The miscellaneous ramblings and thoughts of Dan G. Switzer, II

Baldur's Gate III and Neverwinter Nights II Announced?!?!

IGN is reporting that an Atari PR rep has announced that Baldur's Gate III and Neverwinter Nights II—or have they?

Just Finished Pandora Tomorrow...

I finished Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow over the weekend. I just bought the original Splinter Cell in January (having just recieved my XBox for Christmas,) and just got down with the game a few days before the new version game out. They're both great games, but I was a little disappointed with the length of the single player missions in SC:PT. The game play was shorter than what I was hoping for. It's possible I just got through the game quicker than normal, since I was so fresh off of playing the original game. I might have to pick try out XBox live to give playing online a try. I hate that Microsoft charges you to play online. I think I'm going to have to buy the PS/2 version of multiplayer games just to avoid paying a service charge for online play.

It's Back.... Bard's Tale!!!

The game franchise that really hooked me on computers, gaming and fantasy-based products has finally been revived by Brian Fargo. The franchise is no other than Bard's Tale.

I spent many a day and night in my youth playing the Bard's Tale series on my Commodore 64. The first Bard's Tale is a RPG classic, one I spent many hours trying to complete, most of those hours spent trying to map out a tower full of teleportation traps. (God, I wish I could recall the name of the tower, it was in the lower left hand of the map.) Bard's Tale 2 was a great follow up, but I was disppointed in the third installment—by that time the amount of damage you did was way out of hand and I wasn't a big fan of the jumping around from universe to universe.

I'm interested to see how the new franchise goes. It looks like the rendition of the series is going to be more comedy based. I don't recall there being a ton of humor in the first one, but that's cause a lot of it could have gone over my head at the time.


First peek at Sony Portable PSP?

After months of speculation, Sony unveiled a single piece of concept art which indicates what its forthcoming PSP game deck might look like. At Sony's Corporate Strategy Meeting, held today in New York City, the concept art of the PSP showed a thin, rounded rectangular handheld game deck with a 4.5-inch 16:9 letterbox LCD screen, sporting a snap-on cover and hand lanyard.


MIPS R4000 32-bit core
128-bit bus
1-333MHz (1.2V)
8MB eDRAM main memory
2.6Gbps bus bandwidth
FPU, VFPU (2.6 billion flops)
3D graphics extended instructions
I Cache, D Cache


Kid's Play

Ok, I feel old. This were all great games—many of the old arcade games I still prefer to the newer ones. I now understand why so many kids have attention deficit disorders.

Would today's tykes tolerate the classic games you grew up with? Kids do say the darndest things in this uncut version of an EGM article—now with a bonus game not included in the original story!

Half-life 2 Source Code Stolen...

It seems the source code for Half-life 2 has been making its rounds around the Internet lately.

The theft of part of its source code has delayed until April 2004 the launch of "Half Life II," the hotly anticipated alien-hunting game of Vivendi Universal Games, a company official said.

"A third of the source code was stolen," VU Games president of international operations Christophe Ramboz told daily Les Echos in its Tuesday edition. "It's serious because it forces us to delay the launch of the game by at least four months, that is to April 2004. Just the time to rewrite parts of the game."

My feeling is they're using stolen source code as an excuse for the delay to April 2004. I can't understand why they would think they need to re-write things completely just to release the game. Granted, I haven't looked at the code to see what aspects of the game are in there, but I can't see why you'd need to re-write the whole thing.

TV Tuner/Monitor/Camera's for the Gameboy Advanced SP

Several manufacturers have announced add-on products for the Gameboy Advanced SP which will allow you to turn your GBASP into a TV Tuner/Monitor. While I'm not sure why turning your GBASP into a monitor is necessary, the TV tuner could prove useful at sporting events or while camping. I suppose the one use I could see for turning your GBASP into a monitor would be if the LCD display on your camera or camcorder was dead—then you could pipe in the display for those devices into the GBASP. For more information on these products, go check out Lik-Sang's website.

