Tag Archives: handheld gaming

Spoiler Alert

Coming Soon: Spoiler Alert

I love a good platformer. If it does something new and different, even better.

Enter Spoiler Alert. Spoiler Alert is an upcoming PC/iOS/Android game from first time developers MEGAFUZZ. It is, in essence, a backwards platformer.

Congratulations! Someone has already beaten the game. The villain has been slain and the princess has been saved. Great. Now can you retrace their steps without screwing up the timeline and dying (or missing items) in reverse?

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Luigi's Mansion/Animal Crossing

When Luigi’s Mansion Went to Animal Crossing

My original Game of the Year list for 2013 had a lot more mobile gaming on it. Both Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Animal Crossing: New Leaf held on until the final round of cuts. It was my last minute push to play more PC games that bumped two stellar 3DS games from the list. Worse still, I never got around to writing about those games.

Thank goodness for StreetPass Princeton. This is gamer group in Princeton, NJ that does a whole lot of Nintendo-themed YouTube videos on their channel. I found their Luigi’s Mansion/Animal Crossing mash-up a few weeks ago and I’m obsessed. It’s so well done. Basically, they built representations of some of the best Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon levels in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

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Pokemon Origins: A Bridge to the Past

Pokemon Blue
In America, the first Pokemon game was Blue or Red
It’s hard for me to believe that Pokemon has been around since 1996. The series received its US debut in 1998 and has been captivating children and adults ever since. I was even a little old for that first generation of fans in the US (September 1998 put me in 7th grade when the advertising skewed younger). Pokemon has been part of my life ever since. I played all the main games (and even some awesome side projects like Pokemon Snap! and Pokemon Pinball, the greatest handheld pinball game ever), watched the anime, and even dabbled in the TCG.

But now it’s 2014. The original fans have grown up and, surely, many have moved past this monster collection obsession. The new TV shows, games, and expanded universe (board games, toys, collectibles) bring in new young fans. It’s a testament to the strength of the series that it’s lasted this long.

Yet, these new children are entering a very different Pokemon world. Continue reading

The Stanley Parable

Watch: What Is a Game?

I’m going to make a preemptive strike on my game awards this year. I like to experience something different in gaming. It’s how Super Hexagon, Dear Esther, Journey, and even browser games like Dys4ia and Orange Roulette made my Best of 2012 list. It comes down to how well the game is made and how strong the concept is.

I’m not going to lie. My 2013 list is going to be even stranger. I’ve become a Steam bundle addict in the past year so I play a lot of tiny little games that exist just to challenge the form and function of video games. For every Tomb Raider I rave about, there’s an Accelerator that does one thing so well and so different from other similar games that I go gaga over it. Which is better? Which will actually make my list? I don’t know.

What I do know is the new episode of Extra Credits tackles “What Is a Game?” with a resounding “Who cares?” They boil it down to interactivity with choice. I like that. It covers everything from 9.03 and Gone Home to BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us. There is no way that every game made will appeal to every gamer, but not liking a game does not make it any less of a game.

So keep that in mind when things like Long Live the Queen, Paranormal, and Papers, Please might wind up going toe to toe with Ni No Kuni, Metro: Last Light, and Arkham Origins. I still have a lot of games to play through but some really wild experiments are catching my interests more than some of the big console and PC titles this year.

Watch: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games: Ms. Male Character

With the first set of Anita Sarkeesian/Feminist Frequency’s Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series, I decided to dig into the subject matter in an effort to create a continuing dialogue with the series. Thanks to the trolls, Sarkeesian no long allows discussion on her YouTube videos and doesn’t engage in discussions on social media. She interacts more on the backer’s only updates at Kickstarter. I don’t blame her for guarding the work at this point. I applaud her for refusing to back down from her vision of online media criticism as educational tool.

With Ms. Male Character, I have absolutely nothing to add to the discussion. Sarkeesian’s presentation is air tight and fascinating. It’s totally worth a watch. I think it might be her best video yet including the Feminist Frequency series.

The Preston Files #2: Catch’em All

The new The Preston Files is up! I’m hoping to fulfill the Monday, Thursday, Saturday schedule I had printed on Moo cards last spring when Strip Search finally convinced me to get my butt in gear and start a new webcomic. Hey, I’m only half a year behind for once. That’s good for me. I got the camera equipment for my YouTube channel last December and only really started in August.

I’m a Pokemon fanatic and I have OCD. You can understand the dilemma. “Gotta catch’em all” isn’t a tagline for me; it’s a lifestyle. It’s why I cannot trust myself to play Skylanders or Disney Infinite. I don’t even trust myself to buy the Nightmare Before Christmas figures for my collection because I’ll feel compelled to buy the game and all the things that go with it. It’s not impulse control. I get anxious if I start a collection and don’t have everything. Shoot, achievements popping up on Steam can peak my anxiety because I know there will be more than one.

Bear with the quality. I need to figure out the best way to scan 9×12 paper on an 8.5×11 scanner. This is photography and a whole lot of photo editing to make it look as good as it does.

Read “Catch’em All” here.

Cursed Mountain

Slipstream #5: Innovations in Video Game Scare Technology

This week on Slipstream, we explore the world of video game mechanics. Specifically, we’re talking about innovative horror games that pushed the limitations of interactive media to create a far more engaging and terrifying experience. These games tackle everything from simulating the struggle of real world relationships to transforming your home into a haunted house.

Watch the video then click through for all the behind the scenes gossip.

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