Playing With My Weiner

Gaming at the mercy of miniature daschunds.

Little Big Updates Bring Win December 19, 2008

Filed under: Games,PS3 — Gwyddia @ 9:50 pm
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littlebigplanet_pegi_wm0001Updates 1.06 and 1.07 for Sony’s Little Big Planet are available, much to the relief of online players.

1.06 focuses on moderation, giving creators the chance to work on unpublished levels that have been moderated offline, and provide explanations to those creators whose work has been taken down.

1.07 is all about shopping. Enter the Little Big Store – a place for all of your DLC on one shiny planet. Get your free Christmas swag there today!

 

Aspyr Layoffs

Filed under: Industry,Mac — Gwyddia @ 9:45 pm
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images2Sad news for Mac gamers – Austin-based Aspyr Media, the folks who keep porting us our Sims and more, just announced layoffs and cutbacks of up to one third of their staff. All of their 2009 projects ate still slated for completion, but for some hardworking families, it is not going to be a merry Christmas.

 

Weekend Woundup December 15, 2008

Lots of news that I’m not sure that I classify as news over the last couple days. More like a bunch of shinies. Well, I like shinies, so here goes.

– GTA Chinatown Wars will be for DS released on St. Patrick’s Day. Get your drink on IRL and in-game.

GTAIV Lost and Damned screens look smoother than original GTAIV.

– Brutal Legend trailer:

– God of War trailer, now with 4x texture resolution!

– i ❤ Katamari his the iPhone. Praise Ceiling Cat.

 

Home Launches. Sorta. December 12, 2008

Filed under: Industry,PS3,Sony — Gwyddia @ 12:04 pm
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Please note the "beta" on our fourth wall.
This is the Fourth Horseman (after the Phillies Series, Obama’s win, and Ann Coulter’s jaw being wired shut.) Sony’s “revolutionary” Home service, dashboard, MMO thing launched, but was not “released” yesterday. Basically, this means that Sony can deliver a potentially unfinished product and not cop to the lack of polish because it is technically an “open beta”. An open beta that every single PSN user can be in, without exception. That sounds like a release to us. At any rate, check it out, and see how it compares to the new XBLE.

 

Let The Gender Reassignment Commence! December 11, 2008

Filed under: Blizzard,Games,Mac,PC,World of Warcraft — Gwyddia @ 2:10 pm

Blizz has announced that World of Warcraft players will be able to change their character design features – hair, skin, gender for $15 beginning soon. It’s key to note that the changes are ONLY design features – i.e. cosmetic stuff. No race or class changes allowed. Blizz considered race changes, but decided against it as the new enhanced racial abilities could conceivably turn into a race-a-day nightmare as players tried to swap out racials like gear. Kudos to Blizz for choosing game stability and cohesion over the choice to make even more money off hardcore swappers.

 

What To Get The Person Who Plays Everything December 9, 2008

Filed under: Games,Hardware,Other Folks — Gwyddia @ 10:14 pm
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There are only two shopping weeks left in this year’s official Hallowgivingchristyear’s gift-giving corridor, and like any good video game corridor, this one is full of pitfalls. Maybe not spiked abysses or bottomless holes, but ugly-ass sweaters and NeoPets can seem just as painful. As a service to you, the Weiner fans, here is a list of our Top 5 gift lists from the Geekosphere. As a bonus, we’re including a few tips to make it blatantly obvious to your gift-buyer that they need to check these lists out before buying you something inane.

 

5. Joystiq’s Holidaze 2008 – Joystiq’s guide is simple and to the point. Not a lot of frills here, but you can check around the side for details but checking for any links tagged “Holidaze 2008”.

Weiner Tip: This is an easy one. Joystiq is part of a media network that includes sites like Fanhouse.com Backporch, Totally Unofficial Apple Rumors, and WoW Insider. Just find the one that interests your giftgiver and bookmark away!


4. Amazon’s Gifts and Wish Lists Section – This one rocks because Amazon has everything. Seriously, raise your hand with me if you remember when Amazon just sold books.

Weiner Tip: If you make a wishlist on Amazon.com you can ask for it to be send to your friends and family with an Amazon-written in-no-way-begging note.


3. The ThinkGeek Gift Guide – Not entirely game-related, this one is great for all stripes of nerds in your life, from caffeine junkies to do-it-your-selfers.

Weiner Tip: Have your husband “check out a link to this awesome X I saw” on their front page. The Gift Guide is a really obvious tab off the homepage.


2. The 1Up.com Holiday Gift Guide – standard gamer holiday fare, but with an incredibly useful “games to avoid” section.
Weiner Tip: Let your buddy know about this list by sending him over to 1Up.com to read a review that just *happens* to have a link to the Guide.

 

1. Kotaku’s 2008 Gift Guide of Obscene Nicety and Sublime Naughtiness – This one wins for sheer volume. Almost a wall of text with everything from plush chocobos to fanboy pr0n, if you can’t find something you like here, you’re doin’ it rong.
Weiner Tip: Just share the link – this list is almost as much fun to read as it is to shop.

 

Geneforge 5 Now Available For Mac December 8, 2008

Filed under: Games,Mac,Other Folks,Previews — Gwyddia @ 8:50 pm
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Welcome to the world of Geneforge.

Welcome to the world of Geneforge.

Just a quick heads-up as I begin playing this for review. The latest in Spiderweb Software’s low-res high-sci fi series Geneforge has been released for the Mac. I’ll confess my standing sense of goodwill toward Spiderweb reaching all the way back to 1997 when a high-school boyfriend showed me a little game called Exile on his “Macintrash” (how little I knew). Despite looking like something from the NES, Exile was one of the first truly branching RPGs I had ever played, and certainly the first one I’d ever experienced where your actions actually changed the way people acted toward you.

 

The Exile Trilogy was followed by the Avernum series, which was basically a higher-tech remake of Spiderweb’s fantasy RPG. Geneforge came later, casting you as a Shaper with the power to create, control and destroy creatures who may or may not have native intelligence.

 

As I said, I’ve yet to play Geneforge 5, but I look forward to doing it.  If you don’t want to wait and you’re a Mac user, check out Spiderweb’s truly epic demo. PC users, you’ll have to hang on until March.

 

5th Cell Scribbles For The Moon December 6, 2008

Filed under: DS,Games,Other Folks,Previews,Uncategorized — Gwyddia @ 2:04 pm

As promised, game developer 5th Cell announced their next DS game on Friday in an IGN exclusive.  The game is Scribblenauts, an incredibly ambitious title that will have players scribbling words onscreen to solve puzzles in a platfoming-type adventure.

 

The level 5th Cell showed featured main character Maxwell scribbling the word “ladder” to make a ladder appear to scale a great height.  I think I could easily spend a few hours scribbling “puppy”, “kitty”, “mouse”, and any other critter that came to mind, just to see if they’d appear.  This would seem to fit with the game’s tagline of “Write Anything, Solve Everything.”

 

Check out this gameplay footage from 5th Cell, which is so entertaining I will even forgive them the horrendous error of writing “100’s” with an apostrophe.

 
For even more scribbly goodness, head over to IGN for their exclusive interview with 5TH Cell’s co-founder and creative director Jeremiah Slaczka.

 

Animal Crossing Racial Slur Causing ESRB Fracas

Filed under: DS,Games,Nintendo,Other Folks — Gwyddia @ 1:49 pm
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baadsheep
Here’s the back story: a racial epithet made its way into the speech of an Animal Crossing character. The epithet was user-created and only found in fourteen review copies of the game, all of which have been recalled and changed. Now, of course, people are pointing fingers at the ESRB, saying that their ratings system is a failure for letting something like this slip through.

 

Simply put, no. The ESRB warning on any game with online play clearly states that “Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB”. This is because online content can change a game at a moment’s notice, and the ESRB aren’t a psychic Gestapo. Further, this was a bad joke found not in the retail version of the game, but in a very small number of pre-release copies. The issue was discovered and dealt with quickly and efficiently.

 

The ESRB could not have caught this, nor should they have. I, for one, do not want the ESRB or anyone else constantly looking over my online shoulder. Every online content provider has an abuse notification system for cases just like this, and if the swift reprisal here is any indication, that system worked.

 

Finally, remember that the people who saw this “atrocity” were fourteen adults in the media – not impressionable kids. If you really think your precious little snowflake lacks the maturity to handle the vagaries of an online experience, play with them or don’t allow them to play. Only if players and parents take the responsibility for monitoring their own online experience can we have worldwide gaming that is open and available to the community at large.

 

Brutally Lost and God Damned December 5, 2008

Filed under: Games,GTA,Industry,Other Folks,XBox 360 — Gwyddia @ 9:12 pm

Following in the controller presses of Brutal Legend and God of War III, Rockstar will be showing footage from their upcoming GTAIV DLC, “Lost and Damned”. L&D is the first of two extensive DLC packs that will come exclusively to the 360 in 2009. Rockstar has confirmed that L&D will not focus on Niko Bellic, but rather another main character on the mean streets of Liberty City.

It looks like the Spike VGA’s are going to be worth watching this year, even for those of us with a uterus. That’s saying something.