Sealed for freshness

Ice! Fire! Tv!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | 12:47 PM | by
So imagine my elation when I found out that HBO has acquired the rights to turn my favorite books of all time into a series. That's right, A Song of Ice and Fire is coming to TV. As a huge fan of other HBO series like Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Oz and Entourage, I'm really excited that this is the network that will be doing it. If anyone can honestly tackle the very adult and complex nature of the books, it will be HBO.

A while back George. R. R. Martin emailed me, after I did the "Game of Nerds" storyline. A short while later at Vericon 2006, I was honored to interview Mr. Martin in front of an audience at the convention. He's a really great guy. I asked him about the possibility of an Ice and Fire MMO (which I still want), and I believe we touched on movies as well. I entirely agree with him that the correct route is a series. If you've ever read his books, you know how incredibly vast and complex they are. Too much would have to be truncated for feature films. However with a series, we get a new (presumably) hour each week! Yeah, I'm pretty psyched right now. And I'm glad to see George's work reaching this new level of success. He deserves it!

(If you haven't read the series yet, and trust my word that the books are incredible, start here, with A Game of Thrones.)

So onto other musings. Onto... lost planets, perhaps?

Let's get this out of the way first. Lost Planet's plot and voice acting are painful. I mean they're pretty bad. The plot starts out thin and diluted, and then only gets worse as they try to add layers later in the game. The voice acting and dialogue doesn't do much to help it either. We're talking "You, the master of lockpicking" level stuff here, if you get the reference.

Second, joining multiplayer games is a huge pain in the ass. You choose ranked or unranked, quick match or whatever, then the game searches for games. Thats one screen. Then another screen tells you it found games. Then another brings you to a list of games to choose from. Ok, then half of then are cancelled or full, so you finally find one to join, you get in there, and the host leaves. You have to go all the way back to the first screen and repeat. You get back into a lobby, finally connect to a game, and half the time you get disconnected as soon as the game starts. So it's back to the first screen to start over.

Though Capcom has promised that they'll be patching the multiplayer user interface with improvements, so hopefully this is only temporary.

The upside is that once you get into a match, it's great fun. Actually everything else about the game is great. The single-player missions are fun, the bosses are good, the versus matches are competitive. You also earn ranks by playing multiplayer, which unlocks new character skins and models to use, which is a nice touch.

The learning curve on the controls is a bit high. The controls aren't bad, just different. Things are not where they normally are, so some practice may be required for things to become second nature. I find it annoying that you can't look straight up, or straight down, though.

All in all a fun game. In case you haven't heard, the Crackdown demo scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed. Should still arrive before the end of January, but no definitive date yet. Also the demo won't feature the drop-in co-op of the full-game. You'll need to schedule your co-op experience ahead of time. Not a huge deal, but maybe worth a mention.

CADMedia Writers

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | 08:16 PM | by
We're looking for some new writers for CADMedia. If you're interested in writing about video games, go ahead and shoot us an application and we'll look it over.