[PAX East 2017] Survival Tip: Do That Thing You Hate – featuring Colina: Leagacy

Hate is a strong word. It’s also accurate enough when describing standing in line sober for something you’re not even sure you’re interested in. I’m cringing just thinking about it.
On the other hand, had Kae and I not thrown our hands up in the air and stood in the first line we saw we would never have tried the first person horror game Colina: Legacy.  First, I’ve never heard of this game or this developer but they went big. They had a replica of the scary house from the game inside and out!
Kae and I reluctantly get in this line and, surprise, it moves fairly quickly. We get to the front of the line and a guy explains to up that we can’t demo the game but we can check out their sweet set up…  Ummm, okay.
We’re both feeling that our suspicions about lines sucking and what not are in the process of being confirmed (the theory can’t be confirmed until the process is complete and we walk away on to another task). Inside, we have to admit, that setup was amazing.  It looked just like the game! The cups on the counter, the kitchen table, the fridge!
About the fridge… One of the developers on site offered us some water. So sweet! But then he says, “It’s in the fridge; help yourself.” …Fear and anticipation. I’m IN a jump scare game right now and being asked to open a door?! Oh dead god. Hand on handle I brace myself and look for Kae to reassure me (she’s sitting at the counter with a headset on- I’ll remember that when SHTF). The Corlina (Chance 6) developer is looking on with an evil-tinged glee. He’s being helpful and generous (water at the convention was $3.50 a bottle)… or was he!? I pull the handle and nothing happens. It’s just a well lit cool fridge filled with bottled water.
“Thank  you,” I say sheepishly then scuttle off to Kae’s side (Weird how she can find me by her side when she’s about to get terrorized).

Wait! I said the guy told us that we couldn’t play the game, we could only look around. That’s the kicker, literally as soon as we walk through the door the next developer greets us and asks if we want to try Colina: Legacy. Uh, yeah?
He explains that they have a fully booked schedule but if people leave early or show up late that leaves demo stations open for us walk-ins. So we waited in line only to jump the queue and get  to try the game.

Was waiting in line for Colina: Legacy it worth this dreaded waiting in line nonsense?

Yes, because:

  • Colina Legacy is a third person horror-puzzle game set at your grandma’s house. Your gran has the scariest house I’ve ever seen complete with writing on the walls in blood AND weird mystical secret messages.
  • We got to play around one level and within minutes I was deeply engrossed in the story and the unique-but-familiar gameplay.
  • The developers! They’re stoked on the  game and they put some serious thought and effort into this introduction. Also, good people make you feel good about investing in their work.

I’m watching and waiting in anticipation. Though I plan to wait for delivery rather than go to a store to find another line…

E3 Bethesda showcase did NOT answer the most important Fallout 4 questions.

Sure, the showcase told us a lot. Fallout 4 is in a lot of ways a completely different game from 3 and NV. The wasteland is wide and varied, the crafting has been completely overhauled to create a hopefully satisfying and robust experience, and I personally will have a chance to build my own post-apocalyptic settlement, which is basically all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was a small child.
Also, you get a super-cool pipboy – yes AN ACTUAL PIPBOY – if you preorder the special edition of Fallout4.
Oh, and Fallout 4 comes out nine days before my 30th birthday, so this is basically the best year ever.
But I was watching that showcase like a hawk, and unless I missed something our most important question about Fallout 4 was not answered.
Continue reading “E3 Bethesda showcase did NOT answer the most important Fallout 4 questions.”

A slightly unhinged letter to Bethesda, regarding Fallout 4

Here are some random thoughts, theories, desires and wishes relating to Fallout 4, in no particular order.

