Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dark Sector: A Three-Pronged Flashback

As a gamer, you've probably experienced it: The wonder of discovering a bargain-bin title that's jazzy enough to make you wonder why you didn't pick it up when it was new. I've been spending this weekend enjoying just such a title: Dark Sector. Available on Steam for a mere $10, and worth every cent, Dark Sector was designed by Digital Extremes (probably better known as the developer of the much more recent The Darkness II) and revolves around an alternative cold war timeline involving biological warfare and a secret, boomeranging superweapon.

Said object, which serves as the game's gimmick, is the glaive - much like the one featured in the schlock sci-fi film Krull, only this bladed terror Frisbee one comes with two fewer prongs and a much better story taking place around it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

GOG.com - Time Machine of the Gods



There exist more prefixes to the word "-ware" than software and hardware. I remember a time when, if, say, a game, or an antivirus package, etc, was really lousy, it was called crapware. Malicious, snooping software is often called spyware. The moniker vaporware is applied to stuff stuck in seemingly-permanent development hell. Titles - especially games - that we older gamers miss fondly and wish we could enjoy again, but can't for the fact that it's not available anywhere in any form, is generally called abandonware because it seems their publishers have given up on marketing it. Enter Good Old Games, a. k. a GOG.com.

Fogies like me, and curious, younger players who hear fogies like me wax on about the classic games of yore and how wonderful they were in their pixilated glory, have a resource through which they can actually buy one-time PC abandonware that's been rescued, cured of DRM infections, made to work on current computer platforms, and offered to the market for incredibly affordable prices. GOG.com is one of the best resources for gamers on the entire Web.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mass Effect 3 - Intensity Makes Good Gaming

There's a reason Bioware's Mass Effect series is popular beyond belief. It's engaging, it's addictive, and it has ever right to be described with any superlative you can think of. I have a feeling it didn't need the hype machine constructed around it by the pertinent marketing departments: Gaming this good generally finds an audience and sells copies numbering in the millions.


Shepard, customized.
Sure, certain games don't sell to their publishers' expectations. As a fan of Tim Schafer, my heart broke when Psychonauts and, later, the rocktastic BrĂ¼tal Legend sputtered. But karma has a way of correcting itself, and sometimes makes games packing pure awesome, but lacking hype, such as Kingdoms of Alamur: Reckoning and Enslaved: Osyssey to the West, sleeper hits via word of mouth and positive reviews.

In the case of Mass Effect 3, there was never any doubt. But why?