TL;DP: Shadow Warrior
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 December 2014, 4:12 pm

Sponsored By: My own nostalgia

Time Played: 73 minutes

Tiny Grasshopper review

An ambiguously Asian stereotype sets off on an adventure to retrieve a magic sword from a dangerous multinational corporation. That's right! It's Daikatana 2!

Crouching Tiger Review

As we wrap up Devolver Digital December, it's interesting to look back and reflect on what characterizes a Devolver Digital game. Nostalgia. Action. Humor. Uncomfortable levels of violence. If you value any of these things in a game, then Devolver might just be your company.

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December 22 – December 28
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 December 2014, 9:39 pm

Mr. Sands says he lives in Minnesota, but that's actually a clever cover for his seasonal gig further north. (C'mon, tell me you're surprised. How long have we been talking about his beard?) Anyway, he didn't file a Week Ahead due either to that or to the fact that nothing's really coming out this week. So you're stuck with my humbuggery.

It's about time to tie a bow on this year, stick a fork in it, and cash in your chips. We're done here. Apparently not everyone got the memo, or is trying to sneak in while everyone else is distracted. Below is what passes for a release list, near as I can tell.

I almost fell for the devious naming of Shake Spears! and called that "Game Of The Week," for whatever hono(u)r that title carries around here. Alas, this is not a smartphone game wherein you play as ol' Billy the Bard. No, this is something about jousting of the non-Ostrich-riding variety. Why they didn't partner with Medieval Times is beyond me.

Note: I didn't chose ef – a fairy tale of the two.'s punctuation or lack of capitalization. That's the localization team's fault, assumedly.

Oh, I have to pick a game? Duck Hunt. It's the original game up for download, and it allows me to attempt some overstretched allusion to this year's goose being cooked.

Well, I tried.

Here's hoping you can squeeze some merriment out of whatever this week brings you.

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TL;DP: Serious Sam BFE
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 December 2014, 6:43 am

Sponsored by: RNR Clown

Time Played: 70 minutes, but only 60 of them seriously.

Seriously Short Review

Back in the 2001, some Croatians wondered what Smash TV would be like if it were a first-person shooter, and created an engine specifically to render an obscene number of enemies in wide-open environments. Ten years later, they wondered what a Smash TV FPS would be like if it were heavily influenced by Doom 3.

Seriously Longer Review

Serious Sam: The First Encounter is one of the few PC games I beat back in the early aughts (I call 2000 through 2009 “the aughts,” because I am apparently a hundred and fifty years old). I beat it on an HP laptop (this was back when HP laptops were good machines), children, on normal — using (and this is where I brag a little) only the trackpad and keyboard. How did I do it? Well, let me introduce you to my little friend, the D key.

We are not, however, here to talk about Serious Sam: The First Encounter, the game that started this whole “episodic” fad. We are here to talk about Serious Sam 3.

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GWJ Conference Call Episode 427
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 December 2014, 9:02 pm

Episode 427 - December 17th, 2014
FarCry 4, Dead State, Ultra-Wide Monitor Review, Irrational Feelings About Games, Dragon Age: Inquisition Spoiler Section (See Show Notes!), Your Emails and More!

Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
(An Irrational 39.8 MBs, 1:09:31)

This week Sean, Julian and Cory talk about irrational feelings about games! We also have a Dragon Age: Inquisition Spoiler Section with Lara, Karla and Shawn you'll find as a separate download!

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GWJ Plays -- Kerbal Space Program
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 December 2014, 5:45 pm

With Kerbal Space Program's official move (finally) to beta, now seemed like as good a time as any to go over why this is one of my favorite games of the past year, and do an introductory walkthrough of the game and the latest features. In part 1 of this two part series I cover some of the basics of the game while looking at some new features from the latest patch, cheekily titled Beta Than Ever.

In part 2 I stage a mission to the Mun and cover several successes and failures at staging, getting into orbit and getting down safely(?) onto the larger of Kerbin's 2 natural satellites.

Part 1 --

Part 2 --

I'm kicking around the idea of doing a full career series, so let me know if you'd be interested in seeing more!

