Slow News Thursday

By John Walker on July 24th, 2008 at 6:05 pm.

Image CC via Wikimedia Commons

Not exactly the hottest day for gaming news. So for your entertainment, here are some of today’s least essential PC gaming stories:

Out From The Cold
With remarkable timing, the recent revived Microïds have launched a website for the Syberia series of games. That would be Syberia from 2002 (a surprisingly decent point and click adventure) and Syberia II from 2004 (a surprisingly tedious point and click adventure). Four years zip by, and now they’ve got a website! (From which you can buy and download either for €15 – the first one’s worth a go if you’re an adventure fan. If you’re not, you’ll hate its mobile-phoney-clockworky-walk-back-and-forthy nonsense).

Crossed Lines
Crossfire, a new multiplayer FPS for PC due this Autumn has revealed its first screenshots. Which look awfully familiar.

Count... I mean Crossfire.

We’re not suggesting anything improper at all. And apparently the game is already a huge success in Korea, and interestingly, Vietnam. We are, however, going to suggest that this line from the game’s site isn’t all that sensible:

“The game boasts sophisticated graphics while using a unique system allowing the game to run smoothly even on low-end PCs.”

Casual Junkies
MUST PLAY MORE! GET OUT MY WAY! WHAT KIDS? LEAVE ME ALONE!

According the a survey carried out by King – a site that takes casual games and then has players bet on themselves… wait, no, not bet.. gamble… no not that, um, place money that they will perform better at the game of skill than the others and then win the money the others placed at the end? – women are crazed casual game junkies. They don’t quite put it like that. They invited five of their female players, aged between 34 and 71, as had them speak as a panel at the Casual Connect games conference in Seattle. Using all the science available, they draw some remarkable conclusions based on this vast pool of five people:

• While statistics state women typically spend 7.4 hours per week playing games, the panelists cited they play between 5 and 10 hours per day
• Playing casual games is often the first thing women do when they wake up. They check their ranking and play for between 2-3 hours every morning
• Trivia games are played with the family while action games are played alone
• Women are increasingly playing to compete against each other and not simply to relax. All panelists cited “competition” as their driving motivation
• While community was an important aspect of their online playing experience, none of the panelists had a Facebook profile and two had a MySpace profile

5 to 10 hours a DAY? These women need help! Swap “games” for “heroin” and see how it reads! (Hey – if they can draw conclusions worthy of a press release from a sample size of five, I can make ridiculous hyperbolic straw man arguments like that, right?) These people don’t have time to create profiles on Facebook. It’s valuable definitely-not-gambling on Chuzzle time, OKAY? This is the best bit of unscientific nonsense I’ve seen in so long. I’m just going to take a survey to find out what are the most common names in the world. I’m asking me… 100% of people are called John Walker!

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35 Comments »

  1. TheLordHimself says:

    I can’t believe games like Crossed Lines can get away with stuff like that.

    While? 7.4 is pretty much as “between 5 and 10″ as you get, give or take a tenth.

    I’m not sure if I understand what you meant by that correctly, but 7.4 hours per WEEK against 5 – 10 per DAY is a pretty huge difference, so I think “While” is quite appropriate there.

  2. John Walker says:

    I misread it horribly! Fixed.

    Thanks God!

  3. dhex says:

    35 to 70 hours a week playing bejeweled?

    i know it’s digital crack and all, i have a hard enough time wrapping my head around the folks who play wow that much. (full disclosure: i benefit from the secondary market in salacious tales of lives being destroyed over the connections made in the grind-a-thon.)

  4. Cooper says:

    Usually, litigation and games makes me roll my eyes. But – bloody hell – valve, time to lace-up your solicitors…

    Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkZr_l1AmJY
    Now, I’m assuming it’s not gonna ship with this level?

  5. hydra9 says:

    Playing casual heroin is often the first thing women do when they wake up.

    Brilliant!

  6. LlamaFarmer says:

    Can John or anyone else suggest a decent recent adventure game similar in quality to the first Syberia? Quite a lot of adventure games out these days but none of them seem that good (Tried Ankh demo – argh not funny, same with Sam and Max: Abe Lincolm Must Die). Found myself enjoying Still Life, despite a fairly negative review in PCG. Is that Secret Files: Tunguska game ok for an adventure games fan (not fan boy)?

  7. Alan Au says:

    The trouble with the Syberia games is that the story is spread across two games. That is, they take a perfectly serviceable 15-hour game, pad it out to 30-hours with boring filler, and then force people to buy it in two installments.

  8. RichPowers says:

    LOL @ Crossfire. I’d love to see a knock-off version of Team Fortress 2. Meet the Explosivesman! Meet the Sharpshooter! And Meet the Mechanic!

  9. Zeitgeist says:

    I think you are wastly underestimating Syberia 1, it is one of the best adventure games made

  10. Steelfist says:

    Oh come on….

    He even runs faster with the knife!!!

    It doesn’t even run on the source engine… They went out of their way to copy CS…

  11. J. Prevost says:

    Zounds. That game looks pretty much identical to CS. I mean, down to things like Steelfist mentioned (the knife faster running thing) and the style of the kill indicators in the top right.

    Wow.

