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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/11/2012 in Blog Entries

  1. 5 points
    Attack on Game Podunk So a couple months ago I created a parody version of Attack on Titan as a birthday video for royzoga, it's full of inside jokes and people that no one other than the people in it would understand. So I decided to rework it and start anew, this time focusing on GP and it's members since Attack on Titan is watched by quite a few people here. I have no set criteria on how I structure the show, so I may parody an entire episode or use a few pieces of several as one episode. Either way, I hope to have them come out quickly and regularly. I hope you enjoy, and be sure to leave comments, feedback and any other suggestions you might have! What did you think of these new developments? Who are you rooting for?
  2. 5 points
    Attack on Game Podunk So a couple months ago I created a parody version of Attack on Titan as a birthday video for royzoga, it's full of inside jokes and people that no one other than the people in it would understand. So I decided to rework it and start anew, this time focusing on GP and it's members since Attack on Titan is watched by quite a few people here. This first episode is short, and only has the introductions because there are ALOT of characters. Hopefully the next episodes will come out quickly and regularly. I hope you enjoy, and be sure to leave comments, feedback and any other suggestions you might have! Not in the show? Did I leave you out? If you would like to be added and there's a character you want, hit me up with a comment or PM. For those who have characters and would like to switch, sorry but no switching.
  3. 4 points
    It is with deep regret that I must announce that Doug Charmin's world record holding Tamagotchi has passed away. Going by the name DORK, the beloved Tamagotchi pet held the world record for longest living digital pet in the Guiness Book of World Records. He was four days old. The death was captured in it's entirety during an interview with DORK's owner for a local news station. The details of the events that transpired can be read below. What started as a simple fluff interview turned to tragedy today after the digital keychain pet DORK, a Tamagotchi that held the world record for world's oldest living digital creature died in it's owner's arms. The pet's owner Doug was in the middle of explaining to reporters how he kept his pet alive for so long when DORK began to beep at him. Doug ignored the beeps, assuring us that DORK was only trying to get attention. As the interview went on, the beeps turned to boops and became more urgent in tone. Doug glanced down at his keychain and jumped out of his seat, seemingly startled by what he saw. While our cameras only managed a glimpse at the creature's screen, what we saw was disturbing. DORK had defecated in his feeding area and appeared to be sitting next to what could be described as an empty food bowl. Doug pulled the screen away from the cameras and began desperately pushing the buttons on his Tamagotchi. We can't say for sure what he was trying to accomplish because he has since stopped accepting interviews on his lawyer's advice, but after he finished pressing buttons, his pet DORK let out one last beep of desperation before he blipped out of existence. While the results of DORK's autopsy are not yet known, it is believed that his owner Doug will be facing charges for the apparent neglect that his pet DORK had received prior to it's death. The world record will now be passed onto a Mochi currently presiding in Spokane, Washington, but reports are coming in that the nameless Mochi generated from the Monster Rancher 2 disc is also on it's last legs. We'll have the latest information for you as soon as we receive it.
  4. 4 points
    Being a gamer isn't always the most budget friendly hobby. So I always like to try finding new and cheaper ways of getting games. One of the best ways I have found to do this, is through the use of online video game trading websites. Without trading sites there's no way my bookshelf would look like this, and this isn't even all of the games! I have recently joined two sites that have been created in the past few months and believe them both to show a lot of promise. I have had the opportunity to interview the owners of one of the sites and will hopefully be able to get one with the other for a future blog (if not, it will simply be a review). Tonight, I was able to interview 99gamers.com via email exchange. Me: I appreciate you being able to take some time to talk about your site. So first off, Who are you guys and what inspired you to create 99gamers? Brandon: I'm Brandon Kruzeniski and I'm one of the founders of 99Gamers with the other being my brother Jon. I originally got the idea for a video game trading site when I came across a post on Reddit about how someone would shoot darts at their game collection to choose which game they would play next. I realized that this random person had a bunch of games that I would love to play but just haven't had the chance to. I turned to my game collection and thought that this person would probably feel the same way about my game collection. I was also tired of getting ripped off by GameStop, knowing they would turn around and sell the game for double the next day. I knew other video game trading sites existed, but none of them were what I wanted them to be. I wasn't sure how many people would be interested in something like this so I decided to post it to Reddit and see what the response was like. I was thinking maybe a few hundred people would see it and I'd be able to get some feedback on the idea, but within a few hours the post was at the top of r/gaming and even hit the front page for a while, resulting in thousands of signups. I then knew enough people felt the same way I did so I went forward with the site. Me: How long has 99gamers been around? Brandon: The original Reddit post was in June of 2012. After a few months of development 99Gamers launched in private beta in October. We slowly began to let more people in as we worked towards perfecting the trading system. We then publicly launched this January. Me: So how has the site been received since moving out of beta and going public? Brandon: Since getting out of beta the number of members, games and trades have all more than doubled. Me: What is it that sets 99gamers apart from other trading sites out there? Brandon: First off, 99Gamers is completely free to use. There are no costs to trade games so as a member you'll see the savings start to add up quickly. Video game trading sites have traditionally used a queue system with fixed game prices. I think long term this has shown to not be most effective way to go about trading games. The trade lines start to grow longer and begin to turn into month long waits. Having to wait so long until you receive a game can severely limit the excitement you have to play the game. You are also not guaranteed a game, as you tend to have to put requests for multiple games to ensure you'll get one and depending on the timing you may miss out on games or have to settle for a game you are not as excited for. With 99Gamers, we take the free market approach and in doing so there are no wait times to receive games. Sellers set their own prices for each game. This way you can get games you actually want quicker because you don't have to wait for everyone else to get it before you. As soon as you get enough coins from selling games you can buy the game which will be shipped to you right away. The feedback system on 99Gamers ensures you can choose sellers who you feel comfortable trading with. Other trading sites don't give you the choice of who you receive a game from. We put the power in the buyers hands by allowing them to use the feedback system and the sellers location to choose which seller they feel most comfortable with receiving the game from. We have a vast collection of games with over 5000 listings and almost 1500 game titles over 25 platforms. New releases are usually available within a week or two of their release date and can sometimes be available next day. The price for popular games is very fair. An example of this is Assassin's Creed III is now only 25 coins ($25) where at GameStop it would cost you $55 pre-owned. On a side note, I think it's pretty cool you bought Dead Space 3 four days after it was released then sold it to someone else two weeks later for just 4 coins less than you bought it for. Things like that just aren't possible on other trading sites. Me: So how does it really work? Brandon: Members add their unwanted video games and sell them to other members for a virtual currency called 'coins' valued at $1 per coin. Members can then spend their earned coins on other games. Me: How do suggested game prices get calculated? Brandon: The suggested market price for each game is calculated by taking into factor the condition of the game as well as the price people have recently paid on Amazon, eBay and other online retailers. Together we use these to calculate the market price. Me: Are you aware that I can't help but sing, "99 gamers but a b*tch ain't one" in my head at least once a day when I visit your site? Brandon: Haha, glad to hear I'm not the only one. Me: Approximately how many users/trades are there? Brandon: There are over 2500 members and over 1750 trades. Me: What can users do to get the most from the site? Brandon: We've found the following tips will help get members more sells: The more games added the quicker they will sell. The sweet spot for new members is around 5-10 games at the market price or just below it. You can then expect to sell about 2 to 3 games in the first week. If you are a new member, giving a coin or two discount for your first few trades goes a long way as you build up your feedback history. You may be competing with sellers at the same price who have a much bigger feedback history. Members who use their real name and a photo of themselves are much more likely to sell games. Buyers feel much safer when they can put a face to a name. RPGs go a long way. People always love to pick up an older gen RPG from their childhood Me: What sort of protection is there against scamming/abuse? Brandon: There are many security measures in place to make sure everything goes smoothly. 99Gamers uses a virtual currency, not cash, so there is less incentive for anyone to do anything unsafe. New members have go through an approval process when they sign up which allows us to verify their information and make sure no red flags stand out. 99Gamers guarantees protection for buyers if they do not receive the game they have paid for. We will refund your coins as long as no legitimate delivery confirmation or proof or shipping has been provided by the seller. Sellers can protect themselves by buying delivery confirmation and taking photos of the disk before shipping the game in case there is a dispute about the condition. For their first two trades new members can only trade with an established member who has at least 2 sells with positive feedback. This way the more experienced member can help walk them through the process. The feedback system keeps track of how things are going and allows sellers and buyers to build a trading reputation. Buyer's can see the sellers trading history before purchasing a game to avoid "bad" traders. We continuously monitor the trading activity to ensure all members trading needs are met and either side of the trade is abusing our trading system. So far with taking all these approaches bad traders have been non-existent. Me: So any insight into surprises in store for the future? Brandon: We have a bunch of new features coming up that we think our members are going to love. We'll be introducing PC games and digital codes. The browse and profile pages will be getting a much improved new look. These will be geared towards helping members discover new and interesting games faster. Members will be able to find new games they may have not realized they would enjoy. As the number of games continue to grow it's important that members can find the games they want as quick as possible. We'll be adding a bunch of seller tools to help members sell their games quicker. These will put the ease into selling games and make it the selling process much more streamlined leaving the seller with much less work. Down the road we plan on adding consoles and gaming accessories into the mix as well as some more exciting features. Our main goal continues to make buying and selling games as easy as possible so our members can spend more time playing games. Me: Are there any promotions currently running or coming up you would like to talk about? Brandon: We have a contest running now where members can invite their friends to join the site. Prizes range from coins, plush toys, and t-shirts to a horse head mask and games. The Power Gamer Giveaway is also going on now which rewards the top 10 sellers of the month with free coins. We are always looking for new ways to promote the site and get the word out so you can expect more to come soon. Me: Again, I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to talk about the site a little. Hopefully this interests a few new users Brandon: Thanks for taking your time to do this. ---------- As a current user, I will leave you with this, The site is extremely easy to use and is filled with honest and courteous traders. In my short time with the site, I have received games including Ni No Kuni, Dead Space 3, Portal 2, The Killzone Trilogy, Ico/Shadow of the Colossus Collection and Lollipop Chainsaw. A lot of users are even willing to haggle a little bit on what their game prices are. I have 51 total trades there and each one has been pleasant. Definitely a trading site worth checking out.
  5. 3 points
    Attack on Game Podunk So a couple months ago I created a parody version of Attack on Titan as a birthday video for royzoga, it's full of inside jokes and people that no one other than the people in it would understand. So I decided to rework it and start anew, this time focusing on GP and it's members since Attack on Titan is watched by quite a few people here. I have no set criteria on how I structure the show, so I may parody an entire episode or use a few pieces of several as one episode. Either way, I hope to have them come out quickly and regularly. I hope you enjoy, and be sure to leave comments, feedback and any other suggestions you might have! <iframe src="http://www.putlocker.com/embed/2C7B7F993C981DA8" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe> To watch just follow this link and click "continue as free user", it will then take you to the video stream. Sorry about the inconvenience! Youtube is broken for now. Anime or Videogames, where do you stand? Will 905 and roy ever find common ground? Did you know TK was Commander Shepard? Will Liz ever make a reappearance?
