Archive for June, 2011

Firefly Universe Online? Yup, pooped ’em.

 

Firefly Universe Online

"I'm a leaf on the wind"

If there is one thing my wife is relatively unhappy with it is those moments when I go full nerd. Not just gamer, not sci-fi, but full on nerd. Where I start spouting canon and donning that elitist cap that always starts with statements like “What they have to remember about this is…”

While they are few and far between, today I had one such moment when reading a press release.

Fellow Browncoats, the indie crew of DarkCryo Entertainment this week announced that they are taking over where Fox and Multiverse had stranded fans of the cancelled television series Firefly with their intention to continue development of the long-awaited FireflyMMORPG interactive title.

Already titled Firefly Universe Online, the game highlights multiple playable factions, special cast appearances, canonical planetary environments, and groundbreaking role-play mechanics.

Upon reading this I immediately began to look up who DarkCryo Entertainment was. They are apparently a group of professionally indie developers and fans of Firefly who decided that we needed a game around it. In this game they will showcase the Reavers, Browncoats, and the Alliance with room to grow that even more.

We need to remember that this is not officially licensed and has not been endorsed by 20th Century Fox or Mutant Enemy. Firefly Universe Online is being made by developers who are  fans of the series so we can almost certainly rest assured it will be made lovingly and with great care.

I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping that Nathan Fillion makes more than a few cameos.

For more information check out http://FireflyUniverseOnline.com

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Irrelevant Characters & Creators

Have you ever played a game, thinking, “Wow, my character seems to have no effect on the world around him/her?”.  You walk up to an NPC, and they behave oddly for someone of your race/class/gender?

This woman NPC totally wants to get in the female character's panties.

This happened to me in Divinity II: Ego Draconis.  I created a sultry female character, ran up to guys hoping for some flirting action, yet there was no option for flirting.  However, when I interacted with women, the women would flirt with me, or I would have an option to flirt with them.  Now, I didn’t plan on making my female a lesbian.  And it’s incredibly frustrating to find that the game so blatantly leaves a double standard for male versus female characters.  I can just hear it, “Well of COURSE the male characters have to flirt or be flirted with women NPCs.  But female characters?  PSH.  They don’t need to have the same options with men, of course not.”

I did just go on a bit of a rant.  But honestly, what was the point of letting me choose my character’s gender if the world around me doesn’t respond appropriately?

This just brings to light an issue with irrelevant characters, or irrelevant character creations.

Please tell me where the custom character is in this scene?

For example, take White Knight Chronicles.  You go into this whole process of creating a character, but when you get to the game, what does your character actually do?  Hardly anything.  They basically just sit in the background watching.  By default, you’re given control of someone ELSE, not the character you spent a bunch of time making.  Look at all the cool powers… that some other character is doing.  Essentially, your character in White Knight Chronicles is irrelevant.  You could have played the whole game without them.  They didn’t contribute anything to the story.  What was the point?!  “But… but… you got to make someone!!  Isn’t that cool enough?!”

There’s also Two Worlds II, in which you create a character to control throughout the story.  Two Worlds II also has an online component… but the character you created for the story mode isn’t able to cross over to the online mode.  You have to create a whole other character for online gaming.  WTF?!  “Why on earth would you want to take the SAME CHARACTER over from story mode to online?!  That just makes zero sense.”  **EDIT** Wadoobie claims this is so people won’t beef up their character in story mode, then cross over into online mode.  However, why didn’t they just include some sort of limitations, so you can still take you main character over to online mode, but you can’t have all the awesome armor or stats or something?  Or only have players evenly matched at the same level in multiplayer?

Be warned:  Dragon Age 2 spoilers below.  Do NOT read on if you haven’t finished DA2.

You're looking at the face of a terrorist. And someone integral to the storyline. Not Hawke.

Even Dragon Age 2 has a case of an irrelevant main character.  In the third act, the actual person who brings the clash of mages versus templars to a head isn’t your Hawke.  Nope!  It’s Anders, the brooding mage who is a stickler for the belief that mages should be free.  He’s the one who builds a bomb to blow up the chantry.  As he states, “I removed the chance of compromise, because there is no compromise.  Basically you were just as surprised as everyone else when the chantry exploded.  You may have had a hand in it, but you more than likely didn’t mean to and therefore weren’t any more relevant to the destruction of it.  And that’s the turning point of the story between mages and templars.  What happens from there on out is battle after battle towards the end of the game.

