Nintendo has decided to, much to the collective 'meh' of everyone else, Shut down Wii and DS online support. The Wii U and 3/2DS is still going strong and by all accounts Wii online gaming was mostly smash brothers brawl so why care? Worst that's going to get affected is Pokemon right?
Well for me it's more a case of 'this is an object lesson in why depending on an online service is a really dumb idea' I can then sit and point at Joe or Jimmy Online without them thinking it's either tinfoil hat paranoia or an edge case scenario. After all the DS still has freaking pokemon, which has been a license to print money. Nintendo turning off the tap only a couple years after seems like a bit of a headscratch. Beyond that though I have the following to ask.
What about the online services you actually use?
All your runs in Call of Duty, or those photos you upload to Facebook. Server plug gets pulled good luck getting your data out. Anyone remember Tabblo? It was a photo service like Picasa or Photo bucket. I only heard of them through a talk Jason Scott made that got posted to YouTube. Ever heard of Kickststart or LuLu Poetry? How about AOL Hometown or Yahoo Video? All services that got shut down with little to no no clear warning they were going away. The worst offender I know of for that, however, is GeoCities. Their 'announcement' was buried in a helpfile. OK fine you might not care since most of what's posted online is either crap or not interesting. Thing of it is same applies to whatever you've posted to Facebook, uploaded to Google, soundcloud, or whatever. We might not care about anyone else's stories but by the same token just as few care about ours.
This is not me standing by the proverbial car wreck telling the poor shmuck involved they should've worn a seatbelt. I happen to be annoyed at Nintendo pulling the plug, but for me it's one experience along with a dozen others where a game or service or the internet itself goes out for a variety of reason. Because of that I'd figured out pretty fast the internet isn't always going to be there; especially if you're rural.
Well sadly there isn't anything to be done for Nintendo, but that doesn't mean you can't use this experience as a wake-up call about your online 'life' and what happens to all the photos, video, and that-have-you that gets posted. I am a big fan of making backups of those things you want preserved. However I'm also a fan of posting stuf online, which is pretty obvious given I keep a blog, post on Google+, and am a fan of being able to find everything online so I'm currently looking into ways to make a home server.
Servers are neat. You can use them not only to host web pages, but you can also automate downloading files, share music, video, or host game servers. The uses really pile up over the years and added complexity of the web. Even better is a netbook can do a lot when all it has to do is deal with you and a few other people and isn't having to double as the family machine. Remember the web in the very beginning used to run on machines we would consider ancient and had to provide for hundreds or thousands of users. Sure the web is more complex and that old 486 isn't going to cut it as a mail server anymore, but that old netbook you got that you can't really use anymore because it has a cramped keyboard, little space, and the processor don't let you do much and got an iDroidBerry device instead? That ting, with a few thumbdrives and a lightweight Linux will give you a new thing to play with and if you already have the hardware all it costs is time to tinker around.
I enjoyed the writing, pacing, challenge, and was disappointed when I learned there would be no dungeon keeper 3. Many years passed and I sorta just left these games up in the dustbin of old memories til I heard about GOG and the fact they had both games for sale.
Fast forward to last christmas when I got a Nook HD, spent a few weeks with it stock, enjoyed it, put cyanogenmod on it, and enjoyed it more. Then just on a lark I go see if the Play store has anything like dungeon keeper in it since it's a click driven game so the basic formula should translate well. I see Dungeon Keeper itself on the play store... but not for my country. Oh well go through the internet I scored an apk anyway to try out anyway since what could it hurt right? Turns out it not only worked, but it was in english, and they gave me some beta tester perks. That was a very classy move on their part since they could've had it detect that I am connecting from a United States IP range and 'nope not allowed in your region. Sorry.'
History Lesson Over.
Since I didn't feel my first write-up was up to standard, and the fact I tried writing it on a tablet (no I do not advise you do that unless you have a physical keyboard,) I decided to write something a little lengthier on the new Dungeon Keeper game. After all I'm a fan of the older games, and the lead producer seems to be a fan of the series. While I would have wanted a full on third installment that would follow up on escaping the underworld and going to war with the surface what's here is pretty interesting on it's own merits.
On the face of it, and what many people claiming to be fans are complaining about, Mythic and EA took a franchise and slapped it's name on something not relevant. To the Pit I say to that. It's a fun game, but one where you have to trim your expectations to meet the platform. At it's heart this installment to the Dungeon Keeper franchise is a pick up and play game intended for you to spend a few minutes here or there instead of an hour or two per level like in the prior two games.
This post is made up of a series of observations I've had during my first few days playing through. Some of what I have to say isn't good, but on the whole I have a very positive feeling about this game outside of the fact I've historically had spotty internet connectivity and it requires an online connection. I would recommend anyone who likes either Dungeon Keeper or Tower Defense Games in general to pick this up and give it a spin.