Archive for April 2nd, 2013

Tom and Bruce go 20,000 leagues under the sea

, | Games


The latest Tom vs Bruce has just gone live. The game is a solitaire boardgame called Nemo’s War.

…games tell the best stories when they don’t overtly try to tell any story at all, and cushions it with the background of a great story you can conjure up in your mind any time you want, which is Verne’s book about a mysterious captain who travels the seas in a futuristic submarine and has adventures while pretty much being a badass.

Part one is available here, with parts two and three tomorrow and Thursday. May the best Nemo win!

Is God of War better without Kratos?

, | Game reviews


There’s a certain comfort food quality to God of War: Ascension. It’s all very familiar, even though it’s pretty much run out of recognizable mythological trappings. The stuff I recognize is straight-up repeats from the previous games; the best of the rest of the stuff achieves a gratifying “WTF?” quality. The opening boss is named something like Heckle Donkies. He’s just a bunch of arms and a gross face that seems to have dropped in for a visit from Bayonetta. He’s funky, but ultimately no different from any other God of War boss. X X X X X X, circle circle circle circle, circle, square, X.

But what I like best about this newest God of War is how it’s willing to concede that Kratos is no longer what makes these games good.

After the jump, triangle, triangle, triangle. Continue reading →

Electronic Arts rebounds from British Petroleum with Nissan

, | Games


The last corporate partnership (i.e. product placement) in a SimCity game was with British Petroleum in SimCity Societies, which was before the Gulf oil spill. You can see the BP logo here, standing out from the rest of the city’s simlish signage.

Since then, BP isn’t really a great way to express consumer friendly green sentiments. So Electronic Arts has sold your eyeballs to Nissan instead. Now Nissan billboards appear around your city, just like Nissan ads appear in Origin. If you click on them, you can download a special Nissan electric car recharging station which spreads happiness. It’s basically just a park. For cars. A car park. Cute.

Frankly, I’d rather have McDonald’s logos, like in The Sims.

Microsoft adds kids section to annual programming challenge

, | Games


Remember Kodu? It’s a free PC application that launched in 2009 from Microsoft Research Labs and uses a simplified programming language to teach children how to create their own games. There’s a version for the Xbox 360 that costs $5, if comfy couch programming is your thing.

Microsoft has added a Kodu game design challenge to their Imagine Cup competition to encourage budding young programmers to start coding their gaming dreams. Winners will claim cash prizes and a trip to Russia. The deadline for submissions is May 17th.

Come on kids! Program the next-gen gaming fad and get bought by EA!

Shifts shifts into high score mode

, | Games


I still don’t much care for Shifts, a rather dry spaceship crew management game, sort of like FTL minus combat, exploration, and charm. But I have to commend the developers for adding a scoring system to give the brief expeditions some replayability. As of the latest update, as you play, you earn points, which are displayed at the top of the screen. Like some of Shifts’ other features, the score is undocumented. As near as I can tell, the best way to earn points is to settle planets, which is incidentally the overarching goal. Makes sense. But I can’t tell whether there’s an effective correlation between playing harder difficulty levels and getting more points. That sort of thing is important in a game with a score list.

And, yes, there is a score list. You’d never know this from the fact that it’s inaccessible from the main screen. Instead, you have to start a game and then check the menu you would normally use to quit the game or turn off the music. Ah, there’s your score screen.

DayZ creator would like a PS4 version

, | Games


Dean “Rocket” Hall, creator of the popular zombie survival mod DayZ, told The Escapist that a console version is likely if the standalone game is a success.

“Certainly I think if we don’t, for want of a better word ‘fuck up,’ the PC release then I would say a console port is almost certain,” Hall revealed. “I know a lot of people get really hot and bothered about it. Like, I’m not a console gamer, I’m a PC gamer, but I don’t think it necessarily has to hurt things.”

But what consoles would be likely to see a DayZ title in the future? At the moment it seems like the PS4 may be the leading candidate. “It appears to be the kind of game that Sony are interested in, I think we just have to wait and see,” he continued. “We’ve talked and met with Sony, and they’re very – you know, they’re obviously interested.”