House of the Dead Overkill: Extended Cut is a gory delight - Review

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm
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Aim for the head
​I never really connected with the Wii. After the initial entertainment of Wii Sports, I found few titles on the system that engaged my interest. That was clearly a common issue, but even Nintendo's high-profile first-party titles did nothing for me (that's no comment on their quality; they're simply not my style). 

One of the rare titles that stood out to me was House of the Dead Overkill, Sega's campy refresh of it's long-running light gun shooter. Profane, hilarious and solidly built, it was a breath of fresh air on a system that had far too few. Now it's made the leap to the PS3, a system with a much more diverse library. Does it still deliver?

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Five wicked zombie slayings in video games

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Die, walker, die.
Did you catch last night's episode of The Walking Dead, or rather, did it catch you? The AMC television series is throwing all kinds of twists and turns at us. We were left wondering about Shane's shaved head and T-Dog's blood poisoning, among other things. Will the team ever find Sophia?

I finished the episode last night and thought about how it compares to zombie video games. Though an excellent drama, The Walking Dead is nowhere near as violent as some recent releases featuring the undead. To prove my point, I dug up gore-y videos from such titles as Dead Rising 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Dead Island. The videos speak for themselves, showing just how creative us zombie slayers can be. Add for your favorites in the comments.   

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Why the audience is destroying games journalism

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 10:00 am
This reader of the video game press hasn't had their preview fix in over five minutes

Of course I'm not talking about you, dear reader. By virtue of the fact that you are reading this column, you have demonstrated that you are an intelligent, witty, discerning consumer of the video game press. I'm talking about everyone else.

Why do so many people think that the video game media sucks? I hear editors complaining about quality of writing. I hear journalists complaining about ethics. I hear readers kvetching about credibility. Everyone is so down on the video game media, when it seems to me like they're doing a good job.

Freelancers, says a game journo acquaintance of mine, are like milkmen. Their job is to deliver the milk on time, in the style requested. The video game media taken as a whole is also a bunch of milkmen. The audience expects certain content delivered in a timely manner or they take their business (read: web traffic and magazine subscriptions) elsewhere.

In my mind, putting aside whether the function in question is valuable, anything that fulfills its function as requested or required is a quality thing. Judging by the popularity of so many games journalism outlets, the video game press at large is actually doing a fantastic job! And if you don't like the content being produced, don't expend your ire at the editors and writers who produce it. Turn your attention to the audiences who eat the offending content up, because they're the ones calling the shots.

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The New Joystick Division Launch

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 7:00 am
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To our dear readership, I bid you good morning. I just wanted to leave a quick note to remind you that today is the Day 1 launch Joystick Division 2.0 (as I call it). Same look, all original content -- editorials and reviews -- from the folks you've put up with for years. I'm supremely excited about it. I hope you all are, too.

I won't say much more, so we can just get to. We're starting off today with a pretty incendiary piece by Dennis Scimeca, followed by some quick Rich Shivener scribblings, and if we're lucky a review by Jeremy M. Zoss. Tomorrow, it's Aaron Matteson with a new spin on his awesome formula and a guest column from one of our most devoted readers. Keep an eye out every day for new essays, reviews, and editorials, and bear with us as these first few days go by. There may be some unforeseen kinks as we start adding in the new talent, and experiment with ideas, and all that. But rest assured -- we're working our butts off to step our game up. And we hope you do enjoy.

Thanks for reading. Hawkins out.

You Can't Out-Call-of-Duty Call of Duty

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm
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Halo was the champion until someone came along and bested their formula. That's what it takes to become the new top dog.

As part of our site relaunch here on Joystick Division, my First Person column is being moved to Mondays. I hate letting a full calendar week go by without running one of these, however, so I'm going to use this suddenly-free space to say something I think needs to be said bluntly.

I want to say to Electronic Arts, and any other publisher who may be harboring aspirations of trying to best Call of Duty with another military first person shooter title: STOP THAT. You're dreaming. Call of Duty is where Halo was years ago. It's at the top of the FPS food chain, and trying to mimic its success will get you nowhere. It's going to take a game that's an entirely different vibe and aesthetic to claim a new #1 spot on the shooter charts, and we only need to look at how Call of Duty became such a dominant force in the industry to understand why.

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All Zombies Must Die! Preview

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm
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It's almost Halloween, which makes today an excellent time to look at something called All Zombies Must Die. The downloadable shooter from Doublesix Games will be out later this year through Steam, the PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade. Joystick Division recently played an unfinished early version of the game on the Xbox 360. Like the name says, you'll slaughter your way through arenas full of zombies, earning experience points and discovering new weapons along the way, with up to three friends joining in. Don't expect an overhead version of Left 4 Dead, though; the campy tone and cartoonish style of All Zombies Must Die couldn't be further from Valve's co-op survival classic.

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Apparently, Even Assassin's Creed Is Getting A Horde Mode

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Gears of War
sparked a trend. A very good trend. One that is infecting damn near every major game on the market. It is the Horde Mode. And it is practically a pre-requisite to attempt to compete on the market. And it has been pretty awesome.

This one has more of a Tower Defense twist to it, which makes it a bit more unique than the competition. If you'll be so kind as to click on the link, I'll break down how the whole thing works. And give you a visual example.

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Haunted Theater: Fallout Is Great For Gamers

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm
​Warning: this post technically has nothing to do with games.

Nevertheless, I feel confident that it will be of interest to many gamers, especially those (like myself) that have a soft spot for the Fallout series.

In my beloved hometown of Minneapolis, there's an event going on at The Loring Theater (1407 Nicollet Ave. S) that definitely feels like a live prequel to the Fallout games. It's called Haunted Theater: Fallout, and it's a cross between a haunted house and interactive theater. The gist is this: you go to a movie in the 1960s, and nuclear war breaks out. You're then hustled downstairs into the theater's basement for safety as the world quickly crumbles around you. Chaos and surprises ensue, which we won't give away.

I attended with some friends a few nights ago, and it's a blast. Haunted Theater: Fallout runs five times a night through Halloween. Check out more info here, and even if you don't live in town, check out the teaser trailer below.

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Wii U "Finished Version" Will Premiere At E3 2012

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm
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E3 may only take place for three days out of every year, but its presence seems to be felt throughout the industry all year long. Take this bit of news, for example: Nintendo claims that the Wii U will release next year, after E3. But the console will be shown off at the show itself, in final form, for the thousands of games "journalists" to report on.

Nintendo stated at E3 2011 that the Wii U would release Spring 2012, if I remember correctly. It looks like the failure of the Nintendo 3DS coupled with the lack of upcoming Wii U compatible games have made them shift their projection until after the show. You know, when all those good games come out...

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Tags: E3, Wii U

Halloween: What's Your Game-Inspired Costume

Friday, October 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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​Halloween is actually on Monday, but we know most of you are making your holiday plans for this weekend. And we know at least some of you are gonna be sporting gaming-inspired costumes. If so, let us know what your costume is gonna be in the comments.

Even better, send a pic to! If we get enough quality pics, we'll post up a gallery of them next week!

Happy haunting, folks!