  • OK, we get a dog right? The video shows a dog. If I don’t actually get a dog in game I will be sad.
  • Do we actually get to visit that house in the announcement video? It looks like it had some loot in it. I like loot.
  • OK, so, like, that flying ship. Do we get to fly it? Or is it cut scene set dressing or something? I want to fly it, or at least loot it.
  • Related to the dog, can the dog die? I won’t take it with me if the dog can die. In F03 I never took anyone but Fawkes because they were so fragile. I liked NV a lot more because if you are a wuss like me and play it on lower difficulties the followers don’t die they just pass out.
  • How robust is the looting? How much random wasteland crap can I fit into my backpack? Can I make the dog carry it all?
  • I really really want there to be a ton of easter eggs and references. Can you do that, Bethesda? Can you?
  • will you please stop putting shitty loot in high level locked rooms and safes. In like, all your games, forever.
  • If you haven’t already got the hint my main priorities are taking everything that’s not nailed down and having a dog friend.
  • It’s in Boston, yeah? I don’t know anything about Boston. Does Boston get snow? I think it does. WILL WE HAVE SNOW IS WHAT I AM ASKING I KINDA WANT RADIOACTIVE SNOW except I don’t because it sounds terrible for looting
  • please don’t fuck this up i love these games
  • FALLOUT 4 FALLOUT 4 FALLOUT 4 OMG
  • I am glad no-one was there to see me watching the video because I squealed and actually threw my arms up and cheered when we got to dun duuuh DUUUUH
  • LOOK, ok, I know it’s never gonna happen but I kind of want a fallout set in England and I have some good ideas to float if you want to hit me up
  • WHAT IS THE PLOT
  • can you please release a stripped-down version of the character generator on your website so that I can play with it a bit I don’t think you understand how important it is that I spend 2 hours creating the perfect character face for someone I will only see in VATS and killcams
  • RELEASE DATE PLEASE

  • dog
    DOOOOGGGG

Signed: a fan

FALLOUT 4! War, War never changes.

So, it’s time. No more hoaxing, no more lying, just this video.

Fallout 4 has been officially announced for next gen consoles and PC. We’ve been waiting for this for what seems like forever (7 years since Fallout 3, about 4 or 5 since New Vegas), and now we have actual confirmation from Bethesda.
My rule of ‘Don’t trust ANYTHING til you see it on Bethesda’s official sites’ paid off.
Now, we know very little about Fallout 4 from this time, but here’s what your writer has guessed from the video.

  • Fallout 4 is set in Boston, as fans previously speculated
  • The tech level is higher, with flying ships and awesome robots
  • Graphically, the design of a lot of the stuff is more similar to 1 and 2
  • You get a dog
  • DOG DOG DOG

Now, readers, why not guess wildly in the comments. It’s a safe place for all your theories, no matter how canon-unfriendly.
Just remember, keep your expectations a tiny bit lower than that. No game will EVER live up to the one in your head.
And from now on, this blog is All Fallout, All the time. Except when it’s not.

PAX East 2014 | Organic Panic


1978876_224701924385529_1851087260_nOrganic Panic
is a  puzzle-platformer about a Protein vs Produce apocalypse. Technically the protein (Meats and Cheeses) have already won and the Produce are living in fear while they’re hunted for sport.

LastLimb, created by brother David and Anatole Branch, funded Organic Panic through a kickstarter campaign and got greenlit on Steam Greenlight. Obviously this game makes a good impression.

But what was it like to play Organic Panic in real life?

Kae and I played Organic Panic at PAX East and got a copy of the comic which details the story. We used XBox 360 controllers on a PC build.983632_226653834190338_414048056255896916_n

  • Single player was fun and reminiscent of old-school platformers like Sonic The Hedgehog or Donkey Kong with a bit of a Super Meatboy twist.
  • Each character has special abilities (fueled by collecting magic stars) like the ability to shoot whatever material they’re in contact with, throw water, set things on fire, and telekinesis.1010122_224401007748954_746872795_n
  • Each ability comes out in the comic (Produce is magical and Protein is technological, duh), which explains how the Protein took over, what the Produce plans t do about it, and why there are all these portals around.
  • The levels weren’t exactly continuous stories (at least not what we played) as much as they were action based puzzles — which is totally normal for levels on platformers. Each level started with a different character so you couldn’t really choose your favorite and stick with it. The cherry with it’s shooting ability was really fun. But if you can only be one character per level, it means the characters aren’t all equal on all the levels. However, it makes sense if you read the comic and know that the old Apple is sending the fruits on missions through portals to support his master plan.1975125_224032251119163_885536456_n
  • In multiplayer, we were each given a character that had to work with the the other to solve our way to the door (end of the level).
  • Multiplayer levels were more like single-screen puzzles with each fruit on one side and the objective door some where visible but out of reach.10014643_225249220997466_1604416436_n
  • Playing with a friend in this way was fun and frustrating. If one player dies, you reset. And boy did we die a lot. You have to talk it out and point and shout and try and fail and finally, victory fist pump when you win.

