Gamefly Event & PC client

So, I was invited to a Gamefly gaming preview event at the House of Blues in LA.  Primarily, it was to announce their upcoming PC client, but I'll get to that in a minute.  The event itself was pretty alright, with some pretty good music going, and not too much of a crowd to walk around freely.  They had several games available to play:  Saint's Row the 3rd, Dark Souls, Starhawk, Dead Island, Resistance 3, and an upcoming basketball and wrestling game (not my thing).  There was also plenty of free NOS energy drink to be had, and I drank 4.  I'm still not sure if that was a good or bad decision.  Correction- still not sure HOW bad of a decision.

There's was a brief set by White Boy Wasted, not someone I'd heard of or plan on hearing again, and then some presentations of Gamefly stuff and a raffle.  The raffle was mostly Del Taco bucks, Gamefly subscriptions, and some neat video game paraphernalia like sound systems and carrying cases.  And then there was the PC stuff.

So, Gamefly up until now has been exclusively console-oriented, since they rent out discs basically.  Now they have this PC client, which is similar to Steam, in a way.  It allows you to friend people, manage your Gamefly queue, and preorder or purchase PC games.  It also comes with an "unlimited PC play" list, which sounded waaaay too good to be true.  You can download and play any game on that list whenever you want, for as long as you want.  I was stoked.  I got a total of 6 codes to the beta for the client.  And then I got home and booted it up.

Here's the list of games you can play for free:

Velvet Assassin

Splinter Cell (1)

Saints Row 2

Konung 3: Ties of the Dynsasty (what?)

Hearts of Iron

CSI: Hard Evidence

Atari Arcade Hits

Flock!

Wallace & Grommit in Fright of the Bumblebees

Sam & Max Episode 1: Culture Shock

Red Faction (1)

Red Faction 2

Telltale Texas Hold 'Em (not the poker game with Strong Bad in it)

D.W.A.R.F.S.

Luxor

Treasure Island 2

Jewel Quest Mysteries

Jewel Quest Solitare 2

Desperados 2 Cooper's Revenge

Inca Ball

Luxor: Mahjong

Elements (Bejeweled knockoff)

Little Farm

Mysteryville 2

Prison Tycoon 4: Supermax

Reign: Conflict of Nations

The Penal Zone

Hunting Unlimited 2010

Hector: Badge of Carnage!

Death to Spies: Moment of Truth

Garden Defense

Magic Academy

Magic Academy II

Elizabeth Find, M.D.: Diagnosis Mystery

Imperium Romanum: Gold Edition

Reaxxion

Fishdom

Elements 4

Eco-match

Farm Craft



So, if you actually read the WHOLE list, how many of those have you heard of, actually are interested by, and didn't play 5 years ago?  I'm not exactly sure why I let myself get excited by news of this client, but now that I've seen it with my own eyes- there's absolutely nothing good about this.  

Let's desperately hope (for Gamefly's sake) that they can actually land some interesting titles before the PC client goes live this holiday season.

-Duncan
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Diablo III Beta Tester Is Me

Alright, I just got into the D3 friends & family portion of the beta.  I've run it to the end with a Wizard and just started up a Barbarian to change things up.   
 
Interesting things I've noticed so far:  

You get a Hearthstone.  It has a 10 sec (i think) cast time, and ports you straight back to town (New Tristram) but leaves a portal behind so you can pop right back over to where you left from. 
 
You get a Cauldron that you can sell your gear to no matter where you are.  Things sell for the same price that they'd sell to a vendor for. 
 
You get a Cube, but not the Horadric one.  This one is a disenchanting cube, that turns items into crafting materials.  So far, I've been disenchanting all the magic items, and selling everything else to the cauldron. 
 
There's an interesting scroll you can find, which I believe is called the Scroll of Companion.  It summons a random little critter that just crawls around and picks up gold piles off the ground for a limited time.  Critters I've gotten so far: chicken, pig, roach, snake, centipede. 
 
