Category Archives: Gaming

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Dragon Age 2 Review

There’s a lot to be said about Dragon Age 2, good and bad. I hate to say it, but the too often used idiom “mixed bag” really does apply here.

Despite some of the conclusions I had probably drawn from some of the preview material and trailers, the combat had changed very little in the end. It’s generally paced faster, while still retaining all the tactics options from Dragon Age: Origins that I need. The biggest missing thing is the tactical/bird-eye view, but who uses that, I mean really. The only time I used it in Origins was at the very beginning just to see how it looked, chuckled at the novelty of it, and zoomed right back in. The farthest zoom you have in Dragon Age 2 is quite far enough for me to see everything I need to see during combat. Continue reading

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Batman: Arkham City Review

So, as the story goes, Arkham City takes place 12 months or so after the first game, Arkham Asylum. Somehow Quincy Sharp, the former warden of Arkham Asylum has successfully managed to run for mayor, and convinced all of Gotham that it would be a great idea to wall off a chunk of the city and turn that chunk into a big-ass prison. Sounds logical? Not especially, and the start of the game does a very poor job at explaining what exactly has happened between the two games. I hear that there’s some sort of comic out there that shines some light in to this, but fuck this cross-media bullshit.
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This just in, Shadow Complex is fucking awesome

Yep, Shadow Complex kicks some serious ass. That’s all I have to say about the game at this point. I’ve played some of it, and it’s just excellent.

Aside from the few quirks that the Unreal 3 engine has, I don’t have anything negative to say about this game so far. And even the texture pop-in is under control, only noticed it twice so far. So, excellent.

Oh yeah, Nolan North is the leading voice. That guy sure gets around these days. He is the new Prince in the PoP games, he was Forge in Halo Wars, Drake in Uncharted. Also Desmond in Assassin’s Creed, Vossler in FF12. And in a bunch of upcoming games as well.

Steam Weekend Deal, 66% off on all things Half-Life

Not Gordon Freeman, just so you know
Not Gordon Freeman, just so you know

Be quick, this deal will only last for the weekend! You can now get all the Half-Life games in several different pack configurations or as individual games, dirt cheap. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 for example is $5.09, and the Half-Life Complete Pack is $16.99. And that pack has quite a few games. So if you ever missed out on all things Half-Life, now would be a pretty good time to catch up. Head over to Steam to view the various packs that the deal includes.

Oh yeah, there is also a deal on the Valve Complete Pack, that’s 10% off. While not as big of a deal as 66%, it’s still pretty good if you are in the market for it.

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Original Soundtrack is coming pretty soon

Even the cover is totally nuts
Even the cover is totally nuts

So I heard that Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts has awesome music. You may have heard it too. Well, it took them some time, but the official Rare homepage news tells us that you’ll be able to buy an official soundtrack for the game pretty soon. Infact, Amazon US lists the release date as June 30, 2009. So, you know, pretty soon. You can pre-order it now, also from Amazon UK, if that’s your preference. Though as you can clearly read from the Amazon UK page, it’s an import that way as well. So, do whatever comes cheaper for you I guess. :D Order it! I know you want to.

Oh, right. I guess I should also mention that the soundtrack is composed by Grant Kirkhope, Dave Clynick and Robin Beanland. In case you didn’t know. Which you probably didn’t, so now you do. You can thank me later.

BioWare releases Dragon Age: Origins PC specs

If you didn’t hear this yet, BioWare has released the minimum and recommended system specs for the PC version of Dragon Age: Origins, so here I am to paste them to you. Minimum specs aren’t too bad, but recommended specs, quad core, seriously? Maybe this is the first game to properly use more than one or two cores then? Just makes me wonder how the fucking hell are they going to make it run on either of the consoles? Something smells like bullshit here, and it’s not me. In any case, here’s the E3 trailer for that game, embedded from GiantBomb.

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Street Fighter IV Benchmark for PC available

If you like flying Russians, you'll like Street Fighter 4
If you like flying Russians, you'll like Street Fighter 4

Interested in Street Fighter IV? Don’t have a console? Excited about the upcoming PC release? Not sure if your PC can handle it though? Well, today is your lucky day! The good folks at Capcom released a benchmark for the PC version, it weighs in about 400 megs and you can download it from Fileshack. It has 3 bouts between some of the fighters filled with hadoken’s and whatever else, all kinds of nice effects and shit, probably designed to stress the machine somewhat the same way a real bout would. It has a good number of graphics options to tweak if you need to, but the good news is that it seems like the final product will be lean and mean PC version. I was able to run the bench on my system with constant 60 frames per second with all settings in high, at my native 1680×1050 resolution, and it looks pretty great. Well, all settings high except for antialiasing, but who needs antialiasing at this resolution and in a game like this. It looks fantastic. There are also few interesting post processing effects that you can apply to the image, watercolour, ink and posterizing. I’m undecided if they look interesting or not, but the good news is that I was still able to run at full 60 frames per sec, so if you choose to use those they don’t seem to hurt the performance at all. Though your mileage may vary. All in all, looks like it will be a good version.

So, that gives me great hope that the PC versions for Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2 will also be great. Capcom and PC’s looked pretty bad for a while there back in the day when Devil May Cry 3 and Resident Evil 4 was ported for PC. DMC3 was just horrible game and even more terrible port. And RE4 was, while functional, really ugly quick port. At least with RE4 they updated it with some lighting effects later which made it a little less horrible, and fans have made a huge effort to mod it with higher resolution textures and all that.

But that was last gen consoles. For this gen consoles and the PC, Capcom made a new engine called MT Framework, which is basically a development framework that runs on the PC, and is the kind of ported to the consoles, at least according to one of the developers behind DMC4. This shows in super awesome PC versions, Lost Planet and Devil May Cry 4 for example both run on PC like a dream. This same MT Framework is also the engine in Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2, so I expect them both to run like a dream as well. Capcom has really learned their lesson with these things and their approach to multiplatform games is great. Street Fighter 4 doesn’t run on MT Framework I think though, but who cares, it runs great regardless.

Now, if they’d just make it so that other developers could license the engine as well, so we could finally rid the world of the terrible Unreal 3 engine.