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  1. 7 points
    You probably don't know, but I'm actually a bit of a Game of Thrones fanboy. As such, I like to do random things involving the series. In this case, I'll be casting everyone on GP as a Game of Thrones character. I don't plan on bring this to Attack on GP levels by subbing videos and such so where this will go remains to be seen.... The Cast! THE TARGARYENS Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen - Ludono Jorah Mormont - barrel Barristan Selmy - kezins THE STARKS Arya Stark - Kikyou1 Sansa Stark - Elizabeth Bran Stark - Venom THE LANNISTERS Tyrion Lannister - Ciel Cersei Lannister - Leah Jaime Lannister - Marcus Tywin Lannister - Jason Clement THE BARATHEONS Stannis Baratheon - Jordan Haygood Joffrey Baratheon - DrPixel THE MARTELLS Oberyn Martell - royzoga THE OTHER RANDOM PEOPLE Littlefinger - Jared THE DUDES AT THE WALL Jon Snow - Rex705 Samwell Tarly - TKtheknight If the formatting and stuff is weird it's because A)The stupid GP editor deleting my original post so I had to redo this and B)the stupid GP editor not able to format anything without ***ing it all up. anyway Did I miss anyone? What do you think of your roles? and most importantly... WHOS PUMPED FOR APRIL!!!!!!!??
  2. 6 points
    I have posted this in various status updates, but I am well aware that there are still prizes to be distributed from October. I appreciate everyone's patience on this front and promise to have those out-and-about hopefully by December 5th. I have been incredibly busy with both school and personal projects, life/health, and so forth. Additionally, November was a hard month financially for me--despite working two jobs when I am not in class--and for that reason I ultimately did not have money to spare. Thank you all who have thus far participated in most, if not all, or even just one, of the contests that have been held. There is a lot planned for the month of December. Right now we are making arrangements to host a Secret Santa event. Obviously more details will be revealed when the event is posted about within the coming week or so. We are also tinkering about with an Advent Calendar of sorts. Consider this a head's up! Also there stands the chance to be another blog contest--Christmas related of course. The contest won't be held however if there is fewer than five (5) entries. Contest Prizes: Do to the relatively weak outing on the past few contests, I am going to stick to digital Amazon dollars. If I can be frank, per usual, it is a little disheartening to collect a handful of games and other assorted video game junk, put it in a box, and ship it when the related contest only yielded like... at most, two entries. Random Prizes: Right now I am also entertaining the idea of randomly selecting GP members to win digital game prizes--for use on Steam, XBL, or PSN. Who knows, maybe even just $2-5 in Amazon bucks. How many members will be selected each month depends on my mood and my wallet. If you are selected or not depends on your activity. While I am tempted to keep the criteria a secret, I might reveal it later on... who knows. Expect this to start mid-December. Am I paying people to be active now? Yes... yes I am. (No one pays me; sad face.) Game Night Prizes: This is a thing. It is happening. Soon. Get ready. I am probably going to catch hell for this, but whatever--I'll do with that later. I like to think of GP as a community that shapes itself. As such there are some little details I am going to present vaguely so everyone knows the future holds. Contrary to popular belief, the staff does more than just sit around and abuse power. New Look!: For a few months now I have been pushing for--and even designed--a new forum skin for GP. It is still being manipulated to make it more "GP-esque," but you can view it here. What are your thoughts on it? It is rough, but I mean whatever. There is also a new forum home/template that Jason is working on. That however, is all you are getting on that. It looks pretty rad right now. When we will see both the new forum skin and home remains in question, but they are on the horizon... for some point. With the coming new year I'd like there to be a new look to GP, but there are a lot of factors to take into account. Recruitment Campaign: Over the next few months I intend to advertise GP to the best of my ability both at school--posters!--and on various forums and social media that I frequent. I have a friend who runs one of the few radio shows on campus and am going to have him pitch the website every so often. We might get people who join that are not interested in video-games all that much--but say anime or film or anything in general. I expect us all to be warm and welcome to whoever joins. This leads me to another point. Currently we, the staff, are trying to allocate a particular niche that GP can squeak itself into--in order to stand out among the overabundance of gaming forums. We are not yet sure what this is going to entail--perhaps a greater emphasis on Game Nights; hence the prizes. So you as members might start to see some sub-forms disappear and others added. There is something else I wanted to say, but I do not remember... Next year is going to be busy for me. I will have a student teacher / teacher assistance job on campus. I am to hold office hours and so forth. I doubt this will affect my activity too much--since I will have my laptop with me, but who knows... it might. I am also directing the play No Exit by Sartre. Additionally I will still be working my other jobs and attending class.. and playing video games. What this means is that in my absence, I expect everyone to be on their best behavior (activity) and contribute to GP in a meaningful way. There is going to be a lot going on for me outside of GP and for everyone inside GP. Do not think for a second that just because I am away a Game Night will not take place or a contest will not be held, or whatever. Not that anyone would think this, but who knows, you're all a strange bunch. Also if I plan something, say a Game Night, but am not there because of schedule hiccups for example, there is no reason to postpone the event. Do it anyway!
  3. 6 points
    So for a long time people have been asking to see my set up and well, I finally decided to make a video. And yes, before you ask, I have too much stuff. (Due for some massive spring cleaning next year) Basically a brief overview of everything, I didn't want to go into detail since it was already so long. But if there's anything you want to see more in detail just comment or something and I may or may not get around to it.
  4. 5 points
    I decided to go with a "favorites" list rather than a "top" as it less objective and no one pays me to have opinions that are not my own. I also have not played a lot of games from 2013 and am hardly qualified to objectively declare games better than others. The following is a list of games that I happened to be taken to, for whatever reasons. Furthermore, the list is not in any particular order, save for the last which is my GOTY. I guess this list is good. I'll probably want to change it later. Oh well, I don't care. Play all these games when you have a chance, OK? The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Nintendo EAD Group No. 3, Monolith Soft 22 November 2013 Nintendo 3DS Not only one of the best Zelda experiences I have had in years, but also one of the best gaming experiences. This game was an incredible addiction that often had me losing track of time. Tomb Raider Crystal Dyanmics 5 March 2013 Xbox 360 This game was so damn good that I will be buying it again on my Playstation 4. Rare is a game that is executed so well--let alone a reboot. Shin Megami Tensei IV Atlus 16 July 2013 Nintendo 3DS Disappointing yes, but only because my expectations were so high. Nonetheless its philosophical nature, unlike many other games, handles the morality of the gamer quite well. Slender: The Arrival Blue Isle Studios 26 March 2013 PC F* this game, seriously. République Camouflaj, Logan 19 December 2013 iOS A unique and story-driven one button stealth game unlike anything I have played. It is releasing on PC in 2014 and is intended to have subsequent episodes... all of which will probably appear on my 2014 list--is that legal in the list-making world? Pokemon X/Y Game Freak 12 October 2013 Nintendo 3DS Dude, it is Pokemon... but like... better... kind of... but dude, Pokemon! Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Square Enix 27 August 2013 Playstation 3 I have been playing this at my friend's house for the past week, he has caught on that I only care to be there just to play on his account. This is the first MMO that I am willing to pay a subscription fee for. Forgetting about its superiority relative to its predecessor A Realm Reborn is able to stand by its own merits--of which I think people often forget. Device6 Simogo 17 October 2013 iOS An interactive mystery game that has me rotating, touching, and looking at my iPhone in confusion and amazement... yeah anything that permits me to willingly look like a dunce in public gets my vote. Fire Emblem Awakening Intelligent Systems, Nintendo SPD 4 Feburary 2013 Nintendo 3DS Umm, I have beaten this game three times... Bioshock Infinite Irrational Games, 2K Austrailia 26 March 2013 Xbox 360 My GOTY. I could write pages upon pages of why I love Infiite so much, but for time's sake all anyone here needs to know is that it changed my opinion on the possibilities of gaming--or in the least made them more realized. It also reinvigorated (pun?) my love for the medium. This is one (or many) great thought experiment(s) and while I believe the game would have been better without all the bang-bang-booming, I did enjoy those sequences despite how trite they might have felt at times. I have beaten it twice and both discuss and think about it every day.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 5 points
    Yup I got a copy. No wonder the steam gifts site was going crazy with so many Metro 2033 giveaway.
  8. 4 points
    Mario Kart 8 was released late May. Among all of the Luigi Death Stare fun, a new technique called “Fire Hopping†has emerged. Basically, you hop at the end of a boost in order to maintain that boost. Those that can pull off the technique can therefore maintain a boost for a slightly longer period of time. The gaming community tends to have split attitudes when techniques like this are discovered. Some say that a technique was not intended by the makers of the game, and therefore should not be used. Others say that it’s just another way to play the game. “Fire Hopping†is, in fact, just well timed jumps (jumping being an ability that a player always has) done at a certain time (during a speed boost). The gaming community’s thoughts tend to revolve around certain viewpoints: How the results are achieved, (exploiting the physics engine, or other in game mechanic vs. hacking or using a cheat device), what the results of the techniques are (a speed boost vs. invincibility), and if you are actively using said techniques against other players. The controversy regarding these techniques generally is not the fact that the maneuver exists, but when they are used in competitive play against other players. It is during this scenario that many say a code of “ethics†comes into play. The problem with creating a code of ethics in regular game play is that the game will only recognize the player completing the objective; the game generally doesn’t always dictate how it should be done. Thus, a code of ethics is generally self-imposed. Just because one player plays the game a certain way, doesn’t mean another player has to play the same way. There may be more effective or more efficient ways of playing, but that does not mean it is the only way of playing. Possibly the greatest glitch ever. Exploiting a game mechanic usually means playing the game without actually altering the code, but in a way that the developers may not have expected. Minor exploitations may be difficult, but it generally isn’t considered cheating. The “Fire Hopping†seems to be something that everyone can quite easily do, but would be hard to master. The same could be said of combos in fighting games, which started out as glitches. Everyone can do it, and it’s not that complicated, you just need to figure it out. Some of the controversy surrounding “fire hopping†is the fact that it is not a technique listed in the instruction manual, whereas other techniques like power sliding is. Using such a technique will not break the game, but it may not put you in an overly superior position. Then, there are other mechanics that do have the effect of dominating the competition. The other side of exploiting a game mechanic is one where the results are a little too overpowering. The move is incredibly difficult to pull off, but the payout is great. So great, that it probably gives too much of an advantage. Some say that said moves are overly cheap, as they are difficult or impossible to counter. Others say that said technique is a result of skill, and an acute understanding of the mechanics at play. Just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean it can’t be used. A technique can not really be considered “cheating†if it is difficult, or only a few people can execute it. It may be cheap, but it is not cheating. For example, Smash Bros. Melee became rather famous for the use of wave-dashing, allowing considerable movement and positioning to advanced players. Wave-dashing caused so much trouble that Smash Bros. Brawl changed the physics engine and the behavior of air dodging in order to get rid of wave-dashing. Another known tactic in racing games is snaking, where a player power slides in order to gain speed boosts during a straightaway, which allows one to continuously speed boost. Some may consider these exploits or techniques “cheatingâ€, but there is no real strict definition of cheating in video games, when one is not altering the code itself. (There are some that can cause cheating.) Wave Dashing in action What are your thoughts on discovered techniques that may or may not have been intended by the developers? Are they fun, and are some really just that cheap?
