Archive for December, 2007

A Brief Public Service Announcement

December 18, 2007 Leave a comment

If you own an iPod capable of playing games, you must go purchase Peggle from the iTunes iPod game store.  The game is 4.99 and is a great deal.  If you’ve missed out on Pegglemania,  now is the time to try it.  The PC version, Peggle Deluxe, is on sale on Steam for 9.95.

For those who do not know, Peggle is a puzzle  game in which you must shoot and bounce a limited number of balls into orange colored blocks in an attempt to make all the orange blocks disappear.  It may sound dumb or simple, but the addition of special powers to use adds to the strategy of getting the highest scores possible.

I have played through the PC version and enjoyed myself through the entire campaign and still fire it up from time to time.  Today,  the iPod version was released, and I have played the first few levels and it is a capable port.  There are minor bouts of slowdown, and the scroll wheel isn’t as accurate as the mouse.  However, this is the first portable version of Peggle I have seen, so it gets an automatic buy and recommendation from me.
Go buy it. PC or iPod, it is a fantastic game.


Why Arkadian Warriors’ Online Play Is Broken

December 15, 2007 Leave a comment

In my impressions posted a few days ago, I wasn’t very positive about Arkadian Warriors, the newly released Xbox Live Arcade Guantlet/Diablo/Untold Legends clone. I have continued to play it, and have almost completed the game. Today I had the opportunity to play some of the game online, and I really wonder what they were thinking in regards to the way the online portion plays.

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Impressions: Arkadian Warriors (Xbox 360)

December 13, 2007 1 comment

I have to admit I have an odd fondness for mindless old-school experience-grinding loot-grabbing hack-and-slash games, regardless of quality. When I heard about Arkadian Warriors being released this week for the Xbox Live Arcade, I was excited. The 360 is rather sparse with this particular genre, so the $10 price made this game an automatic buy for me.

I have only played the game for a few hours, but while I have enjoyed it so far, the game has enough issues that I have a difficult time recommending it to most people.

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Impressions: Marble Blast Ultra (Xbox 360)

December 5, 2007 1 comment

One of the less noticed additions to the new Xbox 360 dashboard update yesterday is the new “Arcade Hits” section in Xbox Live Arcade. The section isn’t really anything special, it’s basically the “Platinum Hits” for XBLA games, where the games are offered for discounted prices. The initial batch of games are Zuma, Small Arms, Lumines Live!, and Marble Blast Ultra. Of those games, the only one I didn’t own was Marble Blast Ultra, so I went ahead and spent 400 points and proceeded to try the game out. Read more…

Xbox 360 Fall 2007 Dashboard Update

December 4, 2007 Leave a comment

I just downloaded the new dashboard for the 360, and have had some time to play around with it. This is by no means indepth, just a few things I have noticed. Read more…

Quick Comment on the Jeff Gerstmann Fiasco

December 1, 2007 Leave a comment

For those who don’t know, Jeff Gerstmann was the editor in chief of reviews at Gamespot, a very large and influential video game website.  He had been working there for over 10 years and was fired a few days ago.  The rumor is that he was fired for the tone of his video review of Kane and Lynch, which has been pulled, and/or his text review of the title, in which he gave the game a 6.0.  Joystiq has been posting frequently about the latest breaking news about the situation, and I encourage you to read the coverage.

First off, it’s difficult to write about something when so little information about the incident is known by anyone outside the Gamespot management inner circle and Jeff Gerstmann. I’d imagine most of the information floating around on blogs and message boards right now are completely without factual merit.

Having said that, the tone in some of the current and former Gamespot writers’ blogs is pretty damning.  Aaron Thomas, Bethany. Carrie, Ryan, Stanley L., Lark Anderson, Alex Nevarro, and many others have posted blog entries that are pretty touching.  Unfortunately, they cannot say anything outright about the situation since that could lead to their job termination, but it seems that many of them are unsure about Gamespot’s future.

They shouldn’t be unsure about Gamespot’s future.  They should be unsure of the future of all of gaming “journalism,” for lack of a better word.  If the rumors are true about the reasons for Mr. Gerstmann’s firing, how can readers trust what gaming writers say in any capacity?  Was that 9.0 a legitimate score based on the reviewer’s experience with the game, or was the score inflated under duress?  How did that magazine get the world exclusive review/preview of that new game?

This is a sad day for the industry, and I feel sorry for those working in it right now.  Hopefully, this situation will inspire not fear and pressure from advertisers and developers in the minds of the writers of Gamespot and others, but instead a call to action to expand video game journalism into something bigger and greater than what it is currently.