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March 24.2009 - Tribes in your browser?

posted by: Marauder - 18:40

Tribes is still right up there among my favorite online games ever. I played that game for years, and still fire it up from time to time just to jetpack around and enjoy the view. Looks like Instant Action has the license for the entire Starsiege Universe, including Tribes 1. Le Happy. They're releasing it in browser form as well, so you'll be able to just log in from any PC. This makes me a very, VERY happy Marauder. I can't wait to give it a go. Thanks for the linkage Mr. Rune.

 

March 19.2009 - Hmmm. Bacon.

posted by: Marauder - 17:58

Zyzyx points out that everything is better with bacon. BEHOLD!

 

Feb 24.2009 - Futurama Returns?

posted by: Marauder - 21:55

Futurama returns to TV? Rune sent a little article here that has a cool little interview with Billy West. I'd sooooo love to see Futurama come back. As a side note it's always so odd hearing people actually doing voices from cartoons live. Spooky even.

Been watching the Dawn of War 2 trailer... The Tyranids are involved now. So tempting to just purchase it from Steam, with their darned convient online downloading scheme. Must.. Fight.. Temptation.. Already have other games to play and review. Gah. Really wish they'd hurry up and put out a Warhammer 40,000 MPORG already.

 

Feb 16.2009 - Coraline

posted by: Marauder - 08:55

I'm a big fan of stop motion movies such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Corpse Bride. Very cool stuff. A new one has just come out, and they're got a killer website to go with it. Check out Coraline. Love the moon. Can't wait to see the movie. Also can't wait to get the DVD and watch the making of extras. I enjoy these sorts of films but it's really the extras on the DVD that make it for me, and I'm not usually one who spends a lot of time watching the extras.

 

Feb 4.2009 - Zombies Ahead!

posted by: Marauder - 09:10

In our Left4Dead review we warned you about the upcoming Zombie invasion. Now even road signs are warning you. Get your shotguns and chainsaw (and snappy one liners) ready, 'cause there's Zombies in the Area. Thanks Phainne.

 

Feb 4.2009 - Video Gaming Linked to Breast Feeding, not violence.

posted by: Marauder - 16:10

A rather sarcastic little article on the link between gaming and breast feeding not violence. The author pretty well says what I've been saying for years, that it's just dumb to say that playing video games turns people into violent criminals but it's still a good read. Thanks Asini!

 

Jan 30.2009 - Left4Dead Review - Brrrraaaiiinnnsssssss!!

posted by: Marauder - 21:55

Brrraiiinnnsssss.... BRRRAIIINNNSSSS!!! I finally completed the review for Left4Dead. Read it here, then go buy the game from the Steam Store.

 

Jan 27.2009 - Jumpgate Evolution

posted by: Marauder - 13:55

I was commenting a while back on Jumpgate Evolution, and how I think that we really need a good Sci-Fi MMO to come out. They're getting ready to do the beta and I can't wait to check it out. They've got a State of the Game letter up on their website and it's an interesting read.

 

Jan 26.2009 - Lawyers and Ricardo Montalbán

posted by: Marauder - 19:55

Does anyone out there have a high opinion of lawyers in general? I don't know of anyone and I know I sure don't.

Forgot to post this a bit ago, but I can't believe that Ricardo Montalbán is gone. He passed away on January 14th. For those of you who don't know him, shame on you. He played Mr Roarke on Fantasy Island and of course.... KHAN! RIP Ricardo. Thanks to Ijio for this rather entertaining little graph.

Working on a few reviews right now. Left4Dead (of course), Space War Commander from Dreamspike, and the new MSI Wind Nettop PC. If I actually work less than 12 hours one of these days I may get around to finishing the games and writing the reviews.

 

Jan 23.2009 - Tabula Rasa DOA?

posted by: Marauder - 20:16

I don't know anyone who plays Tabula Rasa, but I was just reading in PC Gamer they're shutting it down. I go to the TR website and they've got this on the news from today. "We have an important piece of news for you today; we hope you find it as exciting as we do! We want to make sure that all our loyal Tabula Rasa players have a full, exciting game experience, but with the population scattered across four servers, this can sometimes be tough. As a result, we've decided to merge the servers into one in the near future." So it sounds like they have less people than expected, nothing about a shutdown. Couldn't find anything on the NCSoft website either. Odd.

 

Jan 23.2009 - 25 Years of Mac in honor of Valaquin.

posted by: Marauder - 09:46

In honor of Valaquin the chicken wrangler, she who loves Macs, here's one for you: (Oh yeah, and for Rood Dave as well.) It's hard to believe it's been 25 years since the original Macintosh PC got released, but as of today it's been just that. Shesh. I feel old. Older than usual anyhows. I'm not a big fan of Macs, although I do have a iMac G5 sitting at work waiting to have an operating system loaded onto it. Nothing against closed platforms to a certain extent, after all I absolutely adored the Amiga, but the Macs just won't do most of the stuff I want, and I can't build my own, which I do enjoy doing. So... yeah. We'll see how this G5 is once I get my restore cds from Apple. Their techs were excellent when I phoned them, and were more than happy to send me restore cds, even though the serial number on one of the G5s I have is missing. The trime around the bottom of the base fell off and that's where the serial number is printed. Du'oh.