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Mental Health Packs
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 December 2014, 6:19 am

(Knock knock knock)

Do you have a moment to contemplate the healing power of fun?

I thought of this while watching my kids recover from a nasty virus. They were spiking fevers, throwing up what little they'd eaten, and generally not moving around a whole lot. As a mild hypochondriac who reads too many news websites, I anxiously waited for the fevers to break, hoping it was something simple that would resolve itself with fluids and rest. The thing that kept my anxiety from getting the better of me was the note from our pediatrician saying not to worry too much unless the fever was accompanied by incoherence, unresponsiveness or an unwillingness to do anything that usually interested them. When I heard my daughter's weak voice asking to play Little Big Planet 3, I knew we weren't too deep in the woods. When they both came to me and asked me to play Knack so they could watch, I knew they were probably going to be just fine.

They're both on the mend now, and as of this writing they're well enough to be miserable about not feeling better. Their father, on the other hand, is in the throes of coming down with whatever they had. Ah, parenthood.

The whole situation, though, got me thinking about the medicinal power of games. Specifically, it reminded me of how I got into gaming in the first place.

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December 15 - December 21
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 December 2014, 9:36 am

It may be Star Citizen that has been the biggest, brightest star in the revitalization of PC space sims, and its $66.6 million dollars of funding raised sort of boggles my mind. Meanwhile this week's game of the week, Elite: Dangerous, has quietly been making a name as a venerable space sim itself, and it gets out of the gate first with a fully launched product, while Chris Roberts slowly trickles new features out.

It is, otherwise, a fairly quiet-looking week, with a number of niche-y titles smattered across the various platforms, but clearly the thunder of the fall season has now fully calmed. All told, looking back, it felt like a little bit of a disappointing fall gaming season, with a marginal showing by big-name franchises and nothing that really stepped in to land as the quintessential game of the year. The only real standout so far has been Dragon Age: Inquisition, but it's been in a class by itself for the fall of 2014.

Not terribly surprising for the PS4 and Xbox One's first fall flying solo as the primary gaming machines. On the upside, it gives us the console cycle's mature years to look forward to, even if that might not really be kicking in until 2016.

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TL;DP: OlliOlli
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 December 2014, 6:09 am

Sponsored By: a totally sick Humble Bundle offer

Hang Time: 63 minutes

2lawn: DintPl8

Aw man, I am so stoked to be spelling you on this game. It is totally sick! So grab your deck, put some spinners on it, and prepare to grind your way into infamy. Shred on, peeps!

Acid drop to the fakie kick flip, to the varial, to the nose grind, to the nollie, to the nice, clean landing review:

15 years ago, a little game named Tony Hawk Pro Skater hit the malls of North America and allowed chubby nerds to live out a dream they didn't even know they had: to step onto the deck of the sickest skater who ever ollied for a paycheck.

And now I'm done with the poser lingo. (I'm not Super Skier, after all. If you got that joke, congratulations! You're as old as my soul was twenty years ago.)

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Believe In Magic, If Only For A Little While
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 December 2014, 6:27 am

A staple of my youth was the Christmas special. (Boy, we're really just jumping into it this article, aren't we?) Every TV show I used to watch had that special Christmas episode, and they always had one of two plots:

1) Curmudgeonly bastard gets the Dickens treatment.

2) Little kid gets to believe in Santa for one more year.

That was it. There were no other Christmas stories that would fit into a half hour on ABC's TGIF within a narrow window of being precisely, blandly tolerable-yet-festive.

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December 8 - December 14
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 December 2014, 12:17 pm

This week Lara Croft the Guardian of Light gets its somewhat overdue sequel, with my game of the week Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.

The Tomb Raider franchise has been enjoying something of a rebirth over the past few years, and between 2013's Tomb Raider and 2010's (has it really been that long?!) Guardian of Light there's good reason to hope the trend will continue.

While Temple of Osiris is intriguing, I've got the true next-gen sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, down as one of my most anticipated games of next year.

Beyond Lara, Final Fantasy XIII-2 get ported to the PC, Suikoden II gets a PSN release and Phoenix Wright gets bundled up into a trilogy all-in-one package.

