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Peace in the Era of Call of Duty
By danielrbischoff
Posted on 04/15/14
In a world dominated by violent media, Americans are no more eager to go to war than they were in the 1980s or the 1960s or the 1940s. Hasn't it always been someone else's problem? The overwhelming majority would rather go on thinking it had nothing to do with them and there...

Wondercon 2010 Wrapup

Posted on Monday, April 12 @ 16:09:02 Eastern by Blake_Morse

By the hoary hosts of hogarth!

Yes. true believers, it is I, Blake Morse. Freshly recuperated from my weekend excursion to San Francisco's annual orgy of nerdy geekdom. I am, of course, referring to WonderCon 2010. You know, the one that I was hyping up with that top ten list? Well, it's come and gone and somehow, despite all the odds against me, I survived my trek through waves of collectibles and cosplayers and have returned to regale you with the epic tale that was this year's Con.

And this time I wasn't alone, Bill the cameraman joined me for all the fun too. You could think of him as my boy wonder without all the homoerotic undertones. We got some great footage and fantastic interviews while we were there, along with quite a few off-camera astonishing tales. So strap on your homemade Cyclops visors and buckle up your utility belts for Bill and Blake's excellent WonderCon Adventure.


Day 0

Before WC even officially opened, it was time for me to bring justice to the streets of San Francisco. The first stop: The W Hotel to check out Activision's next incarnation of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Shattered Dimensions. In the upcoming title you'll take on the role of four different Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?), each with their unique gameplay features across four distinct Marvel universes. It won't be released until the fall, so for now they're only revealing two of the Spideys that you can expect to play as: Amazing and Noir.

From what I saw in the hands-off demo, the Amazing universe will play similarly to action games like God of War or perhaps more appropriately, Bayonetta, since both Bayonetta and the web-head share a flare for over-the-top acrobatics. I watched intently as enemies were smashed by giant web hammers and whips.

In contrast to the intense action of the Amazing world, Noir is a much more meticulous experience. You can almost think of it as "Spider-Man: Arkhum Asylum". Mobsters with guns tend to be a tad more bloodthirsty and this universe's Peter Parker doesn't like getting shot with bullets, so he's much more prone to using stealth and shadows to take out his enemies systematically.

On top of all the dimension-hopping, another new feature being introduced is the addition of first-person action sequences. These play out a lot like Punch-Out, but with classic comic book hero/villain banter thrown in for good measure. Out of curiosity I asked if we'd see any FPS winging in the game. And as is usually the case when demoing a game in its earlier stage,s a direct answer was not forthcoming, but I was promised that there would be some first-person events that “involve webs”.

After scoping out Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, it was time for a drink. (Hey, watching someone play a video game can be hard work.) Fortunately for me, the Heroes of Newerth launch party happened to be scheduled that night at SF's Supper Club. I must admit that I was perplexed by their venue choice, as most Bay Area locals are aware of its reputation as an S&M club, but that also meant that I wasn't taken back by the transvestite in a glittery one-piece holding a plate of hors d'oeuvres at the entrance to the bar. But I'm sure some out-of-towners were.

Along with trannies, the party also featured a strip-teasing acrobat doing some amazing tricks on an elevated rope. And trust me, this performer was all woman.

Later on we were treated to some sexy fire dancing as well. People hooted and hollered as the booze flowed like wine through the night. Then it was time for the main event: The Heroes of Newerth Championship Finals of Ultimate Extreme Badassery. Okay, I may have added a few extra adjectives in there, but you get the point.


It was Clan fiVe vs. Clan Loaded in competition for all the virginal glory that comes along with being the winner of an online RTS team competition. The tournament got off to a bit of a rough start... several times. At first it was all planned out to be a best two-out-three competition, but after a couple crashes due to spammers it all boiled down to one winner takes all battle royale. In the end it was Team Loaded that was victorious. Clan fiVe hung their heads down low as they came to the sad realization that they probably could have better spent their time learning how to talk to girls or gaining social skills. But cheer up guys, there's always next year... and girls are scary anyways. So get back to HoNing it up!


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