Top 10 Games

1 Castle of the Winds: A Question of Vengeance
2 Subspace - Continuum
3 Warzone 2100
4 One Must Fall 2097
5 Wild Metal Country
6 Hidden And Dangerous
7 Descent
8 The Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control 2)
9 Anacreon
10 Wings

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Online Gaming News

Can Blizzard Top StarCraft? May 31 @ 10 PM

MSNBC is running an interview with Blizzard designer Rob Pardo discussing a number of facets of the upcoming StarCraft II. Informational tidbits include the fact that, unsurprisingly, the game won't be released this year, and some background on the game's long development cycle. "Penny Arcade figured it out! We keep games under code names and we teach developers to refer to games by their code name. And we're just really careful about talking about the game internally. We don't bring external folks through unannounced product areas. But I think even I'm surprised that we were able to keep it under wraps all the way to the end."

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MMOG Industry Community Vet Speaks Out May 24 @ 2 AM

Sanya Weathers, known for many years as Tweety, was the Community Manager for Dark Age of Camelot essentially since that game's launch. Known throughout the games industry as truthful, caring, and innovative, she almost created the position of Community Manager out of whole cloth. Many elements of Massively Multiplayer communities we take for granted today originated at Mythic in Sanya's hands. Now doing work freelance, she has time to blog about her experiences keeping Massive gamers happy. It is entitled Eating Bees, after a Penny Arcade strip on the subject of forum management. So far she has two posts up, one looking at what professionalism looks like in the position, and a hilarious fictional day in the life for a CM. "Bob forwards Gertrude's email to Jake, a programmer. Jake is not the one who coded the original element on which Gertrude's system is based. THAT guy, Wayne, is somewhere in the Caribbean coked up along with a bunch of strippers, where he has been ever since he cashed his FunFactory stock options, opened his own studio, and sold THAT one to MegaCorp for millions of dollars. Wayne was also a self-taught genius who adhered to no known coding formalities and whose comments were in haiku. Since Wayne left, approximately two dozen programmers of various levels of ability have added layers of complexity. Jake is very young and enthusiastic, but his joy at finally being in the gaming industry is starting to dim from coping with a ten year old pile of what is called "spaghetti code.""

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Vid-game: `Super Paper Mario' is super (AP) May 23 @ 8 PM

AP - Just when you thought the beloved plumber Mario might be nearing the twilight of his more-than quarter-century career, Nintendo comes out with a game for the Wii that pumps new life into two retro video game genres.

Ron Gilbert Working on Penny Arcade Game May 10 @ 6 PM

Yesterday at the Penny Arcade site Gabe shared the news that Ron Gilbert is working with them on Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. The well known designer, veteran of several LucasArts adventure titles as well as the creator of the SCUMM engine, has apparently been assisting the duo in planning out their first commercial game title. Says Gabe, "We had our first meeting with Ron pretty early in the design process. Tycho and I were getting the story fleshed out and we had some ideas about the design and over all pace of the game. We laid it all out for Ron and then he picked up a whiteboard marker and started teaching class. I'm not sure how many people can say they got a game design 101 course taught by Ron Gilbert, but that's exactly what Tycho and I got that day. His insights into the way you move the player through an interactive story so that they get to explore the world but don't loose the narrative were incredible." 1up also has commentary from Gilbert, who says, "I have been a fan of Penny Arcade because I have always found their comic so funny and biting. When I first heard they were making a game and that they had chosen to weave adventure game elements into it, I knew immediately I wanted to be involved. Working with the Penny Arcade guys and the team at Hothead has been an absolute riot."

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EA Announces Simpsons Game, Parodies Videogames May 10 @ 6 PM

Eurogamer has the news that The Simpsons will be coming to a new videogame title sometime in the near future, a new game with an interesting twist. Instead of playing as the Simpsons inside a more typical genre, such as the arcade smash-em-up from the early nineties or The Simpsons Road Rage, EA's newly-announced title will lampoon other videogames using typical Simpsons comedy. All of the cast members will be lending their voices to the title, and hints about the type of games we can expect were already available when the press release went out. A mock poster with the words Medal of Homer flying above a war-torn battlefield suggests what we might see in the game. "Described as a 16-level 'action comedy' with a storyline penned by the long-running TV show's long-running writers, the new Simpsons game is due out on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, DS and PSP this autumn. It's being put together by EA Redwood Shores, and is full of touches that EA reckons fans of the series - now 400 episodes old - will find exciting, like individual title animations and stories for each of the 16 levels, which are being treated like episodes."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

