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6:05 PM on 05.15.2008

The Hidden: Tonights HL2 mod for HL Mod Thursday

So a quick post, and I apologize for the lateness, the game tonight will be The Hidden. So quickly run and grab it from here if you want to play. It starts at 8 PM EST, and goes until people want to stop. So drop in anytime.

Back yet? Well now that you are downloading it you can read about what it is. I'd recommend tooling around the site for an in depth guide, but the quick and dirty version is that it is a 9 person mod where one person is a super killer that can eat peoples dead flesh and pin their bodies to walls, as well as run up said walls. The other 8 are disparately trying to survive and kill this person. Did I mention he's also 95% invisible?

If you want to play you can meet up in our IRC or in the dtoid community group chat. We are crashing pubs tonight, so everyone organize themselves into 9 person groups and find an empty one with good ping. Expect a review from me tomorrow if I can make it (I've got family coming in). If not I will review zombie mods we played a while back.

Also if you think this is dumb check out what you missed last week!

[embed]86199:11352[/embed]   read

10:09 AM on 05.09.2008

Obscure HL Mod Thursday Review: PVKII (It was arrrr-some)

This weeks adventure is rated Arrrrr for pirates.

Every Thursday we get together and play a Half Life 2 mod that gets picked earlier in the week. This week we played PVKII which was retarded fun. Like the name you get to pick a faction; Pirates, Vikings or Knights. Once you pick your faction you get to choose one of two classes. A heavy warrior who does insane close range damage but is slow and cumbersome, or a quick long range character good for support or running the booty around.

This game had me giggling like a schoolgirl from the moment I started. The combat and gameplay is surprisingly tight. As a heavy class you mostly live and die by the sword (or axe). You attack with the left mouse and can hold it down to charge a stronger attack. Right mouse is for blocking. Once you get into it the combat can be pretty intense, you can block in 4 directions and the way you block determines what, if any, damage gets through.

As a long range fighter you mostly want to hang back and wittle the health away of your opponents with your musket or arrows. Reloading can be a pain, but this is one of the long range classí greatest strength. While some heavy classes get a long range weapon itís one shot and then you have to stop to reload. This could mean death if not done in a safe spot. All light classes can reload while running. As an archer in the knight faction I got really good at filling my comradeís opponents full of arrows from a distance and then switching to the crossbow to shoot someone in the face when they charged at me.

I need to axe you a question

The special attacks are what really make this game great, and hysterical. As you attack you fill up a special bar. When it is full you get a special attack that you can perform on your opponent. I didnít get to try out all the specials, but the ones I saw were awesome. The captainís special turns his musket into a cannon. The first time I used it we were all on a tower and I killed everyone including myself. The heavy knightís special is a spinning broadsword attack that is almost certain to kill everyone around you. The archerís has you notching 3 arrows for an instant kill that is great for surprising rushing attackers. The skirmisher (pirate light class) gets a very stupid flying sword attack, but he makes up with it with his 3rd weaponÖthe powder keg. The powder keg is useless in most situations, but when it works it is fantastic. Itís basically a huge bomb you can throw at people. It works amazing for point defense maps and for surprising a cluster of combating people.

The game is well made, with lots of little funny things that make it perfect. Like the parrot the pirate captain can send to claw peopleís eyes out. The criticism I would have for it is that, while the gameplay and combat are amazing (combat is on par or better than Oblivion IMO) the maps can leave something to be desired. We only played the stock maps and some were fun, but others were overly complicated or simplistic. We played a temple map that was filled with traps. While this sounds awesome in practice getting killed randomly got old quick. Also maps where you had to steal each otherís booty were fun, but the booty points were always right next to the spawn, and with instant spawn it made it difficult to steal the booty unless the faction was not there defending.

About to get knighted

Another problem is that with three teams, balance becomes more of an issue. Ideally you need all teams to be equal as any extra players could give a faction a great advantage. And while I had fun playing with three, six and nine+ people throughout the night, some felt it needed a lot of people before the gameplay really got fun.

It was a great time, but like most mods it could use some work. If I had to give it a score itíd be a 7/10, it was a blast, but enjoying it so much made me see the things I wish were improved. I hope that everyone will join us for next week. Voting has already started in our forums. The mod community is part of what makes valve so great and its wonderful to try these games out with the Dtoid community. Many of the successful mods get picked up by valve or inspire future games, so its nice to get a look at them before they get famous.

