A second week, we made it to a second week!

I’m looking forward to playing Rayman Origins this week – yes, I know it’s been out for a while, but it releases on Steam this week, and that’s where I’m grabbing it. It’s cheaper, and I like collecting icons.

This also got me thinking about origin stories. I love a good origin story, especially for a character or series I’m already invested in, like Rayman and the upcoming Spiderman reboot. Any good origin story suggestions from our Gamentary crew?

Sunday, 9:47pm – Gavin

You know what I hate about side quests?  Games that lock up certain side quests that were previously available once you reach a certain point in the story.  I’m looking at you, Fable.

Sunday, 9:06 pm – Ricky

Well, I just finished the main quest in Skyrim. I know that Skyrim isn’t really about the main quest, but once I finished, I felt immediately disinterested in doing side-quests. Thinking this will be a theme for the coming week… Now, to decide what to tackle in the backlog play next.

Sunday, 6:32 pm – Albert

In the spirit of April Fools – Check this one out on Assassin’s Creed.

Sunday, 5:03 pm – Albert

I have to say that recording our first podcast was a great and hilarious situation. I look forwad to many more good times! One of the things that I left out, and it is really my Origin  story of how I got into sports games, started with a little game on the NES which was called Arch Rivals.

Playing this game as a young lad was the best thing as it allowed me to punch people in the face. If you know anything about how immature I am, punching people in the face is really funny to me. There really isn’t much to say about the game other than it kept me entertained for hours… sometimes soda and garbage get thrown on the court and you can slip on it, the ref can be knocked over, and i’m pretty sure I remember that you could pants other players (maybe that was just a dream)

Update: Minecraft is both amazing and frustrating. So I get home from having a couple of drinks with the guys and I think, Minecraft. That is a good idea. I was in the middle of searching a cavern for gold and diamonds. No big deal. I am running around mining everything I can find until my inventory is full. Then I realised I am lost. So.. nothing to do but mine my way out right? Well lava makes that difficult sometimes and I soon found myself on fire and dying. WHATEVER. I respawn and try to go find my body (you get 5 mins). I make it back to the cave but I cannot find my body. I search and search but can’t find it. I look out onto a ledge to see if I can find my bearings when a zombie sneaks up behind me and pushes me off the ledge and I fall to my death. Losing EVERYTHING again. This time I respawned and I just ran in, no equipment, nothing. And I died.

The moral of the story: Do not play minecraft while inebriated.

Sunday, 10:16 am – Ricky

Believe it or not, this isn’t April Fools! Check out the new Gamentary POD! Cast… page, complete with episode one – Origins!

Sunday, 1:00 am – Ricky

What, no action on Saturday? Lame. I’m finishing up our first podcast now! Just waiting on matt to send through his rant. I’ll probably post the current version when I’m done, and then update with matt’s rant when he finally sends it.

Friday, 11:16 am – Gavin

I could speak forever about old games and the evolution of gaming, but I don’t often look ahead.  I know we’ve all seen this one, but this is where I see (elite) gaming moving in the future:

Obviously it’s going to be a long time before this kind of setup is accessible, but this kind of thing could more easily be implemented, say, at an amusement park or other gaming-friendly venue where they could charge you $2/minute to play.

Speaking of public gaming venues, let us take a moment and remember the glory that was the arcade:

Image of an arcade

Don’t pretend like you didn’t hang around there, hoping someone would give you a quarter to play a game.

Anyway, looking forward to our first podcast.  It will be full of podcasty goodness

Friday, 10:11 am – Ricky

Pods! The casting of pods! Casting pods into your face! … Thanks to Idle Thumbs for that line, and for the inspiration for what is going to transpire tonight. The first Gamentary podcast will be recorded, and it will be … awesome? Other inspirations:

Giant Bombcast

Weekend Confirmed

Gamers with Jobs

Rooster Teeth

Stay tuned to this page over the weekend for the podcast link.

Thursday, 6:34 pm – Ricky

Ohhh, I had a Commodore 64 too! That was my first gaming experience, really. When my cousin from Switzerland, he brought me hundreds of games, including Beach Head and International Karate. So. Many. Memories. That screen would later serve as my monitor for my first self-purchased console, the PS1.

Sorry Gavin, but I never played the Sands of Time. I have heard the same as you – it’s the best in the series. I have it on PC too, so maybe we should co-play it at the same time!

