Evening, all! Whether you spent this Sunday in mournful remembrance of 9/11 or calling for the head of your team’s offensive coordinator, we’re glad to have you join us for the news. Here’s what’s going down this week:
- Dragon Quest X makes the jump to MMO superstardom. Longtime fans outside of Japan go “Yaaay! …wait, what?“
- The Dragon Quest news is such a shock it caused Asian stocks to take a dive, notably Square Enix and Sony. So argues Nikkei, at least. Random people on the internet disagree.
- That said, Deus Ex: Human Revolution shipped a tidy number of copies, locking in the eventual development of Human Revolution 2, Human Revolution 2-2, and Nucl3arsnake’s Island Hacking Adventure.
- Dead Island has a major stumble on release, substituting a developer build for the full version in Steam copies. I take this time to vent about false advertising with the trailer, and the horror game genre in general.
- Gamasutra has a handy breakdown of the year’s biggest publisher flubs. I say let’s shoot for the moon and take bets on what crazy things can happen before 2012.
- Nintendo turns a corner with the 3DS (at least for the moment), “someone” registers the domain of www.finalfantasyxiii-3.com, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Fast Track to Infamy’ »
Damn but it was hard to focus and get this done. Human Revolution is right there on my hard drive, locked away and waiting for a signal from the Steam mothership to grant access. Buuuut I guess while I’m waiting we should get to the news. Here’s what’s going on this week:
- Following sluggish sales, Japanese retailers begin scaling down 360 business. Microsoft, trying sticking anime girls on more things next time. Hey, it worked for Windows 7.
- Valve’s Gabe Newell responds to the whole EA-taking-its-games-off-Steam thing. Gabe, if they threaten Mass Effect 3, for the love of god just give them what they ask for. It’s not worth the risk, man.
- Sony and Nintendo have a crazy-off, chopping features out of new PSP and Wii models in Europe. I’m short on explanations that don’t involve hallucinogens.
- Nintendo announces The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower for Europe, while ShopTo.net reports “unexpected late demand” for Xenoblade Chronicles. Well, gosh, where could that possibly be coming from?
- Star Wars: The Old Republic may actually need a limited launch to keep servers running smoothly. No, that still doesn’t make it a World of Warcraft killer, stop asking.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution is rumored to be region-locked in Europe, until Squenix drops this idea after being warned it may be illegal in response to fan outcry. Hooray!
- Seriously guys, we’re getting another Deus Ex in a matter of days oh god I forgot to turn off italics I don’t even care eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – My Business is Augmented’ »
Mandatory viewing for all Deus Ex fans.
Howdy folks! Getting busy around here before E3, but we still have time to wrap up the news. Let’s break it down:
- Groupon joins Zynga, PopCap, etc. in preparing to go public, despite not actually making a profit. We should make a drinking game out of this.
- A huge preview build for Deus Ex: Human Revolution got leaked to the internet. To everyone’s surprise, nobody minds. File that under “did not see coming.”
- Interplay teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, as they seemingly have for years now. But don’t worry, Fallout Online is gonna be here any day now!
- Dueling digital distribution services: Gamestop automatically charges for re-downloading “insurance,” which its competitors give away for free…
- …while EA launches its own DD network coincidentally named after one of the studios it absorbed. Oooh, awk~waaard.
- E3 pre-conference projections: Nintendo’s new hardware, Sony’s image problem, and Microsoft’s Kinect… stuff.
In addition we have some late-breaking news that didn’t make it into the recording: NPR and NECN.com reported that not only was Nintendo hacked, but they were hacked by the same group that’s been plaguing Sony recently. No data was stolen in the Nintendo hack, but the group, calling itself Lulz Security, has claimed responsibility for an attack on Sony Pictures that resulted in a million more users’ personal information.
