NVIDIA SHIELD details revealed

ShieldImage courtesy blogs.nvidia.com.

The NVIDIA SHIELD is NVIDIA’s entry into the game console market. I had forgot about this, but the launch details were just announced yesterday. SHIELD is an Android console running Jelly Bean on a Tegra 4 chip. It looks a lot like a 360 controller with a flip up screen. It looks bulky and ugly, but I think it could be interesting. It’s most interesting feature is likely its ability, launching as a beta feature, to stream select Steam games from a PC using a GeForce GTX desktop GPU. Sadly, it’s 650 or higher, which mine is not. Presumably, streaming only works locally. It’s an interesting feature, but would I use it? I think I’d rather play my PC games on my PC unless I could actually stream it over the Internet.

Chuck's ChallengeImage courtesy of ChucksChallenge.com.

Chuck’s Challenge has been optimized for the SHIELD as well. It’s developed by Niffler with creator Chuck Sommerville. He’s the amazing talent behind Chip’s Challenge and of course the Chuck’s Challenge for iOS. I backed the 3D port of Chuck’s Challenge on Kickstarter, and from the beta, I can say that it’s very cool.

There are also two Double Fine games being optimized for the SHIELD. There will likely be more announcements in the future as well.

Sources: 5 Cutting-Edge Games That Will Rock NVIDIA SHIELD, Jordan Dodge, NVIDIA Blog, 5/14/13 and Portable Handheld Android Gaming | NVIDIA SHIELD via Chuck Sommerville.


Just Cause 2: The gift of explosions and action

Just Cause 2

After finding out that my friend had never played Portal, I gifted him a copy. He returned the favor by gifting me Just Cause 2. I’d watched my roommate play it before and had wanted to play it. I’ve only played it a little so far, but it’s a lot of fun.

Just Cause 2 is full of action – shooting, melee combat, close calls, grappling hooks, parachutes, and explosions. Oh yes, lots of explosions. It reminds me of Michael Bay movies, except that seems like an insult to Just Cause 2.

It’s third-person and involves lots of shooting, but the exploring and moving is the most fun part. You can use a grappling hook to propel yourself (or drag enemies), and you can deploy a parachute at any time to slow down or get airborne. The grappling hook and parachute combine to give you very high mobility.

The other interesting part of the game is chaos. You seem to work for a government agency of some sort, and you’re sent to the country of Panau to destabilize the new, hostile government. To do this, you need to spread chaos. Completing missions spreads chaos, but destroying statues and infrastructure spreads chaos as well. In other words, it’s an excuse to blow stuff up!

I’m looking forward to unleashing a lot more chaos in the future.

A new phase of Bob’s Game

bob's game

Just a couple months ago, I reflected on bob’s game. While the public never really learned what Robert Pelloni’s goal was, underneath the layers of eccentricities and deceit was a fun, playable demo. That somehow turned into a pitch for an indie console called the nD, which has disappeared from the Internet in 2013.

Two days ago, someone anonymously (edit: formerly Sardek of the bobsgame.com forum before it was shut down) left a comment on my previous post to inform me that the site for bob’s game had been updated. He also mentioned that no one else besides me had talked about bob’s game recently. Of course, I had to check it out.

bobsgame.com now loads a playable browser game. It takes less than 10 minutes to play through it, so jump over there and give it a try if you want the full experience.

bob's game - bob's room

The game opens to a pixel art setting that’s obviously a representation of Pelloni’s room from his webcam feeds. I appear to be controlling Bob, and I can turn on his lights, start the coffee maker, turn on his computer, and begin working. At this point I lose control as the game’s speed increases, and I watch Bob hard at work. Eventually he turns off the lights and I regain control. Moving Bob to his bed, he goes to sleep for the night. The next day a unknown voice tells me it’s time. I use the elevator to leave the room.

After getting out of the elevator, I lose control again. Bob walks down a hallway and past a large room with many people. Lights come on, and Bob is standing in front of a room full of people watching him on stage. It appears to be the interdimensional bob’s bame tournament that was to be part of bob’s game.

bob's game - minigame

Yuu approaches the stage, and then I take control of Yuu to play some games on his nD. I play a variety of puzzle games with no instructions, figuring them out as I play. There were two variations of Tetris that I played along with what seemed like a clone of Dr. Mario. There were also a couple games that, to my knowledge, weren’t based on any previous games. They were all fun and interesting, but I liked the idea of exploiting a glitch from the original bob’s game demo more. When I lost, Bob goes on a long discussion of stagnant state of the games industry.

bob's game - nDworld

Somehow, this segues into Bob talking about bob’s game being finished and the next phase, nD World, starting. Now I’m asked to create an account with an e-mail address and password before being asked to donate. Is he really hoping to raise money in this way, or is he poking fun at all the crowds-sourced products making promises before showing and deliverables?

You might notice in the video that the game seems to lag sometimes. I think this is due to my video recording software and not the quality of the game. However, the game does have a couple a couple small problems. For example, I had trouble getting into the elevator on the recorded playthrough. My character would always stick a little, but this recording was particularly bad.

I don’t know what Robert Pelloni has planned. I don’t know how much of what happened was part of his plan. Was the nD just staged to be part of bob’s game all along, or is it failed product? I’m guessing it was real and failed, but I doubt I’ll ever know the truth. All I can do now is wait.