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PSA: Doritos Crash Course DLC is out today


It's only $2, guys
Jan 02
// Brett Zeidler
The biggest achievement in free simulation obstacle course games featuring Xbox Live Avatars, Doritos Crash Course, has received its very own downloadable content today. Doritos Crash Course City Lights adds two new area...
Sexy Zombie Time photo
Sexy survival horror?
ZombiU is, by all accounts, a pretty decent game that uses the Wii U's GamePad in some interesting ways. It's helped breathe new life into a genre that's been in decay for the better part of a decade. And hey, if nothing else...

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You should go check out Skrillex Quest


Glitchy code and stuttering music make for a surprisingly fun time
Nov 30
// Conrad Zimmerman
I'm pretty sure I've lamented in the past that I don't know what the kids are into with the music anymore. So, understand that I have no idea who this "Skrillex" person is, but I'm getting the idea that he's kind of becoming ...
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Robot Chicken made a PlayStation All-Stars commercial


Shocking news: Robot Chicken is still a thing
Nov 28
// Tony Ponce
I enjoyed watching Robot Chicken on Adult Swim back in college, but it never felt like it had true staying power. Why new episodes are still being made, I have no clue. Then again, this is the same network that is still chur...
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The PS Vita is like a headless lady with four breasts?


That's what a French advert claims
Nov 01
// Jim Sterling
According to a promotional ad in France, the PlayStation Vita is comparable to a woman with no head and four breasts, two of which jut agonizingly from her back like a pair of malevolent tumors.  What are we to glean fro...
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Obama campaign ads to hit Madden 13 and other EA titles


Sep 15
// Kyle MacGregor
As much fun as the never ending political bickering has been lately, I'm kind of ready for it to be over for a while. Something tells me though, that it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better. At least we ...
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Sony patent points to playable mini-game advertisements


Aug 24
// Dale North
Imagine broadcasted or streamed advertisements that are playable as mini-games, with an online element so that you could play with other viewers. A new Sony PlayStation patent, found by GameNMotion, seems to spell out how thi...
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Penny Arcade using Kickstarter to fund ad-free site


Jul 10
// Jim Sterling
One expects a little cynicism from a satirical web comic, but Penny Arcade's new Kickstarter project takes things to a new extreme. The company is asking for $250,000 to remove one advertisement from its site. Not only that ....
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E3: A peek at the Videogame History Museum booth


Jun 09
// Conrad Zimmerman
While the E3 show floor is primarily concerned with showing the world what's next for the videogame industry, The Videogame History Museum brought a little bit of its past to the event this week. Tucked in the corner of the s...
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Of course you do! I just got back from an early visit to the L.A. Convention Center, home to next week's massive industry event: E3. You may have heard about it. The final preparations are almost complete, with companies putt...

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E3: Hitman: Absolution snags the coveted South Hall steps


Jun 01
// Chad Concelmo
The South Hall is the larger of the two main halls at the L.A. Convention Center (the other being the West Hall). While the "Big Three" companies (Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony) are in the West Hall, they take up almost all t...
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Sony patents plan to interrupt games with commercials


May 25
// Jim Sterling
You can't count on a publisher to be original or inventive when it comes to our entertainment, but they always seem brilliantly innovative when it comes to selling us more crap. Sony is today's bright little star, having pate...
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Thank Christ: Xbox Live to feature even more advertising!


Apr 25
// Jim Sterling
You wanted it, Microsoft's bringing it! In the new future, the Xbox Live service that you paid for will be using your patronage to score even more money off of advertisers! More TV-like commercials will soon be airing on a nu...

