January 26, 2009

The most overlooked raper ever

BlackThought is fantastic. He can spit out more syllables in a minute than most guys can in an hour:

Why haven't you heard of him?

January 23, 2009

New Halo Wars Trailer

We sure do love Halo Wars around here, and as the game inches closer we can't wait to see more of it. It went gold today, which means the development is complete and it's been sent off for production. Today's news also brings with it a new video documentary with the game's creators discussing the gameplay and showing off brand new footage of the game.

This game continues to blow my mind. I. Is. Excited.

Or, have your mind blown in HD.

Puzzle Quest Galactrix preview

I love puzzle games and I love RPGs. Imagine my surprise back in 2007 when Puzzle Quest was announced. A game that combines puzzle grids with role playing? It seemed absurd. It turned out to be excellent. Galactrix aims to raise the bar... IN SPACE!! I had a chance to play it (the actual PC version, not the flash demo) and I've come away feeling good, but with a few concerns.

Basically, Galactrix works the same as the original game. You navigate your ship around the map to complete missions by pointing at a location and select it. A menu pops up that lets you activate a quest or a number of other things like shopping or upgrading your ship. Obviously, because it's in a scifi setting, there's not much in the way of one-on-one battles but ship-on-ship battles. Combat works much the same way it did in the last game, though on a hexagonal grid. Mach up three or more like colored tiles and your energy bar for the corresponding color increases. Red, green, and yellow tiles are used in combination to execute attacks to lower your opponent's health. Blue tiles recharge your shield which is especially useful if you don't have enough other colored tiles to use a shield repair ability. Purple tiles are for psi power, which I was unable to use in the portion I played. White tiles add bonus intel (experience) to your character at the end of a match. Finally, matching three or more numbered bombs will automatically attack your opponent and do as much damage as the sum of the numbers on the bombs.

Even though the game looks a lot like Hexic, it plays nothing like it. Tiles simply slide in the direction you click them, rather than falling from the top. For example, if I move one block to the left to match up three, new blocks will be pushed from the left of the screen to fill up the hole. The implementation of shields is the most significant gameplay change. You have to take them out before you can directly attack your opponent's health. Maintaining your shields becomes the most important element in any battle.

Collected intel can be used for a number of things including upgrading your ship (since you don't control your character directly) and getting new abilities. You can have a number of ships as well as a crew for them that preform specific tasks. That brings me to my next point: "minigames." In Galactrix you can mine for resources, craft items, and hack computers. Mining and crafting are accomplished by combining particular tiles together to obtain certain amounts of this and that. If I was building a new shield generator, for example, I'd have to combine the shield tiles together three times and the power tiles together six times. Likewise with mining, you combine tiles of ore together until you have run out of moves (there are "blank tiles" that serve no other purpose than to get in your way). Hacking tasks you with matching a certain amount of tiles in a certain amount of time in a certain sequence. That sounded really confusing. Ok, so let's say your hacking a terminal, it gives you 90 seconds to match 12 colors. The first is red. Match three reds, done. Next, blue. Match them, done. And so on until you either succeed or fail. My concern with this is that it seems well suited for the DS or computer where you can easily point and click, but not to consoles where you have to select with an analog stick. I fear it might be frustratingly difficult to complete in the allotted time if the developer doesn't address this. The only other gripe I have is that there was not enough combat and too many "minigames" in what I played. I assume the final game will even it out.

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix looks very promising over all and I'm looking forward to it. Look for it on the DS February 24th and on the PC, XBLA, and PSN shortly thereafter.

January 20, 2009


Even though the new Puzzle Quest game doesn't come out until this Spring, you can demo it now online. Be amazed by its epic scifi soundtrack!

Me? I can't wait to get my hands on the full version!

January 15, 2009

Installation 04 First Annual BOOTY Awards

Welcome to Installation 04's BOOTY Awards, where we take a look at the Best Offerings Of The Year in a variety of categories. 2008 in particular was a great year for games. We will no doubt look back on it as one of, if not the best years for gaming of this decade. That's great, because we've got a lot of BOOTYs to go through.

