Archive for the ‘Raves’ Category

About Monique Borderlands: A ‘Sanctuary’ for Impatient Diablo Fans
November 3rd, 2009 by Monique
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Featuring Lilith (Hot.) It had been a while since I had felt like writing here, and then Borderlands came around. Hailed as Diablo 2 meets Fallout 3 and introduced as a success where Hellgate: London so blindly failed, Borderlands was last week’s big news release, and is by far the best game I’ve played in a while.

First off, let me do away with assumptions: Borderlands is really nothing more than a loot game. In fact, if you’ve played Diablo or Titan Quest, you know almost exactly what to expect from the genre. But what sets Borderlands radically apart from other such genre clones is that not only does it mimic Blizzard’s patented formula, it improves on it; your expectations are not only met, but raised substantially. Borderlands is more than just a game, it’s an experience, and it makes sure you;ll never look at these types of games the same way. Deviating from the mold, Gearbox developers intelligently chose to deviate from the medieval setting, throw in their own brand of humor, add a screen full of dynamic cell-shaded graphics, and finally a dash of seamless gameplay to create what is possibly 2009’s game of the year, bugs aside.

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About Mercedes Virtual Pick-Me-Ups
August 24th, 2008 by Mercedes
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Thumbs up, baby.I’ve been in a startlingly good mood recently, allowing me ample relaxation and peace of mind. The perfect mindset for gaming! Don’t get me wrong, here. Anger is always good motivation when pretending to shoot people, and a wistful, nostalgic mood might make a fantasy game all the more enrapturing, but I’ve never enjoyed a game more than when I’ve felt calm, cool, and collected.

In the spirit of happy gaming, I figured, what better way to revel than to write about a bunch of stuff that makes me gush with video game love? Scenes, moments, characters, and even some games themselves. There are some that make me remember why I turn to my console when I’m feeling a little blue. They just make me believe in gaming again.

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About Suzie The Window to the World: What Video Games have Taught Me.
August 21st, 2008 by Suzie
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Welcome to my WorldFor me, video games occupy a space somewhere between total downtime and work. Since starting to blog about games I have found myself analyzing them with a thoroughness I used to keep for English literature class. Gender politics, social implications, reflections of the current zeitgeist… Games are a significant media, if a frequently downplayed one.

And yet, as this week’s Round Table points out:

There is a commonly held belief that videogames are not the equal of literature and film. One conservative acquaintance of mine on Facebook doesn’t even consider them on par with “public speech and music.” On the other hand, we have anti-video game activists claiming that video games have the power to train children to be emotionless assassins. Even within the video game community I’ve often heard the reaction, “they’re just video games.”

Well, I am here to say that video games can teach us, make us feel, make us cry, make us laugh. That they are easily the equal of film and books (as are music and public speech on occasion - I have a dream, anyone?)

It’s easy to point to how they teach us explicit lessons. There’s any number of DS games that purport to teach you how to cook, how to design clothes, how to get fit, how to remember things better, or just how to think more efficiently.

But what about the other lessons? The unconscious ones, the ones that slowly shape our world view, the ones that affect how we interact and talk and think and live?
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About Suzie Thank god for multiplayer or: Can I play with you?
August 14th, 2008 by Suzie
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Rock out with Rock Band? Way back, before they had computers or televisions or Atari consoles, people used to make their games out of wood, paper and stone. Games such as chess, or Go - strategy games, if you like. Card games, from solitaire to poker. Board games. Trivial Pursuit to Monopoly.

The thing that most of these games lacked was AI. It was a multiplayer game by default, unless you played against random chance, as in Solitaire. Anyone who has ever tried to play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe by themselves will know that it isn’t much fun. When you threw in other people, though, you got one hell of a competition.

Roll forward a few (hundred) years, and the first video games made their appearance. In arcades, for the most part. Although these were often single-player, going to the arcade was a group experience. You went as a gang, you tried to get the highest score, and you socialized. Even today, visiting the arcade tends to be a social activity, where you play pin-ball and drink some beers, or challenge your friends on DDR.

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About Mercedes SimArticle
August 10th, 2008 by Mercedes
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The Sims I’m obsessed with simulation. From crappy Flash games to $60 Wii titles, I’ll play all of them with a goofy smile on my face. I know that almost every video game itself is a type of simulation, like shooters or some RPG’s, but I’m talking about games devoted to simulating one task. They usually lack characters and plot since they’re so concentrated on the role they seek to emulate. Sometimes I ask myself, ‘Why do you enjoy subjecting yourself to such a chore of a game?’ And then I answer myself, ‘Good question. I don’t really know.’ ‘You’re a fucking moron. Play something real.’

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About Suzie What Makes a Game: Part III - The Graphics
June 19th, 2008 by Suzie
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Lara Croft - Graphical PerfectionOkay, listen. I know that graphics aren’t the be-all and end-all of games. I know that it isn’t just about polygone count and realistic physics simulation. I agree, it’s a pain in the ass when a new game comes out and you can’t play it because your six-month old computer just can’t hack it. I do realise that stories were just as gripping, characters just as appealing (maybe even more so) back in the six-bit pixel-era. I was there. I played them. I get it.

But you know what? I fucking love graphics.

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