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FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Robin Williams (1951-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 08/14/14
Robin Williams (1951-2014) Robin Williams was an absolutely exceptional comedian, talented actor, and holder of a special place in video game history: He was the first really famous gamer I know of. I’m sure there were others, but they kept a comparatively low profile, unlike one...

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First World Problems: PC Games Don't Support USB Controllers Anymore
Posted on Sunday, May 4 2014 @ 17:34:06 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.

Has anyone else noticed that pretty much every single recent PC game, from the biggest triple-A titles to the smallest indie games, only has gamepad support for the Xbox 360 controller? Because I've noticed that, and it really annoys me.

I don't know when this started. But at some point, Microsoft put some new code into the Windows OS which treats the Xbox 360 controller differently than a third-party USB controller. Rather than use the same function call for both, Windows has the same code for the 360 controller that the Xbox itself does.

I understand the reason for it. On the developer's side, it makes porting games from Xbox Live to the PC (or vice versa) a bit easier. Want to have gamepad support for your PC port? Don't change a thing, and the 360 pad will work just as well as on the actual 360. Meanwhile, from Microsoft's side, it encourages PC gamers to buy another Microsoft accessory, which pads their bottom-line profit margin.

Unfortunately, we gamers lose out, because suddenly we have fewer choices. What if you have a preferred USB device? Or what if you don't have a 360? Or what if you don't have a way to connect your 360 controller to your PC? Whatever the case, too bad. Your only option is to fork out extra money to get a 360 gamepad working on your PC.

Or, if you're like me, you find a work-around, but that's the subject of a different blog post (if I ever get around to writing it).

This *REALLY* annoys me.

It's a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but it's still a symptom of monopoly. The big business takes away the customers' options, because it's easier to make money when there's no free market competition. And this is far from the first time that Microsoft has pulled monopolistic stunts like this.

So, for those who aren't happy about having to use a 360 controller on your PC games, what are our options? Well, the work-around I linked above is one possibility. I'm also hopeful that SteamOS will allow users a bit more freedom to choose our hardware than Windows currently does, though we'll have to wait and see on this one.

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What does Journey mean?
Posted on Tuesday, October 29 2013 @ 15:15:35 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.


[Originally posted on Saturday October 26 2013]

Do not read this if you haven't played Journey.

Seriously, just don't.

As Daniel Bischoff wrote about a year-and-a-half ago, this is a game that gamers must experience on their own terms. It is the video game embodiment of how the journey is more important than the destination, a philosophy shown off directly in the title.

So once again: do not read this if you haven't played Journey.

All right, then. Now that the only people reading this are folks who have played Journey (you have, right?)...

What does it mean?

I played Journey this morning for the first time in a while, and this question still haunts me. Not because I don't have an answer, but because there are far too many answers and it's tough to pick one. You have a desolate world, a distant goal, and little else. Occasional dreams or magical friezes tell stories about the world, but with little context. Sometimes you travel with others. Often, you're all alone.

So what does it mean?

Is it a quest for salvation?

Is it a search for mere answers?

Is it an attempt to restore paradise?

Is it torture for a damned soul?

Is it even real?

Is it just a dream?

Do the other journeyers have the same experience? The same reasons?

What happened to the desolate world? An invasion? A civil war?

Maybe nothing at all? Was it all dreams? Or fiction invented as an explanation for what we see?

And in the end, as you climb the final slope...

You die and go to heaven?

You're rescued by the storytellers and brought to your goal?

But whatever the case, you arrive at the final doorway, and everything fades to white...

Only for you to be returned to the beginning again.

It's like Sisyphus rolling the boulder. No matter how close you come, the end remains out of your grasp.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps you aren't the journeyer. Perhaps you're an intangible guide showing lost souls the way home.

Each arrival at the end is a success, another journeyer returned to paradise.

...?

So many possibilities. So many different answers. Which one is the truth?

What does it mean?

The opinions expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of Game Revolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted originally on October 26, 2013, has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan

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One of the Greatest Games You've Never Heard Of
Posted on Tuesday, September 24 2013 @ 23:14:07 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.
*Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
  [Originally posted on Tuesday September 17 2013]

Meet Shantae.

Shantae was the heroine of the appropriately named Shantae, the Gameboy Color's swan song. The game came out in 2002 (just when everyone was throwing out their GBCs and picking up GBAs), and garnered almost no attention.

And that's a real shame, because Shantae is a fine game. In fact, it's become something of a cult classic. Made in the same tradition as Metroid and certain Castlevania titles, the goal is to explore the landscape, finding power upgrades and fighting the occasional boss. And the artwork in the game is really quite amazing. It looks like it could be an early GBA game instead of a GBC game. The soundtrack is similarly amazing and is legally available for download completely free from the composer's website.

The story reads like something out of the Wizard of Oz. Shantae is the guardian genie of Scuttle Town, in the country of Sequin Land. One day, the notorious pirate Risky Boots attacks Scuttle Town to steal an invention from the resident geeky old man. Concerned that Risky's theft could be used to destroy all of Sequin Land, Shantae runs off to save the day using her trusty hair whip and belly dancing.

So yeah, let's check off the boxes. Cute, sexy genies fighting cute, sexy pirates? Check. Cute, sexy genies fighting cute, sexy pirates *WHILE BELLY-DANCING*? Check. Well-made action sequences? Check. Amazing graphics? Check. Terrific sound track? Check. An actual plot-line? Check. About the only downside is the complete lack of an in-game map, but that's not too big of a hurdle to clear.

So now you want to play Shantae, right? Well, good luck finding the GBC cartridge, because they're collector's items now. Fortunately, Shantae was recently released as a Virtual Console title on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, so the game is no longer so far out of reach.

You might be wondering why such an old and obscure game has been re-released on 3DS all of a sudden. The reason, quite simply, is that two new Shantae games are going to be released pretty soon. The first sequel, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, was released as DSi-ware back in October of 2010, and on iOS shortly afterward, making it available to DSi, 3DS, and iPad owners. The next sequel, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, is under development now and is scheduled for release on the Nintendo 3DS this coming winter. And finally, on Kickstarter, you can find Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, at the time of this post about $80,000 away from its $400,000 goal. If it gets funded, Half-Genie Hero is slated to release sometime in 2014 on pretty much every major platform, including PC via Steam, the Wii U, the PS3/4/Vita, and the Xbox 360/One.

Interestingly enough, Inti Creates, one of the development companies slated to work on the much lauded Mighty No. 9, is also going to be working on Half-Genie Hero (if it gets funded, of course).

The opinions expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of Game Revolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan
 

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A brand new MegaMan game! That *DOESN'T* star MegaMan!
Posted on Friday, September 13 2013 @ 12:41:49 Eastern

[Originally posted Mon. Sept. 2]

Meet Beck. No, I don't mean the singer, I mean the robot.

Beck, a.k.a. Mighty No. 9, is the star of a new game under development called, oh so creatively, Mighty No. 9.

...   read more...

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