Saturday, August 27, 2011

Spotlight - Superbass/Teenage Dream Mashup

Check it out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hi Seeshu!

One of my closest friends, seeshu, has agreed to contribute to this blog! As a gamer and a girl (yes, they exist), seeshu will occasionally provide her unique and thoughtful perspective on current media. Say hi, everybody!

The Attractiveness of Video Game Geeks

Friends who want to set me up always ask me what I look for in a guy. Usually, my first response is simple: I want to date somebody who plays video games.

In fact, my dating track record is relatively one-note. I tend to gel better with dudes that are both extremely geeky, tech-oriented, and know what "Chrono Trigger" is. To be honest, I'm a little hard pressed to come up with an eloquent explanation of why I love dorky boys. And, especially why I have an affinity for boys that can play games well. There's your average gaming geek, then there's the gaming geek that you are simply in awe of when they fly into action on their Xbox 360 consoles.

I may possess a passion for games, but I am nowhere near even the lowest-level of competency when it comes to shooting games. I attribute my own lack of skills with the reason why I find my boyfriend's "Call of Duty" skills so, well, adorable.

He can do things with a tomahawk that I can only dream of doing. Sometimes when I watch him play I realize I am poised in slack-jawed awe of him back-stabbing his enemies, shooting someone from afar, or using a bow-and-arrow to completely humiliate his opponent.

Some may find this a bit perverse or strange. But, to me, I find it inexplicably attractive. Maybe it's true that women love the macho man, and since I'm into gaming my version of "macho man" has translated itself into "man who plays Call of Duty well."

But, as to why I find gaming attractive in the first place? It probably has to do with my own personal view of the business of video games in the first place. As someone who has been forced to "grow up" relatively early on, holding onto video games reminds me of a lot of things. In particular, it reminds me of nostalgic memories of my childhood. Back then, the perfect afternoon was a lazy lunch of macaroni and cheese, followed by a few hours on the SNES with my older brother.

When I recall my best childhood memories, many of them revolve around games. I nearly cried when playing Final Fantasy 7. I learned how to code in HTML so that I could create my own Final Fantasy III walkthrough. My brother and I played Street Fighter 2 and countless other games together.

To me, someone who plays video games tugs at my heartstrings in the most fundamental way possible. It makes me think that this person is not only someone I can relate to, but is someone that is just like me: they're retaining part of their innocence, and their child-like imagination. After all, that's what video games essentially are. You suspend your belief for a brief few hours so you can be transported to a different world. A world where you're a hero and a world where your actions can impact the world.

What girl doesn't want to be with a hero?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bastion Official Soundtrack Now Available!

Bastion, which I have lauded multiple times in the past few weeks, has officially been released on the PC. This version features mappable key-bindings, gamepad support, and a higher resolution than its Xbox Live Arcade counterpart. The core game remains the same though, so for those of you who don't have an Xbox360, I highly recommend you download this great game for your computer. Download via Steam (you'll need to sign up for a free account if you haven't done so already).

In addition to the PC release, Supergiant Games has also released the official soundtrack for Bastion (which was definitely part of the reason the game was so great). Composed by Darren Korb, the full soundtrack features 22 songs, 2 of which have not been heard before. Get it here for $10 digital download or $15 for a compact CD.

As an added bonus, for a limited time, Supergiant Games is offering a bundle deal to get both the digital game and the digital soundtrack at a 20% discount.

Check out my full review of the XBLA version here.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Spotlight - The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

It's a little bit late, but check out the teaser for Chris Nolan's conclusion to his Batman reboot.

And then, for your amusement:

Friday, August 05, 2011

Are You Kidding Me? - 8/5/2011

Bethesda is apparently aiming to be known as the game developer company where you can be involved in lawsuits. Via gamebanshee, Minecraft Creator Mojang AB has received a 15-page letter from the Fallout and Elder Scrolls developer, which alleges that Mojang AB's new game "Scrolls" infringes the copyright of the "Elder Scrolls" property.

Mm. Frivolous much? Somehow I'm getting the impression that the lawyers over at Bethesda are underworked and overpaid.

Bethesda has also been engaged in a legal tug-of-war with Interplay over the development of a potential Fallout MMO.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Preview - Futurama "Mobius Dick" 8/4/2011

Apologies for last week's preview video of Futurama; I don't think it had anything at all to do with the episode! I'm pretty sure this one is the right one for this week, though: Leela becomes obsessed with tracking down an albino space whale. Check out the teaser below and then tune in tonight!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Review - Dragon Age: Legacy

Let's cut to the chase. If you played Dragon Age 2 then you either hated its guts or liked it - with the exception of a few specific problems. There's no denying that the game had its missteps, the most egregious of them being the atrocious amount of map-recycling and the tedious "wave" combat mechanic that turned every battle into one of attrition rather than tactics. I lay out most of the flaws (while not forgetting that the game had its highlights as well) in my review from a few months back, but this post isn't meant to rehash these old criticisms of Dragon Age 2. This is a review of its first story-based downloadable add-on, entitled Legacy.

So I'm happy to report that Legacy has - thankfully - avoided these two monumental design errors of its parent game. The DLC features a brand new area to explore outside of Kirkwall. Your adventure brings you to a Grey Warden prison in the Vimmark mountains, an area which turns out to be darkspawn-infested fortress. The dungeons - while not mindblowing - are a refreshing change of pace from exploring the carbon copy cutouts that were Dragon Age 2's map designs. The atmosphere is suitably sinister, and the DLC brings a healthy dose of interesting story content to boot. An ancient darkspawn is breaking free of its chains, and as you delve deeper into the depths of the prison, you uncover startling secrets concerning the nature of this threat. The story is engaging, and some endgame revelations are quite satisfying.

While you're spelunking through foreboding caverns and ancient halls, you'll encounter both old and new enemies. As usual, it's up to you and your gang of ragtag misfits to put these beasts down. Enemies no longer assault in monotonous waves, and tactics do play a more crucial role in the game, especially on the harder difficulties. Still, while the "Wave" mechanic is gone, the DLC doesn't quite perfect the combat formula. On normal difficulty, the enemies seem too easy to overcome, while on the hard difficulty, they seem just a bit too hard. It was particularly annoying to find that the game had spawned multiple encounters that featured a dozen archer mobs, all of them shooting painfully accurate arrows into your pincushiony body. The final bossfight - while epic in theme - is at times grating as well, requiring you to perform several monotonous tasks over and over in order to advance the battle.

Thankfully, combat isn't all that there is to do within the add-on. Some puzzle minigames and some new loot round off the DLC and provide a fun diversion from the inconsistent combat. Of particular note is the additional armor set you'll unlock only through Legacy, and the new weapon you obtain through the course of your adventure is upgradable with some new effects that I haven't seen on any other weapon.

All of this amounts to about 3-4 hours of additional playtime. The pricetag for such an adventure seems a bit high at $10.00, but if you have the cash and enjoy the world, I would still recommend checking it out. Bring your in-game sibling along if you can, and while you can technically do the quest at any point in the game, I would recommend waiting until at least Act 3; the epilogue will really jerk at those heartstrings then.

Dragon Age: Legacy is available on Xbox Live Marketplace, PSN, and PC.

Recommended For:
+ Dragon Age 2 Fans
+ Fans of Dragon Age Lore
+ RPG enthusiasts itching for a quick fix

Not Recommended For:
- Dragon Age 2 Haters
- People expecting Legacy to solve all the problems of Dragon Age 2

Monday, August 01, 2011

Last Month's Wallpaper

Another great work from Check out a HD version below.