Ah, digital distribution.
We had such high hopes for you. You were the prophesied platform heralded by the ill-fated Phantom system. The saviour-like service which would spell the end of long lead times on game releases in Australia and Europe, incredible price increases which were allegedly due to shipping costs to our respective countries and the window through which we could access a wider spectrum of games.

Steam, you were the first major platform that supported our countries, not to mention the fact that you were exclusively for PC gamers.
You were released in time for Half Life 2 – something else that we had been waiting a long time for. Unfortunately, even after the release we were forced to wait a long time to play the game. This wasn’t entirely your fault: the fact that broadband connections weren’t reasonably priced at the time was not something you could do anything about, but the stability problems which plagued you at your inception were.
You burned us, as steam is wont to do. The healing process is slow. It has taken a long time for you to return to your place, inscribed in our good-books.

Once again, the time has come for you to be torn from its pages.

Please indulge me in some role-playing:
(Note: This has nothing to do with my previous post on the subject…)
Steampowered – New Additions RSS feed: *Ding* Apr 22, 2008 2:12 AM Assassin’s Creed has been released on the Steam service!
Me: Woo! *Clicky*
Steampowered – New Additions RSS feed: *NOPE* This item is currently unavailable in your region.
Me: Noooooo!

Once again, Australia finds itself at the mercy of cold-hearted games distributors. What possible reason could there be for them to not want the game digitally distributed in our country? Isn’t our money good enough? It is certainly worth a lot. Take the situation with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for instance.
On the day of release on Steam, it was labelled at the normal American price for a New Release AAA title: $49.99USD.
The very next day the prices was increased to $89.99USD in Australia and Europe.

Make sense of that? Steam group Rest of World certainly cannot.

If you want my advice, it is time for us to show them that we will not stand for this sort of crap.
Australia (and Europe) – Vote with your wallets.

Finally on a positive note, the excellent Beyond Good and Evil was just released for little ol’ us.


Now that I’ve switched to the .com and stuffed around with my feed, I’m not sure that anyone is actually being prodded when I make a post.

If a few of you could comment on this post to let me know that you’re still receiving RSS goodness, that’d be great.

Now, just to ensure that this post isn’t too boring:.


Well, everybody’s favourite acerbic game reviewer is at it again.
Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Crowshaw and his mates Yog and Matt have started a new full-length (read: ~20 minute) games show. It features previews, reviews, skits and other stuff.
Yahtzee brings his usual brand of vitriol coated asides and segments which are surprisingly well tempered by the other hosts.

The pilot is below, or you can toddle off to the high quality version at their site.

If you happen to be a highfalutin TV network executive, go watch it and take it on.

In my opinion, Yahtzee is at his best at Zero Punctuation. His persona seems somewhat strained in front of a camera. Lets hope this improves with future episodes.

Good luck guys.


Yes, ok? I admit it. I play Dungeons and Dragons.

*pause for dramatic effect*

I know you’re surprised. I would have been a few years ago if I’d found out that someone as cool as me played it.

I still clearly remember the days when I swore that I would never play this game because I’m not that much of a geek.

Evidently, I was wrong. I was convinced to give it a try by jml and to my chagrin I really enjoyed it. When I think about it, it really shouldn’t be surprising considering the fact that I play a lot of computer games. The difference is not at all huge, especially with the changes implemented in the new fourth edition rules.

In fact, if anything D&D gives me more of an opportunity to stretch my brain. I have a huge array of options available to me for use in any situation. I am not simply relegated to working out which object in the room requires me to walk up to it and hit the ‘use’ key.
See that bag of stuff on that pedestal over there? It is most likely trapped. In a computer game, I have a couple of options. I could walk over to it and take the item thereby setting off the trap or, I could walk over to it and use my Disable Trap skill. That’s it. Two options.
In D&D on the other hand, I could do either of the above or I could stand outside the room and try to knock the bag off of the pedestal with my sling and a stone, I could try to prod it off with a 10ft pole, I could attempt to lasso it, I could hang from the ceiling and try to grab it, I could use some sort of spell to levitate the bag… the list goes on.

The game is fun. More fun than its detractors would allow you to believe. You get to make up a character and do awesome stuff with it. You can make a min/maxed character in order to be as powerful as the rules of the game will allow, or you can create a balanced character and focus more on narrative and back story.
You can put on your character’s voice when they enter a conversation, or you can use the tried and true “My character says” method.
You can pick fights.
You can drink at a pub.
You can travel over the ocean.
You can be a hermit.
You can fall in love.
You can be caught in a compromising position (Can’t you Kevin?).
You can be incredibly stupid.
You can fly.
You can walk.
You can teleport.
You can kill.
You can be fanatical.
You can be boring.
You can be a hero.
You can be a villain.

You can be whatever you can imagine.

So instead of assuming the stereotype, give it a go.
If you don’t enjoy it, can I have your books? Because they’re overpriced in Australia.


As per the title of this blog, you may or may not think this is great.


The above details the major sections of the trip around the Americas that Amy and I made last year.

I’ve been reading back through it in order to refresh my memory on some of the happenings. Its surprising how much you can fit into six weeks if you put your mind, money and feet into it.

New York! Click to embiggen