Dragon Age

It's been more than two years since BioWare released their last PC game, and announced their latest PC project, Dragon Age. BioWare, however, left their PC followers, hungry, with nothing but a teaser screenshot, a makeshift website, and not much official news.

Furthermore, the release of Jade Empire, and the announcement of Mass Effect, only bolstered my conviction that BioWare has abandoned their PC project.

However, just this morning, I found out that the Dragon Age website was updated, and RPG codex has also posted a collected information, from the Dragon Age forum, posted by David Gaider. Here's the part that I like:

"Dragon Age is not what we'd call an Action RPG. It's much more like a next-generation Baldur's Gate, with a party and a story style pretty similar to that. What you make of that is up to you, but to us the focus here is very much on the storytelling and not so much on the combat..." - David Gaider.

Not an Action RPG is a good thing. Now, the question is: when will this game hit the stores?


Howling Sword

Just recently, I've been listening to two new bands, The Sword and Wolfmother. Both bands are reviving the classics, which is a really good thing.

The Sword
This metal band from Austin, TX, is bringing back the classic sounds of Black Sabbath and the early years of Metallica. Their raw and thick music, and fantasy based lyrics is a huge welcome to my ears.

"Iron Swan" (MP3)
from the album Age of Winters

Listening to this Australian trio's music is a sonic bliss. Their psychedelic and progressive sound has earned them a reputation by being compared to Led Zepellin and Pink Floyd.

"Mind's Eye" (MP3)
from the album Wolfmother


D&D'ing with the Stars

Red Eye, a free newspaper, affiliated with The Chicago Tribune, had an article, on today’s edition, about celebrities who plays Dungeons & Dragons. Amongst them were Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance), Rivers Cuomo (of Weezer), Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons and Futurama), and Vin Diesel. Oddly enough, the article is under the “Pop Culture” column. Ok, so maybe Dungeons & Dragons was more popular than I thought. But now, in the world of online gaming, I think the percentage of people who plays table-top RPG is way down compared during the early and pre-internet eras.

Speaking of online gaming and Dungeons & Dragons, Stormreach, the first Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG, comes out next week. I dislike MMORPGs. I don’t like: the monthly fee, the internet bullies, and, mainly, the people who don’t role-play. But Stormreach is a different story. Is it maybe because I’m hoping, too much, that the D&D veterans will finally come out and beat the crap out of the “Dude” speaking players?


The Great Escape

A few months back, while I was searching for any new topics regarding Planescape: Torment, I stumbled upon a site called The Escapist. It's a free subscription, online magazine that has tons of interesting topics regarding the subculture of gaming. Their topics range from finding love in MMORPGs to the politics of gaming. All of the articles are well-written, and it's a must ,bookmarked, website for all gamers.

Music Release 022106

Here's a couple MP3s for the music releases this week. Nothing is really that impressive, to me at least, except for "Hell is for Heroes", but I do hope you'll enjoy my finds.

Evans Blue
"Cold" (MP3)
From the album The Melodic And Energetic Nature Of Volume

The Loved Ones

"Jane" (MP3)
From the album Keep Your Heart

Hell Is For Heroes

From the album Transmit Disrupt


Flaming Lords

Last Thursday, Empire at War was released, a Star Wars strategy game set in the period between Episodes III and IV. Today, I went to Best Buy to pick up my copy, but I found myself leaving the store with two items on my hand, none of which is Empire at War. Instead of it, I bought a game, Dungeon Lord's Collector's Edition, and a CD, In Flames' Come Clarity.

Dungeon Lords was one of my most anticipated games last year. Unfortunately, it was released (May 2005) unfinished, and was murdered, both, by game critics and PC gamers. I averted myself from buying this disastrous game. Now, however, that they fixed the game and re-released it, I don't have enough reason to avoid it the second time. So far, the game runs smoothly and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I'll write a review sooner, if not later.

I also got the new In Flames album, Come Clarity. I must say that, although Come Clarity is not my favorite In Flames album, the Swedish band has never disappointed me yet.



A solid storyline, for me, is the most important element of a computer game. Because that's what entertains me the most, and keeps me going -playing a game- without respite. RPGs and Adventure games are usually the genres I play since they offer good stories. However, since there are no PC game that boasts an epic storyline at this time, I got myself a book. "Why rely on a computer to entertain you with a story anyways?" I said to myself. After all, books have been a medium and source for/of storytelling for years.

