Spore’s Big Mistake: EA’s Brush with DRM

Posted by | September 23, 2008

With almost 3,000 reviews, the nearly 2,500 negative 1-star reviews have crushed the rating of this game to the floor, causing it to plummet from whatever it might have rested had EA not created this blunder by providing security what many users are touting as, “Draconian.”

DRM, Digital Rights Management, is the currently battleground between consumers and producers in the software sphere (and other places) but in few places is it as heartfelt as in the vein of video gaming.

Spore: First Impressions

Posted by | September 20, 2008

With the debut of the latest Sim game 2 weeks ago, many have gotten a taste of Spore and have found it pleasant. The gameplay is familiar to those experienced with world-building simulation games – not surprising, coming from Will Wright and Maxis, creators of “Sim” -everything games.

But some find it lacking the spice of SCIENCE they were hoping to encounter.

At least, that’s how it appears in the first phases of the game. Perhaps not every player wants to dig deep into DNA, RNA, genomes and evolutionary theory. But some expected more “edutainment” value from the gameplay itself. The first few levels seem to rush you through the evolutionary process, and feeding and reproduction play an arbitrary, although necessary, part of evolving your life form. The commercial featuring the term “creatio-lutionism” is not far from the mark. You are an active, (presumably) intelligent designer who decides what body parts your …

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 1

Posted by | September 16, 2008

Action. Adventure. Witty dialogue. Low brow humor! Penny Arcade’s offering to the gaming world has it all…and then some. This game stole our breath when we first heard it was coming out and then stole our hearts (and sat on them) when we finally played it. Precipice of Darkness has been one of the most enjoyable episodic gaming experiences that we have had in a long, long time.

“Four Gods wait on the windowsill, where once eight Gods did war and will. And if the Gods themselves may die, what does that say for you and I?”

You may like it too.

Anti Spore: Obvious Troll is Obvious

Posted by | September 10, 2008

With the advent release of Spore by EA Games so have also arrived are the townsfolk with torches and pitch forks. We’ve already had the bizarre event of “militant atheists” coming out against the game, but now we also have the other side of the spectrum throwing a gauntlet into the fight.

Except that after we voces arrived on the scene we fairly believe we are righteous in saying,

Ladies and Gentlemen: Anti Spore is a troll.

Update (2008-09-11): Anti Spore revealed to defenitely be a troll when they Rickrolled their readers this morning at 8am. Once again—Anti Spore, our hats off.

Waiting for Stargate Worlds

Posted by | September 9, 2008

We have been longtime fans of the TV shows SG-1 and Atlantis that when it was announced—some time ago—that there would be a Stargate MMO (Stargate Worlds) we were rather excited. That excitement, of course, has begun to wane as the eventual release date continues to become more eventual.

Wizard 101: Where There’s Smoke, the Fire School of Wizardry

Posted by | September 6, 2008

If the mind is a candle, then the heart is the sun.

If you are looking for the burning heart of unfettered fury—if your deepest desire is to unleash devastating, meteoric catastrophe on your foes—if your closest held mantra is that the only defense is an overwhelming offense. Welcome young pyromancer. The Wizardry School of Fire has a place for you. Behold fire. And we say unto thee: SHEER FIREPOWER.

Weep for Wizard101

Posted by | September 5, 2008

I loved Wizard101 from the moment I laid eyes on it. I had tried to play the MMORPG holy of holies, WoW, last year but it never clicked for me. Even after hours of questing, leveling, and whooping ass with my friends, I couldn’t get myself to care about my character or the world. The storylines seemed violent, fake, impersonal, and bland — all at the same time. I felt like a cog moving through a modern war zone. Though I had loved text-based MUDs as a teen, I came to believe that I just wasn’t cut out for MMORPGS.

Then I met Wizard101 during its beta.

Wizard 101: How to Insult People and Circumvent the Filter

Posted by | September 4, 2008

People probably have already heard from us about the white-listed filter that exists in Wizard 101. It is not as badly implemented as similar for-tweens offerings in the market—things that often implode under their own weight as unusable. While it is nice that the filter is less cumbersome it is still a filter. It’s a form of censorship that doesn’t really add to the experience, it doesn’t offer any actual protections, and exists solely to damage the immersion for the players and make KingsIsle Entertainment look better to potential investors and overzealous parents.

Wizard 101: Becoming a Subscription Service

Posted by | September 2, 2008

wizards-101-subscribe-nowWhat is that strange blip marring our skyline? Why yes, it looks like Wizard 101 has gone to a subscription service with a first-world is free paradigm. It appears in order to access much of the last levels of Wizard City and any world beyond—and all of this happening before we voces were able to reveal our innermost darkest thoughts about the game’s largest failing.

Never fear, that post is coming regardless of the looming subscription service. Keep reading.

Wizard 101: Moderation In All Things, the Balance School of Wizardry

Posted by | September 2, 2008

Sorcery is the art of convocation, of mixing all other magics into one—transmutation, transmogrification, the alchemy of Wizardly arts. Ice, Fire, Life, Death, Storm, Myth as individuals they are all powerful—but betwixt and between there is Balance.

Wizards who choose the Balance school discover themselves with a very strange magic indeed. The introductory spells are all the standard spliff of attack monsters, shielding, and the sundry knife and fork of the wizarding experience. But that’s where the direct similarity ends.