  9. 4 points
    Alright kiddies, strap yourself in. The Angry Leprechaun has been dormant for too long, here is another attack at your eye balls, I suppose if you read this this out loud it's an attack on your ear holes as well, but that's not the point. The console war, a vicious cycle. New consoles come out, people argue over which is better and cite various statistics, lather, rinse, repeat. I won't lie, I have been involved in the past of "Console War" hoopla and who won, lost, is in a rubber room in a straight jacket wearing a tin foil hat to keep the enemies from seeing his thoughts and simultaneously cooking his brain like a baked potato. Can be good fun and is ultimately futile. So why rant if ultimately I'm OK with it, you ask? Well first off, thank you for being polite and asking a good question, second don't interrupt me while I'm typing, it's rude, just let me get to the point on my own you impatient little... moving on. Every single day, in various news outlets/sites/forums, I can't help but see a "Console X" has already won the "Console War". (Yeah, I like that, I'm putting quotes around that for the rest of the rant, because of how stupid it is. In fact, imagine me doing air quotes whenever you read it too. For fun you can do the air quotes yourself if you'd like. Go ahead, no one is watching you. Anyway...) Whenever I see this, I am overcome with a multitude of emotions, well maybe not a multitude, it's mostly just overbearing annoyance and rage. Let's start with the fact that the 2 latest consoles have been out for just over 6 months. Their previous iterations have been around for over 7 years. You mean to tell me from 6 months of sales data, you are predicting that the white flag is waving? The fat lady is singing? Let's face it, you're an idiot. If I recall, the PS3 was off to a rocky start with it's high price tag. So you want to try telling me again that 6 months of sales figures declares a winner? Go jump off a cliff. The "Console War" isn't won with the console itself, it takes games too. Bringing me to my next point, neither the Xbox One or PS4 is worth purchasing currently. I'm sure many are going to disagree with me here and frankly, I don't care. I have played the PS4 and I own an Xbox One currently and that is only because I won it in a costume contest on Amazon. The honest truth is neither console has games for it to be a fully justified purchase yet. I'm not saying there aren't fun games out there, there are, but not yet are there any that make me want to run out and spend a couple hundred dollars. This is why out of current gen consoles, I probably enjoy my Wii U the most, while the library is small, the quality of that library is excellent. (And I'm drooling thinking about X releasing, oooooooo yeah). They will be worth it, games will come, I will buy a PS4, but until they have some console sellers, the "Console War" is still going to be at a stalemate in my mind. OoLaLa Retired Robin, Would you look at dem gams? Another thing I can't wrap my head around is, why is everyone so quick to decide a clear winner? This is one of the very few instances where I can say without a doubt, winning is a BAD thing. If there is a clear winner declared, sure be happy your console of choice is the "winner". Here's the thing, what if that "win" actually knocks the other console of of contention completely? Competition is the reason why I own a PS3, 360, Wii, WiiU, Xbox One (well technically Amazon is the reason for this). Competition is what drives innovation, what creates amazing games, what pushes these companies to be better than the other in an attempt to "win". As a gamer, you shouldn't want someone to win, you should want them to fight and win battles instead of the war. While the companies battle, we reap the benefits. The argument could be made that a single console means that all effort would be put into that console, I doubt it though. In summation, stop declaring a winner. It makes you look like a moron and I hate you.
  10. 4 points
    It's been one year. On March 19, 2014, I had officially been working at the same place for a whole year. That place, which many of you entertainment buffs out there might actually know, whether from our physical stores or our website, is Hastings Entertainment. A lot has happened in my one year at Hastings. So much so that I felt like sharing my journey with you... The Beginning It all began when I moved into my parents' new place to get my life back in order after some crap with the last house of residence (something about rent, bills, people moving out, yadda yadda yadda). This was in August of 2012. I enjoyed having freetime, and I was finally able to do stuff on Game Podunk, but I needed a way to make an income. And while GP paid me at the time, it wasn't quite enough to make a living. So I applied, applied, and applied some more. March came, and I didn't have a job yet. I remembered my sister telling me about this place called Hastings that she really likes shopping at. She told me about it months earlier of course, and while I knew of the place, the only time I entered the store was to sell a few games, movies, and books. But this was an entertainment store. It sells games and isn't a GameStop or a Walmart. This was the perfect place for me to work, I thought. So I applied. It didn't take very long to get the call to come in for an interview. I entered the store at around 9 AM one Saturday morning with some black slacks, a dress shirt, a tie, and a pair of dress shoes probably. I met the store manager, who greeted me, asked me to take a seat, and began firing at me with questions. It was your typical interview - me telling her about myself and her telling me how they do things there - and I eventually was out the door and on my way to take a drug test. I was in as soon as the results came through. Me, the New Guy I was hired as a "Customer Service Associate," or "CSA" for short, and I was a little nervous on my first day, as this was my first real retail job, with the only retail experience I had being at the tiny market portion of the fast food/ice cream/grocery place I worked at prior. Of course, as I would later learn, most people are nervous when they first start working there. And as I also learned, it gets easier. Inevitably, I got the hang of things; checking customers out at my register became a cinch, checking in rentals became a quick and easy task, and everything else from answering phone calls and paging other employees to making announcements and cleaning my area became a breeze. Not everything became a breeze, however. There were certain goals we who worked at the front counter had to try and meet, and I was very much an amateur at all of them. Adding emails to customer accounts, signing up new members, and upselling our featured candy seemed simple enough, but I rarely met my goals for either of them. Then there were reservations (like reserving games), which no customer ever did. And finally, there was this magazine subscription program where we offer to customers three subscriptions free for two months when prompted to. I got some numbers, but rarely met my goals. And when it came to hours, I got the short end of the stick, working no more than probably 10-12 hours a week at first. It began to irritate me, but I figured I could at least write as much as I could for Game Podunk to pay for a few games here and there, as well as the occasional review copy. I began receiving more hours eventually, but it was no doubt not enough for someone to live off of if they lived on their own. I Done Messed Up But then there were mistakes made, some big, some small, and I would no doubt learn from them. The first time I got written up, I don't remember what it was for, but it was merely a verbal warning and wouldn't hurt me in any way. Just a learning experience, you know? But then I got the real deal. When I got my first written warning, it was due to my drawer being over. And it wasn't just a few bucks, it was a whopping $20. It was then that I began questioning whether or not I should be working there and feared I may get fired before long. But it only got worse. My second nonverbal write-up was for something I was not expecting at all. One day, soon after I began my shift, there was a paper we had to read and sign. It was about how we were not allowed to accept checks for gift cards. AND GUESS WHAT I DID! That same shift, I was scammed. Two women had approached me with handfuls of Foot Locker gift cards. To make a long and embarrassing and I WANNA DIE story short, I accepted checks for gift cards that potentially lost the company over $1000 (I never really found out if the checks went through or not). Go me. And since this was the kind of job with a "three strikes, you're out!" type thing, I had one left until I was out. It Got Better from There But over the next few months, it got better, and I never got a single written warning since. My salesman skills became more refined, allowing me to do better at hitting my goals every day that I worked. I got more hours because I worked hard and was actually willing to go the extra mile. When someone called in, I usually was the one who was called to fill that shift. When I was already working a shift and the person who came in after me called in, I agreed to stay and work a double. And when I got, erm, a bit intoxicated when my twin bro came to visit and hang out, I would agree to come in when called in early, even though I had about two hours of sleep and a hangover. Then there was the thing with the magazine subscriptions (which we call "synapse"). Of all the goals I was able to reach, I became something of a synapse master. The normal goal is usually three, basically meaning you only had to get one person to get three. One day, I got 27. That same week, I had over 70, putting our store at #1 in the area. Coworkers began to have more respect for me and my growth as a salesman (I like to think, anyway). It may seem silly (because it kinda is), but synapse is important to the company. Plus, we get $0.25 for every one, so that's cool. Me, the Heroic Manager For all my hard work, willingness, and synapse numbers, something interesting happened. You see, after Summer had ended, we were down two managers, or if you want to be technical, we were down two "Counter Team Leaders." One had left to tend to her daughter after her babysitter sat on her couldn't help out anymore, and the other got a teaching job after graduating from college earlier in the year. Both had been replaced by new hires, but they wouldn't last. One of these new CTLs left for a reason I never quite figured out (the jist is that she called the SM crying, and next thing you know, she's gone). The other just plain sucked at her job and requested to be demoted to a CSA. I must thank her for that. Shortly after she stepped down, I was called into the backroom to speak with the SM. I was offered a promotion. I accepted. From then on, I was a CTL, or if you want to be basic, a manager at Hastings. A lot happened over just a few months, and I no doubt improved during my time there. I wasn't the only one who thought that, as was made most apparent during a meeting we had one Saturday morning. The meeting was, for the most part, about how we'd be handling ourselves during the holidays, as well as ways we can improve. But then we got to something I had never heard of - a title given only to a select few known as the "Hastings Hero." There were two awarded that title. I was one of them. You can check out the award itself RIGHT HERE. The following few months weren't all that interesting. I saw new faces come and go, experienced my first holiday season, and occasionally had to deal with...the more unique customers. Overall, though, my first year at Hastings has been quite interesting, and after getting bumped up to full-time just in time for my anniversary, I can't help but wonder what my second year will have in store...
  11. 4 points
    This started out as a couple of dumb one-off jokes I made earlier today, but then I realized...why not go further with it? Why not make it a number of dumb jokes? Why not indeed. So, in today's post, I'll be talking about some upcoming video games that are taking way too long to come out. But not just that - I'll also be revising their names to more accurately portray their current state and poking a little fun at them along the way. I've got my poking stick set to "stun" and my jokes set to "kill," so let's get this thing on the road! Agent Revised name: Undercover Agent This is literally the game's entire existence. Do you remember Agent? No? No one does, so if you said yes, go sit in time out, Mr. or Ms. Pants on Fire. It was announced in 2009 or so, and since then there's been nothing - total radio silence. Suffice it to say, it appears Agent has gone deep undercover, so until Rockstar pulls him from active duty, he won't be seen in the public eye unless he's in disguise. Let's just hope Momma Agent doesn't get a letter saying he was KIA. Final Fantasy XV Revised name: Final Fantasy 2015, At the Earliest Revised revised name: Pretty Boys with Sharpened Toys At first they were going to call it Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which is a heck of a mouthful. Makes sense to shorten the title a bit, especially after it's completely failed to show up on store shelves since its announcement in 2006, right? But Squenix wasn't just shortening the name, they were telling us something. Something to do with 15...what does it mean? Well, I've deduced that it means 2015 is the absolute earliest we'll see this game on store shelves. So if they rename it to FFXVI, be prepared to wait another couple of years, at least. The Last Guardian revised name: The Last Guardian of the PS3's Legacy "Woof! I mean...meow! I mean...hold on, let me think about this." Let's pretend for a moment that The Last Guardian is still coming to PS3, because that may be the only way for some of you to hold back the tears. Got rid of the sniffles yet? Good, let's move on. The Last Guardian has been "in development" for a while, being announced in 2009, and has always been slated to come out on PS3. Since it looks like the PS3's lifetime will expire before this game ever comes out, I've taken the liberty of crowning it the Guardian of the PS3's Legacy. Once every PS3 game that will ever be released has come out, ol' Trico will finally spread his wings and soar onto the system to secure the console's legacy with one final, amazing game. Unless it turns out to be terrible, like most games that stew in development hell for years, but let's just do what it takes to keep from crying and hope for the best. Beyond Good & Evil 2 Revised name: Beyond Good Graphics and Evil Executives 2 Still waiting. BG&E was a fan favorite and a critical success, but it didn't really do well commercially, so fans were ecstatic when it was announced the game was getting a sequel in 2008. And yet now they've been waiting...and waiting...and waiting. At this point, I'd like to think that by the time the game finally does come out it will have amazingly advanced graphics, probably powered by the Playstation 5, Xbox Two, and Wii U Me, and the developers will have finally found a way to convince the publishing bosses that the game will turn a profit. Prey 2 Revised name: A Longer Development Cycle than Prey, 2 Now with twice the prey! Prey 2 was announced in 2011 or so, but they've been pretty quiet since Bethesda told everyone that it was being polished up to their standards. What standards those are, exactly, we'll never know, but it probably involves releasing it with a host of hilarious glitches. In any case, the original Prey took around 12 years to finally see the light of day, and while Prey 2 has only gotten a few years in, the complete lack of any new info points to the developers trying to match or exceed that cycle. I'm pretty sure at that point it stops being "development hell" and turns into "development hell frozen over." Kingdom Hearts 3 Revised name: We Ran Out of Kingdom Hearts Spinoffs 3 I'm confused about those 3 things behind the logo too, Sora. It finally happened. After so many long years, we finally have confirmation. It's what we all expected, all hoped, all secretly knew. And our waiting has paid off as Square Enix has revealed...that it has finally run out of Kingdom Hearts spinoffs. Half-Life 3 Revised name: No-Life 3 While you wait, enjoy this mockup that took someone literally seconds to make. Because people who are still going around looking for clues of this game's existence have no life. That, and the game itself doesn't have a life, since it doesn't exist. It's a double whammy of painful realization! Starcraft: Ghost Revised name: Starcraft: Ghost I don't know if this is an actual screenshot. No one remembers what the game looks like. Oh, wait. Some of you may be saying that these are the same games I featured in a past article (welcome back, Señor or Señora Pantalones de Fuego) but I talked about them differently this time, so it makes it new. So nyah. So what do you think? Did I hit the nail on the head with my revised names? Do you have a better name for any of these? Or do you not care either way and just want to sound off in the comments about something else? Whatever the case, head on down there and speak your mind!
  12. 4 points
    The third entry in the Batman: Arkham series is here, with development duties shifting from Arkham Asylum and Arkham City developer Rocksteady to the team at WB Montreal, who handled the Wii U port of Arkham City. So how does this look into the Dark Knight's past and early years of crime-fighting stand up to the first two games? Read on to find out! Developer: WB Montreal Publisher: WB Games Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC Release Date: October 25, 2013 ESRB: T for Teen This review is based on the Wii U version. As the Wii U version lacks the multiplayer mode, it will not be factored into the review. Batman: Arkham Origins, as mentioned, is the third entry in the Batman: Arkham series that exploded onto the gaming scene in 2009 and was met with critical and commercial success for pretty much being the first game to get Batman right. Arkham City took that and made the combat better and environments bigger, and Arkham Origins decides to go even bigger, with a previously inaccessible portion of Gotham opening up for play, as well as the play area from Arkham City before it became Arkham City. Though you wouldn't know the difference with all the thugs standing around. That's because, as you might have guessed from the name, Arkham Origins takes place well before the events of the previous games. It makes sense given Arkham City's ending, which I'm not going to spoil if you haven't played it, but seriously, go play the first two games. Done? Okay, welcome back. Arkham Origins takes us back before City, before the Asylum, a mere two years after Batman has started doing Batman things, and most of the city still thinks he's a myth. Of course, Black Mask knows better, and so he puts a bounty on Batman's head, attracting eight assassins who try to claim the bounty and just generally make Batman's Christmas Eve miserable. Everyone in this game is just a younger version of themselves - Batman is far from the cool, collected hero of Asylum and City and instead prefers brute force to fear tactics. James Gordon is still a lowly captain trying to clear the streets of Gotham of corruption while dealing with the same corruption within his own police force, and Alfred...Alfred is still an old man, because he's never been anything else. Batman may be younger, but that doesn't mean he's not good at Batmanning yet. The core gameplay remains exactly the same as it has been, with Batman doling out beatings via the ever-popular Freeflow combat system, and using his various gadgets, most of which are from the previous games, to great effect to defuse traps and find his way out of a jam in a pinch. There's only a few ways Origins really tries to mix up combat, like the introduction of the Shock Gloves, which are used outside of combat but can be used in combat to deal more damage to enemies, which is nice in large encounters. It also tosses in a single new enemy type, martial artists that can counter Batman's strikes. Otherwise, it's still the same variety of thugs (and sometimes cops) armed with the same weapons they used in the other games, as well as the occasional massive brute enemy to make things harder on ol' Bats. Of course, the game still has some boss fights tossed in as well, but unfortunately, this has never been the series' strong point and so many encounters are more an exercise in patience than skill. "If I can't kill you, then I'm at least going to frustrate you a little bit!!!" Much like Arkham City, players can simply blow through the story missions and call it a day, or they can stop and explore to find various side quests, stop crimes in progress picked up from GCPD's dispatch radio, or just stomp some random thugs hanging about on a rooftop for no particular reason. And, of course, it wouldn't be a Batman game without Enigma (The Riddler, as he's later known) tossing collectibles about the city. He also has hijacked Gotham's radio towers, which Batman can take back in order to open up fast-travel points, a new feature in the game. These points will appear on the map, once again relegated to the Gamepad, allowing you to get around the city more quickly. And you'll be doing a lot of running around if you hope to complete all the sidequests - there's a substantial amount of stuff to do in Arkham Origins, as evidenced by the fact that I'd done a number of side missions and the entire story and was still only around 30% completion. It's safe to say that with so much to do, Gotham must be pretty big, and it is. It's a fair bit larger than Arkham City, and being set before any of the events of the first two games, it looks like the dank, dark crime haven we saw in Batman Begins. There's the requisite run-down buildings against brightly lit signs for Ace Chemicals, Christmas decorations, and the like to add a touch of color to the mostly gray and brown palette. The game doesn't really look any better than the first two from a graphical standpoint, but no one was playing these games for their looks in the first place anyhow. The sounds in the game are also pretty standard for the series, with orchestral, movie soundtrack-style music hitting in the background of the bigger set pieces, and, since the game is set on Christmas Eve, there's also a lot of Christmas music playing here and there. Most sound effects are plucked from the previous entries, and much of the voice cast also returns from the previous games, with the exceptions of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. Batman is instead voiced by Roger Craig Smith, who mostly tries to imitate Conroy anyway, so it's hard to tell the difference. The Joker, as many know, is voiced by Troy Baker, who does a serviceable job as the Clown Prince of Crime. a.k.a. The Clown Prince of Expensive Heating Bills From Leaving the Windows Open. As you've probably guessed by this point, aside from some small changes the game is pretty much like its predecessors. That holds true up to a point...and that point is when the various bugs and glitches begin to rear their head. Yes, unfortunately, this game is plagued with some issues ranging from minor annoyances to nearly game-breaking. Some of the smaller problems include textures popping in and out of view, which would be fine if it happened when objects were coming into the field of view, but it often happens when you're standing right next to them. There's also some clipping issues here and there, where I found enemies sunk partway through the floor or stuck inside of objects or walls, all the while shouting threats as if the poor souls didn't realize that no matter how fast they moved their feet, they were never getting any closer to Batman. Some of the more major issues come in the form of Batman not free-flowing to enemies when he clearly should, which ruins combos and just combat in general. There were also times I had trouble getting Batman to perform specific moves, such as the aerial attack against shielded enemies. By far, the worst problem is the stuttering and freezing the game experiences. Occasionally the game would stutter when bringing things into view when free-roaming around the city, and sometimes it would lock up completely for a few seconds at a time before resuming. It even completely froze on me twice, forcing me to shut down the console. There's also a particular fight near the end of the game where there is just so much going on that the game struggles to render it all and appears like it could collapse under its own weight at any second, though fortunately it pulled through. There's some other random quirks here and there, such as a point in the final boss fight where I was performing a takedown, and the camera zoomed way in and just stuck there, causing me to have to reload the last checkpoint. "Why don't I come over there and...I mean, you come over here and I'll hurt ya good!" Still, despite the lack of polish and bugs, Arkham Origins is, through and through, worthy of the Batman: Arkham name, for better or for worse. The characters, the mechanics, the setting, everything feels right at home with the series and at the end of the day, the flaws can be overlooked, at least to a point, to find an enjoyable game with a decent story about Batman's early years. If you're a huge fan of the series and want a new Arkham game to play, Origins is just the ticket, since the game will easily keep you busy for a long time if you decide to pursue the numerous sidequests, and even if you don't it'll still provide a good 6-7 hour romp. However, if you're just coming off Arkham City, you might want to wait to play this one because you may feel like you're just playing a more glitchy version of the same game over again. Score: 6.5/10 TL;DR version - Arkham Origins takes the mechanics of its predecessors and lets them loose in Gotham, giving players a bigger area than the previous game, Arkham City. Batman's early years make for a fairly interesting story, no more or less engaging than the "Batman fights the Joker again" fare of the other games. However, the game has several bugs and glitches which can really bring down the experience, or in the case of some, stop it entirely. But if you're a fan of the series it's worth soldiering through to see everything the game has to offer, which is quite a lot. Just don't soldier through right after your last trip to Arkham City because you might get an overwhelming sense of deja vu.
  13. 4 points
    Some time ago, I found this great story, which tells the tale of a father playing video games with his kids, and how each generation of gamers will have their own perceptions as to what is a good game to them. Each generation of gamers will have their own classics and standards that they use, and the games that defined said standards. The dictionary defines “classic†as: 1. of the first or highest quality, class, or rank, 2. serving as a standard, model, or guide, 3. of or adhering to an established set of artistic or scientific standards or methods I started gaming during the SNES and Genesis days, when side scrolling beat em ups was the big thing, and those have really had an impact on me. Not only that, but 2D games and art in general. Those games are the “classics†for me. Gunstar Heroes, Streets of Rage, Shinobi III, Final Fantasy VI, Yoshi’s Island, and many more are the games that left a strong impact on me. Because of those games, I very much love the game Viewtiful Joe, and am glad that 2D has made its come back, such as Dragon’s Crown. While games have become more complex and much more expensive to develop, I have also found that there are times where I really like the simplicity of games like Streets of Rage, and Double Dragon. I don’t need the complexities of today's standards to have fun, or to be immersed in the game. The Past... ...and the Present "The gap between my gaming knowledge and that my of sons’ is vast. My oldest son recently asked me what a Dreamcast is. My kids don’t really know why Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! is significant in gaming history.†Just like how VHS tapes are no longer around, some people nowadays don’t know what a Dreamcast is. Time and technology keeps moving forward. The new generation is out now. The Playstation 2 is 2 generations ago, and is considered old. Some PS2, Xbox and Gamecube titles are considered “classics†now, even if they weren’t franchise starters. I consider RPGs like Final Fantasy VI and Lufia II to be classics, as they were my early exposures to RPGs. Final Fantasy VI showed a rag tag team with no “true†main character, while Lufia II took a simple story, made it great, and combined it with a powerful, yet sad ending. When will Final Fantasy X be considered a classic, and to whom? Final Fantasy X already has an HD remake. For better or for worse (ok, mostly better), gaming is being taken seriously on various fronts: Narrative, cinematography, voice acting, elements that were only considered for certain types of games during the early life of gaming. Now almost every game has movie like cutscenes. The option to use 2D or 3D is available, thus providing more flexibility in choices. It’s astounding how much the gaming industry has grown in such a short time. Everyone is going to have his or her own opinion on what makes a game so great. It is all a matter of timing. Is Halo a classic, or Goldeneye on N64? I can’t really give you the answer to that, but both are certainly some fun games that set their own standards. So I guess the author of the piece was right. Everyone will have their own standards as to what is a classic to them, because there is just so much variety now. The newer generation of gamers also has history on their side to make an impact on them as well as the new generation of games. They (everyone does actually) have the option of playing the new games and going back to see how things started. Good games will always come back and stand out through the test of time. My first RPG, and an amazing one.
  14. 4 points
    My Gaming Articles From The Past. Kind of a personal informal blog rant.... I wrote professionally about games in the past for a couple sites, but Gaming Today was by far the most lucrative. I was checking out GameFront today which basically took over Gaming Today years ago when I was working for Ziff Davis Media (1Up Network) and they let the property go in bankruptcy. GT was one of the places I wrote for and would say it was an enjoyable and well paying gig for the most part. I did mostly marketing work for the site, but also wrote a lot. To my surprise, they imported most of my articles into the new site. It looks like there may have been a database problem because some articles now have strange characters or formatting in them, but the bulk of the writing is still there. http://www.gamefront.com/author/william/ Skimming through the articles, there were winners and losers, but I definitely noticed a pattern in my writing that may have not been obvious. Towards the end of 2007 and into 2008, I experienced a series of complete mental breakdowns which put a pretty fast stop to me being productive professionally and academically. Lately, I've been feeling more mental clarity thanks in part to some new programs at the VA, so things are looking up. I think I might get back to writing daily even if it's on a complete amateur basis. After GT, I started Kezins.com which actually got tons of traffic every day causing me to upgrade hosting plans every other week it seemed. Lol. Problems with hosting paired with personal things I had going on really took the site down even though it had a ton of momentum. I hate toot my own horn often. But I was an underground social marketing master then. I don't know what it would take to get back to that stage. We even slowed down sites like Kotaku with some of our articles they'd mention. I guess I had options to get things going even more, but just couldn't keep up with everything. The hosting issues were really the excuse but there were underlying issues that caused me to fail. I guess right now, my main goal is to get more organized and back on a path towards true productivity in any field in the next few years. I've kind of been a zombie for 6 years now. Here's one post Owen made about us on Kotaku that kinda made me laugh with the word "infamous". We actually put out quite a few controversial articles during a short span of time... http://kotaku.com/5065663/weekend-note-kezins-delenda-est If you learn anything from this post, never ever use GoDaddy. Photo from my very first blog gig (1PStart) which no longer exists but by far my fondest memories. One of the three is still highly successful in the world of tech and blog gaming, so that's definitely cool.
  15. 4 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 a member long considered to be forever gone, TYLERxDURDEN! What's the first game you've ever played? Mario Bros for NES Describe your current gaming setup. I have two towers and a cabinet. The slim PS3 and the (now deceased) launch day PS3 occupy the right tower, the ps3 games, blu-rays and surround sound receiver sit in the left tower. In the cabinet I have the N64, XBOX and PS2. I play on a 46 inch LG 1080p 3D TV. Name the one game that changed your life, that is, what's the one game that made you into the gamer you are today? Final Fantasy VII. I always like games because they were fun (Mario, Banjo, Turtles in Time) but FFVII made me realize the narrative potential of the medium. What is your all-time favourite game EVER? Tie. Final Fantasy VII and Socom II. Comparing apples and oranges really. How about your favourite character? Lame but Sephiroth. What's your story? How'd you end up on Game Podunk? I think it was like 2008 or 2009 when I stumbled upon a giveaway for Tekken 4 and Uncharted maybe? I think they were quotation contests. But I checked out the site and ended up winning Tekken 4. I loved the community so much that I stuck around and ended up contributing a lot to the site. You've been gone a long time! Any plans on returning to GP? It's tough. When I stopped coming on GP, I had just started my current job. It is quite a bit more demanding than my previous jobs and piles on a lot more responsibility. That said, I am getting PS4 at midnight Nov 14 so hopefully my gaming habits flair up a bit and I can come here for my news! What are your opinions on next gen? Are you excited for it? Indifferent? What's one feature you want to see or are looking forward to trying on the new systems? As you know, I am a Sony fanboy. I cannot wait to see what the PS4 is capable of. The Xbox One looks pretty cool too and I am loving seeing the new fanboy wars shaping up. It's funny how the PS4 and Xbox One arguments have basically flipped from the PS3 and Xbox 360 arguments. This time the PS4 is running games a bit nicer and devs are having some growing pains learning the Xbox One. As we now know, it all evens out once the devs get the hang of it. Is there one genre of game you'd like to get into, or get back into in this upcoming gen? JRPG's. The problem is they are super time consuming and I don't have much time to give. Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you want to play a game with? Which game? Haha great question! Nolan North - Conkers Bad Fur Day Harrison Ford - Call of Duty 4 Ghandi - DOOM 3 It's the zombie apocalypse, which person, weapon and music would you have during your final stand? My brother, a kitana, One Winged Angel. BOOM! Anything else you'd like to add? Where is the damn FFVII remake already?!? What did you think of this interview? Are you glad he's back?
  16. 4 points
    After a one month hiatus, Meet the Podunker's is back and ready to keep interviewing even more Podunkers in the next couple months! We still have plenty of members yet to feature so stay tuned! It's been a while but we're back with a VERY lengthy entry by none other than TKtheknight! What's the first game you've ever played? Oh man that brings back toddler memories. I lived out of the country at the time living in apartment I think in a military base around 2-3 years old. Anyways I remember my parents bought the NES and the games with them were Super Mario and Duck Hunt (Maybe it was a Christmas gift or just bought it in general). I even got the gun controller too. They were a lot of fun especially taking turns with the family and even with my neighbors. Duck Hunt was pretty easy and fun. Although the dog seemed kind of mean. I remember when I suck at the game, I would get butthurt by the dog laughing/mocking me. Me being a clumsy little kid, I would ask my parents why the dog would be mean to me. I can't remember what they said, but it was probably a funny answer telling me not to believe in fictional characters or something. Oh I think the game also had a mode where you shoot flying discs too. It was so cool jumping up and down as I would hit the targets and stuff (felt like I can be a pro hunter or those pro shooters). Also in the Duck Hunt game there was a moment where I felt sad the ducks died from my shooting. Even though it was just a game, I wanted to apologize to them and their families. Mario was a lot of fun and it was my favorite game back then. It was so fun playing and taking turns to beat the levels. NES Mario was the game to play and was very popular so it was my favorite series at the time. My parents and I would take turns completing levels and stuff. It was such a fantastic time to be playing with friends as well. I really miss those days of being a little kid playing retro games. The place I lived in was a nice apartment, but sadly a volcano erupted and probably destroyed it after we moved or we had to evacuate. I can't remember well, but good times in the neighborhood. Describe your current gaming setup. My room back home is so cramped with so much stuff with posters, anime, DVD's, comics, etc. that It's too hot to be in the room due to electronics. Anyways when you walk into my room, you will see a small black TV stand with a Sony 42 inch HDTV and sometimes If the living room isn't being used, I like to play it on the 55 inch HDTV (usually when parents are at work). Under it is my directv receiver, xbox 360, and then PS3 hooked up to the TV. The Wii used to be in the living room, but it was so lonely not being used anymore I decided to move it to my room. Also recently hooked up my Gamecube. Also have a PSP and GBA on my shelf as well. I have PSone and PS2, but it's in my bro's room. Next to the TV, I have shelf of PS3 games and on another shelf I have 360 games. As for PC gaming, I don't have a good PC gaming desktop, but my laptop is able to manage some of the older games before 2013. I play the PS3 a lot more though so that seems to be my main gaming console. My room is very messy and what you'd expect to see in a cramped nerdy room. I have another room which is the dorm room I'm living in on campus University this year. It's pretty plain with just a very large desk with my 24 inch TV and PS3 hooked up and of course with my laptop with steam games. With being busy at school I take less things from home with me to keep it simple. PS3 is my main system to play with. I haven't touched the 360 since June/July lol. Sadly haven't played much lately due to busy with homework and stuff, but I'm open to play with anyone who invites me which would probably be my only time playing at the moment. Name the one game that changed your life, that is, what's the one game that made you into the gamer you are today? It would be easily obvious Super Mario, but I think I'll say something different. I would have to say Final Fantasy VII because it is what made me love the JRPG genre and Final Fantasy series. When I was a kid I stumbled upon a Eidos PC version of Final Fantasy VII at Costco for around less than 10 bucks. At the time I knew what Final Fantasy was, but really never played it. I asked my dad to buy it for me and he told me what what a role playing game was. It sounded quite difficult and seems fun. He even asked are you sure you're going to like this game? Play this type of game? Yes, I want to try it! It was also the last PC copy so I was super excited. So after the trip to Costco, I went home popped in the installation disc to one of those really old fat desktop computers in the 90s. I got really excited and was so joyful to play it. After installing it the game begins. I was literally screaming like a fangirl as this was the first JRPG and/or Final Fantasy game I've ever played. Those opening scenes and stuff were cool! So what is your name hero? Um Tristan! Yes Tristan! Aw yeah I'm gonna be a hero! I can't wait to save the world! The story really got to me as I got hooked on it and would spend a lot of time playing it. I've never had so much fun playing an JRPG game and at the time I felt like I was reading an interactive storybook. My mom was getting mad at me for not spending time outside too. I started to care about the characters and what's going on so I was failing school at the time and cared less about it. Spent too much time talking about the game to everyone at school and actually got so mad at Sephiroth for killing Aeris. I felt like I lost a really good friend. I spent a day at school feeling gloomy and kept thinking if there was a way to save her (I got mad at Cloud for just standing there not pushing her out of the way or just didn't care. I'm like yo man wtf!). The journey in the game was so good that I spent a lot of hours and it made me happy to not give up and eventually beat it. It took forever to level up and find materias. It was fun doing sidequests, Gold Saucer, fighting Ruby/Ultima/Emerald Weapon (Tough challenges). At one point I could not get past a part because it kept freezing (somehow disc was scratched up. Got really bummed for days not playing the game) so I had to cheat by downloading a save to get past that part. I really enjoyed the game after beating and felt proud of myself. When I discovered PC mods for the game, I got so excited because I wanted to bring back Aeris. Eventually beat the game again with her in my party and I was very satisfied with it to have her revenge against Sephiroth. I think at the same time that year FFVIII was released so I asked to get it for my Birthday and also happened to get my first PSOne aside from N64. Also the following year FFIX was the only game I wanted for Christmas and got that too (actually we were poor at the time so wanted only one or a few gifts. IX was the highest on my wishlist). Final Fantasy series got me to love JRPG games and even led me to play many different ones and love the genre even more. I'm not super hardcore like the others here, but I am a good fan. I just need to play a lot more series besides Tales and Final Fantasy. Also Ni no Kuni is beginning to be on my favorite list as well. That was the most recent and last JRPG I played and man that game is really amazing that it made it to my top list of favorite games. I feel that this is one of many things that made me a gamer today and there's just too many stories I can come up with. Playing games and being part of the experience is what made me be a gamer today. It isn't just gameplay and stuff, but how the story gets you driven. I just love playing an interactive adventure in most games. I'm not afraid to admit there are games that made me cry. I don't care what you guys say, but if a game makes me sad, then that game really is good. What is your all-time favourite game EVER? Like other Podunkers, this is hard to answer because there is just so many fantastic games that are memorable and favorited. Althought I can say my favorite game this year so far is Ni no Kuni. I remember spending a week and a few days playing it so much and forgot about the real world (Time sure went by fast and felt like throwing up after I finish. Gaming exhaustion man). It's a wonderful game to play and I really recommend it. Studio Ghibli and Level 5 teaming up makes it a lot better. I hope to see more collaborations with Studio Ghibli and other developers. Imagine Square Enix and Studio Ghibli working on a Final Fantasy game with the animation done by Ghibli. Maybe Kingdom Hearts? Ah we can all dream. Anyways moving on for favorite game I would have to say any from the Final Fantasy series, but most likely Final Fantasy VII. Also loved Kingdom Hearts series and Metal Gear Solid series. They are just so good that I buy their games without hesitating and side note very happy to have steelbook case of FFXII too! To add to the list, I even liked FFXIII and FFXIII-2 and actually bought the limited collector's edition of both guides and used it. Despite not getting love and a lot of hate for those games, I can't abandon my favorite series wether the game is good or bad. Squaresoft days were great and Enix has had up and downs, but still support them. On another note the only games I've beaten on PSP are Final Fantasy Crisis Core and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep so I am a really huge fan of Square and would play their games a lot. Pretty much my favorite series of games is the Final Fantasy universe. As for MGS, I just love to play stealth games and Kojima is a genius for creating the series. I had so much fun with it that I spent lots of time just fooling around with guards at times and listening to codec stories. Also really love the wacky weird stuff the game puts you through and gets you be like WTF?! So many great moments and a wonderful series to play. The story of it overall is what drives me in. Snake's legacy is just so good. I look forward to MGSV, FFXV, Kingdom Hearts 3, and Lightning Returns! How about your favorite character? That's tough. Most of them are Final Fantasy characters including Cloud and Lightning. They're definitely one of my favorites. Vivi from FFIX is also awesome and one of my favorites. His story is pretty intersting as well. I grew up being a Cloud Strife fan in the beginning because of FFVII being my first FF game. I just have too many mostly from Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts and of course Snake from MGS. All these characters are fascinating and each