Archive for March 26th, 2012

Echo Bazaar ditches Facebook

, | Games

That headline is misleading in a couple of ways. First, the game Echo Bazaar, a cannily uncanny union of writing, RPGing, and world building, is no longer called Echo Bazaar. Now it’s called Fallen London, after the name of the place where it’s been set all along. Good move.

Second, they didn’t really ditch Facebook so much as make it optional, which is a great move considering the developers have always been suitably sheepish about hitching their work to social networking. Now you can play Echo Bazaar…err, I mean, now you can play Fallen London by simply registering an email account here. However, the optional social elements of the game — the multiplayer, if you will — are still tied to Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps as the developers develop Fallen London’s nascent clique system, it will make Facebook and Twitter even more optional.

And because it wouldn’t be Fallen London without some great prose, here’s the little snippet of lore that appeared on the side of my screen while I risked scandal by gossiping with the Melancholy Curate’s servants to get information on his Enigmatic Sister.

You can study many things at the University of London. The Department of Cryptozoology studies the small, hidden creatures of the Neath. Creatures that have never been seen, but almost certainly exist. Under the right circumstances. Hopefully. Otherwise, the Department might lose its budget.

MLB 12 The Show: phantom benching

, | Game diaries

It’s August, hot as balls in Altoona (play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian likes to tell me the game-time temperature), and the season is scooting along. At some point along the way, I’ve lost my starting status and been demoted to the backup second baseman for the Curve. I’m getting spot starts at second base and right field (my secondary position is as an all-purpose outfielder) but sometimes a couple games will fly by without my insertion, the schedule’s calendar boxes filling in with simulated results I took no part in. What have I done (or not done) to deserve this?

Afer the jump, absentee landlord Continue reading →

The stinky shambling awesomeness of Operation Raccoon City

, | Game reviews

The developers at Slant Six are mostly known for successfully packing Sony’s SOCOM series into the PSP a couple of times. In Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, they’ve tackled an equally ambitious project: packing Resident Evil into a Lost Planet style team-based shooter with asymmetrical characters, persistent progression, some fancy zombie concepts, and online co-op and versus play. All the while, zombies and spec ops soldiers fight it out around you. Jump in whenever you’re ready. It must have been one hell of a design document.

After the jump, the unfortunate matter of the game itself Continue reading →

March 26: lead zeppelin alert

, | Games

Not enough games have armored zeppelins. Gettysburg: Armored Warfare (pictured!) intends to address that by going back in time and making the Civil War less boring. Unfortunately, it’s one of those team-based multiplayer only shooters with RTS elements that will confound your average gamer and probably leave the servers sparsely populated. For your less boring Civil War single-player needs, you’ll have to be content with Darkest of Days. Go ahead and Google that.

Also out this week is the option to twist a little metal on the Playstation 3 with Wheels of Destruction, a downloadable car combat game. Gears of War 3 gets new maps. Someone hasn’t told Namco that Ridge Racer has been played out for ten years. That guy who cheated on his supermodel wife with a Denny’s waitress has a new golf game.

Qt3 Movie Podcast: The Hunger Games

, | Movie podcasts

We love great movies in which Jennifer Lawrence plays the desperate provider for her fatherless backwoods family, subsisting on squirrels and true grit. Unfortunately, this week we saw The Hunger Games instead. At the 40-minute mark, we react to this week’s 3×3 of our favorite reactions.

Next week: Wrath of the Titans