Deadly Creatures Preview Trailer for Nintendo Wii

Posted by | January 26, 2009

As a native Arizona boy, there are certain things I’ve come to accept and appreciate in this world, and one of the most important is that anything with more than four legs wants to sting you, poison you, and lay eggs in your corpse. As such, the upcoming game Deadly Creatures, about the adventures of a tough scorpion and stealthy tarantula, simply confirms what I already knew about the arachnid side of the animal kingdom.

What sets Deadly Creatures apart from all those other insectoid fighters we’ve been wading through is a sense of atmosphere provided by the scale of the levels and the characters. Crawling through the debris of a human world, our …

Chapter Ten: Student Necromancers from Hell

Posted by | January 23, 2009

“Stand and be measured, death knight,” the necromancer said.

Hellvetica stood, stretched her newfound muscles. She felt good, power coursing through her veins. They had placed upon her a garb of black robes, embroidered with runes of pain and suffering. She could sense the fire in her veins burning in her eyes. A voice in her head whispered sweet horrors to her. Cajoling, commanding, but she pushed that aside and with it the rapture of her resurrection.

“Thank you,” she said, “for…” She paused, she couldn’t see anyone standing in front of her—until she looked down.

Humane Society Uses New Video Game to Teach Pet Care

Posted by | January 22, 2009

Video games have great power as educational tools, but sometimes, I wonder if the right lessons are being taught. In this case, it’s Pet Pals: A New Leash On Life. This game, sponsored by the Humane Society and created by Legacy Interactive, shows kids how to play with and care for various animals. That’s fine, up until the syringes come out. You see, the game revolves around healing and caring for pets as a veterinarian, then training the recovering pets for adoption. This involves some seriously medical techniques including drugs, sedation, syringes, and other stuff you don’t want your six-year to unleash on poor Fluffy. Sure, most homes don’t have animal tranqs lying around, but a concerned kid with a good imagination can improvise with whatever might be lurking in the medicine cabinet.

Just saying.

In the game, the player takes on the role of …

No More Heroes Playthrough by Chip Cheezum

Posted by | January 21, 2009

No More Heroes is an excessively violent fighting game from the incoherent Suda51 set in the Californian city of Santa Destroy. The game revolves around one Travis Touchdown, an unlikable anime obsessive who decides to become a professional killer after blowing his last dollar on a light saber off eBay.

The game is all about style, with cartoonish figures, hard shadows, bizarre characters, and a certain sense of randomness combined with geek culture references both subtle and gross. It uses the Wii controls in strange and unholy ways to simulate sword-fighting. And wrestling moves. And mowing lawns.

No More Heroes cannot be described, you must see it for yourself. To that end, Chip Cheezum from the Something Awful forums has run through the game with commentary, cutting out the boring parts and speeding up the grindy bits to deliver the ultimate No More Heroes experience. …

Challenge Draws Gamers, Not Gore

Posted by | January 17, 2009

A study drawn out of the University of Rochester and Immersyve Inc., shows that gamers enjoy, not the gore of violence of games, but, well, the game part. The fun factor in games, especially those that layer on the carnage, doesn’t magically appear from a well-crafted arterial spray, but the challenge of mastering the game mechanics, overcoming obstacles, and discovering new tactics and strategies. Violence is, at best, window dressing and may actually turn gamers away from a particular title.

However, the study also mentioned a certain percentage of gamers do play for the violence, although this segment tends to be more aggressive overall than the typical player. Even for these aggressive gamers (you know who they are, they killed your poor level 35 character in Stranglethorn 20 times one day with their own level 80 draped in 2000 gold worth of player-killing weapons and enchants), violence and …

Chapter Nine: Waking Up is Hell

Posted by | January 15, 2009

Hellvetica’s head hurt. All she recalled—aside from the name change—was downloading and activating the new expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, and rolling a death knight. Of course, this did help explain one thing: why she was currently among the dead.

The battlefield was littered with them, every race and class accounted among the valley of corpses as slouching half-human ghouls worked amid them. Bones exposed, dripping ribbons of rotting flesh, the ghouls labored to carry and drop dead body after dead body onto the backs of creaking wagons, which then conveyed their ghastly cargo unto Acherus.

Necromancers clad in dread black picked their way through the dead, casting boney fingers and watery eyes over the putrid crop. Hither and thither they resurrected the dead. By in large, though, the …

Introducing Marian

Posted by | January 13, 2009

I’ve got no strings / To hold me down / To make me fret, or make me frown / I had strings / But now I’m free / There are no strings on me.” – Pinocchio.

Infinite Ammo—by far my favorite indie game producer—has just announced the advent of a new game. Its inception from the murky days of 2008, it is just entering pre-production. Artwork by Katie de Sousa whose amazing artwork has graced at least one of my projects insofar, so I love posting things by her.

Writers Guild of America Announces Video Game Nominees for 2009 WGA Awards

Posted by | January 13, 2009

As a writer myself, I’m always curious about the plot, storylines, and characters in the video games I play. To me, an enthralling world populated by interesting characters is the most important part of a good game. Silent Hill, Psychonauts, Fallout, these are games you can simply inhabit, soaking up the atmosphere and becoming a thread in the virtual tapestries woven out before you. That’s the power of good writing.

As such, it pleases me to discover the Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for their 2009 Writers Guild Awards under the Video Game category. And the nominees are…

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, by Electronic Arts
Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!, by Mousechief (Who? Here’s a video)
Fallout 3, by Bethesda Softworks
Tomb Raider: Underworld, by Eidos
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, from LucasArts

The Writers Guild Awards will unveil the winner at their show on …

World of Warcraft Opens Up to Questions for Latest Blizzcast Q&A

Posted by | January 12, 2009

Just in case you have a question that really needs an answer, Blizzard has opened the floor to your queries with their Blizzcast podcast type show thing. This podcast show revolves around interviews with the developers and a look into what life is like under the Blizzard yoke, then ends with a mailbag segment from the community. You can listen to the podcasts here.

You can send in your questions either in mail or as a voice recording, which is nice for those of us who like to hear ourselves talk. Even if you don’t have a question of your own, the forum thread on the subject is hilarious and filled with all the wonderful wit and insight that makes the Warcraft forums such a magical place. Check it out over here.

Guitar Hero 3 Rakes in 1-Billion Dollars, Your Favourite Band Still Sucks

Posted by | January 11, 2009

Mike Griffith, CEO of Activision Publishing, gave the news during his keynote address at CES. This brands Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock as the first game to produce more money than even most millionaires will ever seen in their lives, and possibly more than some of the smaller countries.

This sort of success for what is at its heart just a simple rhythm game has given pause to the music industry, and sparked a rush for unsigned and upcoming bands to get their music into the game where they can delude umpteen million players into believing the songs are actually good. Of course, these younger bands will have to battle their elder cousins for space on a tracklist, since even the Beatles and Metallica are looking to clamp their wrinkled lips around this money firehose.

The addition of user-created songs to the mix will only …

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