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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
    It has been a while. I had to get settled into school once again, so that took priority over this. But now I“m back, and ready to talk about gaming. With that, let“s go back to the past and talk about retro games and why they are so important and impactful now. The retro gaming scene is a bit different. Why is it when games can look like this, or this, that games end up looking something like this? When tools are limited, people get creative about how those tools are used. It“s like if a child wants to play with a sword, and doesn“t have a plastic or rubber sword to play with, that child will grab a stick. If there“s no stick, then the child will form a chopping motion with their hand and pretend that the arm is the sword. Retro gaming taps into this mindset. Streets of Rage, a side scroller on the Sega Genesis, had an abundance of moves for using only 3 buttons. Looking at some games today, there is practically button overload, even though buttons are generally used for 1 or 2 functions. This limited capability (in terms of just more than hardware and buttons) is something that the indie games are capitalizing on. And indie games are creating a ton of buzz nowadays. You can also press in the sticks like they're buttons. With simplicity however, usually comes difficulty. Games today are certainly hard, but I generally don“t find them punishing with the exception of certain parts. Mega Man for example, I tend to find rather punishing while playing through the game, dying and continuing multiple times before getting to the Wily Towers. Streets of Rage is incredibly hard, especially once you put the difficulty settings higher. I“ve died a lot playing Vanquish too, but it was usually during a boss, or if I was screwing around. Have games really become easier, or have I become that much better? Another factor that retro games use is the pure imagination of these games. This generally leads to their charm. Usually this is seen in their bright or contrasting colors, or how over the top some of the games are. The games of old seem to take that imagination and run with it as far as possible. I“m not saying games today don“t have imagination, but there is some aspect of games today where they wouldn“t fit in with the games of the 8 or 16-bit era. Look at Jack Cayman. His character design is rather cartoonish, with his overly muscular build and mechanical arm, but other aspects of him are made to look realistic. Jack looks like he“s straddling the line of cartoon and realism, whereas someone like Sonic is clearly on the cartoon side. On the consumer side lies the fact that information is more widely available. Now you can watch videos and read tons of reviews before deciding to make a purchase. Before the internet starting sharing everything, you had magazines, word of mouth, and maybe the back of the case to get you enticed. I think a lot more experimenting happened on the consumer side with limited information available to them. However, a limited number of genres were also successful on certain platforms. Side scrollers were EVERYWHERE, but first person shooters were the rare commodity on home consoles for a while. The last factor I will talk about in retro gaming goes with the actual limitation of hardware, stamina. Less saving was around, and not every game used a password, so you had to bust your butt and blast through the game in one sitting. It“s not necessary to do so now, but I do find myself loving the fact that I can sit there for a few hours undisturbed and just play the game, even though I“m nowhere near done with it. Maybe this is one reason why I love gaming so much, and not the escapism and vast worlds that I explore. I'll explore other aspects of retro gaming in the next few entries. Hope you enjoyed this one, and I apologize about the long wait.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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?
  19. 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.
  20. 2 points
    Developer: Might and Delight Publisher: Might and Delight Platform: PC Release Date: August 28th, 2013 There's just something about nature that captivates and intrigues us as humans. Perhaps it's because nature represents the unknown, with each and every bush or tree potentially hiding an undiscovered species of plant or animal.. Or maybe it's because we can't quite fathom what it is truly like to be a wild creature living in the brush. Anyhow, games about nature as a central theme are very few and far between. The recent game about taking care of badgers who are your children (yes, seriously), Shelter, is one of these extremely rare games dealing with the topic. Certain things happen in nature, and developer Might and Delight captures this to.....an okay extent. I'll explain. So, in this game, you play as a mother badger merely trying to protect her young from harm's way. There's plenty of harm in this game, from hungry eagles to raging waters and even to the "king of rebirth" in nature, fire. If protection of your children is your primary goal in the game, I have one simple question- why isn't the game more open-ended? This game is pretty much near perfect except for the fact that your path is linear and your experience will be the same generally beyond a few certain things you do each playthrough. By that, I just mean getting your badger babies killed. "SPOILER!" you might shout, but really, this is a game about life, just not with humans as we are used to. The only changing element in this is who dies and who doesn't by the end of the journey. Is this a bad thing though, having an extremely linear experience? Generally in games, no! Most modern AAA titles now are 6 to 8-hour romps through the same locales with the same missions each time anyway. Those games aren't panned for being linear, and yet they're panned for other reasons. Unfortunately, I really do regret to say that this game's only downfall in my opinion is not having the option to, well, do MORE! I would have loved to have actually lived as a badger, doing badgerly sorts of things! Even if the game still has the same length, a short-yet-sweet 2 hours or so, I would have been pretty much fine with having more freedom. Instead we get a great, but bland, short, but not outliving its welcome type of game. I'm sorry if that came across as blatant slandering of this game. Truly, I do, because this is a fairly good game still. The crisp, distinct art style and lovely ambient score will keep you fully immersed in the small amount of time you put into Shelter, even if the fairly "point A to point B" gameplay will turn you off. Even the little things like insects flying around or docile animals roaming around really help draw the player in to make them feel like they ARE the badger mother. I know, it sounds weird, but it's great! Truly nothing like this has really been done before and for that I'll give Might and Delight credit. It's a unique experience and if you are someone who likes to play very interesting games this is not one to miss. If spending $10 to feed your children and brave the seemingly vast (yet invisible wall filled) expanse of a typical gorgeous forest and the dangers within doesn't sound like something you'd want to do, I wouldn't blame you. However, take my word when I say that this is a game you will not want to miss at least playing once in your lifetime. It's not something that will come again for a long time I bet, and for that it's very special. A sale would be preferable to get it in as that would be a perfect price to purchase it at. Otherwise, I just wouldn't justify buying it more expensively at $10 unless you think this would be the game for you. Just be aware of its limitations and the length of the experience. Shelter is a good game, but sadly not a great one because of some major gripes present. I give this game a: 7/10
  21. 2 points