Also VandamGuy was recording last night so hopefully we will get some great videos out of it. There were several memorable moments throughout the night. Like the first time someone did a suicide run with the powder keg on top of the tower. Or the first time I used the pirate captains special and everyone got sploded. Then there was the time we had the deathmatch in the Colosseum and the dirty pirates started using the throw a powder keg into the fray technique. They were racking up 3-5 kills at a time! If you were there you'd know this is not something that is easily done.   read

12:53 PM on 05.08.2008

Mirror's Edge is being written by Rhianna Pratchett

As per Ars Technica

This is going to be a quick post, no picture just want to get everyone's take on this very important detail.

I was very, very much hoping that the story for this game would borrow heavily from William Gibson books. I think that the cyber-punk world's he created would be perfect for this. Plus you got a female character and a "runner" style. I couldn't help thinking razor girl when I saw the title, the main character design, and the plot synopsis.

Rhianna is decended from god like writer talent, so that's a major plus. But based on her past two endeavors I feel like she is very much like her father in his early works. Average with some real talent peeping through, but overall nothing special. Just promising. Plus she seems intent on adopting his style of comedy that is surprisingly deep. This is very difficult to do, and his perfection of which is part of what has made him such an icon.

I am deeply disturbed by this. On the one hand I know it is being written by someone who should be equipped genetically and will definitely be taking this story very seriously, on the other I think she is inexperienced and hasn't found her style yet. She hasn't managed to get out of her dad's shadow so to speak.

For those that don't know she is Terry Pratchett's daughter and wrote Overlord and Heavenly Sword   read

9:18 AM on 05.06.2008

The Destructoid Steam Community Game Calendar

In case you missed it we have a destructoid steam community, and it is awesome. We have a full slate of events scheduled throughout the week. Feel free to join in the fun of any event, or do them all. You are given Sunday to rest. All non-TF2 days are organized through the steam group forums mainly, but you can add an organizer to your friends and join that way. Acceptance as a friend is not guaranteed. If all else failed try the Dtoid group's chat room.

These are the community events we currently have:


Event: For Pay Mod Day Monday - Featuring TFC, HL1 mods, The ship and others you might have to buy something for (also TQ overflow night see wed. for organizers)
Location: Organize through steam chat, Forums - Big Boys section
Organizers: Surf314, CaffeinePowered


Event: TFTuesday
Location: Destructoid server: Overflow: (courtesy of CopulatingDuck)
Additional Location: Alt. Destructoid server:


Event: We'll play Wednesday - featuring Titan Quest
Location: Organize through steam chat and the forums - Big Boys section
Organizers: Tragic Hero, VandamGuy, Kor


Event: Obscure Half Life Mod Thursday
Location: Organize and vote through the forums - Big Boys section (server details will be provided in the post on Thursday once the game has been decided)
Organizers: Surf314, CopulatingDuck


Event: Friday Night Fights (TF2)
Location: Destructoid server: Overflow: (courtesy of CopulatingDuck)
Additional Location: Alt. Destructoid server:


Event: RTS/TBSaturday - featuring Civilisation 4
Location: Organize through forums, steam chat
Organizers: Ainmosni (civilization 4)

Monday is completely new, it's mostly used for TQ at the moment. Also if you are interested in helping to organize any co-op games on Wednesdays please visit the forums and say so. As of this moment we are just having people organize specific games, if we have enough people/games we will start a sign up sheet thread in the forums.

Here is the link to the Destructoid Steam group   read

10:39 AM on 05.02.2008

Obscure Half-Life Mod Thursday: Voting starts now!

I've been organizing the Destructoid Steam Groups Obscure Half Life Mod Thursday, and it has been a lot of fun. But I doubt many of you know about it. So here's the deal every Thursday we pick a Half Life mod and play it. We now have dedicated server capabilities thanks to CopulatingDuck so it's a great way to socialize with members and play mods you might have missed.

One of my favorite mods that gets played is Zombie Panic, which has one player be the zombie and the rest survivors. When you die as a survivor you become a zombie. You can also get infected and become a zombie while in the middle of a bunch of fellow survivors.

Another fun night (which I couldn't attend) had Yashoki teaching people how to play Natural Selection.

Current choices for this Thursday are as follows:

Zombie Panic
Zombie Master
Fist of Frags (a western themed mod)
PVKII (I've been told it is really awesome, but haven't tried it yet)

If you want to vote, or help nominate a mod to take the place of the least voted for mod please visit the topic in our forums. (Go to Big Boys, then select the Obscure HL Mod Thursday topic for the upcoming Thursday)

If you don't want to participate in the voting but want to come play with us this Thursday just stay tuned on Thursday where I will post the winner, where to get the mod and server info or where to meet up if we need to crash an empty public server.

