Onto World Two
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 March 2015, 8:17 am

When I was a child, at an age still in the single digits, I had a tendency to restart games from the beginning. I'd play the first world of Super Mario Bros. and then shut the game off. After defeating Bebop and Rocksteady in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, I would power down the Nintendo and go searching for something else to do. I'd go no further than reaching Elfland in Final Fantasy, and I'd leave the rest of the solar system to the monsters from Planet X after completing the Earth level in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters. Each of these scenarios could have happened in a single day, bouncing from game to game only to stop myself when I reached a point that I assumed would be too difficult. The only time I would play further in a game – when I'd try to see it to completion – was when I was playing with my older brother.

I just assumed that I wasn't good enough to play through the entire game. I was just a kid, after all, and some of those early jumps gave me trouble. That first Labyrinth in The Legend of Zelda? Yeah, I could do that one fine. Maybe even the second! Anything after that, however, was best left to older and more experienced players.

Two months ago, I started my first real job. It's not a temporary contract, and it doesn't just have me copy-pasting into text fields and XML documents. It's a salaried job, and one where I'll be expected to put my knowledge of web development to some use. This is it: the real deal. A real job with real pay and real expectations.

All I could think during my first week on the job was how ill prepared I was. I wanted to hit reset and just jump right back to World One.

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March 23 - March 29
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 March 2015, 9:20 pm

A solid-gold pedigree is hard to come by these days. With development teams numbering in the hundreds, it’s become nearly impossible to pin a game on one person (or even one studio) when it comes to the AAA set. After Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, Bloodborne’s Hidetaka Miyazaki has become a person that gamers trust to deliver, despite only having two major games under his belt. I stand with the optimists, Bloodborne is obviously game of the week.

Speaking of trust, how are we feeling about Obsidian these days? Pillars Of Eternity is their first Kickstarter game and it’s set to launch this Thursday. For years Obsidian has been under a great deal of scrutiny for releasing buggy, unfinished titles with a lot of potential, leaving it to numerous fan patches to try and unearth missed opportunities. Publishers' tight schedules were normally pointed to as the lead culprit. Now we have Obsidian’s first Kickstarted game hitting the digital landscape, backed by Paradox Interactive, who are playing a hot hand as publisher after a rousing Cities: Skylines release.

Lots to choose from this week, let’s see where we land.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Draw a Stickman: EPIC!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 March 2015, 6:04 am

Time Played: 70 minutes

Sponsored by: Mantid

Basic Box of 16 review

Doodle your way to rescue your best friend in this quirky point-and-click-and-draw adventure. Just be careful where you doodle, because it's really easy to find yourself erased.

Epic box of 96 with the sharpener in the back review

I was quite a good drawer in my youth. My grade-school notebooks were full of concept art for comic-book heroes, or new characters for existing television shows, or logos for contemporary automobile brands. Then, one day, my skills just stopped improving. No matter how much I sketched, doodled or drew, everything came out looking exactly like a high-school student drew it.

I decided to start writing instead. I still write like I wrote in high school, but that was apparently enough to ace the placement exam and exempt me from having taking any English courses in college. The question is whether that's because I'm actually halfway decent at this or because the administrators didn't want to inflict my high PQ (punning quotient) on professors. I leave the answer as an exercise for the reader – be sure to stretch first.

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1000 Hours of Europa Universalis IV
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 March 2015, 2:20 pm

In case you hadn't heard, I like the game Europa Universalis IV. I liked it for the first hour, and I liked it for hour 999.

There are probably other games I've spent this long with, but until Steam came along I've never been able to easily track my length of time with those games like an odometer on a car. And, like getting in the car for that family ride that kicks over 100,000 miles, this video is my victory lap across the 1,000 hour mark.

For this particular campaign I am replaying the first country I ever tried to play in my first game of EUIV: Burgundy. I failed pretty solidly at that first effort, lasting only a couple of hundred years until I switched over to a much more successful England campaign. I've tinkered with revisiting Burgundy a few times, but honestly there's a reason that if you look at a modern map you won't see a country named Burgundy on there anywhere. For being as large and as powerful as it appears to be, it's actually deceptively tricky, and there are plenty of way to irk France, Austria, Castille, England and various collections of organized Germanic countries into just removing you and your lands from the face of the world.

