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11:01 PM on 09.29.2014

Shadow of Mordor Playthough - Here's a Groug-sized portion of gameplay

[Note: I am currently in process of rendering and uploading all of the videos to the playlist. If you run out and want more, be sure to check back soon.] Max and I decided it would be a good idea to shoot a playthrough of th...

Bill Zoeker


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Dio's journey through Skyrim is interrupted by Max's girlfriend photo
Dio's journey through Skyrim is interrupted by Max's girlfriend
by Max Scoville


Here's the fourth part of the idiotic Skyrim Let's Play series Bill and I have been doing. The hook is this: we're playing Skyrim, but our character KIND OF looks like Ronnie James Dio. So, we're talking about heavy metal and that sort of thing. My girlfriend Jenn got home from work and joined us on the couch to eat tacos, play Spelunky, and completely ignore the fact that we were in the middle of something.

Anyway. Here's a video. You can watch it if you feel like.

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Max's five reasons Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor kicks ass photo
Max's five reasons Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor kicks ass
by Jordan Devore

Like Max, I didn't know what to make of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor but taking a guarded approach has paid off -- the reviews are in and they're overwhelmingly positive. Nice surprise!

Still not sure I'll rush out to grab the game at launch on Tuesday -- I've got my hands full, as I'm sure many of you will shortly -- but it's much higher on my to-play list after this week.

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Hardline 30: D4 is weird, Blizzard cancels Titan, and Steam curators for days photo
Hardline 30: D4 is weird, Blizzard cancels Titan, and Steam curators for days
by Jordan Devore

Steven was too busy grocery shopping to attend this week's Hardline, but that didn't stop me, Brett, and Bill from talking about Blizzard canceling its MMO Titan, opium dens, Steam's redesign, the mean streets of Japan, Swery65's bizarre D4, and time traveling for the Tokyo Game Show.

For the audio-only episode, you can subscribe on iTunes and RSS or download directly.

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Dio in Skyrim: Part 3 - Don't
Dio in Skyrim: Part 3 - Don't "Taco" To Strangers
by Bill Zoeker

In the third part of our ongoing investigative series on what it would be like if heavy metal pioneer Ronnie James Dio was, in fact, a mage in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In this installment, we forget more lyrics, and Max's girlfriend gets home from work, only to find a very special surprise waiting for her. Is it tacos? 

(Yes. That's exactly what it is.)

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Diamond in the ruff: MGSV: Phantom Pain in English photo
Diamond in the ruff: MGSV: Phantom Pain in English
by Steven Hansen

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's E3 showing stirred a deep love from within my belly. More games like this, I thought, stuffed with a wealth of deep and idiosyncratic mechanics. I missed the TGS Phantom Pain showing on account of being at TGS -- that's how it goes -- but now it's here, and in English. 

The adorable, eye-patched wolf pup? A diamond in the ruff. Hahaha.

Much like the E3 demo, these TGS videos just make me sort of happy. And it's weird things that make me happy more than any Metal Gear fandom. I have a hard time remembering the overall plot, even characters, between games. But that backwards elbow crawl? Shooting helmets off? Using the distraction balloon to bounce a fool off a cliff? Fulton-ing everything? The god damn wolf puppy?! Yes, please.

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Battle Chef Brigade looks like the actual best game photo
Battle Chef Brigade looks like the actual best game
by Steven Hansen

I love cooking, as you hopefully well know. The initial inspiration for A la cartridge was Iron Chef, though it ended up something completely different. And so here is a game that speaks tenderly to my soul.

Battle Chef Brigade, now doing some crowdfunding, is what you'd get if Iron Chef contestants had to go out and kill their own food to serve. It looks gorgeous, which just makes me hungry. It's just like how food always looks so damn good in Ghibli films. And the idea -- have a variety of chefs go out into a persistent environment to get the freshest of ingredients to cook up -- is amazing. 

Dragon's Crown's cooking minigame was not enough. This is what I need.

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Our D4 playthrough part 2: send in the clowns photo
Our D4 playthrough part 2: send in the clowns
by Max Scoville


I think the lesson Bill and I learned playing D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die is that we need to calibrate the Kinect, and make sure it can see us properly. Beyond that, I'm still unclear what this game is about, and it's vaguely upsetting to try and make sense of it.

It feels a bit like some kind of crossover between Cheers and The Butterfly Effect, but through a glass darkly, and from within a thick cloud of paint fumes. Is that a good thing? I don't know. But we sure look stupid playing it.