Hope to see everyone there!   read

8:41 AM on 04.25.2008

I want you to join the TF2/Steam community, I want you to leave the drama out (a post in two parts)

I couldn't find any pics of uncle sam that weren't long as hell so I'm marking this post as not ADD friendly

We have a great TF2/Steam community and I want all of you to be a part of it. If you haven't already, mosy on over to here and join up. We have a great line up of PC enjoyment. Starting with Titan Quest Monday's, then there is TFTuesday of course, then we have co-op Wednesday, Obscure Half-Life Mod Thursday , Friday Night Fights, and Civ4 Saturday. On the seventh day we rest and see that it is good.

If you want to be active in TF2 just join the steam community and frequent the server. For the other days a lot more organization is involved so we have a forum set up. Also all destructoid community members get reserve slots on the TF2 server! That means if it is full and there is someone not on the reserve list currently in the server they will get kicked for you. Just post your steamID here. It is important that we do it this way as pubs are necessary for any PC server's health and to them it's not insulting to get kicked by the console "for using a reserved slot" but it is if they get kicked by an admin for a Dtoider.

I have had the great pleasure of taking up the organization for Obscure Half-Life Mod Thursday, which is fantastic for me because I never really played any of these mods when they were popular. I have to tell you getting chased around by zombies through a subway was one of the most memorable gaming experiences I have ever had. If you want to participate go to the forums and look for the thread for the upcoming Thursday. There you can vote for what we will play, and I post all the links to the mods as well. If you want to suggest something for the following week feel free to do that also.

This brings me to the second part of my post. We really only have one rule in our community/server. This rule is basically the same as the Destructoid motto. We call it don't be an asshat, here it's referred to as STFUAJPG. We run it as being friendly. I really like this and it is the main reason I've become so involved. I like to think of it as an oasis. At the oasis Lions, elephants, giraffes and whatever tend to hang out and have a tentative peace. Yes our rule attracts a lot of people that usually receive a lot of hate (like furries). But as an oasis you are expected not to harass them. There is no compromise to this. In exchange I expect them not to harass you or try and bait you. I do not think this is unreasonable, and for the most part the furries keep the furry aspect of themselves to, well themselves.

The only reason that you will be kicked/banned from the server is that through your behavior you were ruining the game for at least 1 other person. If you feel you were kicked/banned for another reason please contact CaffeinePowered or Kor.

We have had some community members who have had problems in the past but have come to understand why we run the server in this way and have become a part of the community. One in particularly I have gained some respect for and as of this moment is a cool guy in my book. Saying this won't win me points, but I think it is important to extend the olive branch. You know who you are, I'm glad you decided to become a part of the community. I hope that others will come to the same understanding. There is nothing wrong with putting down your hate of someone or a group of people to have fun with them playing a game. You can resume it afterwards if you choose.   read

10:23 PM on 04.06.2008

GlaDOS is free: great writeup and picture that just blew my mind.

I promise not to make this a habit but I got another link for y'all. I don't even want to paraphrase or add anything because I think this guy nailed it so well and I don't want to take anything away from him.

Here's the link

Enjoy   read

11:16 AM on 04.05.2008

Burn the rope, great flash game or greatest flash game

It's a little difficult but it's worth beating. Make sure you stick around for the ending song, it makes the boss battle at the end worth it.


So now that your back what did you think? Too challenging? Did you get to burn the rope? What are you doing the rest of the day? Maybe watching a video...or are you gonna play it again?   read

6:22 PM on 04.04.2008

Surflocke Investigates: The death of traditional JRPGs. Lost Odyssey did it.

No Surflocke Holmes comic book excerpts unfortunately as Iím currently writing the actual comic book. Please except this lolcat instead.

Well itís finally happened, someone killed traditional JRPGs. The culprit is none other than Lost Odyssey. Iím only half way through it but I think I can go ahead and make the call. Traditional JRPGs are completely and totally dead, and like all good corpses they should be buried peacefully and not have their rotting corpse drug out and put on display.

Itís not that Lost Odyssey is bad, in fact itís actually quite good. That is how it killed the JRPG. Lost Odyssey covers everything that a JRPG has been and could be and does it in a well put together way. Every aspect of the traditional JRPG is done and done well in it.

Lost Odyssey is all there is for the traditional JRPG. Any game made after Lost Odyssey will just be a rehashing of all that comes before it. Lost Odyssey is the pinnacle of what can be achieved in this gaming format, in fact it could be argued itís a little past the peak.

I know someone is going to try to release another JRPG, but this right now is evolve or die time. Turn based combat comes from a time when technology was not good enough to have the complexity of combat that the genre creators wanted. Now that hurdle has been passed, it has already been done in countless other games.

