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2:27 PM on 10.07.2011  

I am on the Front Page of Gametrailers!



That's me. The awkward looking one.

I also feature in the video proper, seen here!

Huzzah! Ant-sized internet celebrity!

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11:05 AM on 08.19.2010  

Atlus' "Catherine" Debut Trailer

Ok fellow Atlus nerds, especially of the Shin Megami Tensei variety, you probably have heard about their new HD game for the Xbox 360 and PS3, that takes place in the current Persona timeline. If not, here is the announcement.

Though it probably won't help anymore than watching this amazing debut trailer will. I think we can safely say that.... this will extremely interesting, and probably amazing.

{EDIT}
Josh Tolentino has some more news here.


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10:00 PM on 07.28.2010  

Eddie Riggs Joins Psychonauts' Raz for a Ten Year Double Fine Celebration!



So, I really like Double Fine. They are among my favorite developers out there, despite only having made two games, one an industry darling, and one a divisive love note. They are, however, headed by Tim Schafer, who just celebrated twenty years in the industry, and that put them several hundred points ahead anyway.

At anyrate, Double Fine just celebrated it's tenth anniversary, which is quite the accomplishment for a small independent group. And to celebrate, resident Art Director and overall awesome guy Scott C. drew up an amazing comic in celebration, bring together the three mascots of the developer.

Long live, Double Fine, may you keep bring completely awesome and original ideas to the industry. Time for some Psychonauts for me!

The comic can be found here.

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2:58 PM on 06.17.2010  

Because I'm a Little Obsessed: The Scott Pilgrim International Trailer



Blah blah blah words words words. Cannot wait. This is amazing. The end.

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1:51 AM on 06.12.2010  

Scott Pilgrim the Game Trailer



I can't..... what else.... I mean.... geeze... this is like... you know?

Really, can I say anything that this trailer doesn't already yell?

I really wanna know, those of you who aren't interested in the movie, does this do anything for you? Because, this really honestly looks like it might become my favorite game of all time.

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1:15 AM on 06.02.2010  

What ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Might Look Like in HD



I must stress that part. Might. There has been no announcement to the fact that Sony is making an HD re-packaging of ICO and SotC ala God of War 1 and 2. But there certainly has been some murmurings to that effect.

Anyway, some crafty, brilliant people out there have engineered a good look at what an HD version of these beautiful games might look like in splendid video format.

They can be found here.

What do you guys think? If it looks anything like it does in these mock-up videos, they can guarantee that they will get my money on that day.

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2:51 PM on 05.31.2010  

Second Scott Pilgrim Movie Trailer Released, I Watch it a Hundred Times

So, director and gentleman Edgar Wright posed the challenge that if the Scott Pilgrim movie facebook page gained 100k fans he would release a new trailer for the movie. He posed this challenge around Wednesday or so last week when the group had only 40k members. In the course of five days we reached our goal.

Our new trailer:


I fully recommend switching to HD for this'n.

So yeah, excited as hell. Over the top, cheesey, awesome, Scott's lines are delivered just as I heard them in my head while reading the books. Hell most of the lines are delivered like I heard them in my head. Delivery is key! Pretty much the entire first half of this trailer is directly taken from the books.

So damned excited.

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4:41 PM on 05.29.2010  

King Koopa Dies, Takes Acting God Dennis Hopper with Him, (Now with Gorillaz)

Oh fuck you world. Fuck you. Things were going so well and you had to go and take Dennis Hopper from the world. Not cool, man. Not cool.

To this day, I believe Mr. Hopper to've been one of the greatest actors I had ever seen in a film. From Easy Rider to Blue Velvet, to Speed, the man was a frightening powerhouse of intensity.

And, like many my age, my first time seeing him was in the Super Mario Bros. movie.