Thinking back to the origins of the industry, I think it’s fair to call it “young”. Pong, one of the first household video games, came out in 1972. For comparison, music and writing have been around for hundreds of generations, and even movies are over 100 years old. Take a look down the page again (by the way – read from bottom to top for the full effect), and think of the progress from those games, some only 25 years old, to the games of today. Crazy. I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years bring. Bring on the haptic suit!*

*Note: Thanks to Preezie for pointing out the link may not make sense. I’ll clarify – there are haptic suits in the book “Ready Player One”, which I linked to above. You should read it if you like games, pop culture, the 80s, or all of those things.

Thursday, 9:02 am – matt

wait a second, someone else actually played Blackthorne??? in all seriousness the last post made me feel a little old. If we think about it, most of us here were at the forefront of videogames, and to think where it has come since back then is remarkable. the first game i remember playing was the 1984 Summer Olympic games on the Commodore 64 (my first and only computer until college started… yes im being dead serious, i had to go to rickys to write up word documents for school). it was a practice in button mashing to win events ranging from track and field to pole vault, and from there this ridiculous past time took flight…

not only is this a week to reflect on our favorite videogames series origins, how about the gaming industry itself? from text based adventure games, to button mashing arcade units, and now competing against pre-pubes around the globe from the comfort of your couch; who would have thought it all would be possible after they cemented half a million E.T Atari units in a Mexico landfill?

Wednesday, 11:02pm – Gavin

I was totally a console kid growing up. We had a computer fairly early on – around 1990 or so – but it was an old 286 that ran a strange and relatively unknown menu-based OS called “Direct Access v.5”. 1992 rolled around and I got a SNES, and that formed the basis for my gaming life. I still played a lot of PC games as we consistently kept up with the times – a 486DX Packard Bell followed by two no-name computers (in 1998, I bought a “Peachtron”) tided me over until this past December, when I scored this great new laptop. However, the SNES was digital Jesus to me.

Speaking of Prince of Persia, that reminds me of two things:

1. Blackthorne, essentially a PoP re-skin for the SNES that was much better than people gave it credit for. Dark as hell but the physics were tremendous. One of Blizzard’s few attempts at console gaming.

2. I nabbed PoP: Sands of Time during the Steam holiday sale. My backlog is massive, but I’ve been told by many people that this is an excellent game. Thoughts?

Wednesday, 9:49 pm – Ricky

Oh man, where to start.

1. Yay side boob! Yeah, I skipped to 2:21.

2. Amazing video of Battlefield 3 supremacy – having just finished playing 2 maps with Preezie I can attest to the level of dominance. I would let him pilot my chopper.

3. Dammit Albert, I bought Minecraft.

4. I played consoles growing up! Here’s an 8-bit theme song from a childhood favorite to get stuck in your head. Bubble Bobble – The Original Couch Co-op Experience™

Wednesday, 9:24 pm – matt

Ahh yes… The Tomb Raider nude code… a color adjustment in photoshop as an April Fool’s Day prank back in the days of GamePro…
Did anyone play consoles growing up? That XCOM looks kinda cool, however I cannot endorse any game published by 2K after the controller-smashing-wall-punching-obscenity-laced b f-ing s that is NBA 2K12…
…Ricky knows…

Wednesday, 8:44 pm – Albert

All these old school games are getting me nostalgic for the past. The ONE game I am looking forward to playing that reminds me of being a young nerdy kid is XCOM. There has been many attempts to revive the once proud Microprose game but none have been able to replicate the excitement of arming a team of disposable soldiers and having them rocket launcher an entire town to kill a couple of grey alien dudes. I really want to believe in XCOM: Enemy Unknown… let me know what you guys think.

Unlike Preezie, my abilities to “pwn” peeps in BF3 are lacking so i’ll leave the killing to him. Instead I have been playing this game:

Minecraft! I finally took the plunge and just started to play. I always knew I would be addicted to it but I waited until I felt that a lot of the bugs and kinks were worked out. I am not disappointed at all! It is amazing. The first day I scrambled around for resources and quickly made a hole in a cave to live through the night to avoid the creepers and zombies. Before I knew it I was recreating a stone house, making weapons/tools, fishing for food, making a farm, breeding sheep, pigs, and cows, making traps… The list goes on. The amount of actions that you can do in this game is staggering. Now I just need volunteers for multiplayer. Anyone?

