The name is David and I've been a lifelong gamer since the Commodore 64 days. I've been to school for video game design and am Adobe certified. Currently I maintain a blog called Ultra Mega Death Ray which caters to all forms of geek media (games, movies, TV shows, comics, etc). Check us out!
I started posting on Destructoid originally as a way to give my writing exposure. As most folks who do this sort of thing, I have a central location where I primarily write (UltraMegaDeathRay.com). I've tried going about posting on channels in different ways.
I would share my original posts in blogging communities such as here, ScrewAttack, and IGN. At first, things seemed fine posting my articles and having people comment on the topic at hand. Then, out of nowhere, I got attacked over supposedly plagiarizing my own work. I made it clear that I was the original author of the article despite it being posted on multiple channels.
More complaints started to come in over posting non-gaming related content. Someone suggested I use [NVGR] at the beginning of those posts which lasted until even more negative comments came in about it. With that, I focused on only posting video game articles on here.
I then decided to only post one of my articles on Destructoid specifically per week. I had someone make a very good point in a comment stating, "Why would I come to see your original work when it's all displayed right here?" I took that to heart and figured I'll just have the beginning of the article posted and add a "Read more" link for people who are interested in checking out the rest of the article.
Now I had a moderator of all people complain to me about doing things that way as well. It has come to a point where I'd rather not post in a community where I'm clearly not wanted. The extra luggage is something I don't need. The strange about this since I started sharing my posts on other channels is that Destructoid is the ONLY site where I get these complaints. I've grown subscribers on IGN, ScrewAttack, as well as my own site and have had a load of great conversations in their respective comment sections.
It's unfortunate but this is for the best I believe. I won't be wasting your time nor will I be wasting my time trying to convert articles through Destructoid's unique BBCode formatted blog editor. If you do wish to continue reading my content, I highly suggest you check out UltraMegaDeathRay.com as well as follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Those of you who have been playing The Walking Dead by Telltale Games are already well acquainted with the cast. Most of all, we have spent our time surviving in harsh environments with main protagonist Lee Everett as well as two of his closest allies Clementine and Kenny. We're here to speak with their respective voice actors Dave Fennoy, Melissa Hutchison, and Gavin Hammon who breathe life into these amazing characters to get a closer look at what makes them tick.
WARNING: There may be some slight spoilers for those who aren't up to date on the episodes so far.
(from left to right) Kenny played by Gavin Hammon, Lee played by Dave Fennoy, and Clementine played by Melissa Hutchison
Survival horror is a genre on life support. The birthing of the term came from Resident Evil, a small title that wildly grew into a popular franchise. It has successfully perched itself high on the list of profitable IPs for Capcom and spawned countless sequels in games and even movies. Somewhere along the line, however, the series has lost its way integrating fumbled mechanics such as a forced co-op system and quick time event after quick time event. What needs to be done in order to return Resident Evil back to its former glory? Can another certain franchise maybe shine some light?
We had the pleasure to speak with Tiffany Smith who is well known to many gamers as a co-host of G4TV's Attack of the Show. She has done hosting, reporting, and interviewing duties for a dizzying variety of notable companies such as Marvel, Sony, Spike TV, Activision, and E! News.
A self proclaimed "geek at heart", Tiffany is an avid gamer and comic book fangirl who enjoys singing and snowboarding during her spare time. She embraces everything in pop culture with a nerdy slant.
Host, reporter, and geek girl extraordinaire Tiffany Smith
(UMDR) The interviewer is now being interviewed herself! Is this a strange feeling being on the other side?
(Tiffany) Haha! It is pretty funny because I feel like I'm just a normal girl and I am used to trying to get the interesting story from the people I'm interviewing. I have to say though, it's pretty flattering.
(UMDR) Would you have considered yourself a "geek girl" while growing up?
(Tiffany) Honestly, no. I just liked the things I liked! Fortunately for me, my parents let me be as weird as I wanted. I was watching X-Men and Jem and the Holograms, making plant stews outside in the yard with dirt, interested in bugs and barbie clothes. Yeah, I was pretty cool haha!
(UMDR) Which video game, movie, and TV show would you say had the most impact on your love of entertainment?