Funny pictures part 2

Halo Wars Soundtrack

I knew it was coming! After you demo the game's awesomeness and before you buy the full game, treat yourself to the soundtrack available February 17th. Two disks of Halo tunes? Can't wait.

January 13, 2009

Geometry Wars Megamix

It's every tune from every Geometry Wars mashed into a single 13 minute track of pure awesomeness. Download now!

January 9, 2009

Well it only took me a year...

Actually, that's because the feature didn't exist a year ago. I've physically combined the old sites Gameweb and Gameweb:Viewpoint with this one so you can view all the old posts and comments from this archive. It seems I can now finally put those two to rest...

That reminds me, when I said this place was technically 3 years old. I lied. It's four.


I've got some fantastic news and some news that's disappointing. The fantastic news is that you'll be able to play Halo Wars on February 5th!!! The bad news is that the game wasn't pushed up as originally thought. It's still coming out on the 3rd of March, not February 28th. I guess that's not so bad at all. At least it wasn't delayed. While it would be nice to play four days earlier, it's not anywhere near earth-shattering. Actually, who cares about the release date- it didn't change at all! What I care about is that scrumptious demo coming on the 5th so I can know how awesome the game is before I buy it.

January 7, 2009

The plot thickens...

Well, it seems things appear to be worse than I thought. Not only was EGM discontinued, but also Games For Windows and the Official US Playstation Magazine (Can they even do that?). Just for the record, Ziff-Davis also axed its other three game magazines a few years back: GMR, Xbox Nation, and GameNow. I have only one thing to say and that is SCREW YOU ZIFF-DAVIS, SELLING YOUR PROPERTIES AND DISCONTINUING THEM! Seriously, they must have something against gamers...

Oh, and I read up a bit on Play. I'll definitely give it a look now. It's the successor to one of my favorite gaming magazines of all time named Gamers' Republic. No, I didn't pick that cover on purpose. It was the only one I could find. Seriously. Anyway, the magazine always had a focus on gaming while also covering anime, entertainment, and tech. Really brings me back to the good old days. Awesome. Now I've got to go seek out an issue of Play.

And then there were two

I hate for this to be the first post of the new year, but it appears we've gotten off to a bad start. The Mighty Triumvirate of Gaming Publications (sure it's a thing, go look it up) has lost its tallest pillar. Yesterday, the sale 1up and its related sites by Ziff-Davis Media was made official. The sites are now owned by UGO (yeah, I had to look that one up too- its been around for 11 years though) and parent company the Hearst Corporation which is apparently a huge media conglomerate (Why haven't I heard of any of these?). Favorite staff members were axed. Podcasts were shut down. Fans were in an uproar. Then, came this:

"After a comprehensive process, this morning we completed a deal with Hearst Interactive, the owner and operator of UGO Entertainment. 1UP.com, MyCheats.com, Gamevideos.com, and Gametab.com will now all be part of the UGO Entertainment business. Many of our employees will travel with this business and become part of the UGO team.

With this transaction happening, we have also made the decision to discontinue publication of EGM. The January 2009 issue will be the final issue of the publication. With demand for print continuing to decline amongst both advertisers and readers and the content being produced by 1UP no longer available for use in the publication, it simply did not make sense for us to move forward with this business any longer."

That's apparently part of a leaked e-mail sent by the CEO of Ziff-Davis. Yup, that means that the longest running multi-platform gaming magazine is now gone forever. This is indeed a sad day for the gaming community. It was a good move, in my opinion, if the objective was to put people off and drive away fans. In that case, good job guys! For the rest of us, that leaves a massive gap in the US gaming magazine market. Only GameInformer and Gamepro remain. Although, I read that there is actually a rather obscure third magazine called Play. You might want to check that out. Who knows, it could be good.

I remember back in the day when I used to read GameNow. They were discontinued a couple of years back because they thought there were too many gaming magazines and they were lost in the shuffle. I find it ironic that only a few years later there are only two.

In a related story, subscriptions to GameInformer have increased by 150%.