The first episode of ARCADE SOUL, where I do my very weak Anthony Burch as the Rev impression and talk about Galaga, Passage, and the mechanics of love. Clocks in under four minutes, even if I spent an entire day doing it.
Check it out if you could, and leave some feedback.
I've begun a new videogame focused channel with a couple of friends and we'll soon have some content on the way! In the meantime I've created an intro video going over the ideas for individual shows that we've got in planning.
You may notice an abundance of adorable plushies and Gradius music.
Below is a preview of my Natural Selection 2 review, the full thing can be found over at PixelJudge.
Additionally, it also marks one of the first hurdles the site has faced. We recently had a colleague leave quite suddenly. There was drama involved of course, but it turns out that he was given a review copy of NS2 as well, to take on the appeal for the review, which he refused to do. This would be the second time that this has occurred. A heated conversation occurred between him and the our editor, and he did the digital equivalent of stomping out of the office yelling. Enough of that, however. On to the review:
Natural Selection 2 is a game about the survival of the fittest. Unlike the scientific principle of its name, it is not a random, circumstantial process, but one decided by two battling deities, influencing and supporting their people from above. A combination of real-time strategy and first-person shooter multiplayer, NS2 is a unique beast. Is it a species that will grow a flourishing community, or is it bound for extinction?
NS2 is a game that I will almost always feel under qualified to speak about. Aside from a passing acquaintance with the first and some time with Nuclear Dawn, I haven’t engaged with any similar hybrids of this nature. Mostly because there simply haven’t been many. NS2 is also a game undergoing constant evolution. During the beta updates would be released regularly almost twice a week, sometimes more. These ranged from bug fixes to numbers and map adjustments, and constantly tweaked the balance of the game. It’s an adjustment that will go unnoticed by all but the dedicated, but it speaks volumes about the developers and the community that NS2 has built, even before release.
It’s a community that’s been built partly from necessity. NS2 is a game with an almost overwhelming learning curve. Before you even join your first match, it is recommended that you spend an hour or two learning the mechanics of the game from both sides and perspectives by watching the tutorials and using the game’s Explore mode to familiarize yourself with the maps. For those completely fresh to NS2, here’s the crash course: NS2 is an asymmetrical multiplayer title in the format of space marines vs. aliens. Each side’s goal is to attempt to control the map and destroy all of the opposing team’s command stations. Marines are equipped with a variety of long range, rapid firing weapons ranging from the standard assault rifle, to the devastating flamethrower. Aliens, for the most part, lack long range options and are forced to close the distance before they can inflict damage. In order to counterbalance this, aliens will need to hunt in packs, single out lone marines, and use guerilla tactics, appearing and disappearing through vents and performing hit and run attacks. It’s a dynamic that leads to frantic and dramatic encounters, with panicked marines firing in all directions attempting to hit aliens moving with vicious speed across the room. The dynamics and vulnerabilities also force players to cooperate with each other, as lone players are not likely to survive.
A little preview of my Hotline Miami review. You can find the full thing over at PixelJudge:[/i]
There are no clean escapes in Hotline Miami. There is nothing clean at all about Dennotan’s vision of Miami, in fact. Even through the typically detached, low resolution, top down perspective, it contains some of the most gruesome depictions of violence I’ve witnessed. Every building you enter you will turn into a House of Sadism. Hotline Miami is filled with exactly the sort of brutality that critics of the medium associate with our “amoral culture”. In fact, Hotline Miami goes so far to encourage it.
While the perspective and violence of HM may initially conjure up the image of the original GTA series, the actual experience is far from it. HM will have you performing the same surgical assault games like Frozen Synapse and the modern XCOM expect from you. Except that HM is an unlicensed medieval mob doctor. A scenario occurs as follows: you breach the door, knocking over an enemy in the process. From there you pick up their dropped weapon, throw it at the armed guard around the corner, punch out the guy coming at you with the steel pipe, pick up the gun of the fallen enemy, shoot the two armed guards coming around the corner, toss the empty weapon at the guy near the door getting back up, rush to the other downed guy and smash his head repeatedly against the floor, then grab the pipe and smash the last guy’s face in with it.
“How far are you going to take me?” my girlfriend asks, brushing her blond hair to the side as the wind whips it back. I give no answer, but turn my eyes back to the road, its asphalt arteries flowing to the vanishing point of my vision. I’m not sure where I’m going, or why. An overpowering wanderlust consumed me, and I found myself on the highway, with no consideration to her. The formations of the canyon rise from the horizon, their storied cliff faces a tepid rust colored blur in my the periphery of my vision. Dry heat and sunlight trace the curves of my Enzo as I weave in and out of the slipstreams of the vehicles ahead, pushing the meter past 250 km/h. An ‘89 recording of “Who Are You?” blares out of the stereo, the Enzo’s engine humming along.
I spot another Ferrari down the road, an old rival. Catching his slipstream I match his pace and give him a sly wink over my girlfriend’s shoulder, then shift down, lean in the Enzo and hear the tires squeal as I cruise sideways through the hairpin curves. We match each other through the turn; I pull up close enough to catch his expression, then give him a smirk and a salute as I right the wheels, shift up and leave him behind. My girlfriend pumps her fist in delight. It’s a hollow gesture, a move that meant more in my early days, back when I was first taking my dad’s sunlight yellow Dino 246 GTS for joyrides at the streetraces to earn my own ride and impress the like of Clarissa and Jennifer. Now here I am, girl at my side, driving cross country.
As we approach the next checkpoint I can feel dread creeping upon me, as if a countdown were nearing its final moments. A brisk afternoon chill cuts through, washing away the feeling. The horizon gives way to snow saturated mountain paths. I pull my jacket tight as I overtake the next curve, my girlfriend leaning into my shoulder.
Minutes, or maybe hours later, we begin to approach the outer limits of the space station launch pad, another checkpoint down the bend. As the road straightens out a convoy of trucks emerges just from the edges of my sight. The Enzo chokes as I release the gas and drop the brake, sending the car into a spiralling course between the trucks and right towards the concrete barriers of the highway.
I jerk the wheel away, but not far enough to keep us from colliding with the wall, upheaving the vehicle and torpedoing us through the air. The car lands upright with a sputtering of the engine, the anthemic “Who Are You?” still blaring. “Are you going to give up?” my girlfriend shouts at me as I shift the gears back to first in an attempt to crawl towards the next point. Night has come down on us and the distant ambiance of the city points skyward to a star-filled sky, streaked with meteors. I can feel what I’ve been trying to outrun creep upon me and the Enzo stutters forward.
I've recently been doing some writing over at PixelJudge, a startup videogames site dedicated to PC games. We don't currently have a lot of content up, but we've got a staff full of varying tastes and opinions, and an interesting review format as well. It's a bit kickass for sure.
The review format is probably the most unique part of it, where each review is treated as a "trial" broken down into various parts, complete with appeals by other reviewers at the end. There's even a button to get right down to the score and bullet points, 'cause we know how many of you scroll to the bottom immediately anyway.
So yeah, give us some love and check it out maybe?
P.S. judge me all you want for being a self-promoting jerk, it seems like it's what you gotta do to get noticed these days. no room for humbleness and humility on the net, eh?