(Tiffany) Video Game: I'd say Sonic the Hedgehog. It was the first game I ever played all the way through and I just loved every second of it. I think it also added to my competitive streak too.
Movie: The Wizard of Oz was one of the first films I saw that I wanted to watch over and over and learn all the lines and songs. There was just so much in it that sparked my imagination. Then, as an adult, NOTHING beats Lord of the Rings. I can't choose just one so all three of them!
TV Show: This one is a little harder for me. My friends called me "TV Tiff" growing up because I loved so many shows and would have shows taping on three different VCRs around the house. Yeah, I said VCRs haha!
I definitely watched a lot of Star Trek and even a little Dark Shadows. Now, shows like Rome, Friday Night Lights, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones blow my mind! I can't help it, I love TV! I guess I'm still "TV Tiff" at heart!
(clockwise from top left) Sonic the Hedgehog, Lord of the Rings, The Walking Dead, and Star Trek
(UMDR) I understand you're also a comic book fan. Which super power would you want to have if you could only choose one?
(Tiffany) This is an easy one. I would want the power to control water. If you think about it, there are SO many options and things you could do with that power.
(UMDR) Is there a particular gadget or device you could never leave home without?
(Tiffany) I text A LOT so I would say my iPhone. I'm kind of addicted to Scramble & Temple Run. Oh yeah, if you know me then you know I kinda like to tweet & instagram.
(UMDR) Who has been your favorite person to interview with?
(Tiffany) It's a tossup between Andy Serkis, Christian Bale, and Tim Burton. I mean, come on! I got to talk with Gollum and we made monkey faces together. I was smitten. With Christian Bale, well, he is Bruce Wayne. I may have also on occasion belted out a few tunes from Newsies. I have been fortunate enough to interview Tim Burton on a few different occasions. He just has such a distinct style. Edward Scissorhands is still one of my favorite movies.
(UMDR) Considering the fact you're a host on the Oxygen Channel program The Glee Project, are you yourself prone to belting out songs in public?
(Tiffany) I have been known to sing songs about the menial tasks I do daily whether or not anyone is around to hear them. I may or may not have auditioned for a singing competition show... I was actually was part of a pop girl group called Impulse for a short time and thought that was going to be my path. Clearly though, I like talking a little bit more haha.
Tiffany interviewing a contestant on 'The Glee Project'
(UMDR) You have such a variety of interests (singing, acting, gaming, etc). Which one would you say speaks most about who you are and your personality?
(Tiffany) I honestly can't choose just one. I think everyone has different layers and interests. Life would be pretty boring if we all only had just one.
(UMDR) What kind of advice would you give to people who hope to get into the entertainment industry themselves?
(Tiffany) I'd give the same advice my Dad gave to me. If your vocation can be your advocation, that is the best thing that can happen to you. A career in entertainment is definitely not the easiest and it takes a lot more work than even I realized going into it. All I can say is that I have been blessed and love that every day is so different. One day, I'm interviewing the cast of The Dark Knight Rises. The next, I'm sitting on stage at the Grove with the incredible dancers of Oxygen's All the Right Moves then chatting with NBA players about the latest NBA 2k game. I absolutely love what I do and hope that comes across in my work. It's a pretty fantastic life but somebody's gotta do it and I am happy to step up to the challenge!
Thank you Tiffany for taking the time to speak with us! You can follow Tiffany Smith and her daily shenanigans on a number of channels including her WordPress blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Check out the video below for a reel showcasing her work.
Chances are you've never played anything quite like Tokyo Jungle. This PlayStation 3 exclusive, classified under the "urban-based animal survival" genre, is a game that stars animals in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo city. There are no humans so it is up to you and the animal of your choosing to survive. Can such a simple and odd concept make for an enjoyable experience?
The first thing you have to keep in mind when playing Tokyo Jungle is that there are plenty of liberties taken from what would happen in real life. Chances are a house cat wouldn't have a chance in hell against something like an alligator or lion. That's exactly what can happen though if you play your cards right which, for me, immediately gives this title its charm. If you can't bring yourself to smile the moment you start mashing the R1 button to take down a cow as a Pomeranian dog, then you probably sold your soul for some Alf pogs.
