Frontiers is an Elder Scrolls-style role-playing experience currently in development by Lars Simkins, and the story of its journey in crowdfunding has as many twists and turns as the games ...
The idea that the new Zeboyd Games title Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 correlates in any way to the “Penny Arcade universe” makes me want to ...
Alonso Martin may be in over his head. The Mexican-born film director has written and helmed nearly twenty short films, and in that time, he’s gained an appreciation for the medium ...
Soon It'll Be HereA Review Of The Yawhg
What can I say about Damian Sommer and Emily Carroll’s The Yawhg without ruining it? Well, it’ll be here soon. The Yawhg came out today, and the Yawhg itself comes in six weeks. Will you be ready?
The Yawhg is a multiplayer choose your own adventure story about the six weeks before your city is destroyed by the titular Yawhg. You play, collectively, one to four characters living there; you can play with three friends and give everyone their own character, or you can control them all yourself. As you go, you control these characters’ destinies, what they do before their worlds are irrevocably shattered by the Yawhg.
It’s not a game so much about defeating anything as it is about coping with forces beyond your control. And that’s what makes The Yawhg so spectacular. (more…)
Chatting with Alonso Martin about passion and prideTransitions: The Heart Forth, Alicia Interview
The Mexican-born film director has written and helmed nearly twenty short films, and in that time, he’s gained an appreciation for the medium and its ability to convey a feeling. By now, with film, he knows what he’s doing. But an idea soon came along that he didn’t think was serious enough to be committed to reel, so he’s leaving the comforts of film and wandering into a foreign land. He’s making a game.
“If I had known it was going to be this tough, I’d probably have stayed with film,” Martin says.
Next Verse Same As The FirstDracula Backwards: A Review Of Castlevania: Mirror Of Fate
It seems as though the entire Castlevania series is haunted by the specter of one title, a progenitor whose shadow darkens the countenance of every single title that has followed it.
Symphony of the Night was a masterpiece of design, a fluid and open-ended game that fused the ability-based exploration of the Metroid series with the gothic style of Castlevania. Nearly every Castlevania title following it, from Circle of the Moon for the GBA to Order of Ecclesia for the Nintendo DS, has stuck to the format. Even the two fully 3D titles, Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness eschewed the level-based design of the earlier NES titles for the wide-open castle and RPG-lite mechanics that made Symphony of the Night unique.
As a result, the Castlevania series has ended up with an increasingly fragmented and divisive fanbase, split between the unforgiving platforming of earlier titles and the heady action and exploration of the series’ recent entries.
It was into this civil war that developer Mercury Steam wandered, attempting to settle the debate once and for all with Lords of Shadow, a God of War-style action platformer that traded the anime style and nonsensical plotlines of previous titles for a somewhat coherent narrative and actual characters. While the critical response was tepid, it did well enough to justify a creatively titled sequel, Lords of Shadow 2.
In many ways, March 5th release Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Mirror of Fate (holy subtitle Belmont!) for the 3DS functions as a bridge between not only the stories of the two console Lords of Shadow titles, but also the two gameplay styles of Castlevania. A return to 2D, it attempts to meld the action of Lords of Shadow with the map and ability based exploration of other Metroidvania titles.
Whether or not it’s successful is a matter of expectations. If you’re looking for something to tide you over until Lords of Shadow 2, then Mirror of Fate is exactly what you’ll want.
If you’re expecting a game filled with elaborately designed hallways, each harboring countless secrets that require an ever-expanding skillset to unlock, then you’ll be disappointed.
DOTA 2 : A PrimerNon-judgmental, but still really pretentious
Everything is a zeitgeist. Well, by definition that’s impossible, but in practice it’s basically the only real truth: everything is the result of a conflict of diametrically opposed ideals. In its original use, Hegel intended it to define a final state of existence, an “ideal ideal” that resulted not from any physical laws, but from philosophical ones, made manifest through people living their own lives the best way they knew how. As these people, wielding their idealized realities, clash again and again in the ethereal arena of philosophical conquest, the shimmering particles of their defeats and victories would congeal into ever new ideas, which were destined only to clash again. This would proceed year upon year, generation upon generation until at long last a final, perfect amalgamation would arise from the remains of eternity’s contestants. And it would be called Zeitgeist.