TV Tuner Adapter and Wireless Audio/Video Displayer (with optional Camera!) announced for GBA SP

Video Games Get Updated Rating System

Four new categories designed to specify different types of violence have been added to video game ratings.

Effective immediately, "cartoon violence" will be defined as when "a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted." "Fantasy violence" is when the actions involve "characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life."

While I definitely think it's worth having some rating system, it doesn't seem like enough parent's pay attention to it. While I think Grand Theft Auto series is great (Vice City is awesome,) it's definitely a game that should be only played by adults. I've seen way to many kids convince their parent's there's nothing wrong with it. My kids will probably hate me, because I'll know as much about the games they want as they do. :)

Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide Trailer...

Bioware has released the movie they demoed at E3 with game footage of Shadows of Undrentide—the new extension pack for Neverwinter Nights. The video is about 10 minutes long and walks through the new features, skills, creatures, spells, etc that were introduced in the game.

Shadows of Undrentide Trailer

Half-life 2 Trailer...

Ok, today's "Video Link Day". There's a couple of links to media files I've been meaning to post.

Valve Software recently released some in game footage from the Half-Life 2 engine—talk about gorgeous! If you haven't seen the footage yet, go download a copy of the video from my ftp server. This game has some of the most realistic backgrounds I've seen. The environment visuals look very, very good.

Half-Life 2 DivX Trailer

Jakks TV: Atari, Namco, Activision and more!

Looking for more classic gaming at a relatively low cost? Then check out Jakks TV. I've got to say, the Namco looks like the best one, I just wish they would have included Galaga instead of Galaxian. Anyway, you should be able to pick these up for under $30, I even saw the Atari unit for under $20—of course it's been out for 6 months. Anyway, they should be very cool cheap novelty toys.

Cool Gameboy Advanced Site...

I found a cool site for Gameboy Advanced products called Gameboy-Advanced.net. Go figure! Anyway, lots of cool stuff on there. I'm especially interested in the "linkers" they sell. I'm still reading up on them, but it sounds like a good way to play old NES games on my GBASP. :)

Classic Gaming Site: Uncle Clive

Well surfing last night—to see if there's a way to tell how much battery life is left in my GBA SP—I came across this Uncle Clive's website—which is dedicated to gaming, with an emphasis on classic gaming.

I especially got a kick out of this old TV commericial:
I'm about to show you something new for Intellivision which will revolutionise the way videogames are played and compared.

There's also a link to a game called Super Mario Pac—which was developed by Matt Verran of Hermit Games after seeing a spoof game that was on Uncle Clive's website a while back.


The Perfect Game Controller For Sadist Everywhere!

Ok, for all you sadist out there that who live their gaming lives "no pain, no gain" here's the game controller mod for you! Kevin Rose, from The Screen Savers, posted this mod for replacing one of the rumble motors in the XBox controller w/a pest controller shocker. This way you feel a small electronic charge every time you take damage in a game. I wonder how long it'll take for someone to seriously injury themselves with this one. :) Personally, my tolerance for electricity is very low. I've had to take several EGK to test my carpal tunnel and I hate the feeling of electricity running through my body. I find it very uncomfortable.

Build an XShoK Controller

I Picked Up a Gameboy Advanced SP...

Well, I bought a Gameboy Advance SP this weekend. I was playing around with one at the store the other day and was really impressed. The GBA now had some really good classic arcade games game packs that where pretty cheap, so I bought the Konami Collector's Series, Namco Museum and I also picked up Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3.

I haven't played around with it enough to give a full review, but I had no problems viewing the backlit TFT screen outside in the sun yesterday while at the campgrounds. There's nothing like playing Rush'n'Attack while sitting in a lawn chair lounging around at the lake on a Sunday. :) I'd like to pick up one of those "eReaders"—there's a ton more classic arcade games for the eReader which are all under $5.