This video begins well after the campaign is started and my position is much more stabilized. And, I saved doing one of my favorite things in EUIV for this broadcast. So, join me, as I invade France.

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Staying Tight. Gaming On.
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 March 2015, 6:33 am

In my imaginary world, the one where I'm as famous as Sean Sands or Julian Murdoch, people come up to me and ask me questions.

"Greg," they don't ask, "How do you do it?"

"I'm sorry," I don't reply. "I wasn't aware it was yours."

"No, not that. I can get a new sandwich. What I mean is how can you keep playing so many games and still enjoy gaming?"

After I thank them for not calling them "awful games," I think about it. I've heard that there is this thing called "gamer burnout," but I've never actually experienced it.

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March 16 - March 22
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 March 2015, 9:10 pm

Yes, yes, "the inmates are running the asylum," etc. Get your jokes out now. But let me say a couple things:

  1. If anyone of our writers here is currently committed to a mental hospital, then I will vouch for them as not dangerously ill so much as wildly eccentric. Dangerous to the status quo, perhaps, but not seriously to themselves or those around them.
  2. In fact, I'd wager that these folks' scatterbrained views and the format they are participating in, could be a very good thing.
  3. I'll also have you know that this team of Week Aheaders has a very particular set of skills. Skills they have acquired over very long lives as gamers. Skills that make me a nightmare for people who crapshoot release lists like this one.

That being said, here's what's coming out this week. Let's see what value our gang can find in there.

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TWA: Changing of the Guard
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 March 2015, 10:44 am

The very first The Week Ahead was published on January 13, 2003. It was the fourth post ever put on GWJ. Shawn wrote it -- this was before there was a Game of the Week -- and there was only one comment. It was from me, probably because this was a full day before we actually had even launched the site. That's how long this series of posts has been going on.

And, it will continue to do so. Just a little different.

I took over TWA from Shawn in early 2006, which means I've been doing this Monday post every week ... most weeks ... a healthy percentage of the weeks for just over nine years. In that time there've been some minor tweaks here and there. We used to list out weekly DVD/Blu-Ray releases. We added the Game of the Week. We changed where we got our information multiple times. But for the most part, it's been myself or Shawn just chiming in on whatever tripped our fancy that week.

Last week's post which included multiple voices and perspectives was a test run for a different style and format from a broader sampling of our writers. Frankly, I liked the results. And so, I'm happily handing over the keys of The Week Ahead to a broader group of our writers to tackle and ostensibly "rob" some number of releases every week.

After nine years there's a part of me that's pretty happy to take a respite. More importantly, I think this format has a broader view of the games coming to market every week, and will provide a more valuable opportunity to get a range of perspectives and ignite conversation. I may chime in from time to time, but I'd really like the new group to put their own stamp on the thing.

So, I for one welcome our new The Week Ahead overlords. And, if they say anything I don't like, I can just use that as inspiration for my regular Thursday column.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Sid Meier's PIRATES!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 March 2015, 6:17 am

Sponsored By: OldMud

Time Played: 51 minutes

Arr! Review

A re-released classic gets re-re-released on Steam, and surprise-surprise, it's worth-worth your time-time.

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Cities: Skylines
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 March 2015, 9:48 pm

The real tragedy of this story is how long I waited to save up for the Hydro-Electric Dam.

It wasn’t cheap. We’re talking like 250,000 moneys – or whatever the currency for Cities: Skylines actually is – to stretch this dam across a busily flowing river, but it felt like a sound investment in what looked like my best new renewable energy resource. In one single push, I could replace a couple dozen basic and advanced wind turbines. I stretched the massive structure across the deep and swiftly flowing river, and plopped it into place.

I’m a veteran of countless city-builders, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that a dam is just some fancy building you stretch across the tiles pretending to be water. There’s no consequence to that action, of course. It’s more like being a politician than an engineer or effective city planner: You just point at some scenic stretch of water and call a massive dam into existence through sheer force of will. How it actually works is something for the boys down in the labs to figure out.

