Massive Sins of a Solar Empire Balance Changes

Ironclad released today a crazy-huge set of balance changes for Sins of a Solar Empire and the Entrenchment expansion, viewable in the forum announcement. I think it’s great that they’ve listened to the community and addressed game balance, now a year and a half from initial release. Real service to their customers.

Still reading over the changes, and while many of them seem beneficial (in that they just generally increase abilities or ship damage) a lot of the changes address shortcomings to ships in relation to abilities and starbases found in Entrenchment. Specifically, the siege vessels have all been increased in power and reduced in cost due to their difficulty in operating against starbases or other defensive installations.

The most exciting change I see is the update to the Halcyon Carrier of the Advent faction. The note from Ironclad reads: “Halcyon Carrier:
Adept Drone Anima reworked – now grants 1/2/3 extra squadrons instead of 1/2/3 extra strikecraft per squadron.” More squadrons = goodness! Now it can be a serious carrier.

Gonna have to try these options out in multiplay soon.

Rolling on With Katamari Forever

Great LAN party. I had my fill of Demigod, and Company of Heroes and Team Fortress was fun as well. Mostly it was great to get to see people from out of town, and get some serious discussion of PAX done!

Had a chance to close out the weekend with some more Katamari Forever. The game is cool and real casual, but I take it way too seriously. Some of the levels are pretty tricky with how you should go through them (specifically the Venus-building money level in the forgetful King’s Cosmos), and I just can’t do it well. Even though it’s a little frustrating, it’s fun to keep retrying.

However, a couple of the levels I managed to score a 120 out of 100, and that’s supremely satisfying. The King dialog is great as well, his feigned surprise at your scoring over the total amuses me greatly. The dialog throughout the game is great, and I especially like the insulted tones in which each of the kings address you if you start rolling before they’re done telling you the goals of a level. It’s the details on this game that make it more than just rolling up a bunch of crap on a ball.

Day 2 of LAN Begins

Liveblogging for Saturday below:

LAN Party Begins!

Let’s do it up right. Liveblogging below:

That Little Guy Is So Cute!

I don’t know if it’s the wagging tail, the boundy leaps, or the fact that flowers sprout where footsteps fall, but that little creature from Okamiden on DS is adorable. New trailer below shows cuteness glory:

Gratuitous Space Battles

I laughed so hard when I saw this game: Gratuitous Space Battles. At first glance it looks like a ridiculous concept, but the strategy occurs before the game. You design your ships from modular components, set their behavior, and then let them fly. Big emphasis on huge explosions and laser blasts. Pretty much it’s how Strong Bad would design a video game.

Release Dates Keep Dropping

New Super Mario Brothers Wii now coming November 15. Perfect time for a holiday release. This game will sell like if you could have a game that would make hotcakes come out of your Wii.

Splinter Cell: Conviction comes out for PC and 360 on February 23rd. Once a month only for so-so movie releases, February may contain releases such as Mass Effect 2, BioShock 2, Dante’s Inferno, and White Knight Chronicles.

Finally, although not exactly a release date, Nintendo has announced that the Wii will officially be $50 off, and now retails for $199.99.

I Can Deal With That

A release date for Gran Turismo 5 actually really really really officially no kidding announced. Yes, it’s March 2010, and yes, that’s the Japan-only date, but hey, it’s within the next twelve months! Hopefully we’ll see it in the US by June. There was a 3-month lag (Dec 28, ’04 and Feb 22, ’05) for the Japan and North America releases for Gran Turismo 4, so hopefully this will be pretty much the same thing.

Katamari FOREVEEEEER!!!

Wow so I’m a little ashamed I completely missed the release date of Katamari Forever. Which was yesterday. Which I missed. Blah.

But never fear! I picked up the game at the game hut, and popped it into my Pea Ess Three. The insanity picked up from there. I was treated to flying bunnies, pink pandas, and the Prince himself, along with the Kind and Queen of the Cosmos, and the new RoboKing.

We’ve played through the first couple levels and the same charm and gameplay is there, with some new twists. There are additional goals along with the typical “Grow really big in a short time” goal, making your strategy different from level to level.

Huge graphical update of course. So many objects on the screen at once, the levels are much fuller than the PS2 incarnations. Plus I love the cartoon, brushed art style, really smacked of the hand-drawn look of Valkyria Chronicles, which is a plus in my book.

Glad to be rolling up a katamari again on the new system. Should be fun to play with a group this weekend at the LAN!

Gold Trophies in Mario Kart all Grand Prix Events

At long last, I finally managed to make gold in all events in Mario, woo! I hope Laura has newfound respect for me. Of course I don’t have even close to a decent grade in any of those races, but hey, once step at a time. At least I unlocked a bunch more stuff.

Only took a year and a half.