    Now, before we start, fair warning: This is a spoiler-storm for two entire games, one which is barely four months old. So if you hate spoilers, play or watch them first, and don't blame me that you weren't warned. Because you were. On a different topic, this is not actually a typical post as such; it is a paper I wrote as the final project for a college course, and it seemed so perfect for this that I couldn't not put it up. Shooter games are probably the most prolific type of game in the current age. No matter the perspective from which things are being shot, shooters have effectively ruled the video game market since 2007. Every once in a while, a game, and usually a shooter, comes along that turns expectations on their head. Bioshock in 2007 was a first-person shooter that hit players with one of the greatest twists and nature-examining bits ever; the player character was following orders from an NPC by way of implanted subliminal commands the entire game. A single innocuous phrase “Would you kindly-?†was the trigger that sent Jack off to do the dirty work of Atlas. While he secretly believed he was acting out of his own will, he was nothing but a puppet. In the context of games, it was a mirror; it said that gamers do what they are told, but also that they aren“t responsible for what they do in the game because they cannot act otherwise. It was a magnificent, captivating idea that helped propel Bioshock to the territory of gaming icon. In 2012 and 2013, two games were released that serve as poignant examples of games as devices of story, gameplay, and genre-study. Spec Ops The Line and Bioshock Infinite. Spec Ops was game with a secret agenda that only made itself clear at the end; it was a mirror held up to the military shooter, to the shooter genre. It asked the player character whether or not he could own up to his numerous atrocities throughout the course of the game“s story, but it also asked the question of the player, letting the player know that they were as complicit in the events of the game as the virtual avatar they controlled. It wasn“t condemning; it was merely acknowledging something virtually everyone takes for granted, and it did that by providing a experience fully dedicated to ultimately asking that question, from its story to its gameplay to its escalation of violence and even its loading screens. Bioshock Infinite, on the other hand, was not a game with a hidden agenda. It was a game that strove to be the best game it could possibly be; to tell a deep, engaging and highly thematic story backed up by awesome satisfying gameplay. Community opinion on the story itself is a resounding agreement; however weird or initially not-understandable the ending might have been, the story and world Infinite built were top-notch. It is in the gameplay where opinions become divided, where the claims are made that things are less than perfect. The most interesting, and the one that allows the comparison towards Spec Ops, are the arguments that by tying itself to the genre of the first-person shooter, Infinite effectively restricted itself and its ability to tell its story by building gameplay around shooting people in the face and dumping the ultra-violence that seems to clash with the world right into the laps of players. Spec Ops The Line on its own is an engaging story. Dubai has been hit by a massive sandstorm, and the US Army 33rd Battalion, under the command of John Konrad, went in to help evacuate the few survivors. Months later, a transmission from Konrad noting the complete failure of the evacuation leads Delta team into Dubai, under the command of Captain Martin Walker. Delta is initially there only to determine whether there are any survivors and to call in support if there are. After a series of violent misunderstandings with the armed refugees of Dubai, Walker makes the decision to go into the city proper in order to find Konrad and get him out. What ultimately follows are various horrific acts perpetrated by all parties, even Delta and Walker. By the end of the game, they have more or less lost virtually all moral righteousness they had at the beginning, if they had any at all. Walker has inadvertently bombed civilians with white phosphorus, destroyed the only remaining water supplies in the city, potentially willfully opened fire on unarmed civilians, killed all but around eight men of the 33rd battalion, and throughout refuses to take any sort of actual responsibility for his actions, deflecting blame onto others, be it the collective enemy of the 33rd or the singular enemy of Konrad, who shifts position from a person to be rescued to a person to be killed after the phosphorus strike, and is ultimately revealed to, from that point, to have been a figment of Walker“s mind trying to justify his actions. It“s a tale of loss, loss of life and morals and sanity and perspective. The endings don“t make up much for the rest of the story either. Walker can kill himself and take responsibility for all that he has done and immediately end the game, or kill the illusionary Konrad or fail to choose between the two options, which has the same result as Walker shooting himself. Shooting Konrad leads to another three potential endings; Walker is found by a new group of US soldiers some time after making the choice to continue to abdicate responsibility for his actions by virtue of not killing himself, and the pseudo-confrontation can end in three ways. Walker surrenders and is taken, it is hinted, back home a broken and traumatized man, yet still alive despite all he has done. He acknowledges it in the final moments, but he pays no price for his crimes beyond the incumbent acceptance that he has committed them; Walker can attack the soldiers on command from the player, and can either survive and kill incoming waves of reinforcements, ultimately assuming the position of his illusionary Konrad as a madman fueled by violence and survival waiting for apparently good men to come and get him after all his attempts to help people in need ended in disaster, or he can die and achieve something akin to catharsis in being killed for attacking fellow soldiers just there to try and help, something he and the player had spent the whole game doing and being. While Spec Ops tells a truly gripping, gritty and introspective story, the story itself pales in comparison to the point Spec Ops makes by way of its story. It uses the story of a soldier descending into madness and violence and self-abdication to hold a mirror up to the genre of shooters and to the player. It asks what the player and the player character get out of doing what the game makes them do; it lays bare the base reasons of power fantasy and hero complex of both the player and player character; it deconstructs the genre it is a part of, and asks the player to do the same. As Brendan Keogh puts it in his study of Spec Ops, Killing is Harmless, “Its theme is not one of criticizing the military shooter, but critiquing it, asking questions about its nature. What is actually going on in these games that some of us play with reckless abandon, and which some of us dismiss outright? What do these games contribute to the broader culture of disassociated violence and dehumanized others? What does it mean that as these games increasingly depict war with more realism, reality itself begins to look like a video game†(162). Keogh goes on to note that Spec Ops doesn“t provide any answers, just questions. That“s it purpose, to make us question a genre we have accepted, ways of thinking that genre has put into us, why we enjoy the genre. It“s both a question and call to the players to question. Spec Ops doesn“t just use its story to make its point and make players ask questions; it uses violence, and its very gameplay to emphasize and set up the point where it reveals what it“s all about. Keogh notes that the game becomes more and more violent and brutal as the story goes on and Walker and Delta shift behavior from disciplined soldiers to that of characters more in line with typical, bravado-fueled shooters. “The progress of the executions perhaps feel slightly out of sync with the rest of the game; they become almost too maniacally brutal before I even realize that Walker himself is slowly changing…As we begin fighting the 33rd, I perform an execution on a soldier to gather ammo for my rifle. Walker shoots the man in the kneecap, waits a breath, then shoots him in the head. It“s unnerving to say the least. Punching a man in the face to kill him was desperation. Shooting a troop in the head to kill him was cold-hearted efficiency. This relishing in the man“s agony is just…wrong…I shoot a man dead and [Walker] shouts, ”Got the fudge person!“ I kill another and he shouts ”And stay down!“ He isn“t removing targets now; he is killing people. More so, on the brink of insanity, Walker is acting more and more like any typical shooter protagonist- more specifically the trash-talking Gears of Gears of War†(40, 84, 92). On the front of gameplay, there is an truly interesting interpretation by the team behind Extra Credits, a web series written by James Portnow a game designer and college professor, that looks at games in a serious manner and searches for interconnected, deep meanings to components and themes in games. Extra Credits did a two-episode series on Spec Ops, one spoiler-free and discussing its mechanical merits, the other spoiler-packed and discussing the game“s themes as relating to the gameplay. As Keogh already gave the themes, Extra Credits comments on the gameplay are remarkable. They note that game isn“t actually fun to play, and the base gameplay itself is a little bland, but that those things are used to build a subtle context within the player for the story. “This game is great in a lot of ways, and can be very engaging, but it is distinctly not fun. Even the running and gunning have been reduced to a banal slog, but even that helps to reinforce the game“s point… The shooting felt a little 2006-ish…yet it all still works in this game… I believe at some point during the development, the team sat down and asked themselves ”What does the gameplay we can create say?“ and then used that to reinforce the narrative which was at the core of the game. The banal gameplay is used to give you a sense of the uncanny. They juxtapose a very serious narrative with obviously, overtly game-like play to give you a sense that something isn“t right here. This continuously off-putting feeling you get as you mow down waves of enemies and shoot exploding barrels is meant to give you that psychic disconnect that the main character is experiencing. Well before the narrative gives you any clue that there might actually be something wrong with your main character, you subconsciously feel it through the play. And because you feel it, you“re even more sensitive to it in the narrative. You pick up on things that you might have missed because they“ve already clued you in that there is something there through this weird, dissociative play†(Spec Ops The Line Part 1, Spec Ops The Line Part 2). Bioshock Infinite was probably one of the most anticipated first-person shooters of the current console generation, up there with Halo 3 and Modern Warfare 2. It served as the spiritual successor to the original Bioshock, keeping the name and theme of a FPS with superpowers to supplement guns, but shifting setting entirely. Instead of an underwater capitalist utopia gone horribly wrong thanks to genetic engineering in the 1940s, Infinite takes place on the floating city of Columbia in the year 1912. And rather than genetic alteration serving as the source of the city slowly crumbling, this time around the player as the game goes on, it is rather discontent and civil strife stemming from the city“s repressed non-white and working-class population. Rather than ending up at Columbia by what seemed to be pure happenstance, protagonist Booker DeWitt is initially there of his own free will to retrieve a woman named Elizabeth and return her to New York City as payment for a debt. Infinite grapples with a lot of things over the course of its story; it deals with themes of religious fundamentalism and fanaticism, with civil rights, with the treatment of soldiers, with physics and alternate realities and responsibility and redemption. Antagonist Zachary Comstock covers the religious angles, believing it is the destiny of Elizabeth to wage war upon the world beneath Columbia, and is willing to torture and brainwash her to get her to do so. Daisy Fitzroy encapsulates the themes of civil rights and of violent opposition to oppression inevitably leading to a loss of higher morals. Cornelius Slate speaks for soldiers whose ranks and status were taken from them for speaking out against Comstock“s apparent re-writing of the military history of Wounded Knee and the Boxer Rebellion. Jeremiah Fink, a ruthless industrialist who exploits his workers and his brother“s discovery of holes in reality to create the highly advanced technology and super-power-granting Vigors of Columbia, serves as the picture of the powerful businessman run amok. Booker serves as the point of self-discovery and redemption. He eventually learns that he came to Columbia from another parallel reality to rescue Elizabeth, who is actually his daughter he sold to Comstock cover his debts. The process of crossing between realities made his mind rewrite his memories from his already existing ones, creating the idea that he was in Columbia to take Elizabeth to New York to pay off his debts. It is also ultimately revealed that Comstock is the Booker of Columbia“s reality. After Wounded Knee, Booker sought forgiveness for his actions in baptism, but refused to go through with it, believing it wouldn“t absolve him of the things he“d done. Comstock was the result of a Booker who accepted the baptism. Determined to ensure that Comstock ceases to exist in every possible reality, Booker allows Elizabeth to take him back in time to the moment before his choice at the baptism and drown him before he can make the choice to accept or walk away from it. It is in this moment, unlike at the start of the game, when Booker looked into a tweed knitting of a Bible verse claiming to wash one of their sins and scoffed at it, when he believed completely that he could find no forgiveness or redemption or make up for the things he“d done, that Booker accepts that he can in fact set things right, that he can find redemption and forgiveness. A post-credits scene reveals Booker coming to in his office in New York, believing on some level that everything he went through in Columbia did not happen, but the scene ends before any true confirmation can be made. In the context of parallel realities, such a final scene that almost seems to be the “it was all a dream†trope turns out to be acceptable. Bioshock Infinite tells as grand a tale as Spec Ops The Line, but unlike The Line, Infinite has no hidden agenda, no desire to hold the genre of FPS games up to a mirror and do the same to the player. It“s rather a game that seeks to tell a deep story and provide challenging engaging shooter gameplay to go with it. And it is here that opinions on Infinite become divided. The dominant opinion of the detractors is that gameplay, and furthermore ultra-violence, detract from Infinite“s story and setting by limiting themselves to the conventions of the genre. As Joseph Bernstein, a writer for tech and culture site Buzzfeed.com, notes in his piece Why Is Bioshock Infinite A First-Person Shooter? “I dreaded the game becoming a shooter again because the rules of the genre are so at odds with the very magnificence of Irrational“s game. So gorgeous, so varied, and so ingenious is the universe of Bioshock: Infinite that the very last thing I wanted to do as I played this game was to sprint around finding cover and chaining headshots. Columbia is a world you want to traipse around touching, not a world you want to race around destroying… The penultimate stretch of the game involves coming to terms with the memory of a dead character. Again, it“s an important story moment, one that calls out for a sensitive handling. Instead of solving a puzzle, or navigating dialog, or any of the ways that you might be expected to confront long-suppressed emotional pain, the ghost challenges you to three long and frustrating gunfights. Yes, you shoot a bazooka at childhood trauma. In most games, absurdities like this don“t bother us, because we don“t expect much from most games. In BioShock Infinite moments like these, when the demands of genre bleed into the narrative, we feel disappointed, even betrayed. And however accustomed to the first-person shooter we are, the genre has a host of very weird, very jarring conventions that are never more incongruous than in this game.†Furthermore, like The Line, Infinite is at times extremely violent. But unlike The Line there is no gradual build-up of violence to serve the story, because such build-up is not needed. The first combat encounter in the game, with a group of Columbia policemen, begins in a cut scene where Booker rams the face of one officer into the rotating blades of the skyhook, a device used to travel on the shipping rails of the city. The player is summarily instructed on how to preform execution attacks: hit and hold the melee button when an enemy is low on health. Executions play out as little first-person cut scenes depicting all manner of grisly ends at the blades of Booker“s skyhook. He will snap a neck with the rotating hook; will bury the hook into the chest of the victim then power it up and send the body flying through the air; he will stab one of the blades into the neck and power up the mechanism to pop the victim“s head clear off their shoulders; the list goes on. Violence isn“t restricted to melee executions either. Some of the game“s superpowers, Vigors, have truly shocking results when used on enemies with low health. Lob a fire grenade from Devil“s Kiss and watch an enemy slowly burn, screaming, into a pile of ash; hit them a lightning bolt from Shock Jockey and watch their head explode like a bird on a telephone wire; sic a pack of crows on them with Murder of Crows and they“ll be covered in blood and scars for the next ten minutes, whether or not they“re dead; hit a human enemy with an upgraded Possession, and after they shoot their allies for a few minutes, they“ll blow their own head off. Speaking of blowing heads off, headshots from all but the most explosive or weak weapons in the game will result in the total disintegration of the enemy“s head, leaving their now-headless body to drop slowly to the ground. Cliff Bleszinski, former director of design for Epic Games and creator of the Gears of War series, had some choice words to say about the violence on his tumblr page, “This is one of the few games that I“ve loved that I felt the violence actually detracted from the experience. The first time I dug my skyhook into someone I actually winced. I love shocking people in these games (it“s not called BioShootBeesAtThem) and I found that nearly every foe I zapped to death had their heads explode, Gallagher style. After the 400th head I was like ”Come on, already!“ Funny right? That I“d say that? I know, it“s weird. Maybe it“s the fact that they did such a fantastic job of making this nuanced world that hitting you over the head with those moments felt out of place for me.†The ultimate issue with Bioshock Infinite is not that it tried to make a point, and failed to; it“s that it had no point to make beyond its story. It was a game with a story like few others in existence, and a good portion of the gaming community believes that the gameplay of the genre it tied itself to was not up to snuff to convey that story. As Michael Abbot, blogger on the game site Brainy Gamer states “Brilliant as the game is- and as earnestly as it tries to explore social-political issues- Infinite is tethered to its mechanical nature as a shooter in ways that undermine its aspirations. It“s possible to love the game for all it does (And tries to do), but still feel smothered by its insistence that so much of my experience is delivered staring down the barrel of a gun or other destructive weapon. The issue for me isn“t about being pro or anti shooting games; it“s about how standard FPS design limits the possibilities of a narrative that clearly desires to dig deep. How might I have behaved, and how might I have reflected on Infinite“s provocative world had I not spent so much time shooting or avoiding being shot? The game“s story isn“t about shooting at all, but the player“s lived story is, and that collision is hard to overcome.†Bioshock Infinite and Spec Ops The Line were both well-received critically. While Infinite is probably the more well-known of the two (and probably has sold more copies) it is their fundamental differences in success of their usage of game components that make them so compelling to hold up to one another. The Line took its gameplay, its excessive violence, its fairly mind-bending story and used it all in service to the single point of making players question the shooter genre and why they played it. Bioshock Infinite, on the other hand, had all of its aspirations put firmly on its story; it had no grand point to make on the nature of games and players. it simply tried to be a gripping, enjoyable experience. Yet Infinite, to listen to over half the internet, suffers because of that. Its gameplay is fun, but does the setting and story a disservice by being so restrictive in what it allows the player to do. The Line took the gameplay of a shooter and built its story and critique out of the that gameplay, while Infinite built its gameplay, then made its story, or perhaps built its gameplay around its story. The Line has excessive violence and banal gameplay to enforce its narrative and thematic undertones, while Infinite has excessive violence because… it does. Perhaps the violence and FPS gameplay is meant to thematically mesh with the character of Booker, a former Pinkerton enforcer who was, it is implied, fired for being too brutal in his work and who committed acts of violence so horrific in his time in the military that his attempt to find forgiveness created an alternate reality. But if that is why the violence is there, why players can more often than not only interact with the world by shooting at its inhabitants, that fact is not so obvious as the violence and gameplay deficiency in The Line a result of the descent of Captain Walker into madness. Booker is, if one does not count his reality-travelling false memories as madness, sane throughout. He“s not a very good man. He“s actually quite the opposite, but there“s nothing in his initial character to suggest that he is capable of such acts of violence or only capable of settling conflicts with the use of weapons. And that may be the ultimate point; that content and gameplay must, in all respects, match the setting and story built throughout and do so in a way that makes sense and is tangible. Spec Ops The Line could gradually amp the violence to obscene, uncomfortable levels and have slightly average gameplay because doing so was in the service of its story and setting and ultimate message; the reasons behind the violence and apparently restrictive gameplay of Bioshock Infinite perhaps reveal themselves after careful consideration of the characters, but those reasons are never made obvious, sacrificed as they are upon the alter of the broader tale and world the game has built. Works Cited Abbot, Michael. “The Problem With Bioshock Infinite“s Combat.†Brainygamer, 4 April. 2013. 11 Jun 2013. http://brainygamer.kinja.com. Bleszinski, Cliff. “Shocking, isn“t it? (BIOSHOCK INFINITE SPOILERS AHEAD).†Dudehugespeaks.tumblr, 3 April. 2013. 11 Jun 2013. http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/47064613574/shocking-isnt-it-bioshock-spoilers-ahead. Floyd, Daniel, Portnow, James. “Spec Ops: The Line.†Video, 6:59, 9:28. 2 Episodes. Penny Arcade, Sept 6-Sept 13. 2012. 11 Jun 2013. http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/spec-ops-the-line-part-1 http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/spec-ops-the-line-part-2. Keogh, Brendan. “Killing is Harmless A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line.†Marden: Stolen Projects, 2012. PDF e-book. 40, 84, 92, 162.
  22. 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 Alpaca-Lover and Ex-Moderator Number 905! What's the first game you've ever played? I don't really have a good answer to this one. Gaming has always been in my life, from as far back as I can remember. I can't recall what my first game was, but there are some memories that stand out. The story I'm most fond of telling is almost beating Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES. I can't recall the build-up to the final world, but I have to imagine I used warps of some kind. Regardless, I beat Bowser and, overjoyed, paused the game to show my mom. When we came back to the game, I was crushed to see that the game had froze. To this day, I've never gone back to beat the game. Maybe, someday, I'll have revenge... But that story is old news, as much as it sticks out to me. I will share another one to make up for it. Not much of a story behind this one, and, thinking on it, it might be earlier than the SMB3 story. In short, my incentive for being potty trained was a copy of Batman for the NES. For the curious, yes, I am potty trained and, no, I never did beat the game as a kid. I did beat the game earlier this year, but I can't remember if I ever even got past the first stage as a child. I also very distinctly remember us having Custer's Revenge on the Atari, but I won't go into that here... Describe your current gaming setup. I game at my desk, so it's bit of a cramped setup and not at all luxurious. I've got an Asus VH236H 23-inch LCD monitor that handles all the video and I use a pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD700 headphones for audio. I've got my desktop computer (built myself with specs I won't bore anyone with) hooked up via DVI, and then I swap HDMI between my Xbox 360 (Slim 4GB model with a 320GB HDD) and my PS3 (First slim model with 120GB HDD). That's really about all there is to it. I unfortunately don't have any way at the moment to hook up older systems, so if I want to play those games, I need to make do with other means. Name the one game that changed your life, that is, what's the one game that made you into the gamer you are today? Like I mentioned earlier, gaming's always been in my life, so it's a bit hard to think of any one influence like that. It's a bit easier for me to break it down in terms of genres. I've always been into action-platformers for as long as I can remember. Games like Mario, Sonic, and Mega Man were always go-to games for me as a child. Even if I never got very far in them, they were always a lot of fun to play because they were well-designed games. As for shooters, I think the biggest influence for me was a third-person shooter called Nanosaur. It was pretty much dinosaurs with jetpacks shooting each other and, at least as I recall, was every bit as awesome as it sounds. It was something I'd play in the computer lab with friends after school during my junior high days. After that, I played a lot of Quake III Arena and a bit of Unreal Tournament, which contributed to my love of arena shooters. My love of RPGs is pretty simple to trace. A good chunk of my elementary school life was taken up by Super Mario RPG. It's a game I absolutely adore. I never got into any other Super Nintendo RPGs at the time, but it was my first exposure to a genre I'd come to love, even if I wasn't aware of what it was at the time. I know that's a bit of a cop-out answer, but I think other people who grew up with games in their life all the time know where I'm coming from. I never had a memorable first exposure to gaming or a moment where gaming as a whole "clicked," because it always has. What is your all-time favourite game EVER? I don't have one. I can pick an all-time favorite game, though. Not easily, but I can, and it's Super Mario RPG. Part of it, I'm sure, comes from the nostalgia factor, but I just think it's a brilliantly made game. It has a wonderful aesthetic, a story that knows what it is and doesn't try too hard to be serious, a criminally under-copied mechanics that keep you involved in the turn-based combat, and one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. I still hold out hopes that, someday, there will be a straight-up sequel to the game, though I know its time has passed and it will never be the same. How about your favourite character? I'd like to name some character that I connect with on an emotional level, but I can't really think of one that fits from video games. So I'll go with Dante from the original Devil May Cry series. I love anything that is self-aware, knows it's stupid, and just goes with it anyway, and Dante is pretty much the embodiment of that spirit. He's got a ridiculous bravado, to the point where he can be lame and cheesy, but for me it's all part of his charm. Favourite gaming system? Another hard choice, but I think I have to go with the NES. It's just a really interesting system and time in gaming to me. It was the first generation where developers got to establish art styles and use more complicated mechanics. Following the growth of popular series at the time is fascinating because I think, more than any other generation, you can really see when they started understand just how to best use the hardware's potential. You have your hand in a lot of podcast pies, do you enjoy podcasting? What prompted you to do them? I absolutely do, and as much as I hate to hear my own voice, it seems other people don't mind it. I first got started with a friend of mine, Ferris McFly, back on a now-defunct gaming site called The Gamer's Hub. It was a simple little podcast that didn't last very long, but we had been long-time friends, so we at least had good chemistry together. I was, more or less, the Silent Bob to his Jay. Later on, I got involved with one starting on Game Podunk. I think NashKirb was the admin back then. It was Ferris, two former members of the site (I remember their real names, but can't recall their user names), and myself. It lasted for a decent amount of time, but eventually fell apart due to time differences and the overall pain of audio editing. At some point, you decided to get me on board for an anime podcast, now known as the Monthly Anime Review (http://monthlyanimer....wordpress.com/), because you needed someone who watched shows to pad the episode length a little bit. It was my first time podcasting about something other than games and it was a lot of fun just getting together and talking about airing shows like that. When the current Game Podunkast started up and I got involved in it for a little while. It was definitely fun, but I ended up leaving because I've found myself having a hard time getting into gaming in general lately and because I think we had one member more than we needed anyway. Shortly after that, I was asked to be on an episode of Just Another Anime Podcast (http://justanotheranimepodcast.com/) that ended up being just the host of the podcast, Tobbii Karlsson, and myself due to some scheduling stuff with the regular members at the time. It was the first time I'd ever spoken with him outside of Twitter, but it ended up going really well, even if it was the shortest episode in the history of the podcast. Afterwards, I was told I could come back as a guest whenever I wanted. I got asked to come on for the premier episode of their third season and about half-way through the planning for the episode, I got asked to be a full-time co-host. It's been a lot of fun since then, they are a fun group to work with and there's some really cool stuff we're working on that I can't really talk about. I will say that episode 50 (June 26, 2013) will be amazing, in the worst way possible. Or the worst, in the most amazing way possible. What's your story? How'd you end up on Game Podunk? I joined on Game Podunk back in the DarkStar days. A friend of mine referred me to the site because I was interested in the contests after he won a copy of Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition. After that, I got involved in the community and ended up writing blogs, since they were usually tied into the contests at the time. I forget when I got asked to become a writer for the site. I think it might have been around the start of NashKirb's days. I accepted the position and put out a decent amount of content. Then there was a change in the ownership and I wasn't brought back as a writer due to a shift in priorities. I did get asked to be a moderator, though, and remained one for a few years. Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you want to play a game together with? Which game? At the moment, though it may spell the end of us, I'd love to play a game of Mario Party with my co-hosts from Just Another Anime Podcast. It's a bit of a tame answer, but they're a fun group and I'd take any crazy hypothetical offered to me to remove the geography barrier between us. It's the zombie apocalypse, which person, weapon and music would you have during your final stand? I suppose it would be rude of me not to play along with this one... I'm going to assume that video game characters are okay for this one. In that case, I'd go with Julius Belmont from the Castlevania series, because if Konami isn't going to give us the 1999 Castlevania people have wanted since Aria of Sorrow, I want to see the guy in action somehow. For weapon, I'd go with the Crissaegrim from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, partly to keep things in the same universe but mostly because I'd need something ridiculously overpowered to keep me safe. Music would be Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now." That one's not even a question. Anything else you'd like to add? It's been a fun ride on Game Podunk, it really has. I'm still not sure what my involvement with the site will be in the distant future, but I do want to spend at least a couple weeks with some distance between the site and myself, just for perspective. I fell into a slump with gaming and especially game writing at some point. I've felt this way for awhile now, but working on some other projects really drove the point home for me. Again, I can't say what it is I'm working on, but it“s leaving me creatively fulfilled in a way I haven't been for a very long time. If anyone ever wants to get in touch with me or just see my general musings, you can find me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/number_905). Aside from that, you can hear my opinions on anime weekly on Just Another Anime Podcast and monthly on the Monthly Anime Review. Finally, we all know of your affiliation with the Alpaca Posse, so of course my final question is going to be: "Do you like Alpaca?" Absolutely I do. Alpacas made me the man I am today. Thanks for your answers 905! Those response were sure al-packin a punch! The members of the Posse: (Left to right) Alpacatrick Henry, Altair Ibn-Alpa'Ahad, Al Pacaino , Neil Alpacatrick Harris What did you think of this interview? Have you had the pleasure of experiencing the Alpaca Posse?
  23. 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 than newly appointed GamePodunk Community Manager Jordan Haygood! What's the first game you've ever played? I was born about a year before the Super Nintendo was released in the U.S., and my dad bought one for my older brother, my twin brother, and I when the release date hit. By the time I was old enough to play a game, we had a few, partly thanks to my cool gamer uncle who lived in a bus. But anyway, my memory is a little fuzzy, but I think the first game I've ever played may have been Super Mario World. If not that, then one of the other games I recall playing at such an early age: Troddlers, Super Mario All-Stars, Mario Paint, Mario is Missing, Super Earth Defense Force, Out to Lunch, or Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (it was my first RPG, at least). Or maybe it was something else I can't remember. Dunno, I started gaming at around 3-4 years old. Describe your current gaming setup. It's not very fancy by any means. I just kinda threw my Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, and Wii up in my living room where the bigger TV is. Part of it is so that Netflix is available to everyone in the house. And the games/accessories are just sitting on some cheap bookshelf. Other than that, I have my 3DS sitting in my room, ready to be played whenever I feel like it. And I have a ton of old consoles sitting in boxes; too many to list, really. Though I do plan on making myself a secondary setup in my own room with the old consoles. Lastly, I have three PCs I can game on - two desktops in the music room (aka the music part of my living room) and a laptop. I normally use my desktops for gaming, though, since the graphics card in my laptop sucks shiny metal ass. Name the one game that changed your life, that is, what's the one game that made you into the gamer you are today? Like the two podunkers who were interviewed before me, I'm going to cheat this question a bit, since it's impossible for me to narrow it down to just one game. There are a handful of games that have impacted my life in different ways and morphed me into the gamer I am today: We'll begin with Super Mario World. Whether it was the first game I played or not (since I can't quite remember if it was, as stated above), it was definitely the greatest game I played at the time and the main reason I fell in love with gaming at an early age. And while I despise people calling me a Nintendo fanboy (a label usually given to Nintendo fans who believe that the company can do no wrong and hate on the competition out of favoritism), I've always liked the company quite a lot, and this game was the start of that fandom. If you know me well enough, you'll know that I love me some RPGs. And as the very first RPG I've ever played, Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is a pretty important game to me. Since I played that game at such a young age, I owe a lot to it for first getting me into RPGs. Plus, the soundtrack just rules. The Donkey Kong Country series has done several things to morph me into the gamer I am today. For one thing, it's one of the reasons I love a challenge in games, since they can be quite challenging while also being loads of fun. Aside from that, though, it's the main reason I joined band in 6th grade and became a saxophone player, as it had some of my all-time favorite video game soundtracks. So in a big way, I now compose video game music partly thanks to Donkey Kong Country. If you don't know, I'm also an athelete and run as often as I can. How did I get into running? Well, that's all thanks to Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, and 3. As a kid first playing those games, it was a silly dream of mine to run as fast as Sonic. As such, I decided to start running. I eventually got pretty fast as I ran more and more, and I still run often nowadays. So I owe a lot to Sonic for motivating me to becoming the athletic gamer I am today. People usually see the Silent Hill series as being Marcus's thing, but believe it or not, I'm a huge fan of the series myself. So much