 

Jan 23.2009 - Microsoft Family Safety

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 23:00

Well, I set up Microsoft Family Safety for a customer this morning. A little confusing to set up, but once I figured out what I was doing with it, it actually looks pretty decent. I liked the ability to have it rat out someone who's where they shouldn't be. Have to play with it some more and try to get around it/break it, but for a free piece of software it's not too shabby thus far.

Been too busy to play much in the way of games, but I did manage to get in a bit of Versus Left4Dead. There's nothing like leaping on a survivor out of a window and tearing the crap out of them as the hunter. Love those stragglers!

 

Jan 16.2009 - Circuit City = DOA.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 16:00

Holy crap, Circuit City is filling for bankruptcy. Wow.Thanks for the link Frostlight. I've been informulated that the Canadian division of said company (Source) will remain in business. Oddly enough, someone who works for The Source mentioned to me before Christmas that if I was thinking of getting anyone gift certificates for anyone this year I might want to get them anywhere other than The Source. Looks like they were right.

 

Jan 15.2009 - Apple's stock drops

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 16:00

Checking out the Enermax Caesar aluminum keyboard this morning, and I are tempted to buy one. Very very slick, but it's not backlit and frankly once you've used a backlit keyboard (such as the Logitech G15) there's no going back.

 

Jan 15.2009 - Apple's stock drops

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 11:00

Heard on the news this morning that Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence from Apple untill at least mid summer. Apple's stock also dropped $4.33 on that news. Interesting the things that affect stock prices.

 

Jan 14.2009 - Mirror's Edge & World of Goo

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 22:00

Well well. I notice that Mirror's Edge has gotten released finally. Interesting looking game, have to get it and see how it actually is. I'm a bit of a fan of puzzle/sneak shooters, definately looks like it's worth a look.

Been playing Left4Dead with my crew and man. It's still good. If you don't have it, go buy it/ I'd have to say it's the best co-op game I've ever played. Valve scores once again. If you've got the game and haven't done so yet, click on 'extras' on the main menu, then 'developer comentary'.

I've really got a thing for Indy games and I've been playing World of Goo a little bit. Hell of a cool little puzzle game. Xan sent me a link the other day, World of Goo won Wii game of the year! They've also gotten awards for Technical Excellence and Design Innovation from the Independent Games Festival! Congrats to 2dboy. Nice to see something different and original win an award and do well for themselves.

 

Jan 8.2009 - Vista is 2 years old.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 23:50

Hard to believe it's been 2 years since Vista came out. I still don't like it much, although it doesn't deserve the beating it tends to get. Anyhows, Steve Ballmer announced Windows 7. Hopefully it gets a better reception and has a better launch than Vista did.

 

Jan 7.2009 - Left4Dead, weather still sucks

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 11:47

Well the weather outside is frightfull, but Left4Dead is so delightfull. Wow. Had a chance to play Left4Dead for a few minutes last night with Goshwin, Protocal and Strika and man. That is one hell of a good game. Very tasty zombie killing goodness. Of course you're not really killing them, you're just putting them out of their brain eating, shambling around misery.

 

Dec 29.2008 - Back from the USA, and the weather sucks.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 22:02

Got back from a nice visit with some friends of the GF's in Ithaca NY. Haven't been to the states in 20 years and that was the first time I've ever driven down there. Unlike what the CRTC would have me believe, I wasn't turned into a gun toting, deer slaughtering , cheap beer swilling maniac by listening to a few minutes of American radio. Odd. Anyhows, I can't see out my window tonight due to blowing snow, but I can see an interesting link from our little apartment dwelling troll, Rune.

And here it is. Gog is a site dedicated to cheap or free older games. I'm looking through their catalogue and there are a large number of games there that I've been meaning to play for years but have never gotten around to, such as the Oddworld games and Earthworm Jim. Me think there's going to be a crapton of $5-$10 games in my near future. I have foreseen it.

 

Dec 24.2008 - Merry Christmas, Y'all!

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 00:02

Well, since I won't likely be on for the next few days I'll just wish everyone a Merry Christmas right now. Stay safe, spend time with your family and eat way, way too much!

One quick little link today. Macworld without Apple? Now that's just wierd.

 

Dec 21.2008 - Ban the Wii!

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 09:50

Warning parents! Wii fit might tell your fat, TV watching, potato chip devouring kids they're not the international athletes you've told them they are they're whole lives. I'm sorry, but if my psyche is going to be that badly damaged when a video game tells me I'm fat then I'm in real trouble when I hit high school.

A few interesting little developments on the tech front to report this week.

Microsoft is still on course to cancel to distribution of Windows XP January 31st of 2009. Personally I'm not a fan of Vista, and I still run XP on all my systems. When we build a system for a customer 95% of them are still Windows XP based. I'm really not looking forward to having to sell and support Vista. Oh well, time moves on I suppose. I'm rather hoping that Microsoft will just keep selling XP untill Windows 7 is ready to go. One of our suppliers has told us at work that they'll be ordering 10,000 copies of XP just before it gets canceled so hopefully we'll have some for a while.

IDE hard drives are about to become quite scarce and limited in size. I just got in the last shipment of 500gb IDEs that will be avaliable, after this shipment the largest drive will be 160gb, with a few 250gbs still avaliable. Not a good thing for people with older PCs, but at least in most PCs we'll be able to just slap in a PCI->SATA controller and use newer drives. I guess that after a twenty two year run IDE's done allright for us and I've had a feeling it's been coming for a while, especially considering the number of new motherboards that have at the most one IDE controller. Many of them don't have any IDE at all. Alas poor IDE, we knew ye well.

