NWN2: MotB And The Witcher

November 8, 2007

The WitcherWith all the great console games coming out this holiday season, it’s easy to overlook two small releases from Atari which haven’t received much face time on ad banners compared to some of the big games. Due to my extreme admiration for PC gaming, I have been following both these titles since they were first reported. Finally within the last month, both of them found their way onto my PC. Mask of the Betrayer requires the original Neverwinter Nights 2 game to play while The Witcher is its own game. While they are both excellent games, they are also very different from each other while using the same engine. It’ll make more sense as you read on.

Like I mentioned above, both games are published by Atari and they use some form of Bioware’s Aurora Engine to create the visuals. They are both RPGs with complex story-driven plots and isometic cameras. However for enthusiasts of a more down-to-earth camera, they both over an OTS (over the shoulder) camera mode to be more close to the action. So why did I mention both of these games? It’s because they’re different, and they both try to shift the focus of modern RPGs from being a happy-go-lucky good guy to one of moral ambiguity.

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Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbow Six Part 1

October 25, 2007

LogoThe “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six” series began in 1998 as a Windows PC game developed by Red Storm Entertainment, called “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six,” loosely based on a then incomplete book called Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy. Stop me if I’m going too fast. In an time where games like Quake 2 and Half-Life had you shooting aliens, robots and rooms full of explosive barrels; Rainbow Six offered something different: realism, planning, strategy, and teamwork. These key elements were passed down, unscathed and in some cases improved, to the two sequels that followed: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 2: Rogue Spear and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield (seriously who comes up with these ridiculously long names). All seemed good for the series until. . . . Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Lockdown.

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Gabe Newell Hates Everything!

October 11, 2007

Gabe NewellHalf-Life and Half-Life 2 brought Gabe Newell just about everything but tact. The only thing as big as the Half-Life franchise is Newell’s mouth. He apparently hates just about everything that isn’t a PC running Windows XP.

Here are some choice quotes from Newell on:

The Playstation 3: “I think [PS3 is] a waste of everybody’s time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There’s nothing there that you’re going to apply to anything else. You’re not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they’ve created.”

The Xbox 360 and Vista: “Look, I spoke to some people at Microsoft, and as I said, I can’t point to a single feature in Vista that I care about that solves problems for us at all. And I had the same conversation with the Xbox 360 guys. It’s like, Xbox 360 doesn’t make my life any better, and in fact, it makes it a lot worse, as you’re telling me I can’t count on having a hard drive.”

Vista and DirectX 10: He was quoted as having said that Microsoft Microsoft made a terrible mistake releasing DirectX 10 for Vista only and excluding Windows XP. He said this decision affected the whole industry as so far only a very small percentage of players can use DirectX 10.

Your mother: Your mother is a sea hag.

The Mac: “…they seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there’s never any follow through on any of the things they say they’re going to do. That makes it hard to be excited about doing games for their platforms.”

Like the guy or hate the guy, agree with what he says or disagree with what he says, Newell just seems to be an outspoken being of bitterness and hatred. . .
Actually I wonder if he could be a guest writer for this blog.


Deus Ex 2: Visible Taint

October 11, 2007

Deus Ex 2: Invisible War had all the makings of an excellent sequel, it had the name recognition of its game of the year predecessor, it was set in a well crafted universe that was open to a sequel and the director and producers involved with the original game were also involved with this project. Despite all of the good things going for it and the excellent reviews it was getting on the Xbox, PC gamers felt slighted. Why did PC gamers feel slighted? Do I ask more rhetorical questions? Read on to find out. Read the rest of this entry »


The Definition of Console Taint

October 9, 2007

Console taint is a term that was coined to describe video game titles, that are released for both PC and video game consoles, that lack a certain degree of sophistication that PC gamers are used to. This could be anything from lack of standard features (e.g. quicksave), strange defaults (e.g. autoaim on by default in a FPS), minimal options, strange options for PC games, game mechanic simplifications, etc.

I’ll review games I thought were worthy of the dubious distinction of being tainted.

Stay tuned.