As a kid, I loved this movie. I knew it was weird, and I knew it had nothing at all to really do with the games I loved, but, none the less I adored the movie. Admit it, there was nothing as unique or off the wall as this movie. Alternate dimensions with fungus people and dinosaurs evolved villains? Goombas as giant turtle men? Rocket boots, toy bombs? Electric cars? It was all so uniquely and terribly brilliant. Also, Fisher Stevens was in it.

But, among them all, Dennis Hopper, in a role that could've easily been phoned in, was at the top of his game. He brought a bizzare villainy to the role, that I would later see to be more slightly ripped off from his role in Blue Velvet, but I was hooked none the less. Later, I would see Speed, another so bad it's good movie, and Dennis was no less the insane intense villain.

Life would go on, I would see him in everything, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, Hoosiers, and Crash. Everywhere he went I was enthralled. I even liked Land of the Dead because of him, even though his appearance there was mostly phoned in.



I dunno. I was kinda down when Gary Coleman died, and kinda down when Corey Haim died, pretty bummed when Michael Jackson died, but none of them effected me like this.

Anyways, just though I'd get that off my chest.

Gonna go play the underrated Deadly Creatures and watch some of his movies, and enjoy what he left behind.

EDIT: Now with Fire Coming out of a Monkey's Head. Forgive me for forgetting it the first time.


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4:28 AM on 05.28.2010  

My Personal List of Best Stories, pt. 1

So yeah, lists.

Something about lists, about organizing one's believes and thoughts into an organized and recognizable fashion, is extremely therapeutic. At least for me it is. Generally, I'm not a very organized person; desk looking like a trash can, clothes on the floor, bed unmade. But then I have all of my games and movies organized in DVD towers in alphabetical/system based order. Dunno what that means. Dunno why I'm putting this part here.

Anyway, I think these games are important for one reason or another.

Shadow of the Colossus, and Ico


I'm going to play my hand now and say I believe these games to be the pinnacle of story telling in a video game. A lot of criticism attacks video games for it's disconnect between the gameplay and the story. As much as I love it, Metal Gear Solid is a big offender, placing you in exciting scenarios in the game play portion, but then pushing all of it's exposition into extremely long cutscenes. One cutscene from MGS probably equals the grand total of cutscene time in both Shadow of the Colossus and Ico combined. Instead, these games, made of the amazing Fumito Ueda, choose to tell the story through the actions the player takes.

Starting with Ico, all we know of our protagonist is what we see in the brief intro. He is a horned, and rather weak looking, boy who has been caged up against his will. By chance he is able to escape, and by chance he frees an a girl who is as beautiful as she is ethereal. She can't well take care of herself, so it's up to the boy to protect her. All he has is a plank of wood.

From this intro, we learn everything we need to have an engaging experience with the game. We see this beautiful and tenuous bond form between the two, mostly through the gameplay itself. We see the boy's protectiveness of the girl as he viciously swings his makeshift weapon into the guards made of shadow. We see how he struggles to pull her out of the shadowy void threatening to swallow her whole. We see how he gingerly guides her through difficult terrain. We see their bond grow, because we actively aid in it. With nary a word between the two, we feel a more realistic bond between the than in any romantic movie ever made by Hollywood. And the things they go through together break our hearts.

As much as Ico's gameplay truly ties it's motivations and content to it's actual context, it's in SotC where the all three merge together into a menage of beauty and pain.
Once again, the story is presented in as bare a manner as possible. We know there is a boy, and an unconscious girl, a horse, and big scary multi-gendered voice. We know something is wrong with the girl, and that the boy broke some sacred and ancient rule to come here with her, and we know he must do something even worse to save her: he has to kill sixteen colossi. Now, typically, in media, giant creatures are bad. They are bigger than us, they can easily destroy our cities and homes and kill us. So, we think, ok, kill the big bad creatures, save the girl. Simple. It really isn't.

Another complaint I have seen registered towards games and their stories is the disconnect between the freedom the player has over the character, and the actual character itself. This has been brought up in many ways, such as the way Ethan in Heavy Rain acts, or running around killing everyone as Niko, or being a complete dick one moment and an absolute saint the next as Commander Shepard. In all of these accounts, the story being told by the creators is flying directly in the face of the player's choices.