Experiments on the MSI Wind Nettop are going quite well. It's certainly not a gaming rig as is evidenced by it's expectedly dismal Aquamark3 showing of 6,090 as compared to our two year old baseline system's Aquamark of 146,038. That being said I didn't expect it to be beating up on anything with it's integrated Intel 945 video chipset. It does surf the internet perfectly fine, and it's a great little DVD box. I'm messing around with some older games. I'm thinking that if they just added DVI or HDMI this would be a perfect little machine to use for a basic Internet, Photo Editing, PVR, Movie Streaming, MAME32, Itunes,Kids games system. One PCI slot would increase it's usefulness immensely as well.

Just found out a few days ago that our buddy Chisel has been in the hospital for two months and just got out. I wondered why I hadn't seen him in the store or on ICQ for a while. Hope you're feeling much better soon Craig.

 

Dec 19.2008 - Snow sucks

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 17:50

Snow sucks. I hate snow. Stupid Canada. Left work a few hours early tonight, 2 feet of snow in the lane when I got home. Ahhh well.

Getting sort of excited about Demigod. It's an interesting little action/rpg/strategy game I've mentioned before where you take on the role of one of a number demigods, battling to raise themselves to full godhood. Since I pre-ordered the game I'm playing the beta and the second beta is soon to be released. Thus far it's a lot of fun. Loving The Rook. There's just something about a 50' tall living castle with a huge hammer. I've just been playing against the bots, but I can see the potential in this one.

Since I ended up coming home early today I brought home an MSI Wind Nettop 120 PC to build and try out. I'll have a quick review up sometime, perhaps not before Christmas but soon. It's certainly not a gaming PC, but for the applications that 90% of people use thier PCs for (ex. MSN, the internet, and solitaire) I have a feeling it'll be more than adequate.

 

Dec 19.2008 - 'tis the season

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 12:27

For holy crap busy. Haven't had a chance to play i-Fluid or do anything other than work the last week or so. Hopefully won't be quite as busy in the new year.

Proto sent over a link of holiday joy. Duke Nukem Forever still isn't here, but at least they've put out a new wallpaper. Personally I just wish they'd hurry the hell up and put out the game. Gah.

""Merry Christmas from 3D Realms

Or if you celebrate something besides Christmas, merry that, too. We at 3D Realms wish to extend a safe and happy holiday wish to all our site visitors. We hope your holiday season brings you something joyful, and something fulfilling. We'll see you on the flip side of the holidays.

In the meantime, we head out to Christmas break with this small treat for you. Due to (how shall we say it), "popular demand", here is a new Duke Nukem Forever wallpaper image."

Also of note on the 3DRealms site, Commander Keen turned 18 on December 14th. Man. I can't believe it. I can still remember playing the shareware version of the game and ordering the floppies so I could play all the goodness on my 286 16mhz. I loved those games and I'm freakin' old.

 

Dec 6.2008 - i-Fluid

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 22:40

Just picked up an interesting little indie game from Steam called I-Fluid. The video reminded me a little bit of Marble Madness, one of the funnest little games I ever played back in the day so for $10, what the heck. More on this once I have a chance to play it. Hopefully it's good. Gotta say that Steam is a wonderfull, wonderfull invention for gamers, and for Indy developers. People that would be completely under the radar of most gamers now pop up on the screens of those same people in Steam news updates. Huzah for Valve!

 

Nov 29.2008 - RFID Worries Me

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 22:27

First off, a little product update. I've been using the amazing Xtrac Ripper XL mousepad forever it seems, but it's actually been two and a half years. I finally decided I'd better clean it as it was getting pretty dirty and after a bit of debating decided to just throw it in the wash with my clothes. The results? The thing looks as good as it did the day I bought it. Damn guys. That's one hell of a good product. It's funny, I've had it sitting on my desk forever and don't really think about it much but for the brief few hours it was in the wash I missed it desperately. Need a good mousepad? Buy one from Xtrac. They are the freakin' bomb.

I've been reading a fair amount about RFID tagging lately and it worries me. It worries me in a way that I think is logical, although I must admit I've listened to a few Coast to Coast AM shows about it. I'm not normally really big on the whole conspiracy universe, since I don't think that people have the ability to pull off these mind blowingly far ranging conspiracies. They just don't exist, but the conspiracy nut cases might just be on to something with thier concerns about the human impantable RFID tags. It worries me when I read in the news about certain businesses and hospitals starting to tag people with these things. I wouldn't be all that concerned about the government trying something like this, because they're in general unable to find their own asses with both hands and a map. However, once big business gets the idea there's money to be made, now I'm worried. Read this article on the whole thing and see if you're not a little nervous as well.

Haven't had a chance to get much more World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King playing in this week, been too darned busy, but I did managed to run a few of the quick spider kingdom dungeons. Two interesting dungeons in an hour. I've got to admit that, other than loving the lore, it was really nice to be able to do that much adventuring in a short period of time. There seems to be quite a bit of bitching on the forums that Blizzard is pandering to the casual crowd too much in the new expansion, but I've got big news for you complainers: That's where the money is. That's why WoW has 12 million subscribers. I've read that the original Naxxaramus instance got seen by under 10% of the total game population. Doesn't it seem to be a horrible waste? I know that my guild (Ravenous) never even got close to doing Naxx, which was extremely frustrating. I really wanted to see the lore and explore the place but we were stuck banging our heads against the first raid boss in Blackwing Lair for ages before The Burning Crusade came out. I think it's great that Naxx is back, and Blizzard has made it doable for the more casual players. Great work guys, thank you on behalf of the casual/hardcore that forms the majority of your player base.

