Category Archives: Games

Visual Novels That Are Made in Canada, an East meets West Ideal

Game designer Alfe Clemencio sits behind a small brown desk and calls to potential customers. He has two independent games to sell, and one for which he really wants to get some attention.  Yet, how he’s attracting that attention would be considered deviant, perhaps even backwards, by North American standards. He’s trying to sell them as a disk in a box.

Clemencio feels that having a physical copy of a game, especially an indie game, immediately increases its value and uniqueness to the player. While many developers find producing physical copies to be an actual barrier to publication, Clemencio believes that this is a phenomenon unique to North America.

“Back when I took my internship in Japan, I went to Akihabara. Right when I got there, I saw a store selling independent games from local developers,” said Clemencio. Akihabara is a region of Tokyo famous for its shops that sell “niche market” or “geek” merchandise. It is no exaggeration that within this region, you can find almost every video game released in Japan.

“[In North America], you hear people yelling ‘Digital download! Digital download!’ but you almost never hear about physical copies of [indie] games,” says Clemencio. Read the rest of this entry

Video: Fallout: Nuka Break, The Legend of One Man and His Desire for the Perfect Cola

This fan-made series is pretty hilarious. Written by Brian Clevinger, known for Atomic Robo and 8-bit Theater, it’s like a more violent, lower budget Firefly. There’s set to be about ten episodes in this series, with future episodes being 5 minutes long. I didn’t think this would be any good but colour me surprised, it is. There’s a witty script, and while the acting’s not comparable, the setting is interesting enough that I could overlook some of the mumbled lines. The props are reasonably authentic and it captures Fallout’s post-apocalyptic wasteland atmosphere remarkably well.

I recommend at least taking a gander at the first episode, especially if you’re a Fallout fan. They even use VATS in one scene, which is good, I guess. I thought it was weird, but it is pretty cool how they included that in an episode.

Video: Portal Fan Film Is Awesome – Makes Me Want More

Portal: No Escape premiered at Comic Con and is likely one of the best renditions of video games into film. It only thing it’s missing is GLaDOS and turrets, but even with the narrowed down elements of just Chell with a portal gun, it is still quite entertaining. I don’t think you could really expand a Portal film beyond 60 minutes, just because the monotony of seeing tests on film with only one visible character gets a little boring after a while. However, I endeavour someone to try, because I am so pumped for another adaption after only seeing six minutes of film.

Video: El Shaddai is Out and There Are Reviews

I have been looking forward to this game for ages. The artistic style is magnificent, and this is probably one of the first games to try to adapt the bible. It’s definitely very strange and Japanese, but damn does it make me interested in playing it or at least watching someone play it. Too bad I don’t own a console. Reviews have generally been positive so far, except for IGN, who seemed to really hate it.

Internet Erupts as Extra Credits Leaves The Escapist

The internet has spoken. Extra Credits is leaving  The Escapist. James Portnow, a game designer and a writer for Extra Credits, alleged on the online show’s Facebook page  that Extra Credits was underpaid and mistreated. Furthermore, trio of Portnow, narrator Daniel Floyd and illustrator Alison Theus would be moving from the online magazine, The Escapist.

For those not entirely aware of what Extra Credits and The Escapist are, Extra Credits is a weekly program that analyses topics in video games, and The Escapist is an online video game magazine, known for publishing a variety of these programs.

The initial signs of trouble began several weeks ago, when Theus found that she had a 180 degree tear in her shoulder. The tear made her arm weak, and and if left untreated would make it impossible for Theus to continue being an illustrator. Her insurance company refused to cover the treatment $20 000. In response the Extra Credits team decided, with the Escapist’s formal approval, to set up a charity to pay her medical fees. Their initial goal was $15 000 within 60 days. To their surprise, the money came quickly. So quickly that within six hours they had the full amount, and a counter that kept increasing regardless of the fact that they had met their target. Read the rest of this entry

Video: Achron Trailer Reveals Time Travel RTS – Heads Preemptively Explode

Think about this. Achron is a multiplayer RTS where you can jump through time. I have no idea how this is going to work without computers setting themselves on fire while they try to figure out all the different causalities, especially since your enemy can also travel through time, and break any mistakes or changes you fix. Plus, imagine trying to keep track of this in your own head? Two armies jumping back and forth so you can anticipate attacks in the future. HOW DO YOU EVER WIN A GAME? In short, Achron looks awesome.

Review: Puzzle Agent 2

Blocked from finishing investigation, Nelson Tethers (not to mention the player) was left with a shock at the end of the first Puzzle Agent. The story stopped right as it shifted from quirky to insane and pushed towards a much larger mystery hidden in that quiet Minnesota town. I can promise you the insanity continues in Puzzle Agent 2, a game that improves on its predecessor as you crawl deeper into the madness. Read the rest of this entry

E3 Press Conference Impressions 2011

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo have all just finished their press conferences, and man, was it a good show this year. We got interesting developments from all sides, regarding new games and innovations coming for Xbox 360, PS3, PSVita and now the Wii U.

Admittedly, Microsoft had the least to show to people, since they don’t have a new console or handheld coming out any time soon. They also had the least to prove however since all they needed to do was validate Kinect and the sustainability of their platform, not an entirely new device.

Read the rest of this entry

Serious Analysis: Portal 2

Hello the five people who read this blog, I am going to be doing a weekly blog post called ‘Serious Analysis’ on series or parts of series that I enjoyed.  These could be video games, anime, books, comics, animation, live action, TV or movies that I think are significant in some way and will attempt to inspire readers to look at these works in a new light or look at them in general.

This week, I am analyzing a game that neither needs added compliment nor attention, but I will give it that anyway. Portal 2 was released last week to much fanfare by the game press and fans, and is by Valve’s founder’s view, the best game they’ve ever published. And I agree. Now I could discuss this game to an endless degree, in terms of game design, dialogue and atmosphere, but I want to eschew that for one particular thing. I want to talk about how it rewards you. Specifically I want to talk about the ending, because I think it is an important hallmark of video game creation. And if that hasn’t scared you off already, you should know that this post will be intensively spoiler ridden. You will ruin the ending of Portal 2 if you read any further. This is not a drill. Read the rest of this entry