  6. 3 points
    Going to Tokyo and Hong Kong obviously means stuff needs to be bought, and hopefully a lot of stuff. While I didn't go completely ridiculous, I still managed to find a fair amount of stuff I wanted and/or good deals. So as not to do what I did with the Travel posts, I only took a few overview pictures of everything. Now, without further ado.... GAMES! PS2 Games (Left to Right) - Moeyo Ken - Shakugan no Shana - DearS - Lucky Star - Mai hime LE (Bottom Right, Left) - Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro na LE (Bottom Right, Right) PS3 Games (L To R) - Robotics;Notes LE - Steins;Gates Senkei Kousoku no Phenogram LE - Robotics;Notes Std. Edition - K-ON! HD (PSP port) - Umineko no Naku Koro ni - Atelier Ayesha LE - Tales of Xillia Std. Version (Present for a Friend) - Tales of Xillia CE (US Version, Kind of cheating since I didn't buy it in HK/Tokyo but it showed up while I was there!) DS Games - Jump Ultimate Stars - Magical Star Sign (US Version) - Lufia (US Version) - Solarobo w/ OST Other random games: - Nyaruko LE (Vita) - New Little King's Story (Vita, UK Version) - Black Lagoon (Vita) - Little Kings Story (Wii, US Version) - Ragnarok Tactics (PSP, US Version) - Metal Gear Solid Graphic Novel (PSP, US Version) - To Aru Majutsu no Index (PSP) - 3x3 Eyes (PS1) *If you're wondering about all the US version games it's because we found several places selling a couple US games for very very cheap.* FIGURES! (Left to Right) - Takatsuki Itsuka (Ano Natsu) - Chie Satonaka (Persona 4) - Yamano Remon (Ano Natsu) - C.C. (Code Geass, Wonderland Version) - Kallen (Code Geass, Wonderland Version) - Nathan Seymour (Tiger and Bunny) - Pao-Lin (Tiger and Bunny) - Antonio Lopez (Tiger and Bunny) - Kirino (Oreimo) Two model kits from the new Code Geass anime, as well as the only nendoroid I bought this trip, but it's okay, since it's Teddy And my biggest figure purchase of the trip... Femshep! Two Misc Magazines and some Eva Unit 02 Cologne.... And finally, because you know I had to do it..... Stay tuned for a future contest or contests where some of this stuff (or the stuff I didn't show you....) may be up as prizes So what'dya think, good/bad haul?
  7. 3 points
    Note: Not wanting to add to the problem, this post will only use images of women who I felt had the closest equivalent of dress to their male peers. I went to E3 this year. Although much fun was had playing the titles, seeing famous people in the industry, and generally having a nice time, I couldn't help but be intensely unhappy about one thing. This one thing is how as soon as I walked into the world of E3 I was greeted by seeing "booth babes". Although I certainly had known they would be here before, I never really thought about just how pervasive it is. This was the first time I was really forced to spend days at E3 and see that they were everywhere. From Atlus to Nintendo, booth babes were nearly at every booth to help lure people over. Now, before I really get into this let me say I really hate the term "booth babe" itself. Regardless, I'm going to use it because other terms will probably confuse the issue further, especially for those who have never considered it an issue. Perhaps I'm furthering it just by calling these women booth babes, but that is how this piece is going to be written right now. I'm not sure why I didn't feel like it would really be this way. Perhaps because year after year I always have ignored sites posting booth babe "photo roundups". I can see women in a great deal of ways and seeing ones who are only tangentially related to gaming isn't particularly interesting. So, while I knew that booth babes would be around I wasn't actually prepared for it. Especially not with how they were literally everywhere I looked. Some were in costumes and some were in uniforms, but either way, they were obviously instructed to show skin. The vast majority of people sent out to represent each booth's products were women. While there were usually men around too, they were dressed in uniforms free of showing off their body. This year there weren't even men costumed up in any state of undress. Instead, there were maybe a few guys in space armor or military-style attire. As they appeared to be physically fit I'd classify them as booth "hunks" but there was probably only four or five overall. In comparison, the amount of women in costume was higher. The amount of women in skin-showing uniforms was probably in the hundreds. The amount of women in dress which was comparable to their male partners, was probably around three. Although it should probably have been obvious by looking at how 99% of the booth babes were thin and stereotypically beautiful, not all of these women were employees of the companies they represented. They were hired for this event, taught some facts about their games, then dressed up and unleashed on the convention center. These women were very nice and helpful with simple information sharing, but the vast majority had nothing to actually do with the industry. I can understand why Nintendo (with their massive booth) would need to call extra help, but why did the smaller booths feel it necessary to hire extra help? Atlus, for example, had a very small square booth but still had its share of miniskirt-wearing booth babes. There is nothing wrong with these women taking the job of booth babe, either, in case someone thinks that's where I'm going with this. If these women enjoy being a helpful spokesperson for gaming and other industries then good for them. They're simply taking work where it is offered so they are no way at fault for the trend of booth babes in this industry (and others). They're obviously also not the ones making the costume or uniform selections. That's all on the people in control of the booths. Perhaps it is due to me not being on Twitter seriously until this year, but I never noticed such a strong backlash against E3's booth babes before. As such, since the event I've read many things posted about the issue from a great deal of people. I've read some from men, some from women, and overall the critical response is that booth babes shouldn't have a place in E3. I agree. I can't help but feel like one thing is missing from the critical analysis of why exactly booth babes are bad for E3. Both men and women seem to be focusing on the huge issue of how booth babes effect women in and around the industry. With booth babes left and right, it makes you tune them out. Not only them though, but also other women. It's a horrific thing because no doubt women in game development, publishing, media, or otherwise may be viewed less seriously because of all the booth babes around. It also may be hurtful to women to see these women on display. There's no nice way to say that. These women are obviously chosen and dressed up to be on display. They are meant to attract someone to the booth. As they're all primarily skinny it also isn't helpful to self image, and in general, is just quite negative. Booth babes no doubt are affecting the perception of women in the industry, as well as women themselves who come to E3. However, there's one thing that no men (that I have read) speak about. Whenever they write about booth babes and why this is a bad idea they talk about how it harms women or how it harms the view of the industry to outsiders. If not that, they may speak to it not being helpful for expanding the industry in the future (as it's not inviting to the growing audience of women). This is all true but why can no men say that it effects them too? For me, it was a huge shock and made me feel terrible. Sure, I'm not a woman, but that doesn't mean I'm wholly unfazed by the display of thin flesh left and right. I am a feminist, but the distaste I feel toward booth babes at E3 is not purely because of how it treats women and how women will feel about it. This is a huge deal, and probably the larger side of things overall, but as a man I felt bad too. I felt bad for myself. Were these women meant to pander to me? They must have. I'm a straight man who loves video games. This is what the developers and publishers believe to be their biggest audience and so they were pandering to it. However, thrusting lots of skimpily-dressed women everywhere makes it seems like their biggest audience is actually young teenage straight males. How does this make any sense? E3 is not simply a fan expo but a business convention for adults only. E3 isn't the only part of gaming culture which attempts to treat me like a teenage boy, but it seems most obvious here. Are men like me meant to love this? Are we supposed to flock to a booth simply because a pretty girl is smiling in our general direction? Are we meant to be excited to play a game simply because a girl compliments me on a shirt or says the game she's demoing is fun? Apparently so, and I hated it. It made me feel ashamed. Initially, I didn't even want to enter certain booths because their perimeter was dotted with booth babes. I didn't want to be associated with such a thing. I am not enticed to play a game because a girl is dressed up in the same vicinity. It repelled me, not because I thought the women were ugly, or anything of the sort. It was because I KNEW what this was about. It's about pandering to a specific audience, who I feel isn't even very strongly in attendance. There are definitely people at E3 who like this showing of booth babes. I saw many people taking pictures of booth babes or even posing with them. On the other hand, with the small amount of booth hunks, people only seemed to take pictures OF them, not with their arms around them. So yes, there are definitely people at E3 the opposite of me and who benefit from booth babes. In turn, the companies that hire these women benefit too. However, I doubt this is the majority of attendees who react this way with booth babes. For me at least I felt awful. I wanted to purely enjoy my time but it was hampered tremendously by these booth babes. They did nothing to me and I did nothing to them but it just felt awful. Here I was, participating in an industry which thinks this is completely fine. It's not fine for a million reasons and I doubt it really makes much business difference either. The only way we would know is if one year they suddenly banned booth babes at E3, but I doubt this will happen anytime soon. Companies will continue to argue that it's completely helpful as the majority of gamers are still male. And straight. And horny. This is insulting. Not only is it hugely incorrect, it is completely ridiculous. E3 isn't the only part of the industry which treats us this way, but it certainly is the most obvious with it. Women deserve better treatment in and around the gaming industry than this. The industry deserves to treat itself better too, because this is hardly professional. Men, too, though also deserve to be treated in a respectful fashion instead of this supposed pandering to "our desires". It makes me feel like $@#%. It makes me feel worse that no men who I have read on the subject have ever brought up their own issues with booth babes. Why don't they? Sometimes I worry it's because they are okay with it themselves, and only change their thoughts when thinking about how it must cause women trouble. Again, I'm not trying to say women shouldn't be a big focus of this. Of course they should! However, we have tons of discourse already about how this affects women, both by women and men on the subject. The issue of how booth babes may be problematic for men though is left un-discussed. So there are my thoughts about it.
  8. 3 points
    So I decided to act upon gaiages suggestion inspired by my reminiscence of my early days as a PS3 owner. I'd repeat the same shibboleth every gamer with an expansive collection of games on their Steam account and say I'm going to play the games I own and not keep getting more, but I won't, because I won't be able stick to my goal. This but an inchoate look into my Steam library in the hopes of motivating me in an undoubtedly feckless attempt at decreasing my ever-swelling Steam backlog. There may be some games on this list that have also been previously reviewed by other members, but I thought it'd be nice to have a diverse range of opinions for each title. So to quote Elizabeth 2.0, "Without further ado..." Dear Esther A game that was originally a mod that really isn't a game at all, but rather, a story being played out. You aren't the player, but rather, the embodiment of the narration. You become so immersed in the simplistic yet oddly dream-like world that you hang on every enunciation as the tale unravels before you. As a game, this would receive failing marks, but as a story it succeeds like few, if any, other games that are in a similar vein. Score: 6.5/10 Dungeon Siege III Slightly above average Action-RPG dungeon crawler fare, Dungeon Siege III manages to do little wrong with its formulaic hack-and-slash, loot-dropping gameplay. I'm not an avid Dungeon Siege player but the game drew me. This was likely due to the fact that it boasts cooperative gameplay. If you have two gamepads (or two sets of M/K) hooked up to your PC you can play two player locally, or up to 4 player online. That element alone makes it much more fun that if you'd play by yourself. Still, I didn't take too much away from it, and I am hard pressed to remember much about it, leaving it in the "not-so-memorable" section of my game library. Score: 7.0/10 Krater A quirky squad based dungeon crawler set in post-apocalyptic... Sweden? This game was much-lauded by a certain "Loco" member of Game Podunk. He enthusiastically gifted me a copy to spread his love for the game. Unfortunately, there was not much spreading going on on my end. Sure, the game is quite visually pleasing (seriously, the scenery is beautiful at times), however something about the gameplay just didn't click for me. I thought I would wait until their highly anticipated coop patch was released. After many delays, it was finally released to much disappointment, because the coop is simply an assortment of 3 or 4 dungeons to play rather than being able to jump into another player's world. Ah well. Score: 6.0/10 Revelations 2012 No amount of words can express my passionate love for this putrid pile of Left 4 Dead copying, visually repulsive, thematically bankrupt and nearly broken piece of garbage. It's one of those games that's simply "so bad it's good" to the fullest extent of that phrase. I simply can't give this game a serious rating, but I can rate it based on how much twisted enjoyment I got out of it, suffering with several friends who played it with me. This is THE must play "bad" game on Steam. This is not debatable. Score: 7.0/10 That's all I could come up with for now, but there's much more where that came from.
