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Just some Schmoe that has been playing games since his 5 yr old brain experienced Night Driver some years ago on the Atari 2600. It has been a (mostly) healthy relationship ever since. Working in the design/animation realm for the last 10+ years, and trying to figure out a way to get another job that pays more, requires me to do less, and generally not be bothered by anyone for the last umpteen years. Well bothered by nobody except my beautiful (gamer yay!) wife. I started blogging here to make some classy vidya game related toons for the masses.
Forever working for the man though, so check that stuff out here http://thatdangGuy.com/
Also, please let me know what stuff strikes you and what doesn't, topics to cover, or whatever else floats your boat.
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So Microsoft went and turned around their decision to have your Xbox One check in every 24hrs and also lifted the restrictions on used game selling and so forth.  Does this really change anything?  If you read the comments on related stories they seem to be made up of people who still can't be bothered with the Xbox One because they are sure that MS is about to do something else evil.  Or "Finally I can by my Xbox One and feel great about supporting consumer rights!".  Or "Great, now I don't have the cool X,Y,Z, feature this would have given me, I've totally been Xboned!".

BTW whoever started the Xbone thing deserves a cookie, turning an odd name into a great descriptor for the policies and PR of an entire company in 5 letters is just amazing.





Anyway, my whole point with this is did people gain something with MS changing their policy?  Sure, why not, but that doesn't change the fact that most games will need to be online anyway. You know for online multiplayer and Netflix, and Hulu and all Tv, tv, tv... Game companies are also pushing content to be always online, use the cloud, collective computing, etc, so no matter how you slice it, this thing is going to be online 80% of the time. Only now MS can throw their hands up and say "Hey it isn't us, blame EA, blame Ubisoft, blame it on the rain..."

Also, we are all going to have to hear incessant whining in comments and forum etc for the next generation about how awesome the family plan, or game sharing or other features this online policy would have "enabled".  Not to mention you can be sure that MS is going to use this as an excuse for everything that goes wrong or features it has to cut back or misses deadlines for.  What? Oh you wanted to carry over achievements?  Well those got mixed up because we had to change our structure to give you what you wanted.  Oh our space bucks didn't convert properly?  Sorry must have been the massive retooling we had to do in order to meet your impossible demands.

And the users will be the worst part.  "Thanks to everyone for messing up my Xbox experience, feature X would have been the best thing ever created, but since MS can't Xbone me once a day I can't have it.  Thanks a lot".  



Do we have any idea if these features would have worked as advertised?  No, not at all.  But the mystery of them maybe existing will make people talk at length about how amazing these would have been, even though nobody and I'll bold that NOBODY has any actual user experience with said features.  I have games I purchased on the original 360 that went all RROD that I can't re-download onto my replacement because of I don't know what.  I download them start them up and they are the trial version, I try to re-buy them and it tells me "You already own this title, you cannot buy it again".  Well if I own it, let me stop playing the trial.  Sure sign in with the same account.  It is the same account, oh yes we see you already bought that, what's the problem?  For a 5 dollar game I don't care, but for my whole game library?  I'd go insane.  And this is already with console that is plugged in all the time with xbox live gold.

Now this whole thing sounds like I'm just putting down the console and MS in general.  That isn't my goal, because honestly like many other people have omitted, i'd probably end up with one One (two?) in my hope eventually.  I just want folks to stop acting like they have to go out and defend any of these companies as if they get paid to do so. I hope they both sell a billion consoles and every game ever is available for everything. It doesn't matter. As the veteran of many console wars I can tell you that the whole situation is like a sitcom, everything is turned upside down for 30mins, then next week everything is the same as it ever was.
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**Fred Savage and/or anyone involved in the production of said movie have absolutely nothing to do with this item, however, It's still pretty cool :)



So I'm watching the Wizard the other day for the umpteenth time, and as I'm watching the ending, where Jimmy battles Lucas and the other girl in video armageddon, I start thinking, that's a pretty cool shirt other girl is wearing there. Then I wonder if any of those shirts still exist, I mean, they had a lot of extras in the movie, I'm sure someone kept one. I wonder if any are on flea-bay?