Organic Panic was a fresh take on cute and campy platformers and post-apocalyptic resistance. It felt both familiar and unique with a solid psychics build and “fleshed out” characters. The game was easy enough to pick up and play though there were some place where you could run out of mana and then you were just stuck and had to restart the level. They’re short levels so it wasn’t a big deal.
Keep an eye out on Steam, because it’s coming soon.

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PAX East 2014 | Borderlands the Pre-Sequel

Borderlands the Pre-Sequel is set between Borderlands and Borderlands 2 (see how it’s both a prequel and sequel?) and takes place on the moon of Pandora. (Because 2K Australia was behind getting this game out, everyone on the moon is Australian.)
I died a little when I heard there would be another Borderlands game AND it would be staring Claptrap! Well, Claptrap will be one a four playable characters.
This game will follow the rise of Handsome Jack, who is your boss/leader.
Most of the gameplay seems the same as it was in Borderlands 2– which is a pro in my book. There are a few new features like cryo-bullets that freeze enemies so they can be smashed.
This time, because you’re on the moon, there is a new piece of gear you get: your O2 thing. They called it “Oz” in the demo. Oz lets you double jump, hover, and super stomp (especially cryo-frozen bandits). You’ll also have the pleasure of blowing bandits off the moon when you grenade them!
Check out the Borderlands the Pre-Sequel developer overview below and the write up on the 2K Games blog.
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First Impressions: MARS: War Logs

[wpspoiler name=”First Impressions vs. Reviews” ]First Impressions are based on demos while Reviews are based on entire games.[/wpspoiler]
MARS: War Logs is set in the war-torn, waterless future of Mars. Surprise, you colonized Mars and its supply of one gallon of water didn’t last to sustain a whole planet full of people.
According to the Purple Prose introduction narrated by the most pathetic grunt in the Water War, there’s a war on and there are Water Gangs fighting for control and—I don’t think there’s a society anymore. I think this is like post-apocalyptic anarchy on a colonized planet. Deep.
Well, our grunt is in a truck with other folks heading to elsewhere. Apparently he’s been captured and is a POW (prisoner of war) being shipped off to the enemy camp.
(Keep in mind, all this is being told through Purple Prose and cinematics. Try as you might, you don’t get to play in the train, in the loading bay, in the gen pop area… No playing for you.)

Innocence in a box
Innocence in a box – That’s him in the corner. That’s him in the spotlight.

Finally this sad little lad with the emotionless reading voice telling me of all the horrors of war arrives at the enemy base. Yay, I get to play! PSYCH!
The kid’s introduction to the POW is a foul-mouthed gang of other POWs who wish to make passionate love to his butthole. The portly gang leader is Fatso. Literally, his name is Fatso.
Our idealistic little runt fearing for his rear-virginity? His name is *Le Sigh* Innocence. Yes, his name is Innocence.  Take a minute to eye-roll and regroup.
So Innocence is all, “But I don’t want to be but-raped.” And Fatso is all like, “But I’m a villain and this is prison and you’re new so… Dibs!”
(You still not playing the game yet.)
So then this dude comes up and stands at the edge of the argument with his arms folded and I’m like, “YES! Finally I get to play, I’m gonna brawl this Fatso!”
NOOOOPE.
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “Whadda you want?”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “This doesn’t concern you.”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “The Boy is Mine.”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “You’re Crazy!”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “Let’s get out of here guys, this guy’s crazy.”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “This isn’t over.”
WHAT THE FUCK!? (Pause for head shaking and or eye rolling.)
Okay, so whatever, you finally get to play now. Now that nothing is happening, you get to play.
And by play I mean you talk to Innocence and decide if you want to be a hard ass or a nice guy (your reputation matters). Apparently Innocence is just an introduction and Roy is our main character. He’s like, “I’m Roy.” And Innocence is like, “Ohmigawd, ROY? The Roy?”
Roy, local badass and side burn aficionado
Roy, local badass and side burn aficionado