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TL;DP: Hotline Miami
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 December 2014, 7:43 am

Author's Note: This is the first review of December, and it so happened that I had four reviews queued up that were all by the same studio. This is complete happenstance, but when have I ever backed away from a bad idea? So welcome to Devolver Digital December on TL;DP!

Sponsored by: [gwj] Al

Time played: 59 minutes

TL;DR review

Devolver software provides a glimpse into what the world would have looked like if Rockstar was making games for the SNES. Like all Rockstar games, it's fun as hell and after playing it you feel like you need a bath.

Long Review

It's the 1980's. The Russians want to nuke us, the Iranians want to behead us, and Full House is the most popular show on prime time. So it's pretty much like today, but Dave Coulier is still popular.


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Riding That Unicorn
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 December 2014, 9:37 pm

I am trying very hard to think of the last time I joined a random multiplayer session on one of my consoles, and I have to admit that I am drawing a blank. If I were to say that I’ve never clicked into a console “pub match” without at least one known teammate to cling to, like a caged baby monkey hugging sadly a soft piece of fabric for maternal love, such claim may eventually be proved materially untrue, but I’m pretty sure I could pass a polygraph on the topic.

I’m a little more brave in my natural habitat of PC gaming, but I often regret that adventurism. It’s not hard to demonstrate that there is some statistically relevant segment of the gaming community that seems to revel in at least aggressively anti-social behavior and in many cases active abuse of others. I can’t say I fully grok the mindset of someone who sets out to demonstrate their ultimately impotent power by trolling a game, nor would I want to understand the petty weak-mindedness associated, but I also have very little time in my life to suffer fools of that caliber.

I can outmaneuver these feculent snot-weevils in the real world where their tiny power holds little sway, but the virtual worlds are essentially their house. If I’m going to have to encounter these proto-people, I’d prefer not to do it on their home court. So I generally stay out of their minor fiefdoms.

But in the esports renaissance of computer gaming, the feasibility of avoiding pub-games of one kind or another is increasingly unrealistic. When I was playing a lot of Starcraft II, the reality simply was that if I wanted to get the most out of my experience, I was going to have to push that matchmaking button. Even my well developed safe haven of Europa Universalis IV seems to have all of its recent patches and DLC aimed squarely at developing the multiplayer, to the point that criticisms of the single-player AI have been met with strongly worded statements that the developer’s priority is multiplayer.

So inevitably I do find myself in public multiplayer settings, though when I do so, I always walk into it prepared for the worst. It’s not always terrible, of course — only usually — but anything significantly better feels a bit like getting a brief glimpse of a unicorn.

Which is why I tend to think of my experience this past weekend in World of Warcraft’s random matchmaking system as like riding a unicorn to Narnia.

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GWJ Conference Call Episode 425
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 December 2014, 11:55 pm

Episode 425 - December 3rd, 2014
Dragon Age Inquisition, Heroes of The Storm, Game Coaching, Your Emails and More!

Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
(A Hairy 38.6 MBs, 1:07:31)

This week Shawn, Sean and Julian talking about game coaching.

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December 1 - December 7
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 December 2014, 10:40 am

If you live in the United States, then this Monday has two significant meanings for you. The first is that the refrigerator is becoming critically low of leftover turkey and stuffing, assuming either remain at all. The second is that it is Cyber Monday, a day in which work hours are spent scouring various websites for online deals and cut prices. Few will be looking ahead to new releases in December.

Which is too bad, as the Telltale Games developed Game of Thrones finally heralds the coming of winter with its release across multiple platforms. Two years ago, high off of my first playthrough of The Walking Dead: Season One, I might have perhaps been incredibly excited for this new release. Yet after a replay of that Season 1 experience this year, watching the gameplay of Poker Night at the Inventory 2, and receiving word that the new season and The Wolf Among Us is experiencing a number of bugs and glitches across multiple platforms, I've come to wonder if Telltale needs to stop taking on so many licensed products and instead focus on making their engine work.

I imagine someone will now want to tell me how foolish I am for this feeling and that the game will surely be incredible.

