Archives for May 2005

The Carnival of Gamers

Carnival of GamersWelcome to the inaugural edition of the Carnival of Gamers! Here you will find the best and brightest video game bloggers from around the world! Never before has such a group been assembled to bring to you the latest insights and observations from the gaming blogosphere. We’re a diverse group here, as you’ll see from the posts but we all have one thing in common — we are passionate about video games. So let’s get right to them —

The first submission award goes to Tea Leaves with a blistering piece on the state of video game reviews, taking just about everyone to task.

Bill from Dubious Quality was at E3 and saw some themes rise above the din that is the spectacle of E3. Great “macro” view of E3 and all the trimmings.

Everbody always roots for the underdog and Adam at render gaming thinks Nintendo has assumed the role of the underdog for this generation of consoles. And like everyone who’s ever rooted for the underdog, he wants Nintendo pull the upset.

Foton says he knows better than to read gaming message boards. He claims to be aware of the dangers. Problem is, he can’t help himself. Somewhere, someday, someone could post something relevant, interesting or amusing. So far, no luck. But he can dream, can’t he?

We’ve all felt that pang of shame when we tell someone who isn’t a gamer that we love to game. But should we? Troy at Portico doesn’t think so.

Corvus gives should get a standing ovation for the defense of PC Gaming and independent PC Gaming here. Bravo, Corvus. Bravo.

Guild Wars has enthralled me lately, but Ethic is right – the pathing and instancing both leave something to be desired.

Jason wasn’t impressed with the art of i-am-8-bit and it shows.

Aggro Me asks: why look for Queen Antonia when they’ve already got Queen Heather?

Electroplankton is an enigma to me and this piece from Thomas doesn’t really clear it up but makes for a great read. I don’t think Thomas is alone in hopthing that gaming goes in this direction.

Alex at Damned Machines looks at Video Game Magazines and finds them wanting in more ways than one.

Finster does some excellent research about the Xbox 360 and the PS3 and comes to some interesting conclusions.

I’ve got mixed feelings about selling virtual game items for real life cash but Cosmik has some pretty strong feelings about it. He makes some pretty convincing arguments.

I hope your sitting, because this is a long one from Krones. He takes John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, out behind the woodshed and does all manner of unspeakable things to him. I will admit that I laughed, cried, and felt bad for humanity while reading this entry.

Joseph has seen the future and the future is the PS3. Not only will it cook you dinner and do your laundry but it will also “age”, grow up and then, as a teenager, take your keys and crash the family sedan into the neighbor’s mail box. Then you’ll get a disc read error. How about that for the future?

Mike looks at the specs of the Xbox 360 and then waxes on the future of online play, and more specifically Microsoft’s Xbox Live. I’m still not convinced I want to get nickel and dimed to death but Microsoft does have some ambitious plans and I think this will be the future of gaming.

Is GTA an RPG? Simon would like it to be. Read what happens when he tries to role play Grand Theft Auto.

Vanhemlock wonders what The Business of Teamwork is all about. Rather humorous stuff.

If danking is wrong, The One Eyed Man doesn’t want to be right.

Newcomer Ninjack compares MMORPGs to the buffet line. And now I’m hungry.

Well that wraps up the first edition of the Carnival of Gamers. It has been a lot of fun reading these entries (some of them for the first time) and it has been great to see the support from gamers to see this succeed. I look forward to future Carnivals, and we’ll have the next one in two weeks – hosted by Thomas at Mile Zero on June 9th. If you’re available and willing to host a future Carnival of Gamers, let me know!

A big thanks to everyone who participated and made this happen. If you wanted to participate but didn’t have the time to submit this go-round, please don’t miss the 2nd edition. Let’s keep this going strong!

GG everybody.

Update: Honor of honors, we have been linked by the Shigeru Miyamoto of Bloggers, Instapundit. A super huge thanks to Glenn for the linkage. (Now I await the dreaded Instalanche!)

Welcome Instapundit readers, hopefully some of you, like me, are gamers and will find some new bloggers to add to your feed readers. These guys are excellent bloggers, enjoy!

