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Tonight on the JACKED UP Indie & Mojo Show, we welcomed Tim Turi on to chat about Resident Evil. It was a great conversation, but one thing came up that made me realize that I need to figure out my Extra-Life schedule! Tim asked if we had all played Resident Evil 5 with a human partner and of course, being the loner that I am, I told him that I played it solo. After the initial shock that I was able to tolerate the experience with Sheva as my partner (and actually ended loving the game), I told him that I might try to fix that problem for the Extra-Life marathon. That got me to thinking... what else am I going to play on Extra-Life day?
Tomorrow (or today for those on the East Coast) is the release day for Dishonored, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and The Walking Dead Episode 4. It's by far, the busiest release day the video game industry has seen all year. Not to mention that Just Dance 4 comes out tomorrow as well. That just puts it over the top. The completionist gamer will be commanding alien killing squads, surviving the undead horde, sneaking around fantastical whaling towns and dancing their ass off by day's end.
As I've made pretty clear, I'm a music geek. I love to hear new, unique music, and I love to see music presented in new and fascinating ways. Whether its iPad visualizers, Beck's latest album (which is just sheet music given out to fans to interpret and play however they would like), I love innovation in the music scene. When that innovation crosses over into the gaming space as well, then I get very excited.
It's rare that a game so fully captures my attention before its release as Dishonored has. I have been anticipating this game since it first appeared on the cover of Game Informer and everything I've seen since i.e. trailers, demos and developer diaries have only stoked the flames of my desire to play this game.
How do you top one of the best albums in the past ten years? Apparently the trick is simple: Don't even try. Like Radiohead completely veering off in another direction after Ok Computer or Neutral Milk Hotel just dropping through the Bermuda triangle after Aeroplane Over the Sea, Animal Collective have returned three years after the brilliant Merriweather Post Pavilion with something altogether stranger, harsher and more accessible in Centipede Hz.
This is a story that I wrote for The Game Effect earlier this year. It is about the development of the downloadable survival adventure game I Am Alive which released this year after nearly seven years in development and what amounted to the most expensive development project in Ubisoft history. I spoke with the game's Creative Director as well as a source that previously worked at one of the developers on the project. As that person still works in the industry, they didn't want me to reveal their identity so they are mentioned only as an anonymous source. I also borrowed details from previews and news stories written during the game's development. This is still the most interesting thing I've had the pleasure to work on since writing online and I have yet to top it (though not for lack of trying). I know this seems like a bit of a cop-out, and I apologize for that but I guarantee most people haven't read this yet. It's long, but very interesting and I hope you enjoy it.
Barcade in Brooklyn, NY is the definition of gaming chic. This bar is unremarkable by most accounts; just one flat screen TV adorns the wall behind the bar, the tables are scratched and worn down and no blaring neon signs mark the entrance. The one thing that Barcade has going for it is an impressively authentic retro arcade in the back corner. It's for this reason, that Harold Goldberg put together a meeting of the minds for gaming journalists from various outlets around the industry on July 31st. Luckily for me, the party was open to the public as well.
I'm sick of the internet. Right now at this precise moment in time, the last thing I want to do is stare at a million lines of HTML cleverly disguised as information that I'm supposed to ingest like a spoonful of blue crystal meth. Of course, the problem lies in the fact that I am trying to make my living on that place that we call the world wide web. I spent far too much time on the internet today doing various things and one thing in particular really burned my biscuits. And in case you don't know, I prefer my biscuits golden brown and just a little on the cripy side. Not black. Today, the internet fanboys left my biscuits in the oven far too long and turned them into black bricks of flour dough.
This entry is inspired by Game Informer's Moments series. I experienced a moment today in Borderlands 2 that ranks up there as one of the best I've played in a game this year. Unlike many moments, this one wasn't necessarily scripted, but rather one of those instances where player agency and control create a moment unique to that player's experience. Such examples come to mind like using oddball tactics to orchestrate chaotic mayhem in Halo or creating something from nothing in Minecraft.
You've done it before. You're playing a game that's really not all that great, but you just want to know what happens next. So you suffer through the terrible controls, janky graphics and mundane level design to get to the next cool part or to see where the story takes you. You might replay the same frustrating section over and over or slog through hours of worthless side quests just to get to see the story progress. Despite its flaws, you're still strangely compelled to play this game.
Being in the city and using the public transportation, I've noticed an interesting trend. A huge number of people wear headphones everywhere. My first thought about this was that people should take the headphones off and actually try to talk to their fellow train-riders. But then I remembered that people are annoying and I'm probably not the only person who relishes that half hour train ride where I have nothing to entertain me but my thoughts and some music. In Connecticut, I would drive everywhere with music playing loud, singing along. Here, in San Fran I don't have that ability, but at least I can listen to a few tunes.