Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

What a Gamer Wants: Borderlands

Yeah, I’ve got the game, and I like it, but here’s the deal: it could have been WAY better, and it wouldn’t have been very hard to drastically improve the PC version. Here to school Gearbox on what PC gamers want in their role-playing shooters is the entire community of RockPaperShotgun, a gaming website devoted entirely to the PC. Check it out: what begins as a short post mentioning that a Borderlands 2 is very likely quickly turned into a very intelligent and thought-out list of the improvements Gearbox should make on the next game. I think they’ve pretty much nailed it, but see for yourself.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, PC gaming | , , , | Leave a comment

CoD Modern Warfare 2: I’ll pass, thanks

call-of-duty-modern-warfare-2-20090326051750466Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 came out today. Hordes of fans stampeded stores at midnight, grabbed their own copy, and ran home to play the damn thing. Gamers have proclaimed it their favorite shooter ever, a generic shooter, an excellent story, and a practically non-existent one. Worldwide, it’s retailing for more than most AAA games do. From the US to the UK to Australia and everywhere in between, gamers are grumbling and kicking and generally raising hell. Right before, you know, they eagerly swipe their credit cards at the checkout line.

Me? I haven’t bought it. Continue reading

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, News, PC gaming, Personal, Tech | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Rock and Roll and Cameras

I purposely arrange my schedule around Apple’s media events. No really, I do. Today I actually rescheduled a meeting so that I could read about Apple’s “It’s Only Rock And Roll” event in realtime. In my defense (or defence, for you kids across the pond), I actually got it out of the way early in a responsible, adult manner.

I hate to be anything that even vaguely resembles a fanboy, but I find their announcements absolutely fascinating. Apple has managed to take something that most companies relegate to either a press release or one of a handful of trade shows and turn it into some sort of massive party/lovefest/shindig where the crowd treats company executives like rockstars and treats rockstars like, well, regular folks. Quivering journalist-types and tech bloggers hang upon their every word, frantically posting updates to their website, and mere mortals such as myself eat up those updates like so many delicious cookies. Second-hand love like that requires talent, folks; talent that Apple has in spades. I enjoyed today’s “It’s Only Rock And Roll” event as much as any other of their announcements (well, almost: I was practically jumping up and down in excitement when the iPhone and iPod Touch were announced two years ago). There was just one problem.

The 3rd-gen iPod Touch has no camera. Continue reading

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Borderlands: Claptrap

This is equal parts funny and painful to watch. Enjoy the poetic justice at the end.

October 22, I can’t wait for you to arrive.

September 9, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Humor, PC gaming | , , , | Leave a comment

Booyah Society: As Dumb As It Sounds


Booyah Society

Booyah Society

Booyah Society: the game where you get points for doing things in real life.

I got an email from a PR rep a few weeks ago about its launch. They describe it as, “The first social game based on real-life achievements.” Hmmm.

I find myself in interesting position as I write this – I haven’t yet tried it. Oh, sure, I’m interested in checking it out, but an ugly beast has raised its head – compatibility. Apparently, Booyah Society will not run on my 1st-gen iPod Touch. Checking again, I realize it does in fact state this on the App Store page, but I’m still somewhat bummed. Apparently I’m a second-class citizen of the App Store, though that’s another article altogether. Back to Booyah Society, or rather, the idea of it.

Frankly, I’m not entirely sure what to make of this yet. On the one hand, why not? It encourages gamers to spend a little more time doing things other than playing video games, which I confess often receive a disproportionate amount of my time. The concept actually reminds me of a joke several gamers/writers/webcomic artists have made – the best way to get a gamer in shape is to equate exercising with in-game training. Do some card and raise your stamina two points, bulk up to gain strength, complete obstacle courses for increased agility, and so on and so forth. It’s a funny concept, sure, but how much more palatable does it really make the activity, and for how many people will it actually make enough of a motivational difference?

Even if it is encouraging us to engage the world more directly, there’s also potential for distortion of the original intent. If we only do things to claim in-game achievements, is there really even that much worth to it? Most of us wouldn’t make much more than a minor change in our habits, but the ultra-competitive would likely end up doing things just to say they’ve done them and claim another achievement.

Incidentally, the potential for distortion of the original intent is similar to a certain type of behavior I saw while in China. Continue reading

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch | , , , | Leave a comment

Canabalt

Sometimes online games are too complicated. That’s why I only ever play games that have one input – the space bar. If you’re like me, you don’t want to waste time learning things like how to play. You just want to push the freaking buttons, and when there’s only one button, that gets a lot easier. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present Canabalt: because there’s only one button. Oh, and it’s actually a good bit of fun, as well.

canabalt

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, PC gaming | , , , | Leave a comment

IT IS ALIVE!

No, really. After a relatively uneventful assembly process, half an hour of cursing Dell for using non-standard parts in my old rig, an overly-eventful fighting-with-software process, and a bit of testing for stability, my rig is up and running. In fact, I’m typing on it right now. Fun, right? That’s what I thought.

In all honesty, I’m not particularly inclined to write up a large computer-building post about the assembly and install process, so I won’t. Instead, I’ll just post a few pictures I took during the build. Please forgive the image quality, my DSLR’s battery was dead and I had to use my phone.

Ahem:

comp build 003 Continue reading

August 23, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, PC gaming, Tech | Leave a comment

Death, Quietly

My iPod died yesterday.

I’m not entirely sure what time it passed, though I became aware of its demise somewhere around 8 pm. I’ve been busy moving back into my house in Oklahoma, and had plugged it into my computer to juice up. The battery on it had been absolute crap in recent weeks, so charging had been taking forever. I popped back into my room, and hit the home button to check the status of the battery.

Nothing. Continue reading

August 17, 2009 Posted by | iPhone/iPod Touch, Tech | , , | Leave a comment

Borderlands Box Art Released

It remains to be seen how the game itself will turn out, but if the recently-released box art for upcoming game Borderlands is any indication, it will be absolutely fantastic.

Because really, how can you resist a game like this? It’s dystopian mayhem that just begs me to play it. The game should drop in late October, if I recall correctly.

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, PC gaming | , , | Leave a comment

Mobile Gaming: Rise of Lost Empires

Rise of Lost Empires

Rise of Lost Empires

Journalism professors tell you something along these lines: your job is to inform, to educate, to entertain, and… something else that I can’t really remember. Presumably, reviewing products falls loosely within those parameters. I’m informing you of a new game, and hopefully entertaining you a little along the way. I maintain an impartial stance toward the creators of the products I review, so as not to taint my report with inaccuracies or favoritism. Part of that is telling it like it is when you come across something that’s really, really bad. This is one of those times. Continue reading

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch | , , , , , , | Leave a comment