Archive for June, 2012

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Why So Hard On E3?

June 8, 2012

Now that E3 2012 has wrapped up, opinions on the event from all around the net are pouring in. I’m looking around and am given a turn by some of the words that have been used to describe it: Atrocity. God AWFUL. Shameful.

Now I grant you I was a little disappointed as well. I’ve even made my share of snarky remarks, like about the Wii U and Wonderbook and how the industry appears to be hell-bent on adding new peripherals to make us gamers look more and more like ridiculous fools while gaming.

Still, I have to wonder if my sentiments derive from just not being all that interested in this year’s showings. But even to that end, I doubt I’d use a word like “shameful” to describe the time and effort that companies and developers have put into making any of the games/technology showcased over the last few days. In fact, I think it’s anything but.

I’ve actually been quite impressed by some of this year’s games and tech at E3, even the stuff I have no desire to play/use at all. Quite honestly, a game like The Last of Us would probably give me disturbing dreams. But to say that innovation is dead because The Last of UsWatch Dogs, Splinter Cell, Tomb RaiderDead Space, Black Ops, Star Wars 1313, etc. etc. etc. are all just variations of the same game (an assessment I’ve come across more than a few times on various gaming sites in the last few days) because you get to swear a lot and/or shoot people in the face? I think that’s a little disingenuous. That’s basically ignoring all the other little things that can make a game unique, everything from story to graphics. I was personally excited that E3 2012 was a year of a handful of new IPs.

I also notice folks have been pretty hard on the all the press conferences, but especially Nintendo’s — after all, no price and no release date for the Wii U as well as the rehashed franchises and already released third-party titles. But while I may not want a Wii U, I think what it’s capable of is pretty amazing. Same goes for Microsoft’s Kinect and SmartGlass app, really; I may not end up using either, but I can’t deny that what it does is incredibly fascinating stuff.

Was E3 really so bad? Or have I just gotten out of touch due to my little break from gaming?

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Rift: I Just Can’t Say No (…Or You Make It Really Hard To Say No, Anyway)

June 7, 2012

A lot has been going on lately, but I have not been letting news of the upcoming Rift expansion escape my notice.  Storm Legion is touted to be three times bigger than what is in the game right now, adding two new continents each with their own storyline, as well as what is apparently a new player housing system.  We’re also told to expect more gear, more dungeons, more souls, more crafting. Just more more more more MORE.

When it comes to pulling off a great expansion, I have high hopes in Trion. After all, they have always churned out content faster than you can say rampaging mechanical colossus. A look at their E3 live stream today had me convinced it’s going to be awesome.

Rift, it’s not funny. I am so overwhelmed with games this year, but you make it so damn difficult to say no. Still, while extremely tempting, a resub is probably not in the cards right now. With a level-capped Cleric waiting on the sidelines, I guess I’m in no big hurry.

However, I can definitely see myself picking it up again come this fall, which is when the expansion is reported to be released. I know a few of my friends have already jumped back into Rift, and to others who have not reached level 50 yet I can see why it might be a good idea. Not surprisingly, encounters like the one we see with Mr. Gi-Mongous up there in the live stream video will be endgame content. With action and sights like that, I’d probably want to be prepared too.

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SWTOR On My Wall

June 4, 2012

Every year, spring cleaning leaves me with a dilemma of what to do with my old graphic tees that don’t fit anymore or that are so threadbare that I’d never wear them again. It’s hard to bring myself to get rid of them, because usually I love the design, or it’s the shirt itself that holds sentimental value.

Last year I played the Star Wars: The Old Republic demo on both days of PAX East, scoring myself some free swag which included a SWTOR shirt on each day. On one of those days, my husband was with me so he received a shirt as well, which he promptly unloaded on me. On another day, a nice fan I met also gave me his tee. The point is, at the end of the weekend I found myself burdened with four SWTOR T-shirts, all of which fit like a tent on me, of course. You never ever find anyone giving out fitted tees or even size S at these things.

That’s the trouble with free shirts. As swag, they’re awesome, but when it comes to being worn, they’re often not very well made, they’re hardly ever the right fit, and — well, let’s face it — very rarely something you’d want to wear out in public anyway. I’ve worn my SWTOR shirts maybe…twice? Both times for cutting grass, I’m sure.

I couldn’t bring myself to throw out my tents — er, shirts — or give them away, so this weekend I laid a couple of them out and stapled the crap out of them over wooden frames made from canvas stretcher bars. The Republic shirt gave me a bit of trouble; the main thing was to get it nice and evenly stretched out so I didn’t end up with a egg-shaped symbol (harder than it sounds when you’re trying to do this all alone and with a too-large staple gun taking up one hand!) I kinda like what I ended up with. I can actually keep the shirts now, and at least they’ll see the light of day rather than lie crumpled and forgotten at the bottom of my dresser drawer.

They’ll be joining the other gaming/geek posters on the walls of our “Gamer Cave” soon. That’s just like a man cave…except that, you know, I use it too.