GeekParty Live’s Weekly Game Show Returns!

After last week’s unexpected and unexplained absence, you may have lost hope, but fear not! GeekParty Live’s Weekly Game Show isn’t going anywhere, and we’re back with another episode featuring the delightful Quiplash XL.

Here are some nuggets you can expect to find in this week’s episode:

  • An education on the finer points of pronouncing Wile. E. Coyote’s name.
  • Good ol’ censorship, 1984-style.
  • Animals thinking they are people.
  • A distinct drop in the odd “keyboard typing” sounds that have pervaded past broadcasts.
  • And me, always doing my best to appear to be doing my best.

Don’t worry if you missed us live, because we’ve got you covered with the archived broadcast below! As always feel free to follow us on Twitch and catch us next Sunday at 5pm CST.

Watch live video from geekpartylive on www.twitch.tv

GeekParty’s Streaming Game Show Is Now A Series!

Another Sunday is in the books, and you know what that means: GeekParty’s new live-streaming game show is now officially a series!

This week I came equipped with Quiplash XL, to add even more variety to the show, but here are some other things you can expect from the episode:

  • Completely defensible ignorance of brand slogans.
  • An unnerving suspicion that one or more contestants have experience making people “disappear.”
  • A fresh perspective on Mr. Clean’s personal life.
  • Real science in the form of a biochemical compound involved in many metabolic pathways!
  • And yours truly, always doing my best to keep the laughs coming.

If you missed it live, feel free to catch the archived broadcast below and follow us on Twitch to catch the show next Sunday!

Watch live video from geekpartylive on www.twitch.tv

Rampage Isn’t a Dinosaur Game: The Monsters in Rampage Were Apparently People

Rampage MonstersRecently, I was trying to make a mental list of dinosaur-themed video games, and a friend suggested Rampage as a nice fit on such a list. I was inclined to agree until another friend challenged its dino-game status.

Wait, what? How could Rampage not be considered a dinosaur game when one of the main protagonists is a dinosaur?! I asserted in no uncertain terms that Rampage was a definite dino-game, but when pressed my only “evidence” turned out to be a tenuous connection to another dinosaur-ape duo of Hollywood fame (inspiration, perhaps?) and the fact that, well, it looked like a damn dinosaur to me. I knew I needed more, and so to the Google I ventured.

rampageHey! Did you know that Rampage had a plot and even a backstory? I didn’t, and I played that game a lot as a kid. When I think about it, though, I probably didn’t notice the plot in much of anything those days. So yes, Rampage had a plot, and it tuns out part of that plot was to rob me of a dino-game.

“Lizzie” (along with the other monsters from the game) was a human being at one point! The lumbering dinosaur of my childhood was in fact a mutated young woman who had happened to swim in a toxic lake. At least, that was the original story. Subsequent games would tinker with the origin stories a bit, but the fact there were origin stories at all for this game still boggles my mind a bit.

It’s very likely that none of this is news to those of you who have actually read this far, but that I was ignorant of such an integral part of the game’s premise got me thinking about how much else I missed in those formative days. The lesson? The point? If there is one, it’s that we really need a lot more games with dinosaurs in them. And not just people who have become dinosaurs through some unfortunate incident, but actual dinosaurs.

Broken Servers Are Not The Only Issue With DriveClub’s Multiplayer

dclub-logoLet’s face it: the first month of DriveClub’s life has been an unmitigated disaster. Nearly every major selling point has been hamstrung by the inability of the game’s servers to deliver anything but errors and frustration. Luckily, the core racing game is phenomenal and should hopefully keep the game from being completely buried by the server’s ineptitude.

While things have certainly improved since its release and Evolution Studios continues to work on the title, access to the multiplayer has exposed a more pernicious issue: Event start times.

event-select

When you select the Multiplayer option, you are presented with the Events Browser. Then, you’re usually given 6 to 10 different events to choose from, each of them with a start time that is counting down to zero. Eeach event is separated by 30 seconds from the next. Every event also has a main category that’s paired with enough distinct modifiers (location, time of day, time compression, etc.) and vehicle restrictions to produce an excellent variety.

The aforementioned variety is always a welcome sight, of course, but it also means that some event combinations will not palatable to everyone. Plus, events can be restricted to cars you do not own, and taking the “Loaner” vehicle will not earn you any Fame or Accolades. So, it’s a complete waste of time.

Players also may just want to avoid German vehicles or night drives, so by the time they find an event that suits them, it might not be starting for over two and a half minutes.

no-fame-4-u

All of this means that players end up wasting a lot of time just sitting around, which can be frustrating if they’re pressed for time or just itching to drive.

Me? I am most definitely itching, but DriveClub isn’t letting me scratch.

PS4 Pro Tip: Using Your iPod With The PS4’s USB Music Player

 

ps4-logo-centered

Yesterday’s release of the PS4 2.0 firmware update, also known as “Masamune,” contained one of my most-wanted features: the ability to game with my own music in the background. The only kicker is that, at least for now, the music must be stored on an external USB drive.

