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All Flowers in Time Bend Towards the Sun: The Cat Lady & Depression in Games

Features, Games and Gaming

Depression seems to be a common theme in indie games. From more overt depictions in Depression Quest and Actual Sunlight to the more opaque in games like Anodyne, it’s a subject many indie titles want to tackle. Continue reading

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I Hate You So Much Right Now

Games and Gaming

Making video game characters with whom I can fall in love takes a cocktail of hard work, genius, luck and Jennifer Hale. It turns out that making video game characters I can hate takes practically no effort at all.

In this short series of articles a small collection of pixels, logic and random events will demonstrate that I am a terrible person.

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Levels Of Detail Podcast: We’re Horrible, Horrible People Edition (09.15.11)

Games and Gaming, News

And once again, we return to you belatedly and with sadness in our hearts. Real life stupidly keeps on intruding into our efforts to bring you our particular brand of meaningless babble, and so here we are. This week, we cover such late-breaking news as Ubisoft removing the DRM from From Dust, freeing us to wonder why you would want to buy the game in the first place, EA continues making up for lost time with their dickery, the PC is resurgent while Nintendo continues to watch the bottom fall out of their business models, and we promote two things worthwhile: One, a pre-release beta of Minecraft‘s 1.8 Adventure release (which, due to our timeliness, is already out officially), and a Kickstarter donation page for the NASA astronaut sim MMO game, which is still ongoing and can be found here. Please, go forth and donate to a worthy cause, and remember to Share and Enjoy.

LOD Podcast Episode 37 (09/15/11)

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SO MUCH TRIFORCE — DiRT 3 REVIEW

Features, Games and Gaming, Reviews

I love driving games. Even though I drive extremely conservatively in real life–and wouldn’t have it any other way–I really let loose with my inner aggressive driver with various video games.

Codemasters games are amongst my favorites. I got introduced to the company through GRID (where’s the sequel dammit??), then DiRT 2 and now the third game in that series. We’ll get to talking about the game itself in a bit but first a little digression about presentation. One of the reasons I hate EA so much, in fact, is that despite buying the rights to use ESPN’s style of broadcast presentation for FIFTEEN FUCKING YEARS is that they have hardly done a damn thing with it until the last few years. Most of us watch football on TV and we’re used to flashy graphics, interesting stat presentations and whatnot. ESPN 2K5–STILL the best NFL football game EVAR–made use of the ESPN experience in a way that still pulls me into the game more than any other. Yeah, EA bought the rights to kill the 2K series but DAMMIT do something with that shit. Grrrr.
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Mr. Steven’s Review of Shank

Features, Games and Gaming

Mr. Steven’s the butler in “Remains of the Day”

As it is the case with these things, indeed, any thing which one might think on and analyze, and, in doing so, create a montage, an eclectic collage, if you will, of themes and and motifs, I’m not sure a cohesive whole, a singular zeitgeist could, indeed, should, be taken from it.

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Alternative “Civilization V” Quit Messages

Games and Gaming

Every Civilization game ever released is notorious for the “One More Turn Syndrome”. A wretched disease that has lead to a 4% dip in Computer Science degrees conferred as well as a 10% increase in Google searches for “video game + addiction” and “shut-in life expectancy”.

So it was with some surprise that, when I tried to quit Civ 5, it actually asked me if I was sure. Yes I’M BLOODY WELL SURE, it was hard enough getting to this screen WHY ARE YOU MAKING IT HARDER ON ME?

Without further ado.

  • It looks like you’ve contracted scurvy from lack of personal attention and would like to quit riiight before getting your third Wonder, are you sure?
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Thanks to darkf666 for the Old One. (http://darkf666.deviantart.com/)
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Lovecraft Wallows In A Starcraft II Loss

Features, Games and Gaming

It is harrowing to have the veil ripped away from ones eyes, the infinite horror of that nameless alien weakness.  I go to the study, go to my office, throw dinner parties, with never the glimmer of suspicion as to what eldritch terror will grab me from the dark, pull me into an mute stupour as your sixteen carriers run ragged over my full complement of siege tanks and level 3 upgraded marines (weapons and armour!).

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How am I SO BAD at a game that I play SO MUCH?

Games and Gaming

Civilization IV is a fantastic game. In fact, any game starting with “Sid Meier’s” is probably going to be awesome. But the Civilization series in particular has always gripped me, and kept me playing for hours on end. There’s something so satisfying about finally taking over the world through an ideal combination of war, politics, culture, science and/or religion.
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Demolition Company: The Simple Fun of Breaking Things

Games and Gaming

The core strength of gaming’s appeal is, I think, the fact that a game’s success or failure essentially boils down to one question: is it fun? All the other factors that we judge a game’s quality by are essentially tacked-on items that either increase or decrease the fun contained in the game. There’s a lot of wiggle room as to what constitutes fun or not fun, as well as a few absolutes – particularly in the way that games can fail to be fun – but what really matters as far as a game’s worth is concerned is whether or not you as a player enjoy the experience of playing the game. It doesn’t matter how ambitious a game’s design is or is not, as long as you get a kick out of playing.
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