Playing With My Weiner

Gaming at the mercy of miniature daschunds.

Full of Patchy Goodness November 20, 2008

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Well, as promised, the New XBox Live Experience appeared this week. So far, so okay. The green blades are shiny and smooth, the avatars are like Miis all grown up and Netflix is working. Sorta.

 

The vaunted Netflix service has been up and down all day, with frequent patches. When it works, it works well, with instant streaming of lots of good stuff. The visual quality is pretty good for streaming video, much to my surprise.

 

The Marketplace is the real stumbling point at the moment. There is no easy way to get a complete list of what is on offer, and everything is incredibly slow at the moment. Microsoft is monitoring the situation and says it will be all better soon, and I really hope so.

 

Congratulations, Blizz!

Filed under: Blizzard,Games,World of Warcraft — Gwyddia @ 1:46 pm
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Wrath of the Lich King sold 2.8 Million copies in the first 24 hours of its release. My gnome is 77, Araan is 79, and rumor has it that there will be a major content patch right after the new year.

 

Weinercast Wednesday! November 19, 2008

Filed under: Games,WeinerCast,World of Warcraft — Gwyddia @ 12:30 pm
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The Weinercast is go! This week: Gwyddia takes on the Violet Hold.

As always, the Weinercast is available on Gwyddia - Weinercast

Please leave us a review or a comment/question, and we’ll address it on air next week!

A non-iTunes link if you need it.

 

It Was Nearly Two Years Ago Today . . . November 18, 2008

Filed under: Hardware,PS3,Wii — Gwyddia @ 2:17 pm
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That the Weiner Daddy and I slept outside on the sidewalk outside a Las Vegas Target for a Wii. Two years later, you still can’t get one easily, and that’s a damn shame to all of us who have enjoyed the five or six fine games for it.

This is also the PS3’s 2nd birthday. We didn’t stand out for that one, though – we just capitulated when Sony threatened to take away our Emotion Engine and make our PS2 library obsolete. It’s a damn fine Blu-Ray player, that system.

Not to be left out, the XBox 360 celebrates its third birthday next week.

Happy Birthday, hardware!

 

Congratulations, Bashcraft!

Filed under: Kotaku,Other Folks — Gwyddia @ 2:10 pm
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Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft and his family welcomed their second child into the world today. Three cheers for MicroBash! Now is it a boy or a girl?

 

Review: Mirror’s Edge November 17, 2008

Filed under: 3 weiners,Games,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 10:31 pm
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This one is a little late, partly because of Amazon and partly because of Blizzard.  I take no responsibility for my own actions here…

 

Art:

A friend of mine suggested that Mirror’s Edge was inspired by Hong Kong, but I think its Singapore  The smooth, clean lines, spotless buildings, and dirt-free streets all call to mind the land in the Far East where chewing gum is a crime.  I think my friend was thinking of Hong Kong action movies, where high-flying martial artists take to the roofs to avoid the mob or a totalitarian police regime.  Hmm, maybe we’re both on to something there.

 

Gameplay:

That movement, or parkour, is what Mirror’s Edge is really all about.  The story, about couriers sticking it to the Man, is flat an generic.  The combat, when you can’t avoid it, it tricky and annoying.  It is as if you’re being stopped from doing the thing you really want to do – run.  A a result, the star of Mirror’s Edge is movement itself.  When you can perfectly execute a stage through running, jumping, diving, and sliding, you have it made, and you understand why this game feels so good.  

 

You’d think a game that is all about real motion would cause motion sickness while watching it.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  It is as if the absence of a bouncing gun focus allows you to see through your character’s eyes, not her weapon, and rally creates the illusion of speed and force.  That being said, it gets awfully annoying to watch your hands flail around like a bad Looney Tunes knockoff after the sixth of seventh time you miss a jump.  Don’t miss time trial mode, though.  There is something infinitely satisfying about shaving seconds off your best run-through a tough level, or finding a new route through you missed the first few times around. 

 

Overall:

It is a rare game in which the time trials are the best part and you still enjoy and recommend it to others.  And yet that’s just the case here.  Mirror’s Edge’s story is short, maybe 7-8 hours, and it has limited replayability.  It is a thing best rented, rather than bought.  That all being said, Mirror’s Edge really is something new and something fun, and isn’t that what games are about?

