Nov 282008
 

Racing games. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. I’m one of those people who loves them. But only if they are done right. There is nothing more annoying than a racing game that portrays beautiful cars travelling at high speed without any illusion of speed! Or the beautifully rendered car handles more like a racing yacht than a vehicle!

DiRTy Details

Codemasters released the first version of DiRT over a year ago and manauged to surprise everyone. They actually made a few mistakes with the game, but over all they came up with a well rounded winner.

One of the down sides of DiRT was the fact that it had a pretty arcadish feel to it. That seriously impacted my experience negatively at first, but once I was able to take a breath and get over it I found a beautiful looking game with a lot of simple fun behind it.

Another thing that DiRT fell short on, as a lot of reviewers agreed, was the lack of a good multiplayer component. Quite frankly I’m not sure why you would even attempt to release a competitive racing game with out a solid multiplayer component! But Codemasters did exactly that and ended up getting a lot of negative attention as a result. Silly programmers…

So what about DiRT 2?

DiRT2 Muddiness

DiRT2 Muddiness

Codemasters is bragging that they have beefed up the graphical engine from DiRT, which incidentally wasn’t one of DiRT’s weak areas at all.
Secondly there is supposed to be a beefed up physics engine. Can’t complain about that! DiRT had a pretty good physics engine but at times it just didn’t feel right. Here’s hoping they can put more than a bandage on that bleeding wound.
They’ve also stated that they are looking at an improved online gaming component, so maybe they learned something from the scathing reviews on the last go-round.
Additionally there will be the normal round of new cars and tracks for everyone… As anyone would reasonably expect.

The official word from Codemasters is located here: Clickity-Click

Stay tuned for more information on DiRT2… It’s definitely something we’ll keep in our scope.

 Posted by at 9:20 pm
Nov 282008
 

 iamstnick

Yeah you heard me, Santa is lending himself out as a force recon operative, so you can get some valuable intel on your friends and family.  Bounce on over to IamStNick.com, plug in your targets phone number and your e-mail.  Then an automated service will call the target number and play a premade message asking them for their wishlist.  After the recording is made, you receive an email from the website with your targets wishlist!

Sounds pretty nifty to me!  Go try it out…I know I will :)

Nov 272008
 

Ancient turtle

Scientists believe they have cracked a long-standing mystery of evolution – how the turtle got its shell.

It follows the discovery in south west China last year of the oldest known turtle fossils, believed to date back 220 million years.

The three adult specimens were discovered remarkably intact and with characteristics never before seen in turtles – including teeth and an incomplete upper shell.

The Daily Mail has details.

 Posted by at 9:58 am
Nov 252008
 

supercomboZ 

Say hello to Supercombo, a UK startup that sells high quality shirts specifically designed for the nerd in you!  I contacted them a few weeks ago to see about reviewing some of their products, and was received very well.  Check out this quote from their website:

Supercombo is the brainchild of two like minded geeks (Pete and Olly) who both enjoy illustration. We sell unique, high quality clothing inspired by our love of videogames, anime and general nerdyness.

Sounds like guys after my own heart!  After a few e-mail exchanges, and a short wait, I was in possession of some shirts, flyers and stickers for review :)  Check out these images:

dattebayoteeTrip 010zz

  trifarce Trip 016

Now I’m a gamer, so I recognized the Zelda triforce design on the green shirt right away.  The other shirt I was actually clueless as to it’s Naruto origin until one of my models (who is a virtual font of anime information) posed for the pictures, and pointed out what the words meant.  Dattebayo!  Regardless, both are of fine, well crafted material with the designs perfectly proportioned to the shirt area.  I was impressed with the ingenuity of the designs, and received many direct remarks from people that happened to be walking by that they liked the shirts and how easy they were on the eyes.  Certainly a positive remark in Pete and Olly’s favor!

Here’s a couple of other things sent along in the package – a few flyers, no doubt used to promote Supercombo at various locations, and a handful of round stickers (pictured below).

sccombopack  scstickers

In all, a unique experience in reviewing this material, but a rewarding one as well.  These guys have a good product, and will no doubt gain momentum as they add to their repertoire.  Be sure to visit their website and check out their other unique designs!

Nov 252008
 

ArmA2_RescueOp

Editor’s Comment: Dan Van Nattan is a new contributing writer for Geeknews, this is his first article for us and we’re looking forward to seeing this collaborative effort grow.

The name itself certainly does not ring out with any cleverness or ingenuity. But anyone familiar with the first Armed Assault game will know that there’s nothing lightweight or lackluster about the sequel. It might help the knowledgeable reader to know that Armed Assault (ArmA) was the sequel to Operation Flashpoint, one of the great military simulations of the last 10 years.

Now we’re staring straight down the barrel of ArmA2. Riding on the success of ArmA, this sequel needs to make sure that it doesn’t fall short in the same areas it’s predecessor did. To bring everyone up to speed on what those previous failings were, I’ve compiled a short list of things that most reviewers agreed on when writing their articles about ArmA.

  • BAD Squad control UI
  • Terrible vehicle control
  • Poorly varied missions
  • Very high difficulty and brutally hard missions
  • Poor AI
  • Game controls were complex and clumsy
  • Several annoying graphical bugs and glitches
  • Simulation paced gameplay not to everyone’s tastes

Now obviously some of these aren’t massive gameplay issues, but all the issues combined were definitely a drag on the experience!

There were some major things that ArmA did very right. One of those was incorporating MASSIVE maps and play area. Unlike Joint Operations the play area of the maps was an enormous, highly detailed, usable area!

Another excellent factor in ArmA’s success was the very detailed weapon physics. Bullet-drop over distance was rendered very well. Weapon firing kick was also a factor you had to consider when trying to spray lead at the enemy. Some players found these aspects quite frustrating, but those of us who had grown tired of being sniped with pistols from extreme range were delighted with the change!

Having improved hugely over Operation Flashpoint, I think that Bohemia Interactive will be quite capable of improving ArmA2 over and above ArmA. If they can just address the problems listed above, they’ll not only end up with a best seller again, but they could easily end up witha game that raises a very high, new standard for other developers. With all the “arcadism” that seems to get dumped into every combat game on the planet, I can say that realism would be a welcome change in this genre!

All these things being taken into consideration, I leave you with ArmA2. Make your own assumptions based on what you see.

Bohemia Interactive: Official Website

Watch this site for more information about ArmA2 in the future.

ArmA2_RazorTeam ArmA2_Ingame-35

 Posted by at 1:44 pm