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October 15, 2010 / Notmaker

Dynasty Warriors Online: Very, Very, Very First Impression

Okay, loaded up the Closed Beta build, logged in the for the first time…and I am greeted immediately by hokey pronouncements, scintillating sparks as weapons shatter against shields (and other weapons), violations of battlefield physics, and that awesomely anachronistic power ballad

I am home.

Well, sort of.  For something called a “beta” it still seems far more like a game in alpha.  A lot of the interface looks both very clunky and unfinished.  The console games went out of their way to include atmospheric finishes to menu art to help sell the idea that you were stepping into a fantastic setting, but they haven’t got to that point yet, it seems.

The graphics are also require significant optimization.  Despite very few lighting affects or in-depth texture-mapping, the game chugged to halt whenever I hit an enemy soldier (whether there was one, one hundred, or one thousand), diving from a smooth 60+ FPS to less than 5 immediately.  Lowering the graphics settings to the bottom had absolutely no affect.  The admittedly aging desktop seems to have no difficulty rendering any number of soldiers and movements and attacks, as long as I don’t actually hit anything.

I’m going to come back to this, with pictures, once I secure a gamepad of some kind.  One way or the other, DWO seems basically unplayable with a keyboard.

October 13, 2010 / Notmaker

DJ Hero 2 Ad: Best Accidental “Safe Sex” Ad ever?

So, Activision’s newest ad campaign for DJ Hero 2 just came out a couple days ago, headlined by the TV ad after the break.  On the surface, I can totally understand the intended thrust of the ad, where DJ Hero 2 is an entertainment experience that allows its players to express, collaberate, and just generally have fun experiencing the music they mix together (in a post-Rock Band world, it’s the only way to fly).  However, the secondary implications of the ad are a bit unfortunate.

Video & more after the break

October 12, 2010 / Notmaker

How Long Before Your Entire Hard Drive is Filled with WoW?

Blizzard Logo

Okay, so apparently, the 4.01 patch for World of Warcraft didn’t quite come out as stable, despite it being 4.7 GB.  There’s an additional 1.4 GB patch to fix the things that the 4.7 GB patch broke.

I may be looking backwards through ilvl 60 rose-tinted engineering goggles from vanilla, but I don’t recall patch day being quite so painful (and enormous) before Activision bought Vivendi (and Blizzard with it).

Complete patch notes at MMO-Champion.

October 8, 2010 / Notmaker

Capcom Launches Awesome NYC Okamiden Contest

As part of the media run-up to the US launch of Okamiden, Capcom’s new Okami game for the DS, Capcom has started a brand new contest in New York City.  According to the official Facebook page, Okamiden’s new protagonist, Chibiterasu, is lost on the streets of the Big Apple!  You can help find Chibi by looking for special posters with his description, taking a picture of it with yourself, and posting on their Facebook wall.

The phone number goes to recording that restates the stuff on the poster, and presumably, contest winners will be able to pick up their prizes at the Capcom table at NY Comic Con.

First three posters will win…”a mini Chibi keychain plush”?

Well, okay, so the prize isn’t that awesome.  But that poster is goshdarn adorable.

(h/t Kotaku)

October 7, 2010 / Notmaker

“Stunt” is Not the Most Important Word in “Publicity Stunt”

For the folks who don’t know, Good Old Games is a digital download service for classic PC games, like Heroes of Might and Magic and Arcanum.  They have two major value-adds: 1) They are completely (and legally) DRM-free, and 2) Games you buy are perpetually available for re-download, so folks with a shortage of space can mix and match from their purchases as they see fit.  Pretty awesome, in other words.

Well, GOG’s recent marketing moves haven’t been quite as savvy as their business model.

Read more…

October 5, 2010 / Notmaker

Dynasty Warriors Online Beta Begins Soon! It’s Time to Return to the Three Kingdoms!

Update: The Beta client is now available for download!

Okay, let’s get something out of the way right now: every Dynasty Warriors fan on the planet is aware that the games really aren’t that good.  The models are basic, the gameplay is dated, the graphics are often not optimized, the interface can be frustrating at times, the voice acting is awful, and the storytelling has often gotten worse over the years (DW6 was a particularly egregious example).

We don’t care.

Read more…

September 27, 2010 / Notmaker

News: Slow-moving reptile gets online, starts a blog about videogames

Hey there, visitors both real and imaginary (mostly imaginary)!  Welcome to the Power Leveling Turtle, a blog by and for a “casual”, “hardcore”, “25-34 male”, “American”, “console/PC” gamer who never has enough time/cash to play everything, and, well, gets there when he gets there.

Seriously, there are too many labels for whatever kind of gamer you are, and they’re all inadequate.  Every single demographic modifier you can imagine, whether it’s gender, location, casual/hardcore, genre, etc, is waved around like a flag whenever a media outlet wants to talk about “who this game is made for” in a 200-word, page 18b, review of a game they played for an hour.  It’s much easier for them to throw up a couple trite adjectives than to ask questions like how did Blizzard design World of Warcraft to appeal to both gamers who liked spending 6-8 hours per sitting on a single game and gamers who preferred their gaming in 1-2 hour segments? Or on what player metrics did EA choose to make their sports franchise games based around stat-maximization over interface innovations? Or why the heck did John Romero make Daikatana?

Read more…

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