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Dio in Skyrim - What did you do the day Dio died? photo
Dio in Skyrim - What did you do the day Dio died?
by Bill Zoeker

Continuing our adventures through Skyrim; Max lays out the lengthy tale of what he did the day Dio died. Max's romp involved bottomless mimosas, a 40oz of malt liquor with a condom taped to it, and a deformed raccoon named 'Scary'. I don't really remember what I did that day. Probably listened to Dio.

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We attempted to play D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die photo
We attempted to play D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
by Max Scoville



Okay, so Chris Carter absolutely loved D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, so Bill and I figured we'd check it out... and uh. Wow. Goodness gracious.

That certainly is some sort of video game. I think. Honestly, if I didn't have this whole experience on video, I might think there was a gas leak in my house making us go all stupid and insane.

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Skyrim can only get better when you play it as Ronnie James Dio photo
Skyrim can only get better when you play it as Ronnie James Dio
by Bill Zoeker

Max and I decided to start a playthrough of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as the late Ronnie James Dio, the heavy metal legend who had a music video that kinda looks like Skyrim. There's only one problem; Max can't remember any Dio lyrics correctly. It's okay though; we had good beer and bad tacos.

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Mike saw Bloodborne and Until Dawn at PAX! photo
Mike saw Bloodborne and Until Dawn at PAX!
by Max Scoville

Our pal Mike Cosimano (who, in all seriousness rivals Jonathan Holmes when it comes to kindness and all-around positivity) was our video editing man at PAX Prime earlier this month. I made sure he got a chance to check out some games he wanted to see, and two of those games were Until Dawn and Bloodborne

Both of those games were too scary for me and Bill to cover, so Mike did us a solid and summed up his thoughts in this lovely video, though first he had to go to back to college and then attend a Transformers convention. Sorry for the delay!

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Master Chief Collection seems to deliver on most of its promises photo
Master Chief Collection seems to deliver on most of its promises
by Bill Zoeker

I recently got to check out Halo: The Master Chief Collection at an Xbox event, which gave me a big ol' happy, because I love me some sweet, sweet Covie-killing action. In 343 Industries' presentation, they spent half of the time talking about The Halo Channel, which seems neat if you're into that sort of thing, but it rather bores me. They also informed us that Halo 3 and Halo 4 are being up-scaled to 1080p, and touched up a bit with current-gen lighting effects and such.

The main focus of the Halo showing was, of course, Halo 2: Anniversary Edition. We saw a sample of the cutscenes from this overhaul, all of which are being redone, and which looks incredible compared to the original. We also got to put our hands on some of the multiplayer, which feels just like the original, with the exception of the Gungoose.

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Sunset Overdrive's pretty solid, but I think I'm over it photo
Sunset Overdrive's pretty solid, but I think I'm over it
by Max Scoville



Sunset Overdrive was one of the most exciting announcements to come out of E3 2013, and since then, I've had numerous people say it looks like a game made just for me.

For whatever reason, I didn't get a chance to check it out at E3 or PAX, and a couple weeks ago, I was giddy to finally sit down and check it out. I played through the first hour or so, and while it seems like a pretty solid game, I came away feeling totally uninterested.

Maybe it's a case of hype fatigue, or maybe I'm just too old for energy drinks and parkour. Maybe I just need something weirder to scratch that itch. Anyway, check out the video for my full thoughts.

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Mr. Resetti is in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, you guys photo
Mr. Resetti is in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, you guys
by Jordan Devore

There's yet another tie-in for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and it's the best one yet -- Animal Crossing! Players will be able to make their Felyne companions look like Mr. Resetti and Isabelle. Now, I'm not much of a Monster Hunter fan, but the chance to play alongside Resetti without him yelling at me, for once? Might just cave, depending on what's needed to acquire the outfits.

It's funny how these characters appear normally in Monster Hunter but Sonic the Hedgehog looks like he was skinned for his crossover. Guy can't catch a break.

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Here's a full playthrough of the second Mighty No. 9 beta stage photo
Here's a full playthrough of the second Mighty No. 9 beta stage
by Chris Carter

The second Mighty No. 9 beta stage focuses on the female No. 2 boss, who is a master of ice and water. In addition to my playthrough of the first stage here, you can also get a better look at the next phase of the beta above in my second playthrough.

I actually liked this level a bit more. While the first stage (No. 5) was a standard romp throughout, I like how No. 2's level mixed things up with a water section as well as an ice portion, and seeing the fire-based No. 1 in the background was a little more interesting than No. 2's appearance in the original beta stage.

My main concern at this point is the art direction, which can look a bit drab in terms of the level design (the two are very similar) and the enemy models themselves, despite the fact that they have great base mechanics. Since this is a beta the full version will no doubt have a bit more flair, but how much flair is yet to be seen.

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