Archive for June 20th, 2012

, | Games podcasts

This week we welcome Marvel vs Capcom 3 game diarist Charles Wheeler to the podcast to tell us about the most dangerous arcade in Singapore, followed by a tentative, brief, and polite discussion about whether there’s any place in videogames for rape. We do not once use the phrase “white knight” and no chairs are thrown, so it’s a pretty poor excuse for how to get the most out of a controversial topic. Which leaves us to talk about Quantum Conundrum, Unity of Command, Valley Without Wind, Saints Row 3 DLC, and Age of Empires III. Yes, Age of Empires III. The Qt3 Games Podcast is nothing if not untopical.

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, | Game diaries

When I started writing this game diary, I was playing Marvel vs Capcom 3. But now, I’m playing Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. It’s better because it’s, well, ultimate-er. There’s a handful of new characters, a few tweaks to various characters’ moves lists, and even a fancy new game mode courtesy of the free Heroes and Heralds DLC. For these modest improvements, I got to pay Capcom an additional $40. These days, you hear a lot about game companies with consumer unfriendly practices, like online passes or launch day DLC. But I really don’t mind giving Capcom a little extra money for another disc. $40 for 12 new characters isn’t really that bad a rate, and for my trouble, I also get the assurance that there’s no userbase fragmentation: all Ultimate MvC3 players are going to have all the characters on the roster. No, it isn’t the money I mind.

After the jump: the unforgivable sin Continue reading →

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, | Game reviews

I don’t like Magic the Gathering. It’s a relic of a bygone century. Draw hands, hope you get enough lands but not too many lands, then lay out cards to do that awkward attack/block dance with the other guy’s cards. Much of the game is played between games, mostly at the counter of whatever store sells you your booster packs.

I mostly don’t like Magic because it’s success arguably killed better collectible card games. What fan of Jyhad, Legend of the Five Rings, and Decipher’s superlative Star Wars CCG wouldn’t be bitter to be playing Magic on Xbox Live, or Steam, or his iPad? Furthermore, who still bothers with Magic when games have folded into the actual game all that stuff about buying cards and tuning decks? Why would you play Magic in a post-Dominions world that has Ascension in it?

So after the jump, why would you ever read a review by me about the latest Magic videogame? Continue reading →

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, | Games

In his exhaustive, frank, and informative write-up of the long journey between versions 1.0 and 1.1 of A Valley Without Wind, designer Chris Park begrudgingly concedes that maybe players will want to name their own characters. So that’s one of the many new features in version 1.1. But Park seems pretty proud of his random name generator. As he notes, it came up with the name “Judge Glass”.

I was all, like, yeah, whatever, Mr. Developer Man. I know game designers are proud of the effort they put into their fancypants randomness generators. I’m sure Valley Without Wind knows what it’s doing when it comes to terrain, because it makes really cool places for me to explore given the infinite breadth and depth of its world. But I think I’ll just stick to my own character names, thankyouverymuch.

At which point the following character name came up randomly:

Yeah, okay, you got me. Not only is that one going to stick, it’s probably going to make it’s way into other games. Well played, Valley Without Wind.

As for the 1.1 update, boy, it’s a doozy. If you played AI War, Chris Park’s last game, you know how drastically it was overhauled based on post-release feedback. That overhaul just happened in Valley Without Wind and I couldn’t be more delighted with how different it is. It went from being a game I respected more than I liked to a game I really like. No caveat needed.

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