I found this article from CNN about mounting solar panels in your graveyard to be slightly odd, especially from the lead in about "silent heros". Oh those crazy spaniards. Nothing says eternal rest and tranquility like a pile of big black solar panels on the ol' family plot.

A customer was in my store the other day talking about violence in video games and how video games are such a bad influance, gamers are evil maladjusted social outcasts and blah blah. Everytime someone makes a comment such as this (clearly having no idea what they're talking about.) I like to bring up the Child's Play Charity. Set up by the Penny Arcade guys, it benefits hospitals in North America and around the world. So far they've raising over three million dollars. That's pretty good for a bunch of potentially violent, socially maladjusted gamers. :P

 

Nov 27.2008 - Happy Thanksgiving!

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 22:00

Just got home from a looooong ass day, off to bed, but I wanted to say "Happy Turkey Day!" to all my American friends.

 

Nov 26.2008 - Duke Nukem Forever

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 00:10

Been getting some very, very good reviews from friends and customers regarding Call of Duty World At War. Gotta pick it up and give it a go. Apparently the banzai rushes are pretty freakin' sweet and there's FINALLY co-operative play. I'll have to check with the all seeing and all knowing Pappy-R and see if he's picked it up for that yet. Just watched a few of the movies from the website as well, neat they've got Kiefer Sutherland voice acting in it.

A while ago I mentioned that Spore was amusing, but somewhat lacking in depth. I had a feeling it was going to be like The Sims, a breeding ground for expansions and $20 booster packs. Looks like I was right. So it begins.

 

Nov 25.2008 - Duke Nukem Forever

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 20:55

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about these. Two new Duke Nukem Forever screenshots got posted on 3DRealms a few weeks ago if anyone still cares. Just scroll down to their news for September 29, 2008.

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2

*sigh* I'd really like to see the game released thanks guys. Got my hopes all up when you finally finished Prey, even if it was Human Head that actually did it.

I like their little message if you try to link to a .jpg on their website directly. Lawl.

 

Nov 25.2008 - More Lich King

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 20:48

Been a busy weekend/week, so haven't gotten as much time into the new World of Warcraft expansion as I'd like. So far the landscapes and the dungeons have been great. Some nice short instances, some longer ones, and they've all been fun. Lots of new places to visit, some truly majestic views. I've created a Death Knight as well. There's soooo many of them around right now (no suprise, same thing happened when the horde got Paladins way back in TBC days.) but I wanted to start on one more to just see the lore than anything. Thus far, VERY cool. It's a neat class, and I have a feeling they're going to get the nerf bat taken to them any patch now, but still.. Very cool.

This is sort of neat, cop dash cam in Edmonton, Alberta catches a meteor coming down. Thank for the linkage Rune.

You may notice something a little different at the top of all of our pages. Advertisments! That's right, for the first time since we started this site almost 9 years ago we've got ads. I figured what the hell, I'm going to try and do more regular work on the page, so if I'm writing and paying for stuff I might as well tack up some Google adverts and see if I can make a little bit of my money back. If you're bored or interested in what they have to say, go click on 'em. :P

Switched my virus scanner from Panada Antivirus to ESET NOD32. My goodness, it's light, it's aggressive at keeping the nasties out and it's just super and it doesn't screw my Live for Windows games up, which is an added bonus.

Don't think I remembered to mention this, but we passed one million visits a month or so back. Not bad for a little site that just gets updated by one guy in his spare time these days.

 

Nov 17.2008 - Lich King

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 22:48

Picked up the collector's edition of Wrath of the Lich King yesterday. Thanks to Captured Angel for putting a copy aside for me. You rock. :) Nice collector's set from Blizzard as always. Played for a half level tonight and of course started a Death Knight. Cool lore on them thus far. More on WLK later.

 

Nov 11.2008 - 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 00:00

Since I may not be on my PC tomorrow, I'd just like to thank all of the veterans past and present for everything they've done for us, and for all the freedoms that we enjoy today.

I'll be at the cenotaph tomorrow as I hope many others will be or if they can't make it there, I hope everyone observes the two minutes of silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JUST A COMMON SOLDIER

(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

Interesting little read here from Dohvak, all about the drive by attacks that have been happening on websites lately. We've been having a heck of a lot of viruses and spyware on customer's computers lately. *sigh* The internet is getting to be a scary place these days.

 

Nov 5.2008 - Wow.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 17:48

Some people have far too much time on their hands. Thanks FL.

 

Nov 5.2008 - Hellgate: London server support continues.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:38

When I first read about Hellgate: London and their pay per month scheme for extra content I had a nasty feeling it was doomed to failure. The game itself actually wasn't bad. It was a decent sucessor to the Diablo crown, (shut up Diablo fanboys) and had a lot going for it. Unfortunately for Flagship, most people are like me. We're not willing to pay $10 per month for a little extra ongoing content. A good MMO like World of Warcraft, yes. Booster packs? No. So it turns out I was right, they're gone. Namco has announced they're going to keep the Hellgate servers up for a few more months however, which is a nice gesture on their part. You can read the press release here.

