A Shield Maiden seeks revenge against the murderer of her Thane. (more…)
Bethesda announced today on their blog that they are now accepting registrations for their Xbox 360 Dawnguard Beta program. All you need is to be a currently registered member on their forums and answer a few questions about your playing habits (and own a 360 with a Live account, of course). Then a promotional code allowing you to download an early beta copy of Skyrim’s Dawnguard DLC could be yours. Head over to dawnguardbeta.elderscrolls.com to try and become one of the lucky ones now.
Before DLC many games got expansion packs. Modern day DLC is typically cheaper but also significantly less substantial than the old expansion packs (the Opposing Force expansion for Half-Life was as long as the original game). Bethesda has chosen to use the term add-on to describe Dawnguard, but it’s more like an expansion pack than DLC. Which is to say it will be more like Shivering Isles than horse armor.
Dawnguard is a vampire story and makes me think of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, which is a good thing. Dawnguard is a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360 and will release there sometime this summer. The add-on will cost you 1600 Microsoft points or $20.
It’s that time of the year once again. It’s that show where we look ahead to the Electronic Entertainment Expo and make wild predictions about what’s going to happen. Join Robbie, Kyle, Jason, Samantha and Addam as we go through each of the big three and discuss what we want to see next week. Naturally we’re excited to see more from games like Halo 4 and The Last of Us but we also get to learn more about the Wii U and hopefully there will be at least a couple of surprises to keep us interested.
Thank you for listening and please enjoy Talking About Gamers Episode 136.
The Talking About Gamers podcast can be found in iTunes and the Zune Marketplace. Please leave a review there or to provide direct feedback feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can hit us up on Twitter at @talkaboutgamers and find us on Facebook as well.
Diablo III was released yesterday. To a great number of PC and Mac players, this meant that the long awaited sequel to a now classic franchise was about to kill their already dwindling social lives. Inside many households across the globe there would be a gamer hunched over his or her computer in the dark, staring into an illuminated screen. Their girlfriends would go neglected, their voicemail inboxes would be filled with messages from screaming bosses, and their hermit beards would begin growing.
What happened instead was Error 37. When the servers initially went up they were quickly overloaded by people trying to authenticate their game online. This caused an error message to pop up on the screen, “The servers are busy at this time. Please try again later. (Error 37)” A number usually reserved for Kevin Smith jokes, 37 quickly became the bane of Diablo players the world over. Blizzard, as it seems simply didn’t foresee exactly how many people were going to pick up Diablo III.
Server issues are something one usually sees when trying to play a multi-player game online. The latest game with this problem was Battlefield III, when the EA servers were slammed by midnight launchers. It was something that haunted Battlefield for weeks. In the age of single player games having to constantly be online to remain authenticated, this is a problem that is going to increasingly happen with single player games.
Fear not, kind gamer. This writer has compiled a list of games you can play while awaiting Diablo III authentication. It’s safe to say that you’ve missed these games in the months leading up to release. These games passed you by as you spent your time constantly refreshing the Diablo III trailer on YouTube, tried earnestly to break the beta, and stood in front of the trailer screens at GameStop gawking at the real-time gameplay videos.
Developed by the Superbrothers and Capybara Games, Sword & Sworcery EP is one of the most unique iOS experiences to come across in a long time. It was so renowned that it was recognized by the Independent Games Festival when it was awarded its Mobile Achievement in Art award back in 2010. The game was ported to PC via Steam last month, so you PC people have nothing to complain about. The music, which so elegantly moves you through each level, was beautifully composed by Jim Guthrie, whose is highly revered for his experimental music style.
The gameplay of Sword & Sworcery is simple as you tap on the screen where you want the main character to go. The PC version utilizes the mouse to complete this function. Combat is done by turning the screen 90 degrees, to which the main character draws her sword. The main character does a lot of walking and talking, as she meets a lot of interesting people and speaks to them through thought bubbles. Jim Guthrie’s music is what drives this game, as the mood can change from jolly to unnerving to lighthearted and then to dark.
The characters are small square sprites over a monochrome landscape, which has been lavishly rendered, possibly pushing iOS to its limits. The fun thing about this game is the mystery behind it. Not knowing where to go or what to do is engaging for a lot of players. It is quite rewarding once you do figure out what to do and where to go.
Also, the way the game incorporates the usage of Twitter is genius. You can hit a button to tweet lines of text from the game onto your Twitter feed. Discovering people and objects and then being given the option to tweet a 140 character line of text is something I’ve never seen a game do. However, “So you’ve awoken the deathless spectre who slumbered in the darkness beneath Mingi Taw” might be clever to you, it could be annoying to others. It can also lead to a snicker or two when you begin getting responses like “What?” and “Huh?” from your Twitter followers.
