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REVIEWS Little Nightmares Review
If you enjoyed Limbo or Inside, then you need to check this game out.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Review
Death be thy compass.
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PREVIEWS Let It Die Preview
Seems like Suda51 saw Frozen, played Dark Souls, and then got the lyrics mixed up.
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Release date: Out Now

Little Nightmares
Release date: Out Now

Release date: 05/01/17

NBA Playgrounds
Release date: 05/01/17

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Welcome Back to the West
By oneshotstop
Posted on 08/01/16
The only thing that stops the dust is the rain. It’s a sweet reprieve, but there is no middle ground. The land is either as dry as the Betty Ford clinic, or as wet as the ocean floor. Everything can be seen from the ridge overlooking Armadillo as John Marston gently bounces along atop...


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History has been made
Posted on Tuesday, November 4 2008 @ 20:30:53 PST

As of right now, the projections for the presidency say Barack Obama has become the 44th president of the United States.

This is a time for jubilation for some, doubt for others, and hopefully, the promises of change that will occur. This is a historical election, not only because of the mans skin color, but also of the ramifications that can occur after eight long years of what many may view as a horrific presidency.

History, has been made tonight. We no long can be seen as something of a backwards nation. We can no longer claim that our youth is lazy or impetuous. We can no longer say the the United States has grown old and decrepit. We, as Americans, can transcend the party lines, just like how Mr. Obama has promised to do, just like how great presidents, like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and John Adams did. We can make a better nation if we truly put aside the race, the gender, the orientation, the colors and the creeds that separate us. It is time, as McCain has said, for us to make history, and not hide from it.

The time is now for us to rise up and try to achieve this goal. It is time for Generation X, Y and Z to make their voices heard, and do our part in making sure this historical moment is savored for the future. Not just for us, but for the future generations our country will harbor.

History, has truly been made tonight.

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Posted on Friday, October 31 2008 @ 14:05:50 PST

Eight! I did eight reviews for games in a month! Damn I must either be good at this, bad at this, or I really have a lot more time on my hands than I think I do.

Eight? Seriously, I haven't written this much in a month in a long time, and it makes me feel...well, good. I feel like I have been neglecting something I always enjoyed doing for a while, both at school and when working. I feel so good, so ecstatic that I am back doing something I always loved, writing.

Hell, the reviews are a side thing.It's the other stuff I enjoy. The Vox Pop entries, the fan-fiction story on Pokemon I have had brewing for three years, the short stories I have crafted for the CPPA (if you want the link to that, it's in my profile.) Hell, I am even planning on making a run for NaNoWrimo again, something I haven't done in years. I even have a few story ideas planned out for it, so I hope I can get somewhere with it.

I can also thank the new "From The Well" series, which is forcing me to remember or play old games from the past and giving them a moment to shine for now. I doubt anyone will read it, but it's not about the star-count or the number of views, it's about the fact that it has a review of it, so that the ten people who stumble upon it get a second opinion.

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The Sequel Effect: Part II, Bioshock and the Artform of Gaming.
Posted on Saturday, October 18 2008 @ 00:49:18 PST

Today I heard some news that I didn’t find surprising but at the same time was adamantly against. The sequel to the hit game Bioshock was revealed as a cutscene extra on the Playstation 3 version of the game. Yes, a sequel to a game that is the perfect storm of gaming, excellent story, sharp graphical design that really is considered art, and fun gameplay mechanics with few bugs; it is easily one of the greatest games ever made.

But a sequel? I know video games are essentially a commercial art, but I find it odd and somewhat underhanded to craft a sequel to a game that had a definitive end to it. Granted, the bad ending to the game is somewhat interpretational to a continuation of the story, but that is a stretch.

But this article is not about Bioshock; it’s rather what Bioshock represents to most gamers out there; an art form that is trying desperately to reach a plateau of acceptance. Games like Bioshock are a new crop of games that are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with the entire medium, and with some care and time, the medium can rapidly achieve the success that many wish it to, instead of being added onto the crumbling apex that sequels seem to do.

Firstly, Bioshock was a gorgeous game not only in terms of graphical detail, but also in terms of art design. It is rare that a game can feature great artistic measure and diversity for every level in the game. One of the levels in Bioshock has you running through a farmers market, lush with green trees and colorful wooden signs signaling the sale of various produce items, intermixed with a steampunk art deco design that towers throughout the fictional world known as Rapture.

Bioshock is not alone in the visual merits of an art form. Recent games like the downloadable Braid on X-box live, Dead Space, even older games such as Okami and Legend of Zelda, Wind Waker, showcase a degree of artistic measure and detail that can be varied and appreciated by gamers of all temperaments. Each of them has excellent level designs, vibrant environments, and a sense of wow, be it in space, along the ocean, or even under it.

The second ingredient to the tour de force was the story script. Bioshock was a game that had a thoughtful, well planned out storyline that question the very morals of the player himself. The good/evil concept has been used to death, but Bioshock was able to implement it in a way that made it almost invisible, intermixed with clever plot twists and strong dialogue choices. Few games can claim this prize; even the most revered franchises, such as Zelda, Mario, and Halo, have stories that are at best paper thin or painfully obvious. Heck, the games enemies had character, and that is something sorely lacking in most games today.

Lastly, the gameplay mechanics were polished and varied enough to keep the interest of the target audience. Great scare sequences within the game, smart gameplay using both the weapons and plasmid powers in conjunction with your current environment were well placed and thoroughly thought out.

