Nerd Games (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love RPGs)
You start work at a new office. You meet someone on the subway or a streetcar, and conversation starts. For someone like me (men in their early twenties), mentioning to someone you play video games still has a bit of a nerdy connotation to it. Although video games have definitely become a mainstream form of entertainment for boys and girls alike and even more significantly men and women, if you ask someone you just met if they’ve played Fallout 3 or Oblivion, you run the risk of sounding like a nerd (not that there’s anything wrong with that). You may even come across as childish, although it’s become popular opinion that video games can and are played by men and women of all ages. All said though, it’s not really too big of a deal.
Now try the exact same situation, but instead of asking your new-found friend if they have played the new Call of Duty or Batman: Arkham Asylum you ask them if they know what Dungeons and Dragons is. Completely different story. Telling someone in 2009 that you play Dungeons and Dragons is like telling someone in 1989 that you play video games – or Dungeons and Dragons, for that matter.
Disney Interactive Studios has announced that Mickey Mouse will be taking his adventures beyond Kingdom Hearts. Along with Junction Point, Disney is developing a new platform-adventure gaming starring the 81-year old anthropomorphic rodent.
In Disney Epic Mickey, the mouse pulls an inFAMOUS and unwittingly devastates the world of the Cartoon Wasteland, where old and retired cartoon characters go – which ironically sounds like Florida without Disneyland.
Mickey stumbles into this realm and must choose to be a hero or to just get the hell out as fast as he can, since being the mouse that inadvertently rained destruction on this world he isn’t exactly popular. Sounds good, especially with the combat style being approached from the 4th-wall breaking idea of paints and thinners. I’ve always wanted to erase Donald Duck anyway.
So playing Fable as Mickey Mouse, huh? Sounds interesting. We’ll keep an eye on it for you.
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? It’s something I ask of all my readers… I just like the sound of it.
And with that not-so-obscure reference, we begin our review of Batman: Arkham Asylum, which is the best game of 2009. Yes, I am saying that in October.
I have been drooling over this game for months now, and anxiously anticipating doing this review. Now, as much as I would like to give an unbiased and honest review of Batman: Arkham Asylum, that is impossible. I am a huge Batman fanboy (Batboy?) and although this will be a fair and balanced review, I am obviously biased in some respects. I mean, I am literally wearing a Batman T-shirt right now, and not even for the purpose of this review. Just ‘cause, suckers. Read more…
Yes, comics and video games are not strange bedfellows, but EA is taking the next step and releasing (through IDW Publishing) comics revolving around their popular Army of Two franchise, as well as the Bioware RPG inspired Dragon Age. These comics will be available for purchase as hard copy, as well as digital versions for the iPhone, iPod Touch and “other emerging digital platforms”.
Interesting, to be sure. But what is perhaps the coolest thing about this announcement is that Orson Scott Card, author of the eternally awesome Ender’s Game will be involved with the Dragon Age comic. Booyah!
Parent’s Just Don’t Understand… Yet?
Our parents are great, for the most part. When we are too small to defend or feed ourselves, they take care of us. As we grow and mature, they guide and nurture us so that we can become fully functional human beings, and not the equivalent of lower primates, sitting in trees flinging our own crap at each other (thank you Red Forman). But one area where most parents don’t quite have the ability to be the all-knowing influence they would like to be: video games.
When I was growing up playing tag and hide-and-seek, my parents totally understood. They would ask how the game went, where I was hiding, what kind of tag rules I played with – they were very involved, because they could relate my experience to their own. However, when I picked up my first Genesis game, they watched Sonic the Hedgehog like he was an alien from outer space (wait, was he?), shook their heads, and left the room. Thus ended my parent’s ability to fully understand me – from that day forward, there would always be that barrier between us – the invisible yet impassable wall made of 1-ups and gold coins. Read more…
Are you excited for EA Sports NHL 10? If you’re Canadian, probably. The #1 selling console game in Canada has it’s launch parties in Toronto and Vancouver Monday, September 14. The Toronto party will be at the Yonge and Dundas Future Shop with Wendel Clark and Ian White (of Maple Leafs fame) from 9pm to 11:45pm, and in Vancouver’s Granville and Robson Future Shop with Trevor Linden of the Canucks. The Future Shop locations will be open until 1am, so check it out if you’re not too busy… and on a Monday night, what’s your excuse?
