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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Sponsored by: Me

Time Played: 72 minutes

Love 'Em and Leave 'Em review

All Hell's breaking loose in Detroit Rock City, and Shannon Tweed has to protect her All-American man from all the good girls gone bad screaming "Come On And Love Me!"

So saddle up in this surprisingly not-terrible Plants Vs. Zombies clone and blast those groupies back to the Stone Age.

All the Way review

I bought this game as part of the Winter Steam sale as a joke gift to all of you.

"This will make a killer review," I thought to myself. "I'll endure some sweet pain with this unholy parasite of a game, and at fifty cents, I've got nothing to lose. After all, everyone loves a slap in the face, so long as that slap is directed at somebody else and accompanied by a funny sound effect."

Then I started playing it, and I started to feel a little betrayed. It was a million to one shot, but any way you slice it, Shannon Tweed's Attack Of The Groupies is not a terrible game. It's not the game of the year or anything, but I confess: I kind of enjoyed my time with it.

I know. It shocked me as much as it does you. But I just wanna explain how I finally found my way to that conclusion.

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Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 February 2015, 6:23 pm

The news around Kickstarted games has not been particularly great of late. There was the story yesterday that Ouya was backing down from its promise to create a limited run of blue consoles for people who backed the Reading Rainbow project at a certain level. That ran side-by-side with a spreading Eurogamer story about Peter Molyneaux’s mishandling of the crowd-funded Curiousity and the mistreatment of the game’s prize winner. Polygon also had a story yesterday of the flagging Project Scissors: NightCry, a spiritual successor to Clock Tower, and its struggles to reach its funding goals.

It’s not all bad, of course. Underworld Ascendant, which seeks to reboot the classic Ultima Underworld series that put Looking Glass Studios on the map, is ⅔ of the way to its $600,000 goal with three weeks still to go (full disclosure: I am a backer). Meanwhile one of the first major gaming Kickstarter successes, Pillars of Eternity, is just a bit over a month away from its release.

So it’s basically a microcosm of the gaming industry as a whole. You take the good; you take the bad; you take them both, and there you have the gaming biz. But it’s been interesting to watch the implied and sometimes explicit contract with the customer change in the crowd-funded era, and the shifting nature of the relationship between game-maker and direct patron. This whole platform seems ripe to empower people to make games that likely never would have otherwise seen the light of day, but too often it ends in a nightmare of PR fumbles and career-ending press.

I think the reality is that game development through crowd funding is, despite a few critical differences, every bit as difficult and hazardous as every other form of game development.

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The Goggles, They Do Something
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 February 2015, 8:34 pm

Ben isn’t a video-gamer. Oh, he’s a gamer: I’ve never seen a board game that Ben couldn’t dominate after thirty minutes of playing, he is wicked good at laser tag, and we still tell stories about “The Grom” from a tabletop RPG we last played eight years ago. And he’s usually up for anything. We’ve climbed up a cliff unharnessed to a point where we were genuinely afraid of death, sang karaoke with some Russian mobsters (at least I think they were mobsters – I didn't press the question), and we built a life size Papier-mâché giraffe which caused children to morn when it was blown over in a storm. We did all that stuff with each other, but in the ten years I’ve known the man we have never once played a video game together. I was hoping the Oculus Rift would change that. I was wrong.

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February 9 - February 15
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 February 2015, 10:16 am

I don't want to go off on a rant here, but ...

When I saw a Zelda game creep into the list of this week's new releases, I knew that I was probably going to get raked through the comment-coals if I didn't give it its heralded due. But, you know what? No. While Nintendo usually exists in a general zone of disinterest for me, they've recently moved into a place of more active dislike as they slowly roll out byzantine rules for YouTubers to add content. Willing to step in the deep, fetid puddle where even the traditionally vilified publishers have feared to tread, Nintendo's latest updates are like a Mike Tyson punch to the back of the head as you're already falling, unconscious, to the mat.

Look, I get that there's a lot of landing pad left to figure out just how all the rules settle out about who can put what game content up on a service like YouTube or Twitch. However, with their impotent list of "approved media", bizarre rules insisting that affiliate channels contain only Nintendo content, and requirements to split ad revenue with the Big N, forgive me if I jerk my knee at a large corporation setting up hard and fast rules about what information people can share with one another and in what format.

I know Nintendo is a sacred cow to many, but you'll forgive me if I feel like its typecasting as the plucky, people's-choice underdog to the corporate overlords of console gaming rings increasingly hollow.

Evolve gets my nod for Game of the Week.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Blue Flamingo
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 February 2015, 6:02 am

Sponsored By: Humble Bundle Eye Candy 2

Time Played: 29 minutes

Puppetoons review

Imagine playing a Ray Harryhausen movie, if you remember those. For those not aware, that means pre-CG visual effects. Yeah.

20 Million Miles To Earth review

In my misinformed youth, my dream was to become a practical special effects worker at Industrial Light and Magic. Years of watching any movie with a spaceship in it had me convinced I could make a career out of using various materials to make elaborate models to fool the camera into thinking it was filming something massive and alive.

