Great Feats in Gaming: The Getaway

The GetawayThe Getaway is a flawed game; there is no debating that. But I was young and impressionable when it was released, equipped with the tolerance and optimism needed to over look its many flaws.

For the most part, I had a swell time playing it through. It was such an authentic depiction of London that even though it had little to offer within that virtual landscape, it was a pleasure to visit. The story and acting were great too. Still, every now and then, it felt like a bit of a chore. [Read more...]

Redbox Is Denying Me My Destiny

The Languid Gamer vs. Game RentalsSo there I was, on a beautiful Saturday morning, a few hours to kill and nothing on my plate. I decided I’d finally to succumb to my desire to play Destiny. Even if it was only for a fleeting afternoon, I needed to quench my thirst for legendary endeavors. [Read more...]

The Evil Within, The Doody Without

Hulk HoganWhat’s that smell? It seems to be emanating from my trousers. To quote Hulk Hogan from No Holds Barred, it smells like “dookie”. And boy, The Evil Within is shaping up to be an incredible freak-fest.

I love scary games, especially ones that are actually scary. These days, though, those types of games aren’t as abundant as they used to be. Too many survival horror titles are just hybrids of action shooters. That’s necessarily bad, but it’s not always what I’m in the mood for. It’s refreshing to see a game that’s clearly aiming for the “holy shit!” end of the spectrum.

Evil Within imageIt has a bit of a Dead Space vibe (minus all of the space). Plus, it’s coming out on last gen consoles, which means I can actually play it.

This is definitely the sort of game that makes things go bump in the night. Even if that bump is the result of turds dropping (because I’m scared shitless).

Destiny Denied: I Don’t Have Time to Become a Legend

Destiny RelaxationI really want to play Destiny. [Read more...]

The Importance of a Gaming Wingman

Borderlands co-opEvery gamer needs a wingman.

Games are at their best when you have someone to sit shotgun. They can offer tips and observations that will move the journey along when you get stuck, or help you out when you can’t see an answer that’s right in front of your face. [Read more...]

Chivalry Gets Ridiculously Medieval on Our Asses

Chilvalry PS3Chivalry looks really goofy, but it also looks pretty entertaining. I’m not really sure what it’s like as far as gameplay is concerned, but it does look like a lot of fun. [Read more...]

A Recipe for the Perfect Open World Game

Watch Dogs: This Pooch Has Some Pretty Nifty TricksI’ve been playing Watch Dogs lately, and it’s pretty entertaining so far. I love open world sandbox games, and this one is no slouch. There are a few quirks – like the fact that I rarely see many cars aside from that taco truck — but I’ve still been enjoying my time with it.

Mostly though, I’ve been thinking about the new features that the game brings to the genre, like controlling the environment with your phone and causing havoc from a distance or while on the move.

That got me thinking about my favorite features of other open world titles, and how if you managed to combine them with solid gameplay and a killer story, you’d have a recipe for perfection. And then, baby, you’d really have a stew going.

baby you got a stewHere are a few features that could help make the perfect open world game:

  • The Speed Limit Button; Mafia series

Being able to tap a button and not have to worry about going over the limit is a great feature, especially in a game that monitors your speed. It also makes it easier to cruise leisurely through town without causing thousands of dollars of property damage. Which brings me to my next point,

  •  Cruise Control; Saints Row series

How annoying is it having to steer and aim while tooling around involved in a roving gunfight? I will tell you: super annoying.This feature is a must for any game that has you blasting on fools while also trying to navigate rush hour traffic.

  • Taking a Taxi/Public Transportation; Grand Theft Auto series

Truly one of the best no-brainer additions to the open world genre. I rode in cabs all the time in GTA IV just to enjoy the scenery and music. It was the perfect way to let the game continue to play while taking a food break.

Add to that the ability to hop a subway and ride the rails, and you’ve added a whole new level of immersion and realism. Now if only you could take a frickin’ bus.

GTA bus

  • Pedestrian Ambiance; Saints Row, GTA series

This one is hard to attribute to one series or game, because the greats have always done a smashing job at this. Saints Row 2, with its inclusion of meter maids, rollerbladers, and people just sitting on benches stands out as the first game to pay that extra bit of attention to pedestrians. Until then, it was always just the same six or so people milling around.

GTA would later pick up this thread and deliver a wallop of simulated life with the pedestrians of GTA IV. This of course leads to my next point,

  • Radio Stations/Musical Ambiance; GTA series

Again, the top dog comes out on top. A few other games and series in the open world genres nail this aspect admirably well, including Saints Row and Sleeping Dogs but GTA was the O.G., and has only gotten better over the years.

It isn’t just about song selection, but the sheer variety of realistic stations. The talk radio alone is something to behold. Bastion’s Buddies could stand alongside anything currently on right wing radio.

What features would your perfect open world game include? Let us know in the comments!

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Brought Me Closer to My Brother

Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons 1Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons looked interesting and garnered a solid amount of praise, but it was never something I was in the mood to play. Even after I got the game for free, I just couldn’t bring myself to give it a chance.

The moment I got my head out of my butt and actually played it, I realized this was a huge mistake. Brothers is a brilliant approach to deep storytelling and allegory.

The kicker? My older brother Gabe, the guy that introduced me to Nintendo way back when (though considering we shared a room, I probably would have found the NES sooner or later) just happened to be chilling with me the first time I sat down with the game.

My brother Gabe

My brother Gabe

I had heard from various sources that the game was rather short, enough so that it could easily be completed in a single playthrough. So when I finally set aside a few hours to game, I was ready to go the distance. And indeed, I feel that the punch it packs is best delivered and received without interruption.

Experiencing the journey and fate of these two digital brothers when my own brother was solving puzzles alongside me made me feel a stronger connection to the events as they unfolded. The fictional siblings mirrored the two of us in a number of ways.

In a way, it felt like we were the brothers setting off on an adventure, overcoming numerous obstacles and hardships in the name of love for one’s family.

Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons 3This game is incredibly heartwarming, and a must-play for anyone out there that feels human emotions.Many games – at least the current stable of big-tier popular titles — are all about living out power fantasies, feeding that basic inner need to be super badass and kill shit.

But the fact that the gaming landscape allows for that sort of bravado machismo while also producing titles as sincere and thoughtful as this game bodes well for the industry. At times, gaming is plagued by the stigma of childishness and stymied further by an overabundance of violence, sexuality, and profanity.

While I enjoy many of those games, I’m glad we also have games like Brothers; titles that know what it means to be human and fragile.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue Gameplay Trailer: One Foot In the Grave

Assassin's Creed RogueI love trailers; I can’t get enough of them. The best instantly instill that feeling of “I must have this game as soon as possible.” The worst go as quickly as they came, and leave little trace of ever existing, like a dry fart on a windy day. [Read more...]

L.A. Noire: Your Face Says It All

L.A. Noire

For my money, L.A. Noire was far from perfect. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that it was almost a letdown.

[Read more...]