At first the water spilled over the road on top of my dam, as the powerful flow surged into the sudden and unexpected impediment – a cool, but I assume purely cosmetic touch. Besides, this part of my city sat along a bluff overlooking the now dammed river; I had no concerns. I went back to busying myself with the task of creating angry snarls of traffic and oddly meandering stretches of train tracks. It’s at this point that I should point out that, among the many things that makes Cities: Skylines different and better than any other city builder, is that it actively simulates the water physics of its rivers, lakes and seas.

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GWJ Conference Call Episode 439
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 March 2015, 1:10 am

Episode 439 - March 11th, 2015
Live From PAX East 2015! Dreadnought, Overwatch, Enter The Gungeon, Games & Stress, Live Questions From the Audience and More!

Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
(A Heroic 42.8 MBs, 1:14:42)

This week's show is live from PAX East! We had some audio snafus and had to resort to a backup recording that isn't awesome, but still gets it across. Sorry about that!

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High Fidelity
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 March 2015, 2:17 pm

It's funny where people draw lines. A person watching a film about giant alien spiders might get hung up on inaccurate portrayals of the ballistic properties of various firearms. A person who is perfectly at home with the notion of Egyptian mummies walking the earth might grind his teeth about how scarab beetles aren't carnivorous (they are, in fact, scavengers, eating carrion or decaying plants). Another person watching a movie about dinosaurs resurrected from extinction might spend hours ranting about how Unix isn't a magic word that makes the lights turn back on.

Those people all might or might not be the same person, and they might or might not be the author of what you're reading right now.

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March 9 - March 15
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 March 2015, 8:01 am

While the Cat is away, or at least recuperating from the frozen tundra of Boston, the Mice shall play. We lowly underminers (because no one is beneath us) are approaching The Week Ahead a bit differently this week. Instead of selecting a singular game, we'll each be highlighting a game or group of games that we're looking forward to. We hope that this not only gives multiple games an opportunity to shine, but helps encourage what we love about The Week Ahead most: our community coming together to share what they all happen to be excited about.

Chris 'C' Cesarano: I don't know much about how business years and estimates go, but I'm guessing March is the last month of some financial quarter due to the sheer number of games suddenly getting squeezed out this month. I wasn't even aware a new version of Mushroom Men was being made, though based on its premise I doubt it'll be winning the favor of our Tropes vs. The Recently Released denizens any time soon. Being the staff 3DS fanboy you might also expect me to be incredibly psyched about the upcoming Codename: S.T.E.A.M., a tactical strategy game in the vein of X-Com, but set in an alternate steampunk history. It wasn't until I was granted a full four-person squad that the demo struck a rich vein of joy, granting unique combat and mobile abilities that whet my appetite for the full game. By all rights, Codename S.T.E.A.M. should be my pick for the week. Should.

Instead, my pick of the week is going to a game I've already played before, DmC: Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition. I wanted to own a copy of the game anyway, and getting a high-definition version running at sixty frames per second, with DLC packed in, is just the way to rip cash straight from my wallet. The story and characters may have me face-palming and shaking my head enough to generate neck-cramps in the morning, but the combat is just so much heroin to shoot between my toes. So, like a complete toolbag, I win the Sean Sands Award for Most Disappointing Week Ahead Pick for 2015.

Greg 'doubtingthomas396' Decker: My contrarian inclination is to try and figure out the one that is most likely to be labeled "robbed" and pick that one – which I'm sure would be either Atelier Shallie or Tokyo Twilight.

I feel I owe you all better than that. Instead of playing into the caricature I've created for myself, I'll give you my honest answer which also, as it happens, plays into the caricature I've created of myself. I'm genuinely excited that another Mushroom Men game is coming out.

I played the first one, on the Wii, stem-to-stern with my kids, and we all enjoyed it quite a bit. In fact I still get requests to replay some favorite levels over again. This one looks nothing like the Wii version, being a side-scrolling puzzle-platformer, but the trailer's cheerfully manic tone put me in mind of BattleBlock Theatre, which is another game I loved to play with my kids. It also made my wife laugh, which is still a sound that sets my heart aflutter after all these years. Finally, it gives me the opportunity to say "Nobody knows the truffles I've seen" in a review someday, and you know I won't be able to resist that!

All of this leads me to Mushroom Men: Truffle Trouble as my Game of the Week.

Felix Threepaper: Two particular words in game titles are my kryptonite: Awakenings Revengeance "Sid Meier's".

