XCOM Wallpaper
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XCOM: Enemy Unkown on iOS (versus XBox’s version)

Games and Gaming, Reviews, Software, Technology

Huge X-COM fan here. I liked a lot of the old franchise and really missed the turn-based tactics. For a lot of years. I remember trolling Good Old Games and emulators and other ways to re-experience the game and I’ve always loved the mixture of tactical turn-based (it’s why I started the Fallout franchise too – my love of that cultivated by X-COM), soldier cultivation, resource management, tech trees and light disaster-related political resource allocation that X-COM brings to the table.
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News, The Bucket

In an inspiring announcement from a massive gaming corporation, it was revealed that a large chunk of fuck was youed. Many respected analysts opined ‘fuck,’ although some also followed up with ‘you’.

Expectations were stated that a veritable Blizzard of fucks would ensue, distracting dimwits from the irony of dumbass manipulative game-company names like Activision and Vivendi, to the advantage of a gaggle of the Investing Class who wouldn’t know a video game from a goddamned bus ticket.

Activision-Blizzard executive old-fuck wunderkind Bobby Kotick explained ‘Wheee! Money!’

In related news, the usual cadre of fast-talking asshole Business Scumbags were expected to make ludicrous amounts of money on the backs of sweatshop-labor coders, designers, and artists. Film at fucking 11.

A Blizzard of Fucks

Aside
Picture of OUYA with One Controller
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OUYA Gotta be Kidding Me! – the winning edge of content curation and good playable demos

Games and Gaming, Hardware, Retrospectives, Reviews, Technology

Got my Kickstarter OUYA maybe a couple-three weeks ago and I have to say I am not impressed. Actually, I am impressed, but not about playing games on it. It looks nice. The design is pretty good. It’s tiny. Bigger than an Apple TV considering all dimensions (it’s taller) but I think its shelf footprint is smaller.

It’s small and cute and it uses dim white lights for status instead of bright green or red or blue like all the other blinky status LEDs in my now full-to-bursting entertainment cabinet that I wrote about earlier.

But what I’m not impressed by is the shoddy content curation. More about that below.
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Far Cry 3 Cover
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Review: Far Cry 3

Games and Gaming, Reviews, Software, Technology

I am an avid gamer. I enjoy FPS games but they have to bring something extra. I like: The Mass Effect Series (sort of not, sort of yes, an FPS), The Borderlands Series and The Halo Franchise. Mostly I like them on the XBox. I think the XBox controller feels right. I’m looking forward to Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy’s The Division.

So I bought Far Cry 3 on sale because I’d heard great things about it and indeed, there were great things. The way that violence just sort of happens to you in Far Cry 3, even if you are in a protected, friendly area, is really fascinating. I didn’t think I would like it and I sort of don’t, but as you get stronger that violence, while still jarring, can get kind of fun(?).

The storyline is brutal and the main missions are on plot rails even if your method to get from point A to point B can be maddeningly complex with lots of options and sometimes few of them very good. I had a couple storyline missions where I would die and die and die trying variations on a thematic approach until I did something truly original and then had immediate success.

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Important Internet Opinion: Call of Juarez Gunslinger

Games and Gaming, Reviews

I’ve played through most of old-west unreliable-narrator on-rails pistolero party Call of Juarez Gunslinger. I am now prepared to tell you all of the things you need to know about it.

Q: Is it pretty?

Oh, hell yeah, it is pretty like a sunset. It is so pretty that there were more than a few times when I just stood there, you know, virtually, taking in the beauty of the Rugged Western Vista, rays of buddha peeking over some craggy peak, flocks of birds wheeling in the middle distance waiting for a birdy bandit buffet in the trail of corpses I was inevitably going to leave in my wake. The world is spectacular and edges just the right amount into magical realism, and the graphical fidelity, with a powerful enough computer machine, is as good as you’ll see anywhere for current-gen games. Here, marvel in the prettiness:

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I love this shot from my favorite driving-game developer Criterion‘s Need For Speed Hot Pursuit, taken by the talented virtual photographer Duncan Harris.

See a lot more of his work including a lot more shots from Hot Pursuit at DeadEndThrills.

Games and Gaming

Hot Pursuit

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You Have Got To Be Kidding

Gaming Culture

Just when you start to get the feeling that the gaming-world sexist tide might be turning a bit, some horrifying piece of shit like this pops up. You have got to be fucking kidding me, MSI.

MSI is a computer hardware maker, and apparently a hotbed of laughably retrograde sexism. I’m sure their US Sales (USsales@msi.com) or US Marketing (usmarketing@msi.com) departments would love to hear from you if you agree this is… disappointing, at best. For my part, I won’t be buying any MSI hardware in the future. Vote with your dollars, people, because that’s about the only vote we have left that means anything.

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8-Bitscapes

Games and Gaming

8-bitscapes

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Freeman’s Mind Lives

Games and Gaming

I found myself wondering this morning why I hadn’t seen a new Freeman’s Mind episode in a long while.

(If you haven’t seen Freeman’s Mind yet, you’re missing one of the most consistently hilarious gaming-related video series around. It is splendid, and I almost envy you, because you have something like 500 minutes of fun awaiting you. Start here!)

Here’s Episode Zero, to give you a taste if you haven’t dived in before.

The last show that appears on the Youtube channel was uploaded ten months ago — Episode 44 — which was disappointing. So I headed over to Accursed Farms, the site run by Ross Scott, the creator of the series, and it turns out that the series is up to Episode 47, but for some reason (which I suspect might be connected to this), the last three don’t show up on the Machinima channel. For your convenience, here they are: Episode 45, Episode 46, and Episode 47.

Enjoy!