There is no such disconnect in Shadow. In the game, you start killing the Colossus because you are told you have to. There is little else in the world save for them, a few hard to find lizards. The boy, Wander, you, have little else to do but complete your goal, however grave it is. I remember first playing it, and, as I finished my eight or ninth colossus, and the visual change started coming over Wander, I stopped killing the colossi for a while. I knew what my task was, and I knew what I had to do. But, I took a break, as Wander. For a while, I wondered the country side, collected fruit, killed some lizards, found how long I could before getting bored. All of this to get my mind off of the real reason I was there. To kill these creatures, which by this point I had decided were mostly innocent. I thought to myself, Wander would do the same. But I also had seen the cutscene showing the Elders chasing after his trail. And I thought, probably like him, I can only delay the inevitable for so long. I returned to my task.

As a man who loves seeing people's reactions to experiencing something first hand, I won't say anything about the ending. Just that it as well continued with the trend of story through gameplay, and it was good.


Mother series


First and foremost, my favorite game series of all time. Created in a time when RPG was synonymous with "swords and sorcery," the Mother series dared to be different by making it's setting modern, or at least near modern. Swords were replaced with baseball bats, maces with yo-yo's, and magic with psychic powers.

Now, this stylistic change of settings could've been nothing more than a coat of paint over a tried and true system, which it really was: at it's core the games were nothing more than Dragon Quest clones. It was the quirky writing of copywriter and Japanese personality Shigesato Itoi that truly breathed life into the world of the Mother series. Strange and often amusing, sometimes heartbreaking, portraits of life were planted into the world, and a simple but powerful story driving it forward.

Honestly, as much as I love Earthbound (Mother 2) for all it's quirky breezy-ness, it's really the weakest of the three, speaking story wise. Sure, it has some great emotional moments, such as Ness' Sound Stone flashbacks and his poignant journey to Magicant, but on the whole they are few and far between.

It is really in Mother 1, and especially Mother 3, where Itoi's ability to conjure up strange and discomforting emotions rears it's head. Really to discuss them would be a disservice to anyone who hasn't played the games, so I'll just mention that they deal with such themes as abandonment, dissolution, rage, depression, failure, death's in the family, fate, transsexualism, and parricide.

And that's not even talking about the music.



That's our very own Dale North singing! So yeah, I like the Mother series.

I also like, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Crispix, Kix, Rice Krispies and Cheerios.

This is a lot longer than I was expecting it to be. More next time!
Expect Killer7, Half-Life, Hotel Dusk, Silent Hill, anything Tim Schafer and more!

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1:05 PM on 05.03.2010  

Kill the Past, Pt 2: The Killer7

So.... yeah. I was doing this countdown thing at one time for this game that came out a long time ago.

Suffice to say, it kinda fell through.

However! Those dark days end now! I have finally cleared up my schedule enough to continue my epic and winding journey into the mind of Suda 51's creations! Today, I continue my exposÚ into the "Kill the Past" story line into the most well know, and probably the most divisive, game Suda ever made: Killer7.


Meet the biggest group of badasses in videogame history.

I figured the best place to start is to introduce everyone to the principal characters of the game, chiefly among them the titular Smith Syndicate, or, as they are also know, The Killer 7. To start, for those who don't know, the group isn't your typical band of assassins, mainly for the fact that they don't all individually exist; they are all split personalities of the leader of the group, Harman Smith. Now, that has been done and may seem simple enough, but, it's more complicated than that. You see, whenever Harman shifts into one of his seven personalities, he doesn't just think he is that person, but literally becomes that person, complete with their physical appearance and personalities. The reasons behind this strange ability are vague at first, but become core to the game's story near the end, and I will explore them later on, but for now all you need to know is: group of crazy assassin's get hired to kill people. And without further delay, I give you those crazy assassins.