End Spoiler

Characters and situations like this certainly make the player feel disconnected from the game, to say the least.  Honestly, if the game Divinity 2 forced me to be a man, but still have the options to flirt with women, I’d be much happier than the current ‘I’m a girl but I can only hit on / be hit on by women’ situation.  In White Knight Chronicles, the overall question is, “Why did you make me create a character when it doesn’t do one damn thing?”.  For Two Worlds II, it takes the player out of the game to force them to create another character, and leaves them wondering why they can’t just use the initial character they created.  Even in Dragon Age 2, the events seem like my character had nothing to do with the story.  In that situation I was left feeling like my character didn’t deserve the title ‘Champion of Kirkwall’, because she really had no involvement.

What’s the worst pointless character you’ve ever encountered that gets you all fired up?  Be sure to leave your opinions in the comments!

-Kat

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Literary Classics PtC Would Love to See as Video Games

As we grow so do the video games that we play. As we cultivate new interests and appreciations our video games grow to meet us with new concepts and ideas to appeal to our developments. While we are just at the cusp of a new surge of video games that place heavy emphasis on story any attempt to expand this market is met by PtC with excitement and great interest. For those unaware the UK company Tern Digital is currently attempting to turn the 1915 spy novel The Thirty Nine Steps into a video game for the PS3, PC, and iPad.

The 1925 novel tells the story of spy Richard Hannay battling to prevent a German invasion on the eve of war in Europe.

‘We’re hoping the power of the story will pull people in,’ said Tern’s Simon Meek.
Read more at Metro.co.uk

It’s no great leap of logic to understand why they are doing this. Video games today are beginning to showcase deep rich stories. Games like Heavy Rain reopened the world of crime drama while Rockstar’s contender for game of the year L.A. Noire brought the whole genre back into the mainstream. But there is more to these games than just crime solving which is why Tern Digital is looking at adapting more than just the one novel.

In addition to The Thirty Nin Steps they are also looking at turning Great Expectations, 1984, Treasure Island, and Jekyll and Hyde into video games. I for one can’t wait however I can’t help but wonder if there are better novels out there to help usher in a whole new crop of story intensive gaming.

Simple Forex Tester Installation Artists The Iliad

Currency Trading Robot Reviews Troy in a Video Game

Day 20 Pips Forex Strategy Laurentiu Damir Pdf The Iliad is an epic poem that tells of internal struggle and arguments between overpowering authority and tragic hero. You have the tail of an impregnable fortress looming in the distance while you fight a war you don’t fully understand or even agree with. You are there because you are a warrior. You are there because it is your job. You wage war for another mans wife while your own leader behaves without regard for you or your men.

As this internal struggle continues you war is getting you nowhere. Your men are hungry, sick, and losing hope. Finally a plan is hatched that can tip the scales leading to a magnificently epic final battle. But with this you additionally set yourself up to a potential sequel.

To date there is a Battle of Troy game but it most certainly does not do justice to the tale by Homer.

Best Way To Make Money Online In Poland The Odyssey

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Armand Assante - the Odyssey

I want to sing "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money for two reasons.

The Odyssey has long been my favorite work of literary history. There has always been an overpowering sense of emotion behind it that I have never felt from reading anything else. It is the tail of Odysseus after the events of the Iliad. His blinding of Polyphemus enraged Poseidon so much that he cursed Odysseus with a seemingly unending journey home. His plight is not met without emotion from the goddess Athena who takes pity on him and wishes to help him.

During his journey he encounters mythical beasts, seduction from the goddesses and more heartache and setbacks than any one man should endure. But throughout all of this is the unrelenting desire to return home to his wife and son.

However this isn’t just the tale of Odysseus. We also see his home in Ithaca defiled and his lands ravaged by suitors to his wife. In his long absence since the war in Troy people assume he has died and demand his wife marry anew. His family still holds out hope and does all they can to stall the suitors. We watch his son come of age from a naïve boy to a man who can take charge of a situation and do what must be done.

Perhaps my favorite aspect is Odysseus’ unflattering return home to find his once beloved home in shambles. This does not sit well with him and through Athena, his son, and a grand plan of deception and revenge takes charge to reclaim what is his.