I wish those grown-up someones good fortune with the performance of what will no doubt be the first good game based on George R. R. Martin's epic and gritty property, but in the meantime I'll be playing Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Each time I unlocked a Captain Toad level in Super Mario 3D World I was filled with excitement and left with a satisfactory sense of joy. When Nintendo announced that the sentient fungus man would be getting his very own game, I could hardly contain my delight. So I give this week's nod to one of my most anticipated games of the entire year.

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TL;DP: Fowl Space
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 November 2014, 6:45 am

Time Played: 15 Minutes I'll never be able to un-play.

Sponsored by: I have nobody to blame but myself.

Nugget review:

On this day where we're enjoying leftover bird, let me just say that I'm thankful I don't ever have to play any more of this game.

Coq Au Vin review:

I want to start this review with a tearful apology to the unfortunate GWJ member who received a green envelope with this game in it during the Summer Steam Sale. I'm sorry. I really really am. It was $0.24, and the art style from the screenshots looked cool and the concept of playing as a rooster in a space helmet fighting space vikings who are trying to steal the sun seemed too redonkulous to pass up.

So I bought it for somebody. Then I bought it for me. Then I played it. Then I sent an email apologizing profusely.

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The Twilight of my Discontent
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 November 2014, 5:38 am

I flatter myself that I have a fair amount of self awareness. Sometimes this runs over into self consciousness, but I think I manage to rein it in enough to avoid losing too many work days to hiding under my blankets. One of the things I'm aware enough to know is that I'm ... different from most of you.

This is where those of you who know me will start to think I'm going to write about Duke Nukem Forever. Well, I'm not. I'm going to talk about another unpopular thing that I like.


Oh stop. You probably haven't even read it, so stop with the fake-retching noises.


I have a special reason to hate Twilight. It came out when I was still working on my own novel, which happened to be about vampires and werewolves in a small, modern-day, American town. Now, even if I could somehow publish it, I'll just be accused to being derivative of Stephanie Meyer's work.

But I don't hate Twilight. Why? Because my wife loves it, and she wanted to share it with me. I respect her opinions, and I know she wouldn't recommend me something that I would hate, so I tried it with an open mind. Wouldn't you know it, I enjoyed it too! Funny, old world.

Anyway, why bring this up on a site dedicated to geeky pursuits and that probably has a higher-than-average anti-Meyer quotient? You'll see, but you have to bear with me.

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GWJ Conference Call Episode 424
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 November 2014, 1:39 am

Episode 424 - November 26th, 2014
Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, Home Bases, Your Emails and More!

Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
(An Inquisitive 43.2 MBs, 1:15:26)

This week Shawn, Julian and Karla talk a whole lot of Dragon Age Inquisition and game homes!

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November 24 - November 30
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 November 2014, 10:45 am

Don't get too excited by the long release list this week, it's may be wide but it's about as deep as a pothole. This is what I always think of as "stocking stuffer" week, time where companies shovel out a great volume of stuff to stock store shelves both real and virtual.

That might not be a bad thing, though. Word on the street has it that there's a Steam Sale just a few days away. If true, that's going to get my attention, as there's a number of things from the past year that I would normally have picked up, but that I waited exactly for a steam sale to cover.

But, back to the week at hand. I'm giving my nod to Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. I, admittedly, know absolutely nothing about this game, but the original Geometry Wars was the first Xbox Live Arcade game I owned and I played it obsessively for weeks. A week after I picked up the game I bought my first HD television, and I stared at the colors on screen as though I'd had a significant dose of consciousness altering medicines.

For nostalgia reasons alone, Geometry Wars 3 gets my nod for Game of the Week.

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TL;DP: Not the Robots!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 November 2014, 6:33 am

Sponsored By: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (I sold all the cards I earned playing SoM and bought Not The Robots with the proceeds.)

Time Played: 37 minutes, but in robot time that's enough

Futon Review

If a game has a loading screen telling you to go play the games that inspired the one you’re currently loading, I suggest you follow that advice.

Sectional Review

You know, I don’t really want to hate Not The Robots, and I suppose I succeed on that front. I don’t hate Not The Robots, it’s just that modern scientists have yet to invent an instrument capable of measuring my indifference toward it. You know how people say “I could care less” when they mean “I couldn’t care less?” Well, I feel like both of those things at once.

