Can we really be just over a week away from Duke Nukem Forever? It seems like just yesterday it was first announced. No, wait – it seems like forever ago. I was going to pass it over for now and come back for it to review later, but I’m having second thoughts.

Continue reading

For anyone who plays Minecraft this is likely old news, but Notch, the developer of Minecraft is working on version 1.5, and it should be arriving soon. Here’s a rundown of the most prominent features to come.

The biome changes aren't seemless

  • Weather – 1.5 will add rain, snow, lightning and thunder. Rain will auto-water crops while snow will re-freeze ice blocks and cover areas with snow. You can see a video of weather in action on this Youtube video.
  • Daytime monsters in bad weather – Snow and rain will lower light levels to point that monsters can spawn during the day. I’m not real pleased with this change, but it will add an extra layer of challenge.
  • Stats and an achievement system – You will be able to earn achievements in 1.5. Notch has said that they won’t be tied to tedious tasks like chopping down a large number of trees. You will be able to see how many trees you’ve chopped down, and much more, in the game’s stat panel.
  • Minecart boosters – As someone who doesn’t use minecarts usually, this isn’t going to affect my play. Therefore I’m not positive what changes this will have on gameplay. If you do us them, let me know in the comments what you’ll do with them.
  • Lightning-stuck pigs turn into zombie pigmen – A little bit of the nether on earth. Zombie pigmen are usually only found in the nether – Minecraft’s version of hell, accessible through player-made portals – but if a pig gets struck by lightning they will turn into their other-worldly alternatives.
  • Specific saplings for specific trees – A purely atmospheric touch. If you chop down a birch tree, you’ll get a birch tree sapling rather then a generic sapling.

I’m planning a series of articles exploring the features in 1.5 and Minecraft in general once the patch comes out. Supposedly the patch should be out this week, so don’t go too far. Alphasim out.

Today’s quick opinion is on Rift, the latest, greatest MMO to come down the line. I’ve only got to level 14 so far so this article will be on very early observations.

Continue reading

Lead and GoldAfter spending last evening fighting the game’s servers, I finally got to play Lead and Gold today on the game’s free weekend on Steam. After a couple multiplayer rounds, it’s clear that this game isn’t going to supplant Team Fortress 2 as a multiplayer shooter, but then again it doesn’t have to.

Lead and Gold is different enough, with it’s wild west theme and basic game mechanics that it doesn’t really have to compete with TF2 for the same audience. It’s cartoony style resembles Valve’s shooter, but the gameplay is more deliberate. There are only four classes to pick from but they compliment each other well and you’re encouraged to band up with your allies by getting bonuses from the different classes being near each other. My biggest issue is that for all of the different modes, players seem to devolve them into mere death matches time and again. Other then that, it’s an intriguing spin on multiplayer shooters, especially for those with a penchant for the old American west.