Bad Gift Guide - Five Recommendations

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Just like my uncle who gives me an XXXL Harley Davidson shirt  and lottery tickets every Christmas, some of your friends and family deserve weird, bad and downright horrible gifts for the holidays. So, as a gamer, you can exact revenge by offering some of the worst video games of 2011. Check out our ideas, and be sure to offer yours. 

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Game Comics- Army of Two Vol. 1: Across the Border

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm


Confession time: I haven't played much of EA Montreal's Army of Two series to form an opinion about the games' overall quality. The co-op focused third-person shooter, about U.S. soldiers Salem and Rios, who go from serving their country to a private military contractor with nefarious intentions to spinning off on their own, has received decidedly mixed reviews, despite the interesting concept and execution.


Salem and Rios are mercenaries, but Rios, at least, is a moral man who wants to use Trans World Operations to so some good in the world, or as he puts it early on in the story, the company "has to be clean." The affects that a PMC has on the wider world is a good idea to use the Army of Two concept for- can the pair really do the right thing, in a lawless land, where the only real loyalty is to whomever has the power?

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Holiday Gift Guide: The Blockbusters

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm
It is the time of year where we need to become constant shoppers. Whether we like it or not, we need to begin to take advantage of awesome holiday deals; price cuts that make the bagfuls of merchandise we purchase a little lighter on our wallets. We all have someone to dole out gifts to. Be it Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, Significant Other -- each and every one of those people will have their loving hands outstretched as they await their wrapped up holiday present.

That's where your good friends at Joystick Division come in. If one of your beloved posse happens to play video games, you are most certainly in luck. Autumn 2011 is one of the most blockbuster-filled seasons of all time for video games, chock full of shooters, action titles, HD remakes, and the like. We're talking multi-multi-multi-million unit sellers, which means that there's likely something appealing for everyone. And we've got ten of them together to ensure that the gamer in your life is totally satisfied with their $59.99 gift. Or $49.99 if they have a Wii.

Read on for our ten blockbuster picks!

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Are You A Sexy Cel-Shaded Redhead With Huge Eyes?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 9:00 am
Borderlands Lilith_The_Siren_2 (640 x 360).jpg
ecause Gearbox Software is looking for someone like you! And by "like you" I mean someone who can look like Lilith from Borderlands! Also, you should give me your phone number!

The developer has put out an APB on fiery-haired vixens with monster peepers looking to earn a cool couple Gs for a few days' worth of work. That's right. $1000 per day. For as many days as you work. You provide the sultry stare, the similar bone structure, and the right attitude, and they'll provide a giant brown bag with a big $ on it. Head over to Gearbox's website for all the official stuff. Official stuff like, you know, a gallery of ways you can stand to look more like Lilith and job requirements that include:

-No acting experience but a willingness to show different facial expressions to a camera.

Heavy duty, high-caliber Juilliard stuff. Anyway. The model is wanted to portray Lilith in Borderlands 2. This all but confirms live-action flashback scenes in Borderlands 2 featuring characters of the first game. Live-action and video games are generally very bad together. However, Gearbox didn't do anything remarkably shitty in Borderlands, so we'll give them the benefit of the doubt for this one. The game should hit shelves next year.

The Sanctity Of The Cartridge

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm

My TV stand is proudly lined with every console I've ever owned. At least one from every console generation. Beside the stand is a five foot tall cabinet chronicling my 24 years of gaming. Titles range from cult classics, obscure genre-benders and hilarious misfires. My collection might not be the biggest, or the most complete, but what is increasingly unique about it is that it physically exists.

Physical games are becoming increasingly difficult to find. While more people are playing games than ever, a sizable portion of those people aren't buying those games in stores. Most people are getting their games through digital distribution, not counting the number of players downloading copies of games illegally. The industry is making a more concerted push every year to reduce the costly manufacture and distribution of discs and up digital sales.

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Skyrim Fan Video Displays A Sexual Deviant In The Making

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm
I was perusing Game Informer last evening when I stumbled upon this little video they posted. It is pretty horrifying -- the kind of thing a serial killer or sexual deviant (or, maybe just a regular gamer, I'm no psychologist) might do. Take a peak at it, if you like. It features a house of horrors, full of dismembered bodies, severed heads, and corpses set up to look like real life.

But James, why are you showing this to me?