  9. 3 points
    I was lucky enough to grab tickets in time to go to PAX East once again. That“s 2 years in a row! Unfortunately, I was only able to go on Sunday this year, which meant I was a bit more time pressed compared to last year. The first stop was the exhibition hall, because that“s where all the action is. Despite being told that it would be less crowded than Friday or Saturday, it was still PACKED. “Less crowded†is a VERY subjective term. The panel I was attending was not for some time, so the first major area I stopped at was Nvidia. They were showcasing their new handheld console, which is project shield. It allows one to play a game that could be played from the computer as well. I played The Conduit (on a tablet), and Blood Sword (on the console itself), while I was able to catch others playing Assassin“s Creed III, and Sonic 4. Blood Sword played well with buttons, but touchscreen play was available as well. As a console gamer, buttons just worked out much better for me. As far as Conduit is concerned, the controls weren“t difficult to get used to, and they were creative. Standing still had you reload, and there was auto fire, but you had to aim at an object that could be shot at. Double tapping allowed you to throw grenades, and tapping your secondary gun, switched guns. The only hard part was getting used to touchscreen movement. After playing, I left with a free tshirt. Project Shield From there I just walked around snapping a few pictures and watching others play, as many lines were incredibly long. I watched some Mark of the Ninja, The Last of Us, and caught a glimpse of Remember Me. Watching Mark of the Ninja, was fun. I have yet to play at the moment, but it looks like a great stealth game. Being a Naughty Dog fan, I am definitely looking forward to The Last of Us. The wait to play was incredibly long, but I managed to see someone stealth kill a zombie, which was pretty cool. Other than that I saw a lot of people exploring, as the area was deserted. This is a game I will certainly be looking out for. There were also very long lines to play Assassin“s Creed IV, and Gears of War Judgment. At one time the Gears line shortened, but I didn“t jump in line, and then found it extended considerably after a few minutes. Chance to play lost. After some walking around, I found the Nintendo area. There were lots of people playing Wii U and 3DS, as expected. Nintendo, as promised, is celebrating Luigi, so there was a book for Luigi“s anniversary that the fans could sign! I signed it saying that he“s player 2 for life. He“s one of the best player 2“s out there! You don“t have to be player 1 to be a hero. Then it was off to Merman theater for the panel, “How to Turn Your Gaming Passion into Profitsâ€. The panelists were: Anthony Frasier founder of TheKoalition.com, Alexis Hebert, community manager at Microsoft, CJ Peters, founder and CEO of KonsoleKingz.com, and Gerard Williams who created and founded HipHopGamerShow.com. Gerard Williams was carrying his giant belt. Advice from all of them was that there are various ways to get into the industry now compared to the past. If you want to start doing video playthroughs, start doing that. People love pictures and video. Peters and Frasier talked about the importance of learning to code, which Peters had to figure out in order to play games as a young child. Coding is what developers will do, and it is the job most needed for most game companies, so that is probably the most practical way to get in. Sound designers, concept artists, musicians, and writers all have a chance to break into the industry as well, it“s just harder. So don“t fret if that“s what you want to do! While all of them had interesting stories and came from different walks of life, I paid the most attention to Alexis Hebert, because she broke into the industry through writing and playing in tournaments. I was also able to speak with her after the panel, and she stressed that I should get out of my comfort zone and read articles on subjects I know nothing about, and figure out why I decided to read that entry, what worked, what didn“t work, what else helped you continue reading the article. Some sound advice. Thank you for the advice Alexis! Back in the exhibition hall, I found the Usagi Yojimbo mobile game (remember him?). After speaking with one of the exhibitors, he decided to start me on stage 10, which is pretty late in the game. There are two attack buttons, and one you can hold in order to block. It was rather chaotic for the first time playing, but it was fun. What was spectacular, however, was out easily the licensing to use the character worked out. I had the chance to speak with the main developer, and he said all it took was a quick phone call. However, in a normal case to use specific characters there“s a bunch of rules and contracting involved between the two parties. We didn“t get into much detail about all of that though. After leaving Usagi Yojimbo, I managed to catch a glimpse of (highly stylized fantasy violence watch at your own discretion), who was running around in bright red hair and something of a punk outfit. I did not snap a picture unfortunately. I did get to play Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, which is an arcade beat em up from CAPCOM. There are a surprising number of playable characters in that game. It was fun, if not hectic. I played as the male magic user and the male fighter. The melee fighters can attack enemies that are down on the ground, and everyone can do a downward attack in the air. There are more attacks than one would think. There was an incredibly long line just to play DuckTales, and there was a broadcast of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I don“t know who was playing but the person playing as Vergil, Spencer, and Hawkeye, was insane. Hawkeye wasn“t even used, and he won multiple matches. The t-shirts and other merchandise was fun to see. They tend to be humorous. My favorite thing there was a Chrono Trigger poster. There was stuff from Korra, and even Harry Potter, among other games and TV shows. That ends my PAX East 2013 Adventure. I thank you for reading, and here are more pictures for you to enjoy! "My name is Gato..." The Conduit tablet game A look at the tabletop area She was kind enough not to cast a spell on me Destructoid Head! Cammy and Juri invite a new challenger!
  10. 3 points
    Chances are that if you“re reading this post then you self identify as a “gameré. As gamers, we are happy to announce our adoration for the video game medium and share our interest (or obsession) with others. As a collective whole, we routinely raise massive amounts of money for charities through the likes of Child“s Play, indie bundles, and through donating to marathon game streams. There“s a lot of good that our community does for each other - but that“s not the image is projected to the world. Instead, gamers have been seen as man-children if they are male or just plain weird if they are female. Young gamers of either gender have often been picked on as geeks/dorks/dweebs/nerds or whatever else people saw fit to call those who took an interest in technological entertainment. While that type of bullying isn“t warranted, there are views of the gaming community which are based in some amount of fact. Negative connotations such as gamers being rude, elitist, or downright hateful are certainly not true of everyone, but there are definitely bad seeds who speak loudly enough to make this seem the case. How can we in the gaming community improve our image? Truth be told, it“s a hard mission considering the medium has been around for a few decades now, giving ample time for “outsidersé to formulate opinions. Interestingly, less people are truly considered outside the medium these days given the ample access to gaming media through phones, tablets, and websites. Still, they tend to view “gamersé as something else and, to be fair, gamers tend to have the same view of these “casualé players. Regardless, it may be useful to draw from these similarities to help lessen the bias people have against gamers. Some people seem apt to rush to the conclusion that gamers must be anti-social. But what if you were to turn that perception on its head by speaking out to the enjoyment of social or casual video games? If a non-gamer were to realize their gaming intake also counts as games it might make them wonder. Many who play smartphone or Facebook games may not consider their entertainment as games, but it is definitely game-like. One of the biggest misconceptions of gamers is simply that we are a bunch of weirdos who have no ability to socialize or otherwise have a life. Sure, we may be more excited to spend a free night powering through a game rather than getting drunk, but all in all, it seems like the wiser choice. Is there a way to change this idea in people“s heads without forcing yourself to conform to stereotypical means of celebration? Well, maybe a little. Instead of immediately pulling out a handheld console and playing away during work or school breaks, why not try being social with others? Funnily, you may see that many of the non-gamers are the truly unsocial ones as they immediately focus all attention on smartphones or tablets. By simply extending a very simple social call to another human being you are appearing even more “normalé as they may be embarrassed by their technological dependence. Sure, still enjoy games in public, but let others know you can discuss things other than them too. Speaking about other geeky pursuits such as comics, anime, and certain TV shows might just do the trick considering they're in vogue. What of the idea that gamers are mean-spirited, childish, or downright bigoted? This is one idea that has been spread due to news and social media and far extends the reaches of our community. And in some ways, even us ourselves are probably willing to agree with it. There“s no denying that many voices from within the community spout truly vile things to one another - and for more reason than simple trash talking. While it is not possible to stop some people from being cruel, it is possible to keep them from getting a pedestal from which to spout their vitriol. With most multiplayer video games having mute functions, make sure to mute annoying players (or voice chat entirely, if possible) when non-gaming relatives or friends are around. Truly, even we shouldn“t lend an ear to ridiculous hate speech. Instead of letting players get away with awful things in game try reporting them so they quit that behavior or at least are known to be avoided. As for journalists, make sure to not give a spotlight to these people which could then be carried on to general new sites. There are people out there who embody and confirm the stereotypes that some hold as to gamers and gaming culture. However, many more of us are intelligent individuals who are smart enough to not be completely awful, overindulgent beings. As long as we are a good group of folks then others will eventually come to see us as just another group of passionate fans, just like movie or TV show fans. As gaming furthers growth into new markets it will only help “normalizeé views toward gamers as well.
  11. 3 points
    We all know in videogames the good guys always win. The hero goes on a journey and defeats the villain in the end to save the world or someone. The light always shines through the darkness. Many stories have great moments between the hero and villain and see to what lead to their final battle. We have favorite characters in the game and most of them are the good guys. How about the bad guys? We have our favorite villains in games that stood out a lot and had memorable crazy moments. Now the question is what makes a villain memorable in games? How do they make the story unbelievable? Well there many factors of what makes the most memorable villain in the story like his/her morals, character development, acts, backstory, personality, appearance, power, etc. A great example to talk about is Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy VI. Not only he was the craziest memorable villain, but he actually succeeds at one point. Possible Spoilers Ahead; Read at Your Own Will Kefka is definitely the most evil Final Fantasy villain besides Sephiroth. His appearance is resembled to the Joker, but in a jester like uniform. His attitude is beyond evil as he is a maniac, psychopath, and very cruel to everyone. He actually has no feelings for society and finds enjoyment in hurting others. Every now and then he would speak jokes that are pretty dark. He would do anything to create chaos with his insane laughter. The actions he does in the game is the most sinister in the series. Before all this he was the Emperor“s right hand man taking orders from him, but later he goes to his own ways of being a villain. Prior to that he was the first person to go into an experiment called Magitek that gave him magical powers, but going through it caused him to become insane. This led to him being very cruel and became a manipulative madman. His actions throughout the game were horrifying. Kefka would poison the castle Doma killing civilians including the royal members. When he was rumored to be a general in the military, there were those who did not like the idea, but eventually took over and poisoned the river causing genocide. He laughed and loved the music of cries when that happened. His highest action is attaining the power of Godhood after destroying the world by stealing powers after eliminating the espers. He took over the world for about a year which is terrifying for a villain. Ever since the main characters were defeated, apocalypse had occurred through the year before the heroes gathered together for the final battle. Of course in the end Kefka was defeated in their second attempt. Kefka was one of those villains who became ultimately unstoppable for his actions and chaos. It was amazing how he was able to rule for a year. These factors are what made Kefka a memorable villain in gaming history and the story of Final Fantasy VI. Villains are usually never successful in heroic stories, but Kefka was a very unique written character of the story. His Joker-like killer attitude is what made him one of the most insane villains in games. I would love to see a villain in other games actually succeed for once to make the story twisted and unbelievable. It“s too cliché to have heroes win all the time and I feel there should be villains like Kefka to succeed at one point and have gamers react and pulled into the villain“s view.
