A little before I left town for the holidays I received an invitation to participate in the Closed Alpha and Beta stages of “Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter.” Sadly, I was unable to get the game installed before leaving town, but last night I went ahead and confirmed my beta code and started getting things set up. It looks like there is, as in any alpha or beta, a series of events that we are supposed to participate in and report back on, so this could be a bit fun.
Obviously at this early of a testing stage I am not really supposed to disclose any real information about the game publicly, but I can say that my relationship with this game has been a bit rocky (and I’ve never even played it!). Back in 2009 and 2010, people were really excited to see that Cryptic Studios was taking a shot at making a full MMO iteration of “Neverwinter Nights.” The older PC titles were quite popular with fans, so it was neat to think of them transporting these concepts into an MMORPG. People obviously had a love/hate relationship with Turbine’s “Dungeons & Dragons Online,” but for the most part I can say that game does at least a decent job (from what I can tell, not having done much of the pen-and-paper game) of carrying over the concepts of the table-top games to the PC. So, when people saw that this next online game would even have the foundry, they were pretty excited. Yet, then Perfect World entered the picture and, upon acquiring Cryptic, they opted to do a complete overhaul of the game. Many were outraged and thought that the company would butcher the title into a “typical Asian MMO” that would absolutely stink, but others were a bit more optimistic and felt that there was potential to make the game more “actiony” without ruining the D&D experience.
I kind of fall somewhere in the middle of all of this. I think there is a chance for them to make an exciting game, but at the same time I certainly did not want them to destroy the very things that would have made an online “Neverwinter” experience fun and authentic. So, hopefully this game won’t be an utter disappointment, but hey: right now (and supposedly after launch, too) it is free-to-play for me, so I can’t lose too terribly much other than some of my time!
The Philips CD-i is a console that has become infamous for games like “Hotel Mario” and the three Legend of Zelda titles that appeared on it, but a lot of this negative attention is unfairly due. For its time the console was very innovative and featured some really neat games, yet due to the system’s relative unpopularity amongst most gamers, many titles have fallen into relative obscurity.
One man, Alan Bradford (@Alan_Bradford on Twitter), has set out on a quest to locate all known (and unknown!) games for the console and has created a special Facebook group to discuss this journey at while bringing other CD-i fans together. Even if you don’t use Facebook you can still check out his site, look at all the pictures, and read the comments that others have shared there.
So, if you ever wanted to find out more about the CD-i or even ask questions of someone who may know more about the system than the Philips company, here’s your chance!
I’ve talked to some of you readers before about this rare gem from Sega’s past, so this week I decided that it made a good topic to explore for our “Collector’s Curio” piece.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!
Proposed box-art for "Gauntlet DS."
Back in 2008 there was a fair bit of hype about an iteration of Gauntlet that was planned for release on the Nintendo DS. It is uncertain as to what happened to this game, though all mention of it was eventually dropped and it is assumed that the game is on “indefinite hiatus.”
Yet, regardless of that, it seems that a copy of the game must exist in some form because both Nintendo Power and Official Nintendo Magazine published reviews of the game in late-2008. This would lead me to believe that the game was finished enough at one point to at least provide them with beta or review copies, but something must have happened at the end of the year or early-2009 that caused the game’s production to cease.
In either case, it’s an interesting tidbit of history and I’d be curious to know if anyone has ever seen or played it!
As stated before, I must admit that I was very happy when I learned that, despite all the recent events with Cryptic and it’s new owner Perfect World, their upcoming sequel to the Neverwinter Nights games was still in development and still on schedule for a 2011 release. Now, it seems that the release window has been narrowed a bit, with a current listing of “Quarter 4 2011.” Most likely, this means that the game will be coming out in late-November or early-December, just in time for the Holidays.
With so much being developed for the game, it is becoming a highly anticipated title. Of course, the game will have to compete with other major titles like “Star Wars: The Old Republic” (second half of 2011) and “Guild Wars 2,” but the game has a lot to offer that should keep it unique, including, reportedly, no subscription fees.
So, hopefully some of you readers are about as excited about this game as I am!