  12. Frank says:

    Wow, what a slow day for news. Could’ve written about Kongai…

  13. terry says:

    Microids? The creators of venerable budget cops-v-robbers game Chicago 90? :O

  14. DarkXaero says:

    Its not a slow day for PC gaming news when GTA IV gets confirmed for PC which happened.

    http://image-002.yo2cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/94/9457/2008/07/dsc00560.jpg

  15. Dean says:

    LlamaFarmer: The Lost Crown is decent – a bit arty but quite fun.

  16. Larington says:

    In other news the latest free add-on pack for Lord of the Rings Online has just been released. You know, that game no one seems to talk about anymore. ;-/

  17. Yhancik says:

    Lord of the Ring ? is that an online boxing game ?

  18. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Crossfire makes me sad, because not enough people are making fun of it.

  19. LlamaFarmer says:

    Thanks Dean. Game’s a bit pricey at the moment for me, but it’s on Gamersgate with lots of adventure games, so I might try out one of the cheaper ones there (I liked the Barrow Hill demo) and give The Lost Crown a go when it goes down in price. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to give them :)

  20. caramelcarrot says:

    hurrah @ GTA4 on PC. I played it quite a bit on a friend’s xbox360 and am now feeling lonely. I wonder how they’re going to handle the far more subtle driving needed, given the lack of an obvious analog accelerator to use…

  21. John Walker says:

    Llama – Secret Files isn’t very good at all.

    If you didn’t play Ben There, Dan That, it’s superb.
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/07/17/ben-there-dan-that/

    Other than that, the genre is in such a dire state I recommend plundering the AGS archives for top-rated indie games:
    http://www.bigbluecup.com/games.php

  22. LlamaFarmer says:

    Yeah finished Ben There, Dan That today, and it got me in the mood for more adventure games, it was actually funny, unlike the examples I gave above. The reason I like Syberia and Still Life are that they are pretty as well as being good, so although I do enjoy AGS games, sometimes I want something…I dunno, nicer to look at? I’m far from graphics mad, but…well…I still like pretty games :) . Everytime I see a new adventure game I get excited, Dracula being the most recent, only for it to turn out mediocre or worse, like all the rest of them. It’s so frustrating! And it’s always you that dashes my hopes! How hard can it be to make a decent, modern adventure game?

  23. Chris R says:

    @Caramelcarrot:

    I actually like driving with the keyboard more than a mouse with the GTA series… I feel like I have more precision with the keyboard than I do with the thumbsticks while driving, so I’m sure it’ll be fine. Also, you can hook up a controller to use when driving I’m sure, a few friends did that for Vice City and SA on the PC.

  24. Colinmarc says:

    “Wait, Mr. Yang, I’ve got it!”
    “Yes, Jimmy?”
    “We make an *exact* copy of that Counter-Strike game!”
    “Brilliant!”

    I really don’t see how that happened…

  25. malkav11 says:

    Uh, GTA IV PC is not anywhere close to confirmed. If it were, I hardly think PC Gamer Malaysia would be the first to hear about it. (no offense, Malaysians.)

    Also, it is very difficult to recommend anything to someone who is so alien as to not find Abe Lincoln Must Die! funny.

  26. mister slim says:

    LlamaFarmer: The Lost Crown

    For a moment I thought that was the title of a game. Where are the llama farming sims anyway?

  27. Aldo says:

    Uh, GTA IV PC is not anywhere close to confirmed. If it were, I hardly think PC Gamer Malaysia would be the first to hear about it. (no offense, Malaysians.)

    I read about that somewhere else. Basically they did a preview based on the console versions and added ‘it’ll probably be on PC, we think’.

  28. James T says:

    Is the reason you didn’t post the Duke Nukem Trilogy trailer here because said trailer is IMPORTANT, AWESOME news?

    (or becaus it’s from last week? …I don’t care.)

  29. aldo says:


    Is the reason you didn’t post the Duke Nukem Trilogy trailer here because said trailer is IMPORTANT, AWESOME news?

    Or because it’s PSP and DS? (at least at present)

  30. Okami says:

    In other news: Final Fantasy XIII for the pc has been confirmed.

    http://kotaku.com/5028961/of-course-final-fantasy-xiii-is-pc-bound

  31. AbyssUK says:

    Also in other news;
    http://kotaku.com/5028834/wallace–gromit-get-the-telltale-treatment

    Wallace and Gromit by telltale i.e. Sam and Max with British comedy (hopefully)

  32. James T says:

    Or because it’s PSP and DS? (at least at present)

    Damn! (although that explains a lot.) Oh well, The Trailer is all I need.

  33. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Chris R: I was fine driving using the keyboard in previous GTA iterations, but they’ve tightened up the driving model in GTA4 to make it a fair bit less arcadey. As such, you really need analogue acceleration and braking unless you want to skid all over the shop.

    @ Okami: Except they haven’t really confirmed it. The quote they’re basing it off is a little vague:

    [Final Fantasy XIII] is being built on PC, where it’s actually functional

    From here.

  34. aldo says:

    Damn! (although that explains a lot.) Oh well, The Trailer is all I need.

    Aye, think so. Although there is maybe possibly a chance of a PC port. Perhaps.

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    There seem to be many “how to win on online casinos ebooks” etc. Has anybody ever tried any of these? Do any of the systems work?