FNG Logo created by Nick Serr

08 October 2013

MX vs ATV Reflex on Steam for $4.00 This Week

MX vs ATV Reflex, the closest thing we have to the FNG favorite "Motocross Madness" series, is on sale this week on Steam for $4.00!  While not quite as fun, it is a working alternate to MCM.

Things to note:

  • You must have an Xbox Controller if you want to play with a gamepad
  • Getting into games by joining via Steam friends list is klunky sometimes.
  • It's an awful lot of fun to go into practice mode and just go tear up the environment with your bike.  The graphics are pretty and the dirt physics are kinda fun.
It's definitely worth the $4.00 if you have it to spare... and will add one more game in your arsenal for potential FNG games.  Check it out if you don't already own it!

04 October 2013

Classic Racing Restored! Re-Volt Released on GOG.com

The classic game Re-Volt from 1999 was released on GOG.com recently, and so far, it looks to be a fantastic implementation!  I'm not sure if it is a sale price or regular, but it's a nice one right now.  You can pick up Re-Volt for just $5.99 today!

I fired it up twice today and played for a few minutes each.  I had no problems, no crashes, just good R/C racing fun.

The game is letting me run it at 1920x1200, with 16x Anti-aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering and VSync -- and enjoying 60fps while doing so.

I'm excited to see how well it will work with networking online, so I hope some of you Friday Night Gamers will pick it up and play with me sometime.

03 October 2013

Will a Games for Windows Live shut down take its toll?

I'm a little behind on this news, but Microsoft announced in August that, in process of them switching everything to Xbox branding, they will be closing the Games for Windows Marketplace. At the time of that announcement, they said Games for Windows Live would continue to function. However, also in August, they briefly displayed a support message on the Age of Empires Online page:

Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. Although it is available through Steam, Age of Empires Online requires features of the Games for Windows Live service. You can continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100% operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down.

Now, I hadn't heard anything about GFWL shutting down until today, when a friend pointed me to this Kotaku article about Bioshock 2 being updated by Digital Extremes (who originally handled the multiplayer aspect of the game) which, in addition to other changes, removed GFWL from the game. A player's Bioshock 2 GFWL key can also now be activated in Steam, and all players now own the DLC, including the single player expansion, Minerva's Den.

So, it's great to see a developer taking the time to update a slightly older game to remove the dying GFWL, while also adding better support for controllers, and giving all players more content. However, that brought to mind other games which also use Games for Windows Live. What will happen to those games if/when GFWL does shut down?

As noted on ghacks.net, developers who do not update their games may be locking users out of minor features (leaderboards, achievements, matchmaking, etc.) or, in the case of games that use GFWL to manage save games, the players will be locked out of their saved games. Other games, like Fallout 3, would lock players out of any paid DLC, as it uses GFWL for authentification. With Fallout 3, modders have taken steps to bypass GFWL because of the issues players were having with it.

I hope that more developers will take the effort to update games when the authentification servers/services are going offline. I hope they will update games to not use GFWL, especially in the case that Microsoft does terminate its service July 1, 2014. Fortunately, if the data from PCGamingWiki is accurate, some developers are listening.

One last note (personal wish), I REALLY hope that if Steam ever does shut down, they find some way to make our games accessible. I've heard many claim that Valve has promised that would happen, but I've never seen an official source.