Ever tried to jam 100 books in your pocket? Starting on June 13th, people who own any one of the Nintendo DS™ family of systems can buy 100 Classic Books, a compilation of some of the greatest works of classic literature. Users with broadband Internet access can wirelessly download 10 additional books at no extra charge.

The DS game card includes a variety of books appropriate for all different ages, including seven separate works by Charles Dickens. There are novels that people can enjoy on the beach, such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; adventure and mystery novels that can be devoured during summer travels, such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle or Bram Stoker’s Dracula; and books that kids can read at home, such as The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

You’ll hold your Nintendo DS systems sideways like a book. To turn the page, just swipe the touch screen with the stylus or your finger; the settings can also be flipped for left-handed users. A virtual bookmark lets you return to where you left off. Up to three bookmarks can be used to mark your place in three different books, and large and small fonts are available. Each book includes a biography of the author and a synopsis of the plot and characters.

If you aren’t sure which book you want to read you can answer a series of questions about your preferences, and the software will recommend some books you might like. Once a book is finished, you can rate it in different categories and upload the results wirelessly to a central database using Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection. Then other readers can see which books have been rated “funniest” or “most exciting.” You can also share demos of select books with other Nintendo DS owners who want to sample some literature for themselves.

100 Classic Books will be available on June 13. The suggested retail price is $19.95


The Splinter Cell series refined the stealth-action genre and took it to new heights with the sublime Splinter Cell, the perfect Double Agent, and the acclaimed Chaos Theory. Ubisoft has laboured long to bring us the next iteration of the series, allowing us to step into the shoes of Sam Fisher once again–this time in HD!

The Xbox 360 has console exclusivity on their new title Splinter Cell: Conviction putting you in control of super-agent Sam Fisher. Sam’s looking worse for wear; his daughter is dead, his government has abandoned him, and his quest for answers has been dirty, bloody, and nearly fatal. You start the game in a café, getting a phone call you didn’t expect, and leading you on a chase that could change the political structure of the planet. There’s no downtime, no contemplative moments: you’re on the move, both hunter and hunted, in every minute of this game. Continue reading »


October 13th is going to be a particularly bittersweet day. Every minute I’m playing Brütal Legend is time not spent playing Uncharted 2 – and vice versa.

I’ve just spent a few hours throwing down with some randoms in Uncharted 2 co-op. There’s only one level, but even on easy it’s intense. The game throws out the notion of attacking from safety – everywhere is vulnerable, so you’ve got to stay on the move. You need your teammates as well – get caught in a choke hold and the only reliable way out is to have someone shoot the bad guy off you.

Visually the game is mint. The controls are spot on, and the co-operative bits aren’t a pain. I can say without hesitation that I’m going to be logging a good chunk of time with this in both single and multiplayer. It’s a great time to own a PS3.


@brutallegend on twitter was handing out beta codes for the demo yesterday. I managed to snag one for the PS3 and I have to say that I’m thoroughly impressed with the game. From the incredible opening sequence to some deliciously squishy combat: I’m in love.

It’s pure Tim Schafer, of course. The writing is just dynamite – and the delivery (by Jack Black) is mint. The hellish world of Rock is entirely believable. I found myself overly jubilant and even a little giggly as I played through.

The worst part of the demo was that it ended. Rocktober is going to be freaking fantastic – it’s a cruel world that sees both this and Uncharted 2 released on the same day.


I was on the fence about Halo 3: ODST. I think it’s reasonable to be a bit concerned about a title that began life as an expansion; it felt like someone at Microsoft decided that they could sell it for more cash and shoehorned in Horde mode from Gears of War and some map packs for good measure. Given that I haven’t spent a ton of time with Halo 3 Multiplayer, I can’t say the addition of these features appeals to me.

Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica panned the game based on length of content and price. For once I think I can agree with Ben without reservation; ODST should have dropped (heh) at $39. Batman: Arkham Asylum was priced at $40 here in Canada (thank you Future Shop by way of a Wal-mart price beat) and it made the game a no questions asked day one purchase for me.

As it stands, I’ve got plenty of other games to play. I was browsing through my achievements list on my 360 yesterday and realized I’ve only full cleared 2 games. Needless to say, I’ve got enough gameplay to keep my going until ODST hits $19.99.

Besides, I’ve got to save my pennies for Uncharted 2 and Brutal Legend. Priorities, people.


Yup. It’s hard.

The 21 day trial of EVE seems to make more sense than a 14 day trial; just getting used to the interface is going to take some time. I managed to get started with the tutorial missions yesterday. After the first few I wandered off to find the offices of a Penny Arcade Forums corporation. I ended up doing some tutorial missions for a race/bloodline that I’m not – meaning I couldn’t use some of the rewards yet. Curses.

I wandered back to my section of space and got through about half of the missions for my race and bloodline; I’m not sure if I’m just supposed to do one of these task lines or all of them – I’ve always been a bit of a completionist (within reason) so I’ve been doing all of them.

The new ships I’ve acquired are quite nice. I made the mistake of going out with a rail gun without loading ammo no less than three times (it’s not terribly intuitive – I’m not sure how to make that happen reliably).

I wish there were a way to increase the size of the interface the text is very small. I’m playing on both a 15″ laptop and a 30″ LCD on my gaming rig and everything feels like it could be sized up a tad.

I haven’t received an invite from the Deepcrows yet – I’ve read the threads a few times and I’m already comfortable with the idea that they’re going to call me a spy. Political intrigue is fun!


I spent some time talking to the EVE Online people at PAX; I was just starting to suffer from the early symptoms of H1Nerd1, so it was a bit hazy, but it’s the third year I’ve stopped into the booth and been intrigued.

The EVE threads on the Penny Arcade G&T forum make it clear: EVE isn’t easy and it can be flat out cruel. That said, it looks like there’s a strong community there. Shortly after my trip to the EVE booth I found myself in line, waiting for a Guild Wars art book; the chap behind me in line noticed the EVE magazine I was reading and commented that he played. He spun a tale of a game thick with political action that was a masticatory machine, spitting out those who couldn’t hack it.

He got my attention.

Steam has a 21-day trial, so I’ve downloaded it on both my MacBook Pro and my gaming rig. It’s time to see what this is all about.


It’s clear the Nintendo Wii hasn’t lived up to its promise; while the system has sold well and continues to sell well, the drastically unimpressive numbers put up by both third and first party titles makes it clear that, like the pet rock and the hula hoop before it, the Wii has lost its lasting appeal when it comes to new and interesting games. There are folks out there who will cite games like MadWorld (did anyone actually buy it?) and No More Heroes as the cutting edge of Wii titles – or those who cling to the fantastic numbers put up by Wii Fit – but it’s a fallacy. The system is Nintendo’s finest achievement in dust gathering – a system that everyone had to have, but no one played once it got old.

That’s going to change next month. I had a chance to play New Super Mario Bros. Wii at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle at the beginning of September and I can say with certainty that it’s going to be a hit. The classic 2D sidescrolling Mario gameplay that everyone grew up on (and that sold 14 million copies of New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS) is back with a crucial addition: local multiplayer.

The blend of competitive and co-operative multiplayer in New Super Mario Bros. Wii is irresistible fun. Play as one of the Mario brothers or as a stout Toad of the Mushroom kingdom and seek the holy grail of the gaming world of yore: a high score. While the objective to to get to the end of the level, you’ll do so with one to three friends, each trying to out-do the other in a quest for a higher score.

It’s a purity of gaming that isn’t incredibly common. I can say without hesitation it’ll get people playing with the Nintendo Wii again.

© 2012 Another Castle Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha