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When I was a kid what always struck me was that older people did play videogames. This was, of course, in the 90’s when games were kind of weird still, but a lot of my friends’ dads were playing games, but they were usually games that none of us cared about. Mario. Zelda. Sonic. Mega Man. These were the things that really mattered, but those weird PC strategy games that older dudes were playing? While cool, who had time for that? The rise in popularity of the shooter online put an exclamation point on that for most of us. Why play something slow like Age of Empires when there were games like Unreal on the market?

Modern America is fucking mortifying in a lot of ways. Growing up I had often joked -- citing the David Bowie song of the same name -- that I was afraid of Americans. I was a teenager who was super into Nine Inch Nails at the time and Trent Reznor’s loose involvement with David Bowie was the thing that finally pushed me to discover someone that would go on to be one of my biggest inspirations in life, so go figure. But a lot of what pushed me in that direction in the first place was seeing the world of pop culture and feeling alienated from it. At the time it felt like it was intended solely for younger girls or people that were just, well, a bit too normal. I needed a way to express myself in what felt like me.

As someone who has been an adult for a while, has had his own place for a while and thusly the space and means to game handheld gaming wasn’t a huge focus of mine for a while. To be blunt, while I had some good memories of handheld games growing up, there were a lot of games that were just hot garbage, failed, downgraded ports or alternative takes on popular games that were difficult to play. The Game Boy Advance seemed to be where that started to change, with the quality of what developers could fit into a game on a smaller screen becoming more and more in depth thanks to technological advances.

Thursday, 25 February 2016 00:00

Fallout 4's New Survival Mode Seems Too-Little, Too-Late

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I won’t sugar-coat things and come right out and say this; Fallout 4 was a disappointment in a lot of ways. The apocalyptic open world game from Bethesda had a lot of hype before release and many of us had incredibly fond memories from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas prior. We’re talking hundreds of lost hours, heaps of talking points and stories of incredible, “only-in-Fallout” moments that made Fallout 4 seem like the second-coming. Yet while Fallout 4 felt like a welcome return early on, after a short while that lustre wore off and the game felt pretty hollow inside. Sure, some are still playing it to death and what mods have been released have given the game a bit of new life, but I just can’t imagine myself returning any time soon to the largely-hollow feeling Boston inside of Fallout 4.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00

Street Fighter V's Bare Bones Content a Sign of Things to Come

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When I think of beloved series that fans flock to no matter how much it costs or how little actual, new content is introduced the Street Fighter series comes to mind. In fact, each game feels like a series in its own at times, with hardcore Street Fighter fans picking up every edition that drops and being happy about it. Yet, the release of Street Fighter V has left a lot of fans angry and wondering what has happened to their beloved series. Street Fighter, much like games like Star Wars Battlefront, Destiny and many others came out with the promise of there being much, much more content down the line thanks to DLC, both paid and free.

The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human is a side scrolling 2D masterpiece that grips you as soon as you start it. Be honest with the darkness test at the beginning of the game because g’damn this game has reminded me that I am, in fact, afraid of the dark. The gameplay reminds me of Megaman - you’ll see why. The bosses require many attempts to beat… which is not how I usually like my games, but I have been known to grind through any sort of gameplay in search of a unique storyline.

Monday, 22 February 2016 00:00

Stoned Gaming with Keyan Shokraie of Dank Tank

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To sit around the warm glow of Keyan Shokraie's (creator of Dank Tank) incomprehensibly powerful gaming rig and get stoned to the point where words can't formulate from your mouth is a sight to behold. Keyan visited The Stoned Gamer office to show off his very own Mod Tank, and we still can't believe what we witnessed. It just didn't make any sense -- we were seeing the impossible unfold before our eyes. Games like The Witcher 3 being zoomed close to infinity without losing a shred of detail, Fallout 4 running with every mod at framerates so high that no living creature on planet Earth could fully adsorb. This all happened, and we interviewed Keyan about it. Be sure to follow Dank Tank on Instagram @danktank_official.

Saturday, 20 February 2016 00:00

Manifest Your Guy Ritchie Fantasy with Due Process

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After I finish watching a Guy Ritchie film, a week follows where I use terms like ‘bloke’, ‘bollocks’, and ‘rubbish.’ Guy Ritchie knows how to make British gangsters look so damn cool. I’ll sit on my couch and start imagining plans to infiltrate my local bookies. Every British crime film should list ‘delusions of grandeur’ as a side-effect. I don’t think any of my friends have the ‘minerals’ to actually join me on one of these criminal outings because a lot of them have kids, which is tragic. I need something to quell these criminal aspirations before I re-watch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells -- there will be no holding me back.

That's right, six free indie games are being delivered to you compliments of the same technology that you use to illegally download UFC fights.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world more inhospitable than Antarctica, the Amazon jungle, and California? Vortex: The Gateway simulates what your experience would probably be like and, let’s be honest, it’s terrifying. I would love to go on a rant on why the current culture of safe spaces is undoubtedly the sole cause our next dimensions would-be demise, but I have a more interesting game to talk about. It’s not like you would heed my warnings, anyway.

This past weekend EA hosted yet another double XP weekend for Star Wars: Battlefront and while I was sick for most of it, when I did remember to actually sit down and play the game it felt more like a chore than fun. Why is that? Because that game sorely lacks in content, making a single sitting with the game just the same maps, same factions, same weapons and same vehicles without fail. Even the fun Fighter Squadron mode that allows you to battle it out in the same few maps as the rest of the game instead allows you to solely focus on small fighter-based combat. The problem is that there are only two factions and that both factions only have two ships available, with the differences between some of them being negligible (Tie Fighter and Tie Interceptor), or hilarious (the X-Wing lacks in maneuverability compared to the A-Wing).

A part of me gets pretty bummed out when I get really mad at someone who went out there, created something on their own (or with a small team) and really tried. I know how that can be, how difficult it is and how maddening it can be after you’ve been working on something for a long time and keep asking, “but is this any good?” Friends and family will probably be nice no matter what, someone might be critical here and there but it will be such a sharp, stark contrast to all of the glowing reviews that everyone else has given you that it’s hard to look at it and say, “well shit, this is right, I need to do a ton more work on this.”

Friday, 12 February 2016 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Firewatch (10)

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420 Character Reviews: Firewatch (10)

I wrote an article on this game awhile back and now I finally got to play Firewatch. Basically I’m reminding you that you need to drop some guap on this one. Take the role of a man who leaves everything behind to find a new meaning as a fire lookout in freakin Wyoming. Curiosity will shape your choices, and your choices will shape your destiny. Make an invest on your imagination and buy this today. It’s brilliant.

You never truly realize how insignificant your existence is until you place a black hole near our solar system and watch everything, including light, be engulfed in its void in just a few decades.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 00:00

XCOM 2's Unlikely Heroes and Player-Based Narratives

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When you ask someone who loves the XCOM games what their favorite part is you’ll probably get a few different answers in return. There’s a lot to love about the tactical XCOM series, but for me, it’s always been the weird bonds that you build with your squad. XCOM 2 does a wonderful job of letting you build your own game through it’s character pool, allowing you to create and customize your characters while also giving them backstories and as much detail as you want.

Life is Strange is a game that has been sort of divisive among the gaming populace. Some view it as a bold, brave venture out into the world of interactive storytelling. Some view some of the depictions of the very real situations in the game as “troubling,” mostly because it was a game about teen girls written by grown ass white guys that goes to some eye-rolling places. Others get upset about feminist storylines invading their games, while some feminists are saying, “hey, this isn’t my game, bub.” Overall, there’s been a lot of talk over Life is Strange and a lot of that talk is what finally drove me to actually play said game.

I tried learning Arabic once. I learned a lot of words but I lacked the knowledge to form complete sentences. My communication skills could’ve been compared to a 3 year-old Arabic child. The sole reason for my quest of learning another language was the assumption that it would get me a lot of Arabic tail. It didn’t work out as I had hope. Yet… yet, through my lessons, I found a true appreciation for Islamic architecture, music, and culture. Because my aspirations of breaking the heart of some beautiful Islamic girl never came to fruition, my interest in the language waned and i instead stuck to learning Hindi and chasing Indian women.

Friday, 05 February 2016 00:00

The Fall of a God[us]

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One of the names in game development that I’ve always considered a heavy has been Peter Molyneux. Molyneux is perhaps best known as the guy behind a lot of those “god simulation” games, like Populous, Black & White, Theme Park and Godus. Well, he was also responsible for the Fable series, but that really wasn’t a god sim, was it? Anyway, the founding of his new company, 22cans and departure from Lionhead and Microsoft made some big waves within the game industry. What was one of the most influential developers of our time going to do now? The answer was Godus and Godus was and still is kind of disappointing.

While I have absolutely no experience, I am sure that being a first time parent is one of the most daunting things in life. You have the sole responsibility of a new human being. The most frightening thing, at least to me, is that so many things can kill your newborn baby. Pets, falling objects, minor bumps, exposure to Julia Stiles movies have all been blamed for newborn baby deaths. It’s no laughing matter. We have to get rid of Julia Stiles and her work once and for all.

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 00:00

The Witness and the Many Blows of Piracy

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I’m sure by now you’ve heard about Jonathan’s Blow’s new game, the Witness. If not, it’s a puzzler from the mind of Jonathan Blow, the creator of the Xbox Live Arcade megahit Braid from 2008. Blow’s game has been in development for years now, with some even getting a hands on of an early version of the game as far back as 2010, so needless to say, this game has been in development for quite a while and was a labor of love for Blow and the team that he assembled. The reviews are in and all that anyone can really say is that it’s fantastic, challenging and worthy of the $40 price tag.

Sunday, 31 January 2016 00:00

420 Character Reviews: Pony Island (7.7)

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420 Character Reviews: Pony Island (7.7)

You’d think that a videogame called Pony Island wouldn’t be plagued with the presence of Lucifer. play a somewhat adorable pony that is trapped in a videogame designed by the fallen angel himself. It does tend to poke at the 4th wall a lot, while annoying, it doesn’t take too much away from the game’s surprising sinister playthrough. It may be another puzzle game but it's a unique way of getting a dose of horror.