Archives for October 2012

Weekend Gaming

(A little late this afternoon due to being SUPER busy this week. Hopefully you’ll excuse the lack of content, too)

This will be our first weekend of crummy weather in a long time, which is probably marking the beginning of the end of fall and the approach of winter. I always feel more at home gaming when it’s cold outside and gets dark earlier in the day. When are your prime gaming times?

For this week, I think I am getting really close to finishing Borderlands 2. I know I still owe a post or two about my experience with that game, but right now my limited time means either playing the game or writing about it, and you can probably surmise I’ve been playing more than writing. So it will probably be another Borderlands 2 weekend for me. I just started the Pirates Booty DLC and have enjoyed that so far. I really like the new environment and of course all the great new loot.

Speaking of loot, we finished the five rounds in the Creature Slaughter Dome and were rewarded with Moxxxi’s Rocket Launcher which is the equivalent of a personal nuclear device. That will be getting us out of tight situations in the future.

If there’s time outside of the world of Pandora, I’ll probably dive into some PC gaming in my large, mostly unplayed Steam library. What will you be playing?

Weekend Gaming

So what games of the video variety do you think you’ll be playing this weekend?

Me, I am having too much fun right now with Borderlands 2 to consider playing anything else. My Commando partner and I (me, the Assassin Zero) have recently stumbled upon the Creature Slaughter Dome and had an absolute riot rampaging through the first two rounds. I have no idea how we’re going to survive three more rounds of that madness, but we are definitely going to give it a try.

BUT, I will admit that the new additions that Bioware has added to the multiplayer portion of Mass Effect 3 has me itching to get back into some multiplayer ME3. Add in the upcoming Omega DLC has me wanting more.

Oh, and pay no nevermind to those other Grade-A titles coming out all this month. Who has time for that?

What are you playing?

The way Steampunk ought to be: or, a ‘Clockwork Empires’ preview

Steampunk as a form of literature is contrived and stupid. Steampunk as an aesthetic, as a style, is fantastic and attractive. Although the gnarly mechanisms, clankity gizmos and outlandish outfits have origins in the literature, it has not been until recently that visual artists have taken the concept of Steampunk to the next level.The new millennium finds Steampunk just beyond the border of what is familiar. Now that our world operates silently in the aether, the sensations associated with late 19th century technology, in all its industrial grandeur, is compelling because it is recognizable, and yet, just antiquated enough to warrant a sort of mythological wonder. This is a heady visual world that operates more soundly in personal sketchpads, comic books, movies, and video games…

INDEED! To be released in 2013 for the PC and Mac

Clockwork Empires is being developed by Gaslamp Games. The game is being defined as an imperialistic city-building RTS. There is no set release date, not even an estimated quarter. So, I’m left to use some good old fashioned imagination. I’m picturing something akin to SimCity, Majesty, and perhaps Sid Meier’s Civ games – minus the turn-taking.  All of these with Steampunk characteristics in artwork and gameplay. Being that I have zero (0) artistic ability in all things visual I will relish the opportunity to build and fine-tune, however garishly, my own Steampunk-esqe city, to utilize gears and copper tubing. I will expand the empire for the glory of the Queen! Indeed, developers have mentioned that the game map will place itself outside the comfort of established cities into a fantastical, wild world inhabited by monstrous unknowns – true to the mentality of the days of yore. But in Clockwork Empires the monsters are real, and more often than not will assume the hideous form of human ambition.

pcgamer.com

The player must plan, build and micromanage: Yes, yes and yes. Each citizen in your burgeoning outpost has plans and ambitions of his own. Therefore, you cannot directly command. Instead, you must influence; thus, making this imperialistic arrangement all the more cutthroat. One must be resourceful, industrious – both being primary attributes that I visualize in a Steampunk universe. And let us not overlook the artistic intent. Steampunk is more effective when it is seen and not read about. I am made giddy by the promise that I will have a palate abundant with styles and artistic control over many elements of the game. I imagine playing dress up while mustachioed engineers in overalls outfit my zeppelins with hand-cranked railguns. rata-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat Jolly good, Guvna!