If you’re like me, that could mean a music selection hampered by the available space on your only drive. And if you’re really like me, the USB stick itself may not even fit into any of the available slots!

Fortunately, there is a method for using your trusty old iPod to fulfill those auditory desires. First, plug your iPod into any compatible PC/Mac/Linux device and navigate to the root (base) directory of your device. Create a folder titled ‘MUSIC’ (that’s case-sensitive), dump all your favorite jams in there, and then connect the iPod to your PS4.

USB-Music

The PS4 will recognize the files in your new folder and the USB Music Player app will appear on screen. Once you’ve opened it, you can choose to either “Play All” or a specific selection of music, with shuffle and repeat options to boot. You’re also able to set the music volume independently. It’s pretty damn cool and a welcome improvement over the PS3 paradigm that the previous lack of functionality had me pining for.

Additionally, after playing around with it a bit in DriveClub and MLB 14: The Show, I noticed that the system automatically suppresses the natural soundtrack of the game regardless of your in-game audio settings. Nifty stuff!

In Space We Brawl, Eventually

One thing that pleases me to no end in this latest generation of consoles is the continued resurgence of retro-style gaming. Whether it’s a design that hearkens back to the pixelated sprites we once adored or couch multiplayer games triggering fistfights among friends (or both!), there is plenty of nostalgia and fun to be had these days.

In Space We Brawl

In Space We Brawl, unfortunately, includes two “features” of old-school games that have no business in the 21st century: a user interface so clunky and outdated you’ll likely spend more time brawling game menus than you do other players, and a brevity of gameplay that is much more suited to sucking up quarters than delivering much in the way of competitive satisfaction.

Every match (emphasis will make sense later) begins with a player selecting from a large variety of ship and special weapon combinations that can fit just about any desired play-style. So far, so good, right? However, our first problems arise immediately afterwards when you enter the level select screen.

There are eight levels to choose from and you HAVE to choose one of them, regardless of your familiarity, because there is no random option. This did not bode well, and I find it weird that the developers omitted such a simple feature. After selecting a level, you must make another choice: which of the three map sizes you’d like to battle on. Perhaps it’s this additional option that precludes the lack of a random option somehow, but I’m not seeing it. Still, finally, it’s time to get brawlin’!

That debris looks a lot like my ship, oh wait so does that... and that...

“That debris looks a lot like my ship, oh wait so does that… and that…”

Blink and you may miss said brawl, though. A frustrating combination of over-saturated level obstacles, ponderous controls, and a lack of good visual cues will have you dying as much to the environment as to another player. And it will usually happen very fast. Afterwards, when a single player is left standing, the match is ended. Remember that emphasis?

Ah yes, now we’ve come to the worst affront of all: you will have to go through this entire match process at least three times (the minimum number of matches you can participate in) before a tournament winner is ultimately declared.

Match Over!

I dreaded this screen more than any player.

The end result is a game that often spends more time getting to the appointed space than brawling, and I don’t have the time or space to waste on it.

In Space We Brawl’s Voice Packs Present A Missed Opportunity

In Space We Brawl

Over the last few years, voice packs and Announcers have become a common staple in multiplayer gaming; they’re a great way to bring some additional excitement and levity to any number of in-game situations. And with the evolution of DLC, they’ve also become a great way to supplement a game’s sales.

In Space We Brawl is packaged with a number of extremely entertaining voices, but they’re never really utilized.

Nearly every vocal stereotype is represented, but, beyond a very quick countdown, they’re almost never heard. In most other games, this would typically be the only area of a game to utilize voice packs, so it’s quite strange to see the effort wasted.

Additionally, the word usage among all of the voices is exactly the same, because they only reiterate whatever’s written on your screen, which further strips them of any chance to have a distinct personality.

I spent the first 10 minutes of this game cycling through the voices and menus because I genuinely liked the voice actors’ performances. Unfortunately, the limitations I’d go on to discover in both the “script” and the match play make the voice packs feel like an afterthought at best and quite an annoyance at worst.

Even if you love like the languid drawl of Cheng and the stuffy bark of Clayton, you can only listen to them repeat the name of your ship or announce your arrival at the main menu so many times before it’s time to drop that voice volume option to zero.

In Space We Brawl’s Tutorial Is Harder than Some Entire Games

in space we brawlIn Space We Brawl offers an interesting take on the tutorial in that it doesn’t actually have one. What you do get is the “Challenges” section, a series of 21 missions meant to simultaneously introduce you to the game and frustrate the crap out of you. Not the ideal combination! [Read more…]

TowerFall Ascension: The Best $60 I Ever Spent Was on a Free Game

towerfall-featured

When I downloaded TowerFall Ascension for my PS4, it wasn’t because I was excited to play. I hadn’t even heard of it. It was because, like so many other games in my library these days, it was totally “free” thanks to PlayStation Plus.

[Read more…]

My Curly Hair Steals The Show on PS4

As an avid player of Sony’s MLB: The Show franchise since its inception, there isn’t much that escapes my notice where year-to-year changes are concerned.

[Read more…]