Then Jurassic Park happened, and I found out the giant lizards were created by computers. I could see which way the wind was blowing, so I gave up my dream of being the next Ray Harryhausen and became an electrical engineer. I still sculpt miniatures and build models when I have time and space, but I won't ever do it for money.

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GWJ Conference Call Episode 434
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 February 2015, 10:48 pm

Episode 434 - February 4th, 2015
Dying Light, Life is Strange Episode 1, Projects Cars, Your Emails and more!

Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
(Such Mail 46.1 MBs, 1:20:35)

This week Shawn, Cory, Rob Zacny and Elysium talk games and lots of your emails!

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February 2 - February 8
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 February 2015, 11:59 am

This week indie-dev Alien Trap Games brings Apotheon to the PC and PS4 and lands the not-at-all-coveted Game of the Week honors. Apotheon is a side-scroller, 2D, action-RPG sporting a very cool art aesthetic. Set in ancient greece, the visuals recall the stylistic highlights of panathenaic amorpha ( with a color palette that immediately evokes Bronze Age art. Having watched some gameplay of Apotheon, the art decision immediately sets the game apart and creates a pitch-perfect feel to what it seems Alien Trap Games is trying to accomplish.

Best of all, if you have a PS4 and Playstation Plus, it's free! Meanwhile, in Microsoft land, the Xbox One is promoting a free version (for Gold memebers) #IDARB, the cheekily self-described #1, e-sports, crowd sourced, 4-on-4, multiplayer extravaganza that's being launched this week from Other Ocean. This is the kind of game that looks best experienced on a couch, with friends and a variety of beverages. Frenetic, pseudo-sports with a tongue-in-cheek style is appealing in a way few other games can mimic.

So, if you've got either console and a subscription to their premium service, there's no reason to pass on either of these games.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Bad Rats
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 January 2015, 6:12 am

Time Played: 56 minutes. The rest was just idling it for cards.

Sponsored by: CatPhoenix (get it?!)

Rattus review

Aptly titled rodent-themed puzzle game didn't quite give me the bubonic plague, but that's only because that plague was actually carried by the fleas on the rats, not the rats themselves.

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Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 January 2015, 5:13 pm

This week I’ve been playing Dying Light, a really solid entry into the AOWSHRPGFPS – action, open-world, survival horror, RPG FPS – genre.

Ok, that’s a silly sentence, and probably not one I’d write in any seriousness, but it does illustrate a problem I find myself facing more and more often when asked to describe a game. It used to be, not so very long ago, that games fit very neatly into a strict taxonomy of game types, such that all the games in a classification had such fixed similarities that describing what a game was could often be accomplished with three letters. These days, you’re lucky if you can do the same with three paragraphs.

I hear people complain from time to time about comparing games to combinations of other games, leading to equally obtuse statements like “Dying Light is Dead Island-meets – Mirror’s Edge, with a hint of Shadow Of Mordor and a dollop of Far Cry.” Games have become such amalgamations of one another, with great swirling features flowing in and out of genres in highly unpredictable Brownian motions, that it’s hard to argue that the word "genre" has any meaning anymore in gaming.

The question is whether that’s a sign of a maturing industry or a creeping malaise of creative bankruptcy.

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In The HR Conference Room of the Gaming King
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 January 2015, 6:19 am


Job Opening: The Game King's Court Jester

1. Tell me about yourself.

Not much to tell. I'm a pig farmer, son of a pig farmer who, was married to another pig farmer. The difference is that I have a sense of humor, which my father, Mr. Pig Farmer, most certainly does not.

2. What interests you about this opening?

Prithee, sirrah, to jest in the halls of the Game King would be the greatest honor in the land.

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January 26 - February 1
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 January 2015, 11:14 am

Time for a little survival horror this week, with the release of Dying Light on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Assuming you're not tired of zombie apocalypse games, and there's a good chance that you actually are, Polish developer Techland and Warner Brothers offer up a dynamic day night cycle, tons of weapons and a large urban environment. There seems to be a very action-oriented bent to Dying Light with shades of Dead Island, and I do have to admit that I'm intrigued.

That said, my appetite for zombie games is decidedly waning. I used to be interested in what the zombie fascination says about our cultural mindset, but honestly that conversation doesn't even interest me anymore. Zombies are starting to feel like an easy, video game friendly, stock bad guy. Doesn't tend to require a lot of AI programming. Shows off cool visuals. Fun to hit with sticks.

Zombies check off a lot of convenient boxes. But, all the games are just starting to meld together in my mind, and the apocalypse is becoming as boringly standard as a trip to Target to pick up dishwashing tabs and milk. Even as I look at my Steam featured items, no fewer than three of them are zombie centered -- H1Z1, Dying Light and Resident Evil HD.

Which is why my game of the week isn't Dying Light. It's Grim Fandango Remastered, a game that would be really hard to pigeonhole into some overly repetitious game type. Go play that!

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