Friday, April 29, 2011

PLAYSTAPOCALYPSE 2011!: New Releases for the Week of 04-24-11

Jack Shit  (PlayStation Network)

Been playing quite a bit of this in the last few days. Not as engaging as the gritty, aggressive-sounding name might lead you to believe.

Darkspore (PC)

A spinoff of the 2008 Electronic Arts/Maxis 2008 game Spore. Sadly, however, Darkspore is not some sort of evil mirror-universe counterpart of the original Spore, developed by an evil bearded mirror universe Will Wright. Instead, it's an action RPG in a science fiction setting that incorporates a character editor based on the Creature Creator from the original Spore.

It does, however, come equipped with evil bearded mirror universe digital rights management software intended to improve upon the controversial DRM of its predecessor. It works much like the SecuROM DRM in Spore, requiring online authentication when the game is installed and limiting a copy to a maximum of five installations. The chief difference difference is that, in this version, attempting to install the game a sixth time will awaken the pitiless machine intelligence governing the game's patented AgnonizeROM anti-piracy program, which will neutralize the potential threat to EA's intellectual property by killing you and anyone else in the vicinity with a series of increasingly painful electrical shocks. It also eliminates most of the compatibility problems SecuROM sometimes ran into with Windows Vista, which is a plus.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Robot Geek American Staff Podcast is here

Over at Robot Geek, I'm part of the first episode of a new regular feature: The Robot Geek Podcast:: American staff edition! Join me and cohost Nick Nguyen for rambling, awkward discussion of video game topics including:

Marvel vs. Capcom 3!

Classic PC game manuals of yesteryear!

Bewhiskered musclemen committing horrific acts of animal cruelty!

Other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head because it was recorded over a month ago!

All of it delivered in my golden G-Man-from-Half-Life-meets-Daffy-Duck-on-barbituates tones! Don't miss it!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh E.T. Alamogordo, New Mexico wgah'nagl fhtagn: New releases for the week of 04-10-11

Magicka: Vietnam

(PC) An expansion to the action-adventure fantasy game. Like the original, you play as a wizard using his sorcerous might to battle hordes of foes, except that instead of the original's Norse myth-inspired fantasy world you're in... Vietnam.

Remember a few months ago, when I referred to Kingdom Hearts as the “Game Premise Most Likely to Have Been Originally Conceived at 3:00 AM By People Sitting In a Huge Cloud of Marijuana Smoke”? I don't think Magicka: Vietnam displaces the current title holder, but the contest is sort of the first Rocky Balboa-Apollo Creed bout of bizarre video game premises: Magicka: Vietnam doesn't win, but it gives the champion a run for his money and proves it has what it takes to go the distance.
World of Tanks

(PC) Massively multiplayer online team-based action game built around tank combat, featuring American, Russian, and German armored vehicles from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. I'm not into MMOs, but what I've read about it sounds pretty cool. It's just unfortunate that the game has a name that makes it sound like a place you'd find at the mall between Spencer's Gifts and one of those fancy scented soap stores I go to when I need to buy a female friend or relative a present and can't think of anything else.

Yar's Revenge

(Xbox Live Arcade) I was sort of hoping that this would be about Tasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation somehow returning to have a rematch with that evil talking oil slick that killed her in the first season, but no such luck. Instead, it's a remake of an action game for the Atari 2600. More specifically, it's a remake of an action game for the Atari 2600 that was programmed by the same guy who programmed the legendary E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial for the same system. To be fair, the original Yar's Revenge was reputedly much better than E.T., though being better than a game so universally abhorred that millions of unsold copies were encased in concrete and buried in the desert like nuclear waste or the dead-but-dreaming corporeal vessel of some malevolent elder god isn't a terribly exacting standard.

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