Grab-bag of gaming news around the net

There has been some gaming news that got my attention in the last few days. Since I don’t think everybody here is as neurotic as I am in keeping up with these kind of news I thought it might be interesting to point out to a few of them.

First of, the Kelethin City Festival has started over in Everquest 2. That by itself wouldn’t be that interesting considering that City Festivals happen every month. Except that with this we are finally getting Building Blocks themed after the city festival in question. What are Building Blocks? They are exactly what it sounds like, cubes, boards and circles (it looks more like an octagon) that decorators can use to build stuff with and save some much needed item count. It should be appearing on Station Cash too after the festival is over for those who would prefer alternatives to acquire them. Crafted building blocks should be coming with the next Game Update which is scheduled to March if I recall corectly. I just wish there were some triangles in there…. But hey, this is already pretty good considering how long the decorator community has been asking for it and how simple they are, model-wise.

Also, a reminder that the “A Goddess Risen” world event will be ending on February 6th. If you didn’t do it yet you might want to do it now. It is a very short, easy, quest line that will probably appeal to fans of EQ2 lore. It also gives a cool house item, an unique bow and a shield, both that can also be turned into house items.

A few days ago, Good Old Games started selling Thief Gold. For those who don’t know it, it is a classic game which brought a lot of innovations to the FPS genre back in the day. Basically you play a thief (yes, big surprise there) and your mission throughout the levels is to break into places, avoid being detected by guards and steal as much as you can. Nowadays this doesn’t seem like a big deal but back in the days this blew people’s mind. Although the GoG team did an amazing job to get it to run on modern machines it still runs on the monitor resolutions and aspects of its days. Rock, Paper, Shotgun found ways to fix it though so it runs with more modern resolutions and aspect ratios. You can find that fix here.

I admit I didn’t really play Thief besides the first level back in the days. Back then I just saw it as another FPS game, a genre which I despised. Granted it did have a neat premise and gameplay but my hatred for FPS blinded me to its awesomeness. Plus in those days it looked like every frigging game in the future would be a FPS so I was trying to spend whatever time I got in what I believed would be the last non-FPS games ever made. All I can say now is that hindsight is a pain. Anyway, I do intent to rectify that mistake once I get some more time and money.

Speaking of classic games, a while ago there were news that Firaxis would be making their own remake of X-Com. A remake that would be an actual strategy game. Like the original game was. Who woulda think, huh? :p

Anyway, leaving the sarcasm behind, the fine folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun strike again and they did an interesting interview with Jake Solomon, lead designer of Firaxis’ X-Com remake. It will be in 3 parts and you can find part 1 here. Topics covered are how long the development took so far, the challenges of remaking a game that is, rightfully so, considered a sacred cow to many players and other topics. It is a pretty interesting read for anyone who is looking forward on how that one turns out.

Myself I am cautiously excited about it. Firaxis already proved themselves that they can make a damn good job of reinventing a good game and still making it feel right with Civilization V. So they will probably do another fine job with their version of X-Com.

Hm. That should be all for now. Back to your regularly (non-)scheduled ramblings!

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