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Saturday, 30 January 2016 00:00

The Ten Most Outrageous Mods That 2015 Brought Us

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A big part of gaming on PC has been the ability to modify the games that are available in all sorts of crazy, wacky ways. There are some weird things that tend to happen with major game releases and hey, there are almost always nudity mods or mods that give women ample assets, so to speak, but at times there are those that add to a game in such an outrageous way that it’s difficult to ignore.

So these are some of the most outrageous or just downright incredible mods from 2015. That means released in 2015 or tweaked in a significant way in 2015.

I’m going to admit something and it’s not something that I’m proud of, but here we go. I spent a whole bunch of years rapt under the hypnotic trance of combat sports and everything that went with them. Over the years I made some good friends, met some good people, but I also met some of the absolute worst people imaginable and their residual bile is still being cleaned out of my system to this day. The sports themselves I could take or leave, they have their big ups and downs, I made some money and gained some notoriety there, which is cool and I’m grateful for, but man, dark days.

Friday, 29 January 2016 00:00

420 Character Reviews: The Witness (9.6)

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420 Character Reviews: Prison Architect (8.5)

This isn’t for the gamer who follows trends; who tries to fit in. This isn’t for the gamer that lacks mental dexterity. This is for the gamer that yearns for the secrets hidden across the river. The Witness is a complicated puzzle game that will break you. There are no instructions; no hand-holding. Persistence and logic will be your only partners as you unravel this tale. You are intelligent -- it’s time to show it.

Sunday, 24 January 2016 00:00

Explore the world as a traveling artist in Eastshade

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The career choice of wandering the Earth while being a painter that's profitable enough to support his/her lifestyle is one of the biggest fictions culture ever pulled. If you had a Liberal Arts major in college then you were one of the unfortunate individuals that actually bought into the myth. Now you're just a 30-something that backpacked across Europe years ago but now live in your parent's basement while you suck up their bandwidth with BluRay torrents and episodes of The Bachelor.

The number of times I played River City Ransom is congruent to the amount of times I inserted a quarter in NBA Jam only to remember that I needed two quarters to start playing. The final quarter, stuck into a machine that only accepts two credits. God damn brilliant plan to rob a generation of kids of their allowance. With enough time in any given day after school, arcades across the country were littered with single credits. Arcades were helplessly stuck on 'Insert Coin' screens, and all kids could hope to do was assemble the missing quarter of someone's long-forgotten game. Those days are finished, and so is Technōs Japan, the makers of River City Ransom along with one of the most underrated sports games in 8-bit history, Super Dodge Ball. Now, 27 years the franchise is being renewed with River City Ransom: Underground, and everyone under 30-years-old has no idea what this is all about.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 00:00

Revisiting an Old Friend: FTL Advanced Edition

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When I first put together this shambling hulk of a PC a few years ago my first goal was to pick up some games that I had missed out on in my PC-less years. One of such games that was a must-buy for me was FTL: Faster Than Light. I’ve always loved science fiction (duh) and strategy games and FTL looked like it brought something else to the table. Labeling whatever subgenre of game that FTL was seemed difficult at the time, but it was labeled a “roguelike” for lack of better explanation and because of the randomly generated space systems that players would encounter on their quest to destroying the rebels.

When I was a kid my next door neighbor gave me my first Iron Man comic and on the cover read 'In space no one can hear you scream.' Ever since that day I never read another Iron Man comic. It was just too vast of a statement to comprehend at such an early age. Why would someone be screaming in space? The thought was dreadful. Even more daunting was in that person's complete horror, no one would even know what they were afraid of.

I've tried finding the Iron Man cover but all that Google locates is a quote from The Martian. It would take me hours to find that cover, and fortunately I have better things to do with my time. Just kidding, I spent the last hour of my life reading the negative reviews of That Dragon, Cancer. I'm an Olympian of wasting time.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

Framing Fatherhood with The Legend of Zelda

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On July 20th, 2009 my sister called me while I was settling in at work for the day. At the time, I worked at an ungodly hour of 6am, but that is 6am Mountain Time. Yeah, Mountain Time. That’s a real thing, sometimes I have to explain that to people. Yes, there is a Central Time, but that in between Pacific and Central is Mountain. She was back home, in the Northeast, and her even calling me was weird, never mind at 6:12am on a Monday. Obviously something was wrong. That or she had dialed me on accident.

Rick and Morty is one of my favorite shows of all time. It’s just…sensational. If you haven’t watched it yet, you really should have by now. The only way to describe it is Back to the Future set in an animated world but with better 'science' and a wider range of drugs influencing the writers. Pocket Morty’s predecessor, Jerry’s Game, was just a balloon popping boring game meant to represent the essence of the character. If you’ve seen the show, you might have realized that Morty is a lot like a pet Pokemon to Rick - Enter Pocket Mortys. You can play this game as of 1/14/16 on iOS or Android.

If there are two things that I’m in tune with it is videogames and kickboxing. I’m one of the rare weirdos who speaks english who has a really solid grasp on the sport of modern kickboxing, which I guess makes me some sort of expert or something. Kickboxing is a deeply strange sport that began gaining momentum in the 1980’s thanks to films like Kickboxer, Bloodsport and Best of the Best, but kinda died off in the US while thriving in Japan and other parts of the western world. So needless to say when I saw that a game was released on Steam this week that was about kickboxing, I was confused.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 00:00

The world is dead and all you have left is a speeding train

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So you didn't win the big $1.5 billion Powerball. You will have to work yet another day at a job you've loathed from day one. It happens to the best of us. In fact you should have left that place months ago. You're smarter than your boss, you don't like the people you're forced to go to lunch with, and you can't find a polite way to tell Julie from accounting that you never want to look at another picture of her dog dressed up in a 'cute' outfit ever again.

Man, what a shock the world woke up to on January 11th. The death of David Bowie was not something that I was ready for, not by a long shot. He was a guy who left an impact wherever he went, from music to movies and yes, even games. David Bowie’s involvement in games wasn’t substantial, but he was involved in what was, at the time, a rather groundbreaking game in Omikron: The Nomad Soul. What better way to market a game than featuring a soundtrack written and performed by David Bowie, as well as Bowie helping out with some aspects of the game’s story and design?

Saturday, 09 January 2016 00:00

Orchids to Dusk will make you enjoy your life through death

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In the great ether of all energy in all of time and space in this universe and every parallel universe that follows it -- you only exist for a blink of it. In the grand scheme of things, nothing you do will ever be remembered. People may have memories of who you once were and the likes you accumulated on Instagram, but even those will eventually fade off into obscurity. Let's say you had enough money or military control to construct a statue in your honor to let future generations know how much of an egotistical barney you were. On a long enough time span, your marble statue will begin to crumble and eventually erode to beach sand. If you go with bronze or iron, your inanimate self will just wither away from rust and corrosion. According to David de Vries's 'Life After People' that premiered on the History Channel, the final remaining relic of humanity that is sturdy enough to withstand time will be Mount Rushmore, and even that only has a 10,000-year life span. On an even longer time frame, our sun will dwindle to a white dwarf star and then fade into the background temperature of the universe. The Earth, without a sun to keep it alive, will stop its rotation and tumble through the universe as a cold, forgotten rock.

Friday, 08 January 2016 00:00

The 2016 Science Fiction Game Outlook

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I have no qualms with openly talking about how much I love science fiction. In fact, I’ve kind of dedicated myself to being immersed in the world of science fiction and writing sci-fi books. Science fiction has gripped the box offices ever since the advent of Star Wars in the late 70’s and the world of videogames has been no different in its undying love for science fiction games. In a way, videogames are the perfect outlet for science fiction to come to life. Entire immersive worlds can be created, elaborate backstories explored and it all serves as the perfect backdrop for futuristic heroes to save the world/galaxy/universe.

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 00:00

The Oculus Rift Just Priced Itself Into Obscurity

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Virtual Reality has been a viral hit over the past year, with videos featuring everyone from security guards to dads to grandmothers checking out VR and being blown away by it. No doubt, VR is pretty incredible and there have already been talks of it being the hottest new technology that will change lives when consumers can get their hands on it. The biggest question mark has been the price and release date, with many believing that the $300 - $400 range would be where we’d see consumer headsets launching at. That price itself comes from the cost of Oculus Rift’s dev kits.

We're just four days into 2016 and we've already discussed racist puzzle games, walking simulators, and now a game in which you're forced to watch your son die from cancer. What an uplifting story for this Monday afternoon.

When I look back at 2015 there are a lot of games that stick out in my mind for being great, but one of those wasn’t created by a huge studio and didn’t involve me killing much of anything. Instead, it was a contemplative journey through a fascinating story and it has been divisive among the gaming world, much like many other games that play similar to it. This game is Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. By now you’ve undoubtedly heard the term “walking simulator” assigned to games such as Rapture, you may have even dismissed it or similar games because of that title.

No, ladies and gentlemen. Not only do #BlockLivesMatter -- but #ALLShapesMatter. Granted, the entire Block Lives Matter movement would mean nothing if there wasn't a disproportionate number of blocks killed in comparison with the other shapes. Therefore saying #AllShapesMatter disregards the very real concern that blocks are getting unjustly murdered on the streets.

Thursday, 31 December 2015 00:00

Behold, The Stoned Gamer 2015 Awards have arrived

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The second annual The Stoned Gamer Awards -- in the same month as our second The Stoned Gamer Tournament. All of this stoned tomfoolery happening at a record-setting pace -- and my mother doesn't even know I'm in the cannabis industry. Let's keep it like that, stoned gamers. If you feel like obsessing over someone, direct your attention to Kristin Kreuk. She can use a couple stalkers in 2016.

Of course we're just kidding. Don't stalk Kristin Kreuk. Leave that to me -- I've been doing it for over a decade.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015 00:00

The Order: 1886 Was By Far the Miss of the Year

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We’ve pointed it out before, but damn, was 2015 a great year for games. That being said, not everything was roses when it came to our hard-earned cash. Sure, everyone has their share of complaints for games like Halo, Metal Gear and Fallout, but in the end, those games were still enjoyable and hit most of the right notes for fans. So what game was full of hype only to deliver next to nothing and quickly slip away from view? The Order: 1886.

Holiday sales were enough for a few friends and myself to cave in and purchase Star Wars Battlefront, with a huge help from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You know, $20 off a new game is a pretty good deal and the game just really nails the feel of the Star Wars universe unlike any game has ever done before. Some might complain that it’s just a generic shooter, but what really would you want for Star Wars other than just good, plain fun?