Narrative Ideals

Monday, April 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm

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Think of the most popular video game worlds, the ones that feel alive, filled with their own unique conflicts and resolutions, often with clashing sides, but there is ultimately a spark of hope, some kind of bright light that says that all will be well, if only the world can be mended. The past few years have thrown several games, all RPGs, in the direction of gamers that create massive, complicated worlds, countries and planets that are so idealized that we, the gamer, form attachments. When you form an attachment, you gain more from a game. This attachment allows for escape, and it makes the game all the more enjoyable, and worthy of attention. It's a break from reality.

 

If video games are an escape from reality to a fantasy world where we can live outside of our unsettling reality, then I would not go so far as to say that The Witcher 2 allows escape.


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iHome iDM11 Speaker Is A Great Option For Multiple Gadgets

Monday, April 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm
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Let's face it, your portable game system, mobile device or tablet does not offer the amount of volume that you need to achieve when sharing games, videos and music with others. Despite all the awesome features of the portable devices out there, speakers are almost never adequate. If you want to use any of your gadgets without headphones, you need a solution. iHome has one with the iDM11 rechargeable Bluetooth speaker. More >>

New Portal 2 DLC Brings Back Cave Johnson

Friday, April 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Okay, so this is a quickie, but it is vital: Cave Johnson -- arguably the best video game character of this generation -- is back for some DLC. And yes, it is a small tease into what will likely be a continuation of the characterful greatness.

The brilliant JK Simmons breathes life into this dude. And here's to a long and storied career for the man and the character.

Anyway, DLC suite headed to PCs and Macs soon. Like May 8, 2012 soon.


Tags: POrtal 2

The Games that Define Me: Part One

Friday, April 27, 2012 at 10:00 am
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I like to think that every gamer's life is punctuated by a collection of benchmark games. These aren't necessarily your favorite games or what you would consider the "best" games, but rather the ones that truly stand out from the pack because of what they meant to you, your life and your involvement with this crazy little world of joysticks and pixels.


I'm talking about the games you really remember; the ones that helped you through the tough times, introduced you to a genre that would rule the next decade of your life or brought you closer to your friends and family. They're the games that made you think about this hobby in a whole new light. They made you feel something and question the world around you. Or maybe they were just really, really fun and devoured an ungodly amount of your free time.


I think knowing what games matter most to an individual and (more importantly) why, can help us understand one another a little bit better. If nothing else, it could make for some interesting conversation.


Following is the first in a two-part series highlighting the 10 games that helped define my life, both in the general sense and as a devotee of the industry. I'd be interested to hear yours, too. Feel free to list them in the comments section below.


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Lou Ferrigno on Dating and World of WarCraft

Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Created by OnlineSchools.org

I don't really know what to say about this one. Here's Lou Ferrigno on relationships and online gaming. The infographic above is just the start - his first "The More You Ferrigknow" video is right here. Enjoy.More >>

Live-Action Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Trailer!

Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

Look, Metal Gear is a great franchise -- indisputably one of the greatest in all of gaming history. But, "Revengeance" is the stupidest name I've ever heard. Here's a little English lession. The word is a portmanteau, which is the (now common) mashing of two words together to make one. They are "Vengeance" and "Revenge." Which is stupid.

"Vengeance" is a noun, it is a concrete instance where a malicious act occurs. "Vengeance" can also be used as an idiom, for emphasis -- "He attacked the stupid portmanteau with a vengeance." "Revenge" is a noun that can mean to bring one's own malicious justice against a guilty party. It isn't synonymous with "vengeance," but it is pretty fuckin' close. It isn't a good descriptor, like "Blaxploitation," which is "black" and "exploitation," that describes the caricature action films of the 1970s that explored complex race relations by exploiting the roles of each race in cinema, and sculpted the dialogue in society. See, that's smart.

Not to mention the trailer is live-action. Gross. Don't get me started on that shit.

Trials Evolution is a Motorcycle Freakout [Review]

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm
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RedLynx's XBLA Arcade game Trials Evolution gears up.

RedLynx's Trials Evolution has revved up a few memories I have of motorcycle video games. In the NES' heyday, I was overheating my Excitebike, with its awesome in-game editor, and when Sega came along, I was showing off my Road Rash, fighting cops and fellow racers on crotch rockets while enjoying a grungy, Soundgarden-laden soundtrack. Both, which I played for countless hours, resonate in the landscape of my gaming experience.

And I expect Trials Evolution will, too, if it holds up. It takes cues from motorcycle games of yesteryear and puts a unique spin on the genre. Yes, it's an evolution - perhaps even a revolution - that isn't running out of gas any time soon.
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Five Fighting Games That Are Creeping Me Out Right Now

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 10:00 am
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Some fighting games seem less concerned with action and more concerned with haunting my dreams.

Fighting games satisfy a very specific corner of the mind. They don't provide the same type of gaming experience as Heavy Rain or Mass Effect 3; they affect me on a much more basic level. If I were to take a CAT scan while playing Soul Caliber, I imagine it would prove that fighting games engage the same parts of the brain as activities like binge-eating Doritos or watching porn. There is no clearer expression of my id than Mitsurugi in a ready-stance with his daikatana out.

I don't play fighting games often, but they're part of my history as a gamer nonetheless. When I was a kid, my brother and I would play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters for the SNES for huge stretches of time. For the uninitiated, this is a game where our turtle pals compete in vicious bare-knuckle brawling tournaments in order to win stacks of gold.  I also have fond memories of playing King of the Monsters at a friend's house and button-mashing until the controller had actually inflicted a wound upon my thumb.

But there is a dark side to fighting games. Perhaps it's because they serve that very basic part of us that wants to use punching as a solution to every problem, so sometimes they come across as oddly hostile.  Or perhaps it's just because I'm not as familiar with fighting games as I am with RPGs or FPSs and so some of them seem foreign, strange... wrong somehow. Whatever it is, there are some fighting games that freak me out.

They just kind of make me uneasy, okay? Something about them gives me the willies. Not all fighting games, obviously I don't have nightmares about Super Smash Bros. or anything. Just a few of them...


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eers Earphones Are Literally Just For You

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm
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We tend to go through a lot of earbuds here at JD Central. They get lost, abused, given away or otherwise cycled out of the rotation. Recently, my wife's earbuds gave out on her, so I gave her the pair I had most recently been using. That gave me the perfect excuse to try a pair that arrived a few days earlier, a pair of "sculpted fit" earbuds by eers. According to the info sent along with the review unit, these earbuds would be custom-fit to perfectly fit my ears and my ears alone.

Naturally, I had to test out that claim. 

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Tags: eers, GearFest

See Diablo III Witch Doctor In Action

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Don't feel ready enough for the wait to be over and dah weetch dohcta to become a real playable thing? Watch this, then!

The Witch Doctor is one of the new Diablo characters, and will be alchemizing and plaguing into our hearts come May 15. And remember folks, the beta closes on May 1, so get those characters leveled up for their untimely demises!