From where I sit there’s actually a fairly clear line between exposing a company’s lackluster security procedures – which Sony is clearly guilty of – and releasing sensitive information for all to see. The second Robin Hood starts shooting random people and telling them to blame the authorities for failing to protect them, he’s lost the argument. I don’t see the Nintendo hack changing the game much, although I’d put money down that these ongoing hacks are going to draw more attention than LulzSec might like. Much as it pains me to admit, life isn’t Shadowrun, and when the feds come knocking the game’s pretty much over.
And now, on with the actual episode. Enjoy!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Pre-E3 Warmup With Electronic Old Men’ »
The otherwise clear line between fanmade product and professional creation tends to get fuzzier as people take the project more seriously. Take The Nameless Mod, a massive and ambitious mod for Deus Ex built by fans, for fans, and about fans. The fandom itself is the world of TNM, and as silly as it sounds the concept is played amazingly straight, yet done surprisingly well. Even if you peel back the internet setting and nested conspiracies, you’ll still find a well-built campaign at the core, as deep and replayable as Deus Ex at its best. Continue reading ‘Deus Ex: The Nameless Mod – Staff Review, Kind Of’ »
It has been said – by me, using that phrase to mask that it was me saying it – that the gaming industry is where good dreams go to die horrible deaths. Less hyperbolic (and more true) is that sometimes a developer’s pet idea just had to go if the game was to see the light of day; at times, the game had to become something else entirely. Come on in and let us discuss some rather noteworthy examples, and see what they say about our hobby-slash-industry. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll find out someone was in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky that you were not expecting. I bet you can’t guess! Continue reading ‘NPCast 17: Cut Content – Keeping the Dream Alive’ »
Hybrid-genre games have always been something of an experiment, even as they have grown more common throughout the industry. Going back as far as the Doom era, namely with a little-known title called Strife (which was built on the Doom engine) hybrids don’t often truly appeal to fans of one genre or the other. Too much a shooter, RPG fans get turned off; too much an RPG, shooter fans won’t like it. This is a gross oversimplification, but there is truth to the notion that a hybrid game can’t lean too heavily on any single aspect. Continue reading ‘Game Changers: Volume 7 – Deus Ex’ »
Once upon a time, there was a rock radio station that, shall we say, presided over my heart – a role that would only be matched by one John Henry Eden a decade later. The station’s life, and death, had a profound impact on how I view the entertainment industry, and has led to a pair of questions about the things I enjoy. As usual, these aren’t questions I know how to answer, but I think they’re important nonetheless. Join me, won’t you? Continue reading ‘NPCast 08 – Anecdotal Questions’ »
And just like that we’re back with another podcast, starring none other than myself. This time around I pose the question of what keeps us playing those older games, even as newer ones sit on the shelf just itching to be played. (I promise I’ll get back to you soon, Red Alert 3!) Through examples, the answer turns out to be kind of complicated. Have a listen, won’t you? Continue reading ‘NPCast 07 – Keep Coming Back for More’ »
As our resident DXpert John “Karlinn” Boske (and I) will attest, Deus Ex is the best thing since nano-augmented bread, and well worth pretty much any price point, regardless of how you come by it. If it’s not the original game itself, it’s the countless (good to decent) mods available. That said, ya can’t really beat free.
To that end, GameTap will be adding Deus Ex to its free-to-play lineup starting next week. For the simple price of a 15 second ad and the time it takes to download the game, you can experience what is arguably one of the best RPGs on the PC.
I’d call that a great deal.
Hello hello, folks. Back again with another NPCast, and this time we’re talking about something near and dear to the hearts of millions. Just a few feet away in the back of the car they’re driving, actually. How can this magical mystery burn-liquid have an impact on escapist male power fantasies and puzzle-oriented dating sims involving catgirls? Mankind may never know. Not that this stops me from opining on the subject, of course.
Continue reading ‘NPCast 04 – Then What Will You Doooooooo? o/~’ »
Note to self: The unofficial Tales of Symphonia drinking game you read about on the internets is not to be played by the faint of stomach. Taking a shot every time somebody has an aside and then says “…oh, nothing,” when somebody asks them about it basically means you might as well just start drinking as soon as you start the game. Believe me, it’ll catch up.