This is basically what happens in Defense of the Ancients (DOTA).
The most outstanding game I've played this yearHopping Brilliant: A Review Of The Night Of The Rabbit
In workshops, bedrooms, and studios across the world, people who grew up on titles like Space Quest and The Curse of Monkey Island are now making their own adventure games. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeves, they’re making strides in the genre by cherry-picking their favourite elements in these games and using them in their own. It’s been fascinating to watch the genre’s evolution, even if the results can sometimes be mixed.
But the results can be spectacular, too. Extraordinary, even. Influences and ideas can coalesce into something truly one-of-a-kind, which brings us to The Night of The Rabbit—the most outstanding game I’ve played this year.
Far Cry 3 Makes Me Feel Like A Terrible PersonJust Another Day On Rook Island
I’m watching them from the bushes. There are five of them, at least five that I can see through the lens of my camera. One on the roof, two patrolling the gate, one in the door of a shack, and the last sitting on the ground next to his dog. I correct myself: a dog. I doubt he cares enough about it to claim it as his own.
The one on the roof goes first, an arrow through his throat. Nobody sees and I doubt he’ll be missed. One patrols too closely to a hole in the fence, allowing me to slip in and bury my knife up to the hilt in his neck before pulling his own blade and sending it into the face of his nearby friend.
It’s his body, hitting the ground in a cloud of red dust, that alerts his friends. I slip around the side of the building and slit the cable on the alarm. They begin frantically searching, cursing and rooting around the camp.
I slip back into the bushes, letting them try and hunt me, savoring in the fact that they don’t know that they’re the ones being hunted. It’s not until they begin to calm down that I make my final move, ending them with two arrows sent whizzing from the shadows. I let the dog run away.
Sure, I could’ve run in the front gate and blown them all away in a hail of bullets, or rained flaming death upon them from the nearby cliffside. I even could’ve lined the front gate with C4, teased them out, and then sent them to their maker in pieces.
But where’s the fun in all that? I wanted to watch them die, to taste their fear. I wanted to know that I was the one in control.
It’s just another day on Rook Island.
Whoa I Wanted A Dog GameGod, Give Me Puzzles: A Review of Reus
For the past few days Reus has confused me. On the surface a gorgeous God Game, Reus doesn’t play like one. It draws you in with one set of ideas, then gives you something different. It’s damn attractive, but it’s like ordering a coffee at your local watering hole and getting a pint of incredibly dark beer. That might not be terrible at six in the evening, but it would suck at sunrise.
In short: Reus plays like a puzzle game. It lets you play a sandbox mode, but that’s about as appealing as playing Tetris forever, without a fail state, letting the blocks pile up. You control godlike figures, but Reus is in no way a god game. Rather: the gods are your interface, the world is your board, and the assholes who inhabit it are the Tetris pieces. (more…)
Collecting cards, using magic, fighting trolls... and lots of guessingMagic & Gathering: A Review Of Prime World: Defenders
We’re all allowed to hate certain genres, and for me, that genre is real-time strategy games. They simply aren’t interesting to me. I often find them repetitive and lacking in any real feedback mechanism; games devolve into fits of rage, trial, and error, requiring multiple attempts to master missions, and success only rewards me by thrusting me into another alarmingly similar scenario. Repeat ad nauseum.
Prime World: Defenders, the new strategy game from Nival, falls victim to these problems, but makes significant progress in the category of “interest” by adding a deck-building component to the game. Collecting cards, combining them to upgrade their abilities, and finally using them in battle are welcomed additions to this genre game, and it’s a mechanic that works well enough to elevate the whole experience.
and godDAYUM do I love that music.Bioshock Infinite’s OST Cockup, and how you can fix it
As you likely noticed during your playthrough of the game, there are a number of awesome anachronistic songs done in the style of Bioshock Inifinite’s “turn of the 20th Century USA” setting, like the barbershop quartet version of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and the crank-organ version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” They’re amazing, they’re well-done, and no matter how many silver eagles you throw at your screen, Irrational won’t shut up and take your money. I’m here to fix that (kinda).
