Joined 12/04/2012

Resident Opinionated Linux Gaming Geek.

6 Posts

I signed up for the Paladins Console Beta at a little while ago. Being a fan of the game on PC (I run it on Linux under Wine) and already being familiar with Hi-Rez Studios' PS4 port of their exciting action MOBA, Smite, this was a no-brainer. Didn't expect to get an invite any time soon as I'm not a pro-tier player and rarely play in the competitive queue. However, I did get my invite…to the closed Alpha test.

Hi-Rez seems committed to making games that fans like to play. They also like to encourage people to play with friends. Smite often has weekends where there are bonuses for being in a party and Paladins has a permanent bonus for playing with a friend or two. That's why they included two keys.

If you have a PS4 and you're interested in joining an alpha test of an incredible team-focused objective-based 5v5 shooter, let me know. Be aware that the Alpha is just that: Alpha. There are some game-breaking bugs right now and that's likely to be the case until the Beta phase. If this isn't your type of game or you're not likely to commit to playing at least three times a week, PLEASE don't ask for the key.

You don't have to be my friend on PSN, but it sure wouldn't hurt to have someone else to play with.

NOTE: I will probably wait a couple of days to gather responses before randomly giving the key away. Also, this is not the only place I have offered the key. I'm not trying to make this a giveaway, but I'd like to be sure that someone interested in the development of the game gets in to the Alpha phase.
Pixeljunk just released the definitive version of their tower defense classic, PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate. It's been released on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux, so no one has to feel left out. For added incentive, it's 50% off this entire week (in the US, at least).

Ever since Valve said, "This Steam boat's going down the Linux river without a paddle...or without sticks" or something to that effect, I've been waiting to see who's onboard. Until now, it's been a pretty one-sided affair with a whole mess of them indie-types: rough around the edges, but a pleasure to talk to and will show you pretty art upon request. After that it's just Captain Gaben and the Valve crew telling old stories of aliens and portals and counter-terrorism. Not the newest tales 'cause those are in a different boat, but they're still fun to hear again.

Ok. I can't maintain that metaphor any longer. I'm glad to see a mid-level indie developer with serious clout like PixelJunk showing Linux support on day one. It means there's one more quality title that will be available when the Steam Machines arrive.

EDIT: Wanted to throw a link to the Ultimate dev's homepage:

Tesla Effect is the forthcoming sixth installment in the Tex Murphy series of adventures. Tesla Effect provides closure to a "To Be Continued..." promise made to fans 15 years ago.

In this interview with the Gameological Society (, Chris Jones and Aaron Conners talk about bringing Tex Murphy and company back to the fans. At one point, there was a consideration of making a casual version of the series, which neither felt would do justice to the series.

If you never played Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive or Overseer, you missed some of the best gaming created for the adventure genre. On par with classics like The Dig and Broken Sword, the Tex Murphy series' clever dialogue, puzzles and story combined for an incredible gaming experience.


Klei Entertainment (Shank, Don't Starve, Mark of the Ninja) have announced a new turn-based tactical espionage game entitled, Incognita. The trailer suggests gameplay similar to Frozen Synapse or X-Com: Enemy Unknown.

Access to the Alpha is via a Steam key redeemable on pre-order of the game. Two things keep from buying in on this one: unemployment, and it's currently Windows only. The first hurdle is up to me, the second is on Klei Entertainment. However, Klei has released their most-recent titles for Mac and Linux both via Humble Bundles and through Steam, so once this one leaves alpha, we Linux users might be able to join in the fun.


Having recently played through the first three R&C titles again, when this became available as a demo on the PSN, I rushed to download it. After about 30 minutes, I rushed just as quickly to delete it, vowing that I would not be suckered in by the promise of a new Ratchet & Clank title again.

Full Frontal Assault is a tower defense game and little more. You protect your base by building towers, laying mines and manually attacking the incoming alien hordes. To power your base, you attack nodes and link them a la Unreal Tournament. The only time the game bears any resemblance to a past R&C title is when you're off collecting bolts to upgrade or build new towers. Unfortunately, there's little time to go platforming because the next wave of baddies appears shortly behind the last.

In fairness, I only played the demo, but that was more than enough. This game makes it apparent that Insomniac has abandoned Ratchet & Clank as a unique property.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted is Just Another Criterion Racer. That may seem dismissive, but it's anything but. Criterion has a knack for making racing games that are equal parts addictive, fun, frustrating and rewarding. NfS:MW is no exception.

It has many of the typical Criterion touches: bright sun reflecting off wet road, leaving you blind; obstacles that blend perfectly with the background; and AI racers that seem hellbent on pummeling you out of their way instead of racing. NfS:MW also includes billboard breaking and gate smashes first seen in Burnout:Paradise. In fact, this game almost feels like Burnout: Paradise 2 at times...with cops.

The single-player is pretty shallow. After taking down the 10 Most Wanted vehicles, there isn't much left to do except the racing equivalent of RPG grinding: find each vehicle, upgrade it and beat all of that vehicle's races. Sure, you can start looking for all of the billboards, gates and vehicles lying around, but that can grow fairly tiresome.

The multiplayer, on the other hand, is great, but not without its shortcomings, too. Taking another cue from Paradise, you can enter multiplayer with a few presses of the D-pad. Once online, Speedlists (sets of 5 challenges or races) keep the gameplay moving. The event types are not limited only to races. There are team races, where takedowns can be just as vital as winning the race, and speedtests, small challenges like performing drifts, near misses or jumps, to keep the action fresh.

If you're a fan of past Criterion racing games, the gameplay of this title won't disappoint.