  12. 3 points
    Hello readers, and welcome to the first entry in what I hope will become a series, known as "So I Gotta Know." Basically, I'll pose questions to the game industry that have been bugging me and I just need to know the answer. However, since I'm not actually asking these questions to anyone in particular, I'll have to come up with my own answers, and maybe rant a little bit along the way. This first segment is about how many games these days don't let you stop and sight-see, and instead are constantly pushing you along from objective to objective. His blue isn't going to blur itself, you know. So what's the rush? Back in the era of 2D gaming, it made perfect sense for a game to keep you on the move. I mean, really, if you weren't moving forward, where were you going? Most 2D games didn't allow you to just roam around to your heart's content because that wasn't the point, unless it was an adventure game like The Legend of Zelda or something. So a little flashing arrow with the word "GO!" attached made sense because there was no reason to not keep going, especially because many older games had timers. As developers moved into the third dimension though, it made sense to stop pushing the player along because the developers wanted players to explore and see all the hard work they put into making a large 3D environment. So, for a time, the worst thing that would happen if you stopped moving for a while was that Mario would take a well-deserved nap. Close your eyes and drift off into Subcon. But now that everyone's used to seeing fancy, shiny graphics, developers have had to find other ways to keep your attention, and at some point many of them decided the best way to keep you engaged was to make sure you never stopped doing what they wanted you to do. This was accomplished by having some sort of on-screen indicator pop up every now and then to remind you of where to go or what to do, or, more annoyingly, have a secondary character remind you of what to do. Rather than let you rely on the objectives screen that every game with objectives has, or let you press a button to show your target marker on your own, some developers decided to make sure you always knew your mission. They decided that if you stopped moving towards your objective for more than a few seconds, you must be stuck and needed to be reminded of where to go. These developers might have crafted a large, semi-open world just begging to be explored, but don't expect to deviate from the path unless you have your mute button nearby or just like hearing "I'm over here!" a thousand times in a row. I KNOW WHERE YOU ARE ALREADY Constant on-screen reminders aren't THAT bad, but it's the characters that actually tell you, out loud, to get moving that are awful. One of the worst offenders I've recently played was Front Mission: Evolved. In that game, if you went off to explore and didn't do what the game wanted you to be doing, the other characters wouldn't just tell you what to do, they'd yell you what to do. If I decided to see what was down that other road, or off in that little cranny and I took more than a minute or so, I'd have one of the supporting characters yelling at me to go shoot this thing or go blow up that thing or oh my God there's a bomb that needs to be defused and why are you NOT DEFUSING IT!?!? I'm not sure that last one actually happened, but you get the idea - the game wasn't going to let me explore at my leisure because it wanted me to stay focused on shooting stuff and blowing up stuff, because that's what giant mechs are supposed to do. Sometimes there's some overlap between the two. So here's my theoretical answer: developers that do this don't want you to casually stroll through their game because they don't want you to stumble upon something they did wrong, and instead they want you to see everything (they think) they did right. Either that or the game is supposed to be a fast-paced action game, so they thought you wouldn't have any reason to dawdle and wanted to make sure you didn't find a reason. Maybe the game just doesn't have much to offer, and the devs don't want you to realize it. I honestly can't think of a legitimate-sounding reason why developers chose to make games that pester you along from objective to objective instead of letting you move at your own pace. Whatever the case, when I buy a game, I fully expect to be able to play that game however I desire, not however I'm being told to play it. At that point, it becomes less an entertainment product and more of an annoyance product, and people only pay money for those when they annoy other people. So, that's my first incoherent ramble known as So I Gotta Know. What do you think about developers rushing you through games? Why do you think they do it? Do you even notice or care when a game does it? But maybe you're not in the mood to answer questions, so here's something else - if you have a question about the game industry that's bugging you, ask it! If I find that I've asked the same question, I'll see about writing up a So I Gotta Know about it. If I haven't thought of it, well, that will just give me a reason to go ahead and greenlight my spinoff, So YOU Gotta Know.
  13. 3 points
    I“d like to start this piece off by asking a simple question; what exactly defines the term “indie gameâ€? We hear about it all the time these days, about the successes of small teams making equally small games and their gain in popularity, but what exactly are they? I suppose you could start by defining what “indie†means, because it“s not exclusively tied to the gaming world. We have indie artists, indie movies…the list goes on and on. The word “indie†of course is short for independent, and in the case of creators be it movie directors or game developers, being independent means you have creative freedom, no studio or publisher keeping you on a leash, making sure you “make that guy more evil looking†or “add some more koopas over thereâ€. Thus, indie games often tend to buck the mainstream trends associated with bigger productions. The gaming landscape is dominated by several game publishing giants, all of whom spend a great deal of money making sure they put out the next AAA title. Their goal is after all, to make money, and lots of it. But you really can“t fault them for that, can you? Sure Activision COULD start funding Joe Indie“s new project Super Blasterman, but why would they if they could churn out another Call of Duty and raking in a few more billion dollars? That“s where indie games step in. We“ve always had them, but they“ve really fallen into the spotlight in recent years due largely, if not entirely, to the marvels of digital distribution. 10 years ago it would“ve been impossible for a game with no or limited physical release, and no marketing or advertising, to reach even a few hundred people. But because of digital distribution making the selling and transferring of a game so easy and cheap it is now possible for a single creator to reach thousands if not millions of potential customers. Minecraft is possibly the best example of this, created by one man with a vision to make a game he wanted to play and made available for anyone to purchase, has sold well over a million copies worldwide, and its still being worked on! So what sets indie games apart then? Markus Persson (the creator of Minecraft) himself has stated that he not sure that there“s anything that indie developers can do that the big studios can“t. He refers to Portal as essentially being an indie game in all but name, a unique game that took a risk at being different. The difference being Valve chose to make the game on a small budget, whereas indie developers oftentimes don“t have a choice. However, there is still the fact that Valve is a major (albeit private) company and still lacks the ultimate creative freedom that small team of indie developers has. Another highly successful indie game studio, Thatgamecompany is one of the major players in the rise of the indie game craze of the past few years. They started with flOw a mildly successful title that garnered little attention, then moved on to Flower which was held up as “gaming artâ€, until finally releasing their Magnum Opus; Journey. But Thatgamecompany is but a drip in the giant pool of indie developers that have arisen these last few years. I already mentioned that the ease of digital distribution helped make the indie game craze possible, but there are numerous other reasons as well. While AAA game development costs continue to soar, making simpler games are a much cheaper task. The affordability and access to better hardware and software has allowed even those of lesser means to bring their visions to life. Even funding no longer poses as much of a problem as it once did, thanks to a rise in sites such as Kickstarter which rely on crowdsourcing to fund an otherwise un-fundable idea. Not only that, but smartphone use has seen a spike in usage in roughly the same amount of time as the rise in indie game popularity. Sure, indie games remain a largely PC staple but they are, and have been, branching out to mobile phones as well as other platforms, which also help increase their audiences. Rovio for example, made a simple little game called Angry Birds with a tiny team and tiny budget. That game is now more popular and widely played than most real videogames. Even now, with the dawn of a new generation on the horizon, indie games are looking to stay, and I believe they won“t be going anywhere anytime soon. The decrease in the amount of smaller game titles released each year in favor of a few major hits is being compensated by indie games, and if things continue to go the way they are now we may very well see the line between these smaller game releases and indie games blur and eventually, disappear.
  14. 3 points
    Most levels in games don't take that long to complete. They certainly don't take 3 hours to get through. But I bought Scribblenauts Unlimited last night, and so far I've played it for over 3 hours and I'm still on the first level. Not that I can't finish the level, mind, and, in fact, I have completed it. However, there's quite a few reasons why I'm still on the first level. This is one of them. For the uninitiated, the Scribblenauts series allows players to type in nearly any object and have that object spawn in the game world. Super Scribblenauts added adjectives, broadening the spectrum, and Scribblenauts Unlimited wants to live up to it's name by giving you nearly unlimited freedom. The majority of the time, you're only limited by your imagination. Sure, sometimes the game doesn't recognize what you want, like earlier - I wanted to spawn one of those power saws, but I didn't know what they were called. I typed power saw and the game didn't recognize it, so I typed electric saw, and out popped an electrified hand saw, which admittedly was much cooler. Other times, you end up with things like this: That's a spotted fawn according to the game. I was thinking Bambi, the game was thinking rare skin disorder. The other one is "white spotted fawn" which took the word "white" a smidge too far into monochrome territory. But you know what? I don't care. I'm having an absolute blast seeing what I can come up with, and it's that thirst for pushing the bounds of what the game is capable of that has kept me stuck in the first stage of the game. If you've ever played Garry's Mod, you have an idea of what to expect here - you spawn one thing, then another, then another until you have a mish-mash of things littered about the screen and nothing to do with them. That's when you decide to find ways to make them interactive, which, in Scribblenauts, means adding adjectives. Sure, you can spawn a potato, but why not spawn a sentient green dancing ninja potato instead? I can guarantee those would have taken over the timeslot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a heartbeat. But why stop there? Why not have an electrified zombie horse or a giant decapitated reindeer? No, seriously, decapitated is an accepted adjective. If you were to watch me play a game, you'd soon see that I like to find fun in things that the developers never intended, like trying to climb objects in the game world (and often getting stuck) or luring NPCs into deadly traps. With Scribblenauts, building your own experience is certainly intended and expected, but I think they actually expected people to, you know, play the levels too, and that is something I just can't bring myself to do just yet. Not when I can take on a massive gun-toting tyrannosaurus in an impenetrable mech instead. Illustrated here for effect. Quite simply, Scribblenauts Unlimited is the most fun I've had with a game in a long time since it allows me to just sort of kick back and go wild. But maybe I should go see what the rest of the game has to offer. Maybe I should see what the game hopes I'll think up as a solution to it's puzzles. Maybe I should save Maxwell's sister from being turned to stone. That seems kinda important. ...Or maybe I should go check and make sure they get this brontosaurus out of the tree safely first. Yeah, after that, I'll get into the game. For sure this time. Definitely. Right after this. Oh yeah, he'll be fine. They've got a ladder. But just in case, I'd better summon a few helicopters and a purple flaming tornado.
