EVE TV Is Free Free Free

EVE TV LogoFor those who might not know, EVE TV is officially free. Well truthfully it’s been free for the last few episodes, but it’s worth mentioning since they’re finally ditching Jalipo as the streaming provider.

Jalipo was, put simply, horrid. The pay-per-view model they were using for EVE TV is not compatible with the EVE playerbase. EVE TV is using Brightcove right now, and the difference is… commercials. Between each segment of EVE TV you’ll be greeted with a quick 15-30 second commercial just like on real TV. This really isn’t all that obtrusive, since you can just not watch them (check your email, poke around in EVE, etc).

Now content wise the last few EVE TV episodes have been pretty lackluster. The Goons episode, my gawd. The only thing worth watching was the Eagle profile, and even then I skipped it since I don’t fly Caldari ships. Honestly, I pretty much fast-forwarded to the end credits. The end credits have been the best part of EVE TV recently, showing all the silliness that happens when the cameras are rolling but nobody expects them to be. It’s amusing of course, but as much as it pains me to say it, they’re the best part of the episodes lately.

Lets hope the content improves, because it’d be a shame to see the show spiral downwards when it’s now available to anyone to watch.

Finished the Fight

Halo 3 BoxSo I picked up Halo 3 on Tuesday just like half a bazillion other people. Finished the campaign that night. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything for you.

So far my experience with H3 has been well… mostly what I expected it to be. It’s Halo 2 with prettier graphics and some gameplay tweaks, and overall it’s a better multiplayer experience than Halo 2. That’s the main draw, really. Campaign wise it wasn’t short, just easy to finish in a single long sitting if you’re so inclined. 🙂

Multiplayer wise so far it’s a bit tighter of an experience than H2. The addition of Forge for creating your own custom games will no doubt prove to be a great addition, and the theater lets you share your videos and pics with others. -10 points for charging us MS points to store more. Google gives me gigabytes of free space for my email, why can’t Bungie give a few gigs for free when a billion people preordered their game?

Money grubbing for the LOSE.

Really the micropayment crap and marketing blitz for Halo 3 is designed to make you spend tons of cash, when really the normal edition of the game will let you do everything you need to do to enjoy the experience. So stick with that, and you’ll have no regrets about buying this, as long as you’re not looking for a lengthy campaign.

Valve Did Something Cool

This has been a heck of a week for Valve. They finally put the Steam Community out to the masses, finally out of beta. It’s essentially Xbox Live for the PC, except it’s free, doesn’t suck, and isn’t full of foul-mouthed 12-year olds.

The neat part about this is the ability to create a profile for yourself, describing your person to the world a bit, listing some of your favorite stuff, and tracking various gameplay stats. Here’s mine. It also lets you better track what your buddies are doing, and form or join groups with them. For example, the group I started this week for Mercenary Coalition, the EVE alliance I play with.

All of this comes with the eminent release of The Orange Box, Valve’s new Half-life 2 bundling which includes Team Fortress 2. The kicker is this week, if you’ve preordered that, they’ve treated you to a beta of TF2. TF2 is so ridiculously fun practically everyone I know goes home after work and plays it. It’s stylized like a Pixar cartoon, though one that doesn’t suck. Though the best way to describe how it looks is to see it, so here’s a clip. And I dare say the finished product (this clip is from GC2006) looks even more impressive.

Again, insanely fun, and there’s so many little goofy details in how the characters move and react. Definitely worth the wait. Valve’s also added some insane stats tracking for TF2 that adds achievements, similar to Xbox Live. Though here it doesn’t seem like some contrived way to make you play the game more, just some nifty stuff it keeps track of so you can compare with your friends.

To be honest, this has been the most impressive effort for Valve, in my opinion, to date. The whole package is there, and it’s a ton of fun at just the right price.