From now on the Japanese need to make RPGs that embrace the future. We need to have action/adventure style games with all the elements that make JRPGs great. We need intuitive leveling systems like in Oblivion. We need fun combat. We need skill trees and equipment variations that are interesting but not overly complex. The other developers can build a fun gameplay system, but they just canít fill it up with the content that you do. Like Mass Effect, Iím having fun running and gunning people but do I have to visit the same stupid planet and do the same stupid mission with different textures and call it side-quests?

To all you Square Enixes of the world, Lost Odyssey was it. It was the last traditional JRPG game you will make that I will enjoy. You need to let it go. Change is good, embrace the change. I love you too much to let you destroy yourself by humping a dead corpse.

I will be trying Persona 3 when the special addition comes out because I heard that was a good evolution of the genre. Hopefully they will be someone that finally gets it.


11:27 AM on 04.04.2008

I'm Wocky Kitaki and I'll eat your Pocky, Bizzzoooyyy

I started playing Apollo Justice on a bus to miami and only really got through the first case. I've been playing the second case and man did it take a turn for the wierd.

The first case was standard Phoenix Wright stuff but with a couple of twists, like the fact that you are not Phoenix. After it's over you are basically thrown into the street without a map and wander aimless trying to accomplish seemingly menial tasks. Then finally it picks back up into the stuff you're used to. There are lots of weird Japanese-isms that get thrown at you including searching for missing panties.

I don't know how I feel about the wierd-ass rock-n-roll prosecutor yet and I hated the wanna be gangster but he has really started to grow on me. At first I thought he was another Japanese-ism but then I realized it was a pretty accurate portrayal of one of those people that try and act like a gangster and fail in every way imaginable. I LOI'ed.

I know I'm late to the party on this game but I'm definately diggin it so far. Also I know that most people don't care about this but I came up with that title and couldn't resist. If you haven't played it yet you should pick it up and if you're playing it like me tell me your thoughts. No spoilers please.

Also Lolspies


12:24 PM on 04.03.2008

Some Gamers are just F'wads: A great article on online gaming problems and possible solutions

First off link

This is a great article from Gamasutra, and while I haven't read all of it what I have read is pretty important to read for gamers. A lot of the beginning stuff is pretty much captain obvious material for most of the people here, but then the article goes into some good possible solutions. Again I'm just skimming because I'm at work.

The (mostly) lack of this behavior is definately a major part of why I became active in the Dtoid community, and why I love the no longer Dtoid TF2 server. Personally I think a strong hand and some firm rules are definite musts when you run a PC server. There is a line between friendly griefing and trash talk, and being a total douche-nozzle; most know where it's at. Unfortunately there are quite a few that like to jump across the line and yell neener-neener because that's what they think is fun.

Although to be honest I think that most trolls troll because they've been trolled and they are conditioned to think that it is acceptable online behavior. Plus it is a good defense mechanism because while you can troll a troll, why bother? Any insults a troll receives, deserved or otherwise, gets filed away psychologically as a job well done and not people saying "you are a total schmuck I wish you would die in a fire" - which would kind of hurt.   read

11:30 AM on 04.02.2008

Calling all music/TF2 geeks, soundtrack mind teaser

If you could care less about TF2 or music you might want to skip this. Since this is long I will italicize the only things you need to read for the short version.

I'm a huge TF2 geek, as I was a huge TFC geek. I'm also a big music geek. So I started this fun thread on the server message board challenging everyone to come up with songs for each class. A sort of "theme song" for each class and also a good song. I got a lot of brilliant submissions so far and wanted to make sure everyone got the opportunity to participate, Caff mentioned it in his post but it got swept away in the drama (the server is still there, it's still for destructoid people, it's just not called a destructoid server anymore because of the potential problems).

So here are the rules, you get one submission for each class. The submissions have to be thematically correct to the class. In other words if you were to listen to the song in context of the class things would fit in a funny sort of way that they do when you take other things out of context. You can also submit 1 or 2 songs to be the server song. All submissions must be made by Friday and can be made below, in a PM to me or at the board.

On Friday I will be making hurt heal threads for each class and the server where you can vote for your favorites. If enough people don't want to go to the server board but want to participate I will make it available to vote through PM or another Cblog post.

Also you get nothing for submitting except the smug satisfaction of knowing more music than someone else, which for a music geek is a pretty strong motivator. Sorry I'm too broke and busy to do anything more.

I'm not sure what these will be used for, although considering the epic Rock Paper Scissors games we played they'd be right at home there. I'm also thinking of asking Caff as a compromise to the mic spam to have an allowed music list of things that can be played assuming it does not screw up people's conversations (maybe at low volume). Also for those of you that play on consoles you an make the CD and rock out to it knowing that somewhere there are people on PC rocking out too and you can feel close to us.   read

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