  15. 3 points
    Talk about the next generation of consoles is heating up and everyone is wondering how the next one will be better than what we have now. While, previously, each new console generation has had improved graphical power over the previous ones, I don“t see this happening with the next generation; instead, I think it will be more focused on how we buy games and how games are made for these consoles. A digital future is almost a certainty, but it is still too early for it to arrive in the next line of consoles. Too many people (me included) lack the internet speeds to download all of their games. With that said, Steam and other services have shown that downloading games is popular enough to be sustainable, so any smart console manufacturers are looking at including a service that allows consumers to download games straight onto their console. We have already seen this being done, but I think next generation will have a more complete library on offer and maybe even better pricing (we can dream right?) Speaking of pricing, that is another thing that has to change. Consumers always want something for as cheap as their conscience allows, and, even though the pricing of games has gone down recently, it still isn“t a cheap hobby. In countries like Australia and New Zealand games cost between $80-90 USD and, there are, of course, plenty of other countries who get shafted on game pricing. While I can understand the price differences in physical stores, where you have to send games to these countries, it is the price differences in online stores that I don“t understand; you aren“t paying extra to send games to other countries and you don“t have to print or package your games, so shouldn“t everyone be paying less for them? There are two main reasons I can think of: Customers are used to paying however much for their games and will pay the same amount online without too much fuss, the other reason is that publishers probably want to avoid upsetting brick and mortar stores too much considering that is where they sell most of their games. In fact, why don“t we look at how much a game should cost? With gamers expecting more bang for their buck, developers are having to make their games look a million dollars, and that costs, well, a lot. There has been a rise in lower-cost gaming on the PC and mobile markets and, while these smaller games aren“t exactly taking over the console space at the moment, with things like OUYA, I can see other console manufacturers increasing their services like PSN and XBLA to embrace even more indie games in the future. Of course, one of the biggest problems facing these smaller developers is getting noticed, since there isn“t really an easy way to find all these indie games except word-of-mouth, and that isn“t the most reliable method. If the next generation of consoles really wants to support indie developers, then it needs to help them out and make it easier for them to get noticed. If no one decides to write an article about you and none of the console manufactures promote your work, then it is incredibly easy to fall into the pit of obscurity, and that is not a fun place to be. Now, because I“m weird like that, I want to find more great games to play, and I think if the next line of consoles has a better method of showing off all the great games you can purchase on its store, then a lot more talented developers can get the recognition they deserve. Oh, and more money. Alright, team, let“s huddle together and think about how the next generation could help us all play as a big group. Multiplayer has come a long way in a short amount of time, but, being the ambitious guy that I am, I think it can go even further. I don“t want to name names, but I think, if a certain company were to stop charging for the privilege of playing online, then I would be pretty happy. But this mystery company“s idea to provide headsets with their consoles is something I like (you guys all know how much I love to talk), and I would like to see a similar thing happen with more of the next line of consoles. Another thing I want to see happen to all the future consoles is some way to stop all this abuse that happens online. Yes, that is a pipe dream. Stopping people from hating other people would take a lot of work and bullets. What I want is a better way to get these people off of multiplayer. They can go be abusive to the AI in campaign mode, but allowing these kinds of people onto multiplayer is keeping a lot of other, well-adjusted people off of the online space. This could be done with just a more effective reporting system, or having to make everyone sit down to an interview before being allowed to play online. As a master of segues I think we should start talking about motion controls. While I am not the biggest fan of motion controllers (at the moment none of them seem to work better than an old fashioned controller), I could see companies making big improvements in the technology, to the point where they do start to become intuitive and don“t cause your avatars leg to twist around itself whenever you want to see what the bottom of your shoe looks like. What motion controls need is to get away from this all-or-nothing mentality. Having to choose between sitting in my chair with my controller or standing up breaking half my furniture just to throw a grenade is stupid. Give us the best of both worlds, with being able to add extra actions in by using gestures or voice commands. Instead of replacing the things we can do with a controller, why don“t you add to the things we can do with motion controllers? Enough about the hypothetical, why don“t we start talking about something we know is coming. The OUYA is an interesting beast to talk about, since it isn“t trying to compete with the other consoles. Instead, it is trying to do its own thing and, whether or not it will succeed in that is up for debate, it is still interesting to talk about. Now, for those who don“t know the OUYA is a console that aims to bring the open market you see elsewhere to the console sphere. I am a little uneasy about putting money toward something that could easily not work, but it seems plenty of people have faith in it (or at least a lot of money on hand), and the OUYAs kickstarter raised a crisp $8,580,682. While there have been a lot of skeptical articles flying around, it would seem the general public is fully behind it. That means it will probably get the support it needs from developers, and it would seem quite a few of developers are already getting behind the OUYA. I don“t think it will offer much competition to the bigger consoles out there, but I do think it will give smaller developers a chance to shine in the console market, and also help shake up the gaming world a little. The other console that we can talk about is the Wii U and, unlike the OUYA, it seems Nintendo is looking to take the fight to Sony and Microsoft with their console. With the Wii U set to be more powerful than the current generation (pretty weird to have to say that a next generation console will be more powerful than the current generation, but then again the Wii exists), Nintendo definitely want to compete graphically with Sony and Microsoft. The interesting thing that Wii U brings to the table is that it has a screen in its controller. This works with the DS and 3DS, but I wonder how well it will work when the two screens are further apart. I personally rest the controller on my lap, and I“m not sure I would like to have to hold a controller up so I can look between the two screens quickly. I am obviously not a game developer and can only think of vague uses for the second screen, so I will have to wait until it launches to see if anyone aside from Nintendo can make good use of the second screen. The good news is that we have already seen some interesting things shown off. Apart from the issue of whether or not developers do much with the second screen, there is the issue of its timing. The next generation of consoles is coming soon, but I think the Wii U will be on its own until Sony and Microsoft bring their own offerings to market, and that could either be a strength or a big weakness. The Wii U will be around during two generations and, unless the other consoles are just sitting around the corner, the Wii U might be stuck in the middle, meaning that it fails to keep up with the other next generation consoles. Considering how long this generation has lasted, having trouble keeping up in the beginning could lead to big trouble later on. There are some advantages to launching early however. If the next consoles are close to being unveiled, then with the Wii U being early could mean that it has a stronger library and more time to work out the kinks by the time the other consoles show up. That would mean people are more likely to get or stick with a Wii U instead of getting something new when it is still trying to prove itself. While it is hard to predict what will happen, it will be interesting to see how the Wii U does. It is always an exciting time when a new console generation is near and everyone is talking about what they want to happen. Of course all these possibilities are up to the manufacturers to make come true and I hope they don“t disappoint. Now I could talk about the next generation of consoles until they actually come out, but I think it I have said enough. Now it“s up to you to tell me how wrong I am in the comments below.
  16. 3 points
    I apologize for the late entry, as life as been a bit more crazy than usual. You will get two entries this October. So without further ado… Contra, Battletoads & Double Dragon, Sonic the Hedgehog, and a bunch of other games from the past had lots of people try something: Cheat codes. Cheat codes are not as widely used anymore. Games used to be filled with those kinds of things. Now these are either given to you as: unlockable cheats, (which is fine), a glitch (which isn“t really a cheat code), or through a cheat device (which is something else entirely). When I talk about a cheat code, I mean inputting a sequence at the title screen, an options screen, or when you pause the game. The greatest code of all time. So why is it that cheat codes aren“t used anymore? Many cheats are now unlockable, so you earn the cheats from doing some kind of in game task. You may have to do some ridiculous side quest, but it“s not something completely hidden from you. You know the cheat exist. There“s also the side effect of the age of online gaming. I understand that with playing online, using cheat codes could mean playing against someone with unlimited health, maximum power-ups, or unlimited ammo. Being able to use those codes whenever you please could certainly make the online gameplay ridiculously cheap. We also have to deal with the advent of achievements and trophies. People cheating in order to "earn" achievements and trophies would mean that you end up playing the game in the way that companies don't want you to play the game. The last game I played that used cheat codes to some high degree was Scott Pilgrim. In that game, you actually unlocked new games modes by inputting a sequence at the title screen. However, I also have to give Scott Pilgrim a pass, because it harkens back to the 8 and 16 bit days of gaming, when those button sequence cheats were popular. In today's way of gaming, cheats could open the floodgates for not playing the game in a way the companies would like the game to be played. But this is in regards to console gaming. There's a different scene when it comes to the PC market. The PC market has had mods grow in number. People get into the game“s code and modify the game itself for their own needs. That dark and gritty game can be brought to life with bright pastels while you gun down your enemies. Or maybe you just want to give your favorite character a . He joined Street Fighter? It turns out that cheat codes have gone away due to the evolution of coding. Coding has become more complex, and with those complexities, means less room for messy code. Reddit user ZorbaTHut commented on a different story: “Cheats were originally introduced as a debugging mechanism. You used them to test the game. Removing them was potentially a bit difficult - old games had a lot of interconnections, and removing the cheats could actually introduce bugs - as well as irrelevant. But the games back then were simple enough that you only needed half a dozen simple cheats in order to test everything, so this worked out great.…Adding a "skip this level" cheat could be equivalent to adding a "make the game unplayable" cheat.†Even though cheat codes are around, they don“t give off the same feeling as before. That password just means you don“t spend money on a power up now, or you get an item you just didn“t feel like searching for. The closest thing we have to traditional cheat codes now are glitches, and while those are fun, but they run the risk of messing up your game. Those fun cheats where you You can read the rest of the Reddit conversation here.
  17. 3 points
    With the recent news of the The World Ends with You going to iOS (http://www.gamepodun...-a-sequel-r1213) I got to thinking. That game was incredible. It's the best use of the DS so far. It really might lose a lot going to the iOS. In fact, the DS... Then I realized that the DS may be the best system... ever. Not since the days of SNES vs Genesis has this position been coveted, but still - the DS has it all. So here's a guide. If you want to play a great game from pretty much any genre, the DS has you covered. And they're mostly dirt-cheap now, so you can hit up Amazon anytime you'd like something amazing for under $20. The DS has... the Best RPGs Chrono Trigger DS - the definitive edition of the best RPG of all time. Sure, some (including myself) prefer the old translation, and the added DS features aren't great, but they can't subtract from the core game which is, still, nearly perfect. The World Ends With You - an amazing action RPG that can't be done (correctly) anywhere else. A plot remniscient of the most mind-being anime, fashion, and all the anime that you can handle, with the most-fun battle system of the last ten years. Honestly, it's nearly perfect... especially if you play the omake chapter. Buy this game. Final Fantasy VI (GBA) - it's a GBA game, but it's the best Final Fantasy. If you want to play the best RPG traditional RPG ever, here's your chance. The DS has... the Best Rhythm Games Elite Beat Agents - even Nintendo Power gave this the rating of best DS game ever, and for a good reason. It's probably the best pure rhythm game ever - not the best party game, no, but the best game against doing things to a beat. You'll laugh, you'll dance, you'll cry. Bonus points for its prequel and sequel which didn't make it to the States. The DS has... the best adventure games. Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney (1-3) - the best adventure games released in the last ten years bring back what was fun about the genre - using tools to your advantage against a wacky cast of characters. The Phoenix Wright Trauma Center (1 and 2) - is this an adventure game? I don't know what to call it, really, but it's a blast to play. Sharp reflexes and an interesting-enough storyline amount to a great weekend of playtime. There's a Wii version, too, but it's not as fun. The DS has... the best action games. Mega Man Zero Collection - it's the best shape you've seen Megaman in ages, and Megaman isn't even playable. It's four games for the price of one, and each of them represent the peak of 2D platforming. Alright, fine, there was some hyperbole there. It doesn't have the best racing game (that's Mario Kart Double Dash on the Gamecube), the best party game (Rock Band), or the best hummingbird-based shooter (that's the 32X). Still, it's a mighty fine system... if nothing else, I hope I've showed you some games you've missed. Can you think of any system better deserving of best platform than the DS?
  18. 3 points
    I“d like for you try an experiment: Grab a few games and read the back of the box. If you have a larger collection, feel free to vary the genre and generation of games. Now try the same thing with movies. Notice how pretty much all the movies explain the story of the movie, while it“s not the same with the games. Here“s my list of the games I chose: Not telling story: Mario galaxy 2 - Wii – platformer Mario and Luigi super star saga - GBA – RPG Tekken 5- PS2 - battle DBZ Budokai 3 – PS2 – battle Jak X – PS2 – racing Assassin“s Creed – PS3 – action/stealth Chrono Cross – PS1 - RPG Telling story: No More Heroes - Wii – action Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One – PS3 - platformer Viewtiful Joe – PS2 – action/beat-em-up Viewtiful Joe 2 – PS2 – action/beat-em-up Sonic 2 – Genesis - platformer Golden sun: lost age - GBA - RPG While we do live in the Internet age, and can look up practically anything game stories included), many games surprisingly feature almost nothing about the story of the game on the back of the box. Many games are all about the features. It doesn“t take much to explain the story, just a short blurb will do. A couple sentences explaining why you are playing as so-and-so, and then all of the fancy, eye-grabbing stuff can be in the smaller pictures. Now depending on the kind of game you get can detail how things are played in the advertising field. Surprisingly, half of the games I chose have nothing to say about their respective stories. The strongest case probably goes to “Mario and Luigi Superstar Sagaâ€, and “Chrono Cross†mainly because they are RPGs, which is the most story-based genre out there. If I pick up a game I haven“t heard of, or have forgotten about, I would like to know what I“m getting into by looking at the package somehow, much like how movies and books try and grab their audience. However, a video game“s interactive nature lets it pick a direction. Mario and Luigi are off to the Beanbean Kingdom! But why? Games with simpler stories, such as the “Mario†games can get away with a non descriptive story, because the story is usually just that simple; Princess Peach has been kidnapped, and it“s up to Mario to save her. That“s pretty much it. Everyone looks forward to the new levels and the new features. “Mario†also has the fact that he is a franchise and not a new series. No one expects something overly complicated when it comes to “Marioâ€, so when all the new features are on the back of the box, it“s understandable. Battle games and racing games fall in the same mold, because the mechanics and features is what everyone looks forward to, especially if the game is a long running franchise. Even if the game is new, the audience will want to know what the new game is doing that the others are not. What does “Guilty Gear†do that “Street Fighter†doesn“t? Right there near the bottom of the case My point is that much like books and movies, you can figure out what the basic plot of the book or movie is by picking up the package. Interestingly, video games don“t necessarily have to follow that rule. While I was irked that “Assassin“s Creed†mentions nothing about Desmond Miles (Desmond Miles is left to the instruction manual), it“s not necessarily a bad point. A little surprise never hurt anyone.