Well, because it is different, damn it. And I kind of like things that are different from the run-of-the-mill fan videos and headshot montages we usually see. YouTuber symixable's little creation shows a capacity of Skyrim that really no one else has been able to manufacture and give to the internet. And it is creepy, disturbing, and actually kind of impressive (in an outside the box sort of way).

Follow up: if you like this kind of shit, read Child of God by Cormac McCarthy. Gave me a similar vibe.

Ten Video Game Characters We'd Like to Have a Beer With

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm





As a rubric for determining the worths of all types of people, the old "would I like to have a beer with them" test reigns supreme. We hear this question posed across the spectrum of American discourse, from politics ("Sure, he's clearly the better candidate and the other guy keeps confusing Austria with Australia... but would I want to get a beer with him?") to establishing friendships ("She's smart, funny... but aloof.  Do I want to get a beer with her?") to philosophy ("So, class, Plato's point was that if you were the owner of the Ring of Gyges, you could have a beer with anyone in the world without consequence... but would it be just?"). We may be paraphrasing Plato slightly here.

The point is that "would I like to have a beer with this person" has become, in our culture, synonymous with "do I like this person on an instinctual level."

We've all heard the "most influential" or "baddest-assed" lists compiled of video game characters. But why not apply the all-important "get a beer with" test to these same characters? It's an almost completely original idea! So here it goes -- ten video game characters we'd like to have a beer with. 

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Is Jurassic Park an Evolution of Telltale Games? [Jurassic Park: The Game Review]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 10:00 am
T-Rex playing with her toys.
As evidenced by Back to the Future: The Game, Telltale Games has a knack for adapting blockbuster movies. Beautifully, it brought Doc and Marty back to pop culture, offering an original story coupled with fun point-and-click puzzles.

Can the same idea work more than once for Telltale Games?

Definitely. Enter Jurassic Park: The Game, a four-episode adventure that returns to Isla Sorna, more than 100 miles from Costa Rica. For better or worse, it's an evolution of Telltale Games, and a new chapter in the Jurassic Park series. Grab it if you enjoy intense, interactive cutscenes (think Heavy Rain) and lots of crazy dinos, including T-Rex. Hand it back if you like difficult puzzles and lighter fare from the Telltale catalog.

I say go with the former.

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This Kid Has A Portal-Themed Room And It Is Crazy

Monday, November 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm
My room is currently various shades of brown and Mojave orange. I have a BioShock poster on my wall, which is brown and Mojave and yellow, an old school brushed copper clock to match the BioShock poster's frame. I have brown sheets on my bed, a black and brown computer desk and a brown leather chair. I think it looks rather cool, but I think the general consensus is that it comes off as chichi and boring. At least to those lucky enough to see my room, if you catch my drift. Wink wink.

I think I like it because my room was always very standard. When I was young, it was white-bread suburban kid room replete with dinosaur lamps and a tiger pictures. In college, it was regular suburban dude room with Scarface poster and a beer graph and maybe a scantily clad female pouting for the camera. Now, it's stark and coordinated and cool. I hurriedly pick up my undies when I slip up and leave them in a pile on the floor. It just ruins the aesthetic and that is something I can't cope with.

So, imagine if you will, if this same kind of quarter-life neurosis hit the kid I'm about to show you. Click the link.

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Tags: Portal

Gears Of War IV Might Start A Prequel Trilogy

Monday, November 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm
It is no secret that there are going to be more Gears of War games. Probably many more. Epic's hottest-ever franchise has garnered three consecutive multiple-million seller iterations, with no drop-off in quality between the entries and a massive fan base willing to stand in the cool pre-Autumn air of a midnight release party for the next hit as it graces store shelves. That's a recipe for a "keeper," and I contend that Epic Games and Microsoft Games Studios are savvy enough to know they've got a chicken that lays golden eggs full of money.

But I don't expect they'll push forward with the story as it left in Gears of War 3 -- because, well, SPOILER ALERT, they tied it all together rather nicely. Well, they hashed together three 6-hour segments into a relatively cohesive narrative and ended it on a nice sentimental note that everyone can feel good about. I, personally, loved it. I bought into the over-the-top story and straight up GoW-mold storytelling and gameplay. Gears of War 3 is the best major game of the last half of 2011 for me. And no, I haven't played Zelda or Skyrim yet.

Anyway, besides all that, there have been some stirrings concerning the next game. Gears of War IV, we'll call it for now. According to Official Xbox Magazine, via CVG, it looks like we're going to be exploring pre-Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago story. Click on for more.

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