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10:17 PM on 07.23.2009

Tim Langdell is a Misunderstood Hero

If you follow indie game news, you've probably heard of Tim Langdell. He's the CEO of EDGE Games, and he's deadly serious about protecting that brand. Many see an incompatibility between Langdell's IGDA board position and his relentless legal assault on independent developer Mobigame. However, I see it differently. In fact, I think Tim Langdell is a misunderstood hero and a champion of creativity.

Consider the following sampling of games:

While it didn't quite make the master list, "edge" is a word that's clearly overused in game titles. It's prevalent in the form "<something sharp>'s Edge", a particularly offensive redundancy.

With this information, it becomes clear: Langdell's mission is not to fight for copyright, but rather to selflessly protect us all from bland video game names!

If my suspicions are correct, then this is only part one of a master strategy. He may soon trademark "dawn". "eternal", "legend", "shadow" and "unleashed". With all this vapid intellectual property securely in his hands, gamers everywhere will be forever safe from unimaginative game titles.

With Tim's help, we may never have to face preview screenshots of Legend of Eternal Shadow ever again. For that, I am truly grateful.


Of course, if you're an IGDA member and you feel differently, there are other options.   read

3:39 PM on 02.01.2009

I made this, play it: Inventory Tetris

Although Iím not taking part in this yearís Global Game Jam, I coincidentally decided to also put together a small game over the last two days. It was a feat only made possibly by the friendliness of the L÷VE 2D engine, a free weekend and several pots of tea.

Inventory Tetris a silly idea Iíve had bouncing around in my head for a while now, a literal interpretation of a phrase often heard in reviews and forums. I chose to parody Resident Evil 4 specifically (the merchant makes me laugh), but I thumb my nose equally at Diablo, Deus Ex and every other game that turns inventory management into a block puzzle. If the main character isnít even seen carrying a briefcase, your commitment to spatial realism is moot.

You can find instructions for installing/running the game on my personal blog. You can access the source code by unzipping, and everything is GPL licensed so youíre free to distribute and modify the game as you please.   read

1:14 PM on 11.29.2008

The Games of 2008

This year will be coming to an end soon, and I'm sure many of you will be making "Best Games of 2008" lists this month. However, a year is a long time and many of us can barely remember games that were released this Spring.

Therefore, I present to you a master list of noteworthy titles that were released in 2008. The information was scraped from the Giant Bomb release calendar, so any inaccuracies there have carried over. Have I omitted any important titles? Please let me know in the comments.


{View the .TXT Version Here}

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
Age of Booty
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
Alone in the Dark
American McGee's Grimm
Animal Crossing: City Folk
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Armored Core: for Answer
Army of Two
Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles
Bangai-O Spirits
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Battlefield: Bad Company
Bionic Commando Rearmed
Bioshock (PS3)
Blast Works
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
Blitz: The League II
Boom Blox
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Burnout Paradise
Call of Duty: World at War
Castle Crashers
Castlevania: Judgement
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Chrono Trigger DS
Civilization IV: Colonization
Civilization Revolution
Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Condemned 2: Bloodshot
Conflict: Denied Ops
Cooking Mama: World Kitchen
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Crysis Warhead
Culdcept Saga
Dark Sector
de Blob
Dead Space
Devil May Cry 4
Disgaea DS
Don King's Prizefighter
Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen (DS)
Dynasty Warriors 6
Endless Ocean
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Eternal Sonata (PS3)
Eternity's Child
Etrian Odyssey II: Hero of Lagaard
Exit DS
Fable II
Fallout 3
Far Cry 2
FIFA Soccer 09
Final Fantasy Chronicles: My Life as a King
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon
Final Fantasy IV DS
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
fl0w (PSP)
Football Manager 2009
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor
Galaga Legions
Gears of War 2
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
God of War: Chains of Olympus
Golden Axe: Beast Rider
Grand Theft Auto 4
Grand Turismo 5 Prologue
Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades
Guitar Hero World Tour
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness
Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility
Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
Ikaruga (XBLA)
Infinite Undiscovery
Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine
Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns
King's Bounty: The Legend
Kirby: Super Star Ultra
Left 4 Dead
Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Lego Batman: The Video Game
Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
Line Rider 2: Unbound
Lock's Quest
Lost in Blue 3
Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked
Lost Odyssey
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition - Colonies Edition
Lost: Via Domus
Madden NFL 09
Major League Baseball 2K8
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Super Sluggers
Mega Man 9
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Metal Slug 7 DS
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
Mirror's Edge
MLB 08: The Show
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Mother 3 (Fan Translation Patch)
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
My Sims Kingdom
Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer
Nascar 09
NBA 09: The Inside
NBA Live 09
NCAA Football 09
Need for Speed: Undercover
NFL Head Coach 09
NHL 09
Ninja Gaiden II
Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword
No More Heroes
Okami (Wii)
Peggle Nights
Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness
PixelJunk Eden
Pixeljunk Monsters
Populous DS
Portal: Still Alive
Princess Debut
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
Professor Layton & The Curious Village
Quantum of Solace
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty
Resistance 2
Rez HD
Rock Band 2
Rock Revolution
R-Type Command
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
Saints Row 2
Sam & Max: Season One (Wii)
Samba de Amigo (Wii)
Secret Agent Clank
Sega Superstars Tennis
Shaun White Snowboarding
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
Silent Hill: Homecoming
SimCity Creator
SingStar (PS3)
SingStar '90s
SingStar Country
SingStar Legends
Singstar Pop Vol. 2
Sins of a Solar Empire
Skate It
Smash Court Tennis 3
SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals: Confrontation
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
Sonic Unleased
Soul Bubbles
Soul Calibur IV
Space Invaders Extreme
Spectrobes: Beyond The Portals
Spider Man: Web of Shadows
Spore Creatures
Star Ocean: First Departure
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
Tales of Vesperia
Tetris Party
The Bourne Conspiracy
The Club
The Last Guy
The Last Remnant
The World Ends With You
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09
Time Hollow
Tom Clancy's EndWar
Tom Clancy's Rainbox Six: Vegas 2
Tom Raider: Underworld
Too Human
Top Spin 3
Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2
Trials 2
UEFA Euro 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault
Valhalla Knights 2
Valkyria Chronicles
Viking: Battle for Asgard
Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise
Warhammer: Age of Reckoning
Wario Land: Shake It!
Warriors Orochi 2
Wii Fit
Wii Music
Wipeout HD
World of Goo
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2009
Yakuza 2
Yggdra Union

Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon
Mushroom Men
Prince of Persia
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

Image at the top of this post borrowed from reax music. Thanks Google image search!   read

8:05 PM on 06.16.2008

Battlefield: Bad Company too cool for Canada, Australia, etc.

So there I am signing up for the Battlefield: Bad Company newsletter to unlock some crappy gun, and what do I find?

You heard it here first folks. Asia and the EU are countries, and Canadians and Australians can pretty much take a hike, eh?

Despite FORGETTING MY COUNTRY, the BF:BC demo is actually surprisingly fun. It's like an unpolished version of CoD4 with tanks, boats, helicopters, hummers, etc. Every building can be more or less completely demolished, and the scoring system of their "Gold Rush" mode is actually quite well balanced. It's worth checking out if you're an FPS fan.   read

12:26 PM on 04.22.2008

DOEO! Time wasting flash game with Katamari style graphics

I gave it a shot for the visuals alone, but now I'm actually quite impressed by this game. It takes a certain skill to get the rhythm of the mouse movements and the art style/music is very entertaining (if a tad unoriginal at this point.)


If you're looking to procrastinate, you could do worse.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun   read

7:03 PM on 02.23.2008

Mass Effect Credits Song

Still Alive was the credits song to end all credits songs, and I don't think anyone will top it anytime soon. That being said, with the flood of great games that arrived at the end of 2007, I think a lot of greatness got lost in the shuffle. Namely, the Mass Effect credits song.

Perhaps you don't have a 360, or maybe the technical issues turned you off the game. You might even have finished Mass Effect but not bothered to watch the credits. In any case, if you missed it, take a good listen now:


The song is called M4 (Part 2) by Faunts off the album of the same name (the whole of which is worth a listen as well.)

While Still Alive is still the reigning champ, are there any other video game credits songs that you enjoyed? The quality of the ending itself notwithstanding, was the MUSIC good?   read

10:06 PM on 02.21.2008

8-Bit Katamari YTMND

In the spirit of the 32-bit Mario Galaxy, I present to you the 8-bit Katamari Damacy:

I'm 99% sure this hasn't been posted before.   read

2:05 AM on 02.10.2008

No More Heroes - One Hour Review

No More Heroes was released in Canada just this week. This of course was a week later than our neighbours down south, a week I spent reading some of my favorite bloggers have a nerdgasm or two over it. Needless to say I picked it up the day it arrived with great anticipation.

For no particular reason, I thought I'd write up my experience with the first hour of the game Games For Lunch style. If you've never read Games For Lunch, Kyle Orland plays a new game for one hour every day, records the minutes of his playtime and rates the game based on whether or not he wants to keep playing it. It's an interesting format, and I thought it would be fun to emulate here.

In a nutshell: The spirit of Kill Bill in video game form

0:02 I had heard that the graphics were low quality, and that is indeed the case. I would liken them to first generation PS2 graphics. I guess I can't complain too much, my television is a CRT.

