which game has just released, what the sales figures are) or one a particular subset of the genre (i.e. the various WoW fansites out there, Massively for MMOGs, etc). Offworld is attempting to cover the "indie" scene but yet they have a post about Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead, two titles, which I would not classify as being indie, but rather mainstream. Fallout 3 is a licensed sequel bought from the failed Interplay, and Left 4 Dead comes from Valve, which is indie in the sense that they are not owned by EA, Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony, but mainstream in that everyone knows who they are. Indie to me, lies more along the axis of developing offbeat independent games with a small team of developers that mainstream audiences tend to find little interest in because they are unpolished and raw, yet subtly quirky enough to attract the interests of the everyday gamer. Three Rings, for instance, is the perfect example of an indie game developer -- they develop and publish quirky casual games that appeal to a limited audience, and aren't on any of the major game consoles; their games' appeal spread by word of mouth, and by the creativity of their game design.
For Offworld to become successful, it needs to echo the Boing Boing formula of linking to interesting content, and I think in the current game blog universe, especially in the field of indie games that it will be a struggle to not turn into all the rest.
When I was a kid, we had chickens and we had rabbits, although I never knew that chickens could perform this kind of interspecies intervention.
(via boing boing)
Interestingly enough, up until this past month, Nintendo had statistics on nintendowifi.com which showed was live; however the site has been shutdown and now simply refers to a product page for the service.
The Death Knight character, while new and interesting seems to fill the area between a Warlock and a Warrior Hybrid; while not as ineffectual as a Paladin in dealing damage, the Death Knight does not have the heavy physical defense rating of a Paladin, but rather heavy magical defense so that they can tank spellcasters in a raid group. I think this should prove interesting, as the hardest fights in the game are usually against spellcasting bosses, which do incredible amounts of damage quickly.
The talents and skills of a Death Knight are interesting, as they range from being able to summon Ghouls to being able to Death Coil (fire a bolt of energy which steals life from the enemy and replenishes the Death Knight's).The game play is very similar to a warrior or rogue, in which the player must build up runic energy in order to execute special attacks.
In the Bay Area, the official event was in San Francisco's Powell Street Gamestop, which had about 200 gamers showing up; in my opinion, the real crowd was at the Fry's in Sunnyvale further down the peninsula, which by all estimates numbered well into the eight hundred plus mark.
The game is estimated to sell approximately 5 million in the first month of release, a phenomenal number of copies, given that most PC games are lucky to sell even a quarter of that number in the first year of release.
My own experience with the game has been one of installing and patching -- after installing from the DVD, a process which took for me about an hour, one must download a 390 MB patch to update from 3.0.1 to 3.0.2, and then one smaller 20MB patch to go from 3.0.2 to 3.0.3. Those with the patches can supposedly jump right in after filling out their account keys.
The Collector's Edition of the expansion set includes an art book, which while nice, isn't as nice as their previous Art books included with the Collector's Edition. As always, the CE comes with a special in-game pet, a CD and a behind the scenes DVD.
Lately I've been finding Wiis at Target, but with the Nintendo Wii being readily available on many online retailers now (such as Amazon, Gamestop, and Best Buy), could it mean that the 3 year drought of Wii consoles is over?
- Child's Play - a non-profit started by the Penny Arcade guys, their purpose is to get video games and toys into Children's Hospitals around the world.
- For those upset on the results of California's Prop 8, three legal organizations filed the first lawsuit to Prop 8 -- the American CIvil Liberties Union, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Lambda Legal.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit fighting for your rights in the online world.
- The Climate Project, an organization which trains people to talk about climate change, and how our everyday actions can lessen the impact of climate change.
While the Hybrid Camry still falls below Lexus standards for luxury, it's definitely a step up from the base model. Perhaps it's something in the soft-touch plastics and the leather treatment, but the Hybrid Camry definitely feels like a more upscale than the Prius (see my previous review of the Prius and the plastic steering wheel). One of the major shortcomings of the Camry hybrid however is trunk space; while it will no doubt accommodate a bag of golf clubs or my backpack (a tall order considering that sometimes my pack does not fit in the overhead bins on airplanes), it's possible that one may not be able to fit much more than that inside. the trunk.
With the Smart Key System, the need for a physical key to make contact to tart the ignition is unnecessary. The Smartkey is left in range of the sensor, and the car is able to be powered on; Unlike a regular combustion engine based car, the Camry Hybrid is on near instantly, as if you were flipping a light switch. There's not a turn of a key, nor a loud starting of the engine, the car is simply on, and silent. The car is largely silent in e-mode, under which the operation of the car sounds like a eleictric golf cart; it is this quietness of the car that one grows used to.