So Barack Obama won the US election. Listened to his victory speach this morning, and it was quite inspiring. I hope the guy can live up to his own billing and make a positive difference. If he doesn't I'll be sorely disappointed.

 

Nov 3.2008 - Storage space out the ying yang

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 12:20

So you're proud of your new 1tb harddrive are you? Think you're the king of the storage heap? Well, I've got bad news for you skippy. You're no one. You're scum when compared to the 48tb media server project.

Picked up a copy of the Fallout 3 collector's edition. Haven't had a chance to play it much so far, it was a busy week. The first hour of the game is good so far though. Can't wait to work my way through the rest of the story line.

 

Oct 30.2008 - Oli

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 11:18

Two R.I.P. notes in two days. Shesh. I must be getting old or something.

Last night I attended the most touching and heartfelt memorial service I've ever been to. It was a memorial service for Oliver Schroer, who passed away on July 3rd of 2008. Wonderfull to listen to people's Oli stories and music from (among others) The Twisted String.I never had the honor of meeting Oli while he was still among us but having attended the memorial and met some of his friends and family, the people he touched while he was here, I feel that I have indeed met him. Great musician, composer, a great person and a great friend to so many people. Click here for a Youtube video of Oli playing "A song for all seasons" (My favorite song of his) in Toronto at Hugh's Room, Feb 2008. Thanks so much to my wonderful woman Xan for inviting me to this event.

 

Oct 29.2008 - *Cricket Cricket*

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:36

Again, how time flies. I'm going to start trying my best to find some time to keep the FRAGtopia site a little more up to date, and make a post at least once a week. Things have been crazy as of late. Lots to do and Protocal, who's worked for me for four years went back to school a few months ago so I'm soloing it at the mighty VAM Computers.

Anyhows! Fallout 3 is out today and I've been getting some good reviews from people so far. Sinnda says it's "Well worth the money" I have to pick it up and try it. I never got around to playing the previous games, which is odd. There's two series of very famous games that I've never played. (We don't count console games around here.) Fallout and Ultima. I have no idea why I've never played either of them but it makes me feel... incomplete somehow. We'll rectify that in the next few days.

Ezra Chatterton passed away a few days ago. For those of you who don't know who that is, Ezra has a rather inspiring story. At ten years old through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ezra got to do something that millions of gamers world wide have dreamed of: A trip to Blizzard, design an in game NPC and do the voice over for him and design his own in game weapon. You can read more about his story here and here. Thanks to Phainne for the link. R.I.P. Ezra.

Played Spore a fair amount and... It's not bad. It's certainly an interesting little game, but it's somehow lacking in depth. The RTS elements of the game are simple and fun, but way too short. Blew through to the final space part of the game in a few hours. The space portion of the game is fun for a while, but it starts to get pretty repetative, and again, really lacks depth. It has a bit of a Star Control 2 feel to it, but... It's not Star Control 2. Which is unfortunate. It is a fun little game to mess around in for a few hours, but they really need to flesh out the space (end game) experiance to make it more gripping. I'm also getting really tired of my huge intergalactic empire geting attacked, and me having to personally rush across the galaxy to fight off a dozen enemy ships. Uh guys? I'm a huge empire. Where the CRAP are my massive defensive flotillas? Ball = Dropped. Not bad, but it could be so so much more. I think Will Wright perhaps overreached a little on this one.

 

June 28 .2008 - Amazing how time flies.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:30

Been too darned busy to really play much in the way of games lately. Lots of 12-14 hour work days. Bah.

Played around with the new Spore Creature Creator demo a little bit. It's neat. Can't wait for the game to come out. My only issue with it is that it gets boring pretty quickly, and I'm rather surprised that they don't let you do something with your creatures after you make them. A little environment to make them do stuff would have been good.

Well well, the folks to Blizzard are busy little monkeys. Diablo 3 has been announced and Blizzard has a new site up with a neat teaser video and gameplay trailer. Let's see: Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Wrath of the Litch King. Very busy.

Rotating skyscrapers? Check out what the folks over in Dubai are doing with your oil money. Pretty cool, but that would be very disturbing to actually see I think. Buildings ain't supposed to move.

 

Feb 15.2008 - Well, it's been a while

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 15:30

Well it's been a while since I've done a news update, as A) I haven't felt like it and B) I've been working 12 or more hours a day days a week... but this is news that I had to post: Our good friend Pappy-R, the Planet Quake Overlord (ALL HAIL PAPPY!) is now also the Planet Doom overlord! Hail! Hail!

 

Nov 24.2007 - Gears of War issues.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:20

Got Gears of War working. Very wierd. It would sometimes lock up on the installation, and once it was loaded, hitting F1 to bring up the Live overlay wasn't working. Turns out that I have to disable my Panda Antivirus in order to play the game. Very, very odd.

 

Nov 20.2007 - Kane & Lynch Warning

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 18:20

Well, Protocal and I went out today and bought Kane & Lynch, due to the fact that it's co-op. Needless to say we were VERY disapointed to install it and find out that co-op mode doesn't work over the internet or network. It's split screen. That's right, you read right.. SPLIT SCREEN. And just to sweeten the deal, you need to buy Xbox 360 PC controllers to make it work. Worse decision by a game company evar. *sigh* So Frustrating.