Well after searching, I discovered that no, there are none that are available for sale,at least at the moment and even if there was they would probably be stupid expensive for a 20+ year old shirt. It's then that I realize (wait for it...) I should make one! I'm an artist right? I've got the know how, the talent, the unemployment status, I could do this! So ladies and gentleman I present to you (pause for effect)...

VIDEO ARMAGEDDON!!!



Look at how Sassy they both are!
Link to Zazzle Store
So go, take a look around, there are a few different styles available, and if any of you are familiar with zazzle then you know you also have the ability to customize these designs a bit as well.

So please let me know what you folks think. I'm also interested if any of you would like to see some more of my comics that I used to post. I stopped awhile back during the whole D-toid blog format change back an forth and sort of lost interest while fiddling around with that. I have a few layouts for comics still on my computer and was just wonder if they are worth wrapping up and posting. Comments are always helpful.
Thanks again folks, thatdanGguy here and I approve of this blog post.
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   The last of the motion control devices is almost upon us.  Have our lives been changed?  While our bank accounts are fluctuating, the way we game certainly isn't changing.  I’m certainly not saying that things will never change, or that these motion technologies are useless, I'm just saying that we are in the awkward stage of their development.  They have reached adolescence, evolved and are starting to turn into something interesting.

       For all the bickering and whining about motion controls some of these control schemes have found their way into the normal gaming control experience.  Playing a game that asks you to merely tilt a controller to make an on screen action occur, or point on-screen to make a selection, or fire a weapon, has become not only intuitive but a positive in the way we interact with games and software.

     The Validity of such controls can be confirmed by anyone who has been playing games for any serious amount of time and can recall playing a racing game and leaning their body to the left or right during a turn.        The last of the motion control devices is almost upon us.  Have our lives been changed?  While our bank accounts are fluctuating, the way we game certainly isn't changing.  I’m certainly not saying that things will never change, or that these motion technologies are useless, I'm just saying that we are in the awkward stage of their development.  They have reached adolescence, evolved and are starting to turn into something interesting.        For all the bickering and whining about motion controls some of these control schemes have found their way into the normal gaming control experience.  Playing a game that asks you to merely tilt a controller to make an on screen action occur, or point on-screen to make a selection, or fire a weapon, has become not only intuitive but a positive in the way we interact with games and software.      The Validity of such controls can be confirmed by anyone who has been playing games for any serious amount of time and can recall playing a racing game and leaning their body to the left or right during a turn.  Gamers trying to look under a jammed rolling door or around a crate, only to realize that that is not how games work, and being a little embarrassed by your reactions. I've been there more than a few times, and you know you have too.      Imagine how cool it would be to use Kinect or Move or Wii, etc. to play a fps, where you use the controller for all the main actions, and your body actions are being tracked.  They could control your characters lean, a quick dart from one side to another could help you dodge an enemy attack, all while shooting or using an item.  It would allow developers to take some of the simpler actions off the controller.        Games could respond to our reactions, like a horror game responding differently if we jumped during a scary moment or not.  The possibilities are great, and once developers get tired of pumping out bowling and snowboarding games, we can move on, no pun intended, and see these devices reach their true potential. There are tons of other ways for these two schemes, traditional controllers and motion controls.      So while we may be neck high in Wii sports clones, fitness and dancing games, and other so called “Casual” games full of pointless waggle this and wiggle that, hold out hope that things can get better.  The Wii went through its shovel ware faze as well, and while you still get games like Wii party, you now get games like Kirby's Epic Yarn, Madworld, Muramasa, and arcade faithful ports of House of the dead 2 & 3(old arcade rats can appreciate how cool it is to play light gun games at home with out additional controllers, calibration, and other silliness). But until then...  Everybody Dance!
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   Alas, here we are, at another holiday buying season preparing ourselves for the onslaught of epic genre defining games, blockbuster hardware guaranteed to move us (see what I did there?) and sequels.  Oh the sequels.