The potential of outstanding visuals that can be worked in with the raging storms the crush down around him or the lush islands of Circe where his men were turned into pigs. The visuals alone for the tropical Mediterranean island of Calypso would be enough to pique my interests. The inherent adventure behind Odysseus’ journey home would be enough to make any developer delight at the thought of showing off what they can do.

These would hands down be two additions to my video game library that I would never part with. They have long been two of my favorites but what about you? If this trend were to continue what literature would you like to see grace the world of video games?

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Kat on Cat: A Glimpse into the Undefinable Catwoman in Arkham City

She’s been called a Villain.

She’s been called a Hero.

She’s been called an Antihero.

But the truth is… she doesn’t really fit in one particular category.  She breaks out of molds to show she really can’t be tamed.

See that smirk? ...okay, nevermind, I know you're not looking at her face.

She is the undefinable Catwoman.

I love Catwoman.  I can’t get enough Catwoman.  It devastated me that Catwoman was not around except for a very short paragraph in Arkham Asylum.  In fact, I was so disheartened by the lack of Catwoman that I didn’t even bother to play Arkham Asylum.

 

Catwoman as a playable character is gonna be AWESOME!!!

But that will all change with the upcoming Arkham City.  And it simply isn’t enough that Catwoman appear in this game; in Arkham City, she’ll be a whole new playable character.  You can even upgrade her armor and abilities when doing so.  What’s more, she gets her very own storyline.  She’s very different from Batman, so instead of always needing to do the right thing, Catwoman may be able to take a different approach.

Guess what that does for the lover of Catwoman in me?  Yes, it 100% makes me squeal with delight like a little girl on Christmas who just got exactly what she wanted.  I’m not exaggerating, when I heard that Catwoman would be in Arkham City, I teared up a little.  When I watched her very own trailer, I got tingly.  I’m proud to be a supporter of Catwoman, now hearing that she’ll be a prominent character in Arkham City, and just by being her sultry yet kickass self.  I suppose I have a bit of a female crush on her.  I already know I’ll be giving her an Ass Stamp of Approval when Arkham City comes out.

 

Yeaaaah... that guy's screwed.

One thing I’ve found intriguing about the appearance of Catwoman in Arkham City is that she makes no effort in hiding her identity.  In any Batman series or movie that I’ve watched, I always remember her masking herself, and it was almost like a game for Bruce and Selina to try to figure out who the other one was.  Another thing, being a catburglar, she has the risk of her face being identified on security cameras.  I’m interested to see the reasoning behind the maskless Catwoman.

Being that PtC is a pervy website, I have to ask:  Does Catwoman being included and seeming to be an important figure mean that she’ll be a love interest of Batman’s?  Because she usually is.  I know Arkham Asylum was rated T, but could Rocksteady include some steamy scenes between the Bat and the Cat?  I really hope so.

 

For how angry he looks, she clearly stole his... heart.

In conclusion, I’m sure Catwoman will rock Batman’s world.  Skintight leather, high heeled boots, a collar and whip; sounds like a dream for a man who wears a mask and loves his gadgets.

Oh, and by the way, you can click on any image for a larger view.

-Kat

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If at First Kat Doesn’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

With all the E3 excitement going on this week (New Fable!  Voice Commands for Mass Effect 3 on Kinect!  Star Wars Kinect!  Halo 4!  etc.), I’m actually one of the few who is not as thrilled.  I am, in fact, quite bitter.  I entered three E3 competitions, and didn’t win any.  Now, that may sound silly, what with the enormous number of people who more than likely entered, but I’m the type of person who just really gets her hopes up and usually gets crushed.

So I wanted to do what I promised, which is post my ‘G4 Booth Babe Contest’ entry, and also share with you the written entry for 1Up.com’s contest.  First let’s look at the blogger contest entry!

1Up.com Contest Entry

binary options banners signs Vote Kat Tiki for E3!

Best Online Stock Trading Croatia Kat tells why she’s an excellent E3 candidate.

E3 is the biggest, most eagerly anticipated event in the eyes of the gamers.  The 2011 iteration of E3 is the event that I would utterly cherish, appreciate, and write most frantically to cover for 1UP.  But does that make me deserving?  Not necessarily.  However, I will say this in my favor: significant online trading Your E3 princess is NOT in another gamer.  And let me use these pixels below to tell you why.