Another Update: We’ve now also been linked on games.slashdot.org. Welcome games.slashdotters, hopefully you’ll take the time to read some of the blogs here. The initial reaction over there wasn’t the most positive but others have come to the defense of the bloggers and the Carnival (thanks, Josh). I took a stab at defending the carnival as well. Hopefully people will actually read some of these pieces before they make broad, sweeping assumptions about video game bloggers.

Update #3: Now we can add Kotaku and Digg to the growing list of Carnival referrers. Thanks to Brian and Mike for the links, this has really taken off (3.2k hits as of 2:30 pm EST). I am on my way out of town but I wanted to thank everyone again and wish everyone a nice Memorial Day weekend. I’ll check back in later for a recap.

Really late update: To be listed in The TTLB ÜberCarnival I needed to add a link. That should take care of it.

The trailers are rolling into the Fairgrounds

Don’t forget The Carnival of Gamers rolls in tomorrow. If you’re still interested in participating and you haven’t submitted your link to me, please get it to me by the COB tomorrow so I can get the Carnival up before I go to bed tomorrow night.

Then you’ll give you something to get your weekend started when you read it Friday at work.

Unfortunate Star Wars Costumes

Best. Caption. Ever.

(from gamememes)

The Carnival is coming!

T-minus 3 days and counting until the First Carnival of Gamers! Don’t forget to submit your entry ASAP!

All the info can be found here!

Guild Wars

Guild WarsI’ve been sucked into the black hole known as Guild Wars. I was able to avoid the World of Warcraft vortex but I couldn’t withstand the allure of no monthly fees. My MMOG running mate also took the plunge and we’ve really enjoyed it so far. We started characters and made the jump out of the “training” realm way too soon so we’ve started over with new alts and we’re roaring through all the quests and pretty much laying waste to anything that stands in our way. I’ve gone the way of the Grim Reaper acolyte, a Necromancer. I am still without a second profession so far, but I’m thinking of going with a Mesmer as my secondary profession. The skills are plentiful and I can see a lot of replay here. (This is a massive, of course).

And the game? Guild Wars is beautiful. The reviews are out there, you can read all about the beauty and immersiveness from other sources. But one thing is certain – sometimes you just have to take the scenery in. I am compelled to look around and stand in awe. The scale and wonder can be breathtaking.

But of course it’s more than just beauty and lush environments. The nuts and bolts under the hood really make this a fun game to play. This review says it better than I can.

But, instead, it’s easy to think about “Guild Wars” as a carefully researched and constructed product, one that combines the pixie dust of fantasy with the sawdust of a well-crafted game.

It is indeed a well-crafted game.

So I can see myself playing Guild Wars for the foreseeable future. The Gamecube and Xbox will be neglected and gather dust but them’s the breaks. I’ve got some monsters to kill and I don’t think I’ve even scratched surface of what the game has to offer.

Come join the Carnival of Gamers!

As I mentioned last week, we’re starting the Carnival of Gamers! The inaugural edition of the CoG will be Thursday, May 26th.

I know a lot of you will be to winding down from E3 so I hope this isn’t too soon, but I assumed that by Sunday night everyone would be back in normal mode and we can get some of those great pieces submitted. If there is a consensus that this isn’t enough time we can postpone it a week.

So what do you submit? Just select one of your recent (or not so recent, doesn’t matter) blog posts you really liked and really want others to read. Submit that to me, with a little background if you want, and I’ll group all the links on one page. Then, we’ll spread the word about the Carnival. This will point everyone to our blogs and we’ll be popular and people will like us. Or at least come away with more video game knowledge then they ever wanted. This is our chance to make gamers look semi-normal, so don’t screw it up with your Pokemon fantasies.

So, if you are interested in submitting a blog post to be included in the Carnival, please email them to me at buttonmashing@gmail.com. There aren’t any real guidelines. They certainly should be about video games in one way or another but that’s about all the guidance I have. I’m all about free speech and creativity, but let’s try to avoid the obscene, profane overly profane, racist, sexist, you get the picture. Let’s just have some fun and see where this can go.

So submit away! Let’s have a great Carnival of Gamers!