Roy’s like, “Yeah, The Roy.”
So by now it’s very clear that the writing is not good and the voice acting ranges from cringe-inducing to pretty good. However, since I only started actually playing the game a minute ago, I powered on.
Uh oh, Fatso and his gang are waiting for Roy and Innocence in the courtyard ready to pin down Little Buddy and slip it in the back. (There’s a lot of swearing and Fatso is really keen on rape).
Tutorial fight time! I like tutorial fight time. I get to play the game and beat up bullies. X to hit. RT to distract them. A to break their defenses.
Cool got it. Let’s punch more people!
Nope. Time to sit and chat with Innocence. Go hither and fro. Chat with dudes.
Okay, this is an RPG so you’re not going to just side-scroll style fight through the world until you hit a boss. Roy is running around (with Innocence in tow) exploring the base with a surprising level of freedom for a POW.
Mutants are sad
Mutants are like people only mutated and sad. And oddly spiritual.

They fight a few other prisoners and a beast and meet the mutants. The story and the game really start to take off. The dialogue stays horrible but the story is fascinating. In this war-torn world, there are people called Technomancers who control electricity, underground monsters called Moles that make it really hard to dig for water, and possibly mysterious ruins from the colonists who first settled on Mars.

Developer(s) Spiders
Publisher(s) Focus Home Interactive
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network
Release date(s) Windows
April 26, 2013
XBLA
July 26, 2013
PSN
August 13, 2013
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

Mars: War Logs Pros:

A mysterious technomancer
Mysterious technomancer is mysterious.

1. The story is interesting a possibly unique. With all the hokey dialogue and waiting around, the story is what kept me around.
2. Innocence fights with you instead of acting as another obstacle to keep track of. He doesn’t finish any off on his own but he’s definitely more partner than package.
3. The game world is large and the menus are extensive creating  a deep and interesting experience for just $9.99.
Mars: War Logs Cons:
I assume this is a boss.
I assume this is a boss.

1. Holy shit the dialogue is bad. It’s outright laughable at some points and not helped by the fact that a lot of the voice acting is sub-par.
2. Can I say the fact that it’s not a book is a con? I truly like the story but didn’t feel like I was a necessary part of it. Maybe that’s because it was a demo so it was just a teaser of what’s to come. I just didn’t feel moved so much as curious.
3. The demo felt long. If a game is truly engaging it should steal hours of your time and have you looking around in surprise because you didn’t realize how immersed you were. Mars: War logs felt like it was taking too long. I wasn’t pushing forward but trudging. I found myself annoyed when I accidentally retraced y steps because UGH I just want something interesting to happen.
Overall, what I think of Mars: War Logs:
Moles are not your friends. But if they were you wouldn't dig through their home and then murder them indiscriminately...
Moles are not your friends. But then again, if they were you wouldn’t dig through their home and then murder them indiscriminately…

During a time where games aren’t launching and tax season may or may not leave you broke, Mars: War Logs is definitely something to look into. It seems like it will provide hours of entertainment with an interesting story.
I realize I’ve mocked it relentlessly but that’s because the game does manage to stumble into a writing trap where things are described too beautifully or characters aren’t dimensional enough. Paired with the voice acting, that would be fine for reading aloud in class, it gets a bit laughable.
The silliness though, doesn’t detract from what is a pretty solid game with decent graphics and a large, interactive world. There are side missions, craftable weapons, upgrade trees and a lot more. For $9.99!
Try the demo and see if you can live with the writing and reading.

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The Maw is the Most Adorable Apocalypse Ever

Maw and Frank being totes adorbs.
Maw and Frank being totes adorbs.

Most apocalyptic video games are bleak and depressing. They’re set during a time where things are going or went horribly wrong. Twisted Pixel managed to take those aspects, cover them is pink frosting and sunshine, tie it up in a bow and deliver The Maw. A similar yet very different kind of game about the apocalypse and friendship.
The main, playable character in The Maw is Frank. Frank is an alien on an alien planet. He’s abducted and crashed on a strange world with a strange, purple fellow captive. This giant, one-eyed, purple creature has the affect of a puppy. Like any good dog, he’s hungry and loving.
MAWPreview3
Due to his giant mouth, the purple fellow is called Maw. Maw is tethered to Frank via a collar-bracelet situation. I guess that’s just so he doesn’t fall off a cliff because when Frank wants him to come closer her just hollers, “Maw!”
Frank takes Maw under his wing and goes about trying to escape this planet. On their way Frank discovers that Maw loves to eat the Yums native to this planet. Oh well, whatever keeps the slobbering beast happy.
Frank and Maw make their way across the planet with Maw eating everything he can and Frank kindly keeping him alive. With each Yum Maw eats, he grows. Some things he eats cause him to take on their characteristics—a very useful skill when traversing rough, unknown terrain.
Spicy food can sometimes have adverse reactions.
Spicy food can sometimes have adverse reactions.