As a literature, Steampunk is nothing more than a crappy off-shoot of what cyberpunk meant to represent, and represented well. Where cyberpunk was reactionary to the emerging ubiquity of the hyper-reality of the ’80s, Steampunk attained mainstream attention simply as a reaction to cyberpunk just because it, well, could – as if it had nothing better to do. Relative to its techno-noir contemporary, Steampunk offers nothing more in content than a shoddy attempt to rebuild our virtual world using late 19th century technology; A place where optical cables are copper tubes, and prosthetic limbs are constructed of old pocket-watch parts. This is not literature. It is misplaced imagination. With an opportunity like Clockwork Empires I can don the gown of Steampunk and realize my own strange and fascinating world far more effectively than any assembly of words and punctuation marks. So SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

When worlds collide

It’s no secret that: A) I love video games and B) I love Ohio State Football. These two loves usually don’t collide outside the yearly release of NCAA Football.

Well, this past Saturday at half-time of the Ohio State vs. Nebraska football game, the Ohio State Marching band (AKA TBDBITL) put on this show:

There are so many things in this video that I love that I can’t single any one of them out as a favorite.

The Best Damn Band In The Land, indeed.

Guild Wars 2: An Asura’s Tale (Part 2)

Welcome Back!

Solymir here;

Lets continue with our story where we left off in Ventry Bay:

After swimming out into the bay I peered down through the water and saw something that captured my attention. As an inquisitive Asura, of course I had to check it out!

I decided to take a dive down and see what was going on under the surface.

Turns out some poor souls had crashed their ship to the bottom of the bay. There were some cages with frogmen locked inside. That wasn’t right! Turns out the snake men (they have a specific name but, I didn’t catch it) are not to happy with the frog guys.

After saving some frog guys and unlocking some underwater attacks (being underwater makes you use a different set of attacks then on land) I started to head to shore.

Looks like the frog – snake war made its way onto land. The fight seemed neverending…

and there were losses…

After doing what I could to help frog guys I moved further inland.

Oooo! This little mound of dirt says its a skill challenge. What kind of skill challenge could it be? Maybe it is a challenge to see who could dig the most dirt? Lets find out!

Uhhhhh… why is the earth shaking?!?

Oh. Crap.

Only one thing to do in a situation like this:

Look out for: An Asura’s Tale (Part 3) coming soon!

(Catch Part 1 if you haven’t already)

Gross Anatomy

I have probably already mentioned this before, but Jeremy Parish is one of my favorite video game writers/historians. I add “historian” to that description because his knowledge of video game history (particularly console/Japanese video game history) is deep.

Lately he’s been doing these “Anatomy of a Game” posts and recently he started examining The Legend of Zelda for the NES. He hasn’t finished the series yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying all of these articles.

The Legend of Zelda is probably the most important contributor to me becoming a “gamer”. I had played many games before then (I owned a ET cartridge for the Atari 2600, people) but I have vivid memories of hours spent playing Zelda. My exploration of Hyrule actually mirrored those formative years of growing up for me. We moved to a new city the year I turned twelve years old. I went from going to schools in the not-exactly-the-pinnacle-of-education Cleveland City School District to the relatively successful schools in the peaceful suburb of North Royalton. At the start of the seventh grade I didn’t have any friends and video games served to fill that vacancy for a while.

I was playing The Legend of Zelda and, quite honestly, I was pretty lost. Not making a lot of progress in the game nor in the game of life. I happened to bring my fold out map of Hyrule to school one day and a girl in my class noticed that I was studying it before class started. She took it from me and started drawing on it. Horrified, I asked her what she was doing. “Just helping you out,” she replied. She proceeded to mark out places where bombs would open new caves, bushes would reveal secret passageways and where I should go first. She didn’t reveal everything (I honestly don’t know how she had memorized as much of the map as she did), just like the game. Her hints and suggestions gently guided me on the path to discovering things for myself. My eyes had been opened to the possibilities.

I don’t know how many times I actually finished The Legend of Zelda, but I will never forget the sense of wonder I experienced exploring that world. Jeremy’s posts have definitely stirred those emotions almost twenty fives years later.

(You can see all his Anatomy of a Game links here.)