Name: Harman Smith
Age: 60
Weapon: Anti-tank Rifle by the name of Glider
Title: --The Leader of the Killer7--

Here he is, the head honcho of the entire Smith Syndicate. Don't let his Amish preacher get-up confuse you - nor the fact that he is confined to a wheelchair - this man is the most dangerous person alive. He is also the most confounding characters to view during the course of the game, sometimes engaging actively in combat (most of the time his arch-nemesis Kun-Lan) equipped with nothing but his wheelchair and a high powered anti-tank rifle, only to be seen another time as a helpless vegetable being abused by his live in nurse Samantha. But as the game progresses, you begin to realize what is actually going on under this apparent obfuscation and find out exactly what Harman is.


Name: Garcian Smith
Age: 33
Weapon: Silenced Pistol by the name of Electrolite
Title: --The Man Who Manages the Killer7--

An imposing black man (standing at a height of 6'3"), Garcian is the closest thing the Smith Syndicate has to a 'manager,' acting as the group's contractor and as a liaison between the personalities. He is the main personality that all of the others manifest through, typically whenever there is a screen or camera nearby. Garcian rarely gets his hands dirty in the actual missions, choosing to only go out into the field when one of the personalities is killed; this is when he takes up the mantle of "Cleaner." He does this by collecting the butchered remains of any fallen personalities, wherein he gathers them into a small paper bag and neatly stores them in his mysterious briefcase and delivers them to the Blood Doctor to be rejuvinated. Everything here screams middle management, but, under Garcian's calm and collected facade lies a dark past and secret motives.


Name: Dan Smith
Age: 33
Weapon: Colt Python Revolver by the name of Handsome Devil
Title: --The Tyrant of the Killer7--

Frequently referred to as 'The Hellion', Dan Smith is not a man to mess around with. Easily one of Harman's most dominant personalities, which is possibly due to Dan's intense hatred for Harman. His hatred is so great that he almost succeeded in killing Harman, quite a feat when he cannot exist at the same time as him. Dan uses a revolver that his filled with something called Demon Shells and Demon Shots which allow him to charge up his gun for an attack that deals out massive damage. His personality is rather irreverent and tends to have a rather aggressive streak. In his previous life he was a member of the Seattle Defense Force under a man named Curtis Blackburn.


Name: Coyote Smith
Age: 28
Weapon: An Enfield revolver by the name of Freak Scene
Title: --Killer7's Illusionist--

Quite possibly the exact antithesis to Dan, Coyote is one of Harman's most calm and collected personalities, choosing stealth and round about tactics to take out his enemies, which lies in stark contrast to Dan's direct head on attacks. In his previous life, Coyote was Puerto Rican thief working for the mob, a lifestyle that one can still see when he holds his gun upside down in a "gangster" style.
A master at picking locks and has the ability to reach openings that are far too high for any other character. He seems to've formed a bond with Con Smith, who also dislikes Dan.


Name: Con Smith
Age: 14
Weapon: Two automatic pistols by the name of Disarm
Title: --Swift Runner of the Killer7--

Both the youngest and shortest member of the Killer7, Con Smith stands out. But those aren't his only disabilities, for you see, Con is also blind. However, he makes up for this with his ability to visualize sound with the help of the elaborate equipment on his head. He is also the most swift of all of the Killer7, using his small stature to summon up great speeds which he uses to speed past his enemies. His athleticism crops up in all of his actions, such as when he uses his feet and heels to help him reload his guns. His exuberant actions may also come from his love of the game's Super Sentai team, The Handsome Men, as Con strikes poses like them with most of his attacks. In his previous life, Con was a street punk turned assassin for the Chinese mafia.


