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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-01-30 08:38:00
A full year after its release, I'm still playing Burnout Paradise. My kid loves cars - specifically cars going ridiculously fast and cars crashing bombastically - both of which Burnout does extremely well. And due to the title track which plays every time you load it up, my kid is now apparently a Guns N' Roses fan. Burnout Paradise is an excellent example of longevity, and I hope the upcoming pay DLC will live up to its promise. Games like this, like Rock Band and hopefully Grand Theft Auto are treated more as platforms to release content on, rather than the archaic and antagonistic "milk the franchise until it's dead" policy.
Electronic Games Monthly; 1989-2009
Games "journalism" is a fairly sketchy industry, but given that, EGM was a solid publication. It was the only games magazine that I would even intermittently purchase. After twenty years of longevity, they were recently bought out, and the physical magazine shut down. Dozens of contributors were fired. Here's wishing the best for all of you.
The new owners' intent is to shift focus to the online 1UP.com business. Sadly, the termination of the employees led to the death of their best content: the 1UP Yours podcast and the The 1UP Show video podcast. The 1UP Yours podcast, in particular, was not only THE BEST videogame podcast, it was one of the best podcasts available in any genre.
Many of the best EGM employees saw the writing on the wall ages ago. Luke Smith (abrasively entertaining) left for the Bungie podcast, and John Davison (perhaps the *heart* of EGM) took off to kick up a site for parents of gamers well before the closure. The 1UP Games For Windows podcast was exceptional as well, until Jeff Green took off for EA, and Shawn Elliot (perhaps THE single most insightful industry pundit) signed up with 2K Boston. Finally, Shane Bettenhausen, the entertaining and ridiculously knowledgeable Sony fanboy is off for Ignition.
That leaves just Garnett Lee to soldier on. I think John Davison, who has been continuing on the podcast despite the affiliation break, will stick around for 1UP Yours' replacement podcast, so I'm hopeful. The Sports Anomaly is apparently continuing, with the fired peeps doing it just for the love of it, so I'll at least have that to offer me solace when I'm stuck in traffic.
What I'm trying to say is boo @ IGN, Gamespot, Game Informer, et al for enduring while their better shuts down. EGM/1UP was the best, and thank you for your efforts.
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-01-29 07:34:52
Diplomacy - Fall 1907
Play the home version by following these forum threads!
England is conquered, and one final exiled fleet has claimed Portugal as a freebooter port. Yo ho, Yo ho, A pirate's life for me!
France swung randomly into Italy (more on that in the German breakdown), but is now also down to their final supply center in Spain.
Italy is back up to three supply centers, but was unable to build a new unit with every original supply center occupied. Until the disbanding of the French army at the end of last turn, every single Italian territory was occupied by five different nations.
Austria continues to get chewed on by Turkey. Austria is the primary force preventing German victory, but if Turkish aggression continues, Austria will at some point have to look to its own defenses.
Turkey reclaimed Sevastopol (one of the most intriguing provinces this game) from the Austrians. Turkey likely would have been toast if Austria hadn't turned around to hold off German victory, and it's interesting to see it they'll continue to feed off of Austria's sacrifice.
Russia. Amazingly still chillin' in Moscow.
Germany is only three supply centers away from victory, with a ridiculously massive military. The four units that just conquered England are currently out of position for further conquest, but it would appear to only be a matter of time.
I briefly want to discuss my first minor setback as the German player. I had an army be completely annihilated by a comedic series of randomness. It was sitting on Venice, which I knew Austria would take. So I decided to attack Rome, cutting Italian support thus keeping Naples in Turkish hands. I could then retreat to Apulia or Tuscany (Piedmont wasn't an option since I was advancing there with another army - the combined forces could have had a lot of fun in the coming turns).
Well, FOR NO GOOD REASON, Turkey abandoned Naples and freely returned it to the Italians. They moved to Apulia, taking away that retreat option. Next, the French, erroneously THINKING THAT TUSCANY WAS A SUPPLY CENTER, convoyed in there. With nowhere to go, my army was crushed by the mocking machinations of fate. El Oh El :D
[Note: It's almost too dark to see, but there is a German fleet in the Barents Sea.]