Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not much lately...

It's been awhile since my last post, it's been a mixture of lazyness and the holidays. I really did want to post at least once a day, something I still need to work on.

A few updates; I have decided to cancel EQ2, resubbed to WoW, am taking a short break from WAR till I buy a gamecard, and just waiting for LOTRO get arrive in the mail so I can fire that up as well!

Both me and the wife are on vacation which is nice because we rarely have the same days off any more. It's been a great holiday season so far with the family, hopefully everyone else has had a great holiday season as well.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Leveling Guide for EQ2.

Massively has a great article on a comprehensive leveling guide for EQ2. I have been looking for something like this for a long while, and it seems I was just looking in the wrong place. The guide is for everything level 1-80, and even comes in a pdf file as well!

More Dawn of War II footage.

Shacknews has a video with three minutes of gameplay footage from the new Dawn of War II game, and holy crap I can't wait. Check out the video here, it's pretty sweet!

Trying to understand the economy!

Gamespot has an article on how EA is expected to do another round of layoffs, to which I say why? Before any one answers that, let me at least explain why I am asking.

It seems that all this year developers and publishers have been laying off some of it's workforce, but it's not all that uncommon in the gaming industry. But even with the tough times, it seemed that the gaming industry was above the current crisis. But with regards to EA, they have published some successful titles this year; Spore, Dead Space, Warhammer Online, Red Alert 3 just to name a few. So why more cut backs then?

Well the end of the article states that EA is also scaling back its SKU count. So I guess to answer my own question, it seems that EA expanded to quickly, released crap like Mirror's Edge or unfinished product like Warhammer Online, and realised they had way more projects in the works than they could support. So the down sizing of IP's is the main reason it would seem to the next round of lay offs, which is very unfortunate.

There's not much that hasn't been affected by the economic crisis this year. But maybe in the long term the gaming industry will gain from all this, maybe companies like EA will realize that having a lot of SKU's is not what makes you successful, but maybe having fewer high quality SKU's will make a company successful, and profitable. I think we would all benefit from that.

Star Wars: The Old Republic video.

Today Bioware released a video doc on their new Star Wars MMO, so here it is.

A couple of observations, the lighting is awesome, sabre fights look great, not to sure about the art design yet. But I am looking forward to this game for sure. Hear that sound, that's the sound of the couple of gamers that are still playing Star Wars Galaxies thinking it might actually one day get good again!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That time of the year again!

That's right, it's time for the Game of the Year picks that every gaming website and publication known to man do every year. The time of year when games that have been only released for only a little over a month get nominated, and even win!

I came across this article at 1up about how Fable 2 has won X-Play's 2008 GotY award. Excuse me?!? You're kidding right, Fable 2?!? Yes, Fable 2 is much better than the first Fable, but most of the games on X-Play's list are far better than Fable 2.

I hated Gears of War, thought it was highly overrated and dull, but loved Gears 2, thought Epic did a wonderful job, how does that not get GotY. GTA IV and MGS 4 both get perfect scores in many reviews, but apparently not good enough to get GotY. So what about Fallout 3, it came out just about the same time as Fable 2, and even received higher scores on average, but I guess since you can't get married and you dog companion doesn't find every useless piece of crap buried in the ground it doesn't get to be GotY.

Fable 2 is an excellent game, and I would highly recommend that everyone play it. But it's not nearly as good as Fallout 3 or Gears of War 2, and to a degree even GTA IV. As a side note, I hate everything Metal Gear, so no one should ever play any MGS game, it's the worst gaming franchise ever.

I firmly believe that if Fable wasn't such a flying bag of poo, then Fable 2 would only have been received as maybe a mediocre game. I'm sorry, but having to get a job and being able to get married and have kids is not my idea of fun, I already have both of those in real life, do I need to emulate real life in a game that I am playing to get away from real life?

For those of you who voted for or think that Fable 2 should be GotY, I need you to do something for me- hold out your left arm, make a fist with your left hand, then try to make your fist go through your face. Do that repeatedly till you fall over bleeding, and that should let you know how much I think about Fable 2 getting GotY.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fallout 3 Funkified

I saw this video at Shacknews and thought it was awesome!! Be warned, it is a little on the long side, but still entertaining none-the-less.

New Dawn of War II Trailer

I can't wait, the game looks great!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Same game, different thoughts.

I happen to be doing my usual web surfing today, and while at GameSpot I saw that there was a review for the new Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir expansion, and that it received a score of 6.0, ouch. I don't want to get into the debate on whether scores for reviews are good or bad, but I personally like something that indicates the tone of the review before I read it, if it's a number or a letter it doesn't matter to me.

So the low score already tells me the tone for the review, that it is going to be negative in nature, and it didn't disappoint. Once I finished the read, I began to recall seeing something on the interwebs that the first few reviews for the game were favorable. And so I went to GameRankings.com and pulled up NWN2:SoZ, and sure enough there were two other reviews and both had much higher scores for the game.

The first review was from 1up and they game the game a B+, the next review was from IGN and they gave the game an 8.3. So why do I care about all this, because I have been looking forward to Storm of Zehir since it was announced and I had a knee jerk reaction to the GameSpot review when I initially read it. So I sought vindication by looking for some positive reviews so that I justify my feelings that the game is good no matter what they say.

Then my mind began to recall something that I saw in a Zero Punctuation video about not letting others opinions of a game influence you if you enjoy the game, which made me realise why I read reviews in the first place, to gain some knowledge! I have personally written two reviews, Age of Conan and Warhammer online, and they do come off as a bit on the negative side, but I do make mention that I did enjoy playing both games. I tried hard to present the facts both good and bad about the games, but the negative tone was because I felt that there were issues that both games had that were glossed over in the early reviews, one reason why I chose to do a review almost two months after release.

The reviews that I enjoy reading are ones that present the facts about a game, both good and bad. I really get annoyed with reviews that focus on what the game is, the back story, what the author did in one level that made the game so great for them, and finish up with little information on things like how the gameplay is, framerate, graphics, sound, multiplayer features, and even bugs and what not. I feel that GameSpot is one of if not the best online review site out there, and most of the time the reviews they have are informative mixed with personal play experiences, and I like that. I have always felt that if a review has a score, that is the opinion of the reviewer, and should be taken as such.

So the bottom line is that all three reviews presented some of the same facts, but it would seem that one person was expecting something completely different than what they played, and that I should not have taken the review personally just because I was looking forward to the game.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Starting December strong!

I have really been slacking on posting to the blog lately. That can mostly be attributed to the poor time management skills that I have! I had every intention of posting up a day by day recap of my awesome vacation, and the first one I have had in over three years. So I will recap it in one sentence then; I slept very little like a moron, played alot of games, had two Thanksgiving meals, and I neglected my blog. Honestly it wasn't much more interesting than that.

I played a whole heck of alot of Fallout 3, and I am loving it, my personal game of the year for the PC!! Something I really need to do is take some screens and chronical my adventures in the capital wasteland for all to see.

I have mentioned that I joined the Casualties of War guild for Warhammer Online, well they have now branched out to WoW as well. I also picked up the new EQ2 expansion the other day, so I am now running three MMO's at the moment, something I plan to do for at least a little while, but eventually I am going to have to cancel one eventually.

Speaking of EQ2 expansions, Shadow of Odyssey is giving my PC all sorts of problems. For some reason the game has issues with launching, I will get a black screen, then the game will minimize to the desktop and stops responding, extremely frustrating. Nothing like spending forty dollars on the game and fifteen dollars to reactivate the account, only to have the game become unplayable at times to make one feel like they wasted money.

Well, thus ends the first post on the first day of the last month of the year.