Update:
A couple updates — first, as Foton pointed out, I put a guideline of nothing “profane”. What I meant is nothing over-the-top profane, like what you get in just about every game of Halo 2 on Live. With that in mind, I’ve modified the guidelines above. I mentioned to Foton that profanity and video games go hand-in-hand. Or in the case of frustrating games, controller flying out of one’s hand-in-hand. I know bloggers love their colorful use of language and I don’t want to discourage any submissions that contain words of the four-letter variety. As Ralphie (from The Christmas Story) said, swearing is an art medium like oils or clay. And while I personally don’t work with such a palette, others do with good (usually hilarious) results. So as long as it adds flavor to the meal, go right ahead.

Second — the submissions have begun to arrive, which is great! If you haven’t submitted yet, what’s holding you back?! Make sure, though, that you submit a link to your blog with the article you’d like to submit. If nothing more, it will make my life easier. (Hey, I’m lazy!). Also, I haven’t decided how I’ll handle multiple submissions. I may include both/all or I may choose one. We’ll see!

Nintendo will win this generation?

Something strange is happening. If you avoid the forum trolls and fanboys and talk to people that can string two sentences together, you’ll find that there’s a groundswell of optimism for the Revolution. Mike at GGA thinks this “virtual library of games” can work:

However, then Nintendo dropped the bomb for me. “Virtual console.” The ability to play 20 years of Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 first-party (and hopefully third-party) games. Wow. Wow-oh-wow. This was what caught my attention. This is what I’m excited about with Nintendo’s new console, and I doubt I’m the only one.

No, you’re definitely not the only one. This may actually be a cool idea.

Amit thinks so, too

I’d like to slip in the theory that no matter what the Revolution promises to deliver, the fact that it plays every game Nintendo’s ever released is a revolution on its own.

And it’s not just the bloggers. Talking to my buddy today and he tells me that when he heard about the ability to download old games he decided that the Revolution would be his first console purchase of the next generation. And the game he was most excited about downloading? Earthbound? No. Super Metroid? Nope. Tecmo Super Bowl. Tecmo Super “Bo Frickin’ Jackson” Bowl. I hadn’t even thought about that one. There are so many games that could be available, it just boggles the mind.

It will be interesting to see what kind of library will be available. Will it just be Nintendo titles or do they maintain publishing rights to everybody’s games? There are some A-list games that are not Nintendo’s IP so I’m interested to know if I’ll be able to download Final Fantasy III or RC Pro Am. If they release the whole library, HOLY CRAP ON A STICK, watch out. And prices? If they are a buck for run-of-the-mill titles and five to ten bucks for A-list games they will make a killing. Killing. And what if they release games that never made it over here to the states? My brain hurts thinking of the possibilities.

This is some cool stuff.

Update: I forgot to mention this earlier – buttonmashing.com was linked by the L.A. Times here. I hope the Los Angelinos enjoyed their visit and that they come back often!

Are you trying to get invited to my next Barbeque?!

Ahhh, that was my favorite unit response from Starcraft. Any way, Joystiq has a hands-on with Starcraft Ghost, a game I’ve been very interested in since it was announced, oh before the birth of my FIRST CHILD. Anyway, it sounds like a fun game, comparisons maybe to Unreal Tournament? I thought it was supposed to be stealth action, but it appears to be more of a shooter, with different units. I really like the sound of that, this one looks hot.

I love Beams … 2?!

Just found this via Spaceworlder: Moz La Punk – Your E3 Expo Source – web-log.nl

Nintendo is fooling the world this E3 show.

Seems Microsoft is the only ARG in town. I don’t have the desire to follow all the clues, just go check the site out…

Guild Wars is Mine!

Guild WarsI suffered through Brian’s praise and Foton’s clumsy beginnings, salivating at my chance to play Guild Wars.

I then read Kieron’s review of Guild Wars at Eurogamer (which was excellent) and salivation continued.

Well a copy of this wonderful game is in my hands. And it is with much sadness that it will not be played tonight, as it is late and I am tired. MMOGs are not to be taken lightly and should not be started on a night that precedes a work day so I will resist. Tomorrow looks bleak, as well. But I will play.

Oh yes, I will.