 

Nov 11.2007 - Rememberance Day

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 00:01

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thank you veterans, for all of your sacrifices.

 

Nov 6.2007 - Jericho

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 21:00

Well, I just beat Clive Barker's Jericho. It's no Undying, but it was a decent game. Good graphics and a very cool story that just suddenly ends. You beat the last bad guy at the cost of a few of your teammates, in a battle that seems a little too easy, and then... the game ends. No explaination of what actually happened to the end boss (The Firstborn) or the bad guy who swept off with said Firstborn. No explaination as to whether or not the surviving Jericho members escape, or what happens to the spirit of Ross, their commander (you). Very disappointing. As a matter of fact, the most disappointing ending since the original Medal of Honor. After the amount of work they put into the story and character interaction you'd really think they would have ended it on a high note. Clive: You dropped the ball on this one buddy. It would have only taken one more little cut scene to make it a really, really good game, but a bad ending (or in this case pretty well NO ending) ruins the experiance.

 

Oct 31.2007 - Ban Video Games!

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 19:31

Well it seems that they've banned Manhunt 2 over in Britan. Meh. I'm getting tired of hearing the "Ban Videogames" bandwagon. It's the same loons who put the Comics Code Authority in place in the 1950s, went on about evil cartoons causing all of life's problems (Damn you Wiley Coyote!), and now go on about how bad video games are. All of that being said I wouldn't be bothered buying or renting Manhunt. It seems to me to be much like Kingpin and other similar games. They're in it just for the shock value, and once that's worn off there's not much left to dig in to. I look for more in a game, like at least a few days worth of entertainment. I was very amused to hear people going on about how we must ban these games to protect our children. Here's a hint, foolish humans: Don't let your kids play M rated games, anymore than if you'd let them watch Saw 4. I don't see the point of movies like that either, but to each their own and I don't believe that having the government step in to protect us from ourselves is a good idea under the vast majority of circumstances. *sigh* Anyhows, Happy All Hallow's Eve all!

 

Oct 21.2007 - EA Predicts The End of Consoles

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 13:31

EA Games predicts the end of the dedicated console here and predicts it'll be replaced by something that sounds oddly like... A PC. Dur. Flee Xbox and PS3 fanboys, the end of the world is nigh! Thanks for the linkage Killer.

I really don't like China. I don't think we should be doing business with them as they're complete bastards. Now apparently a Chinese company is after 3com. I don't know if that's bad, but it certainly isn't good, and there's some concern about letting them get their hands on 3com's tech.

I forgot to post any links to it, but I did a little reviews a few months back on my Tiberius T8 paintball pistol. It's not computer related, but it's a great piece of hardware. You can check it out here.

 

Oct 19.2007 - Demo News Quickie: Hellgate London, Call of Duty 4, etc.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:35

Played a few demos over the last week or so when I have time, since we've had so bloody many of the things coming out.

First off Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Not bad, but the demo is extremely short to say the least. By extremely short we're talking five or so minutes. It's essentially Call of Duty 3, but with middle eastern targets rather than germans. I'll have to play the full game to really get an opinion in but thus far I'm not really super impressed.

Clive Barkers Jericho: Again. Short. Far to short. This sort of game is all about the story line and I don't think that the demo was long or involved enough to really give you a taste for the story. There were some interesting game mechanics at the later part of the demo where you have a situation, which requires you to hit the arrow keys the game shows you very quickly. It reminded me of Dragon's Lair. Again, we'll have to get the full version of the game and see how it is. Really wish they'd made the demo longer.

Unreal Tournament 3: It's finally coming out, and it's darned good so far. It plays pretty much the same as UT2004 from what I've seen thus far, but the graphics are just completely jawdropping and the Darkwalker vehicle on the Heatray map is very, very giggly. Looks like it's going to be a fun game, but just like UT2004 it's more fun to play with bots than it is to play online with people.

Hellgate London: Well it's looking good. The game plays like Diablo. In fact it plays very much like an advanced 3d adaption of Diablo in a new locale, which is fine by me. I loved Diablo. (Diablo 2 not so much since it was just Diablo, but more so.) Not that suprising since it's apparently being developed by many of the same people who made Diablo with Blizzard. I'll definately be picking this one up when it comes out. I've even got an online buddy who basically quit playing World of Warcraft when he got into the Hellgate beta. Now that's truly unnerving. The only things I didn't like about the demo (again) were that it was short and there's nothing telling you that the demo is over. I spent quite a bit of time wandering around trying to find anyone else to talk to. The game also needs some music while you're booting around killing stuff.

Teamfortress 2: Not a demo, but I've been playing it quite a bit on and off. It's one hell of a good game and a worthy sucessor to the original that's been eleven years in the making. Even if you don't buy Orangebox, go to Steampowered.com and just buy TF2. It's well worth the money. I should get around to writing a review, but I'm lazy.

I really have to go download the Timeshift demo, Protocal assures me it's amazing.

Back in the day I was a huge fan of the Lucasart's adventure games (Ahhh Full Throttle and Loom!) but I never got around to playing the original Sam and Max from 1993. I have no idea why, it's one of those gaps in my gaming life, like the notable absence of any Ultima games. Luckily for me that's turned around. Big thanks to Victoria for graciously bestowing upon me Sam & Max Season 1. Thus far it's got a brand of offbeat humor that appeals to me very much.

Damn, just realised that I haven't archived the news since Feb of 2006. Since the index page is up to 300+k I guess it's that time again. How time flies.

