March 2007

No, You Should Not Ask Your Guild Leader, Either

Just when you thought the continuing crisis in Washington was being spearheaded by random people named Scott Jennings, things get even weirder:

MacDonald confirmed that she also sent the Delta Smelt document [the Delta smelt fish is an endangered species] to an on-line game friend through his father’s e-mail account. MacDonald said she is acquainted with the on-line friend through internet role-playing games. She said she engages in these games to relieve the stress created by her job; however, she said she has not played while at work. When asked why she would e-mail an internal [Department of Interior] document to a private citizen, MacDonald replied, “I was irritated [with what was happening regarding the subject of the document] and tried to explain my irritation over the phone; however, I sent it to him to read for a better understanding.”

Hint: when someone is too young to have their own email account, you may not want to entrust them with reviewing your secret documents. No matter how kickass a healer they are in groups.

“Doomsday: Armageddon: Apocalypse: Megiddo: Everybody Dance Now” Released

New Hearts of Iron 2 booster pack that I alluded to earlier is out now.

New features (most of which weren’t advertised):

  • “Stop Sending Me Expeditionary Forces Dammit” button (fixes one of HOI2 Doomsday’s most irksome “features”)
  • Two fantasy scenarios (eh, I suspect Kaiserreich is probably still better)
  • Ability to play until 1964 (however, with no new techs or events that’s kind of pointless – guess it’s so modders don’t have to include a No Time Limit patch for their ColdWar scenarios that never come out)
  • Autobuild units with attachments (something I thought was missing from HOI2 when I first played it)
  • Add attachments to naval units which can upgrade (similar to air wings on carriers, keeps your ancient navy somewhat relevant)
  • Completely reworked naval combat which requires surface units to detect targets for naval bombers (no more Royal Navy being wiped out by unsupported Stuka wings)
  • Reworked air combat system
  • Button you can push to show all your movement arrows at once (the “I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR GENERAL” screenshot button)

It costs $5. In a perfect world it would be a patch… but one suspects this is how Paradox is trying to finance a “live team” for a game well past its shelf date. Still a disappointment from a team that supported EU2 for free for years.

Sadly, I will get it merely for the first feature. A sad panda, I am. And yes, I know I am rewarding bad behavior… this *really* should have been a patch, not a money generator.

No, You Should Not Ask Mr. Jennings

Apparently having a pedophile with my name in the news wasn’t good enough, now it turns out that I also have a namesake who works for the Prince of Darkness.

In this clip, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) grills her on a PowerPoint presentation (pdf) given by Karl Rove’s deputy Scott Jennings to GSA personnel in January.

Loan doesn’t have a good answer for Braley’s questions, stuttering out “I don’t recall”s and something about how the meeting was a “brown bag lunch” for the purpose of “team building.” You should “ask Mr. Jennings,” she says.

The Comedy division of the Greater Jennings Imperium is already on the case. We’re revoking the franchise for the Pointless Powerpoint Bureaucracy division POST HASTE. After all, you expect quality from the name Scott Jennings, right? (Don’t answer that, you.)

Next Week, On Battlestar Galactica…

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) returns from a Viper patrol to find a anthromophic furry suit in his locker… but he can’t remember if it’s his or not. It turns out to be Baltar’s (James Callis). Also, Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) feels herself melting through the floor during a chamalla vision, Helo (Tahmoh Pennikett) remarks that it has been over three years since the last Cylon sighting outside the fleet, and Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan) begins holding conversations with random bulkheads. Crew members discovered to be Cylons this week: Gaeta, Cally, Caprica-Six (after last week’s reveal that she was actually human), Boxey.

My Life With The New Console Cult

So as you can probably see from the puppy dog to your left I finally joined the inevitable and picked up an XBox 360. Thanks to renting DVDs from a local video store, here’s my impressions of the games I’ve tried so far:

Ninety-Nine Nights: To be fair, I had already seen this at a friends’ house. But Phantagram. Why you got to be that way, baby. We used to be so good together! Daddy doesn’t want to hurt you. Just walk away.

Gears of War: Ooh, pretty. Ouch, hurty. OK, I don’t like shooters on consoles.

GRAW: OK, maybe I do like shooters on consoles, as long as they let me snipe people and call in airstrikes from gunships.

Viva Pinata: Hm, this could grow on me, assuming I figure out some actual gameplay.

Star Trek Legacy: I had tried this on the PC and gave up because it was so obviously a console port. I then tried this on the console and gave up because it was so obviously a really bad game.

Dead Rising: OK, this is why I bought this machine. Thanks. (swings bat, kills 5 zombies) Although the paucity of save points reminds me of console frustrations past.

XBox Arcade: Aaah, Time Pilot, comfort food of my youth, you sing to me so sweetly with your siren calls of random bombings and death. And Lumines isn’t a half bad port either. Does anyone play Hold’em Poker online?

CGM Shuttered

Computer Games magazine and its new sibling Massive (which I don’t think survived long enough to be renamed) shut down today. Not because “PC gaming is dying” or “print media is dying”, but because is dying, specifically thanks to a summary judgement entered against it by that caused theglobe to go thefwoomf.

Gamasutra’s story is here. Troy Goodfellow, regular writer for CGM, has more on his blog.