Blog Posts by Jack Gardner - www.GameInformer.com
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  • Five Questions a Non-Gamer Should Never Ask a Gamer

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    For a non-gamer, the gaming world consists of strange comedy, jargon, and the general interest in playing video games itself can be an alien experience. Gaming can be a barrier that stands in the way of friendships and relationships. Whether it is the... More
  • WGWC: What Guitar Hero Could Learn From Monkey Island

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    Guitar Hero has fallen on some rough times. Activision announced earlier this year that Guitar Hero was on an indefinite hiatus. Guitar Hero as a series fell into a few pitfalls including: oversaturation of the market in an attempt to compete with Rock... More
  • Time With Demos! Rugby World Cup 2011

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    This will be a shorter entry than previous entries in the Time With Demos series because, quite frankly, the demo is terribly short. It was actually so short that I considered not writing this article on it, but decided that it was worth writing about for one reason: if it is an accurate representation of what the larger game, it is pretty terrible.

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    This will be a shorter entry than previous entries in the Time With Demos series because, quite frankly, the demo is terribly short. It was actually so short that I considered not writing this article on it, but decided that it was worth writing about... More
  • Looking Back on Classics: X-COM: UFO Defense

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    X-COM: UFO Defense is a strategic turn-based game that was developed by the now defunct Mythos Games in 1994 for PC. It is a turn-based strategy game that has some city building elements that places the player in command of Earth’s defenses during an alien assault. You begin the game by selecting where to place your base of operations, which can be anywhere on the planet. You can expand this base and add more personnel, equipment, and vehicles through various menus and interactions with the base map. Alien ships will begin appearing shortly after beginning the game and your aircraft need to intercept them or they will create bases on the ground. If/when this occurs; you must dispatch a ground team to deal with the alien threat. When your troops arrive at the landing site the game switches into its turn-based mode. You control where your soldiers go and what they do, tile by tile. This mode also occurs during terrorist attacks by the alien forces that occur seemingly at random around the world.

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    X-COM: UFO Defense is a strategic turn-based game that was developed by the now defunct Mythos Games in 1994 for PC. It is a turn-based strategy game that has some city building elements that places the player in command of Earth’s defenses during... More
  • Video Game Costumes: A Photo Blog

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    For the day before All Hallows Eve, and the second to last day of my countdown to Halloween

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    For the day before All Hallows Eve, and the second to last day of my countdown to Halloween, I decided to give some of you who have not yet decided on a costume some ideas. Of course, since a picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, I figured I would... More
  • WGWC: The Spellbinding Binding of Isaac

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    I figured today that I would take care of two birds with one stone. I can continue with my countdown to Halloween and do the Writer’s Guild Weekly Challenge… and review a game that I have been meaning to review for a while anyway…... More
  • Suggestions For A Spooky Halloween Parts 1 & 2

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    From the macabre to the terrifying, Halloween is a time to revel in rather grotesque and disturbing imagery. But if you are not normally into those types of films, games, statues, experiences, muffins, then it might be a little difficult to get into the spirit of things. Naturally, you poor suckers need my help! I have a few suggestions to creepify your Halloween. More

    From the macabre to the terrifying, Halloween is a time to revel in rather grotesque and disturbing imagery. But if you are not normally into those types of films, games, statues, experiences, muffins, then it might be a little difficult to get into the... More
  • Five Things That Undermine Terror

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    Continuing the countdown to Halloween, yesterday we looked at the things that horror games need, today we will be looking at the things that video games that deal in horror should avoid at all costs. There might be a couple overlapping points, but I will strive to keep them few and far between.

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    Continuing the countdown to Halloween, yesterday we looked at the things that horror games need, today we will be looking at the things that video games that deal in horror should avoid at all costs. There might be a couple overlapping points, but I will... More
  • Five Things Every Horror Game Needs

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    Continuing on to day two of the countdown to Halloween, I have created [pause for dramatic effect] A LIST! That is right, for today only (unless you choose to view it in my blog archive), you can be the proud viewer of a carefully thought out and planned list.

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    Continuing on to day two of the countdown to Halloween, I have created [pause for dramatic effect] A LIST! That is right, for today only (unless you choose to view it in my blog archive), you can be the proud viewer of a carefully thought out and planned... More
  • Scare-city: Where Art Thou?

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    Welcome, GIOers! This will mark day one of the countdown to Halloween! I hope you are in for some chills, some thrills, and maybe a few shrills… with some krill? Terrible puns and alliteration aside, I’m gonna jump into today’s topic... More
  • Dark Souls and Dark Passions: Difficulty in Games

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    As my grandpappy used to tell me, “Back in my day, we only had two days of the week: Monday and Second Monday. Not only that, but we only had two numbers, one and zero. That’s how we made the computer. AND WE LIKED IT!” Okay, so my grandpappy never told me that, but I am sure many of you are familiar with the beginning phrase “back in my day”. It seems to be getting thrown a lot these days. Just today in one of the blogs on GIO I read someone talking about how games coddle gamers too much these days, unlike back in the days of Ninja Gaiden or Battletoads for the NES. In my opinion, the fact that games are easier these days is due more to better programming and improved technology at programmer’s disposals. But this blog isn’t about that. Instead, this blog is about how one game in particular is going against that notion of coddling and smashing it to bits with two slashes of its ridiculously oversized sword.

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    As my grandpappy used to tell me, “Back in my day, we only had two days of the week: Monday and Second Monday. Not only that, but we only had two numbers, one and zero. That’s how we made the computer. AND WE LIKED IT!” Okay, so my grandpappy... More
  • WGWC #1: Now You'll Know Jack

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    For those of you who are not familiar with me, my name is Jack and I like a lot of things. I like the color green, caffeinated beverages (with the exception of coffee, BLECK), alternative rock and folk music, and video games. Oh yeah, and I like to write. I like to write a lot. What kinds of things do I write? I write poetry when the mood takes me, I write short stories on occasion, and I also sometimes work on a few novel ideas I have stashed away on my computer. In addition to those pursuits, I am an English Major at the University of Minnesota and so I end up writing quite a few academic papers dissecting Shakespeare, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, and other writers that you may or may not have heard of. I am usually perfectly happy to do this, but sometimes, especially in the case of material that I don’t find particularly compelling, it can become quite a drag. It sucks away both time and energy from both writing and reading things that I would normally find interesting and engaging. I enjoy writing creatively enough that I have published a book of poetry and short stories. I published it three years ago as as a gift to my parents for putting me through college and public education. But I have continued working on it over the years and it is currently in its third edition. I’m not going to say that it is good because, well, I don’t think it is that great. In fact, I get a bit embarrassed when people who have read it quote lines from it. But that is neither here nor there.

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    For those of you who are not familiar with me, my name is Jack and I like a lot of things. I like the color green, caffeinated beverages (with the exception of coffee, BLECK), alternative rock and folk music, and video games. Oh yeah, and I like to write... More