Below I’ve linked you to the original song, the Bioshock Infinite Cover, and then mentioned the people involved. I’ve even posted a download link for each song (and at the time of writing, I’ve tested each of them). At the bottom of the page are links to each person involved, and how you can support them if you so choose—although I’ve begun to realize that musicians can be terrible with keeping an up-to-date web presence. So I say go, grab the songs that you want, and throw a couple bucks the artists’ way. They put in the work, and they deserve it.
God Only Knows
- Original by The Beach Boys in 1966
- Performed by A Mighty Wind
- Arranged by Clay Hine (Baritone in A Mighty Wind)
- Produced by Clay Hine and Jim Bonney
- Original composed by Ed Cobb and performed by Gloria Jones in 1965, made famous by Soft Cell’s cover in 1981
- Performed by Miche Braden (vocals) and Scott Bradlee (Piano)
- Arranged by Scott Bradlee
- Produced by Scott Bradlee and Jim Bonney
- Download Link
Everybody Wants to Rule the World
- Original by Tears for Fears in 1985
- Arranged, Produced, and Performed by Scott Bradlee
- Download Link
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
- Original by Robert Hazard in 1979 and made famous by Cyndi Lauper’s cover in 1983
- Arranged, Produced, and Performed by Jim Bonney
- Download Link
- Original by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969
- Performed by Jessy Carolina
- Produced by Jim Bonney
- Download Link
Shiny Happy People
- Original by R.E.M. in 1991
- Arranged by Scott Bradlee
- Performed by Tony Babino (Vocals), Tom Abbott (Clarinet) Scott Bradlee (Piano), Sean Condron (Banjo), Adam Kubota (Bass), Allan Mednard (Drums)
- Produced by Jim Bonney, Scott Bradlee
- Download Link
Awesome People Involved
(in order of appearance above)
A Dixieland barbershop quartet in Atlanta, GA, they have a store where you can buy a digital copy of their album, or you can ‘like’ them on Facebook.
While there isn’t a vanilla “Donate” button, Ms. Miche’s CD “Diva Out Of Bounds” is on CDBaby.
Scott has a bunch of cool stuff on his Bandcamp, including albums and individual tracks for purchase. Seriously, if you want some fun, just listen to some of his lovely piano mashups of pop culture references (Game of Thrones, Pokemon, even Gotye).
Jim here is the Music Director at Irrational and as such had his hand in a lot of these tracks, as well as an “Additional” credit to the Original Score. Unless you want to buy the score and parts to one of his original compositions (we’re talking around $100), your best bet is liking him on Facebook (or following on Twitter) and resting in the knowledge that he’s actually employed by Irrational, so he’s probably getting his due.
His vocal style in Shiny Happy People is really his niche, and it’s what his album “Swingin’ Around with Tony B” is about. You can grab it or individual tracks on CDBaby.
While Tom Abbott’s internet presence seems to have waned in the last year, it looks like he now leads the big band behind Kelsey Jillette. You can donate to Kelsey through their page (but it is admittedly a roundabout way to get Tom anything).
I love his page so much, but he too seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. If you really want to go the extra mile, he has a list of releases, and you might be able to actually grab one of them somewhere.
Adam is the bassist in Sleep No More, what looks to be a film noir take on The Scottish Play, and his MySpace page is years out of date.
Level Up Your WalletHow to Be a Thrifty Gamer
My gaming has always been on a budget. When I was a kid, I bought videogames about three times a year. This has led me to do three things ever since:
1. Research games that had the longest amount of gameplay.
2. Achieve a certain level of cognitive dissonance by enjoying every game I got, even if it sucked (I’m looking at you, Sonic ’06).
3. Become the thriftiest gamer out there.
Now, I come bearing the tips and tricks you need to game on a budget. Here’s what ya gotta do: