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Showing posts from January, 2007

From the ashes of failure ....

Perhaps the best epitaph for my failed attempt at introducing my daughters to video games through the purchase of a Nintendo Gamecube was my five year old's question: "But Daddy - is it a Nintendo DS?". Now this beautiful smart five year old doesn't know one end of a gamepad from the other and has resisted all attempts at introducing her to one but she is sufficiently plugged into the all pervaisve consumerist zeitgeist to know that a Nintendo DS is cool while the second hand box of junk her daddy has bought is not. Guess who felt like the most out of touch (not to mention stingy) Daddy that day? However from the ashes of failure rises the phoenix of hope. Quite independently of my efforts my daughters were introduced to an online site called Club Penguin by one of their friends. I checked this out to see that all was safe and well and imagine my amazement to discover that it is in fact an MMORPG. There aren't too many dragons to kill but it is an online world w

Thoughts about STEAM and online game distribution

A couple of years back I bought a copy of the recently released Half Life 2 for my PC. This game had been getting outstanding reviews so I raced home in heady anticipation of first person shooter goodness. I knew that the game used STEAM and an internet connection was required to activate it but since I had the game files on DVD I thought that couldn't take long. I guess I was expecting something along the lines of Microsoft's online product activation for windows XP. How wrong I was. Steam proceeded to download many megabbytes of patches for the game over my 56k dial up internet and this took many hours. Worse still was the fact that for the first few weeks every day there seemed to be some new multi-megabyte patch so when I sat down to play the game Steam would spend a half an hour or so downloading the latest patch before I could actually shoot anything. I eventually figured out how to get the game to play in offline mode but not before I had concluded that online game dis

From Guild Wars to Prey

Its been a fairly busy gaming week for me. Last Sunday I played the last two missions of Guild Wars Prophecies. I have defeated the Lich Lord and have saved Ascalon. The last mission was tough enough with horrible Titan's everywhere. It took me two attempts and the successful attempt would have ended in a total wipe except that I went ME/Mo and brought a rebirth skill. This handy ressurect skill allows henchmen to be resurrected and pulled to your current location - great for rescuing corpses from the middle of a bunch of mobs. I went with all henchies as usual despite getting a couple of offers for guildies to join. The trouble is I go very slowly with numerous breaks and I doubt if anyone else would put up with me. My Mesmer was packing an energy denial / damage loadout with Power Drain, Empathy, Spirit Shackles, Energy surge, Energy burn, Mindwrack and Wastrel' s worry . Quite a successful skill set out and fun to play. Empathy and Spirit shackles reduce an enemies healt