|Bow and arrow -- regular weapon, regular violence. But some of these other things...|
|Super Nintendo and its glorious, glorious music.|
|This type of guy tends to turn up a lot in video games.|
|Valentine's Day is all about love, but it's also about other feelings.|
|Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an exploration of whether someone is still human when they have sunglasses built into their face|
|In Dragon Age: Origins, you do regular stuff like kill arch-demons and sleep with witches.|
Marcus Fenix of Gears of War, who is a pretty tough dude, benefits directly from a Tears for Fears cover.
There's something about incongruity that interests the mind. Two things that don't seem to fit together being combined can be a source of fascination, humor or even awe. It's the reason we are interested in a great many things. Examples of these kinds of odd pairings are everywhere. Sweet and sour pork is one (How can one serving of pork be both deliciously sweet and also mouth-puckeringly sour? Visit your neighborhood Chinese restaurant to find out!). Gator Golf is another ("What could be greater than golf with a gator," a philosopher once mused).Rat-cat-dog is perhaps the ultimate expression.
Sometimes, video game trailers will rely on this to draw potential players in by matching game footage with music that is both totally unexpected yet somehow extremely effective. The most famous example of this to date is the masterful trailer for the original Gears of War, which featured an armored mega-badass running and gunning against a terrible, alien foe in a bombed-out cityscape to the sleepy, melancholy strains of Gary Jules's cover of "Mad World." It's a dynamic that has worked in other trailers since, including the Bioshock Infinite trailer recently released.
I can't help but wonder if this same trick of amazing game footage paired with gorgeous yet unexpected music would work for other upcoming releases as well. So I took the trailers of a few of the most anticipated games coming up in the future and thought about what music might have that "this is ridiculous... wait, actually, this is awesome" effect.More >>
We saw a lot of big titles this year--both new IPs and a ridiculous number of high profile sequels--as well as some pleasant surprises that managed to sneak under the "awards show" radar.
It's this second group of games I'll be focusing on for this week's column. While pretty much every gaming site on the planet is releasing their annual "top 10 of the year" lists this week, I instead want to take a gander at some of the games that might not be receiving as much attention.
With so many stellar releases this year, it's hard to fault anyone for overlooking a few of these gems. So let's give it up for the little (relatively speaking) guys.More >>
Because gamers need to know if their politicians are crooks.
Welcome to 2012, everyone! We hope you've had a nice two days of recovering from the furious hangover with which you invariably ushered in this new year, but now it's time to get down to business. CAUCUS BUSINESS.
That's right, people. It's time to huddle together in mobs and talk loudly about who we would like to be president. It's the 2012 Iowa Caucuses today. The outcome of these caucuses will be scientifically analyzed and a winner will be selected. This candidate will then go on emboldened by his (or her, but let's be honest, it's not going to be her) victory and then may or may not be immediately forgotten.
But while this event of clear national importance takes place in a state of dubious national importance, let us all -- Iowan and non-Iowan, American and non-American, the fervent among us as well as the apathetic -- yes, let us all ask the pressing questions about video games and the politicians within them. And let us be thankful that none of the figures mentioned below can be elected to any form of real-life office.
This is Ten Slimiest Politicians in Video Games: Part 2!More >>
Press up on the D-pad to indict!
My friends, my fellow gamers, it's the most magical time of the year.
That's right. That magical time when people can smell the pine needles and the general lust for power in the air. That season where everyone seems nicer than usual, and those nice people show ads on your TV telling you exactly who wants to destroy America. It's that wondrous, festive time when folks wait with bated breath to see if Santa's left them the most precious gift of all: a functioning democracy.
It's primary season! In a little over a week the ponderous, silly wheels of American presidential politics will begin their quadrennial trundle down the hillside of freedom -- beginning with Iowa's caucuses on January 3rd.
So, in honor of another cycle, we're compiling a list of ten of the slimiest politicians in video game history. They take bribes, they kill for influence, and sometimes they are actually huge monsters taking a human form simply for convenience (OLD GAME SPOILERS AHEAD). But whatever their deal, you wouldn't want them in the Oval Office.More >>