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Dorflike Review: Spacebase DF-9

Games and Gaming, Reviews, Things To Play

Last year when we posted our Dorflike Round-up, Spacebase DF-9 was still in its infancy, but the game was promising. Fast forward less than a year, and Double Fine is announcing that they’re going to release version 1.0 next month and then abandon ship. Fortunately, they’re planning to release enough source for the modding community to take over from here. Then again, the game seems light years from completion.

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character creation Guild Wars 2
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The RPG Player’s Lament

Games and Gaming

“I envy people who never play RPGs,” I thought, as I adjusted the nose height of my new character a fraction of an inch, for the eighth time in a row.

I started playing Dragon Age Origins this week. I bought the game on Thursday, but I couldn’t start playing it until Saturday, because I knew I would need to invest a big chunk of time in the first session. Not to get through the tutorials or learn the controls; to get the face right. Continue reading

buckaroo-large
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Important Internet Opinion: Pinball FX-2

Reviews

Yes, I’ve been flapping my flippers, bumping the desktop with my pelvis, and seeking multiball nirvana in Pinball FX-2, and now I’m ready to share my Important Internet Opinions with you about it.

But first, some nostalgia.

I grew up in a tiny northern BC town in the 1970s. We could, if we had our rooftop antennas tilted just right, get a total of two television stations, and at night, if atmospheric conditions were right, we might pick up more than two radio stations. There was no internet, of course. There were no movie theatres, no video rental places, no malls or skate parks or really much of anything besides trees and water and moose and oceans of booze.

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A Short Tale That Illustrates A Universal Truth

Features, Games and Gaming

You are going to die.

Friend, you are going to die. That’s the one thing I can say about you, without the tiniest shadow of a doubt, no matter who you are. It’s one of the few things that all humans share. Awareness of that universal truth might just be the thing that makes us human. We know we’re going to die, and we build glorious, airy structures of belief to help us deal with the Fear, or to convince ourselves it’s not going to happen. But it is. You’re going to die. And whether or not you’re a believer in some kind of continuity of self after death, it is still an End, of a sort. You can believe that you’ll flit around clouds, winged and be-harped with a smiling god enthroned and beaming, you can believe that an eternity of pain and torment and screaming and fear await you because of that time you rubbed your downbelows a bit in church, you can believe the quantum standing wave that instantiates your personality in your skull jelly will persist with or without the meat substrate, you can believe in a self made of spirit that will coalesce with the universal consciousness after your heart stops beating, you can believe in the great wheel of becoming and that you’ll return until you Level Up. Whatever you believe — even if you believe nothing, or have decided due to lack of concrete evidence that it’s best to reserve judgement — dying is going to be an Ending. And just possibly, in some ways, a beginning.

The Stanley Parable is about endings.

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Rimworld Title Screen
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RimWorld – Alpha Review

Reviews
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I’m not new to roguelikes and I love a lot of the genre. I’m not a Dwarf Fortress player but I could be. My roguelikes? Rogue, played on a PDP-11 – no colors or easy to recognize characters, thank you. Also hack and NetHack and larn. (Even used to play a custom branch of hack that included lemmings.) Fast forward to FTL or pretty much any contemporary roguelike that I can lose badly. I have a special affection for Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space.

Having enjoyed Prison Architect, but not as fully as I wanted to (mechanics/philosophy stuff I won’t go into here), I was thrilled to hear about RimWorld’s more Firefly-esque approach to building and cultivating the colony and kickstarter-pledged immediately at a level that’d get me access to the Alpha.
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The Dorflike Round-up

Games and Gaming

Playing Dwarf Fortress is an amazingly deep and interesting experience, but it is not without a learning curve. The pairing of the enchanting, emergent stories the game produces with a nearly impenetrable interface has created a market for games that provide a similar experience with a prettier and more approachable interface.

This is no easy task. Gaming history is littered with barely-started projects that have been abandoned by their creators. Lately, however, it seems that an increasing number of these games are getting to playable states and showing varying degrees of progress and promise. Many of them have playable releases and I’ve tried as many of them that I can get my hands on; this is a report of my findings.

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XCOM Wallpaper
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XCOM: Enemy Unkown on iOS (versus XBox’s version)

Games and Gaming, Reviews, Software, Technology

Huge X-COM fan here. I liked a lot of the old franchise and really missed the turn-based tactics. For a lot of years. I remember trolling Good Old Games and emulators and other ways to re-experience the game and I’ve always loved the mixture of tactical turn-based (it’s why I started the Fallout franchise too – my love of that cultivated by X-COM), soldier cultivation, resource management, tech trees and light disaster-related political resource allocation that X-COM brings to the table.
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I Hate You So Much Right Now

Games and Gaming

Making video game characters with whom I can fall in love takes a cocktail of hard work, genius, luck and Jennifer Hale. It turns out that making video game characters I can hate takes practically no effort at all.

