Category Archives: games

The Joy of the Nuke

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you head on to Steam and purchase DEFCON. This is a brilliant thermonuclear war strategy game, from the folks who brought us the insanely great Darwinia.

The retro style and simple premise do not imply the underlying complexities of planning to kill millions of people in your opponents’ countries. The game is instantly easy to get into, but working up effective and unique strategies can be an entirely rewarding and challenging experience. It’s like Risk in a way, except at the end the death toll is usually in the hundred million plus range. Check it out, and look me up if you’re online and want a match. I’ll give you two guesses what my Steam name is.

Galactic Civlizations 2, and my name in lights

Stargamer.net is a site dedicated to news, reviews, and previews of space games. I was approached by one of the site’s overlords to see if I wanted to do a review of Galactic Civilizations 2, and I agreed. So ladies and gentleman, here it is.

This is the first game review I’ve done to be published on an official game site of some sort, so let me know what you think. :p

BSG2.5 and TDU

Ahh, acronyms…

Yesterday saw the release of the second half of season two of Battlestar Galactica, which has to be the most absurd way to release a season of a television show. Many who know me know that I think Battlestar Galactica (the new series) is possibly the best television show done by man, and the second half of season two does not disappoint.

While I was there at Best Buy, I decided to pick up Test Drive Unlimited for the 360. The demos really do not do this game justice, as many of my friends have claimed. It’s a total blast to be able to have free-for-all access to the entire collection of Hawaii roadways presented by this game. This is like a guy’s Pokemon in a sense, where the “gotta catch em all” phrase can be applied to the many vehicles the game lets you buy and race.

The free roaming nature of the game is the one thing Project Gotham Racing 3 lacks. For all of PGR3’s incredible visuals and sim-ish racing dynamics, you’re unable to just take a car out for a spin on the streets of the different locations. Here you can conceivably drive around for hours and hours (like in real life I suppose), taking in the nice visuals of the island and its assorted locales. I’ll have to put up a review of this one in the Games section after I spend some more time with it.

Gaming Weather

Well it’s defintely been a case of the weather dicatating what I did on a weekend. The cold, wet weather we’ve been suffering through for the last week kept me indoors, but at least it gave me an excuse for finally finishing the main quest in Oblivion. I could almost hear my 360 sigh with relief as it finally blooped that I’d got the Hero of Cyrodiil achievement. Now, to do the guild quests, and venture forth to all areas I breezed past in order to complete the main quest.

I’ve scarcely booted up EVE these days for much other than skill training, I just simply haven’t had the time to put towards a serious session with it. Work’s been busy, and when I do get home I’m more likely to plop down on the couch than in front of the PC.

I’ve been enjoying cooking more and more these days. It’s strangely relaxing, and rewarding, not to mention damn tasty (when you get things right). I’ve been slowly amassing a collection of recipes that I’ve been using thanks to sites like FoodTV and such. I can’t begin to say what an amazing resource that site is for guys thinking of getting into proper cooking techniques and making real food (not KD or ramen).

It’s also a great way to impress the women. :)

Two more demos this week

So two demos came out on the Xbox Live Marketplace. One for Just Cause, and another for Test Drive Unlimited.

Just Cause is kind of an amalgam of Grand Theft Auto, Mercenaries, and that awesome sequel to Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico. It seems to me that the developers paid a ton of attention to making a graphics engine that could handle massively large scale environments, but forgot about one little detail. What was it again?… oh yes, compelling gameplay.

There’s some interesting concepts there, but I can see the full game having a ton of missions to do, all of them variations on a few generic themes.

Test Drive Unlimited will herald itself as probably the 25th racing game for the Xbox 360, but it’s got some interesting twists. Namely, you drive around in your cars, around a closely detailed recreation of the islands of Hawaii. The catch: other players are driving around with you, and you can either cruise the streets, do single player races, or challenge people at random.

The game engine’s neat, but the driving dynamics are fairly clunky. It’s not trying to be a sim, and at least the controls are better than the E3 demo, but spend five minutes with any game on Xbox Live and you’ll see why having a persistent environment with all other players is a bad idea.

I drove around in the demo area, spent a few minutes driving down the wrong way of the main highway getting in everone’s way, just to see how easy it would be. Turns out it’s very easy to be annoying to people just driving around. Better hope the official races with people are instanced, otherwise roadblocking will be a common disruptive tactics by non-racers.

Still, these are just demos, so maybe they’ll nail both of these when they go to retail. But for me the demos have done their job, and I’m confident I won’t be buying them.

2006 Tournament Ends

Well the 2006 Alliance Tournaments in EVE have finished. In honor of this, I’ve commemorated the occasion as I did last year, with a new comic.

It was an interesting tournament overall, but the semi- and quarter- finals were really a sight to behold. There were some awesome fights, and some great upsets. The finale was a bit underwhelming, shall we say, but it was still great to be able to watch the entire tournament over EVE TV, and to attend the finals in person as a rep for WDA. :)

Maybe the lackluster ending to the tournament will make CCP take notice, and either rework the organization and rules of the tournament next year. Alternately, they could simply come up with some kind of more compelling event for everyone to take part in.

EON, ENV, 360 updates

A new edition of EON Magazine has been released, and as always it includes a new Warp Drive Active comic.

Also, a new edition of EVE: Nature Vraie is coming soon, but I’ve taken the liberty to redesign the navigation of the site to make it a bit more intuitive and simple. I’ve also fixed a rather glaring Internet Explorer formatting bug so thing should be a lot more readable now. Why do people still use IE? Check it out here.

Lastly, I’ve been filling in my thoughts on the Xbox 360 games I own, you can check those out in the Gaming section (links above in the header). Enjoy.

EVE TV and the Alliance Tournament

There’s a rather large tournament happening in TV at the moment, and CCP have taken the interesting steps of getting EVE Radio to come and broadcast it all live via streaming video. Very cool, and it runs for about six days through July as the tournament progresses.

About a week ago I was asked by the kind folks there to work up some kind of monologue about Warp Drive Active that could be put to video, and it seems that was broadcast today during one of their segments between matches.

Check out the schedule for the tournament here, and access the live stream here.

Interview in EVE Tribune

This weekend I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Laocoon of EVE Tribune, a news site for the EVE community. The interview appears in their Issue #5.

I can never get over when this kind of thing happens. If someone had told me years ago I’d be doing an online comic and getting interviewed by websites I’d have laughed at them. This reminds me of the time when Urban Mongral of EVE Radio interviewed me for his radio show Desert Asteroid Disks. That was definitely interesting as well, as I got to choose a bunch of songs to subject listeners to across the entire hour of the broadcast. If i can find the MP3 of that I’ll put it online.

Check out the EVE Tribune interview here.