While this ever-glowing praise is almost a rehash of what I felt about the game when I made a user review, the point is that each of these aspects can be seen as a form of art. Most gamers see all three together as a whole package, while a more casual crowd would focus on the main aspect to them, be it gameplay, graphics, or storyline, and make their claims there. What is important is to not lose sight of all three aspects, and any aspects in between, be it the voice over cast, the mini-games, or the graphical prowess. The possibilities for games to explore complex themes like Bioshock did are both endless and somewhat daunting.

Which brings me to my very problem with a sequel for a game like this. While I don’t discourage all sequels made for a game, it is important to first understand that some games don’t need a sequel. A game like Killer 7, for example, needs no second game to elaborate the features or the storyline, whereas a game like Gears of War is perfect ground to make sequels in, because they can continue the adventures of the main characters thanks to the environment created in it. Because of the designs Bioshock went with, a sequel would only mean two things in my mind, the pandering to the fanbase, and the chance to make more profit.

Most game franchises make billions of dollars from sequels after sequels of the same core game design. The EA sports games are the best example, since 2001 the game has been pretty much the same, with minor tweaks in the gameplay such as adding a new mode, updating rosters, or creating some arbitrary feature few people will likely not use. Legend of Zelda as well over the years has had minor changes to the core design, find a quest, go to a dungeon, get a special weapon, and use the weapon to solve puzzles and kill the boss.

While tired and true, sequels sell, and most sequels are designed not for the artistic merits of the franchise established, but for the chance to make more revenue for the corporations and developers of the game. There is a reason that Mario Party has 8 incarnations, or that talks of Halo 4 are abound right now. The games may have been good in their first incarnation, but the experience has slowly eroded into a former shell of itself, and it is self-evident. Halo 3 was one of the most hyped games of last year, and while a decent game, the hype was unjustifiable. The game is good, but not that good, and it’s clear to many gamers that the charm of Halo is losing it’s luster, meaning the game has almost ran it’s course.

Call me selfish, but I don’t want to see Bioshock fall into that category. Maybe a sequel will be a good thing, and this entire rant is all for naught. Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill, a non-issue to a bigger problem. But I do question what the commercial success of Bioshock will do for it’s own future. Firstly, the creators of Bioshock do not want to make a new game, saying that it is a standalone game for them. In fact, the only reason a sequel is in the works or even exists is Take-Two’s doing, with their chairman Strauss Zelnick coaxing 2k Marin, an offshoot of 2k Boston (the original development team for Bioshock) to make the sequel.

The game is a perfect example of what games can do as an art form, and while a sequel may continue this perfect example for the better, it has been a trend in the industry thus far to rehash older material in a shiny wrapper and pass it off for the sole purpose of commercial gain. The jury is obviously still out as to how Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams will be; a continuation of a great artistic achievement is likely, and if it does happen I will be the first to say I was wrong, but I can't help but feel wary of a sequel to a game that really does not need one to continue, fix or change the gameplay mechanics or the storyline that was penned for it. Be that as it may, the sequel effect takes charge again, and like the Sword of Damocles, hangs upon a threshold that can lead to either the benefit or hindrance of the very argument that is represents.

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2 Jobs and a New Series
Posted on Thursday, October 2 2008 @ 20:37:29 PST

Man, having two jobs is killing me.

The first is actually simple sort of. I work at EB Games in New York, one of the few that are left, actually, in the evenings for four hours a day, 2-3 days a week on average. Not too strenuous, even tho...   read more...

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College Loans and Deferrment
Posted on Monday, September 15 2008 @ 19:11:16 PST in a rut because I need to begin paying college loans soon and I can't defer them unless I can go to grad school today. And because of the bullshit with my degree conferral, I couldn't register for anything until now, meaning for the Spring...   read more...

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Lucky me?
Posted on Friday, September 12 2008 @ 09:48:22 PST

Well I got a call from a local high school here, and they said that they have an opening for a social studies class and were wondering if I was available for an interview tomorrow!

So, damn, excited right now. I just got my certification a...   read more...

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Posted on Sunday, August 31 2008 @ 12:50:07 PST

I got my degree, and my teaching certificate!

It's about damn time too, because I have been waiting for it since JUNE. Now it's late, meaning I can't get a job anywhere unless I get called in by a principal, so all my initial shopping for...   read more...

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Lost my Touch
Posted on Tuesday, August 12 2008 @ 09:59:16 PST

After three weeks of barely playing Rock Band, I finally got back on it. Mainly because my guitar is finally in working order again, a month ago the fret button wouldn't work at all, making me fail some easy songs both off and online (so to everyone ...   read more...

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Total Control and Setting Standards
Posted on Monday, July 14 2008 @ 12:24:13 PST

Well, like a lot of the fretwork freaks out there (Nick), I think I nearly orgasmed when I saw the new setlist for Rock Band 2 today, over 80 songs strong, and almost every single song alone can be a make or break deal for a game like Guitar Hero in ...   read more...

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Goddamn Mother****ing COLLEGE ARGH!!!!
Posted on Tuesday, July 8 2008 @ 19:00:52 PST

Yeah, i'm ****ing pissed off right now if you didn't notice.

I got a letter from my college in the mail two days ago saying I cannot get my degree because my degree conferral has been denied. After four years of working my ass off, receivi...   read more...

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