In this short series of articles a small collection of pixels, logic and random events will demonstrate that I am a terrible person.

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Cap'n Mal afloat
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Minecraft Waterworld: Hardcore Mode

Games and Gaming

Dry land is not just our destination, it is our destiny!

So sayeth Deacon and so sayeth our Hero, the ever optimistic Captain Blockypants Reynolds (or just Cap’n Mal for short).

Hello and welcome to this introductory episode of Minecraft Waterworld on Hardcore Mode!

Setting:  Our hapless hero has [landed, been banished, is stuck in a dream, woke up one day] on a world with nary a speck of land in sight.

Goal: Somehow… Cap’n Mal knows if he finds and kills the [Evil, Vile, Wily, Gorram] Dragon, his quest will finally come to a happy conclusion.

Complication: He only has ONE LIFE TO LIVE!

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Tacticool Edition (11.11.11)

Games and Gaming, News

As is apropos on this Veteran’s Day, we spend most of this week’s podcast discussing the latest in modern military shooters, starting with our review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I ramble for a bit about what I’d like to see in a modern military shooter game, and why the “vision video” concept for Rainbow Six – Patriots is very much not that, Call of Duty Elite is delayed and borked, Battlefield 3 loses first week traffic numbers to a Call of Duty game, Steam gets hacked, and we talk about how Ubisoft and EA will punish us for being good paying customers through DRM. Please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast – Episode 39 (11/11/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: We’re Horrible, Horrible People Edition (09.15.11)

Games and Gaming, News

And once again, we return to you belatedly and with sadness in our hearts. Real life stupidly keeps on intruding into our efforts to bring you our particular brand of meaningless babble, and so here we are. This week, we cover such late-breaking news as Ubisoft removing the DRM from From Dust, freeing us to wonder why you would want to buy the game in the first place, EA continues making up for lost time with their dickery, the PC is resurgent while Nintendo continues to watch the bottom fall out of their business models, and we promote two things worthwhile: One, a pre-release beta of Minecraft‘s 1.8 Adventure release (which, due to our timeliness, is already out officially), and a Kickstarter donation page for the NASA astronaut sim MMO game, which is still ongoing and can be found here. Please, go forth and donate to a worthy cause, and remember to Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 37 (09/15/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Tranquility Edition (07.18.11)

Games and Gaming, News, Retrospectives

We’re still a little tuckered out after last week’s rage-fueled barreling beast of a podcast, so this week, we decided that there wouldn’t be anything important announced. A fearful gaming industry obliged, and so we present to you a much more low-key, some would almost say sedate podcast. We do follow-up on the horrible, awful things that induced such anger last week (but in a much more calm and relaxed manner), Manhunt 2 goes not exactly into the West, but wherever awful exploitation games go, Planetside 2 becomes more interesting as a possible free-to-play game, EA buys Popcap Games, a cool bit of news about the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved re-release, we mock poorly written product announcements, and the crew behind The Escapist’s Extra Credits series decide to do something awesome with the enormous pile of money they suddenly find themselves sitting on. Thank you, and please, Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 34 (07/18/11)

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: Bad Words Edition (07.07.11)

Games and Gaming, News, Retrospectives

I, personally, choose to believe that we are all capable of being decent human beings at any time, and that corporations which are smart enough to make a serious impact on the world around us are also smart enough to not intentionally sabotage their own efforts, products, or customers. I also realize that people are jerks to each other for little or no reason a lot of the time, and that corporations can and will choose short-term gains over long-term profits and security almost every single time. You can imagine what this does to my temperament, something which is on full display in this week’s podcast, as last week’s relatively bad news free status is drastically reversed.

Some good news does make it under the wire, Crysis is coming to consoles, CCP decides that screwing their Eve Online customers isn’t such a good idea, the Extra Credits drive to help their artist keep making art was a success beyond their wildest expectations, and I have new hope for a good video game movie as details for a Mass Effect film surface with a pretty decent writer and production company attached to the project. On the bad news front, Team Fortress 2 players are determined to show new players on the free-to-play accounts that they’re not welcome around these parts, and EA continues their charge to be more hated than Activision. Please, put the little ones in the other room and then Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 33 (07/07/11)