Notebook Dump: Key Modern Warfare 2 Ratio, Dragon-Free Chatpad, More

There comes a time in the week to reflect on what got into my reporter's notebook but didn't turn into Kotaku blog posts. Shall we?

Another Chatpad Dream Dashed: On Monday I ran my preview of Dragon Age: Origins. I included most of what I learned about the game's contents in there. I omitted something that is being left out of the game. What the game won't have, not surprisingly, is hot-key support for the Xbox 360's QWERTY chatpad. (Officially: The Xbox 360 Messenger Kit.) This peripheral has been attached to my 360 controller ever since I got it. It doesn't add too much weight and makes typing messages and passwords much easier. While the chatpad usually works with any part of a game that requires text input, I've never seen it integrated into gameplay control schemes. But complex role-playing games and real-time strategy games would seem to benefit from having an optional control scheme that engages it. Imagine being able to map powers or units to some of the keys on the keyboard. I asked one of the BioWare reps showing me the game if Dragon Age would support it. Nope.

Some Fun Hype: On Wednesday I went to an Activision event and played some games. I also watched Drew McCoy from Infinity Ward play Modern Warfare 2. Drew didn't say much during my meeting, leaving most of the question-answering to IW's Robert Bowling (His answers here). But Drew did engage another reporter's question about whether the first level of the new game would be as exciting as the first level of the first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Drew's answer culminated in the boast that MW2 will have "more holy shit moments per hour" than MW1. I turned to him and joked that maybe that was because the new game would be as exciting as the first but shorter. He laughed and asked me not to draw that conclusion from that statement. No way, man. I was kidding.

A Blur of Blur: At the same event, I played Bizarre Creations' Blur. It was as we've described it: a fast racer with realistic-looking cars, heavy on neon special effects and charged with power-ups. You can blast rival cars with electricity, shunt them, lay down mines, etc. Think of all the key Mario Kart abilities, but rendered in a more literally electric way. I held back from writing a preview because my experience with the game was almost identical to Crecente's. Just read his Blur preview. That's what I saw and how I felt.

Embargoes: For the record, I saw five games that were under embargo last week, and played four of them. Three of them can be covered by the middle of next week. Two are off-limits until next month. I don't bring this up to tease, but to illuminate how the work we do doesn't always appear on the site right away.

That's it for me for this week. Be nice to Owen this weekend. And maybe I'll have something for you on Sunday. Maybe.