Playing With My Weiner

Gaming at the mercy of miniature daschunds.

Less Rage, Still Too Much Wrap January 20, 2009

Filed under: Amazon,Other Folks — Gwyddia @ 6:56 pm
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A couple months ago I posted about Amazon’s war on “wrap rage” – their efforts to reduce annoying and unnecessary packing in its products. Today I received a package from Amazon that indicates they still have a long way to go.

The first box, accompanied by requisite cat.

The first box, accompanied by requisite cat.


Within that box, a significantly smaller box.

Within that box, a significantly smaller box.


Oh look, another box!

Oh look, another box!


And in the third box, a bag!

And in the third box, a bag!


All of that for two little earrings.

All of that for two little earrings.

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Weiner Review: Geneforge 5 January 16, 2009

Filed under: 3 weiners,Games,Mac,PC,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 11:28 am
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Shape On!

Shape On!

If you are not familiar with the Avernum and Geneforge series of games, you are missing out. Developed for both Mac and PC by Spiderweb Software, these RPGs eschew flashy visuals for deep story and hours and hours of solid gameplay.

 

Theme:

The latest from Spiderweb is Geneforge 5. The core concept of the Geneforge series is based on the existence of people known as Shapers. Shapers can mold matter and magic into semi-intelligent or even intelligent creatures that are subservient to the Shaper. The classic Shaper hierarchy is fine with this, believing that Shapers’ creations are lesser beings and should be treated as such. A growing group of Creations, backed a group of Rebels, disagree, and have been fighting the Shapers for five games now.

Geneforge 5 finds this world on the verge of total disruption. The Rebels are succeeding, and regime change seems imminent. The Shaper Council has begun infighting and choosing sides at will. You are thrown into this as a character with a mysterious past, who might even be a Creation, but who has rare Shaper skills.

The game centers as much around you finding out who and what you are as it does on your role in the greater world. That’s a welcome change, as the last four game in the series have been strong but slight variations on the theme of Empire vs. Rebels. That classic trope is present here, too, but there seem to be many more factions and options for the player to choose from than in previous iterations.

 

A typical town scene from Geneforge 5.

A typical town scene from Geneforge 5.

Art:

Art is not Spiderweb’s bailiwick. Spiderweb is largely the work of one man, Jeff Vogel, and he has made a conscious choice to put his efforts into writing over visuals. As a result these games have passable characters, decent textures, and utterly forgettable items. The advantage is that you can play these on an aged system or the newly-popular Netbooks. The disadvantage is that they look like they were made in 1996 with minor visual tweaks along the way.

 

 

Gameplay:

The heart of any RPG is its battle system.  Fights in Geneforge are classic turn-based fare with a bit of strategy thrown in.  Characters have action points which they can spend to move, fight, or both.  You have to be in range of an attack for it to hit, so figuring out how few points you can spend on movement of each character or Creation and still attack is key.  After that, though, it is very much an RPG-type magic and mundane attack system with the expected status change spells and elemental weaknesses.  

 

The World Map.

The World Map.

When you’re not in battle, movement is accomplished through an overland map system. New areas open up as you move through the map.  Once you’ve cleared an area, you can always move to it from any other cleared area.  This is a real time-saver, and takes away the question of annoying random battles.  You can always see what’s coming in Geneforge 5.

 

 

 

 

Overall:

For people who have played through the Geneforge series, Geneforge 5 is more of the same.  Solid but somewhat tired story, good battle system, excellent writing.  If you are following the Geneforge storyline and want to know more, have at it.  For newcomers to Spiderweb’s particular brand of game, Geneforge 5 is as good an entry point as any.  It assumes no prior knowledge, though prior knowledge will add depth to the proceedings.  In the end, this game sells for $28 and you’ll be hard-pressed to find more RPG entertainment for less money these days.

 

For being a solid RPG, if repetitive for fans of the series, Geneforge 5 gets Three Weiners out of Five.


Line weenLine weenLine ween

 

Weinercast Wednesday! January 14, 2009

Filed under: Games,WeinerCast,World of Warcraft — Gwyddia @ 8:59 am
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The Weinercast is go! This week: Gwyddia Discusses Guild Politics And Psychology.

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.

 

New Fallout 3 XBox Title Update – Do Not Want January 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gwyddia @ 1:10 pm
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Why do title updates so regularly break the games they purport to update?  I grabbed the Fallout 3 title update today (not that I had a choice) and now my screen turns purple randomly and I keep getting ported to completely different parts of the map with no notice.  Folks on GameSpot and other forums claim the purple haze is a drug effect particular to Vault 106, but that doesn’t explain the porting.

 

Here’s hoping a fix is on the way, soon.

 

Pain Unimaginable January 12, 2009

Filed under: Mac,Microsoft,Other Folks,PC — Gwyddia @ 8:25 pm

It began a few days ago.  Microsoft, apparently non-ironically, introduced their “Garage Band killer”, Songsmith.  

(Note the kid is using a MacBook.)  

But moving on, today this appeared on the intarwebs (thanks Gizmodo). It appears to be the developmentally disabled love child of Van Halen and a Casio keyboard demo button.

Why? WHY?

 

/gquit Is Like A Breakup January 11, 2009

Filed under: Games,Other Folks — Gwyddia @ 8:59 pm
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I left my World of Warcraft guild of over a year today, and I am miserable.  I left as a result in the latest altercation with another longstanding guildie with whom I have had multiple clashes.  For some reason, today’s perceived aggression when I was just being exuberant about my beloved Eagles was the last straw.  That being said, I am very, very sad.

 

These folks have been better friends to me than I ever realized.  They have played with me, joked with me, and some of them have eaten and slept in my home.  When I log on now I am in a friend’s tiny bank-alt guild so that people don’t see an unguilded 80 rogue and think I’m a tiny ninja, but I am alone.  

 

I never realized how much I took my guild for granted.  I am at a loss for how to scrape up a good group. Guildcraft and Gatherer are out, and there’s no guild calendar.  I hit the guild website in my usual websurfing rotation, only to remember that I didn’t have access anymore.  I had a question about a skill in another class, and I had no one to ask.  And yes, for better or for worse, there is no guildchat to keep me company.

 

So yes, I regret leaving.  I made the choice because I didn’t know what else to do with a repeating situation.  I’d like to return if things are better, but the guild is so good that leaving carries with it a penalty – a real chance of no return.  We – they – prize civility over all else, and drama isn’t civil.  The officers would have to decide it is worthing having their stabby [Prime Gnome] back.  And I would have to feel like I wasn’t going to get attacked anymore without recourse.  It’s a lot to ask.  I’m hope to ask soon.  

 

I need to get a tissue, I think.

 

Vote For [Prime Gnome]! January 8, 2009

Filed under: Meta-Grinder,Other Folks — Gwyddia @ 10:22 pm
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I have been nominated for a Shorty Award! Thanks, Leo!

When the time is right, go forth, Weiner fans, and vote!  

Follow @shortynews to find out when voting begins.