Name: KAEDE Smith
Age: 20
Weapon: A Colt M1911 semi-auto handgun with scope by the name of Connection
Title: --The Coquettish Flower of the Killer7--

KAEDE is a 20-year-old American assassin, of Japanese-American descent, and the only female member of the Killer7. She is typically seen in a bloody dress and wears no shoes, earning the nickname "Barefoot" from her comrades. KAEDE is frequently suicidal during the course of the game, mostly due to a guilty action in her previous life, and can slash her wrists when she is near barriers called "Blood Walls", which summons Mizaru, a strange remnant psyche that destroys the barrier. She is also the only Killer7 with the ability to zoom in with her weapon, acting as the sniper for the group.


Name: Kevin Smith
Age: 30
Weapon: A set of throwing knives by the name of Debaser
Title: --Killer7's God of Death--

No, not that Kevin Smith. This Kevin Smith is a 30-year-old British assassin, an albino, and the most silent member of the Killer7. Kevin's primary weapon are throwing knives, which while weak, are fast and never need to be reloaded. He is easily one of the most mysterious personalities, as not much about his is known. In his past life it is said he was forced "to kill the man he loved" in Miami. It seems it was after that incident that Kevin took a vow of silence, which he uses to his advantage in situations when he must sneak around the enemy. It's not like he needs it though, because for some reason, when Kevin takes off his sunglasses, after a bright flash, he vanishes for a brief while. It is said that he now possesses the abilities of God, and no longer talks because he would summon them, and no one could look into his eyes, as they would be looking into the eyes of God himself.


Name: MASK de Smith
Age: 38
Weapon: Two grenade launchers by the name of Dream All Day
Title: --Killer7's Man of Justice--

MASK de Smith is a 38-year-old American assassin, and the most destructive, as well as the most kind-hearted member of the Killer7. His tall imposing demeanor is aided by his bizarre costumes (ranging from business suits to wrestling outfits), his luchadore masks, his grenade launchers and cape. These all belie his actual nature, though, as Mask is a lover of children and animals and is very contemplative about the actions the Smith Syndicate is taking. As a former wrestler, Mask has earned some amazing abilities, such as headbutting bullets. This of course allows him to take much more damage than any of the other personalities.

And that's the main crew! There are many, many other characters though, and I will get in to them later, as well as revealing more secrets about the main Killer7 group as we go. Stay tuned for my in depth analysis of the name coming soon! Also keep your eye out for my next countdown for Red Dead Redemption coming soon!

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3:56 AM on 04.19.2010  

New Mass Effect 2 DLC ft. Liara and the Shadow Broker?



If those wacky PC source scroungers are to be believed, it's quite possible that the next big addition to the Mass Effect 2 storyline might be a mission wherein Liara joins Shepard in a mission to complete her goal in taking down the Shadowbroker.


Source code gibberish!

These files have a few sections of dialogue between Shepard and Liara speaking about going after the Shadowbroker, and after going after him. So, if this dialogue is to believed, and isn't just remnants of a mission that was removed last minute, the next DLC may be a significant addition to the Mass Effect mythos, AND giving fanboys what they wanted from the start: the ability to have Liara in your party, even if it is just for a mission.

For those of you who need context to... contextualize things, here is a handy video some pleasant chap put together that inserts that found dialogue into scenes of the game. Careful, definitely potential spoilers!



Some of theorized that BioWare might be saving this full on expansion, ala Dragon Age: Awakening. Though I have a feeling this is just well wishing on their parts. All I hope for is a mission that actually adds to the ME story and lasts longer than an episode of Lost (sorry Stolen Memory, I still love you), and I would be pleased.

What's your guys' take on this?

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2:09 PM on 03.27.2010  

Scott Pilgrim Trailer Addendum, Frame by Frame



So, when I posted the trailer for the Scott Pilgrim movie, there were some people who voiced their concerns over the incomprehensibility of the trailer, that all of the crazy zaniness that went on in the trailer did nothing to inspire excitement for the film.

Well, the good folks over at Gamer Vision have created this frame by frame analysis of the trailer and do a great job of explaining the more obtuse moments of the trailer.



And for those who haven't seen the original, here is the trailer.


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