  19. 2 points
    Welcome readers, to a special limited edition Venomous Incorporated blog post, Tales of Unboxing! You may be wondering what makes it a limited edition, but before you run and tell your friends to check out this post before it disappears, it's not going anywhere. No, it's limited because it's probably the only one you'll ever see since I don't get to buy many collector's or limited editions of games. But this time I did! I did Namco-Bandai's bidding and put in a nice pre-order for Tales of Xillia, which granted me a free upgrade to the Limited Edition of the game. Since these are limited to the first print run, it's likely that they'll soon become a collector's item. Though it certainly won't be as rare as the Collector's Edition, it's sure to be sought by penny-pinching Tales fans who missed out on it. So let's open it already! But of course, any good unboxer knows that you can't unbox something without showing the box it's being taken out of, so here it is: Lovely, isn't it? I kinda expected it to be bigger myself, but I'll take what I can get. Though it's difficult to tell from the picture, the logo and that circular Stargate-looking thing behind the characters have sort of a "pop-out" feel to them, and the logo sparkles a bit in the right light. Proper! So now that you've gotten a look at that, let's have a peek at what was stored away inside: You've got your game, of course, then a CD with a selection of tracks from the game, and an Character Book, which is basically an artbook that focuses solely on the characters. Not bad for pre-order extras if I do say so myself. But you didn't come here to look at everything from afar, did you? Let's get some details! First, the lovely CD: I'm kinda curious as to what a Splendid Sword Dance is now. Twelve tracks of RPG music goodness in a keep sleeve with inexplicably more appealing artwork on the back instead of the front. While I haven't listened to the CD yet, I'm sure it's intended to serve as a "best of" of sorts since it's not a full OST, so it should be interesting to find out where the tracks they chose for the sampler play in the game, other than the obvious ones like character themes and the main theme. But maybe music isn't your thing, and you want pictures. Well, they've got you covered there too! Behold, the artbook (with the front facing up this time, since I had it face-down in the overall picture) as well as a random page from the artbook: Fingers sold separately. As you can tell by the second picture, it's nice and glossy, and the artwork is very detailed, so it's sure to be a treat for those who like artbooks. There's also some short bio info about the main characters to help you get to know them better before playing, which is always a plus, especially for those who like a little background information before diving into a new game world. And, finally, of course, the limited edition of the game comes with, you guessed it, the game itself. It also includes a DLC code for two classic Tales character costumes in the style of characters from Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Destiny: You can probably tell by looking that it doesn't appear to have an instruction manual, and you'd be correct, but that's not really all that surprising in this day and age. It's also worth noting something that hadn't caught my eye until now - the game uses the old Namco logo by itself instead of Namco-Bandai, which is odd, but kind of a cool throwback if nothing else. So, there you have it! For those of you who did get the shiny LE (or the even shinier CE) you either already know what's in here or got something better, but for those who didn't, well, you may begin being jealous...now. Hope you all enjoyed seeing the contents of Tales of Xillia LE, and I'll be sure to regale you with more Tales of Unboxing should I ever come across anything else worth unboxing. For now, I'll leave you with this completely random picture of someone admiring the box... Video games as art. For video game characters.
  20. 2 points
    Developer: 3909 Publisher: 3909 Platform: PC Release Date: August 8th, 2013 "Papers, Please!" "Wait.....what's this? You weigh 5kg extra? Eh, whatever. *APPROVED*" Congrats, you just let a terrorist into your home country, and they just blew up some of the guards inside. It's the little mistakes like these that really define the monotonous and yet at the same time interesting gameplay of the recent indie hit "Papers, Please". This is not a game for those who don't pay attention certainly. However, I can say with definite certainty that this is a game nearly anyone can learn to love. You start as a random citizen pulled from the labor lottery in your fictional home country, Arstotzka, and you're forced to work at the border letting people in and out of the country. It starts off easy, just look at their passport and if they don't have the correct information you give them the deny stamp or else they pass. As the game progresses though, you really can't trust anyone. An old grandmother claiming her child is on the other side with sufficient papers may turn out to be a bomber and end your day early, giving you less potential pay so you can't feed your family. Keeping relationships maintained with others is a good way to explore the 20 different endings, actually. Siding with certain people, or keeping your family well-maintained can lead to different outcomes. I ended up with just my wife and niece alive, and I escaped Arstotzka (no spoilers) to a hopefully better place. I acquired some of the other endings, but they were all bad endings that ended up with me being killed or imprisoned. One of them was of my character being sent away because my family all died of starvation and illness. This is a moderately difficult game if you don't clearly look at everything on each person's papers so you manage to get paid. Getting mistakes too many times will seriously punish you, and just as equally awful is when you let someone dangerous in. This game isn't afraid to tug at your heart strings, for sure. However, I'll admit that the gameplay is not without fault. The monotonous nature of the job your character takes on even shows through to the player, in my opinion. I was really getting bored after long sessions of playing Papers, Please, (excuse the multitude of commas) and that can't be good. There's some excitement in the game, but it's few and far between I suppose. A lot of the characters seem like repeats, for example. Also, your job is 30 days long- with each day taking anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to complete. Some days are event-less with just randoms being accepted or denied, while others have "fun" characters like the above gentleman (he is seriously the best, I swear) or the heartwarming couple (if you take certain actions like I did). I just wish every day was filled with at least one amusing or serious situation. Perhaps then I could have played through the game in one or two sittings. Aesthetically speaking, Papers, Please is a unique game to look at. The colors are bleak, dull, and there isn't much to look at. Sounds are mostly papers moving around, certain effects like gunfire or explosives, or people "talking". I don't remember any music besides on the endings and in the title screen. However, all of this combined precisely fits the tone and setting of the game, so while it might be a little lazy to have this little technical polish, at least the gameplay is fine-tuned. If this completely makes up for that is up to the player though. Personally I think the pixel art is great but the inclusion of no music is disappointing, though maybe that's just personal preference. Papers, Please does not disappoint, however if you want an experience that will last with you I doubt this would be one. While the story is very interesting and full of both humorous and shocking events, the dull gameplay and unnaturally quiet background noise may be turn-offs, if you enjoy a good adventure game or want to try something unique this is the perfect title to add to your library. I give this game a: 8/10
  21. 2 points
    The Super Mario Land games for Gameboy mark a lot of firsts - the first portable Mario games (not counting Game & Watch stuff), the first appearances of Daisy and Wario, and the first time it was possible to run out of batteries before you ran out of lives. While the Land games don't usually top any "best Mario game" lists, they're still fondly remembered and played to this day, whether via the 3DS' Virtual Console or an actual Gameboy. But while there are a lot of things to be said about the Land games, both good and bad, one thing everyone who's played the games can agree on is this: They are weird. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Particularly the first Land game, but they both have their oddities. We'll start with the original: at first, you'll notice it's got all the Mario basics covered: he runs, he jumps, he steps on things, he picks up Mushrooms and flowers, collects coins, and he runs under bosses when they jump to get past them and beat the level. Or shoots them to death from his mini-submarine. Wait, what? Yeah, it's like someone on the Mario team wanted him to cameo in Gradius or something and was told no, and so they developed their own Super Mario shoot-em-up and spliced it in with the traditional platforming gameplay for no adequately explored reason. But hey, at least when you finish a boss, no matter how you do it, you'll still get the wonderful sensation of finding out the princess isn't actually in that castle/underwater tunnel. Except instead of being helpfully informed of this by a Toad (or whatever Daisy's personal security force is), Daisy will simply transform into a regular enemy and run away, which makes you wonder why Mario didn't assume Daisy was actually a shapeshifter and just leave after the first boss. Oh! Daisy...sorry, I thought you were Peach at first. But, ok, Mario's in Sarasaland in that game, so maybe things just work differently there. That's why Koopas explode on impact and flowers cause Mario to fling Superballs around like a spastic 5 year old suffering from ADD and parental neglect. Maybe Sarasaland's water supply isn't breathable for whatever reason, or maybe it isn't even water. Fine. We'll cut it some slack since it was done by a different team too, so maybe they had some ideas they didn't get to voice during the production of the console Mario games. For all intents and purposes, it's still a pretty good Mario game, and, weirdness aside, still holds up to this day. The same can also be said about Mario Land 2, but there are places where it ups the weirdness even without side-scrolling shooter levels or Superballs. For starters, instead of it being about Mario rescuing a princess, this time around he's rescuing his castle and WHEN DID MARIO GET A CASTLE. And furthermore, what happened to the first one? Yep, Mario's out to get his castle back from now-series mainstay Wario, and in order to do that Mario must gather the six Golden Coins to open his convoluted but undoubtedly pretty secure lock system and take the boot to Wario. So...how long has Mario had a castle? I mean, I get it, sometimes when you're knee deep in praise and princesses you need a place to get away from it all, so I guess this is like his summer home or whatever, but it's just weird that he suddenly has one and then it's never mentioned again. It's also never explicitly stated that this is the Mushroom Kingdom (and really, it would probably be stranger if it was) so you kinda have to wonder where exactly Mario built the thing, and why he chooses to vacation in places like Dinosaur Land over his own flippin' castle. But that's just scratching the surface of the oddities in the game. First there's the powerups - sure, there's the good old Fire Flower reminding you that this is definitely not that weird game they did before because it actually shoots fire, but then there's...whatever this thing is. That thing. The Super Radish/Carrot/Super Mario Bros. 2 leftover grants Mario tiny wings on his cap which allow him to flutter downward safely like the Raccoon tail in Mario 3, unless you're a pretty good button masher, because pressing the button fast enough will allow Mario to just fly forward in a perfectly straight line until you get to the end of the level or run into something. And speaking of levels, these run the gamut between a fairly normal forest level to outer-freakin'-space, which is par for the course these days, but back then was a pretty big diversion from the castles and brick road strolls of the console games. Then there's the enemies, which range from the standard Goomba and Koopas (which don't explode this time, thankfully) to giant insects and some kind of cross between a horse and a fish. Also, they apparently make their home in Jell-O lakes. Speaking of enemies, this game also does something that no other non-RPG Mario game (to my knowledge) does, and keeps track of how many you've killed. That Goomba x 19 in the screenshot up there isn't how many enemies are patrolling the level, it's how many aren't patrolling it anymore. Because you killed them. You monster. Anyway, the point of all this is, while the Land games have plenty of Mario trademarks, they also have some new, sometimes intriguing and sometimes insane ideas that, for better or for worse, didn't really pan out and become part of the series from then on. Except for Wario of course, since he hijacked the entire third Land game and made it the first of his own series instead. And while the games may be weird, that's what makes them stand the test of time - the fact that, unlike some other Mario games, there's just not really anything else like them. So, whether you're a Mario fan who's always been wondering when the series' experimental phase was or just someone who needed a good incentive to play the Land games again, take some time one day to play the Land series. You may feel lost, sometimes confused, or just plain weirded out, but I guarantee you'll love every second of it.