    Yet, here we are, not even quite the end of October, three weeks before what is traditionally considered holiday shopping, and we have already seen the releases of nearly a dozen anticipate titles.  With the release of franchise titles like Rock Band 3, Kirbys Epic Yarn, Castlevania LOS, Fallout New Vegas, Fable III, etc.  It seems like most of the big titles have already hit.  Or at least most anything I've been waiting for.  I suppose a few more big titles are on their way, Donkey Kong Returns (squeal!), another Call of Duty (yawn), Assassins Creed (snooooze), and Gran Turismo 5 (maybe???).  Don't even get me started on PS Move or Kinect (pulled hamstring).


    Looking at all these games released and on the horizon and the inability to purchase and/or play all of these games, and it makes me wish for the simple days of being a kid again.<    Alas, here we are, at another holiday buying season preparing ourselves for the onslaught of epic genre defining games, blockbuster hardware guaranteed to move us (see what I did there?) and sequels.  Oh the sequels.     Yet, here we are, not even quite the end of October, three weeks before what is traditionally considered holiday shopping, and we have already seen the releases of nearly a dozen anticipate titles.  With the release of franchise titles like Rock Band 3, Kirbys Epic Yarn, Castlevania LOS, Fallout New Vegas, Fable III, etc.  It seems like most of the big titles have already hit.  Or at least most anything I've been waiting for.  I suppose a few more big titles are on their way, Donkey Kong Returns (squeal!), another Call of Duty (yawn), Assassins Creed (snooooze), and Gran Turismo 5 (maybe???).  Don't even get me started on PS Move or Kinect (pulled hamstring).     Looking at all these games released and on the horizon and the inability to purchase and/or play all of these games, and it makes me wish for the simple days of being a kid again.    Sure I'm an adult now, at least in body, and can make the decision to buy as many or as few games as possible within reason.  But I miss those days of waiting around till my birthday or opening up a game or two for Christmas.  Wondering while tearing open the cart shaped box, which game will it be?  Postponing the urge to stop opening sweaters and socks so you can start gaming as soon as possible.  It's also great to remember sitting down in front of the old 19" tube and playing a game as much as possible during the Friday after thanksgiving while my parents were back at work.  Or during the two weeks most kids have off for winter break.  The memories of being kicked off the good TV in the living room, and moving my NES back into my room and hooking it up to my faithful B&W TV to keep gaming.  Undoing and redoing the fork terminals with a butter knife, because I was to lazy to go find a real screwdriver, all the while my father warning me that if my Nintendo screwed up the TV I was done for.     But here I am, an adult, with my own bills and concerns.  Looking for a game to distract me in those few hours in the evening before dinner, a free weekend afternoon, or enjoy co-op with my lovely wife.  I am able to purchase more games than I could as a child, yet having far less time to play them.  I know I'm romantizing the past here, but I hope that by reflecting on these memories I can better appreciate how good I have it now, and find those same moments in the present.     So I ask you, the old men and women, also past the care free days of your youth, and even the youngsters who are in the very situation I described, what two games this year are you most excited to see under the Christmas Tree(or Chanukah bush).
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If you've ever had the opportunity to work with any grossly talented individual you have probably been frustrated by this simple truth.  People that are genuinely talented at one thing tend to be equally and often ridiculously talented in many other similar ways.  This is not scientific fact, but is more common than not.  Someone that is talented at drawing will be better than most at sculpting, someone who can play the guitar with great skill will be decent at writing a song and so on and so forth.  These types of skills go hand and hand, so having one skill set prepares you largely for another.  That's why someone like Clint Eastwood can be a fantastic actor, as well as a gifted director, and even a composer.


