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06/17/2007 - 06/23/2007

The Quake Wars Beta Continues

June 21, 2007


I has a flavor. The beta rages on! As I write this, this morning's keys are already zooming out the door, so if you'd like to get in you'll have to move fast:

Join The Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Beta!

I've been having a lot of fun cruising the private beta-tester forums to see what people are thinking of the game. The strongest impression I get -- and the one echoed by yesterday's GameSpy.com preview -- is that the game is crazy and chaotic until the point where teams settle in and actually learn the objectives and best ways to use the vehicles and different classes. You can almost see the learning curve on the servers. Beta testers already have a lot of great feedback about balancing the game, so dive into the beta if you want your opinion to count.

Bring it!! ...Wait, wait no, take it away again. Please?

      -Fargo

Today's Geek Stuff:
Mod News:
Hardware Links Courtesy of Voodoo Extreme:

Posted by at 11:06 AM PDT
Edited on: June 22, 2007 10:21 AM PDT
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Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

June 20, 2007


I has a flavor. Join The Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Beta!

It's the biggest thing to happen to FilePlanet since we got our Air Hockey table. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is one of the four multiplayer FPS games that's going to make 2007 the year of the shooter (Unreal Tournament 3, TeamFortress 2, and Medal of Honor: Airborne rank way up there for me). Join the Beta and check it out for yourself!

The Strogg are such a classic sci-fi villain. In these days, when everyone's glued to their cell phones and iPods and Blackberrys, it's easy to imagine just loping our hands off to attach a machinegun. At least it is for me. Although having a machinegun for a hand would make certain day-to-day duties extremely difficult:

  • Brushing your teeth
  • Blowing your nose
  • Eating Corn on the Cobb
  • Clapping
QUAKE! WARS! HUNH! What are they good for?

Yeah, But How Does Quake Wars Play?

At first blush, as you leap into a tank and roar toward the Strogg stronghold, you can't help but compare the game to the Battlefield franchise. The beta has a little over a half dozen vehicles for you to try out, and the outdoor part of the map is awash in vehicles and heavy weapons fire. But the objectives really set this one apart: maps have multiple approaches and interesting decisions for both attackers and defenders, so the gameplay is way more focused.

In fact, as mentioned in today's GameSpy Quake Wars preview, this game is a lot more tactically complex than your average team-based shooter. That's great for serious gamers who want to dive in and get a whole new challenge, but it's intimidating until you learn the maps and intricacies of the different classes. Our advice? Get in the beta early and learn how to whup on people starting now.

Of course, this is a beta, so not everything is 100%. If you join the beta you'll have access to the forums where people are talking about everything from the weapons balance to the feel of the vehicles. These beta tests will go a long way to determining when the final game is released and how the game balance is struck when it's finished. Join the Beta and leave your mark!

      -Fargo

Today's Geek Stuff:
Mod News:
Hardware Links Courtesy of Voodoo Extreme:

Posted by at 11:02 AM PDT
Permalink

Faster, Videogame! Kill, Kill!

June 19, 2007


I has a flavor. I'm best known for my writing, but few readers know that I'm also a shark attack survivor.

What does this have to do with videogames? Simple: videogames have to hook you right away. Of course that's true of any entertainment, including, say, blog writing. I wasn't actually attacked by a shark, but I once watched Finding Nemo, and I got you to start reading, didn't I?

Hooking gamers early on is more important than ever, since there are so many things competing for our attention these days. We have a zillion cable channels, an Internet full of crazy web pages, friends on instant-messenger, and hundreds of games to choose from. So unless something about a game grips you -- usually in the first minute or less -- then you might not invest any serious time in it. This is especially true since most of us decide to buy games after playing it for a bit at a friend's house, in a kiosk at the store, or through a downloadable demo.

Hooking gamers early is the subject of this feature on Next-Generation, which talks to some industry luminaries about how to make an impact. Designers particularly rave about God of War, which gives you a quick intro before you're in the game and fighting, then throws you into a boss fight before you hit the two-minute mark. Your eyes pop out, the drool falls... and you're sucked in for the rest of the game.

Got a gaming memory that grabbed you in the first minute? Tell me all about it!

      -Fargo

Today's Geek Stuff:
Mod News:
Hardware Links Courtesy of Voodoo Extreme:

Posted by at 4:05 PM PDT
Edited on: June 19, 2007 4:09 PM PDT
Permalink

Pokemon Dominance: May's Game Sales Numbers

June 18, 2007


I has a flavor. The May 2007 Game Sales Numbers are In and business is booming ... if you're a Pokemon. Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl led the charts in number 1 and number 4 positions, respectively. Mario Party 8 for the Wii slid in at number two, Spider-Man 3 for the PS2 was number three in sales and the top five was finished off by Wii Play. Hardware-wise, the Wii continues to fly off of shelves.

While the industry is on track for record sales in 2007, this analysis on Gamasutra calls out some interesting numbers. For instance, the Xbox 360 and PS3 sales have been sliding all year. Granted, there's always some slippage going into the Summer months, but don't tell that to Nintendo, who can't keep the Wii on shelves. Naturally Sony may be considering a price-drop, and Gamasutra asserts that Microsoft should be too: "Microsoft continues to maintain that it is pleased with sales of its system, but the fact is that the Xbox 360 has been on the market for 19 months and by this time last generation each system (PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube) had dropped its price."

While those systems struggle, the Nintendo DS handheld is defying odds by more than doubling year-over-year sales. More than 400,000 DS systems are sold every month. It's staggering.

As for me, I'm one of the 300,000+ people who bought Pokemon Diamond last month. I can quit anytime I want. I mean, I'm not quitting, but just so you know, I can stop whenever I want to. Soon as I get a Pichu.

      -Fargo

Today's Geek Stuff:
Mod News:
Hardware Links Courtesy of Voodoo Extreme:

Posted by at 11:17 AM PDT
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