  22. 2 points
    This started out as a review for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. I genuinely wanted to give people my honest opinion of the game, while outlining where it shines and where it needs work. But after getting trapped on the second level of the game by a never-ending flood of walkers that block the only escape route to the exit, it's apparent that I'll never finish the game. Since I can't review it effectively, I'll instead take the time to tell you why you should stay far, far away from this rotten, godawful mess of a game. Upon starting the game for the first time, it's already apparent that this game lacks polish - the controls are loose, the graphics are bland, character models are ugly, shadows are blocky and jagged, and voice-overs sound like they were recorded into a tin can rather than a microphone. Meanwhile, the framerate often struggles to stay at 30 FPS, which, for a game that looks as outdated as Survival Instinct does, really shouldn't be that difficult. There's also the fact that, during the tutorial, the messages that tell you which button does what often appear after you've figured it out yourself, or just don't appear at all. These are all little things though, and certainly no reason to avoid the game outright. But I'm just getting started... Well? We're waiting... I only played two levels of the game (more on why in a moment) but in both levels the overall objective was "find gas so you can drive to the next level." Granted, the second level did have some secondary, optional objectives, but they were both fetch quests for survivors found in the level. For a game with the word survival right in the title though, you'd think it would have maybe put more emphasis on surviving than getting gas, but I digress - I've never seen the show, so that may be what they're doing all the time anyway. Sure, you do have to survive against the "walkers," but under normal circumstances that really isn't all that difficult. Getting behind a walker will allow you to stealth kill it (even if it knows you're there) and melee killing them from any angle can be fun. The walker AI is so brain dead (pun kinda-sorta intended) that they'll happily stand there while you gleefully beat them to death, maybe occasionally taking a feeble swing at you. It's when they grapple you that things get annoying - your reticule floats around the screen at random, and you have to center it on the zombie's head and press the attack button while it's centered to instantly kill it. This would be fine if it wasn't for the fact that the game often didn't register my button press when I was certain I had the reticule lined up, making this little QTE more annoying than it should have been. The best (worst) part is that if there are multiple zombies around, after one grapples you any others nearby will grab you the moment you kill the previous one, which often means getting surrounded = getting killed because you can't stop getting grappled to heal. And therein lies the reason I never passed the second level - I got surrounded by so many zombies that I literally could not kill every one of them grappling me over and over and over. But let me back it up a minute, because this requires a little context, I suppose. When you start the level, the road is blocked so you have to go through a small general store to get around the cars in your way and get to the gas station. In order to get gas (as I mentioned, your objective for the first two levels) you have to get a key to turn on the gas station's generator, and once you do that, all the noise from the generator attracts the walkers, which another character helpfully tells you before completely disappearing. Like, literally, he just disappears, you don't see him run out of the station or anything. So anyway, whether you could see any walkers or not, some will inevitably show up to try and ruin your escape, so you have to leave as quickly as possible. But remember that grocery store I mentioned walking through? Yeah, I still have to go through there, only now it's full of walkers. Seriously, full of walkers. There's just a sea of flesh-eating zombies waiting right there along your escape route, every time, all the time, and as soon as you get to them they will grab you, and they will kill you - there's way too many to fight off no matter how good you are at the grappling QTE. So I tried, and tried, and tried again, but there was absolutely no way through. I finally had to give up because after I reloaded my checkpoint several times, the game apparently couldn't handle it anymore and the framerate stuttered and froze every few seconds, making the game entirely unplayable. I don't know who took this screenshot, but I do know their game probably crashed shortly afterwards. Yep, I used the dreaded "u" word, and it is entirely justified. Not just because of the crippling framerate issue, but because this game is so shoddily made that it would be impossible for the average gamer (and I'm hardly an "average" gamer) to make progress in this game without the aid of a cheat device or something. First of all, the game doesn't know how to remove dead zombies from the world - there was one point where I was standing on the fire escape of a building, and two zombies followed me out. I killed them, and turned around to contemplate going down the fire escape or back the way I came. Suddenly, I was grappled by a zombie, who I promptly killed, but I was wondering how he got there so I looked in the room I'd just came from - nothing. I went back to my quiet contemplation, only to be attacked again - by the same f***ing zombie. And this isn't one of those "maybe you didn't kill him all the way" situations - his body disappeared, but apparently the game decided to just respawn him right there, infinitely, until I was smart enough to go somewhere else. This is apparent throughout the game if you're paying attention, since a zombie that you killed in a particular place will often be there again if you get far enough away, by which I mean a few freakin' steps. Second of all, the checkpoint system is horrid - one of the survivors I mentioned earlier asks you to find him batteries. Sure, no problem. I made my way to the police station, fought off some walkers, got the batteries, gave them to him, and went on my merry way. I died shortly after meeting a second survivor inside the station and starting his fetch quest, only to be popped back outside the police station. My objective? Find batteries for Officer whatever his name was. This game is so terrible at remember what you've done that dying could mean a few seconds lost (the generator thing I mentioned earlier happened to be a checkpoint, surprisingly) or several minutes. And if you quit the game and start it up again, it doesn't start you at your last checkpoint like most games - no sir, you're going right back to the beginning of the level, because screw you for quitting the game, that's why. Maybe I'm just angry, but there is absolutely no reason anyone should ever play this game, for any reason, unless, I guess, you really - and I mean really - hate someone and want to show them in one of the worst ways possible by giving them this thing as a gift. This is one of the sorriest excuses for a video game I've ever played, and I've played Postal 3, Sonic '06, Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, Samurai Slowdown III (a.k.a. the PSX version of Samurai Shodown 3), uh...well, you get the idea. The worst part is that the game could have been fun, if it wasn't for the fact that it tries its damnedest to make you fail repeatedly. I really liked bashing in zombie heads, I really liked the idea of getting sucked into the world of The Walking Dead, but all of this was ruined when I realized I could never leave the second level no matter how hard I tried. This could have been at least half-decent if more work had been put into it, but as it stands, this is a rushed, buggy, unpolished, and nearly broken game that no fan of Walking Dead or zombie culture could ever enjoy. So, if you're looking for a good Walking Dead game, play Telltale's game based on the comics. If you're looking for a good zombie game, play literally just about any other game with the word "Dead" in the title - Dead Island, Dead Rising, Dead Pixels, Dead Nation, take your pick. Just, whatever you do, don't go anywhere near this game, because you'll only find the frustration and annoyance of a game that almost, almost could have made it if only the developers had actually tried. It's a crime against all gamedom that lazy developers like Terminal Reality are getting handed money by publishers to puke out something like this when so many decent, hardworking studios are shutting their doors one by one. Maybe that's what this game was trying to represent - that there's only a few "survivors" left in the world (the developers who barely have enough to keep functioning but manage to cling to life) being swarmed by a bunch of foul, rotten, husks (terrible developers who coast off publisher money) who only care about one thing: flesh (money) and will do whatever it takes to get it. If so, then, good job Terminal Reality, you really did well with your social commentary. Just, maybe next time, try to do well with your Walking Dead game instead.
  23. 2 points
    All eyes are on Microsoft as with every passing day, as the revelation of the new Xbox draws closer. Nintendo has already released their next gen Wii U to the public, while the Playstation 4 has only had videos and specs released. But there“s something weird going on this generation. There“s no new overhaul of…anything really. Unless Microsoft can manage to introduce something new and substantial, everything we“ve seen is a natural evolution, but nothing substantial and groundbreaking. Nintendo and Sony have both pushed social media as a new tool to utilize. Nintendo introduced their hub world, where people can see what others are playing and interact with each other via messages that are typed, written, even drawn. The Playstation 4 announcement was heavily playing toward sharing gameplay videos with one“s friends. There's a "share" button... While this function is a foreseeable evolution in gaming, there“s nothing groundbreaking that is making people go crazy. When the Nintendo 64 was released in 1996, the big breakthrough was graphics. Games could be played in 3D now! When the Playstation 2 was revealed, the big breakthrough was graphics yet again. Polygons were there, yes, but the models were such a far cry from the blocky look that the Playstation 1 had. The game characters, despite certain outfits, were starting to have some kind of realistic features. I still remember looking at certain games and thinking that it looked real! And the Playstation 2 was released in 2000! Still looks impressive to this day While the PS2 had some kind of online capabilities, it was well implemented in a console by Microsoft when they burst into the scene with Xbox. With games becoming more grandiose, and online interactivity becoming the big thing, someone decided to take the helm and make game consoles go online. That was a big breakthrough for Microsoft, and when the next gen systems came out (360, PS3, Wii), all of them had online capabilities. But where do we go now? The Wii U made a nice move with the tablet style controller. Now people are less reliant on playing on a TV, but it“s still a console, and those are made to work with TVs. It just won“t be the same playing without a TV. Video sharing seems like a rather small update, and graphics can only get so powerful and realistic. Before we know it, we will hit the uncanny valley. On the flip side of this discussion comes the bright side. Maybe with all of this stagnation and less upgrading the technology, people won“t actually focus on the technology and focus on making the games great. It“s not that we haven“t been getting great games, but developers and game makers might be able to get used to the new technology in a shorter period of time. With the new launch, there“s probably a higher chance of big studios trying new IPs. The market will hopefully get less people whining as well. We're depending on you This is all just speculation, but it still makes me wonder what is going to happen to the console market in the future. Only the Wii U is out, so we don“t know the full capabilities of the other 2 systems will be. Will the console market make a big splash, or will it barely make a ripple in the water? Feel free to contribute your own thoughts on the upcoming console generation!
