I am pleased to introduce my weekly segment entitled Misa’s Co-op Spotlight. The premise is simple, I will be highlighting a game each week in which you can play with other people (WHOA!). We attempted to do this last night but the livestream didn’t really work out, so just look for the video upload every Wednesday (sometimes Thursday) and feel free to leave some comments or recommend a game you would like to see us play in the future.
This week I was joined by my husband Ben and our step-brother Devon and we played a game called HOARD (created by Big Sandwich Games) in which you are a tiny dragon who flies around and burns things in order to get gold. There is a lot of screwing each other over, stealing of princesses, and of coarse BURNING! The game is available on Steam and the Playstation network for $9.99 with the option of buying a DLC to get more maps and game content. Highly recommended as a short, casual game for friends.
2012 is shaping up to be the year that developers finally pushed back. For many years past both content creators and content consumers have bemoaned the pandering of the lowest common denominator. Why can’t anybody make something original for once? Why do we need yet another modern shooter set in the Middle East? Of course we get these games because people buy them, but many of us knew that if somebody ever made that classic turn-based, squad-based RPG they remembered so dearly, they’d buy it too. Well along came Kickstarter and the people responded with money in hand.
But Kickstarter hasn’t been without its criticisms. Though the platform has helped fund numerous big game projects this year, starting largely with Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Adventure, its come to light that many of these games are essentially rehashes of the days of old. A leisurely walk down nostalgia park if you will. For all of its ability to fund developers outside of publisher’s control, it doesn’t quite seem to be able to fund things we’ve never seen before.
Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall of Loot Drop believe that people are ready for more of the old, not the new. They might be right. Their Kickstarter originally started out as simply “Old School RPG”, but has quickly evolved to include many more details and a proper name under Shaker. Its a project that deserves a little attention both for its original story setting as well as its veteran creator cred. We’re going to take a deep look at everything this project is about and try to make sense of it all as you may be about as overwhelmed as I was at first. These Kickstarter projects are definitely beginning to get a little hard to digest!
I’ve been watching Project Eternity with a distant eye. I know its there, I pledged a bit of money and I’m sort of trusting the guys at Obsidian to do something special. But obviously Obsidian aims to impress us and prove that they’re not just out for a quick money grab. Indeed, Eternity is already beginning to take some real shape and form, even while its Kickstarter winds down.
About 3 years ago I was playing console games almost exclusively. PC games were a pretty rare treat and usually only with games that made sense for PC, such as RTS games. Everything else at the time was just a better proposal on a console. I could sit among my friends and enjoy a single-player game while they watched some TV or even if they played something else entirely. But something happened when I moved out from college. In a really short span of time it seemed like I was playing on the PC quite a bit more than I remembered. My Steam library was filling up at a rapid pace and my time on Xbox Live was slowly parring down. As has been discussed quite a bit recently, PC gaming has made a meteoric comeback, but I want to reflect on why exactly that happened for me personally when I was just so into these console games before.
Last week I had the extreme pleasure of going to downtown Bellevue and visiting the headquarters of Valve Software. While it is relatively easy to take a tour of Valve (you can contact them and arrange for a tour Tuesday or Thursday every week), this was something a little bit different. I am part of an online gaming community and, as luck would have it, one of our members is employed there and was able to arrange a ‘special’ visit. Our community came out in massive numbers (40+ of us total) and jumped at the chance to explore a company we adore at a level deeper than just playing the various games they produce or complaining on the Steam forums.
Let me say that playing solo is far harder than playing co-op in this game. I die far more often at least. Today’s is lengthy for sure, but (eventually) I make it to a boss and (eventually) I defeat him. Riveting stuff, I know.
As we plow through the end of Act 2 in Torchlight 2, Dan and I discuss topics like ARPG games, Chronicles of Riddick and how annoying Skype can be. Check it out!