Like Metallica, Sid Meier sports a back catalogue so beloved that my interest in his new stuff is permanently set at "piqued".

Sid Meier's Starships has decloaked from completely under my radar. Scanners are picking up strong background readings of the Civ/Beyond Earth formula. The headline feature – "tactical ship combat" – sounds like it may play out like XCom, but on a hex grid. I’m curious whether this new combat system has the tactical legs to stay fresh for the duration of a usual Sid Meier campaign.

So will Sid Meier's Starships be St. Anger or Lulu? I'll probably spend 60 hours finding out, and that's why it is my Game of the Week.

As for runners-up, Hotline Miami was like an autotuned rabid chihuahua: small, vicious, but with a surprisingly great soundtrack. I enjoyed it, but don't need another ticket to that particular freakshow.

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PAXEast 2015 On The Go!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 March 2015, 10:15 am

The doors are open and here we go!

Friday, 10am

I have a couple quick notes to start.

  • Despite the warnings about the cold, intrepid souls were gathering at an early hour this morning. The first pic in our photo-roll was taken7:30 this morning.
  • Supergiant Games is down in Expo with a photobooth. Go get your photo taken with a Cael Hammer!

Photos courtesy of my minion DominicKnight (who is gathering Streetpasses at a truly terrifying rate because we're in the rainshadow of the Albatross Theater line).

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Zeno Clash
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 March 2015, 6:04 am

Sponsored By: Peedmyself

Time Played: 80 Minutes

Jab Review

I ... I'm not sure what I just played, but I think I'm in love.

Haymaker Review

Let's play a game. Let's see how long I can go in this review without using the word “bizarre.”

So, Zeno Clash is bizarre.

Five words! That must be a record!

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My Final Destination
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 March 2015, 7:25 am

"Playing Super Smash Bros. without items is like playing Super Mario Kart without items. You know what you have then? NASCAR! Who wants to play that?!"

This was something a friend of mine said in college when he and I were both electoral board members of the video gaming club. At the time it was one of the funniest and most true statements I'd ever heard about a game. We were trying to hold a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament, and we hadn't yet adapted to just how picky the more competitive players were about tournament rules.

Our go-to argument was that a tournament was about skill, and if you weren't adaptable enough to deal with items then clearly you didn't have the skill necessary to win a tournament. For years I've stuck by this statement.

Ten years later I've become the owner of the latest Super Smash Bros. for WiiU, and it, without a doubt, is the best one in my mind. I'm having an absolute blast playing the variety of new characters, seeing a lot of the new stages, and trying out the different game modes. I've found more characters that I'm comfortable with than ever.

But I'm starting to get really annoyed when items are turned on.

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GWJ at PAX East 2015!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 March 2015, 10:59 pm

Hi everyone! Just a quick note for all our buds going to PAX East this weekend. We've got two official GWJ things you're going to want to know about!

Saturday, 11:30AM we will be doing our show live in the Dragon Fly Theater! Join Sean Sands, Julian Murdoch, Cory Banks, Shawn Andrich and Rob Zacny as they spin a Conference Call before your very eyes. We'll be doing some Q&A near the end so bring your questions! Apologies in advance for the program that says Ken Levine is joining us. He ran into a schedule conflict and had to bail. Sad panda.

Saturday, 5PM we will be doing our annual GWJ meet & greet at Tamo Bistro & Bar at the Seaport Hotel! It's a quick walk from the convention proper and we've had a great time hanging out there the last couple years. Good food, nice drinks and a chill, open space for chatting and even playing some games. See you there!

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The Heroine's Journey Podcast Launched!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 March 2015, 1:28 pm

In case you missed the awesome news, former GWJ writer and friend to all Lara Crigger has launched an awesome new podcast called The Heroine's Journey! I'll let Lara explain what it's all about:

The Heroine’s Journey is a podcast that will highlight women’s stories and female characters in pop culture, including books, TV, film, comics, video games, and more.

The goal: to broaden awareness of positive, interesting and complex portrayals of women in fiction, and of creators who are doing it right.

Published every Tuesday, each episode will be roughly 45-60 minutes in length, featuring LC Brown (that’s me!) and at least one co-host. In addition, most Fridays I’ll also feature some sort of “bonus content”, such as interviews, radio essays, fan music, and more.