  24. 2 points
    Meet the Podunkers is a new blog series I“ve started intended to feature members of the community, a sort of gamer spotlight if you will. I will try and have a new interview posted weekly, until I run out of willing members to feature! Today“s interviewee is none other that Game Podunk Editor-in-Chief Jason Clement! What's the first game you've ever played? Super Mario Bros. 3. I remember how blown away I was when first I started playing it, and how much of a triumph it was for me to get across that big gap in the first level. Every day, I would come home from school and play it for 30 minutes to an hour (that was the extent of my playing time at that age, haha) and every day I would get a little bit farther, until one day, my brother and I beat it on a Saturday afternoon. When that happened, we felt like we had just conquered the world, though I'm certain that's the case with most kids and the first game they beat. Describe your current gaming setup. As far as active consoles and handhelds that I have hooked up and am playing - I have a PS3, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, DS, and PSP. Technically I have a PC too, but I rarely use it for games nowadays since it's a bit of a dinosaur (yes, it's true; it only runs Windows XP...). I also have a PS2, Gamecube, SNES, and NES that are unplugged, as well as a GB Micro, GBA, GB Color, and GB Pocket. Used to have an N64, but my brother and I sold it along with its games to get a Gamecube back in the day. That's still one of my biggest regrets to this day, not because I thought the Gamecube wasn't worth it, but because there are some N64 games I'd love to play again that aren't found on the Wii's Virtual Console, like Space Station Silicon Valley. In terms of what I play most at the moment, definitely the Wii U and PS3. Despite the Wii U's meager upcoming lineup, I'm enjoying it quite a bit due to the off-screen play and some of the exclusives (NSMBU, LEGO City Undercover, Toki Tori 2, amidst others). The PS3 is probably what I'd consider my "main" console due to the plethora of games I have on it and the fact that I usually get multiplatform games on it. Believe it or not, I still use my Wii occasionally as well, but usually only to play Fortune Street with some online buddies (including Jordan) every now and then. I also still need to finish Xenoblade Chronicles and play through The Last Story, so it'll get some more use yet. Name the one game that changed your life, that is, what's the one game that made you into the gamer you are today? It's tough to narrow it down to just one game. I could say Super Mario Bros. 3, but that was mostly what got me into gaming in the first place. Secret of Mana had a pretty big impact on me when I first played it with a friend growing up; it was the first RPG I'd ever played, and a pretty big reason I got into them in the first place. Final Fantasy VI further cemented the kind of bigger story experience I found out that I could have with games and what they were capable of. Earthbound was another big influence; it was the second RPG I played, but the first that I really played in-depth, and it really stood out due to how different it was from other RPGs, which were generally always based in a textbook fantasy world. Super Mario 64 was another huge one. To this day, there will likely never be another game (at least for me) that will have the same impact. Going from playing on a 2D plane to exploring a 3D world like that was huge, and I remember how much of a quantum leap it was for me, even before the game came out. Just seeing screenshots of it in TIME magazine and Nintendo Power, I remember thinking that it would be the ultimate game and that the visuals were so amazing for its time. When it really comes down to it, though, there are two games in particular that really made me into the gamer that I am today. The first would be The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which I first played at my friend's house. I remember getting all the way to Dodongo's Cavern there, but that was as far as I got. A few years later, I finally played through the whole game on my own, and I was astounded by how big the world was and how much there was to explore. Not only that, but the story and narrative were just about perfect, and set the bar for me in what games were capable of achieving. There are certain moments that I still consider to be masterful storytelling and amazing from a cinematic point of view, such as Link saying goodbye to Saria on the bridge, the moment after you rescue Princess Ruto and she gives you the Zora's Sapphire in exchange for becoming betrothed to her, and the final moments when Link confronts Ganondorf, who's playing the organ as Zelda is held prisoner right above him. The other game would have to be Chrono Trigger. Above everything else, the story blew my mind, not only as a piece of science fiction, but because of how thematically brilliant much of it was. I won't get too into it here, but the whole Zeal arc in particular is a fascinating study in underlying social themes. The characters were also exceptionally well-constructed with their own backstories and personalities (especially Frog), and even aside from the story/themes, the gameplay was phenomenal. It's quite sad because there may never be another game like Chrono Trigger again; there were so many things that happened at the right time for it to come together the way it did; so much so that I don't think Square could imitiate its success if they tried to make a sequel to it nowadays. Chrono Trigger, like the Zelda series, is a game I could continually analyze and decipher forever. It's like that feeling you get with Lost (if you ever got into that show) where you can't stop thinking about it and all the mysteries it presented. And at the end of the day, it was those two games that really showed me how deep games can be, not only from a gameplay perspective, but with how it can change your outlook on life by the narrative and themes they present and discuss, even if they aren't apparent at first. It's why I love games with a heavy meaning behind them nowadays, like Journey, Papo & Yo, and The Unfinished Swan. What is your all-time favourite game EVER? Hooo, that's another tough one. In some ways, Chrono Trigger will always be that game that ultimately will likely never be topped, but if I'm being truthful, it's currently The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I know that's probably a pretty controversial choice given that many people hate it for certain design reasons and that they couldn't get used to the motion controls, but there are a lot of reasons I love it (gameplay and innovation being a huge factor). The biggest reason has to be because of the story and the way it develops, though, especially how the story arc develops between Link and Zelda and that the themes of lost innocence and such were tackled extremely well. Before that, it was actually Twilight Princess that was my favorite; there were a lot of landmark moments in that one for me; too many to count off-hand. It was just an incredibly fulfilling, epic game, and arguably the darkest, grittiest Zelda game at that point. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn also deserves some huge props here; the story in that game is downright incredible for the most part; you almost wouldn't know you were playing a Nintendo game due to the themes that that game tackles. How about your favourite character? Um, tough to say again. I want to say either Link or Samus, but both are mostly avatars for the player in most instances, though there is a canon behind both characters. Mega Man comes to mind; he's likeable since he has a great design and was in some of the best action platforming games around but I can't say he has a whole lot of depth. I can't say she's my absolute favorite, but one of the bigger characters that always stood out as one of my favorites was Beatrix from Final Fantasy 9. It was really cool to say Square build up a strong female character in games for once and show that women can be just as strong as men, not only physically, but character-wise as well. Jade from Beyond Good & Evil was another great character for many of the same reasons. Savyna from Baten Kaitos and Cynthia from Pokemon Diamond are great characters as well; both sport great designs and Savyna especially has a great personality that grew on me during the course of Baten Kaitos' story. Do you collect any sort of gaming memorabilia? If so, what and why? Sort of. I don't go out of my way to find things to collect, but if I find something really cool and not too expensive, I'll add it to my collection. Right now, I've been collecting a lot of stuff from Club Nintendo, such as the Platinum rewards from the past few years (all un-opened except for the Mario statue from a few years back). My most prized of those rewards is a limited edition 20th Anniversary Kirby medal that they only made 600 of altogether. I believe Leah and John also got one as well. What's your story? How'd you end up on Game Podunk? That's a long story, haha, but I'll try to keep it as short as I can. I originally found out about Game Podunk through a post that TylerxDurden made on CAG's forums back in the summer of 2010. He said that GP was paying out $50 for featured blogs on the site, something they did for about a year or a little less back then. I tried my luck at writing, and got my first blog featured, along with most of the ones I wrote after that. At about the same time, I had made friends with Marcus, who joined GP about a few months before me. When February 2011 rolled around, the admin of the site, Nashkirb, posted that they were looking for writers to form an Editorial team to write officially for the site. I initially didn't think it was something I could do, so I said I was going to sit it out, but to my surprise, Nash asked me to reconsider and that they wanted me onboard if possible. So I decided to take a leap of faith and join the team, and I became the third person enlisted; the first being Dan Curtis, who has since left to found his own site, and the second being Jamie Donnelly, who is now the Editor-in-Chief for Beefjack.com. Nash wanted four people on the team to start with, so we all thought that Marcus would fill the last spot perfectly. Things went great for a few months, but both Dan and Jamie were fast approaching their graduation from Uni and were looking for full-time employment in the writing field, so they had to depart. With their absence, Nash looked to Marcus and I to carry on and lead the team, so we decided that I would take the role of Editor-in-Chief and Marcus would be the Managing Editor. Shortly after, we enlisted Marshall as the third writer on our team, and soon after we had everyone else come onboard. As for how I became admin, that happened when the site switched owners in early 2012, and the new owner had me continue on as admin in Nash's place. And the rest, as they say, was history. Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you want to play a game together with? Which game? Probably Shigeru Miyamoto, Masahiro Sakurai, and Keiji Inafune; they're the three game designers I respect above most, for different reasons, of course. Miyamoto for the influential games he's created; Sakurai for his in-depth and precise way of developing games with tons of content; and Inafune for his knowledge of the industry (and his awareness of its decline in Japan) and what generally makes a great game. As for the game we'd play? Probably Super Smash Bros. Brawl. How could you go wrong with that? Or maybe Fortune Street; we could probably get a mean game of that going... It's the zombie apocalypse - which person, weapon and music would you have during your final stand? I actually wrote a blog about this back in my days as a blogger on IGN. For me, it'd have to be one of three characters; Boba Fett (from Star Wars), Sigma (from Mega Man X), or Thanos (Marvel Universe). I imagine Boba Fett would be pretty resourceful to have around in a situation like that. Sigma would be an extremely powerful ally to have due to his ability to control anything computer-related, not to mention the fact that he can come back almost as many times as he needs to if his physical body is destroyed. And Thanos is not only extremely powerful, but he's brilliant as well; if anyone could triumph over zombies, it'd be him. As for the weapon, I'd definitely have to go with the Master Sword from the Zelda series, and for some reason, The Final Destination theme from Smash Bros. Brawl was the first song to pop in my head in regards to music. Anything else you'd like to add? Um, I dunno? I guess I should say something here so I'll just say that I've been extremely grateful and lucky to be GP's admin for the last year and Editor-in-Chief for the last few years. Not only have I gotten to work with a great staff of writers and mods, but I've also gotten to watch all the community members come together to make GP the great little community it is today. Thanks for sticking around, everyone, and hope you continue to stick around as we continue to make GP an even better community! Thank you Jason for being the guinea pig for my new blog! What did you think of this interview? Are you looking forward to similar interviews with other members?
  25. 2 points
    I finished Resident Evil the other day, in an effort to expand my knowledge of the history of Survival Horror genre. I was hungry for more good horror games, especially considering I ran out Silent Hill games whose awesomeness are uncontested. Seeing as Resident Evil "started it all", I had high hopes of a horror classic that would have me as pumped for the genre as Silent Hill 2 did. However, knowing the background of Resident Evil, I was expecting an undisciplined sort of horror as compared to the strict rules that Silent Hill set for itself in order to play with the player's expectations. Even though Resident Evil did play with my expectations of its horror, it did so in a negative way, as the horror is practically nonexistent. Although the horrors are nonexistent, the game's ability to engage the player is phenomenal and the experience is unforgettable. Taking Resident Evil seriously will only doom the player to frustration. The scares are nonexistent, the plot is a total disaster, the writing is atrocious, the voice acting is horrible, and the controls are some of the worst in any game I've ever played. Looking at the game now, I can't see how anyone can consider it a horror classic as the game is about as unscary as Dead Space (although Resident Evil doesn't seem to be trying as hard). However, after obtaining the first ink ribbons I realized that I was looking at the game in a frame of mind that would cause me to never enjoy it. The scares I were expecting were never coming. However, the gameplay for the perfect survival horror game was there, in a package of cheese instead of psychological thrills. The ink ribbons represents a lot more than a stupid gimmick that prevents players from saving their game, something which I understood the second I picked them up. The framework that the ink ribbons crafted was ripe for scares, in a way that Silent Hill approached in a different way. Ascending the importance of both the scarce ammo and health restoration items, limiting saves was the best move that the original Resident Evil could have done. It made players strategize their attacks on the mansion, fear every encounter with the garden variety zombie, and contemplate every use of a save they have. Because if they screw up, they can't restore their save and try again. It led to the exploration conundrum: "Should I explore and run into enemies and scares to find more crucial items? Or should I press on and try to tough it out and play it safe as long as I can?" which is a favorite of mine in horror. Unfortunately, Resident Evil doesn't succeed 100% in this, as you're going to explore almost every room anyway, but it still does a heck of a job doing so. Along with setting the framing device for the gameplay for one of my favorite game genres of all time, Resident Evil actually reminds me most of Luigi's Mansion of all things. Not just in face value, either. The main characters come across a mansion full of a colorful variety of monsters, environments, and areas to come back to and unlock, and there's many crevices to explore. The entire experience felt so much like Luigi's Mansion, that I dubbed Resident Evil "Luigi's Mansion, but replace the colorful cast of ghosts and charm with zombies, strict resource management, and plenty of cheese." Exploring the mansion was always rewarding and fun, and finding a new key filled me with excitement as I ran across the halls like a giggling school girl trying to find the new rooms I've unlocked. In addition to this, the main objective of Resident Evil was to have as much fun as you can, which Luigi's Mansion does extremely well (To be fair, Nintendo games are full of this). As for the cheesiness... There's not much else to say. I mean, what else can you add on top of the infamous Jill Sandwich scene?! Every line of the game is written in ironic comedic gold, as if the localization team had only a vague idea of what humans were and used The Room as their thesis on human interaction. Every character has atrocious voice acting to accompany their hammy dialogue, which leads to several highly entertaining sequences especially involving the primary use of rope. Another hilarious exchange revolved around a missing character, who was found by the playable character in the middle of the game. The exchange went like: "Holy cow, you're still alive!" "Yupp." "We were looking all over for you, where have you been?" "Be safe around here. Good bye" *leaves* No mention of where they were going or why they were gone, just poof. It kinda makes sense at the end of the game, but the fact that no one bothered to think about it worries me. Interacting with the enviornment is also incredibly cryptic à la Zelda 2, as interacting with a locked door will tell you something along the lines of "A shield". Wait, what? A shield of what? As for the environments and enemy designs, they're fantastic. Every room has different things to offer and all of the rooms are coherent in terms of "zombie riddled mansion that may or may not be evil". There's no random out of place snow area or a random rule breaking minigame. The logic that the environment sets is coherent and the depths that it goes to leads to very entertaining scenarios (like fighting a killer shark in a flooded basement or a plant that grew a mind of its own and conquered an entire shed). The player is almost always given several options to solve a particular boss, which was always fun trying to find the solution that fit you the best. Unfortunately, the extent of options did not spread to puzzles, which would have been neat to be given the option to solve a puzzle by shooting in addition to pushing blocks around. At the end of the day, I can't help but love Resident Evil. I literally can not understand how anyone could have found it scary at any point in time, but the experience was too much of a mindblowing good time to not leave from it happy. I actually prefer it to the original Silent Hill (which I found relatively spooky, like a pretty alright piece of creepypasta), but comparing the two series leaves something to be desired. The two approaches horror in different ways, and while only one succeeds in being scary, I can't say the other doesn't succeed in being amusing in how it fails in an adorable way. Like a baby wearing a traffic cone on his head. You go "Awwww, babies aren't supposed to do that!" and keep a watchful eye on them so they don't try to stick the cone up their nose. Which looking at RE5 now, I'm afraid we're too late.
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