of their personality is unique. It's not easy picking a favorite character. They all have an impact in their respectable game's story and how you can view them. Also I can add myself because as a character when you are the hero and you take control just like when I first played FFVII I put myself in Cloud's viewpoint or even custom character in games you created. I really can't decide in the end, but my favorite character has to be the one that you looked up to and inspires you besides just being in a game. Another to add to favorites is I really like Oliver and Drippy this year. Fantastic duo and both have great hearts. Oliver's character is really good and fun. I felt like being him sharing the emotion or characteristic potion/bottles to everyone (if you've played the game you know what I mean). His developmet from scared to courage and the journey he went through is amazing. On the other hand Drippy is hilarious and smart. I love that guy and it would be so cool to have a plushie of him. Both characters are likeable and like I said play Ni no Kuni because you won't regret it. Friendship keeps a team strong! What's your story? How'd you end up on Game Podunk? I first heard of Game Podunk from my best friend who goes by solid-alchemist who some of you might know since he was in the old GP (He would talk about the Darkstar days). I was never really in the gaming forums and never really entered a lot of contests so I was still new to the forum world. Solid would tell me things about GP, CAG, and even GDD. He would tell me about the winnings he's earned and the deals he spotted. I eventually joined GDD as the first forum and then I grew to be active in that and fell in love with the community. Of course that's where I met most of you guys including Ludo, Cait, Cobra, Kezins, bink, etc. Many months later, I keep hearing about GP stuff from Solid and it sounded pretty cool. I actually took a peek at it once and then couldn't bring to leave GDD because I like to stick with one forum. Anyways one day I saw Tyler promoting a contest from GP on GDD and decided hey I should discover more forums and get out more which I did, but was a lurker at the time. So I followed and signed up. I wasn't really active in the old GP, but I have seen Marcus, Jared, Marshall, and others including Nash and barrel with their usernames and met some of the other staff members. I remember first joining, I head straight to chat to check things out and ask for help. Dunno why, but Loose Cannon as a nickname was given to me pretty quick (Still have no idea how that name was decided at the time). The only discussion I remember from the old chat was about Marcus's drawings lol. It was very strange and funny (never got to see them though, but hilarious conversations). Oh by the way the contest that was promoted was I think the Prize Vault or Caption contest. I actually ended up winning the caption contest for the Arkham City game for 360 wich I end up giving to a friend as a Birthday gift because I already bought Arkham City for PS3 and wasn't sure if I'd win. Meanwhile after that I became active a little bit, but occassionally just stop by to say hello in GP Chat and stayed with GDD because I didn't see myself leaving that place. It was hard leaving one place to another like if you live in a home for so many years, it's hard to move into someplace new with new environment and surroundings. Well a year later I heard GP changed and decided to come back and once again recruited by Tyler again (I sure miss that guy, he needs to visit here again). That same year I finally signed up to CAG after lurking forever. Most of the members I saw here were from GDD and was happy to be part of the community. I became a lot active and visit the GP Chat quite a bit. I used to stay up til like 2-3am talking to Marshall and Jared and listening to GP stories from the past (Lol Marshall you and your Jason is a warrior leader story). Good times before you went onto JAAP. Everything about GP is what a gaming forum should be. It's a great place to hang out, very nice, the design, sets, etc and actually feels like a big family to me. I just love everything about the place so I have been active a lot more ever since I return for my second visit and kept this place as the main forum to hang out. I am very thankful to meet all of you and I mean it. You guys are something and a special group of people that I've ever met. Glad to be part of your lives and hope I can make a difference for you all and Game Podunk. :-) Care to explain your username? Well TK is my initials and nickname obviously. The story how I got it is actually through Digimon (When I watched it eating breakfast with the family and the series premiere on FOX Kids, my dad randomly said hey he has the same initials as you! TK! It wasn't really official yet though since everyone called me by my first name, or some random nicknames like Triscuit (Teacher), Little Boy Blue (Dad), etc. Anyways funny thing one random day my friend Austin back in middle school was one of the funniest dudes around and decided hey you need a nickname. My nickname was announced publicly from a him to students during recess in middle school and then everyone started calling me that. My username is my gamertag for everything. So this is how I became a knight. When I first signed up for xbox live, I didn't know what name to use so I though of just using TK. It wouldn't work because it was too short and wanted 6 or more characters so I figured out trying many things that goes with TK like TKtheking, TKthekiller, TKthekid, TKthekoolaid, TKthekrunch, TKthekicker, even outside of TK like TKthelad, and Cloud (I really wanted that name so bad lol). Anything that made sense with my name. I though long and hard to figure out what sounds best and decided TKtheknight because for some reason it fits better than the others. I almost wanted to go with TKtheking, but just didn't fit at all and I honestly I'm not fit to be a king. I felt that being a knight is pretty fun and they seem so awesome especially in games, animes, fairy tales, etc. Being a knight sure is something. I tend to be loyal and listened to everyone just like what a knight does. I'll be the best knight there ever was and do my best to protect the kingdom of Podunk. Well that sounds lame, but really I'm glad I chosen TKtheknight and it's awesome. Lol I just realized after typing that my actual first name is based off a knight in the King Arthur legends. So cool! What are your opinions on next gen? Are you excited for it? Indifferent? What's one feature you want to see or are looking forward to trying on the new systems? I'm excited for it, but honestly I am in no rush to move into the new generation. I feel that the 360, Wii, PS3, etc has a lot of gas left in their tank and still provide good games through time so I'll be waiting a few more years before I jump into one by winning one or a getting it as a gift. If I had to buy one it would be the PS4 since the only console I ever bought this gen is the PS3. There is a bunch of great features that are implemented to these consoles to make it a lot fun. One feature that I look forward to trying is the streaming feature which they partner up with Twitch. I've always wanted to stream some of my games on the PS3/360/Wii,etc ,but buying those gaming capture devices are pricey. I have streamed some steam games before although sometimes the quality or the program I use doesn't work well. This is a great way to share your playing experience and have fun with others to watch you. This also makes it fun to have a Let's Play event show too! Also really love how the companies are providing help to the indie developers. It's not easy making it to the big leagues and it's a nice way to help out the small ones making their dreams go bigger. This new generation of gaming is going by pretty fast and can be pretty scary at times. It seems were getting close to virtual reality, but that would take time. Digital age is what could possibly come into. There are so many games going digitally that the physical copies might slowly disappear. I mean I miss the manual booklet in games, the nice case box with none of that slim recycle thing, etc. Eventually were going to rely on digital stuff. I just hope the physical version will stick around a lot longer or even forever. I could go on about how I feel, but I don't want to make this interview long and boring. I'm having fun doing this so hope you guys don't mind all this typing I'm sharing. Is there one genre of game you'd like to get into, or get back into in this upcoming gen? Visual novels or RTS. I like to watch a lot of anime and read manga so I figured hey why not give this genre a try. I never played or looked much into visual novel type games, but it seems interesting after reading reviews and tweets from Leah, Marcus, Ludo, and others. I'd like to jump to see what this is all about. Seems there are a lot of crazy stories in them. I did test out Katawa Shoujo once, but that was it. Other than that, I also would like to get into the strategy type games. My bro plays a lot of them on his PC so I'd be watching or asking stuff about the games and genre he plays. It looks pretty cool and fun with a lot of thinking. I've been wanting to get into the some series like Warhammer, Command and Conquer, Civilization, Sims, etc. I think the last time I played an RTS was Warcraft which actually got a demo cd from a cereal box and tried it out. It was pretty fun and I liked it. Definitely should give the genre more chance for me to play. Aside from those genres I'd like to get back into is more JRPGs. I've only played FFXIII, FFXIII-2, Tales of Vesperia, and Ni no Kuni in the past few years. With so many coming out on handhelds and consoles, I'd love to play more and get into the discussion with you guys. It sucks to just say oh hey I played it and it was awesome. The more I read about the discussions, the more I get excited I want to try them out. I'm pretty average gamer at this genre at the moment lol. Hoping to get back on the wagon eventually. I'd like to follow in barrel's footsteps since he's a huge fan and great at discussing the genre. You're probably the most jovial person on GP, have you ever gotten angry at anyone online? Why or why not? Indeed I am most jovial. Pretty much I will have a happy cheerful attitude to everyone. Am I too nice guys? As for being angry, not really. I don't see myself really getting angry at anyone online other than my close friends (I get picked on a lot, but it's for fun). Well maybe I'll be angry at the bad type of gamers like hackers, abusers, etc, but I don't want to argue with them. Best to ignore. I don't get angry too serious unless some things gets too far. I do get angry playing games though. RAGE QUIT! AAARRRGGGHHH!!! I can't see myself angry at anyone on GP as well. I mean you guys will pick on me at times, but I know it's not serious and it's for fun and funny times (Although I grew up getting bullied by some people so my feelings can be sensitive at times). Don't make me cry or feel sad! Everyone is just nice and the community is peaceful. Only times I get really angry is if someone is talking bad about someone I know or a good friend so I can defend him/her and of course outside of online stuff. I don't like to start arguments with anyone and I know I'm not good at it. My social skills in that area is pretty weak and being angry just makes things worse. I do would like to fix what makes you angry at me though. Dunno who would be angry at me, but if you are um I apologize and I'd like to fix the problem to make things better. Anyways you don't want to make me angry. It's pretty scary if you see my angry form. I can be really serious and evil if I wanted to. One time I almost punched someone and threw him in the locker because he was talking bad about someone. Good thing I didn't and the teacher was around the corner. He walked by and I smiled saying heyo teach! Yep that's it. Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you want to play a game with? Which game? Seems most of the past interviews would include famous developers or something lol. Guess I'll do different. Easily my first pick is my best friend John with this one. Who wouldn't have their best friend playing. As for the other two it could be anyone awesome! So for the 2nd person it would be a celebrity so I would pick Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. I grew up idolizing him as kid and love his charismatic and cheerful attitude. He's a great entertainer all around and really inspired me have fun and be enthusiastic. As a kid I wanted to grow up to be just like him (actually wanted to be a WWE Superstar or NFL Football player growing up lol) and I just love who he is in many ways (John Cena/CM Punk/Daniel Bryan's beard would be alternate choices if I didn't pick The Rock. Maybe). As for the 3rd person It would be anyone welcome to join me. I've had so much fun playing with most of you guys on gaming nights and co-op sessions. I usually play by myself or with my bro at times besides close friends. Being with people you care about is a lot more fun because you know they will provide great help and fun. I appreciate hanging out with most of you guys. Again thanks a lot and everyone is welcomed to play with me. :-) Anyways if we were all to play a game together it has to be obviously something co-op fun. It's kind of tough to pick because there's so many fantastic co-op games. I think we each pick a game we play. The Rock - WWE 2k14 (obvious cuz he's on the cover and he's wrestler too), John-Borderlands/Left 4 Dead/Anything to keep us together as a team, and I would love to play some Halo because back in the days after high school, Friday nights we would eat pizza and play Halo when hanging out with buddies. For you guys just pick whatever you want and I'm in as long as I have the game too (this is why gaming nights are a lot of fun). Better to play with someone you know than complete strangers. Woo! It's the zombie apocalypse, which person, weapon and music would you have during your final stand? Anyone can be my partner to so it's pretty much open to anyone who like to join me. I'm gonna go with Kiky to be my partner for this one. We'd be a hilarious team together. Our weapons would be created in many unique different ways like in Dead Rising 2/OTR. If I had to create one it would be a chainsaw combined with a gun and it would be called the Gunsaw (kind of like a gunblade, but with a chainsaw). As for Kiky's weapon, I have no idea, but I'll make one. It would be a katana infused with lightning so it would electrocute anything it touches and insta kill (Lol Kiky if you don't like it, share your idea. I just thought about Lightning to be part of a weapon). Of course gotta have handguns as a side weapon too. As for the music, well my favorite band is Linkin Park. It was tough picking the song because I ended up listening to every single to figure out what fits. I think I'll go with Burn it Down. I imagine awesomeness while were killing zombies and giving everything we got. If I decide not to go with mainstream music I will pick DOA by Aimee Blackschleger (It's a song from Attack on Titan). She does a lot of music works for other animes and games too! As the song(s) plays on our final stand we go out guns blazing kicking butt and piercing the heavens with all of our might Dead Rising style. Were all over the place with hilarious stuff and were wearing fabulous crazy outfits. We save the world and found the cure. Credits roll. Secret ending. . . .camera zooms out and it's just Me and Kiky playing Dead Rising: Off the Record using our weird imaginations and be like wtf was that? The End Anything else you'd like to add? Bonus rap and a special thanks to most of the active members on GP ** Note from Ludono: Due to the length of this section I put it in a spoiler so as to reduce the load and length of this post.** Rap Special Thanks What did you think of this interview? tl;dr or did you make it through the whole thing? Do we need to impose a word limit for future MTPs*? *I'm just kidding TK, we love the enthusiasm!
