Thursday, June 30, 2011

Read a Good Book: This Gaming Life - Chapter 2: The Big Smoke

It hasn’t been too long since video games turned into the cool thing to do. Those of us who remember when any mention of interest in video games was an automatic mark against one’s coolness (and the resultant effort to suppress those disclosures) know that it wasn’t always cool to love anything that smacked of “video games.” Chessmaster 3000. King’s Quest. Doom. These are the badges of honor we wear proudly now, willingly stomping about our circles in the dust, dropping these names to lay claim to our place in gaming history. But the truth is that few of us ever had the courage or peer group to do so when these games actually came out. But that’s changed.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

super.hype: Unnecessary Litigation Edition 2011 - Brown vs. EMA: California's Ultrabattle Against Ultraviolence

It's been a banner week for videogames. Not only has the PC gaming scene been inundated with new, quality independent releases, it's even won page space on a number of non-video game related news outlets. Why? Well, for those of you living under rocks, a recent Supreme Court ruling deemed a stubborn California law, one that has long caused retailers and developers alike a fair share of grief, unconstitutional. Now, sale of "ultraviolent" video games to minors, though still regulated by the ESRB and retailers themselves, is no longer illegal. (full decision can be found here)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Indie Cred: PROUN

Title: PROUN
Developer:  Joost van Dongen
Release: June 2011
Price: $0-∞ (pay what you want, here)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Soma Drop: Wonder Project J

Title:  Wonder Project J
Developer: Enix (designed by Takashi Yoneda)
Release: December 1994
Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

The point at which the phrase “video games are like my children” stops being a hyperbole


Friday, June 24, 2011

-REVIEW: Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword-
another example of words fixing nothing

Title: Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword 
Developer: Snowberry Connection, Sich Studio, TaleWorlds, CD Projekt
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release: May 2011 (PC)
Price: $14.99

Experience the world-changing effects of gunpowder weapons on medieval warfare in unbelievably frustrating detail


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Read a Good Book: This Gaming Life – Chapter 1: How Games Make Gamers

Welcome to the first installment of “Read a Good Book”, a feature in which we’ll be traveling through a hopefully respectable volume (or at least, a well-reviewed one), gleaning what we may from its faceless, soundless text, and trying to make sense of it all in the “real world”.

I like text a lot, because it takes a special kind of finesse to make it effective. Text is often only read and never heard, seen but never “watched”. The benefit is that it requires a degree of engagement to experience, but therein lies its biggest obstacle too: nowadays people just don’t care enough (or are simply too busy) for such an engaging endeavor.

But you, my fair readers, are stupendously different. You are thoughtful, engaged, critical, and patient, people who enjoy wrestling with meanings and questioning ideas. Right? Right? Right!

The first book to grace this written page then is Jim Rossignol’s This Gaming Life.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Indie Cred: David K. Newton's Crystal Towers 2

Hello everybody!

I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled Indie Cred with a few quick special announcements.
Along with my recent foray into “books about games”, I’ve become privy to the idea of “games about life”, an area of game development that has naturally occurred to fill the obvious philosophical and metaphysical need of many gamers. This area was once spearheaded by a small band of developers who formed the serious games initiative. Although their time has apparently come and gone (the original website is rather dead), their awareness and goals spawned a number of like-minded projects such as Social Impact Games and Games for Change.

These sites continue the vision and idea that games can be more than just entertainment devices; they can be used to transmit and teach ethics, encourage prosocial behavior, and raise awareness for special causes. Even Al Gore seems to think so.

Personally, I think it’s true that games can be used for things other than entertainment, and I think that doing so goes a long way to promote the legitimacy of games as a valid form of art and culture. Much like other forms of culture (music, painting, creative text), it has the ability to offer the world more than just entertainment value. Of course, I think it’s important that even if the intent of these games is not entertainment, they should still be “good” games (like how movies shouldn’t be judged simply on their subject matter, but also on the quality of their production and cinematography).

As such, independent developers tend to have more freedom in choosing their content and delivery, and thereby becomes the perfect breeding ground for these kinds of games. So it’s relevant! In short, take a look, keep an open mind, and be prepared for something delightfully different!

We now return you to your regular programming.

Title: Crystal Towers 2
Developer: David K Newton
Released: May 2011

It’s like that story about that goose that lays golden eggs, but it’s more realistic because it makes you endure scraping off all that goose poop before you get to the gold part

Friday, June 17, 2011

Read a Good Book: This Gaming Life

Hey everybody. Before I start, I just want to say that the Evanston, Illinois is great. It's a beautiful place. If anyone actually lives in Evanston (or nearby) I would just like to say, I am extremely jealous of you.
Came for my brother's graduation. Despite his busy Au.D. curriculum, he still finds time to play Starcraft 2. That's dedication!

Okay. Onto business. The truth is that games aren't the only hobby I like to engage in (gasp!). In my spare time I also read books! A great piece of advice I've received (and subsequently offered profusely) is that "if you feel like you're in a funk, read a good book." Whatever it is that's going on in your life, whether good or bad, having a good book by your side often makes that time less lonely, more thoughtful, and generally more fulfilling than simply trying to grin and bear it. So I usually like to keep a good book on hand wherever I go.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

super.hype: week 23 - E3 2011 Hangover Edition

NEWS for week 23 of 2011:

New Releases:

  • MTG: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 Edition (June 15)
  • Shadows of the Damned (June 21)
  • F.E.A.R 3 (June 21)
  • Dungeon Siege III (June 21)
  •  Arma II: Reinforcements (Expansion Pack) (June 21)
  • Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising ( June 21)
  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (June 19)

Taco Tuesday nearly killed you this week, 
but you were saved by the amazing 
adsorptive properties 
of the following super.hype

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Indie Cred: Questling

Title: Questling
Developer: Flyboy
Platform: PC
Release: you can find it here!

This is like that game where you start off extremely confident, but then realize you’re in way over your head as hundreds of thousands of people begin to die because of your choices. What was the name of that game? Oh right, “World of Warcraft”

Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

-REVIEW: Splinter Cell: Conviction-
in brightest day, in blackest night, BOOM headshot

Title: Splinter Cell: Conviction
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Released: April 2010 for PC, X360
Price: $19.99 (Steam) $29.99 (X360)

It’ll make you wish you had a dad like Sam Fisher. Or were a dad like Sam Fisher. It’ll make you wish you were your dad if he were Sam Fisher.
I feel sorry for your dad.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Soma Drop: Fallout

Title: Fallout
Developer: Black Isle Studios
Publisher: Interplay
Release: 1997 (you can now find it on GOG)

 In a world with no hope, you are asked to find water. Goddamnit, where are these people's priorities

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Indie Cred Follow-up: QCF Design's Desktop Dungeons, in 3D!

Hey guys. It being E3 week and all, strange things are bound to bound around. This is one of them. Also, this game is available to play online during the entirety of E3, and can be found here!

Our favorite bite-sized roguelike, Desktop Dungeons, has gone mainstream! If you can't see the picture or just want a text description of what's going on here:
  • It uses the Unity Engine now. This is a browser-based platform that allows for some pretty fancy-pants effects not available in other platforms like flash and html5.
  • It seems to have a full-blown menu and start screen. While cluttered, it looks like there are a lot more options to the game besides characters and game modes.
  • Is there now more "game" to the game? Keep reading to find out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

the state of the industry, part IV: Design

You can probably tell by now I’m not an expert at anything concerning games. I’m just a regular guy who really enjoys them. Still, like any regular guy, I’m allowed to have opinions, passions, and curiosities that may drive me to do some pretty silly things. This whole series is one of them.

I haven’t really said anything that hasn’t been said before. I also haven’t said anything that hasn’t already been done before. With these two things in mind, it’s understandable then that a regular guy like me would get frustrated at the clear lack of thoughtfulness that goes into the execution of so many games. But that’s unfair. We all know that just because quality information (and products) exists, it doesn’t mean that all products will be produced with quality. It’s like how Timmy (that’d be me) takes 3 hours to do 30 derivatives while David (my brother) only takes 1. The difference isn’t in the information, it’s in the person.

Did I just say the world is full of dumb people?

Monday, June 6, 2011

super.hype: Special E3 2011 Edition!

NEWS for Week 22, 2011: it's E3 week, baby! (UPDATE: Impressions here)

E3 2011 is over! Thanks for playing along and pretending to be excited about intangible objects!

The girl of your dreams has rejected you once again. You take solace in the fact you have a soft, welcoming super.hype (E3 2011 Edition) waiting for you back home...
you pervert

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Indie Cred: Vlambeer and the Temple of Super Crate Box

Title: Super Crate Box
Developer: Vlambeer
Platform: PC
Release: 2010 (you can find it here)

The game all the kids would crowd around until they ran out of money, at which point they would start fiddling with the sticks during the demo just to feel like they were playing the game. And crates.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

-REVIEW: Frozen Synapse-
this one is all melty, did i get a broken one?

Title: Frozen Synapse
Developer: Mode 7
Platform: PC
Release: Released! Find it on Steam or Desura
Price: $24.99 (+ extra copy) (no longer $19.99 from dev, sorry :( )

It’s all jagged-rebel-X-fallout-star-alliance-com-tactical-command-tactics! TACTICS! Plus Neon Chess