The Heroine's Journey podcast is available direct on the website, iTunes and Stitcher.

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March 2 – March 8
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 March 2015, 10:39 am

We find ourselves with another week of a lot of games on the list, and no obvious picks, to me at least, for Game of the Week. The thing is, inevitably some game out of this list that I'd never heard of prior will eke out its own little following and gather momentum.

In some ways, it's made me wonder lately how much having a Game of the Week makes sense. Sure, during the more rich weeks of the fall gaming season it's easier to pick some big-name release to focus on, but for most weeks that doesn't really hold true. "Game of the Week" assumes a little bit of an outdated model where there are high-visibility previews and pre-release marketing that make a big splash, but that's becoming increasingly less common.

As we pack to travel off to PAX East this week, I'm not really going with a huge list of upcoming games that I want to try and learn about. If anything, the more I go to these conventions, the better I get at just being open to discovering something heretofore unknown. Thing is, there's probably something awesome in the list below, and I honestly have no idea what it is yet.

Still, it would be a shame not to pick something and give you guys the opportunity to tell me which game was so obviously robbed, so we'll give this week's GotW to Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2. Last week's first episode appears to have been fairly well received, so here's hoping that Capcom can stick the landing.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Apotheon
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 February 2015, 6:20 am

Sponsored by: Sony PS+

Time Played: An hour...ish? (I'm playing on a PS4, and if there's a way to measure time spent on a game, I haven't found it)

The Histories Review

Thou still unexplored world of enemies
Thou step-child of Metroidvania
Sylvan game-designer, who canst thus express
A bloody tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What digital legend haunt about thy shape
of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Dion or the halls of Agora
What men or gods are these? What NPCs loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to understand the combat mechanic?
What shields and swords and pikes that break so easily?

(What? I read things other than game reviews and trashy young-adult fiction, you know)

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The Early Bird Gets the Funding
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 February 2015, 6:36 pm

I hear people say fairly often, “I never buy Early Access games, I prefer to spend my money on finished products.” Disregarding for the moment that I’ve played very few games I’d consider truly “finished products” at launch lately, I actually don’t really have much objection to this argument. It makes sense to me, and I think it’s a good line of demarcation to draw in the sand if you’re looking to be careful and thoughtful about your gaming purchases.

But what I don’t understand as much are the corners of open hostility to Early Access. From my point of view, I’d argue that not only is Early Access not a net negative for the gaming industry, for developers on otherwise challenging budgets and for a burgeoning business of homebrew game-development, but that, rather, it is a net positive.

I think Early Access games may be the best thing to happen in the industry in years, and I would argue that predicated on three key ideas. First: early access gaming leads to the creation of games that might not otherwise have existed. Second: Early Access gaming provides and option to and subverts outdated publishing models of game creation. And, most importantly, third: Early Access leads to better games at release.

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To DLC, or not to DLC? That is the question...
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 February 2015, 7:17 pm

Way back in the mists of pre-history, when you got a game, you got your box, with a floppy or disk and maybe a manual or a feelie. Whatever was in that box was what you got, at least until the sequel (or your buddy with some hex-editing skills) came along. With the advent of better-connected technology and the growing complexity of the games themselves, though, what you ultimately get isn't limited by what's in the box (assuming you get a box at all). Connectivity allows changing the game after it's shipped, which has became so common in the general gaming landscape as to be assumed. And like most complicated decisions humanity has undertaken, it has been a mixed blessing.

Complaints are long and loud, and often the rallying cry is something along the lines of "It didn't used to be that way!" But I don't remember any sort of halcyon days when games weren't buggy as heck (or even completely broken) at ship - and I go back to the Vic20, when it was my own typos that caused those bugs. The fact that you CAN fix those self-created bugs, rather than just having to wait for a next version like I had to with Merchant Prince back in the 90's, is a good thing, overall. (Believe me, gang, World Of Warcraft did not invent the concept of a bugged spawn.) I remember those and try to take it in stride, even when I'm stuck spending some of my few gaming minutes looking at the update screen rather than the game load screen I was expecting.

Most of us have come to terms with the patching concept in practice (as long as it works correctly), but the industry has moved on to the next logical step: If you can fix it after the fact, you can add things to it after the fact. And that brings us to downloadable content, or "DLC." As Evolve marks yet another headline in the story of DLC, I like to step back to review the ways I judge the content that doesn't come with the box.