October Releases

Fall is my favorite time of the year for oh-so-many reasons. Weather, foliage, FOOTBALL and the holidays. While the real TRIPLE-A titles are still waiting in the wings of November, October 2012 is no slouch of a month for releases. If you can pull yourself away from Borderlands 2 or Torchlight 2, there’s quite a few games coming out this month worth your time.

Week of October 2nd
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
Dead or Alive 5 – Looks like she still “kicks high“.
FIFA Soccer 13
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes – Interested to know why this is budget priced at $40.
Angry Birds Trilogy – Speaking of forty dollars, it seems insane that anyone would spend that on basically a collection of 99 cent games. But hey, achievements, guys!
NBA 2K13
Resident Evil 6 – I’m torn about this version of Resident Evil. I enjoyed RE5 enough and of course RE4 is one of the best games of all time, but I just don’t know how much love I have left. Seriously considering passing on this one. (If this is your first foray into the RE world, though, the Resident Evil 6 Archives is a great starting place.)
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission

Week of October 9th
Just Dance 4
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – I did not play the original XCOM but I am still very intrigued with this game.
Fable: The Journey
Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants
Dishonored

Week of October 16th
Doom 3 BFG Edition
Rocksmith Guitar and Bass
007 Legends
Wheel of Fortune
Skylanders Giants

Week of October 23rd
Medal of Honor: Warfighter – Limited Edition
Just Dance: Disney Party
Forza Horizon

Week of October 30th
WWE ’13
Zone of the Enders HD Collection Limited Edition
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
LEGO Lord of the Rings – So LEGO has officially run out of IP to LEGO-fy, right?
Assassin’s Creed III with Steelbook
Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth

Week of October 2nd
NBA 2K13

Week of October 9th
Just Dance 4

Week of October 16th
Skylanders Giants Portal Owner Pack

Week of October 23rd
Just Dance: Disney Party

Week of October 30th
LEGO Lord of the Rings
Transformers Prime: The Game
WWE ’13
American Mensa Academy – So… This is a thing?
Wreck-It Ralph – Meta going meta, I guess.

Week of October 2nd
Pokémon Black Version 2 – Good-night, Sweet Prince. (The Nintendo DS is the prince in this instance)
Pokémon White Version 2

Week of October 30th
LEGO Lord of the Rings
Transformers Prime: The Game
Wreck-It Ralph
ThunderCats
Moshi Monsters Moshlings Theme Park

Week of October 9th
Code of Princess
Spy Hunter

Week of October 16th
Rollercoaster Tycoon – I thought this had already been released, but I stand by the statement that this could be an awesome 3DS game.

Week of October 23rd
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
Professor Layton and The Miracle Mask

Week of October 30th
LEGO Lord of the Rings
Transformers Prime: The Game
Wreck-It Ralph

Week of October 2nd
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission
R.A.W: Realms of Ancient War [Download] – Someone pointed Realms of Ancient War to me a few months ago and I remember thinking it looked pretty interesting. Now seeing that it’s a mere fifteen bucks, I am even more interested!

Week of October 9th
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants
Dishonored

Week of October 16th
Doom 3 BFG Edition – Funny how a release that was “optimized for consoles” is getting a PC re-release as well.
NBA 2K13 [Download]

Week of October 23rd
Medal of Honor: Warfighter – Limited Edition

Week of October 30th
Painkiller Hell & Damnation
Need for Speed Most Wanted
LEGO Lord of the Rings

Week of October 2nd
Resident Evil 6
NBA 2K13

Week of October 9th
Dishonored
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Just Dance 4
Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants

Week of October 16th
Skylanders Giants
Doom 3 BFG Edition
Mugen Souls
007 Legends
Rocksmith Guitar and Bass

Week of October 23rd
Medal of Honor: Warfighter – Limited Edition
Killzone Trilogy Collection

Week of October 30th
Assassin’s Creed III
WWE ’13
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
LEGO Lord of the Rings

Week of October 9th
Spy Hunter

Week of October 16th
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Ragnarok Odyssey

Week of October 23rd
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
Street Fighter X Tekken
Super Monkey Ball Banana Splitz

Week of October 30th
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
LEGO Lord of the Rings
Assassins Creed III Liberation

Week of October 2nd
NBA 2K13

What are you picking up?

(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)