 

For being an fun and original game worth playing, while also being too short and sometimes deeply frustrating, Mirror’s Edge gets 3 Weiners out of 5.

Line ween

Line ween

Line ween

 

Amazon Shipping Inconsistencies Continue November 16, 2008

Filed under: Amazon,Games,Other Folks,World of Warcraft — Gwyddia @ 1:36 pm

 

ETA DOA.  K?

ETA DOA. K?

 

 

You’d think they’d learn. As we discussed recently around the Fallout 3 release, Amazon has recently started offering Release Date Shipping for some hot items. With one notable exception that we’ll get to in a moment, however, that special shipping does not apply to things you may have pre-ordered months ago. The upshot is that people who pre-order things two days before release are getting it on Day One, and you’re stuck holding no box, because it won’t arrive for two days.

 

The notable exception is World of Warcraft:Wrath of the Lich King. Amazon realized that they had about seventy gajillion pre-orders for this one and automatically upgraded everyone who pre-ordered the game or its Collector’s Edition to Release Date Shipping. Even though I had a regular copy on November 12 from another source, I can say that my CE did arrive on Thursday afternoon as promised.

 

I can’t say the same for Mirror’s Edge, which, despite being pre-ordered about five seconds after PAX, did not arrive until Thursday. (Note: it is a miracle we’ve had time to look at this one with Lich King out, but check out the Weiner review of Mirror’s Edge tomorrow.)

 

But wait, there’s more! Our pre-order of the Pixar Blu-Ray of WALL-E arrived about an hour ago. Yes, on Sunday. Two days before its November 18 release date.

 

What the heck is going on over there? It’s a big company, sure, but a little consistency goes a long way, especially as the holidays approach. Here’s hoping that Amazon gets this all ironed out well in advance of the new year.

 

XBox Live Issues Are Not All In Your Head

Filed under: Hardware,Microsoft,XBox 360 — Gwyddia @ 12:47 pm
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It's not just for the console anymore.

It's not just for the console anymore.

If you can’t get on or stay on XBox Live today, you are not alone. Microsoft’s Major Nelson himself copped to the connectivity issues, stating:

 

In the past few hours, the Xbox Operations Center noticed that large number of members were disconnected from Xbox LIVE, some more than once. Our Engineering teams are actively working to determine the root cause of this issue and to prevent it from happening again. If you are disconnected, you should be able to reconnect after a few minutes. Thanks for your patience as we work quickly to solve the issue.

As of this writing, things are still iffy, despite a quick “All clear!” and “Nah, just kidding” from the Major this morning.

 

Full of Lichy Goodness November 14, 2008

Hello, Weiner fans. Sorry to have dropped off the map yesterday, but it was the first full day of Wrath of the Lich King. Araan and I logged in an 12:01am and are level 72 and 71 now, respectively.

 

So far, WotLK is everything Blizz promised it would be. Zones are beautiful and expansive. Quests are fun and closely grouped to avoid the annoyance of crossing several zones for no apparent reason. 5-man instances take anywhere from 30-50 minutes with good XP and quest rewards.

 

Green is not the new purple, as it was in The Burning Crusade. As a high-end raider in BC, I have replaced just one piece of gear, my shoulders, which actually came from heroic Magister’s Terrace. The new shoulders are a quest reward in Coldarra, the site of the Nexus instance. From what I have seen and heard from other players, the goal here seems to replace 1-2 pieces of gear per zone until about level 75, when you can expect to have mostly Northrend gear. That’s a lot nicer than the “sticker shock” we all experienced in Outland.

 

Blue is the order of the day, both in gear and in art design. If BC was red, LK is Blue. Does this mean the next expansion will be the Emerald Dream? I think so.

 

I need to get back in game, though – some of my guildies are going to tear through Azjol-Nerub and I want in.  And don’t fret – if you’re not playing already, you will.

 

Weinercast Wednesday November 12, 2008

The Weinercast is go! This week: The Future of DRM.

As always, the Weinercast is available on Gwyddia - Weinercast

Please leave us a review or a comment/question, and we’ll address it on air next week!

A non-iTunes link if you need it.