You may recall that Microsoft bought out Mojang Specifications almost a year ago, spending a cool $2.5 billion on the Minecraft developer. So far the Redmond giant has done very little with its new toy, and Minecraft has gone on more or less like it always has. Now it looks like the Redmond giant has some plans to extend the sandbox game into the classroom. This won’t be the first time Minecraft is treated as an educational tool, but I’m eager to see the results when Microsoft puts its muscle behind the project.
X-Wing doesn’t have a tutorial, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t teach you how to play.
Half a dozen invaluable LucasArts classics hit GOG late in October, which, at least in the world as I perceive it, would be internet-shattering news had it not happened the same day that Marvel announced the whole of Phase 3. So I’ve been playing a lot of X-Wing these last few weeks, because even though TIE Fighter is better I felt like starting at the beginning.
I had hoped that I would be able to get these The Longest Journey pieces out a bit before Dreamfall Chapters released, but as it turns out The Longest Journey is…well…long. But I still managed to finish my replay of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey one night in advance of the release of its sequel. For better or worse, it was much as I remembered.
It was with no small amount of relief that I decided not to write this piece as a review. At first I thought maybe I would, but I realized, quickly, that I might not like what I had to say in it – not always. Not everything.
You know, when I first heard this rumor yesterday – that Microsoft was in talks to buy Mojang Specifications for a cool $2.5 billion – I just rolled my eyes. Sure, I could see Microsoft wanting to do so, and anyone would like to have two and a half billion… but the Minecraft developer isn’t exactly low on funds. And, frankly, given Markus “Notch” Persson’s evident dislike of large-scale corporate buyouts, it seemed against character even if they were nearly bankrupt. And yet, it’s true. Even Mojang says so, and says also that Notch is leaving the company, along with its two other founders.
It’s been a big week for World of Warcraft. The cinematic trailer for Warlords of Dreanor went live last week, and the usual updates regarding subscription numbers and future plans that we’ve all come to expect have been circulating through our Twitter feeds. On such article by IGN featuring a spread on WoW’s traditional, pre-expansion dwindling subscriber count, Game Director Tom Chilton discusses the plans for future expansions. The interesting thing about this article (listed below) is that Chilton expresses that the plan was for expacs to be released more frequently with shorter gaps in between. We all know that for the past expacs the rollout period has been approximately every two years, with a sizeable patch in between to break up the wait.
I never finished the game Shadow Complex. The gameplay was fine, level design fine, but I hit a point where I just couldn’t put up with Jason Flemming anymore. I remember clearly exactly why I put the game down: one of the nameless faceless soldiers yelled something like “Who is this guy? Is it just one man?!” And I thought… yeah, he really is just one man, and, in fact, not a particularly interesting or special man. Not Batman or Samus Aran or Solid Snake or even Sam Fischer or someone actually cool. He’s just this dude Jason, and he frankly bores me to tears with his white-boy blandness. The most interesting thing Jason Flemming ever did is in the alternate ending, where he just gives up and goes home. As far as I am concerned, this is the canon ending to Shadow Complex, the only ending that makes sense. As a bonus getting this ending means spending way less time with Jason.
Unfortunately Jason’s crown has been stolen. I have a new least favorite. Aiden Pearce is just the worst.
Have you ever had a night that lasted forever?
Metaphorically, of course – time did march on, you woke up the next day, but at the time, the night just seemed endless, stretched out before you independent of actual time?
What happened to Bulletstorm? It’s a fair question. Here’s a game that – while admittedly not for everyone – was a highly innovative and gorgeous shooter. Tightly designed, cleverly written, well put-together, from a collaboration between two of the most reliably competent genre leaders in the industry. It didn’t go seriously over budget, it wasn’t late, it wasn’t buggy, it didn’t promise one thing and deliver another, and it didn’t rehash World War II or Americans-killing-Arabs memes. The critical reception ranged from positive to gushing; it shipped on every major platform. It was, by all accounts, the definition of a new IP blockbuster.
For a small segment of the internet population, April 20, 2014, was the end of the world.
I played Avengers Alliance on Facebook back when it was new in 2012, but only for a little while. I returned to it in early March, curious to see if it was even still around, and found the game to be much expanded, with many new characters and features that improved upon it. Clearly, it had continued to be healthy in my nearly two years of absence. I played on Playdom.com this time, which was separate from Facebook, and allowed you to easily friend other players in the local chat rather than spam everyone you know on the internet to try to get them to commit to a game so they can give you free stuff.
I liked it. But you know what they say about all good things.