0:04 A choice between "Sweet" and "Mild" difficulty. With the hubris of an experienced gamer, I choose "Mild", the more difficult of the two.

0:05 The opening cinematic sets up the plot: you are Travis Touchdown, a young man who just recently became the 11th ranked assassin. Your goal is to become #1 by taking out the top ten.

0:06 As the game starts, you crash your way into a villa on your motorcycle, stopping only to take out security guards and toss off one liners. The violence and blood is really cartoonish and over the top. The tutorial begins in the villa's lobby.

0:07 Recharging your beam sword's energy with a wanking motion is awesome, even if you only waggle it back and forth in person.

0:12 You can attack with the A and B buttons, but perform various special moves by moving the Wiimote according to on-screen cues. For instance, you enter "weapon clash" when you and your enemy strike at the same time, and must rotate the Wiimote in the on-screen direction to win

0:13 Enemies killed with special moves explode with blood and coins.

0:15 Holding the Wiimote upwards puts you in a high stance and vice versa for a low stance. This seems to cause some animation clipping as you rapidly switch between the two when holding the Wiimote flat.

0:18 I just sliced a man in two from head to toe, intense.

0:20 I struck a group of enemies ineffectually numerous times before realizing that I needed to wank-recharge my beam sword.

0:21 Finished the tutorial, I can now move around in the villa.

0:22 Special moves cause a slot machine to appear on the bottom of the screen, and I just got 3 cherries. I have no idea what that means. I've also noticed an 8-bit tiger in the top right of my screen, I have no idea what that means either.

0:25 Just had a much longer fight with roughly a dozen guards. The motion controls are integrated extremely well; although the main swings are done with the buttons, I find myself constantly moving the Wiimote to complete various special moves. I also got two 3x cherries again in that fight, I think it does something to slow down time.

0:27 I got two 777s in a row, and now have two red sevens in the bottom left of my screen.

0:31 The beam katana can deflect bullets, lightsaber style.

0:35 Walking down a long corridor, I hear a cellphone ringing. I press the A button to answer it, and start hearing a voice coming out of the Wiimote speaker. You're supposed to hold the Wiimote up to your ear, as if you were listening to the cell phone call yourself. My mind is blown, what an awesome idea.

0:36 Found a note attached to a wrestling mask: "Do you remember those golden days in Calgary?" Whoah, random Canadiana. Apparently Travis learned wrestling there, as I just learned a new suplex.

0:38 I save the game by going to the bathroom.

0:40 I've made it to my target, the #10 ranked assassin named Holy Sword. He's rich, has bright red hair and is covered in Samoan tattoos. We verbally spar for a minute, and he pulls out a sword so large it would make Cloud Strife jealous. It's game time.

0:42 Travis soliloquizes throughout the fight about how great it would be to be rich and famous.

0:45 I have defeated Holy Sword. Once again I ran out of beam sword power during the fight and didn't notice.

0:48 I'm shown a great 8-bit graphic as I take Holy Sword's place as the #10 assassin.

0:50 Another bathroom save point, this seems like a logical place to end the review.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Yes
Why? Great Wiimote controls and a unique visual style, Suda 51 has created something truly memorable.

This was a post I wrote up for my own blog The Quixotic Engineer, but I thought you guys might enjoy it. I also wanted to promote No More Heroes for those who were still ambivalent about checking it out.   read

9:37 AM on 12.15.2007

How the Valve Stole Christmas

From the moment it was announced way back in November, I knew I had to get my hands on a Weighted Companion Cube Plush. Portal is one of the best games I've ever played, so I was eager to have a version of the WCC that I didn't have to euthanize.

However, it appears that Valve has decided to cancel Christmas in Canada this year. While proceeding to the checkout with my Weighted Companion Cube and Aperture Laboratories Coffee Mug in hand, I was blindsided by five cruel words: Shipment to U.S. Addresses Only. Heartbroken, I put the items back on the virtual shelf.

Valve: even though you broke my heart (and killed me), you're still one of my favorite game developers. Your support for the mod community is commendable, as is the fact that you've remained independent and keep making terrific games. That being said, not shipping outside of the U.S. is massively uncool, especially considering that your games are enjoyed worldwide.

So, fellow non-Americans, it's time to get proactive. I'm going to urge you to e-mail the Valve store ([email protected]) and let them know that you're interested in purchasing from them but do not live in the U.S.A. If they see that there's enough international interest in their products, they may consider revising their exclusionist shipping policies.

UPDATE: After some additional investigation, it turns out that the shipment page is lying. They *do* ship internationally, but it costs a whopping $27.   read

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