Walk My Plank – A web based game

I should have written about this months ago.  Well I guess I will just do a quick rundown.  It is a web based game that doesn’t require any downloads and is FREE to play.  The basic premise of it is to increase in levels by attacking other pirates and NPCs which are Brittish and Spanish ships.  The higher your level the more stats you accumulate which makes you stronger.  There are a few other aspects to the game.

  • Fishing – You can go fishing and have to figure out the proper bait, rod and hook to use to catch certain kinds of fish.

Exploring – There are ‘ports’ you explore.  this is how you find dubloons (along with gold is the currency of the game) and other ships to fight.

It is a free game like I had mentioned but there is also a pay aspect to it.  Spending real cash can get you many different types of things whether it is treasure chests to hold your loot or special days that give you faster regeneration and such.

I should go more in depth but hopefully this has perked your interest to check it out.

DRM, Spore and a quick review

Currently, the two games i am playing are Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Spore.  However, right now I am going to talk some about Spore.

Once again, there are plenty of reviews out there for the game.  I don’t know if most of these reviews are biased because it’s a Will Wright game but from my point of view it is extremely boring.  It’s basically a bunch of little games put together.  I am only on stage 2 right now but I think I am just going to quit.  You go around either making friends or eating other species.  The ultimate goal would be to get to the next stage.  It’s just not deep enough for me.  I LOVE Simcity but never liked the Sims.  Got bored with it.

Another problem with Spore is because of their parent company Electronic Arts.  Check out Amazon’s ratings and reviews for the game.  Many negative reviews.  It’s backlash for the bad DRM they have in the game.   DRM is short for digital rights management.  It’s also the reason why legally paying customers get frustrated and the pirates pirate games because they can strip the DRM out.

In this particular case, Spore only allows three installs before it stops working.  So you better hope that a. no computer crashes and b. it installs perfectly the first time.  Once you have reached your three installs you would have to call EA and there is no guarantee they will help you out.

Part two of this fiasco is EA is limiting families to only having one online account.  An online account wll allow you to share your creatures with others.  Lets say Mom and Dad has two kids.  They are looking for a family oriented game instead of all the blood and guts games.  This leads them to Spore which they purchase.  Well, supposedly the manual was even printed wrong.  Kid A can’t have his own online account.  Only one account for the whole family.  Why anger your core demograhic?  It boggles my mind.

Skype 4.0 BETA Review

I’m a huge fan of Skype.  We use it at PC-Prime as a regular phone and I use the video portion on a weekly basis.  When Skype 4.0 came out I was a little nervous about it due to its full screen.  I decided to install it after a hard drive crash wiped out my main computer sytem (don’t be cheap like me and fail to replace an important fan.)
I gotta tell you, Skype 4.0 was just atrocious.  The fullscreen didn’t bother me as much I thought it would. I see where they are going but there was still plenty of wasted space too me.  What really bothered me was the actualy phone calls.  I used Skype 4.0 several times to make sure it wasn’t just a ‘bad internet’ night.

  1. I have SkypeIn and SkypeOut.  Incoming calls from cellphones were really full of static.  Hard to hear the individual.
  2. I had assumed that they would have maintained the same technology for the video as well.  I was flat wrong.  Picture very fuzzy and choppy.  No matter what I did, myself nor the other individual on the call, could get a clear pic for more than a few seconds.
  3. Dropped calls.  I would occasionally get a dropped call on Skype 3.x which includes last night.  However, Skype 4.0 would give me multiple dropped calls in the same night.  That is just unacceptable.
  4. The fullscreen is an interesting concept that should be an OPTION and not mandatory.  Everytime I reboot the computer Skype loads up.  Which is what I want, but I shouldn’t have to minimize it every single time.  The small footprint Skype 3.x had was great to leave on the screen.

Overall, stay away until they get the bugs worked out.  One of the prevailing issues that Skype has had against it is the lack of support.  Fortunately, I know enough about computers that I don’t need customer service.  Plus, I’m not really sure what kind of support they could give me if I have a staticy call?  I’m sure it’s a bandwidth issue that needs to be addressed.  In any event, Skpye 3.x is excellent but they need to regroup with Skype 4.0 Beta.