Eye Catching, 23-27 September 2013

Gamer News

With the first day of Autumn (in the northern hemisphere), comes crisp days, warm drinks, and the next stage of the console wars.  Which console, and more importantly, which games will win big this holiday season?  Articles comparing and contrasting Xbox One and the Playstation 4 have inundated the internet.  Yannick LeJacq of NBC News added his voice to the debate, comparing the two consoles and reminding his readers that regardless of the machine’s power, what matters is if that power is used by the game developers.  One of the more amusing articles related to these two consoles was also penned by LeJacq: “Yes you CAN plug a PS4 into an Xbox One, but please don’t.”

To read these stories, one would be forgiven if one thought Nintendo was not an option this holiday season. A quick scan of recent headlines would appear to support this impression, with one of the more recent stating that Nintendo had “Fallen on Hard Times.”  Yet, hope springs eternal in the fight for gamers’ attention.  Earlier this week, Valve announced that they were continuing their push to enter our living rooms, despite the pessimism shown by the business community.

As a gamer, I’m very excited about Steam OS – I get tired of sitting at a keyboard all the time (first at my job, then while I game).  Bringing the Steam Library to my living room will make things more comfy.  But this returns to LeJacq’s original point.  What matters are the games.  Steam OS is attractive more because I can play games from my steam library away from my desktop.  The PS4 and Xbox One are powerful, but only as good as the games made for them.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be treated to a greater showcase of which games will be available on which system, along with exclusive titles and bundle deals.  And that is what will decide the winner of this iteration of the console war. ~ Star

* Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: How do they measure up under the hood?NBC News

* Microsoft: Yes, you CAN plug a PS4 into the Xbox One, but please don’tNBC News

* Once Dominant Nintendo Falls on Hard TimesTwin Cities Pioneer Press

Community Interests

Some of you may have seen Wired’s slideshow guide to Comic-Con’s street preachers earlier this summer.  One of the groups featured in that show contained a positive, inviting message which, in my opinion, is sorely needed from more professed Christians.  Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I will say that the group from the St. Andrews-by-the-Sea Episcopal church is in the same diocese region where I worship.  I’m not afraid to say that I’m a gamer and Christian, nor do I find the two to conflict, so when James McAteer’s article, “God Loves Nerds,” came across my desk this week, I was thrilled.   What McAteer and the group from St. Andrews show is that, despite the noise and hatred spewed by other churches and church groups, this is not a majority sentiment across Christian churches.  Others just happen to yell more loudly.  The encouragement and compassion shown by the St. Andrews group is highly welcome and, in this Christian’s opinion, reflects the character of God and believers more accurately. ~ Sandra

* From Christ to Cthulu: A Field Guide to the Street Preachers of Comic-ConWired

* God Loves Nerds – John McAteer @ Video Ut Intellectum

On Our Gaming Radar

A heads up regarding the new MMO, Nosgoth.  Where have you heard that name?  Oh yes, the Legacy of Kain and Soul Reaver series.  I admit it, I played every game multiple times.  I had a poster of Kain on my wall through the late 90s, and I even have favorite lines.  (“I AM the night shift.”)  Will I be playing this MMO?  Well, it’s free to play, so perfect for my budget.  But!  Will there be micro-transactions?  Will it really not be pay to win, as the developers claim?  More importantly, can Square Enix and Psyonix successfully translate the world of Nosgoth into a PvP MMO?  Can it stand on its own without Kain and Raziel and their deeply layered story?  Time will tell.  The developers are currently taking applications for the closed alpha and beta. – Star

Next week’s Guild Wars 2 patch sees the return of the game’s most recent villain, Scarlet Briar.  And the patch is coming in with a lot of promotional fanfare.  It began today with an MLP PvP invitational tournament, a week long free trial, a sale on the Digital Heroic edition, a 30% off sale in the in-game store on the Recovery Package, and two contests sponsored by Alienware for North American free trial users.

Hype much?  Well probably, but we’re still pretty excited about this next patch.  Scarlet’s invasion at the end of August was a lot of fun as her minions invaded a different region every hour.  Being able to fight with hundreds of other players at once was quite taxing on FPS, very good for farming nice loot, and did I mention a lot of fun?  We stayed out of the Tequatl Rising both because of the difficulty in coordinating with others on our server during our normal playing times, and because the reports of FPS pain didn’t seem to bode well for our gamer-on-budgets machines.  Twilight Arbor, though, should be a bit more manageable since it’s a dungeon, even revamped and extended as they’re promising, which means our small guild will be able to coordinate more easily (we hope!) to face Scarlet again.  Bring it on! – Sandra


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