XBox Live Arcade is dead. Long live XBox Live Arcade! Ron Carmel of 2D Boy did an informal survey of independent developers and found a slight trend away from Arcade towards PSN and other, more open platforms. His data suggest that a likely driver of this trend is the difficulty of working with Microsoft, which may not be a surprise. Some analysts seemed to disagree with his findings, but the reality is that most of those disagreements involved sidestepping the point. Microsoft’s desire to create a highly curated space in Live Arcade will not necessarily hurt the number of offerings, but will tend to drive the space towards larger companies that are better equipped to handle the channel’s roadblocks. That said, I certainly hope things turn around and there’s a race to open the door to independent developers on the consoles, rather than shut it.
PC version of Rage is terrible: When a game takes over 20 GB to install on a console, you begin to suspect that the PC version will be superior. Apparently not so, according to Destructoid’s Jim Sterling and others. Screen tearing, texture pop, and worse seem to plague this version. As usual, the developers blamed the debacle on out-of-date drivers, but one has to wonder what mystical drivers the dev team were using. Reviewers I trust suggest there’s not much to this game beyond the graphics, which basically means there’s no reason to buy it on PC at all.
RIP: Since the last edition of this roundup, Nobel awardee Ralph Steinman, civil rights activists Derrick Bell and Fred Shuttlesworth, and tech visionary Steve Jobs all died, the latter three on a single day. That’s a hard week.
I enjoyed this article by James Hawkins about the inability of military shooters to come to grips with the horrors of war.
Kate Cox explores the dynamics of racial oppression in Bastion. I don’t entirely agree with her reading, but it’s an excellent piece.
Speaking of Bastion, here’s Jim Rossignol interviewing Greg Kasavin.
Thomas Wilburn thinks Human Revolution is the fairest Deus Ex of all, but like me he thought it ended poorly.
Dark Souls – Well, it’s definitely in the same vein as Demon’s Souls. I think I preferred the hub design, but arguably only because it made things easier.