You know, I have recently become enamored with the idea of the Top 5 List, as I’m sure you have gathered from the numerous past blogs in that fashion. I think that it’s interesting to see what trends and relationships different games share. However, it’s only a matter of time before these lists devolve into trite ideas like “The Top 5 Headshots in Video Games” or “The Top 5 Witty Remarks in Video Games”.
So I think I’ll take a break from my beloved yet frivolous Top 5′s, and talk a bit more directly on a more serious subject that affects people all over the world, gamers and non-gamers alike: Game Rage. Read more…
The ultimate remastered edition of the Beatles catalog is probably going to be the big-ticket Christmas item this holiday season. Alongside this cornucopia of creamy Liverpool goodness is The Beatles: Rock Band, most likely the other big ticket Christmas item – if the stores have any left after the initial sellout.
And to provide the third stabilizing leg to this triumverate of old-meets-new deliciousness is a brand-new The Beatles: Rock Band Xbox 360 model. Featuring psychedelic designs by the same animators who will blow your minds via the intro cinematic sequence to the new Rock Band cash-cow, this model also has another feature that I’m sure the boys from across the pond would be proud of – every unit sold has all proceeds benefiting Doctors Without Borders.
Finally, as if the above trinity of Beatlemania wasn’t enough, All You Need Is Love is now available as an Xbox Live download, once again with proceeds going to DWB.
To find out more information, head on over to http://www.xbox.com/en-CA/games/splash/b/beatlesrockband/ where you’ll have the chance to join the Fab Four Mystery Tour, an “interactive look at the Beatles and the many twists and turns of their legendary career.” Check it out, Jude, don’t let me down.
Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen. This week we’re going to take a look at a group of malevolent, disgusting, and just downright horrible creatures who have terrorized mankind for years. What’s that? No, not lawyers. Not even politicians. This week we are ranking the Top 5 Straight-up Meanest Aliens in Video Games. Almost as long as sci-fi and space opera have been around, there has been the alien creatures to terrorize or befriend the valiant heroes and heroines. Well, forget about your friendly little green men, suckers, because we’re not talking about Starman or ET tonight, we’re talking War of the Worlds and Jabba the Hutt. Let’s do this.
‘Ere we go! Read more…
A Movie You Can Control: Cinema’s Effect on Video Games
Ever been watching a movie and wished you could tell the actors that what they’re doing is stupid? That you have a much better plan that would totally work, and if they would only do that instead, maybe the zombies wouldn’t eat them, or the comrade that was clearly going to inevitably betray them wouldn’t get the chance? Well I have. But with the advent of video games in recent years that seemingly make a conscious effort to mimic the pacing and immersive experience of a film, it’s almost like we have the ability to watch a movie that we’re also able to play through and control. For a classic narcissist such as myself, this is clearly the greatest thing to happen to video games since the B-button. Read more…
Activision has announced the November 3rd release of Bizarre Creations’ new racing extravaganza game – and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Players will race up to 50 licensed cars, over courses featuring jumps, alternate routes and hairpin turns – business as usual. What’s unusual is that while this is going on, players will be picking up power-ups – nitro, shields, and offensive weapons to knock the other players into last place – or out of the race completely.
Blur looks upon first glance to be no more than a Burnout clone, but without going into too many details, it’s a project all it’s own. Placing an emphasis on the multiplayer experience through a community-based interface, a “unique story-driven social network”, this game promises to deliver better, more personable online play.
So look for this title on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in November – if you’re not paying attention, it might just blow right past you.
