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So as you all know last week was my birthday. However, despite spending an entire Recaps on the thing, I didnít actually get to talk about any presents because I simply hadnít gotten any yet. Well, since Iím sure youíre brimming with anticipation, hereís the haul! Seriously, I got so spoiled this year. My inner nerd is happy. As is my outer nerd, really. I'm pretty much all nerd.

My parents, for one, got me The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia! You know, the incredibly, INCREDIBLY, amazing Zelda art book / official timeline / background info treasure trove / manga? That one. When they gave it to me their faces quite clearly read ďwhy they hell are we giving him this stupid thing?Ē But when they saw the sparkles in my eyes upon flipping through the pages Iím pretty sure they were satisfied with their purchase.

This is seriously the most amazing thing ever. I specifically remember opening it up, and right there inside the cover was a picture from Skyward Swordís opening sequence. I hadnít even gotten to the first page yet and already I knew how bloody awesome this thing was. Itís actually a lot larger than I expected it to be too, with a good 250ish A4-sized pages. It is absolutely brimming with fantastic Zelda art, and the detail on this thing is insane. You literally have to squint to be able to read every single scribble next to every single piece of concept art. If you do, though, there are a lot of cool insights: some characters have details you never even noticed, like how Linkís Loftwing has larger feathers than other ones to show that itís the strongest of the bunch. Thereís alternate character designs, official artwork, an incredibly cool-looking manga, and so much more!

Amazing amazing AMAZING book.



It honestly makes we want to replay the entire series all over again.

Unfortunately (?) it doesnít look like Iíll have time for that anytime soon, because my friends made very sure to add a truckload of new games to my backlog. They got me all the video games. Seriously though, I have the best friends.

My first friend gifted me Castle Crashers on Steam. I wasnít able to play it when it was still XBLA exclusive, so itís nice to have it on Steam now, because the game looks like a lot of fun. I hear it isnít very well optimized for the PC (it still has in-game controller prompts, for one) but Iím sure I can live with that. As long as Iím able to kill things with colorful characters Iíll be alright. Iím not actually allowed to play it yet, because he wants me to wait for him to buy it as well so we can play co-op. Buggers to that, I say. Thereís no time for waiting, thereís violence to be done!



Another friend gifted me Donít Starve, completely by chance! He didnít actually have my Steam wishlist, so he just gifted me something from the front page he thought Iíd enjoy. Lucky for both of us, then, that unbeknownst to him Donít Starve was actually pretty high up on my wishlist! I wasnít really sure what I would be getting myself into with this game, even after re-reading Philís blog on it, because Donít Starve is one of those games that is quite literally impossible to explain. However, after having only played it for a short while I can already tell that Iím going to get mad hooked on this one. So much fun!

So far Iíve played two sessions, both of which ended up with me getting deaded in just a couple of in-game days. Thatís kind of the point, though. Donít Starve is all about learning the game by experimentation. On my first playthrough I had just gotten around to building a Science Machine (this game goes for realism, you know) which unlocks a whole truckload of interesting new crafting recipes to help you survive. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in crafting new items that night was already upon me and I was completely out of materials to build a fire to protect myself with. Deaded.
The second time round, I had completely run out of food. I havenít been able to build a sustainable food supply yet, so I only survive off of random crap lying around in the woodsÖ.which I couldnít find anywhere. Phil said something about being able to kill birds for food, but I canít manage for the life of me. The little butts keep flying away! Itís unfair I tell you, they should just let me eat them. Iím the human around here, I shouldnít be strung up by these feathered freaks. Alas, out of food, nothing for it: DEADED.

I bet theyíre laughing at me. Just you wait, birds, just you wait.



Last but not least, my final friend who happens to know my Steam account gifted me BOTH Primordia AND Papo & Yo! Sheís pretty amazing like that. She specifically gifted me games that looked interesting to her, and I canít say I disagree with those choices. Primordia stood out because she is big into sci-fi (whereas Iím more of a fantasy freak), and I think Papo & Yo resonated with her because sheís done charity work in South America, where the game takes place.

As for Papo & Yo, I havenít played it yet, but it looks very interesting. The gameplay has a bit of an Inception feel (at least the trailers do), and Iím digging the concept of basing a game off of the creatorís alcoholic father. Canít wait to see how this plays out. In contrast, I had already played the demo of Primordia before, and I was sucked into its world like you wouldnít believe. All the characters are robots, very well voiced ones at that (it stars the Bastion narrator!), and for some reason that works wonders in this game. At one point in the demo I came across what I can only describe as a robotic prophet of the religion of Mankind. Does that sound silly? Well whatever you may think of it, the dude sells it. He sells it hard. Same thing for another robot who has completely lost his mind and enters a kind of ďall-knowing foolĒ state. Very well done, and I canít wait to see what else this game has in store.


You canít look at this picture and not be interested in the game. It just doesnít happen.

So yeah, a pretty amazing week with a new bunch of pretty amazing games (and art book). This will definitely keep me occupied for a while!

Oh, and for the record? No, you canít have my friends. Theyíre taken.

* - BulletMagnet writes a great blog about violent video games as seen from the perspective of a GameStop employee. "Won't someone think of the children?!" becomes a bit of an empty phrase when even the parents won't.

A - Glowbear talks about the depiction of Christianity in Bioshock Infinite. Haven't read it because Infinite spoilers (?), but I assume it's good because Glowbear.

A - For some reason KillingJoke is terrified of the word "and". Either way, he writes about wanting a reason for all the violence.

A - Don't like the way America is headed with the whole video game violence debate? Here's someone who's with you.

A - Get it through your thick skull, game industry, we DO want female protagonists!

C - Wicked Loot Studios gives Dtoid the chance to win a whole bunch of games.

D - Niero tries to kill Hamza with an impressive series of flying kicks. Hamza does not give a FUCK.

F - PC FNF and random videos.

T - Bob liked Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. Like, a lot.

D - A Fancypants interview with Rowan Parker, on his upcoming DJ simulation game.

V - A video on an obscure olds shmup. No description, should probably have failed this. I'm way too nice for you people.

D - Zelda Maniac has taken up the ambitious task of trying to create his own video game.

M - Another undescribed video. But this one is on video game OSTs, so that's one point in its favor at least.

F - Here's a bit of a look at the new shows that will be on G4 turned Esquire. TV = yawn.

C - Klarden notes some of Steam's regional pricing problems.






- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade


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