Archive for the 'Games' Category

No Second Life for me…

November 21, 2006

I’m not a very lucky person, am I?

Two weeks ago I signed up for “Teen Second Life”, the version of the simulator designed for minors, since I wasn’t allowed to apply for the “real” version until my birthday. When the site refused to accept my registration two or three times, I emailed asking for help — only to be told that I needed to provide Government-provided ID in order to join in.

So, I emailed back and said that I’d rather just wait until my birthday, since it was coming up so soon. More than a week passed without response, until the 17th rolled around and I took a look at my inbox — only to find that not only hey the Linden Labs people created a new account for me using the old username, they had even wished me a happy birthday in doing so.

Awwwww. :)

Of course, my birthday coincided with a fair amount of travel to see my various family members around Canberra, so I haven’t had the chance to login and play until today, a fortnight after my original attempt. And just as soon as I try to play the game I downloaded so long ago, I find that somebody up there hates me. Damnit!

So I guess I have to wait a few hours to play with my Second Life. It wouldn’t be so bad, except I don’t even have a First one to occupy me in the meantime.

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Jack Thompson’s new target

October 27, 2006

So, Jack Thompson may have failed to prevent the release of Bully, but that’s alright: he has a new target to take care of.

It seems that Mortal Kombat Armageddon’s new “Kreate a Fighter” feature has already spawned the creation of a close lookalike to the infamous lawyer, who quickly sent a Cease and Desist letter to Midway in response. Apparently, doing unspeakable things to other people isn’t quite in his character.

I got a good laugh out of this, but I’m wondering when the jokes might end. As much as it’s fun to laugh at Jack, and wonder when – if ever – he will ever give up, return, or perhaps pick up an Xbox 360, the joke must end sometime. I’m beginning to feel a faint tearing at my appreciation for the funnay.

Well, hell. He’s nowhere near as bad as Fred Phelps.

Line Rider cures headaches, crushes souls

October 27, 2006

So, I finished my Physics exam this morning, which was nice. The three hour orgy of quantum, projectile motion and semiconductors – and other buzzwords beside! – left me tired and headachey, as all good exams do. It was an easy exam, though, which is more unusual.

But that’s alright: where it failed to crush my soul, I filled the gap with more videos of people who can actually play Line Rider. Joy.

Hmm..: So the title of this post was originally "Liner Rider...". I only realised that it was a typo after half a dozen people found their way to this page via google - because for some reason, it was the very first hit on Google for "liner rider". Fancy that.

OGame: free, web browser-based crack

October 26, 2006

<3 OGame.I used to play StarKingdoms, a lot. In fact, more than could possibly be healthy: by the time I’d finished in the seventh grade, I was logging five or six hours per day in that game. Then came Raging Universe, which provided faster service, nicer people and more mature gameplay.

Raging universe was fun, but I eventually tired of it just the same – but not before winning the title of undisputed “Honor Leader” in at least one game. Yeah, I’m sad like that.

Years later, I return to find that the state of browser-based games has vastly improved in the form of OGame, which can be fairly described as pure hypertext addiction. This game is amazing.

It’s OGame is a simple game of galactic conquest, played from your browser. Unlike most other games in the genre, building up your empire is hard: getting started required fifteen minutes’ work, but even constructing your first space-ship is an effort that takes days of careful preparation. Combat is sweet – “turtling” and excessive defence is a waste of time, because the costs of being invaded are very, very high – and extremely complex, with the widest range of options I’ve ever seen

My favourite part, though, is the wonderful interface. Time-based actions, such as construction and research, are accompanied by a simple JavaScript timer that counts down in real time, letting you always know exactly how long the action has remaining. It’s a very nice upgrade, and I’m glad to see it.

Oh, and it’s very pretty.

I should be studying for my German exam, but this is just too damn good. Vielleicht soll ich studieren aber das macht zu viel Spass. :(

Line Rider rocks my socks

October 25, 2006

DeviantArt is a treasure-trove of excellent artwork, but once in a while you come across something special. Today, that something is Line Rider, a still-in-beta game that lets your little character bobsled down a course you draw for him with a pen.

There’s no eraser, though, a point which makes the game significantly more difficult than you might imagine.

Go give the game a quick play – just a minute or two – because the story gets better. See, Line Rider is hard. That little guy is really difficult to play tricks with: he’s always falling off his sled, going off course or generally just playing with your mind.

So when someone puts together a video like this, it’s soul-crushing. Yes, I feel like a tiny, tiny man:

It’ll be a revolution

October 25, 2006

Call me immature, but this has to be the funniest Wii-related thing I’ve seen in a long time. If this ever became a real game I would be a very, very happy little man indeed.

Hoo, boy.

PSA: Computer Gaming World’s early issues released online

October 25, 2006

Computer Gaming World , the popular gaming magazine founded in 1981, is changing its name to (of all things) Games For Windows. Leaving aside the blatant stupidity of such a name change, which seems almost as bad as re-naming the Apple Powerbook to Macbook Pro, this is awesome news. Why?

Well, to celebrate the name change and presumably numb the pain a little, the kind editors of the magazine have released the first one hundred issues for public download. The FileFront page allows you to download each issue individually – although I’ve packaged them all into a torrent file, for easy bulk downloads – although only the cover artwork is available for any issue after 101. Still, that’s pretty excellent.

  • That’s 100 free issues of a long-running, well-written gaming magazine. What is a hundred issues’ worth of nostalgia worth to you?
  • That’s 100 free issues of historically significant writing. If you’re doing any work related to the history of computer games, such a resource can be invaluable for providing both a stronger depth of knowledge on the area, and a way of verifying your text.
  • That’s 100 free issues of comedy gold: what could be more fun than laughing at the past?

Unfortunately, the issues are enormous. Each PDF file weighs in at between fourteen and eighty megabyte, for issues 1 and 100, respectively. That’s… well, frankly, enormous. The whole collection is a total of 2.86GB.

I’ve already used these magazines for fun and profitnerdery. Personal computer game, my pet project at the English Wikipedia, has received a number of citations drawn directly from the issues I’ve downloaded. That article is still an extremely long way from Featured Article quality – just take a look at the enormous list of recommendations that have been made to improve it – but every little bit helps.