In any case, the title sums up this cast’s content; ‘the Topic of’ added to respectfully differentiate this from the surprisingly good On Writing by Stephen King. Yes, that Stephen King. Also, the Metal Wolf Chaos plug can adequately be explained by watching this documentary of the American electoral process.
Continue reading ‘NPCast 03 – On the Topic of Writing’ »
Fear not, good readers of RandomNPC. JC Denton and ourselves have regained control from the nefariousness of Mr. Boske, Mr. Page, and Mr. Simons, and rest assured they are being… taken care of. The servers of RandomNPC are now secure at Area 51, and hopefully this will never happen again.
To commemorate this occasion, no longer will April 1 be known as a day of jokes, frivolity, and rickrolling, but as a day when *insert ID4 speech*.
In summary: Gotcha!
It has come to my attention that a rogue piece of software is being proliferated with the intent to undermine the efforts of the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO) and FEMA agents across the country, if not the world. This software, codenamed “Deus Ex,” contains the standard terrorist propaganda bullet points, depicting the United States government as terrorists and UNATCO peacekeepers as an occupying army. It claims to be a work of fiction, and takes the form of what could fairly be called a training simulator, thus posing a more signifcant threat than typical terrorist propaganda efforts. And so, I have decided to address this latest meme directly. Continue reading ‘Know Your Enemy: Deus Ex’ »
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to write this review of Page Industry’s latest and greatest piece of Virtual Entertainment: Deus Ex. But first, a few bookkeeping operations: Production of vaccine for the Grey Death has exceeded all expectations. Pay no attention to the rumors of hijacked shipments. It is merely terrorists trying to scare people. They’ll get theirs, believe you me.
Continue reading ‘Deus Ex: A Review’ »
For years I have bided my time, watching as a titan amongst games slowly faded from the pages of history; criminally subdued and doomed to obscurity in the face of flash-in-the-pan shooters and imbecilic role-playing games. Today one could point to this former behemoth, only to be met with confusion – “What was that?” the children will ask, “What was that?”
And yet, from the shadows, I knew the truth, as did many others. For every whisper of the game’s name, someone else who knew of its greatness was reminded to reinstall it. Its very dialogue has become code, its many quotes an identifying phrase as secretive as the societies upon which its epic story rests. Though contemporary titles struggle mightily to bury its existence, they can only stand in awe of its legacy.
And so it is that I infiltrated local gaming communities, testing, probing, searching for the right opportunity to plant my feet and alter the course of this unending stream of mediocrity. Working from within, I subtly guided the mechanics of this site, coercing and twisting as necessary, and at long last shall my plan come to fruition.
Let none doubt from this day forward that RandomNPC shall thus be dedicated to the reigning champion of games, the masterpiece to end all masterpieces, and the pinnacle of human civilization. Yes, greater than sliced bread, the cotton gin, and porn on the internet.
From this day forward, let us rejoice in our own God by Machine.
All hail Deus Ex!
So in between beating up insane hobos in Condemned 2 and watching countless variants of Caramelldansen, I managed to finish up Mass Effect. I felt inspired (read: contractually obligated) to give my two cents in parallel to Cortney’s review of same. After attempting feebly to review the whole thing in a faux-foppish English gentleman’s voice, I gave up and went off into some tangent on how games should and should not start. Mass Effect provides an interesting case study of the latter. Observe!
Continue reading ‘NPCast 02 – THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO (Mass Effect)’ »
And so it begins, our first genuine foray into podcasting. Just a short piece on what we’re doing here out on the cold, cruel internets, and sorta-true observations of the media which are dedicated to covering our pasttime. Sit back, relax, and try to imagine how people ever got old DOS games working. Seriously, it will boggle the mind, even the minds of people who lived through that era.
Continue reading ‘NPCast 01 – And We’re Off!’ »