I admit I never played Empire Earth the first time around. I was always vaguely aware there was a game called Empire Earth and that it involved commanding armies during the most violent and bloody periods of human history, but I already owned Age of Mythology and saw little reason to expand my real-time strategy repertoire at a time when my gaming budget consisted of birthday money. So I passed it over for a sweet box set of Lucas Arts games. Or maybe that was when I bought the Journeymen Project. I can’t remember. At any rate, I finally scored a copy of Empire Earth around Christmas when a Steam-like website was giving it away for free. Yep. Like Tophat I’m a bit of a penny pincher these days. It was lucky that I came across the deal because I had reached my fun limit for Age of Empires Online, Microsoft’s ill-conceived attempt to bring a RTS MMO to a world that had never considered such a bizarre concept. (more…)
Friday is a big day. It marks the 93rd anniversary of the end of the Great War, it is the release of a horror film I really don’t care about, and it’s the official release date for Minecraft. But Enosh, haven’t you been posting about Minecraft for like a year now? Ah, yes but if you’d been paying attention you would know the game was still in alpha and beta testing at the time. Minecraft’s development cycle has been a bit out of the norm I’ll grant you that. First of all, the game has been publicly available almost as long as it has been in development. Once the game entered beta Notch and his newly hired programmer Jens Bergensten continued to add features, something usually reserved for alpha testing. Even though the game will be officially released during the inaugural MineCon in Las Vegas, there is no guarantee that the new features will stop there. In fact, Notch has said in all likelihood feature additions will continue free of charge for all alpha and possibly beta adopters, I don’t remember. (more…)
This post may or may not make much sense to anyone outside my head. That’s okay by me, I am waaay beyond the point of caring now. I’m feeling a bit delirious and unsure if I might throw up sometime in the next 12 minutes, and to offset this unfortunate turn of events I spent the past two hours watching Die Hard on Netflicks, because nothing calms the stomach and heals the body quite like Bruce Willis going on a murderous anti-terrorism rampage. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Really, Tophat? Another review for an ancient cult classic movie? Come on, man!”
Not to worry. I decided to do a review for a string of games that I’ve had the misfortune to pick up recently. While I haven’t put nearly as many hours into this franchise as I have, say, Civilization, I’m fairly confident that I can make up the facts about this game that I don’t know, and no one would be the wiser. Maybe someday we’ll have more Bruce Willis shenanigans somewhere else down the line? Today is not that day. (more…)
Filed under: Games | Tagged: archers, bad franchise, bear maulings, Bruce Willis, castle building, castle sim, hops weevil, Merlin, pc gaming, Steam, Stronghold, Stronghold 2, Stronghold Crusader, Stronghold Legends, tedious, walls, wolf packs | 6 Comments »
I think it’s casually been mentioned that I recently got a new computer. Well, built a new computer. As a result and coincidence I have been gravitating towards PC gaming after a five-year absence from the genre. I found it to be something I missed dearly without even realizing it.
Since the days of Atari and Commodore 64 (a time period which never ended for some people) there has raged a debate as to which is the better gaming platform, the computer that does things beyond playing games and the computer that doesn’t do anything but play games. Granted these days the lines between the two are blurring, but PCs will always have one clear distinction. More buttons. (more…)
Spore is a game that’s deep and close to my heart. If I absolutely had to tell you why, it would probably be because I was one of the unlucky few to stumble across the game obscenely early in its development, during a speech by creator and developer Will Wright at a game convention. It was everything a nerd like me needs in a game. Endless possibilities. Creation paths and choices. The ability to lead a species from its days as a single-celled organism until it eventually has a civilization spanning galaxies, defending the weak while destroying the jerkfaces of all known space.
The end product is definitely a marvel to behold, even though it does fall rather short of my expectations. But then again, after three years of being hyped for a game, whose expectations wouldn’t be a little out of whack?
Still… when I picture what things must have been like before creatures started banding together to form civilizations, I never thought there’d be that much dancing. (more…)
Filed under: Games | Tagged: cell stage, civilization stage, creature stage, evolution, Jackie Chan, Mr. Saturn, obelisk, pc gaming, space stage, spaceships, spice trade, Spore, The Karate Kid, tribal stage | 1 Comment »
As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up a naive PC gamer. I was partial to the LucasArts games, Day o f the Tentacle, X-wing, and the like. There’s nothing like a machine with more input buttons than letters in the alphabet. Not to mention the PC was high-definition with full anti-aliasing before it was cool. So what’s one of the best games on the PC today? I’m arguing it’s an 8-bit block builder called Minecraft. This indie game is unique in that the game is still in alpha development and is available for sale at half the projected retail price. That’s right! You can own a partially built game that could potentially break your computer. (more…)
Blizzards insanely large RTS took forever to come out and had quite a history to live up too. The plot of Starcraft was all well and good but the reason the series is still relevant today is the fact that the game is well balanced enough to basically be a professional sport, and actually IS in Korea. To say that Starcraft 2 had some high expectations is quite the understatement. How’s it stack up?
Filed under: Games | Tagged: battle.net, blizz, Blizzard, campaign, CGI, DOTA, e-sport, Elrood, giant laser drill, Jim Raynor, kerrigan, map editor, medics, Mengsk, MMO, multiplayer, PC, pc gaming, protoss, Raynor, real id, reaper, Roach, RTS, single player campaign, south korea, starcraft, starcraft 2, terran, wings of liberty, World of Warcraft, wraiths, xbox live, zerg, zergling | 4 Comments »
World of Warcraft players are serious. Well, some of them. Trying to purchase tickets to Blizzcon, Blizzards yearly event of Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo nerding the f out, sells out within seconds. Actually, to be more accurate, in under a second. I was sitting at my computer at the ticket sales web page, clicking refresh two times a second waiting for the magical BUY TICKETS box to pop up. I was on the phone with a friend who was doing the same.
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: blizzcon, blizzcon tickets, critical hit, elitist jerks, Elrood, guild, hardcore vs casual, hating people, MMO, MMORPG, nerdy, PC, pc gaming, pug, pugs, raiding, scary math, World of Warcraft | Leave a Comment »
- Back in March of 1998, Blizzard Entertainment released a little game called Starcraft. At the time, I remember thinking “Starcraft? Come on Blizzard, try a little harder, you just took Warcraft and put in space!” Eleventy billion Koreans disagreed. Incidentally, I now disagree with myself. So, when I acquired a beta key for the incoming Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, I was excited. I ended up loving the first games story and epic multiplayer matches, even though I sucked at them. The beta is multiplayer only, so this preview won’t be dealing with things like unit balance or hardcore strategies because I’m not good enough to experience either of those. Some quick race breakdowns and overall feel of the game shall suffice! (more…)