I can’t sing. Not well, anyway. But I feel that puts me in the norm rather than outside of it. With that in mind, I sat down last week with a couple of friends who can sing, to enjoy a little SingStar: Queen.
As a huge Queen fan, I felt I had the advantage going in to this impromptu karaoke competition, at least when it came to knowing the lyrics and general dynamic of the songs. What I didn’t count on (and should have) is that my two fellow competitors were karaoke superstars. For convenience’s sake, let’s call them Brodie and his girlfriend, Chris. Read more…
Get it? Mewtwo, Newtwo… I’m sorry.
Anyway, The Pokemon Company Intl. and Nintendo have announced two brand-new games coming out in 2010 for the apparently still-kicking Pokemon franchise. HeartGold and SoulSilver, which are updated versions of the classic Gold and Silver versions.
These new updated versions for the DS will include great graphics and controls, including touch screen controls and bringing back plenty of oldschool Poke-characters to Poke-capture with Poke-balls, Poke-train and Poke-battle!
And Poke is once again an adjective.
Marvel VS Capcom 2, successor to one of the greatest fighting games ever released, is now available on the PS3 over the PlayStation Network or any GameStop location.
It goes for $19.99, and if you get the retail box, not only do you get the download code for the game, but also a month’s subscription to the Marvel online digital comic library. But, there’s only 15,000 copies of the retail box, so don’t wait!
Pretty sweet deal… now where the hell do I find a GameStop?’
Get ready for Tony Hawk: RIDE, the newest and freshest skateboarding game we’ve seen in some time. It’s hitting the shelves in November, and will be debuting an innovative controller that is nothing less than a skateboard simulator. It looks like a snowboard, although I wouldn’t recommend taking that simile to any extreme.
So for all you skaters who will be packing away the legit boards in November, you may want to think about swapping them in for these. Except, for RIDE. Not for snowboarding. Ever.
November 17th, get ready.
Batman vs. Punisher: Arkham Asylum vs. No Mercy Impressions
I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up by giving the impression this is a review of Batman: Arkham Asylum. It’s not. But I’ve been doing some research into the game, and wanted to rant a bit about the character of Batman as compared to other heroes, specifically the Punisher. A friend of mine recently compared Batman to the Punisher as being very similar, and I couldn’t disagree more. Why? Let’s take a look. Read more…
Activision has announced the newest Call of Duty is being released exclusively for the Nintendo DS this fall. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized (two colons… let’s not make that joke) is going to feature intense PvP action as gamers fight ground battles, hack into enemy computers, shoot from gunships, battle tanks, and much more. Read more…
Guess what is in stores now? Singstar Queen, the newest title in the series that has been trying to fill the big shoes of Guitar Hero and Rock Band with it’s vocal-only styles. Being released for the PS3 and PS2, this game promises to bring the thunder Freddie Mercury-style. What may push this newest title and give it the edge is right there in the title: Queen.
The game features over 20 of the most popular and memorable Queen singles ever released. I personally suggest you Wayne’s World it and headbang the chorus to Bohemian Rhapsody. So I will finally be able to play a singing game where I actually know the words. This could be the beginning of a new era, where I do not suck at singing games.
Man I love Queen.
OK, so I went for the OVER 9000 joke in the title. Deal with it, it’s still true.
SPORE’s Galactic Adventures allows players to create their own adventures to play or have other play online. Whether it’s battling bizarre and deadly monsters, participating in intense races or puzzle games; players can design the most horrific, brutal or mind-boggling missions for themselves, or for their fellow SPORE players. Read more…
SPORE: Galactic Adventures is an expansion that will kill a few hours at a time, whenever you feel like it. I think that’s an important distinction to make – the difference between your immersion in a truly epic game that you have to really pull yourself away from, and a game that is easy to break away from, but is still fun to play for hours at a time. Through it’s simple interface for play and very in-depth character(creature) creation process, it can be a pleasant diversion whether you’re more into the gaming itself, or (like me) you enjoy playing around with how bizarre a creature you can make, or how human you can evolve it. Read more…