so that, while I could never afford as much merchandise as Marcus, I became obsessed with the overall storyline and setting at one point and studied it more than any term paper I did. I'm also just a big fan of horror games in general, and it's thanks mainly to Silent Hill 2 - my entry into the series, as well as my favorite horror game ever. Lastly, I owe a lot of my gaming love to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. While I loved playing games before the game came out, it gets a lot of credit for boosting that love and making me into such an avid gamer. When the game first came out, I was simply blown away. The story was the best I had ever seen in a game, the music was great, and the game was just a whole lot of fun. It was a phenominal experience that changed my gaming life forever. Word on the street is you're an aspiring musician, or is it more of a passionate hobby? People talk about me on the streets? I'm flattered. My being a musician is more of a passionate hobby than an aspiration. It all started when I was younger; I would sing Beatles songs at age 4; attempt to compose songs as a child on the piano when I didn't even know how to play it; and when I started the sixth grade, I joined band because I wanted to play the video game songs I love so much, which ended up being on the saxophone. I've been playing it ever since. But I'm not just a proficient saxophone player. After years of singing, although never joining choir aside from some stuff in elementary school, I've become a pretty good singer as well. I know it's not the most impressive of examples, but I've gotten five star scores on Expert on the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games. Not with every single song, mind you, but most of them. In fact, when I used to go to parties with my friends and one of those games were being played, I would be the one to sing. The "designated singer" they called me. But most importantly, I've actually composed some songs, as well as remastered a ton, all on FL Studio. They're all for video games ('cept for maybe my 8-bit Mad World remix), with most remasters being a complete makeover for the entire RPG Maker VX soundtrack and the original compositions being for indie projects being worked on with various RPG Maker engines. I am currently working on more songs, some of which won't be for video games, but you can check out what I have so far, as well as what I'm going to have in the future, right here on my SoundCloud account: https://soundcloud.com/kaptainj I've also remastered all of these songs: https://soundcloud.c...ucid-soundtrack By the way, I'm also making some games of my own (including the one the above partial soundtrack is for), so stay tuned for that. What is your all-time favourite game EVER? After much deliberating, I guess I'll have to go with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. As I said earlier, that game was a big life-changer for me. And even today, it remains one of the greatest games of all time, in my opinion. And with the remake - Ocarina of Time 3D - out and about, that game has gotten even better. Maybe I'll have a different #1 in the future, but for the time being, Ocarina of Time receives that honor. How about your favourite character? I dunno. Link, maybe? I always have a tendency of favoring Link when I can, such as in Super Smash Bros. And he's the epitome of heroism, so that makes him pretty badass. Personality-wise, though, I really can't choose. There are just too many well-written characters spanning hundreds upon hundreds of games that I can't pick just one I like best. Some people may be unaware, but you're not only an editor for the site, but also the host of the GamePodunkast. What's the story behind the 'cast? It all started with one simple question I asked on Twitter one night: Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I was surprised by the response. After barrel so subtly forced Marshall Henderson, Khorne, and Number 905 (no longer a co-host) into conversation, them being a part of past GP podcasts, we ended up planning the thing. Then Jason, the almighty boss of ours, asked that we refrain from planning it any longer as he had further plans on getting one officially implemented. Jason then posted a topic in the super-secret forum only Editors and Moderators can see and we planned further, with me discussing some stuff with Khorne in private. I was eventually chosen to lead the podcast, as well as edit and upload it, since I was the one who showed initial interest in the thing. We then planned a day for us to record, Number 905 grabbed the intro and outro from a former site member that they used in the first GP podcast, and I started an account on PodOmatic. Then came the first episode of The Game Podunkast, and we haven't missed a week yet. What's your story? How'd you end up on Game Podunk? After two college attempts that ended in debt, I moved into my parents place again, where my older brother, Christopher Haygood, discovered Game Podunk and started writing blogs in hopes of getting featured. He told me about the site and how they paid $50 for every featured article, and so I decided to give it a shot, since I needed money. I ended up getting featured quite a lot, starting with my first blog article, and eventually my brother and I were both considered for Reviewer positions. No one knew we were related at the time, though, as I went by the username of Kaptain J. But anyway, he got the position over me, but I was later considered for an Editor position, which I got thanks to all my featured articles. That's how I got to writing editorials, news (sometimes), and reviews for the site, but as you may have noticed, I also got appointed a new Community Manager position. This was mainly due to my interest in helping the site, which I made apparent to Jason earlier in the year as well as late last year (including stuff like me volunteering to run certain social network accounts for the site), and my hosting The Game Podunkast. Now you'll be seeing a lot of activity from me amongst the forums, as well as YouTube videos being produced by me in the future. That'll be fun. Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you want to play a game together with? Which game? Scenario: Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Jesus, and I are all playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Final Destination, no items. I would choose Link like I usually do, Abe would choose Snake because he really "digs dat goatee," Gandhi would choose Lucario because they share a similarly cool and calm nature, and Jesus would choose Pit because he's an angel. C'mon, you can't say that wouldn't be an interesting match! It's the zombie apocalypse - which person, weapon and music would you have during your final stand? I'd probably choose either Chris Redfield or Leon S. Kennedy, seeing how they've survived several zombie apocalypses. Though I might also go with Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine, or Ada Wong in hopes of sparking some kind of romance between them, know what I'm sayin'? As for a weapon, I'd probably go with the Unlimited Submachine Gun from Silent Hill 3, since I would never run out of ammo to blast them zombies' heads in with. And my final stand would take place to the sounds of Queen. Hey, it helped in Shaun of the Dead, didn't it? Anything else you'd like to add? Yes, this: Thank you Jordan for your very enthusiastic answers! What did you think of this interview? Who would you like to see interviewed next?
