Mechwarrior 4 — Free at last, free at last!

Studio MekTek’s free version of Mechwarrior 4 has finally been released after years of hard work and miles of red tape. Unfortunately, this momentous occasion has been plagued by server crashes, buggy software, and a lot of empty feelings.

The release went live on May 3rd, but the site’s servers quickly crashed due to heavy traffic. I was finally able to download the client in the late evening — but it didn’t get any better.

The game file is about 1.7 gigs, and to help you download it, MekTek has MacGyvered (I’m sure duct tape and chewing gum were involved) a client that’s somewhere between Steam and uTorrent. The client is called MekTek X, or MTX, and it is riddled with problems. I haven’t been able to run MTX without it freezing — at which point I have to force close it and open it again to resume operation.

If you’ve got the resolve and determination of a Marine in boot camp, then you might actually get the game installed. As a reward, the game will launch and crash, asking you to insert disc 2. To overcome this problem you’ll need to revisit your old friend MTX and update the game. I’ve updated the game three or four times so far without any success.

I’ll let you know when I finally get the game running. After that I’ll write a review since MekTek has added many new features and improvements to the rusty metal classic.

If you get the game running before me, post a comment and gloat!

Coming Soon (to a gob near you)

I apologize for going over a week without posting something new. I’ve been hard at work creating a new rating system for The G.OB.’s game reviews. Just a hint, it’s delicious 😉

In that vein, I will be writing reviews more often and posting them for your reading pleasure… when you actually get a few moments away from your platform of choice, of course. If you would like to submit a review for publishing, you are welcome to send it to gamingobserver@gmail.com for consideration.

Other than that, sit back and enjoy a taco.

28 days later…

I’m still no closer to buying an iPad

Huger?

I recently read an article in New York News Today … when I say “in” I mean on their website of course. The G.OB. doesn’t get his fingers dirty with old fashioned newspapers. The article was another run-of-the-mill “PC gaming isn’t dead!” soapbox sermon with two notable exceptions: First, the author did a lot of research and fleshed out a lot of her ideas pretty well. Second, she used the word “huger,” as in, “[PC gaming has] a back catalogue several hundred orders of magnitude huger than any other gaming system.” emphasis added.

What a mouthful! Let’s break it down — several — hundred — orders of magnitude — HUGER — than any other gaming system. Throw in “magical” and you have an Apple promotion. With the exception of that ridiculous statement, the article’s pretty good and I’ve added a link at the end of this post.

I think we can all agree that PC gaming isn’t dead, but is it huger? No, because an awful adjective like “huger” is an insult to the sophistication of PC gaming.

Original article: http://newyorknewstoday.com/classic-gaming/06942

Time and Video Games

I’m finding that as I get older, I have less and less time for games. When I was younger, I could spend an entire Saturday morning playing Mega Man 2 or whatever the flavor of the month was. Now, it seems that I can only spare an hour here and there when I’m lucky. I guess this (losing time) is growing up, and it seems that games are growing up with me.

I’ve noticed a somewhat interesting trend in gaming over the years. It seems that as my available time for games decreases, the time investment for a game is also diminishing. During the eras of the NES through the PS1, it seemed rather reasonable to expect an investment of around 20 hours to complete a game. During the Xbox and PS2 generation, I noticed that many AAA titles only yielded approximately 10-15 hours of gameplay. Some examples may include Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Halo, God of War, Call of Duty, and many others. Finding a game that offered many hours of entertainment seemed like a rarity, and when found, was a prized title — Think GTA, KOTOR, Final Fantasy, and others.

In our current generation of gaming, the prices are higher, but the yield is lower. Many new titles that I have played were shorter than 10 hours. For example, I bought Call of Duty: MW2 when it was released (like everyone else). I opened the game that following Saturday morning and finished the single player campaign before lunch — it lasted all of 5 hours. In my opinion, it was not worth the hype or my $60… Multi-player was only fun for about another weekend before I packed it in a box and sent it off to Amazon for a straight trade for Assassin’s Creed 2 (a much more enjoyable single player experience). The shrinking single player experience is even shortening from sequel to sequel. I finished Mass Effect 1 from beginning to end, completing a majority of side missions, in roughly 32 hours (ahh, the joy of seeing your play time tracked in your game saves). Mass Effect 2 only took 23 hours, again I completed many side missions and explored all the planets.

I just find it fascinating that the less time I have for video games, it seems the less time they have for me.