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 4 points
    Geez, Windows 8 sure seems... bad. A desktop app so you can run all of your programs? Why not... have a desktop? Microsoft is so silly.
  20. 3 points
    Twas a dark cold evening March 6th, 1998. I had just turned 11 years old, cake had been eaten and gifts were being opened. My dad had surprised me with a rescued Rottweiler Doberman mix earlier in the week, which had to weigh at least 130 pounds. This birthday could not get any better. That is until I saw that my parents had ignored the large RATED M sticker on the front of the case of Resident Evil 2 that they bought me. How about three cheers for that alone? With the excitement of receiving what was supposed to be one of the scariest games ever created, I thanked my parents and flew down the basement steps to my Playstation. I put the game in, shut off the lights, and got to playing. The dark voice growling out "Resident Evil 2" as you begin the game alone got my adrenaline pumping. I couldn't wait to be scared and man did the game deliver. I found myself turning corners only to let out a yelp and run the other way. The Licker's introduction is to this day, cemented in my mind as one of my most memorable gaming experiences. Even with all of this, fatigue wins out and I pass out on my basement floor, controller still in hand, I awake in a daze, not sure where I am or how long I've been asleep. I can't even see my hand in front of my face. The sleep timer must have kicked in on the television as it is pitch black. However, what I can't see, I can hear... and feel. There is slow, deep, heavy breathing coming from behind me. I feel something warm and wet dripping onto my neck. I reach out, fumbling around in the dark, searching for the lamp to bring the sweet salvation of light back into my life. The button on the lamp cord clicks, and I am face to face with a giant, drooling, beast. I scream and take off towards the basement steps. I am tackled before I am able to make it there. The beast lunges for my neck and starts to voraciously lick my neck? I flip around and instead of the Licker or a T-Virus infected doberman, is the dog that my dad had gotten earlier in the week. Happy as could be that I was awake. OK, sure, maybe it wasn't exactly a brush with death. Maybe it was more like my dog wandered down the basement and fell asleep next to me and was drooling on me. But how was I supposed to know that? I was 11 years old and was positive that the T-Virus had somehow spread in my sleep and I wasn't exactly used to this new dog being in my house yet. Let's see you wake up to that and not nearly crap your pants. I think it's pretty needless to say, but I didn't play this game with the lights out again for a couple weeks.
  21. 3 points
    Call of Duty: Ghosts is the most recent entry in the wildly popular FPS franchise Call of Duty. The game follows a special operations team known as the Ghosts who are tasked with saving the United States from a powerful military coalition referred to as the Federation. COD: Ghosts sports one of the most diverse story modes I have played in quite sometime. With missions ranging from driving in the desert, sneaking in the jungle, to swimming underwater and even floating through space, there really was never a dull moment. Not until the very end of the game, however, did I realize why it all resonated with me so much... STAR WARS! Yes, you heard me right. Call of Duty: Ghosts shares quite a few similarities with the galaxy far far away! Here are just a few of the examples I stumbled across! "Since you are reluctant to provide us with the location of the Rebel base, I have chosen to test this station's destructive power on your home planet of Alderaan." -Admiral Tarkin The opening scenes of Call of Duty: Ghosts detail the events that set the story's fictional world war into motion. In the game, Federation forces hijack an orbital missile satellite, ODIN, and reign down fire on major US cities. One of which is the home of the main character, Logan. Logan, his brother Hesh, and their father Elias scramble to survive as they watch their hometown get absolutely leveled. That scenario is not so different from one in Star Wars: A New Hope where Princess Leah watches as Alderaan is obliterated by the original Death Star. Coincidence? Maybe but there's more. "You were to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness!" -Obi Wan Kenobi Call of Duty: Ghosts' main antagonist is an elite soldier named Rorke. Years before the events of the main story, Rorke was one of the Ghosts himself. Not only was he a member of the storied spec ops squad but he was the most talented of the bunch. During a botched mission, Rorke is left by the Ghosts and thought KIA. Not only did Rorke survive but he eventually raises an army to eradicate the remaining Ghost forces and take over the world. Sound familiar? Oh yeah... Kind of like how Anakin Skywalker, the most powerful Jedi, turned on his fellow masters of the force and led an army to erase them from the galaxy. The force is strong with this crossover theory but it doesn't end there. "You can see here, the Death Star orbiting the forest moon of Endor. Although, the weapon systems on this Death Star is not yet operational, the Death Star does have a strong defense mechanism. It is protected by an energy shield which is generated from the nearby forest moon of Endor. The shield must be deactivated, if any attack is to be attempted." -Admiral Ackbar Now the final mission takes place half in space and half on Earth. The team on Earth must disable the defense array satellites to allow the team in space to approach the orbital missile satellite. Sound familiar? In Return of the Jedi, Han and company take a team to the forest moon of Endor to do what?... To disable the satellites powering the shield generator for the second Death Star. Why did they have to do that? To allow the space team to approach and assault it! Outside of the lack of Ewoks in Call of Duty, these two scenarios are pretty much identical! Look! Even the Federation and Imperial armies share similar flags! "Your hate has made you powerful." -Emperor Palpatine Finally, at the very end of the game, Logan and Hesh find themselves stranded on the beach after seemingly defeating Rorke. Guess again. Rorke shows up and drags Logan off the beach vowing to turn him against the Ghosts. After the credits, Logan finds himself in a cage likely awaiting whatever brainwashing Rorke has in store for him. One might say Rorke is trying to... turn Logan to the Dark Side? Similar to Luke by Darth Vader? Hopefully for Logan's sake there's still good in him whenever Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 comes out. Well there you have it! Five pretty major similarities between Call of Duty Ghosts and the Star Wars saga. To be clear, I'm not claiming there is any type of plagiarism going on as these examples are pretty general but the comparisons are fun to point out none the less. If you noticed any other similarities, let me know! Sound off in the comments below. PS: Did the Aegis Combat Ship look kind of like the Super Star Destroyer? Ok ok, I'm done! Entry Image: www.battlefronthq.com
  22. 3 points
    Kind of inside jokes but some here will get it.... Maybe I'll make another one when I'm feeling more creative....
  23. 3 points
  24. 3 points
    Could also move to Jersey where they pump the gas for you.