  24. 2 points
    Every day we read the news from newspapers, magazines, blogs, articles, the internet, etc. and find ourselves enjoying what were interested in reading. One area that we love to read is the gaming industry. There are many fascinating news from new games in development, reviews, previews, and many more. We get excited for pretty much anything that aims towards us. Throughout the years gaming has been growing and people from all age groups enjoy them. I do the same thing when I wake up. First thing I do is go to Game Podunk to read Marcus“s news blog and then look at other gaming sites for the latest news. What I“ve noticed the recent trend lately is that whenever there is announcement for something big, it eventually leaks or ruins the surprise. The question that comes in mind about gaming news is that have they ruined the surprises and reveals to us? I say somewhat in some ways because the feeling of excitement of surprise disappears quickly. I will discuss some samples that ruins reveals in some areas of what leads to revealing. Imma read what's going today When a new game is being announced, were not sure what it is and the developer/studio would give out hints by talking about what type of game it is, gameplay, story, etc. Gaming sites would post articles explaining what it is and sometimes even post a date to release more information like trailers, images, and footage. The idea they do is hyping the news up to get us ready for the big reveal. We love to get that anticipated feeling of the surprise. It is like opening a gift on Christmas morning. What?! The game came out?! Dude when was that JRPG announced?! Trailer leaks or footage are one of the biggest and easiest things to ruin surprises. Anyone can take a trailer that is supposed to debut in the future and leak it around the internet. For example Assassin“s Creed IV: Black Flag trailer was supposed to debut on a certain date, but prior to that someone leaked the trailer on YouTube. Trailers give away a good set of what the game would be about. When I first heard the announcement, I was very excited and look forward to the debut trailer on the day they would show it, but having it leaked ruined the surprise and just felt like another trailer to check out. Trailers make the game look and when it releases it can be a surprise hit, but sometimes the actual game can ruin the hype and be a possible disappointment. Footage is another thing that can ruin the moment. I mean a demo is good enough to get a taste of what the game is all about, but having leaked footage of most or some of the game can affect the gamer“s feelings towards it. Too much recorded footage can reveal a lot about the game. Looks like were getting leaked sir! Images can be revealing to what is being created in the process. Some are real and some are fake. We read articles that describes what is in development and talk about what features it will have. For example the PS4 had many talks of what they have and there would be many different pictures on the internet to see what it looks like. When Sony would announce they would have a PS4 announcement on a certain date, images of what the console would look like spreaded around the net. I was looking forward to the announcement, but the urge to look at leaked stuff is tempting. The leaked image of the PS4 controller had everyone even excited for the PS4 announcement show, but in the end nothing much was shown other than the games. Not even the console was shown. The leaked image felt like an early surprise that was only needed to be seen once and wait for the big reveal at E3. I think it was better to show reveal the whole thing at E3 than teasing us with a little show. Either way it“s alright. It gets us more excited about the PS4. Why did you spoil, you jerk!? Discussions and comments in the news can spoil the surprises as well. Every news article would have a comment section below to have the society discuss about the latest news in gaming. Spoilers are a huge part of the comment section as there can be jerks that spoil the game for others. Besides that most of the articles do a great job warning readers for possible spoilers and what they will talk about before having you to proceed to move on with the story. This is why having a discussion board is very useful to see threads that talk about the surprise that can lead to the big revealing. It helps out the community to have a gathering of opinions and theories on what the surprise could possibly be. It is fun to discuss theories and predictions that can be right or wrong. Am I ready to be revealed yet? I want to surprise the kid Gaming news has somewhat ruined many surprises and reveals leading up to exciting announcements. I feel that people should not leak stuff and when it does, it seems to be a waste of excitement. The surprises and reveals in gaming is like Christmas for everyone. We get excited to open the announcement and reveals that has our minds looking forward to the news. I think what the gaming news sites should do is instead of making an article based on everything, they should release little information and add more through the later days going into the final reveal. As time would go by before the reveal, we would be making speculations, predictions, and opinions what it could be and how it would be great or bad. Most of the time it isn“t as bad as it is and it“s just depending on yourself if you want to get spoiled or not. We have a choice of ruining it ourselves or patiently wait for the reveal.
  25. 2 points
    When the average gamer goes out to buy a game, rarely do they think of how well the game controls. While it's an important part of certain genres, for the most part gamers are more worried about things such as the story, game mechanics, or even graphics and music. However, how a game handles controls is a very important part of a game itself, and if done incorrectly, can ruin the experience. What makes a game have bad controls? Well... there could be any number of reasons. However, as we look through the gaming ages, we can see that control issues sprout up more and more in later generations. This is mostly because of the evolution of controllers throughout the times. Remember when the original Nintendo controller had only the D-pad and four buttons? With a controller like that, it's hard to mess up the technical side of controls... though on the flip side, developers were forced to keep simple controls schemes. Sure, there were still issues with the developmental side of controls such as unresponsive or floaty controls, but that's an issue I'll get into in a bit. Ah, the simple times of old... at least controllers don't have sharp corners anymore. Nowadays, controllers have way more than four buttons. The PS3 and 360 controllers each have a D-pad, two analog sticks, and thirteen buttons. With so many ways to input control, it can be easy for developers to get overwhelmed or over ambitious. However, the Wii is the worst; while having far fewer buttons, the Wiimote uses motion to control games, and that leads to a whole new can of worms involving programming (and messing up) controls. When the Wii first was released, many games were sited for sloppy, unresponsive, or just plain odd controls. When developers don't know what to do with button happy controllers and motion gameplay, things can go awry quickly. But, that's not the only aspect of detrimental gaming controls--the game creators can easily make controls more convoluted than it needs to be. One of the most common cases is the developer using a gimmick in their controls; for example, a DS game using full touch controls when it's unintuitive or a PS3 game that tries to fully utilize the Sixaxis controls. Usually it doesn't work out, and makes a good or great game a mess to play. Just try Mad Maestro! and its pressure sensitive button tapping rhythm based controls and you'll quickly see what I mean. Oh, sorry! You pressed X slightly too hard. Try again! That's not the only time developers screw up the controls, though; sometimes it's just a simple lack of thinking things through. Many game creators in this camp stand on one of two sides: Either the majority of the controls were an afterthought, or they thought too hard about them and made it over complicated. This sort of control issue is exasperated by the complicated controllers of the current generation... sometimes developers just don't understand they don't need to use EVERY button on the controller. Finally, there's the problem that controllers have nothing to do with... and that's bad in-game controls. A game could have its controller perfectly mapped, but controls can still end up sloppy from programming decisions made within the game itself. This could be things like delays between pressing the button and the action happening, game characters having bad physics (so being 'floaty' or 'heavy'), or certain moves or commands not working properly. Out of all the problems mentioned above, this is the one that had been consistent throughout all of gaming's history. It all boils down to the programmer's skill and time constraints at that point... and often the factor that can make or break an otherwise great game. Older games have control issues too... even if they are sometimes overlooked (or sometimes opinion based) So, to answer the original question... when does it get in the way of the game itself? Well, bad controls can easily and quickly turn any game experience sour, giving any game a frustration level never intended by the creators. Many games could be be regarded on a more positive level if the controls simply worked better... and that doesn't go for just racing or fighting games. All genres need to have good controls to be enjoyable, and controls are a bigger factor than you may think.