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February 23 - March 1
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 February 2015, 11:08 am

I have incredibly fond memories of Homeworld. I don't think any game before or since has described a vast emptiness and loneliness of space in quite the same way. Aside from simply being an excellent RTS, Homeworld had a personality and aesthetic to it that only served to enhance and strangely personalize the gameplay. I felt like I was on a diaspora when I played its campaign, exiled from a ruined home.

The remastered return of Homeworld is a welcome gift from Gearbox and definitely tops my pick as Game of the Week. Nothing has ever really managed to replicate or even build on the Homeworld formula, and honestly I'm not sure I really want anyone to try.

Also this week, Resident Evil Revelations 2 takes the latest round for the aging franchise in an episodic direction. With each episode ringing in at around the six dollar mark, Revelations 2 follows two parallel storylines, one involving Claire Redfield apparently trapped in an abandoned prison on a deserted island, and the other focused Barry Burton and a young companion with mysterious powers.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Monaco
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 February 2015, 6:12 am

Sponsored by: Cobble

Time played: 70 minutes

Clooney Review

Ever since the movie Heat came out, video game developers have been trying to make it into a video game. Pocketwatch games decided to make an Ocean's Eleven game instead, and we're all the richer for it.

Sinatra Review

He opened the door and stepped into the small room, a half-full beer mug in one hand and a shaker of salt in the other.

"Sorry'm late," he grumbled. "I took 43rd street up past the hospital, but it was mobbed because some dim bulb tried to make a left on red and ... caused ..."

He paused, aware that the room was full of men he'd never seen before, and that they were all staring at him.

"Who the hell're you people?"

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Pushing Away From the Table
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 February 2015, 9:59 pm

I’ve never watched the 5th season of Babylon 5. I’m told that this was a wise decision.

I didn’t watch Babylon 5 when it was actually on the air. I caught the first few episodes, but it just didn’t take with me on its first pass through the filter. It was only a few years ago that I finally settled in, resolved to engage in the show’s rich mythology. Again, the first season nearly wore that resolve away, but eventually, as is true of so many shows I remember with great fondness, the show built its own momentum and found a distinct narrative voice, and I was hooked.

As is all too common in this modern age of television consumption, I binge-watched seasons 2–5. It was a torrid affair, and one that I remember fondly. As the episodes and seasons bled together, the story escalated and became increasingly layered, building to something momentous: a story resolution that I’d come to genuinely care about. Then it dismounted and stuck the landing, and I was happy, which is when I was presented with the choice.

It had been made clear to me at the outset of my adventure that I should disregard the final season of the show altogether, which is exactly what I did. I bring this up because I’ve found a new show to devour, and I’ve come to a similar, all-too appropriate crossroads. I find again that my inclination is to back slowly away from the table before the next course is served, and leave satisfied and happy.

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An Open Letter to the Writer (and the Readers) of the Open Letter
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 February 2015, 2:31 am

Idly reading through my feed while a script was running last week, I saw a tweet from a good friend with a link and the text saying something along the lines of "here's the real letter that inspired today's Penny Arcade comic."

I'm not one to leave something like that lying around, so I went and read the letter and the comments that were then appended to it. Turns out someone on Riot Games' League Of Legends message boards had written an open letter to all parents about teaching their kids to stop quitting in the middle of ranked matches because of what it does to the rest of the team.

First thing I really barked my shins on was in the comments on the letter. Several people were saying that sometimes the reason for the kid going AFK was that the parent needed to check email or Facebook or something on that computer. The concept that people are letting their kids play a game on their computer instead of on the child's is a train-wreck looking for the un-thrown switch as far as I'm concerned. I'd rather share a toothbrush than a computer. It's safer, and more sanitary.

Then I dutifully went and read the comic and its accompanying newspost. The gist of the news post:

"...when you start talking about when I can and cannot set limits on behavior, or withdraw privileges, because of your Statz or because it might attract the ire of a community already legendary for its player abuse, you’re punching above your weight, kid."

Ouch. That seemed a little harsh. But over the next several hours I sat with the text for a while and thought about it. My second reaction is probably not what either the comments or Tycho wanted.

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