  25. 3 points
    With the newest consoles having been released by November of 2013, the latest generation of gaming is now in full swing. There is a lot of talk about how each system does not have standout games, but rest assured, those games are being made. But the new generation has just started, and while the last one is still going, it’s a good time to look back and see what it accomplished. There was a lot that happened in this generation of gaming. And in order to bring the whole thing into perspective, we have to go back to 2005… Microsoft, during a conference, had introduced HD TVs. The point of those HD TVs was that the next gaming console, the Xbox 360, was to be compatible with HD picture quality, in order to bring a whole new experience. In order to do that, you had to buy a TV that had the capability to do so. The Xbox 360 eventually came in a slim model. During E3 of that year, Sony’s and Nintendo’s hands were forced and they unveiled their respective new machines. While Sony showed a more traditional mock-up, Nintendo, being Nintendo, had their president pull out their mock up out of his jacket pocket. The machine, codenamed the Nintendo Revolution, had been revealed. However, everything presented had been just promises, and dreams. No one had made any of the dreams a reality…yet. Microsoft released the Xbox 360 in November of 2005. It was the first of the three new consoles to be released. With a year head start it was allowed to set up some industry standards: HD graphics, which was promised earlier. Eventually it would bring the advent of streaming media to and from a video game console as Youtube grew in popularity. It sold very well, and was a bit more stable compared to Sony’s Playstation 3 during the beginning of its life. While it was plagued with the infamous “red ring of deathâ€, Microsoft’s bad customer service regarding fixing the console, and only a 20GB hard drive when it was first released, it was a working system beyond the fear of the red ring of death. Come 2006, Sony and Nintendo were ready to place their respective machines on the market. Sony’s Playstation 3 was incredibly powerful. It was not just a gaming console, but also a Blu-Ray player, and it was backward compatible! (At first) Sony had catered to various markets, (some people bought it solely for blu-ray) but it was one expensive box for most consumers. Released at a whopping $600, the Playstation 3 struggled. It was hard to develop for, and the PS2 emulation was causing glitches, which caused Sony to re-develop the PS3 and take out the backward compatibility. Remember the original "fat" model? Nintendo on the other hand, TOOK THE WORLD BY STORM. Nintendo managed to create yet another new control scheme: Motion control! This controller allowed people to play by actually moving the controller, and was a lot more intuitive to those who were not gamers. Nintendo combined the new control scheme with an easy to play game, Wii Sports. Everything you needed to do in that game was swing the wii remote. It was easy to play and easy to get into. Combine the other two elements with a marketing scheme that showed the entire family playing video games, and the end result was exactly as advertised! Wiis were flying off the shelves, and everyone was playing Wii Sports. The Wii was the cheapest system as well, at $250. (Compared to the Xbox 360 at $300 or $400 depending on the model, and the PS3 for $500 or $600 depending on the model) I specifically remember going to a store and hearing that since Wiis were so popular, the store could only sell 1 per customer. One last thing the Wii did to destroy the other two was to bring the past to the present, with the Virtual Console. Gaming was entering its seventh generation, and there were people who had fond memories of games and systems of old. Now you could play your old games on a new system, and not go through the hassle of buying said old system, a compatible tv, controllers, etc. That’s right, games from Sega Genesis, NES, SNES, Sega Saturn, N64, and more could all be on that sweet little Wii. Oh, and it was backwards compatible with the Gamecube too. You still needed a Gamecube controller and memory card, but the controller would work with those N64, or SNES games too. The game changers And so, the seventh generation of gaming had begun. But the grass was not necessarily greener on the other side. The Red Ring of Death for Xbox 360, the glitchy compatibility and hefty price for the PS3, and the breaking of numerous TVs because of weak Wii straps, all caused the respective companies to release new models very early on in the lifespan of the consoles. Microsoft soon released an “elite†model, which contained a 120GB hard drive and an HDMI cable, in 2007. The Playstation 3 did away with PS2 compatibility in favor for more hard drive space. (came in 20GB, 60GB, and a few 80GB models) The Wii didn’t change at all, and in fact just reinforced the strength of the Wii remote straps. Then everything slowed down and stabilized a little. Streaming media such as Netflix came (Xbox 360 got it first in 2008). People got more comfortable with the technology, and the expected newer models came out. Xbox 360 had the Xbox Live Arcade, and the Playstation 3 got the Playstation store, both online stores to buy games digitally.(basically the respective systems’ versions of the Wii’s Virtual Console). Micro transactions soon became popular, and so did downloadable content. Was this the greatest generation of gaming? That question is a matter of opinion. It was however, the most impactful generation of gaming. There are too many milestones to count. There were many early faults, and then fan anger against the changing marketplace as everything went digital. There was the copying of the Wii motion controls by Microsoft and Sony, only for those to flop. Despite all of that, this gaming generation was a fun ride.
  26. 3 points
    This pun literally just killed me inside.
  27. 3 points
    2013 brought us many great anticipated titles from The Last of Us, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Ni no Kuni, GTAV, etc. Most of the anticipated games became a hit and be part of many GOTY lists from reviewers, writers, users, etc. We always look forward to games ahead of time and anticipate their release. This year is full of a lot of those kinds of titles especially with the new generation of consoles being experimented on. With the next generation of gaming under way, we take a look at 10 anticipated games coming out in 2014 that we are excited for. So many great titles released throughout the year and can't wait to play them! 1. Dark Souls II Dark Souls return again in an upcoming sequel for the fans of tough and hardcore RPG experience. The game will feature a brand new hero, story, and new world for the gamers. When the time comes, the game will already put you in devastating moments and surprises. I enjoyed playing these kinds of game and provided a great challenge with fun bosses, enemies to encounter, and a grand adventure with dark depths and surrounding. This is a title that I look forward to that can bring in the anger and frustration out of us for a worthwhile challengeable game. With that added, the multiplayer experience should also be grand as tips and tricks shared by other players can be shared in your journey and be successful. Like the other previous games this one is an anticipated title to give your soul to. 2. Destiny Halo creators Bungie and Call of Duty publishers Activision teams up to bring an upcoming brand new experience for the gamers. With FPS gameplay action with an all new cooperative mode in an open world setting in an adventure that brings in the universe filled with new features and action. I'm excited for this game as this is a brand new IP and something outside of Halo. I look forward to what they bring to the table especially with their contract with Activision. 3. Infamous: Second Son Sucker Punch returns with a bang by bringing back the Infamous franchise with an all new storyline and main character in the third entry. The gameplay will be like the previous games with open world and similar abilities in the previous. You do have some new abilities with the main character such as melee weapons and the use of Dual Shock 4 controller to make the gameplay much more unique and fun by using the touchpad. I've always enjoyed the Infamous series and this was the game I anticipated the most when the PS4 was released. Wish it was a launch title, but it'll be released sooner than you think. 4. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII I am very excited for this title as I enjoyed the Final Fantasy XIII series. Lightning returns to action with the continuing storyline taking place 500 years after the evens of XIII-2. This also ties up loose ends and completes the trilogy. Kiky's favorite heroine has thirteen days to save the world and everyone with time running out. Game features new weapons, customization, battle abilities, and open world structure bigger than ever for sightseeing and adventure. Welcome back Lightning, we missed ya. 5. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain After Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, here comes the Phantom Pain. Although no release date is announced, maybe at the end of the year we can see it. I've always enjoyed the Metal Gear series and the games. Kojima is a great storyteller and a genius with these kinds of things. This entry connects the storylines with Peacewalker and Ground Zeroes to uncover more truth and mystery behind Big Boss's legacy and backstory. The gameplay is like previous games, but with more active time and challenging stealth. I love stealth games and this is a title I'm keeping my eyes solid on. 6. Super Smash Bros. One of my favorite fighting games returns big time for the Wii U and 3DS. Nintendo brings back everyone's fighters and upcoming new challengers. The team behind developing the game is Namco Bandai and Project Sora. Game features brand new levels and gameplay features. Also we see the return of Mega Man making his debut and the scary Animal Crossing Villager. Watch out! These guys are gonna kick butt! Also looking forward to Game Podunk gaming nights with this game. 7. The Order 1886 An exclusive game for PS4 developing since 2010, the game sets into an alternate history with a Victorian-Era London with technology and mythical elements coming together. You play as a member of a team of knights like me in a long war that can change history. There wasn't much info when I first saw the game back in E3, but it has kept me interested to see what this game is all about. I like the storyline and setting of the place to serve a new IP. A very interesting anticipating title. 8. Thief Haven't heard much people talk about this game, but this is a series that needed a reboot and here it is. Last year Tomb Raider had a fantastic reboot and this year it's Thief. I never played much of the older games, but I liked the stealth gameplay and features like choices that lead to different paths in the storyline. The setting is very dark inspired by steampunk and Victorian elements. Also the AI will be a bit smarter knowing the spots you hide in and will do whatever it takes to bring you down. The environment is a good way to use for the advantage of stealth and killing enemies. 9. Titanfall An interesting exclusive for Microsoft that's a FPS game with usual campaign and focuses mostly in online multiplayer only games that revolves around mecha style Titans and you as the pilot. This game wasn't exciting to me at first, but the more I hear about it the interesting it sounds as it develops or creates a buzz. The gameplay sounds pretty cool with a very fast flow mechanics that has you hijack mechs, breaking things, etc. There are different classes on Titans which are Atlas, Ogre, and Stryder. You can play up to 12 players in matches in many fun modes. Prepare to be attack on titans. 10. Watchdogs Another game that should have been launched last year with the next gen consoles, but got delayed is Watch Dogs. It will definitely be worth the wait as this Ubisoft title is the most interesting new IP. The game features a realistic living open world action-adventure game in Chicago that has you control the main character who can use his abilities to hack into different devices to solve cases and missions. You can hack into civilians' devices to track down data and steal money from their bank accounts. Also another part of the gameplay is to provide information on the person you're after and even using hacking abilities to mess with the surroundings to distract people. Watch Dogs is something you never see in a game and provided a brand new experience in a game. I can't wait for this anticipated release! Are you looking forward to these anticipated games? What other anticipated games not on the list you're looking forward to as well? Blog is sponsored by Mountain Dew.
  28. 3 points
    I gave my 3DS away a while back because it simply didn't feel great in my hands. I experienced hand fatigue while using the 3DS XL as well, so had pretty much given up on portable Nintendo games until the 2DS came out and I decided to give it a shot. While the plastic in the 2DS doesn't feel high quality, the device has a surprisingly nice weight to it and feels great in my large hands. I never really cared about the 3D functionality in games, so losing that was no big deal. The 2DS does have noticeably better pixel density (but the screens are the same size as a standard 3DS) and games do look a little better on it than a standard 3DS. Battery life is still simply awful with the device, so that's a letdown, but I didn't expect much. While the design looks like the 2DS is an awkward "doorstop" like many say, it's surprisingly a very comfortable design. At the end of the day, I'd suggest looking into this cheap option if you don't have a 3DS. I plan to just use it to play SMT games and maybe a little Pokemon.
  29. 3 points
    I think TK needs a special Podunker title all to himself: Community Cheerleader. Make it happen, Jason! Also, :3
  30. 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?
  31. 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.
  32. 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?
  33. 3 points
    You would like Tropico 4. If you dislike someone, you can just assassinate them. You might have to contend with angry protesters and a rejection of the philosopher-king concept, but that's why the military is useful. For crushing your enemy underfoot and badgering people into submission.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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!
  37. 3 points
    Chances are that if you’re reading this post then you self identify as a “gamer”. 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 “outsiders” 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 “gamers” as something else and, to be fair, gamers tend to have the same view of these “casual” 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 “normal” 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 “normalize” views toward gamers as well.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 3 points
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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?
  46. 3 points
    I was wondering if I was the only one who felt this way about the game because I've had people defend it despite me expressing my disappointment. But yeah, even as a fan of the previous two games, I found the entire game to be a giant tease where it felt like nothing really happened. Like the narrative was pretty predictable (did they really expect me to not think the masked guy was Alex as soon as the game started? And then pretend it was a revelation at the last 10 minutes?) and uninspired until the very end where they 'almost' introduce some interesting story elements... but, like you mention, it abruptly ends when they do. Of course, you can occasionally overlook a meh story if the core gameplay holds up. The problem is, like you mentioned... it was so...simple. Linearity is one thing but yeah, there is quite a few points of no returns in the 1st half of the game and could easily lose out on djinns (which is basically like saying, follow a guide for the 1st half...for a fairly linear game. Just in case). The game was also a cakewalk until literally the final boss which might catch you off guard. Which, having both of those combined, totally made the series's class system pointless (where you mix and match djinns for different abilities/skills for characters)... partly because you may be short on djinns, and because it was so easy that you just didn't care. Which is shame, because it is very technically impressive and the visuals for combat were quite stunning for that device (and puts a lot of 3D PSP games to shame with their fluidity) and you'd simply miss out of some of the cool summons and abilities. I admit, surprisingly enough, I thought some of the puzzles were well-done (even if they weren't hard) and may have been the only thing I really took away from the main game. Like for the final dungeon I thought truly utilized every character's psy skills in a semi-creative way. The problem is, I was only impressed by only like two of those types of dungeons I think. Needless to say, I was also disappointed by the game. I wouldn't say it was a bad game, but frankly, there was plenty of better rpgs on DS despite their lesser production values (as much as it pains me to say this as a big fan of the original two). Btw, sorry for the TL;DR comment, I didn't think that would happen....
  47. 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.