I've come across a few Treasure Goblins as well.  Shiny hunched over dudes with a sack of gold on their back.  They just try to run away from you, leaving little piles of gold behind, until eventually opening a portal and disappearing.  If you kill them first, you get a small pile of loot and gear.  I'd like to see if I can get through his portal, but my henchman has killed the last couple I've seen, so I'll have to dismiss him next time around. 
 
Skills and abilities are doled out at set levels, but you can only have a certain amount 'equipped' at a time.  When you begin, you only get to use 2 of your abilities at a time, with a third slot opening at level 6.  You can change out which abilities you have equipped whenever you want, however, so if you're a quick clicker it's not much of a hindrance. 
 
The runestones that alter your skills (i.e. the biggest character customization system) don't appear within the beta's scope. 
 
There's a lot to say, but I'll leave it at this for now.  I'll post more later. 
 
-Duncan

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Where is that old inspiration?

Among boxes and boxes of childhood memories, there is a sketchpad full of crappy knock-off Mega Man villains. Pages and pages of these things. I'm not really sure how I came up with all of them, because I haven't had that strong of a creative impetus for years.
There was a time when I wanted to make video games. Not to design, write, code or create art for video games, just to 'make' them. Clearly I had no idea what went into making a video game, the kind of focus needed, and I came up with all sorts of game jigsaw pieces that didn't quite fit together. There were tiny level designs, multitudes of characters, an attempted novel, even a brief attempt at teaching myself C++. I was all over the place.

Now that I've settled on writing as my gaming 'major', I've looked back at what I've made, what my imagination has spit out in the last several years. Not a whole lot. I still play games just as often, if not more. I still thrown myself into myriad innovative worlds. But none of it has really reignited my creative spark.

Granted, I don't become as wholly absorbed by a game these days as I used to. As a child, I couldn't imagine the idea of playing even two games at once: why would anyone pick up another game before the previous one was done (complete or otherwise)? Now I'm juggling two books and probably six games, and it all makes sense. But perhaps this has spread my imagination too thin, like butter scraped across too much bread. Perhaps it's my own fault for not dedicating myself to one wom- um... game.

Maybe some of the creativity of youth has simply left me. Maybe it's something more personal, pointing at a deeper problem in my life. Or maybe... maybe games have truly lost some of their magic? It has been a generation of consoles since I truly fell in love with a game, and that was a rare thing even then- it used to be a common thing.

My final speculation is this- I am now more tapped in to gaming news and culture than I ever was, and multi-game ADD is getting worse than ever. So many games are coming out, and I hear about almost all of them. From every console, from every genre, there are new announcements every week, new recommendations from my favorite journalists. And it's all so beautiful.

Quite the dilemma.    

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Fight the Addiction of Points!

I do not subscribe to the worship of Points that everyone else seems to do.  They're arbitrary, ironically pointless, and serve no other purpose than as an e-peen measuring stick, one heavily weighted towards whoever has the most free time and money to burn. 

 No ridiculous achievements will ever convince me to try and complete them, without some sort of tangible bonus like an unlockable a la Mass Effect 1.  I will, however, attempt achievements that represent new and interesting challenges or modes of gameplay, but never will I bang my head against a wall purely for the purpose of points. 

 So I call upon all of you!  Join me in my grand struggle!  We must Fight the Addiction of Points!  We must FAP!  FAP with all of your might, all of you, my brothers and sisters.  Will will break these bonds of tyranny through our relentless FAPing.  No scenario is too sacred, no pandoran expedition too easy.  
 
When you're playing a horror game late at night and alone, you must FAP.  When that great terrible multiplayer achievement rears it's ugly head, you must FAP.  When your closest group of friends is together rocking out on poorly designed plastic instruments, you all must FAP!  And when a long winded story driven adventure tempts you with digital derriere, FAP like you've never FAPed before!
 
It will be difficult, it will be arduous.  Many will fall, our weaknesses targeted.  I myself am only just a man, subverted by temptation.
 
I.... I am a hypocrite.  As my fingers fly across this keyboard I hope and wonder...  Will this blog complete any Quest Objectives?  Augh- I am ashamed with myself.  So I must FAP some more....

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