  That is why it is sad to see one of these extremely talented people waste time picking at another equally talented person.  Two weeks ago in an interview with develop-online Ken Levine expressed concern with what he called the gaming industries "star-struck" mentality.  That people, Hollywood directors in this case, are given opportunities to create games based solely on the fact that If you've ever had the opportunity to work with any grossly talented individual you have probably been frustrated by this simple truth.  People that are genuinely talented at one thing tend to be equally and often ridiculously talented in many other similar ways.  This is not scientific fact, but is more common than not.  Someone that is talented at drawing will be better than most at sculpting, someone who can play the guitar with great skill will be decent at writing a song and so on and so forth.  These types of skills go hand and hand, so having one skill set prepares you largely for another.  That's why someone like Clint Eastwood can be a fantastic actor, as well as a gifted director, and even a composer.   That is why it is sad to see one of these extremely talented people waste time picking at another equally talented person.  Two weeks ago in an interview with develop-online Ken Levine expressed concern with what he called the gaming industries "star-struck" mentality.  That people, Hollywood directors in this case, are given opportunities to create games based solely on the fact that they are successful movie directors, in spite of the fact that they have never before participated in the creation of a game before.  Guillermo del Toro was called out in specific, but Spielberg also jumps to mind as a person who appeared to be just handed the opportunity to make a game, based on nothing but the notoriety of their name.   This to me seems unfair on Levines part, to assume that merely because these people have never made a game before, that they should not just be handed the chance to do so.  In fact given the fact that he himself was a  defunct screenwriter gives me the feeling that he may have a chip on his shoulder about the whole Hollywood business machine.     It also shows a bit of pandering to an audience that you know will rally around you with a call to arms to keep out the evil Hollywood invaders.  The attitude that these people (directors, producers, celebrities, etc...) are not like us, and they have no right to make games or participate in them is pure rubbish.  While I'll agree that these sorts of things don't have the best track record of success, or that the involvement of these people often times results in something that could have existed with or with out them (Steven Spielberg Boom Blox), it is not a reason to inflate your chest and defend your validity within the industry.  I remember when Spielberg first became involved the gaming community in large was excited by the idea of him being involved.  The idea of him making a game with the intensity of Saving Private Ryan or Jurassic Park made people giddy with anticipation.  Just because that didn't happen that time is no reason to stop or criticize anyone else from joining in(Seriously Boom Blox?  It was fun and all but... Nevermind).  The gaming public needs to stop feeding into this inferiority complex that it needs to somehow be seen as an equal to film in order to be legitimate.  Being seen as the outcast or "Junior Varsity" as Mr. Levine called it has it's benefits.  We don't have to worry about the same battles and egos of Hollywood starlets and the tabloid shinangans of some wash up.  However, I might be willing to change my tune when Tim Burton decides he wants to remake Mortal Kombat with Johnny Depp as Sub Zero and Helena Bonam Carter as Goro.  And even on that day, I have the right to ignore it and move on.
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If you have been keeping up with all the Bobby Kotick news being reported through Destructoid and other game blogs, then you should know that the CEO and president of Activision Blizzard has been hard at work battling some old ex's and giving some tips to a few companies as to how to price and run their business.

But I don't want to spend to much time talking about what he said, his business practices, or shame the man for trying to make money, because at the end of the day that's his job. Make shareholders money. And if you haven't noticed, he's been pretty damn good for Activision, a company that was in some dire circumstances not too long ago. No, what I want to comment on is given the fact that the product is for entertainment purposes, and often resembles something artistic, that everyone seems to forget that this is a business. A business run by people, meaning that two things are bound to happen, they want to make as much money and/or be as successful as possible, and that they will make mistakes directly related to the first fact.

All in all, almost all of the people involved in all of these incidents have said some things they probably should not have. Schafer for example has already apologized for his comments, saying he regrets speaking so candidly. EA and it's affiliates have gone back and forth taking shots at Activision for years now acting in the same way Kotick is often criticized for. Microsoft and Sony continually upset it's customers by raising prices (Xbox Live, PSN) adding or disabling features in it's hardware (PS3 and even the Wii). Even the much beloved (and rightfully so) Valve has been guilty of taking shots at the PS3 and it's development kit as well as Xbox Live. Each one of these companies is doing and saying what is best for itself and it's target demographic all in an effort to make a buck and continue doing what they do. I think as a community we need to stop taking these comments and infighting amongst game companies so personally and stop reacting so strongly as if these folks were on a different level of moral standards.

But to be fair, everyone, studio heads, developers, and gamers need to think before they speak, twitter, conference call, smoke signal, etc. Because if you don't have anything constructive to say, than perhaps you should just STFU.
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