Survival is the main mode to play which first asks you to pick an animal. You will start off with choices like the small but vicious Pomeranian or the swift but stealthy Sika Deer. More animals can be unlocked by completing specific challenges. Once you have made your choice, you start looking for food. Carnivores hunt other animals while the herbivores just eat plants and various vegetation. It's a dog eat dog world, literally!
"Say I'm cute again! I DARE you! I DOUBLE DARE you!"
Combat is relatively simple but varies slightly depending on your character. There's the basic attack for a quick strikes and a lunging bite to go in for the kill when the red jaws icon appears. If you're hunting other animals, the smaller ones can be snuck up on or chased for the kill. Bigger animals or packs require some strategy and stealth. The bigger animals in particular may take a couple of critical strikes to take down but the payoff is worth it.
Sneak up on your prey and strike for a "clean kill".
Once it's safe after making the kill, you can feast on the corpse to fill up your hunger meter. This meter decreases over time the longer you go without food. There's also health which is self explanatory and stamina which will go down and eventually make you exhausted if you're not careful during combat situations.
Herbivores trade off combat ability for easier food. They can still attack but it's best used for defensive purposes. These animal types have to be sneakier so as to not accidentally run into a pack of hyenas. If you do, it's best to run and hide in a patch of grass until they lose your scent.
"Why did I accept that dinner invitation?"
Once you're well fed, it is now time for your animal to mark territories. Different areas on the map have a set of markers to reach before you can find a mate. These mates range in classes from "prime" (top of the line female) to "desperate" (barhound floozy). Oh yes, Tokyo Jungle has some "hot coffee" action, mounting and all, going on!
"C'mon baby, it's the apocalypse!"
Mating will result in the next generation of animals which will form a pack. You now play as one of the offspring and repeat the same process as before. Having a pack with you helps to cause distractions to escape dangerous situations or to simply be extra lives if the animal you're controlling falls.
You will also come across gift boxes as you explore which can contain handy items like flea shampoo or leftover pet food. There are also newspaper articles to be found which unlocks chapters for Story Mode which I will get to in a moment. Probably the oddest items that can be picked up though are clothing. Yes, you can dress up your animal which will actually boost stats and better your odds for survival. Fashion to the rescue!
Chicks, man. Am I right?
The Story Mode in Tokyo Jungle plays out some humorous scenarios that centers around specific animals. The first mission, for example, has a Pomeranian alone in his owner's apartment starving and taking a chance outside. From here, the dog learns to turn from a domesticated pet to a bloodthirsty beast! The situations are silly and good for a chuckle but you won't find any award-winning writing here. It's a relatively weak mode that you'll mainly go through for the trophies and unlocking certain animals.
Speaking of animals, Tokyo Jungle has up to 80 types to choose from along with more to download from the PlayStation Store. The DLC animals costs $.99 each and includes some interesting ones such as a crocodile, kangaroo, and giraffe.
Yes, you CAN play as a dinosaur!
The music is pretty catchy with a cool beat that just stacks on top of the already weird experience Tokyo Jungle provides. Sounds do their job and fits each animal well. The only weird design choice in that regard is after mating, no matter the animal, a wolf howl will play. Umm... I guess she was good in the sack?
Tokyo Jungle is one of those "must play" games if you're dying for something fresh and unique. I've played a few hours of it so far and still haven't gotten over the hilarious concept that allows dogs to hunt elephants. It can be repetitive but challenging especially if you survive over five generations.
There are some crossovers that make sense like Marvel Comics versus DC Comics or Nintendo versus Sega. The popular mobile game Angry Birds has conceptually worked well in the past with the bird-centric animated film Rio. Now it's on a collision course with a little movie franchise known as Star Wars.
Rovio announced the Angry Birds Star Wars earlier today which will make for the fifth entry in the bird-flinging franchise. Characters will be dressed as iconic figures like Princess Leia and Darth Vader set against stages built after the sci-fi space opera. Who wants to bet you blow up a structure built like the Death Star, with well-placed explosive crates in the middle of course, during the final level?
Chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka had this to say in regards to the crossover.
"This is the best Angry Birds game we've ever done. It's the best parts of Angry Birds with all new cutting-edge gameplay set in a galaxy far, far away. As a big Star Wars fan myself, I'm really excited about this new universe. The Force is definitely strong with this one."