CleverNickName (129189) To Keynote PAX May 6 @ 3 AM

Joystiq mentioned earlier this week that two-time Slashdot interview subject Wil Wheaton, world-famous blogger and writer, is scheduled to keynote this year's Penny Arcade Expo. Other headlining elements of this year's geekstravaganza include a Tokyo Games Show trip for the Omegathon winner, and another year of the 'face-melting' Minibosses as the big musical act of the event. From Gabe's Post: "We'll actually be taking a lot of steps this year to make the Omegathon a more important and interactive part of the show experience. I can't say much more about those ideas right now but I can tell you what this year's Omegathon prize will be. I think each year we've been able to out do the previous year's prize and this year is no exception. The winner of the 2007 Omegathon will receive a trip for two to the Tokyo Game Show along with $5,000 is spending money. We'll be taking care of everything for you from airfare to hotel and giving you some cash to spread around once you get there."

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A Web-Head Retrospective May 2 @ 11 PM

In honor of the new movie, 1up has a piece on the site looking at the history of Spider-Man games. While the recent Neversoft and Treyarch titles have been sublime, the deep past of the wall-crawler franchise is more than a little dodgey: "It's a hard point to argue -- early games like Acclaim's Maximum Carnage and Separation Anxiety would just be forgettable Final Fight clones without the Spider-Man license, and most of the famed webslinger's other early games were fairly straightforward platformers with tacked-on Spidey abilities ... Early Spider-Man titles often tasked the webslinger with somewhat arbitrary tasks that seemed like tedious and mundane ways to string together an otherwise paper-thin plot. In Spider Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge, Spidey spent a lot of time running through mazes and searching for bombs, and The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin had him almost aimlessly hunting down his foes hoping to get keys to a bomb. These games failed to make use of one of the things that draws so many to Spider-Man's adventures in the first place: the story."

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Jaffe's Calling All Cars Coming Soon April 30 @ 11 PM

Via Joystiq, the news on David Jaffe's blog is that Calling All Cars will be released soon via the PlayStation Network. The first downloadable title from one of Sony's AAA developers, this marks the start of what should be a string of high-profile games for the service. The initial post about the game 'going gold' appears to have been taken down but Jaffe reviews the reviews that have been released so far, and gives PS3 owners an idea of what they can expect. "Has it been worth the wait? Reviews are slowly coming in, but IGN is calling it 'Sony's first truly original, must-have title on the PlayStation Network' and claiming it bests just about everything on Xbox Live Arcade. Strong words; we'll see for ourselves [this] week."

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Mixed News for Nintendo, Microsoft April 30 @ 9 PM

If you were to just look at downloadable content this week, Wii and 360 owners would have a lot to cheer about. Virtual Console downloads include the (under-appreciated) Legend of the Mystical Ninja and the original Castlevania. Xbox 360 owners can finally sink their teeth into the board-game spectacular that is Settlers of Catan. Classic titles Millipede and Centipede will also be on offer via Xbox Live Arcade. Unfortunately, there are some less cheery things to discuss as well. Virtual Console sales are down, apparently, and some analysts are questioning whether Nintendo's success may be bad for the industry overall. As for the 360 ... the Elite may be bringing back some old problems. 'Red Rings of Death' have already been reported with the just-released consoles, and DRM issues with Live Arcade titles on the 'upgraded' system are making some new owners frustrated.

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Kotaku Games Blog Sued By Jack Thompson April 26 @ 8 PM

Reacting to Kotaku's coverage of comments Thompson made last week about the VA Tech incident, Thompson has sued Kotaku and their parent company Gawker media. He also tried to sic the FBI on them (getting as much success there as he did with the Penny Arcade gents). From GamePolitics' coverage: "Thompson's ire was apparently raised by Kotaku reader comments which the attorney maintains are threatening. He also alleges in the complaint that Kotaku and Gawker declined to remove the menacing posts. The messages in question stem from Kotaku's coverage of Thompson's claims that video games prompted last week's Virginia Tech massacre. The Gawker suit is actually an amendment to an action Thompson filed on March 13th against the Florida bar. On April 11th he amended it to include the members of the Florida Supreme Court. And now Gawker joins the list of defendants."

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