Three very positive things about the free to play Star Trek Online MMO jumped out at me. One, I didn't have to choose a server to play on, implying that the game will handle bringing players together automatically if and when I get the chance to play online with others. Two, the integration of the Star Trek fiction and window dressing are very good. As a fan of next-gen shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and even Voyager, I am seeing, hearing, and reading a lot of familiar and fun things in this game. The sounds, the text, the environments, even the attitude of the medical hologram all seem to be well done. Lastly, characters are surprisingly customizable, despite only having three career options at the start of the game.
The upcoming launch of PlayStation Vita will be accompanied by a third game in the ModNation Racers franchise, and this one is planning to capitalize on many of the handheld's features to bring a strong set of asynchronous gameplay features as well as community unlocks. The developer, in a post on the PlayStation Blog, addressed concerns that the game won't have a WiFi infrastructure mode for competitive play by citing a desire to innovate instead of simply replicating features from their PS3 and PSP offerings before it.
As a big fan of Deus Ex, I'd been eager to try out Deux Ex: Human Revolution and got my chance thanks to a one-day rental coupon from the local video store chain. I spent a few hours with it and stopped playing during the first mission post-augmentation. So far I've found it to be a high-quality title with a strong identity and style.
Something happens when you play a game with a child, as I've done playing Minecraft together with my 9-year-old daughter. You lose years of gaming experiences, dexterity with controls, and expectations that a game will have limitations you just need to learn to work around. You also gain a greater appreciation for innovations that are fun. Lastly you also get a stark, cold-slap-in-the-face reminder of things that just aren't good enough and need to be fixed. Multiplayer Minecraft has two such problems.
If you've paid any attention to Minecraft you know about its retro, blocky 3D world simulation and how people have a penchant for making tons and tons of YouTube videos about it. Unofficial trailers abound, as do tutorials about the game that many have sunk hours upon hours into. Every world can be very different, and survival mode -- long the bread and butter of the game -- leads players to create their own stories around their exploration of the surface and digging into the earth and stone beneath.
Terraria, on the other hand, sports a 2D sprite-style appearance and has a smaller audience. Also an indie title, but for Windows only as opposed to the multiple-OS friendly Java-based game from Mojang, it is often compared to Minecraft mostly for its open-endedness, but the two are quite different. How different? Let's, ah, dig in.