 

Oct 19.2007 - A drought of games, then a deluge.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 20:31

It's just not fair. We have a drought of games for ages and suddenly heaven's floodgates open and we're deluged. Orangebox, Call of Duty 4, Quake Wars, Timeshift, Prey, Hellgate London. It makes my poor head ache, and when will I have time to play them all? :(

 

Oct 10.2007 - Orangebox is out.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 12:43

Woot for Team Fortress 2. I guess I should play the other games, but after eleven years of waiting for it I just wanna play TF2.

Also for anyone who's interested, the beta demo for a little game called "Unreal Tournament 3" came out today. Perhaps you've heard of it? You can download it from File Planet here. Thanks for the linkage Proto.

 

Sept 27.2007 - Jericho Demo is out.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 14:43

The Clive Barker's Jericho demo is out, and for some reason I can't access it on the Code Masters webpage. *sigh*. Luckily the folks over at File Planet also have it. Download it here.

 

Sept 26.2007 - So many games so little time.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 17:32

Huh, just got an email from iD Software, seems that Quake Wars has gone gold, so we should have it in 5-6 days.

 

Sept 26.2007 - Jericho demo tomorrow!!!!

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 14:28

Here's some news for you. We're the only gaming news site on the internet with nothing about Halo3 on it. Since it's not on PC, and we probably won't see it for years (Maybe it'll be a Directx11 release title?) I don't care. Sometimes it's good to be different.

Been playing Team Fortress 2 for a few days and.. WOW. It's darned good, and the unique cartoon look just makes it that much tastier. If you haven't preordered Orangebox go to Steampowered.com and do it now. You won't regret it.

I've been talking about my anticipation for Clive Barker's Jericho for a while now... And it's almost here. The demo should be out tomorrow, and there's a hot new movie that got released yesterday. REALLY looking forward to getting my hot little hands on it.

Still looking forward to Quake Wars, and our good buddy Pappy-R (all hail The Pappy!) has posted an interview with John Dean, who's working on the AI for the game. It's good read, check it out here.

Also, Proto's video card is dead. Again. If you know Proto, you know he's had really, really bad luck (well, combined with some dumb video card related decisions) for the last five or so years. So, the saga continues. If Homer were still alive he wouldn't be writing about the Argonauts, he'd be writing tragedies about Protocal and his video cards. (OF DOOM!)

 

Sept 20.2007 - So many games so little time.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:42

Poor Protocal. World in Conflict, the Teamfortress 2 beta AND the Crysis beta all come out within a few hours of each other. What's a gamer to do but to call in sick for a few days?

 

Sept 10.2007 - Bioshock and more!

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:00

Well good morning Kiddies. It's been a while. Almost three months without a post, which is a little unusual. Unfortunately I've been swamped at work and working 10-15 hours a day doesn't leave much time for playing games, or doing any writing. I also just haven't felt much like writing. I go through times when I just lack any inspiration.

That being said, there's some big news today. First off, I picked up Bioshock and I've been playing it a wee bit over the last few weeks on and off. I ended up beating it on Sunday. It's a great game with a very well written story backing the whole thing up, and it really, really earns that "M" rating. If you haven't played it yet, go get it. It's well worth the money. The collectors edition also came with a cool "Big Daddy" monitor toy... Speaking of which, now that I have dual LCDs I really need to build a little box or something around them to put my toys on. It's the one thing that really bums me out about the LCD monitors.

In other gaming news, I see from our friends over at Planet Quake that the Enemy Territory: Quake Wars public demo is out at long last. Huzzah! Been looking forward to this one for a very long time.

Clive Barker, who has a fond and permenant place in my heart for his most excellent "Undying" game is releasing a new game. I've mentioned it a few times. It's called Jericho and I can't wait. The official site is live and contains some titillating screenshots and videos.

Mark Sheeky over at Cornutopia dropped me a line today as well, he's done an update on Taskforce. Here's the full email:

Squad Level Strategy Game Taskforce Revamped

Site: http://www.cornutopia.net
Story URL: http://www.cornutopia.net/news.html

September 2007, Cheshire U.K. - Independent PC game developer Cornutopia Software (www.cornutopia.net) have announced of their premier strategy title Taskforce 1.02, now available from www.cornutopia.net.

A major update compared to previous versions, v1.02 features a new 12 man squad to command and new map designs to accomodate this. Weapon damage has been tweaked and a new intelligent equipment assignment algorithm makes it faster and more convenient to start missions without equipping each team member.

Taskforce: The Mutants of October Morgane is a turn based strategy game that puts you in charge of an elite squad of soldiers. Commanding your squad through a series of missions, you will encounter enemy troops, zombies and more as you confront evil megalomaniac October Morgane.

The game is played out in a 3D polygon environment. Each mission is different, and any completed mission can be replayed as a single game. All missions include some random elements; from random start positions for the enemies to random arrangements of the maps. Taskforce has been praised as the best X-COM style independent game release.

Taskforce is available from Cornutopia Software for $24 US, £12 or 18 euro. Visit www.cornutopia.net to download the demo that puts you in command of the hostage rescue operation at Cyrus Labs.