This was me. Except for being a dude. And the fur. And the sword. And...

It’s saddening to remember, but there was a time when I didn’t have much else in the way of peers besides video games.  Starting with fourth grade, I was taken out of regular school and home schooled.  This lasted until ninth grade, when I was put back in regular public school.  Yeah, you read that right.  I was thrown back into the world of public education… the first year of high school.  Mind you, I didn’t have but one friend, who moved away after third grade.  My main form of socialization occurred with adults.  Imagine going to crudity and exclusivity of high school after being around polite adults, mainly your parents.  The point that I’m getting to here is that games, particularly Final Fantasy VIII, helped me through a difficult time in my life.  I poured myself into gaming, finding an escape in a wild and fantastical adventure.  It was more than Squall became a part of me; Squall WAS me, trying to find his way in his school and much more.  That was the game that drove me to discover markets world binary trading my true love of games, and above all, RPGs.

But I’m sure you didn’t come here to read a sob story.  I’m much more than that.  Now, I’m an enthusiastic gamer who loves to talk (but mainly write) about games.  I’ve always wanted to go to E3, and let me tell you, that when I get there, I won’t be the kid in the corner afraid to talk to everyone.  I will be like Sam Fisher trying to get to the various booths… okay, maybe not quite like that; more like Samus Aran!!

Another of those half-hearted bloggers I am most certainly not. I am a co-founder and contributing writer for a blog that found its niche in sex in games.  You can find my posts at www.PolishtheConsole.com.

My favorite game developer is BioWare, because of their amazing RPGs that really push the boundaries of the standard RPGs.  Their games always come complete with numerous choices your character must make, as well as different outcomes to those choices.

Who Would Win?

But don’t think that means I’m not interested in other game genres!  I am certainly not limited to one gaming genre, and I expect the readers aren’t either.  I would be ecstatic to divulge information on any game I encounter. That’s right; even though I tend to be a Scaredy Kat (get it?!!), I wouldn’t mind explaining the game to readers as the 1UP blog winner.  I’ve enjoyed all sorts of games, from Dragon Age: Origins to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, from Heavy Rain to Harvest Moon, from Mario to Halo.  And that’s just to name a few.

I’m also a fierce gamer girl. What’s better than a girl who can hold her own with the guys?  How awesome would it be for a girl, a person who can innocently chat up the booth babes and yet still beat down & assassinate in Halo, to be chosen to win this trip to E3?!

This really is me. Katwoman.

And honestly?  I’ll pretty much do just about WHATEVER needs to be done.  You want me to go up there and investigate Sara Underwood’s credentials & understand why she deserves to be at E3?  I’m all over it.  To get more press, you need me to show up day one as Catwoman with 1UP.com written in duct tape on my chest?  Done.  I should write about how we went out drinking after day three and there met some of the higher ups at Bethesda?  I’ve already started.

I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and I don’t know if you follow weather on the east coast, but it’s been raining here pretty much nonstop since the beginning of April.  Before that, it snowed.  I’m basically dying to pull out my tank tops and enjoy some warmer, less wet, weather.

And here it comes: The epic finale to this incredible post.  Kat Tiki and E3… rhyme!  I know, I know.  Your mind is blown with sheer, overwhelming joy to hear this, because what is better than a candidate whose name you can create a jingle out of?!  So go ahead, 1UP.  Pick me, and I will arrive with a little ditty just for you.

The anticipation is just killing you now, isn’t it?

 

</end 1Up.com Contest Entry>

Wasn’t that pretty good?  I thought it was E3 winning-worthy.  Did they have a problem with the sex in games thing?  Hmmm.

Another contest I entered was sponsored by Klondike.  I think.  You entered by submitting a tweet with the hashtag #TweetForGlory saying something you would do to win a trip to E3.  It also suggested that it be something within reason, because you may be filmed doing it.  Since I’m such a Scaredy-Kat, mine was something along the lines of “Do a live stream of myself playing a horror game, with one camera on the game and the other on my face.”  Hahaha.  Good thing I didn’t have to actually do that.

And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the G4 Booth Babe contest video entry!  Now that I’ve seen some of the other videos, I understand why I didn’t win.  Next year, though…  Anyways!  Here it is!

So there it is. I gave it a shot. And guess what? Despite trying, and trying, and trying again, I failed. Well, at least there’s always next year.

-Kat

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