Maw and Frank face enemies and obstacles of all kinds while trekking across the planet. As Maw’s size increases it starts to become clear that this might become a problem. How big will he get before he tops off? Will he top off? Will he start eating asteroids and planets? What if he eats a sun…
Oh, snap. Now I get why these intergalactic mercenaries wanted him destroyed.
Aside from the cutest best friends ever, The Maw also offers a relaxing game with solid mechanics and challenges worth taking on.
He seems to be getting bigger...
He seems to be getting bigger…

Neither Frank nor Maw speak aside from Frank calling Maw (which is good because bad voice work can really ruin a game) but the story is fairly clear and engaging. The game is quick, but not too easy.
2013-03-22 20.43.14
Personally, I think being eaten by Maw is a perfectly acceptable way to go. I’m a huge fan of the game and the characters and the feeling I get when playing it. I even have a Maw plush toy, and my best friend has a Frank plush (he shouts “Maw” when you press the telepathic orb on Frank’s head.
Buy The Maw; play it; love it; buy it for your friends.

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Math Apocalypse is every student's worst nightmare

If the only way to save the world is for me to do basic math, we’re all going to die. Math Apocalypse is an Android app game that tasks you with the tremendous pressure of solving math problems to defeat aliens invading earth.
Seems pretty straight forward and totally plausible to me.
Aliens walk in with a math problem over their head. You tap in the (correct) answer and your character zaps them to death with a bolt of electricity. Seems easy enough. That is, until you realize math is hard.
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Math is especially hard when you’re being pressured because the problems are coming at you, threatening your life. Then the problems get bigger and harder and some aliens have multiple math problems.
This is truly a sick and twisted kind of apocalypse. … But I really enjoyed it.
Math Apocalypse was written by someone who, while strong in the math department, is  probably not a native English speaker. The introduction story has a number of grammatical issues, so if you’re thinking of handing it to a child for training you might want to keep that in mind. Other than that it’s a fun mix of academic challenge and apocalyptic fun.
It reminded me of playing Number Munchers when I was in grade school. It’s not bloody or violent but it gives purpose to brain training in a distracting way that’s enjoyable and makes you want to strive to do better.
You can set the game to just addition and subtraction or include multiplication and division in the mix too. If you want to trick your kid into being smart or you’re looking to exercise your brain muscles instead of just your color-candy coordination, Math Apocalypse might be just the thing you’re looking for.
Best of all, just like the intuition that let me make it into adulthood without the ability to do basic math without my fingers, it’s free!
(It’s also available to play on the web Here.)

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Beautiful Borderlands 2 Makeup Tutorial by MadeULook

Borderlands 2  was one of my favorite games. It still is. Every aspect of it was awesome, from local co-op to single-player to the story to the dialogue to the art. So much squee. I’ve always said that art can make or break a good story in comics, film, or video games.
Borderlands 2 was beautiful. I loved the mix of flat and dimensional art with heavy, comic-style contours and shading. It was truly a unique look in a unique world with brilliant characters.
Often inspired by characters, makeup and cosplay, I find YouTube to be treasure trove of amazing work from others with similar interests and more talent and determination. One of these artists is MadeULook. She’s a young, sassy artist with an eye for detail and a creative depth unlike any other.
Well, MadeUlook is not only talented and engaging, she’s also a geek like me. Love!  Being a loving gamer almost all her life she can’t help but be inspired by some of the fantastic artwork and characters encountered in video games. Recently, she created a body paint Psycho from Borderlands 2.
I love MadeULook‘s make up and tutorials. In her videos, it clear that she is not only incredibly talented but also charismatic. Many tutorial videos are too much about the artist and not enough about the artwork. If I wanted a vlog, I’d watch a vlog.
She makes it sound so easy and look so good, I can’t even explain. Just watch and feel the Awe.

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