  48. 2 points
    I wanted to say something witty but I suck at that part. Anywho! I do want to try and make more of an effort to visit Game Podunk. I've missed this place. But things have been crazy busy. I'm still in school (though I'll be graduating in May, woo!). I left my old job with the awful hours (4am is way too early to have to go into work!) for one that is a lot better. Sure, it's 12 hours shifts but the way it's done has me off more days than the last one and it pays more. Which is great for giving me more time for schoolwork and stuff. When I'm not working, doing schoolwork, taking care of the kiddos, and going crazy, I play some games. I've gotten back into ARK and I've dabbled with Destiny 2 and WWE 2K18. I also do a bit of freelance work on the side to help build up my portfolio. Which is super cool.
  49. 2 points
    So I did one of these last year, and...wait, has it really already been a year since E3 2014? Because it doesn't feel like it. But indeed it has, and this year was chock full of surprises and megaton announcements topped off with a helping of new IPs and twists on the familiar. With what we saw, most of us probably wanted a place to gush about the things that really jumped out at us. This is my place to do just that. Doom Doom is an icon in the shooter world. THE icon, at that. It put first person shooters in the mainstream and covered the floor with demons and blood long before every other game started doing the same. The series was quiet after Doom 3, but it's coming back in a big, brutal way. Bucking the popular trends, Doom throws out cover, two-weapon inventories, and all the things that have limited us from just running up on some bad guys and shooting the crap out of them with a myriad of increasingly ridiculous weapons, and I'm absolutely stoked about that. FPS games have gotten far too sanitary and clingy to the player, and a game that throws you in with no regenerating health, no shields, and no mercy and expects you to circle-strafe your way to victory is the kick in the pants the genre needs right now. StarFox Zero Yes, I know there are actual screenshots, and no, I don't care. It's about time! While a new StarFox was mentioned at E3 2014, we didn't get any real info about it. Now that we've seen how the game looks and plays, I can't wait to get my paws on it. StarFox 64 has always been the high point of the series and one of my favorite games, and it's about time we get a new entry in the series that looks like it can match or even possibly outdo the high standards set by the N64 game. The fact that it's being at least partially developed by Platinum Games also has me excited, as Platinum has put together some quality action titles and I'll be happy to see them put those skills to work on bringing Fox and the crew to life on WiiU. The best part is that it's coming out this year, so it won't be long until we're doing barrel rolls and finding out what Wolf won't let us do this time. Horizon: Zero Dawn While I'm not a huge fan of Guerrilla's Killzone games, they were competent shooters with a lot of polish, so I'm confident they could deliver a new experience with great mechanics and amazing visuals. That experience is coming in the form of Horizon: Zero Dawn, with its concept of advanced tech vs. ancient weaponry painting a vivid world of clashing architectures and pitting the savage against the sleek. And robot dinosaurs! Don't forget the robot dinosaurs. Even if the gameplay doesn't look like much beyond a fairly standard third-person action-shooter at this point, I still want to dive into Horizon and get lost in the world of the Old Ones. Rare Replay Oh yes. I enjoy collections of past video games as much as anyone, but a collection of Rareware titles is one for the books. Bringing together some of their best games past and present, and also Grabbed by the Ghoulies (joke, I haven't played that game) Rare Replay is giving us some of the most treasured gaming experiences in one reasonably priced $30 package, along with some new features like challenges and achievements. I'm talking greats like RC Pro AM, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, Perfect Dark, my personal favorite underrated gem Jet Force Gemini, Battletoads Arcade, Viva Pinata, and more. Really, the only problem here is that I don't have an Xbox One, but the minute I get one, this collection is absolutely coming home with it. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam I love Mario & Luigi. I love Paper Mario. Would I love both of them together? You bet! This game looks to take the fun and frantic action-based combat and exploration of the Mario & Luigi series and fuse it with elements ripped straight out of Paper Mario in what's sure to be one of the most entertaining and satisfying Mario RPGs yet. While it may not be the Paper Mario sequel many were hoping for, it's still going to be a fantastic addition to the 3DS library and should be a huge treat for those who were less than impressed with Paper Mario: Sticker Star as the papercraft plumber gets back to the old ways of beating baddies. Shenmue III Hoo boy. Did anyone see this coming? If you're raising your hand right now, bring it down hard on your face, because you are a liar. After years upon years of hoping, begging, pleading, and praying, fans finally got what they never expected in the announcement that Shenmue III is finally happening, and through Kickstarter, you can make it happen. Naturally, the game is already fully funded on Kickstarter, so as a huge fan of the original game, I'm thrilled to know that after all these years I'll be able to hang with Ryo Hazuki once again when the game releases...whenever. The "estimated delivery" is December 2017, but those can usually be taken with a grain of salt. At any rate, whatever year this comes out is gonna be a huge year for gaming. Fallout 4 Oh man. Ohhhhh man. Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman. FALLOUT 4. IS HAPPENING. THIS. FREAKING. YEAR!!!!!!!!! *deep breath* I'm okay. Yes, friends, loved ones, enemies, and people I don't have an opinion of one way or the other, the next trip to everyone's favorite Wasteland is coming much sooner than I could have anticipated. We saw the first reveal of Fallout 4 a bit before E3 started, and while that was exciting enough on its own, nothing, and I mean nothing could prepare me for the bombshell that Bethesda dropped during their first ever conference, when they announced that Fallout 4 is releasing on November 10, 2015. TWENTY FIFTEEN. THIS YEAR!!!!!!! THE HYPE IS SO REAL I CAN'T CONTAIN IT AHHHHHHHHHHHH (disclaimer for those who will inevitably say the game will miss its release date and slip into next year: shut up) Honorable Mentions: Killer instinct on PC Xbox boss Phil Spencer stopped by the PC Gaming Show to talk about Microsoft's plans for PC gaming, and casually mentioned that (former) Xbox One exclusive Killer Instinct is headed to PC! No other info was given, but it's still exciting news for people like me who wanted to play it but don't have the system. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Not the biggest announcement from Nintendo's lineup, but as a fan of the Mario Tennis games I couldn't be happier about this. I skipped on the 3DS Mario Tennis game since I don't play my handhelds much, so I'm glad Mario and co. are bringing the racket to WiiU. Just Cause 3 We've known about Just Cause 3 for a little while, which is why it just gets an honorable mention since it wasn't really revealed at E3 specifically. (yes, neither was Fallout 4, but that's Fallout 4) Anyway, I spent hours roaming around blowing stuff up in the lushly detailed world of Just Cause 2, and I'm looking forward to doing it again when Just Cause 3 comes out this year. Xenoblade Chronicles X This is another we've known about for a while, but the exciting news is that it was revealed to be coming out in December of this year. While I never played the original Xenoblade Chronicles, the footage I've seen of Xenoblade X still has me really excited to take this RPG for a spin. No Man's Sky I wrote about this last year, and, yep, I'm still super excited about it. Can we get a release date so I can whine about how far away it is? While that's not nearly everything at E3 I thought was worth getting excited over, it's a take on some of the things that really made me happy to be a gamer and excited for what's in store over the course of this year and 2016. Now that you've read my babbling, it's time to share your thoughts in the comments! What excited you the most? What disappointed you? What did you hope to see that didn't show? Whatever thoughts you have about E3 2015, let's hear them!
  50. 2 points
    About a month or so ago Valve launched a trading card beta for Steam. This allowed users to earn cards by playing games that supported the system. Initially launching with only a handful of games supporting cards, there are now dozens of games getting support with more being added constantly. Trading cards came out of beta last week, and are currently the core of Valve's Summer Sale metagame. Before I delve deeper into that, let me start by explaining how the system works a little more thoroughly. As I said before, you earn cards by simply playing a game with card support. Once you've collected at least one of every type of unique card tied to the game ( ranging from 5 to 10) you can craft the cards into a badge, which will grant your Steam profile XP, as well as giving you an emoticon and profile wallpaper. It's a nifty little way of adding user interaction with Steam beyond simply just buying and playing games. However, after a certain amount of time you might notice something, you can only earn a certain amount of cards per game, namely, about half the required amount to craft a badge. And this is where our journey begins. So you start playing Left 4 Dead, which requires 8 unique cards to craft a badge. However you can only earn 4 cards by playing the game. Well, you ask, how do I get the other 4. This is of course assuming, that you got 4 unique cards, and no duplicates, which I might add, is VERY likely. Going off the assumption that all 4 cards were unique, you have two options. The first is seeing which of your friends has the card, and ask them for it, perhaps in a trade for another card. Your second option is, well, to just flat out buy the card. Yeah. So you have fairly deep pockets and decide to buy the cards you need rather than go through the hassle of bugging your friends for them. Once you've gotten the cards you craft them into a badge which gives you the emoticon and wallpaper you were after all along. Oh wait, you can just buy those too, in fact, it would be cheaper to do so in most cases. Yeah. So begins my problem with Valve's extortion racket here. And yes, that's basically what it is. Valve implemented a system where they reward you for playing games you bought, with cards, which you can, or rather, are encouraged to buy and sell. Every time a card is bought or sold, Valve takes a cut, somewhere around 10%. They've created a system where they make money off of users buying and sell what are essentially, absolutely worthless bits of data that took some intern 5 seconds to draw up. And you know what the best part is? It's genius. At least, from their perspective. Easy money for them right? Unfortunately I am not Valve, and I'm not enjoying the tidy profits they are likely raking in from this whole little thing they've got going on here. I am however, someone who enjoys using Steam very much. In fact, I LIKE the idea of trading cards. They're a fun way of interacting with your games and Steam. I used to collect Pokemon cards when I was younger, just as some people like to collect baseball cards, or Magic cards or whatever. However, the moment money is brought into the equation, the entire idea is ruined. The badges formed from trading cards contribute to your overall Steam "level" much like the amount of trophies contributes to your PSN "level". Ideally, and I know this sounds like an ego-trip, the people with the highest levels are, to put it plainly, bigger gamers. These are the people who put the most time and effort into their gaming, or at least, thats what it should be. Quite the opposite, it's turned into the gamers with the deepest pockets. What's the point of this whole system when someone with too much money can simply buy into the system and max out their rank within minutes? Only $3.56 for all these! Indeed, why even bother going to the trouble of collecting cards to craft badges to attain that elusive emoticon when you can simply just buy those too? There simply isn't a reason for any user who doesn't wish to purchase cards to care very much about leveling, ego aside, there isn't even any self satisfaction to it. This current Steam Summer Sale centers squarely around cards, sure voting on community picks will grant you a card every so often but for every $10 you spend you get a card, doesn't that sound so much easier? Just spend money on games and boom you'll get some cards, which of course, you'll need at least 10 to craft the Summer badge..... Well, why don't you simply trade then?, you ask. Because who will you trade with? If you earn a card, you can immediately put that card up on the market and make some money, which you could put towards some more games. So why would you trade something that you could just sell and get something out of? That's right, you wouldn't. And therein lies the problem. Of course, Valve won't fix the problem because doing so would negate their current revenue stream. Fixing the problem would entail eliminating any sort of monetary value tied to the cards and simply have them be tradable cards, the sole purpose of which is to have a fun little metagame on Steam with. But people spend money on trading cards all the time right? Whether it be Pokemon, or baseball cards or Magic, cards aren't free! Why shouldn't Steam cards be buyable? I don't have a truly good answer to this, other than my belief that injecting money into a system that would serve its purpose better without. Then again, it's entirely likely that the purpose of Steam Trading Cards is simply money for Valve. What are your thoughts on this? Have you been participating in any sort of trading card activity on Steam? Should or shouldn't they be purchasable? Am I completely wrong in thinking this way?