When it comes to Not The Robots, I could care less about the fact that I couldn’t care less.

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"Aeris Would Come Right Out and Say It..."
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 November 2014, 1:05 pm

Caution: This article will contain spoilers for Final Fantasy VII.

I used to think I was so smart in middle school — so clever. I would insist certain games were only for idiots and smart people only played another type of title. I started to grow out of this mentality in high school, but it would take a long time before I truly understood what it meant to think critically.

It's been over a decade since my last playthrough of Final Fantasy VII, and I have found myself almost experiencing the game anew. It's like returning to a location you haven't visited since your childhood. Your height literally gives you a new perspective, a new way of seeing things. Everything looks smaller than you remember. Stepping through the environment, you begin to remember the actions of your parents, and suddenly you can relate to them just a little better.

Replaying Final Fantasy VII has been a lesson in perspective, and just how wrong many of my assumptions and perceptions were when I was in middle school. An awfully fitting reaction, too, as this playthrough has revealed to me an underlying theme throughout the entire game.

Final Fantasy VII is about many things, yes, but one of the primary ideas is that nothing is quite what it seems.

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November 17 - November 23
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 November 2014, 11:09 am

You could spend a couple of hundred dollars on games this week and still not have picked up everything potentially worth playing off the new release list this week. Though Dragon Age: Inquisition is going to take the top spot on my list, and by extension the Game of the Week title, it's just scratching the surface of games released this week.

What could get lost in the shuffle, though, is that this may very well be the last great release week for the last generation of consoles. While you'll likely still see games released here and there for the PS3 and Xbox 360, their days are decidedly numbered, and the likelihood of seeing another week with several major releases for those platforms is probably not very good.

So, what else besides DA:I is coming out this week? Well, UbiSoft is looking to make everyone forget about last week's Assassin's Creed debacle with the launch of Far Cry 4. The PlayStation 4 brings us the third iteration of Little Big Planet, and with it an official campaign from my kids to buy a PS4 for Christmas. And rounding out the Xbox One and PS4 offerings is a next-gen release of Grand Theft Auto 5.

On the Nintendo side of things, Super Smash Bros. comes to the Wii U, and the 3DS offers up yet another trip round the Pokemon carnival. As for those last generation systems, I mentioned, they get Dragon Age and Far Cry 4 along with the better-late-than-never release of Shadow of Mordor.

If you can't find something you're interested in playing this week, then you might not be looking hard enough. Don't worry about putting it on your pile at this point, because you're going to want that to sustain you through the coming drought.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Spacebase DF-9
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 November 2014, 6:04 am

Sponsored By: DoubleFine

Captain's Log: 69 minutes. (hurr hurr hurr he said log)

Hyperspace Review

Imagine The Sims and Evil Genius got married and decided to honeymoon with Virgin Galactic. It's a 4X dungeon-building personality-management simulator! In Spaaaaaaaaaace!

Cryosleep Review

I'm going to preface this review by saying I know virtually nothing of the controversy surrounding SpaceBase DF-9. All I know is that one day I opened Steam and saw a green envelope with no explanation whatsoever. I googled it and found out that DoubleFine was gifting SpaceBase DF-9 to everyone who owned Hack 'n' Slash, and was gifting Hack 'n' Slash to everyone who bought SpaceBase DF-9, as some sort of apology. I didn't know for what until I dipped my toe into the SpaceBase DF-9 catch-all thread, and limped away to nurse my scalded foot.

Long story short: DoubleFine funded SpaceBase DF-9 through the Early Access model, then canceled a bunch of planned features, released the game as-is and pissed off a lot of people who will now never buy another DoubleFine game as long as ... hey, is that Costume Quest 2?

I don't want to trivialize anything. People are mad and have every right to be, but since I didn't buy into the early access phase of this game, and because I've liked almost everything that DoubleFine has ever released (Yes, that includes Stacking and Brutal Legend), and because I still don't know what features were cut, I'm willing to review this game as is. In other words, this is the review of the game as released, by your typical ignorant consumer, not of the game as promised.

So, how's the game?


Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out my review of Hack 'n' Slash!