Another game to keep your gaming appetite sated while awaiting your turn in the Diablo III queue is Fez. One of the most popular, and highly anticipated indie games in recent memory, Fez is a game that harkens back to those days of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. At its core Fez is a platform game. As a child of the 80s who grew up in a neighborhood with very few kids, Fez reminds me of Super Mario World. Both games take place in other worlds, and there are many obstacles in your way. Both games are also very colorful and feature a little sprite jumping around from point A to point B.
Where Fez veers off is in its ability to change perspectives. You’re in a 2D world with 3D capabilities. The gameplay is mind shattering. Not only can you change your perspective, but as you go along you can unlock hidden goodies to help you along your way. For example there are a series of levels with thunder and lightning. The lightning strikes allow some platforms that were hidden in the dark to be seen very briefly. This isn’t just another platform game. With the 3D perspectives you can spend hours lost in certain levels, not knowing where exactly you’re supposed to go.
It also has a very Metroid feel where you can unlock more levels as you advance. Items in rooms that were not available before are open to you as you continue you on your mission and collect more tiny cubes. The secrets in the game are vast, and what looks like a simple platforming game simply isn’t. There is something about the game, whether it’s the music, or the movement of the on screen characters that makes this game such an emotional experience.
Currently Fez is only available for the Xbox 360 through its Game Marketplace. So if you want to play this beautiful game you have to leave the comfy confines of your bedroom, coffeehouse, or college study room, and reach for that controller with the big X on it. There are several hours of guaranteed fun with Fez, enough to keep you distracted long enough from your Error 37 Diablo problems.
Diablo III took an Error 37 to the server. I can just see the internet memes now. While standing in the Diablo queue you can reacquaint yourself with and get lost in the world of Tamriel once again. Already beat the game? Well, that’s okay, you can take this time to level up your Ebony Mail wearing pick pocketing dragon shouting Wood Elf Battle Mage. Whether fighting on the side of the Empire or the Stormcloaks, Skyrim is the deeply immersive open world role-playing game that killed the social lives of many gamers on 11-11-11. Originally rife with glitches, Skyrim has finally been patched thoroughly. While it’s not totally glitch free, where once you saw backwards flying dragons, multiplying NPCs, arrows stuck in heads and Playstation 3 saved file issues, it has become much less of a pain to play the game.
If you’ve already completed the game then the sensible thing for you to do is to try and level up for the anticipated release of the Dawnguard DLC. Collect as many gold coins as possible and fill your many houses with cheese wheels. Use your electricity on townspeople and bandits, the whole time yelling out loud as if you were Emperor Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. If nothing else, then sit in the corner alone and read your copies of The Lusty Argonian Maid. We’re not here to judge. Put on your Skyrim horn hat, yell “Fus Ro Dah!” into your Kinect device, and have a great time. If anyone gives you any smack, just tell them that while there may be glitches in the game at least you can still play it. Better yet, tell them, “I’ve got 37 problems, but a glitch ain’t one!”
While server queues are generally no fun these are just some of the things you can do while waiting in line. The others include going outside and reading a book, taking a walk with your doggie, looking up some old friends on Facebook, and inviting them out for a beverage of your choice, or watch any of the awesome shows on television. I heard Game of Thrones is nice. Oh, and then there is that Minecraft game I guess. All of those things are more fun than sitting in line and waiting for Diablo III. Unless, of course, you’re some kind of game masochist, and you actually prefer the never-ending migraine brought to you by Blizzard and their ineptness.
Bethesda has announced that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be getting Kinect support through a free title update later this month.
Kinect support for Skyrim will feature over two-hundred voice comands including “Dragon Shouts, Hotkey Equipping, Follower Commands, and all Menus (Items, Magic, Map, Barter, Container, Favorites, and Skills).” You will also be able to create and load saves and access menus and inventories.
I’m not sure who exactly was asking for Kinect support with Skyrim but I guess this is a good thing. Right?? I would assume that most Skyrim players would probably want Bethesda concentrating on DLC to add additional quests and story lines to the game and not another way to play the game. But hey, it’s something.
Check out the video below for more details.
Back in February, Bethesda said that if any proud 11/11/11 parents named their child Dovahkiin (Dragonborn for those who speak Dragon in Skyrim), they would be rewarded with free games for life. Looks like someone actually took them up on their offer.
Dovahkiin Tom Kellermeyer was born at 6:08PST last Friday toÂ Megan and Eric Kellermeyer. Bethesda posted this message to their blog.
Be it the real world or the game worlds we create, we wish young Dovahkiin the best in all his adventures.
I hope Dovahkiin likes his RPGs because he’s going to have enough to last him a while. Not to mention probably some hefty amounts of ridicule as well. Thanks dad!