Review: World Gone Sour

Apr 13 // Jim Sterling
World Gone Sour (Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed], PlayStation Network)Developer: PlaybrainsPublisher: CapcomRelease: April 11, 2012MSRP: 400 Microsoft Points World Gone Sour is a story about Sour Patch Kids, the anthropomorphized candy that you'll find filling the lobbies of all good movie theaters around North America. Just like the advergames of yesteryear, it takes the form of a simple platformer, as players step into the gummy boots of a lost Sour Patch Kid who wishes only to be eaten, lest he be driven insane.  The first thing to note is just how adult-oriented World Gone Sour is. One would assume that, like all good advergames, the target audience is gullible children. Instead, the game opens with one Sour Patch Kid stabbing another brutally in the back with a knife, and that's just the first of many adorably morbid concepts thrust into the player's mind. As if that wasn't enough, the action is narrated by Creed Batton from The Office, who makes lewd, vulgar, family-unfriendly comments throughout. It would seem gullible adults, or at least teenagers, are the marketing department's ultimate prey.  As far as the platforming goes, players will need to jump over chasms, avoid spikes, and generally do all the things that one would expect to do in a run-of-the-mill sidescroller. A slight Pikmin-flavored twist is introduced in the form of smaller companion Kids, twenty-five of which are scattered around each level. These companions follow the player character around and can be thrown to hang off switches or collect hard-to-reach items. They can also be absorbed, allowing players to grow in size. The player can absorb or break apart at whim (so long as enough companions are present), and our gummy hero can be one of three sizes. At their smallest, players can squeeze through tight spots, while the larger sizes can hurl companions like bowling balls, perform ground pounds, or take extra hits from enemies before dying. It's usually a good idea to be at least mid-sized for most of a stage, although tight jumps through dangerous territory can benefit from a smaller character.  Each stage is littered with green gummy pieces that dish out extra lives, stars that contribute to a leaderboard score, and five secret trophies. At the end of each level, players are awarded points based on what they've collected, how many companions they found, and how many unique deaths the player inflicted on said companions. You're encouraged to toss your friends into spikes, liquids, and flames, especially to collect items too dangerously positioned for your liking. Such sadism goes unpunished, since dead companions respawn after a few moments, so nobody needs to worry about sending Sour Patch Kids to die by the dozen.  Companions won't be the only ones who die, however. Once World Gone Sour hits its mid-point, it becomes surprisingly taxing. Tricky platform sections that exploit the game's overenthusiastic physics, intricate wall-jump challenges, and a smorgasbord of increasingly brutal environmental hazards will happily whittle your lives down to zero. There are plenty of green gummies and liberal checkpoints to keep the game moving along, and while nothing's ever too difficult, there are a remarkable amount of opportunities to swear at the television, just like old times.  Unfortunately, that mid-point also serves as the moment where a lot of the charm runs dry. Batton's narration, positively flowing in the earlier sections of the game, disappears save for a few scant moments, while the repetitious music and lack of variety overall really turns the game into something of a tiresome affair. There are nine levels, split into three themes, and it doesn't feel like enough to keep things interesting, even for the couple hours of gameplay present. It's all solid stuff, but since a lot of the entertainment comes from the outright stupidity of the game's concept, the failure to capitalize with more humor really lets the mid-portion of the game sag.  It doesn't help that, at times, the game never feels quite right, either being too responsive or not very responsive at all. As noted earlier, the protagonist's jumps are huge -- a fact that the game itself takes advantage of -- while his wall-jumping ability doesn't always work properly. The hit detection feels a little off as well, with enemies that have incredibly tiny hit boxes that are hard to predict, given that they're mostly shapeless globs of monstrous bubble gum. One never gets a sense of weight in the game's world, which can be quite problematic at times.  Cooperative play is allowed for, but as is disappointingly common with XBLA games, it's local only. Players without friends won't be missing much, however, since the only real benefit is the ability to get a free respawn if one player dies and the other hits a checkpoint without also snuffing it.  For five bucks, however, World Gone Sour isn't the worst game around. In fact, it can be relatively enjoyable, and the dark humor is pretty entertaining when it pops up. There are some inventive little boss battles thrown in, showcasing insane Sour Patch Kids who have become slightly telekinetic and inhabit sneakers or dolls that they've brought to life. Defeating the bosses are simple cases of waiting for them to expose their vulnerable spots and attacking, but they're nevertheless quite fun to dispatch.  Whether or not you feel right in spending money on a glorified commercial is down to your own moral code, but World Gone Sour is an entertaining reminder of how shameless the industry has always been. It truly feels like a spiritual successor to Cool Spot, and while nobody has ever asked for a spiritual successor to Cool Spot, it gives one a nostalgic feeling nonetheless. With some pretty decent platforming, a dash of shockingly grim humor, and an utterly ridiculous Sour Patch Kids music video courtesy of Method Man, World Gone Sour is far from the worst thing you could waste five dollars on.
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The idea of buying an interactive commercial is like battery acid in the minds of most adult gamers, but we blissfully forget that we once paid full price for entire videogames that existed purely to push another product.&nbs...

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Here's some A for your SoulCalibur T


Jan 29
// Tony Ponce
Voldo's lower horn may not have been a legit SoulCalibur V print ad, but this one is. Surprise, surprise. It's the perfect complement to the original boobalicious ad. These things always happen in pairs. I'm glad Namco Bandai...
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Namco Bandai pulls penis-flavored SoulCalibur V ad


Jan 09
// Jim Sterling
[Update: So apparently it is not real. Stupid sexy Voldo!] Namco Bandai recently pulled an advert for SoulCalibur V after fans complained that it was too offensive. No, it wasn't the magazine page featuring ginormous breasts....
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Veteran hates Modern Warfare 3's 'hideous' advertising


Jan 03
// Jim Sterling
Those live action Modern Warfare 3 commercials featuring Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington may be lighthearted nonsense to us regular folk, but US Army Special Operations Command paratrooper D.B. Grady thinks they're crass,...

Gamers learn to block intrusive ads on Xbox 360 dashboard

Dec 09 // Jim Sterling
Sign up for a free OpenDNS account. Add a network for your current IP address. Go to Advanced Settings and next to 'Domain Typos', ensure 'Enable typo correction' is checked. Go to Web Content Filtering settings and set the filtering level to 'None', and under 'Manage individual domains', put rad.msn.com and select 'Always block' and then click 'Add domain'. On your Xbox, go to System Settings -> Network Settings -> (your connection) -> Configure Network -> DNS settings -> Manual, and enter the OpenDNS IP addresses for the primary and secondary DNS servers: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220. Clear your hard drive cache: System Settings -> Storage -> Hard Drive -> press Y -> Clear System Cache  
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One of the biggest complaints about the Xbox 360 dashboard update was the fact that advertisements now took up a ridiculous amount of screen space. For some gamers, it's gone too far, and a number of ad-blocking methods have ...

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Don't pursue Lu Bu without some of that sweet Pepsi taste


Dec 08
// Jim Sterling
Pepsi Nex is a drink. Dynasty Warriors NEXT is a videogame. This is how great marketing is born.  This beautiful wallpaper, showing Lu Bu drowning his sorrows with some tantalizing Pepsi flavor, is available from Pepsi's...
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Zelda and Robin Williams return in this Skyward Sword ad


Oct 31
// Tony Ponce
Nintendo is riding the Princess Zelda / Zelda Williams connection to the bitter end, but I'm really not bothered. Robin Williams is a such a cartoon character in most everything he does, and his daughter is oh so lovely. Mor...
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ESA: In-game advertising will increase rapidly


Oct 03
// Jim Sterling
The Entertainment Software Association is using a new report by DFC intelligent to declare that in-game advertising will grow at a swift pace in order to reach the 72% of Americans now said to be playing.  DFC says that ...
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Nathan Drake is a corporate whore in Subway commercial


Oct 01
// Jim Sterling
"Hey, I'm Nathan Drake. If you're the adventurous type like me, then get in on the Subway taste for adventure," says Nathan Drake in the above video.  The idea of videogames and marketing departments working together is...
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Mind blown! You can play games in 2D on a 3DS!


Sep 25
// Tony Ponce
Nintendo of Europe has posted a banner ad on their home page for the upcoming Metallic Red 3DS model. In addition to sporting a fiery finish, this latest 3DS also comes packed with some incredible new features. Not only can y...
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution adds Star Wars ads (Update)


Sep 16
// Jim Sterling
[Update: I've been informed that the ads weren't "patched in" via any new update. The functionality was always there and it just seems that it's recently started throwing the ads out there.] In a move that can be filed under ...
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PS3 drops 'It only does everything' for 'long live play'


Aug 30
// Jim Sterling
Sony has dropped its "It only does everything" slogan in favor of a brand new moniker that focuses on the PS3 as a gaming device. From now on, the PlayStation motto is "Long live play." How exciting! Sony says the new campai...
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Microsoft to make Kinect worse with obnoxious advertising


Jun 22
// Jim Sterling
The best thing about Xbox Live is that we get to see all sorts of cool advertising on a service we subscribe to. Microsoft realizes that adverts are the best part of the Xbox experience, and is bringing innovative "NUads" to...
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EA and Hasbro declare April 7th Global MONOPOLY Day


Apr 06
// Conrad Zimmerman
You know, I used to think that you had to have some sort of position of authority in order to declare days to be special. Now I realize that you only need a social networking site and a product. What a fool I was! Electronic ...
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Being a Smooth Criminal with Kinect in MJ: Experience ad


Apr 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
Ubisoft is about to drop Michael Jackson: The Experience on to PS3 and Xbox 360 next week, so they're pulling out the big guns. By that, I mean releasing an ad focused on Kinect functionality in the Xbox version of the ...
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PEGI demands 'misleading' We Dare ads removed


Mar 11
// Jim Sterling
We Dare has officially become a three-lugged puppy with pneumonia, mercilessly kicked to death by a gang of professional wrestlers. That's the impression I get of the game -- mocked by gamers, abandoned by the publisher,...
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EA doubts the future of in-game advertisement


Dec 20
// Jordan Devore
There was a time -- not at all long ago -- where those darned immersion-breaking, in-game ads were popular. Ben Cousins, the general manager of EA's free-to-play division, believes those days are over, or at the very least, w...

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