When the Blair Witch movie went from a film student’s basement cutting room to Hollywood blockbuster, it was inevitable that many people would be looking to cash in on the project. A video game tie-in was inevitable. Now, as we approach Halloween this week, the lab dims the lights and sets out to review the first of three games based on the Blair Witch legend. The release of this game coincides not only with the spookiest holiday on the books, but also the release of the movie Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows. The three planned games are being released … Continue reading Who’s Afraid of the Blair Witch?
A lot of trade magazines that cover the entertainment industry are, perhaps unduly, focused on movies. In quite a few of them, the pending actor’s guild strike has been covered with the same gloom and doom that might befall a pending natural disaster. But while some sectors of the entertainment industry might be crippled by the lack of card-carrying guild member actors, computer games should do just fine. The pending strike has a lot of complex issues behind it, but boils down to what every labor dispute these days is really about: people either wanting or deserving more money. Gone … Continue reading Strike Two, But Not Out
I thought perhaps I would have to take on the curse of unlife to wait for a quality RPG with a good storyline to come out for the PC in the United States. Thankfully, I have found one, and I didn’t even have to wait a thousand years, though it seemed like it at times. I must admit I was a bit wary of a game titled Vampire: The Masquerade Redemption. After all, I have never been into vampires. But the graphics on the box looked so appealing, I had to give it a try. If I was willing to … Continue reading Vampire gets in your blood
The Warlords name has always meant a solid turn-based strategy experience. So it was with some expectation that I delved into the world of Warlords Battlecry, which is the newest real-time addition to this wonderful series. The move from turn-based to real-time is a tricky one. Some game series do it well, while others end up mere shadows of their former greatness. Battlecry sort of comes up between the two extremes. The real-time game is slightly better than the average RTS, but it does not even approach the top of the genre heap, something the other Warlords games did for … Continue reading Warlords Battlecry is predictable mayhem
It was not hard to believe how clear the MidiLand S4 7100 multichannel computer speaker system sounds, or how loud it is, or even that it is far better than my high-end car or home stereo. What is interesting is that the speakers actually improved my game play both in terms of better scores and in my overall enjoyment. Forget the industry standard of four speakers because MidiLand throws another one into the mix. It makes my office seem as acoustically correct as a concert hall. An additional satellite speaker handles a specific range of the audio spectrum and also … Continue reading MidiLand S4 is symphony of sound
Vice President Al Gore announced today that he has chosen Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election. Lieberman has long been a proponent of censorship when it comes to computer games, putting them far below other forms of entertainment in terms of constitutional protection. Each year Lieberman leads an attack on the game industry by creating a list of violent computer games, highlighting them as one of the reasons society is rapidly moving away from its "moral compass." This anti-game frenzy seemed to reach a crescendo last year following the Columbine High School shootings, … Continue reading Go Al!
I know that I shall meet my fateSomewhere among the clouds aboveThose that I fight I do not hateThose that I guard I do not love.— Yeats Flying Heroes is a 3D combat game that mixes science and magic in arena-style combat scenarios. The game brings to mind the air-to-air duels found in games like Sierra’s Red Baron, only instead of a biplane, you ride to battle mounted on top a dragon or other fantastic creatures. Players start the game by joining one of four leagues that compete in various combat arenas dispersed throughout the known fantasy world. The plot … Continue reading Flying Heroes is a pleasant diversion
Majesty is a solid realtime strategy [RTS] game wrapped in the cloak of a simulation. I’m not really sure why Cyberlore decided to call their game a simulation, because other than sort of designing the overall look of your medieval village, the game is focused on warfare. I approached this game as if it were a RTS game, and I think most consumers should do so as well if they want to be happy with their purchase. This is not SimCity, but oddly enough it’s not Command and Conquer either. Majesty is a refreshing twist on the somewhat overdone RTS … Continue reading Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim
We are so proud of Sega, throwing a monkey wrench into the pending console war. Just when all the industry pundits had concluded that Sony was going to be the undisputed winner in this battle, Sega comes up with the proverbial rabbit out of what everyone thought was an empty hat. Last week Sega announced that it would give a $200 rebate on a Dreamcast, plus a Dreamcast keyboard, to anyone who signed up for its soon-to-be-launched Internet Service Provider for a two-year contract. Essentially, if you get the ISP, you can have a Dreamcast with a keyboard for free. … Continue reading Dreamcast’s Last Hope
Star Wars: Force Commander puts you in charge of ground level operations of the Empire. Long have Star Wars fans played the many flight and space simulations set in the most popular sci-fi universe ever created. But while the flyboys and a few jedi knights have thus far gotten all the gaming glory, lets not forget that the Empire was built on the backs of those white clad, lightly armored front line stormtrooper grunts. This is the game where they get to shine. Loading up the game at first was quite daunting. I was expecting an interface more like Bungie … Continue reading Star Wars: Force Commander demands respect