The book that I'm currently reading is entitled Musashi, by Eiji Yoshikawa. It is a fictionalized life story of a historical figure, Miyamoto Musashi, a famous samurai in the 1600. The book contains a lot of historical facts and figures, a view of the Japanese culture, and a lot of passages that you will take into heart. It is also clear that a lot of fictional characters are based on, or inspired by, Musashi. Kenshin of Samurai X is one example.

I haven't finished the whole book yet, and I'm not even half way. But, at this point, I am convinced that this book is an epic samurai tale. I recommend it to anyone.


Bundles of Fun

People are usually broke during the new year -the aftermath of the holiday seasons- and I'm no exception. The good thing is cheap game bundles are abundant during this time of the year. Here are some of my recommendations.

Gothic II: Gold Edition

The gold edition includes Gothic II, and the expansion pack, Night of the Raven, which was never released in North America. Gothic II is an open-ended RPG with a strong storyline and interesting characters. The bundle costs $20, and it's worth it even if you're just after the expansion.

Silent Storm: Gold Edition

Silent Storm is a squad tactical turn-based RPG in a World War II setting. The rich character development; and two seperate, and non-linear, campaigns promises gameplay longevity. The bundle contains Silent Storm and the Sentinels expansion, and can be bought for a cheap price of $20.

SpellForce: Platinum Edition

As of now, SpellForce is probably the most successful RTS/RPG hybrid. The platinum edition pack includes the original game and the two expansions, Breath of Winter and Shadow of the Phoenix. Each campaign boasts 60 hours of gameplay. The bundle costs $20.

Command & Conquer: The First Decade

This DVD bundle includes all 12 Command & Conquer games, and a commerative video that includes interviews and tributary videos from fans. The bundle costs $40, a little bit expensive from my other recommendations, but it's really worth the price.


6 Games for 2006

The long drought is over and PC gaming will flourish well this year. Windows Vista, a new OS that will focus on PC gaming might make it on the market late this year. Not only that, 2006 have a very promising line up of games. Although, with my tight budget, I'm going to limit myself with six games.

Neverwinter Nights 2

Neverwinter Nights, although its single player campaign was beyond salvage, is one of my favorite Dungeons & Dragons RPG because of its toolset, and large community. This time, however, in the hands of Obsidian Entertainment, I have no doubt that the sequel will have a solid single player campaign (if the game is not buggy or unfinished like Knights of the Old Republic II). Besides the story, I'm also excited to see the capabilites of the new toolset.

Age of Pirates

Sea Dogs was the first pirate RPG I've played. I was very excited when Sea Dogs 2 was announced in 2003. But my excitement didn't last long when Disney Interactive bought the game, dumbed it down for the children, and renamed it to Pirates of the Carribean. Hopefully, this time, since Pirates of the Carribean 2 is on its way, Disney will stay out and keep Age of Pirates the true sequel to Sea Dogs.

The Witcher

Since this game is based on a fantasy novel that is famous in Poland, I have no doubts that this will have a strong storyline. I'm also excited about the atmosphere of the gameworld which has more grit and grime than your actual medieval fantasy based RPG.

Gothic III

The Gothic series captivated me from the start with its freeform gameplay, explorable world, and nice storyline. This time, with the better graphics and a much bigger world to explore, I expect nothing less from the sequel.

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth

Thinking that this game is based on the world created by H.P. Lovecraft, the master writer of horror, makes my spine shiver in anxious anticipation. Already out on the XBOX, I can't wait for it to come out on PC and experience the much hyped feature: the "Sanity" system.

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey 2

The Longest Journey is probably one of the most beautiful games ever made. Great story, strong characters, and unique game environment. If Dreamfall could top its predecessor...I'd be in heaven.


The Upcoming Year

It's been almost a month since the last time I wrote something here. In truth, I'm not that busy. I was just uninspired. I'm tired of waking up early to go to my clincal site. I'm getting sick of all the generic and whiny music that has been coming out lately. I'm sick and tired of PC gaming, prioritizing the development of physics and graphics rather than focusing on the gameplay and story. I almost gave up...but I found a small flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

Just yesterday, I checked a site called Shoutweb, which is my source for all new music in the past five years, and found out about a band called Portugal The Man. I downloaded two of their songs "Marching with 6" and "Stables & Chairs". I was impressed and got their album. I'll write a review of it sometime soon. The website also had a list of upcoming albums and new artists this year. I found a couple few to be interesting and will defintely keep an eye - or an ear - on them.

Also, a few days ago. Gamespot released a lengthy list of upcoming games this 2006. Some of them I already expect, but a lot of them I didn't know. But, at this point, it looks good for PC gaming.