Category Archives: Videogames

Disney Buying LucasFilm Might Be a Good Thing

Possibly the best thing.

I think the initial reaction was a whole lot of “WTF” because it came out of nowhere. My job enables me to spend a lot of time dicking around on the internet, A LOT OF TIME, but I hadn’t heard any rumblings or rumors or anything until the press release was, uh, released.

After the dust settled and we realized it wasn’t an Onion article, my Twitter feed was filled with a lot of cynicism and worry about the acquisition and what that could mean for many people’s favorite franchise.

I must ask; will it be worse than what Lucas himself has been doing with it? The constant adjustments to the movies? The deciding what is and isn’t canon at whim? The Kinect dancing game?

Jar-Jar goddamn Binks?

We’ve seen the bottom, children.

As in all things, there is a lot of stuff that can go wrong, however; if we all take a step back and look at this with clear eyes and our hearts free of the knee-jerk Nerd Rage that so easily can envelope us, that maybe, just maybe, we’ll realize Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm is a good thing.

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The Mass Effect 3 Thing pt 1: The Ending

What follows is less about the actual nuts and bolts of the ending regarding any sort of closure inside the Mass Effect Universe, or of the supposed insidious business practices of EA , but more about why the ending was used.

I'm coming back, Earth. And I'm bringing all the murder with me.

I will do my best to keep it spoiler-lite for Shepards still fighting the good fight, and less intensive for those of you who don’t care about Mass Effect, but I can make no promises.

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Arkham City’s Ending: “The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same…”

Batman: Arkham City’s major flaw was repetitive, uninspired boss fights which culminated in a final confrontation with the Joker where you punch him a lot. The conclusion, where a Titan-infused (Think Bane’s venom formula) Joker takes you on one-on-one, didn’t do justice to the rest of the game’s atmosphere and “strike from the darkness” gameplay. The sequel Arkham City seems to have taken heed to fans’ complaints. Not only do the boss fights vary, but writer Paul Dini gives a story so conclusive that it will keep the series from falling into the same repetitive, “nothing ever changes” cycle the comics that inspired it suffer from.

It’s going to get real spoilery in here. Go buy this game. Beat it. Explode into your Robin underoos. Come back and read this.

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A Breakdown of Hidden Meanings in Penny Arcade’s New Webcomic, “The Trenches”

Approximately three weeks ago, the creators of the popular video game webcomic Penny Arcade announced they were forming a partnership with Scott Kurtz, the rival creator of another popular video game webcomic called PvP.

Together, they would be collaborating on an exciting new online project.  This experiment promised to break boundaries, rewrite narrative tradition and usher audiences into a new age of art and illustration.

After countless speculation, this undertaking was soon revealed to be… another video game webcomic.

A webcomic called The Trenches.

Thus far, a total of five entries have been released under the Trenches’ relatively young banner.  In the following essay, it is my aim to examine and illuminate the profound metadata woven throughout these few digital pages and show the astonishing complexity that this webcomic already challenges us with.

Some of you may balk at this article. You might claim it is too early to provide any formal analysis of a work that’s still in its relative infancy, let alone this one. I respectfully disagree.

I will demonstrate not only that The Trenches stands apart from its predecessors, but that by sheer richness of content, it surpasses all others in the pantheon of webcomics and, I daresay, can stand proudly amongst the grand output of all contemporary human culture.

Let us begin.

Comic #1: “Isaac” (8/9/11)

In “Isaac”, we are given a brief (but telling) first glimpse of our protagonist, Isaac Cox.  At a glance, this might appear to be a simple (if somewhat unmemorable) character introduction and nothing more. Man drives up. Man faxes resume. Man gives blithe joke to fulfill requirements of 3-panel structure.

I implore you to look again. Read the rest of this entry

EVO 2011 Grand Finals: The Lazier Super Bowl

Drama. There are some awesome moments that have come out of EVO, the largest and most legit fighting tournament in the world. It can be hard for people unfamiliar with fighting games to understand what’s going on (just like all sports!), but a few events seem instantly understandable. This year had an eight-year old who got into the finals and became a crowd hero. There’s also when Daigo (the same guy who just got rocked out in the above image) parried a Chun-Li super (which required 30+ specifically timed commands). Read the rest of this entry

Your Comic Con Primer

 

As a self proclaimed nerd (obviously since I’m writing for NK) I am making the trip down to San Diego for Comic Con this year.  This is the fourth year I will be going, so I believe that makes me a bit of a Comic Con veteran.  If you don’t know what Comic Con is, I’m not going to take the time to explain it. And you should probably just go on living your life as a well adjusted human being, because I assure you that you’re better off.  But for those of you that care, let me share some of my wisdom from years past and give those of you who won’t be going a little insight into how awesome/horrifying Comic Con can be.

Just to start, Comic Con has changed significantly since it began in 1970.  But the most radical change has come in the last decade or so when the internet began to be so ingrained into our daily lives.  Now everything: movies, TV, video games, comics, EVERYTHING thrives on the buzz created on the web and the word of mouth of nerds.  And for a lot of these, it all starts with their appearance at Comic Con. Basically, Comic Con has become significantly less about the comics themselves and more about everything else that nerd culture loves.  For example, there was a large Guild panel before the Community panel last year. The Guild. The Guild is…awful. Just. Really terrible.  My point is, a sub par web series that had no business being there in the first place, held a panel in a HUGE ballroom. Guys, Felicia Day is super hot. But. Fuck off. What’s wrong with us? Read the rest of this entry

There’s really no reason to work in videogames

Let’s be honest; there are about three cool positions in the videogame industry: designer, writer, or concept artist. We’re not counting producer or videogame journalist as no one really enjoys making tons of money and the latter hasn’t had produced a piece of investigative literature since someone discovered the secret cave in Legend of Zelda for the SNES.

Mean no disrespect to the other jobs, which consist of 98% of the industry: testers, programmers, animators, public relations, tech support and the like; your job is just thankless. You are the linemen of videogame development. You are the horse in Animal Farm. Read the rest of this entry