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Gettin' Blizz-y With It
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 November 2014, 5:31 pm

If I were cynical enough, I might choose to see the endless thanking of the community and attention paid to players by Blizzard throughout last weekend’s BlizzCon as a tactical decision used (to great effect) to build and maintain that brand loyalty that has kept the same millions of people buying Blizzard games for decades. But, in the absence of that cynicism, there was an authenticity that echoed throughout the event that never made it feel smarmy or pandering. From Michael Morhaime’s opening statements — and decision to take some of the toxicity in the gaming community head-on from the word "go" — to Chris Metzen’s obvious near-panic-attack before revealing Overwatch, I believed the sentiment genuinely matched the words.

That’s actually kind of rare for me. That cynicism I mentioned is not a hard vein to tap in most of the conversations I see developers and publishers have with their fans. It’s not that I don’t believe that the people who make games don’t care about the people who play games, but it always feels like the actual message coming out in front of the world has been filtered through so many strategic angles that it loses credibility.

It’s naive, of course, to assume that Blizzard was any less diligent in crafting their message, but somehow through the process it doesn’t feel like they lose sight of an ethos that I can get on board with. As BlizzCon ended I walked away feeling good about the countless times I’ve shelled dollars out of the bank account to buy their products.

I liked who I was doing business with, and that’s not a feeling I get regularly from the big-business side of the games industry.

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To the Point
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 November 2014, 6:37 pm

I watch Connor's knife sink into the wolf's flesh, silencing it with a muted yip. A red dot fades from the radar, but there are still six or seven more. Each indicates a wolf running in circles around me. I wait, completely relaxed, not at all worried, until the camera shifts and the game prompts me. I obey the commands, first the Circle button, then the Square, and execute another wolf without a scratch to my skin.

Lather, rinse, repeat a half dozen more times, and the music finally fades.

I'm surrounded by the slumbering wildlife of the forest, over a dozen wolf corpses at my feet. One by one, I start to skin them, but I quickly grow tired of watching Connor kneel, speak a few words in his native tongue, and slip his knife out of the camera's frame. I decide to leave the remaining nine or ten wolves behind, in search of a tree with good hand– and foot–holds. There's a few feathers in this forest I'd like to collect.

The screen suddenly starts to blink red. Connor's movements are slowed. The audio fills with digital white noise. "You have been desynchronized," the game tells me. The HUD informs me that I cannot leave animals unskinned. I suppose it is in Connor's character to make use of any beast he kills, otherwise it is a waste. As far as I can recall, this was never explained. The game has decided to punish me for acting out of character, sending me back to where I dismounted my horse, forced to trudge through snow once more as packs of wolves race through the trees. Not a single damn branch within reach for me to get off the ground and escape from another conflict I have no interest in.

I just want to climb the damned trees.

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The Spoiler Experiment
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 November 2014, 3:58 pm

A little over a year ago, I wrote an article called "Spoiler Alert," in which I posited that people need to stop making a big deal about spoilers. It was not my most well-loved article of all time, and it's generally my sense that it has not impacted the conflict around content spoiling one iota.

Well, actually, it did impact one iota. This iota, specifically. Me. In the article and in the comments, I suggested that I was going to live a reckless life unconcerned with spoilers one way or the other. My media would no longer be sacred texts, their mysteries no longer to be hidden until the proper moment of consecration. I wouldn’t necessarily seek out spoilers, but neither would I restrain myself from seeing them.

The point here was not to spoil anyone else, obviously, because I do not want to live as a pariah for the remainder of my days, but simply not let the possibility of spoiling some narrative impact my actions in either direction. I originally intended just to try it out for a few weeks or a couple of months, but what happened is that it quickly became the norm. In fact, I had long ago forgotten that it was even an experiment, and it instead just became the way I go about things, which is all to say that a disregard of being spoiled became so normal and irrelevant that I’d sort of forgotten that it was anything to be worried about in the first place.

Now a year later, I think I’d say this of the experiment: It changed virtually nothing in the way I consume or enjoy movies, books or television. I enjoy the experience neither any more nor any less. What it did change is my experience of communicating and engaging people in the conversation about media. That was made much better.

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