Screenshots:
http://www.treality.freeserve.co.uk/taskshot1.jpg
http://www.treality.freeserve.co.uk/taskshot2.jpg
http://www.treality.freeserve.co.uk/taskshot3.jpg

Game download (6.1Mb):
http://www.cornutopia.co.uk/software/taskforcesetup.exe

Mark Sheeky
Cornutopia Software
http://www.cornutopia.net

Mark's a cool guy who designs some great little games. Go check it out! :)

In our only nongaming related news today, the title of the new Indiana Jones movie was announced: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Can't wait. Set in South America maybe? We'll have to see.

 

June 22.2007 - Windows Vista Slogan

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:42

With all the wierd Vista issues we've been having, and things just plain not working on it I'm going to suggest a new slogan for Microsoft to use: Windows Vista: Increase your efficiency! *

* Because games and most other applications won't work, you don't have to worry about your employees slacking.

 

June 8.2007 - Supreme Commander Issues, Airsoft Border Siezure.

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 09:40

Tried to get Supreme Commander working last night with Rkhan for some AI smacking co-operative play after the new patch and unfortunately it decided to bluescreen his system, and crash to desktop repeatedly on mine. The patch acted a little bit wierd as well when I tried to install it, as it wouldn't go in until I actually copied it to the game's folder. Uninstall, reinstall and it patched fine. Going to try it again tonight and see what happens. Hopefully it works, I want to see if it's smooth and creamy.

Lately I've been getting interested in Airsoft, but unfortunately when I ordered a few guns from the US they were siezed and destroyed by the fellows at Canada Customs. Entertainingly enough, the magazines for the guns arrived, and cleared customs... So they knew they weren't real guns, but destroyed them anyway. (Thanks boys, way to protect the country from me.)

If anyone happens to know of a good source for airsoft guns that's inside Canada please let me know.

 

June 5.2007 - Woot for Clive Barker

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 10:33

Clive Barker's Undying is quite high on my list of favorite PC games of all time, and is on top of the "ambiance" list. (See our review here. I can't believe it's been 6 years) After what has been in my opinion far too long a wait, Clive's working on a new game that should be out this fall. You can check out the screenshots and a trailer for Jericho here. I can't wait. :D

I always find it entertaining when people try to do something to help nature out and just completely botch it. Here's a good example of things gone horribly wrong. Foolish, foolish humans.

 

May 31.2007 - Rest in Peace Cpl. Matthew J. McCully

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 16:30

Attended the funeral for Cpl. Matthew J. McCully, a local soldier who was killed by a bomb in Afganistan a few days ago. Sad occasion, but very touching. 750 or so people attended the service which was very nice to see. Godspeed Matt, thank you for your sacrifice.

 

May 25.2007 - Supreme Commander

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 15:01

Greetings,

Kent McNall here (GPGnet producer), and I'm thrilled to announce the release of the most recent Supreme Commander patch, which updates the game to version 1.5.3251. The feedback from the Supreme Commander community has been outstanding, and everyone's really excited about the great package of new features, fixes and game optimizations the Supreme Commander team has put together.

Detailed patch notes for some of the major changes are at the bottom of this newsletter (all of the patch notes can be accessed via GPGnet), but here are some highlights:

A new "No Rush" mode for custom multiplayer games
A new "Cartographic" map view for your second monitor
Substantial performance increases for most PCs
"Attack Here", "Move Here" and "Custom" map markers for team-based games
Numerous UI improvements
Highly tested and "User Approved" game balance improvements
With this patch, Supreme Commander moves into high gear. The quotes from our fans tell the story well:

"The new performance is insane!" - Lunargirl

"I was amazed at how smooth the game is now. Great job, GPG!" - Coerzium

"Yeeha" - Aralez

"Curse you, GPG. I was planning to sleep tonight!" - liku

"Yes! O yes, yes, yesidy, yes, yes!" - frenchemn77
To obtain the Supreme Commander patch, simply log in to GPGnet, and it will automatically download and install.

If it's been a while since you logged into GPGnet, or if you had some initial problems playing Supreme Commander, it's time to pay us another visit! With these updates, we've made countless fixes and increased performance so that everyone can enjoy the unique Supreme Commander experience.

We're eager to welcome you online into the best RTS community there is. Come join us!

Best Wishes,

Kent McNall
"Son Of Shagrat"
GPGnet Producer


Yay for performance increases! My one major complaint with this game is the 1-5fps I'm getting when I get some units build up, which of course makes the thing completely unplayable. I'll report back once I get patched up.

 

May 10.2007 - Zap!

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 11:01

Still trying to get around to doing that review on Battlestations: Midway, but no time. For the moment just check out this sweet photo Goshwin sent in. Now that's just plain cool.

Shesh, Rune knows how to make a guy feel really small. :( The Size of Our World. Luckily for us John Romero's ego is still visible at any scale.

 

April 28.2007 - Battlestations Midway

posted by: Marauder icq# 12419781- 20:10

For such an odd sort of RTS/arcade shooter hybrid, I'm quite impressed with how well Battlestations Midway plays. It's more of the shooter than the RTS, as in unlike traditional RTS's work you can't zoom your tactical map in to actually see the battlefield, it remains a map at any level of zoom. You could in theory play from this view, but your units seem to fare far better with you at the helm. More and a review later.

Remember the Optimus LED keyboard we mentioned a few weeks back? There's finally a price and a release date for it. (Thanks Dralmonas!) $1,500 USD seems to be a little steep for a keyboard. Is anyone actually going to buy one of these things? I mean, they're neat... But $1,500?

 
 


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