Wednesday, 3:49 pm – Preezie

Wow. Leisure Suit Larry. There is a blast from the past. I played that game for maybe a total of 20 minutes at a friend’s house but what I do distinctly remember is Larry trying to do the no-pants-dance with some chick on a beach and a crab pinching his junk and the chick bouncing after that. Poor Larry – the only character in the history of video games to get cockblocked by a crustacean.

I saw the trailer for Assassin’s Creed 3 and with origins on my mind I somehow ended up thinking about the old school Prince of Persia. This might have been the game that actually got me really into video games. The difficulty, the puzzles, the fighting all had my young and impressionable mind hooked from the get-go. Tell me this doesn’t bring back childhood.

On a side note, I downloaded some screencaping and video editing software and wanted to test it out so I made a quick and dirty BF3 video to test out some features and the Gamentary.com stamp. I’d imagine most videos posted will be unedited for the most part but once in a while I’d like to make something along these lines. It was pretty fun. Feel free to comment (except that terrible spray and pray @ 1:20)

Wednesday, 2:48 pm – Gavin

Tomb Raider was one franchise I couldn’t really get into. I could never get past Lara Croft – a bit ridiculous for my tastes. Naturally, as a pubescent boy, I tried in vain to unlock that “Lara Croft Nude” code that people swore up and down existed, and when I couldn’t get it to work, I just threw my hands up in frustration and went to watch pornography instead.

Speaking of pornography, I was a total Sierra kid growing up. Leisure Suit Larry was ridiculous, but in the spirit of early Sierra screen-by-screen adventure games, totally did not take itself seriously at all. I spent a lot of my early childhood trying to see what filthy stuff I could make King Graham do in King’s Quest. Short answer: nothing.

Then came the FMV sex scene in the introduction to Phantasmagoria.

Check out this sideboob, in all its glory. 2:21 for the impatient among you.

Wednesday, 9:41 am – Ricky

I’m really looking forward to playing Dead Island tonight – we’ll be posting some screen shots and maybe a video of the action. If you don’t know about Dead Island, maybe this trailer will jog your memory.

Note: The game is nothing like that trailer, but still awesome.

Tuesday, 10:47 am – Ricky

I went to this work think last night that was about food and Google+. I see some good opportunities for communities on Google+, so I opened up a Gamentary+ page for this page.



Add it to a circle of games, game related talk, game commentary or gaming.

Tuesday, 7:14 am – Ricky

Tomb Raider, good call, definitely in need of a good origin story/reboot.

I spent yesterday working my day job (as always), but instead of listening to music, I streamed some FIFA12 on twitch.tv. This made me realize pretty quickly that I stink at FIFA, but more importantly, it made me realize that I’m not even playing the most popular game mode!

Everyone was playing Ulitmate Team, the card game that FIFA introduced in 2009 (I think) and that has been a staple of the brand ever since. These electronic footy tacticians build the ideal team by buying and selling player cards, and enhancing their players with “upgrades” to their abilities. Cards can be bought or sold in the free-market, but also as packs from EA, just like the packs of sports cards I used to by. I also gleaned that some players can be “in form” (in good shape, for North Americans) and that this can also effect a player.

I could see how the card pack purchasing would get addictive, as would the urge to build the perfect team. I can’t make that kind of time investment, though, so I’ll try to forget I saw anything. Needless to say, I enjoyed my time watching. Gamentary has a Twitch.tv channel, but we’ve never used it… so, you know, click the link if you want, I guess.

Monday, 2:21 pm – Matt

One of the most successful and a personal favorite franchise to me is undergoing an origin story overhaul; Square Enix have taken control of the Lara Croft/Tomb Raider brand, and are packing a gorgeous high res package into a slim little tank top new title releasing later this year. The story is kicking off right after Lara leaves school aboard a large boat that becomes shipwrecked on a rather ominous island.

After releasing Tomb Raider Anniversary, a reboot celebrating the franchise’s original release, Crystal Dynamics continued the trend with Underworld and the franchise has gathered steam since a string of awful games in the late 90’s and early 2000’s nearly buried the heroin (can that be right?). These poorly released titles featured little variety in gameplay or innovation from a previous title, simply hoping to cash in on the name and player’s love of the series and gameplay. However this new title has added new gameplay types and methods of interacting with the environment as Lara battles to survive not only the animals but the island as well. In anticipation of the games release check out IGN’s visual presentation of the history of Tomb Raider.

Monday, 12:01 am – Ricky

Let the week begin!