Yep, we changed a few things up this week. New logo and new site, but it’s the same old weekly ramblings. If you want the latest, this is the place.

If you’re looking for something new and different, though, we’ll have that too. We’ll have a couple new categories, some new features, and an emphasis on audio and video. Take a peek around and let us know what you think! 

Sunday, 1:11 pm – Albert

That looks PRETTY DAMN GOOD. I’m excited again! Unlimited Badass points? 84 Bazillion Guns? Sweet sweet loot.  gimmegimmegimme!

Also: extra points for including split screen co-op… and then being able to bring that online from a single console? Kudos.

Friday, 11:34 am – Ricky

I’ll just leave this right here.

You’re welcome.

Thursday, 3:54 pm – Albert

First things first, AMAZING time last night at GameConnect! Ricky and Preezie held the fort down while I was working at the event. I really enjoyed all the commentary and insight into the gaming scene. Very enjoyable company, awesome space at Bento Miso, and a great time at thanks to XConnect. More info to come!

YES! Solid Snake! I still have to have matt recount the entire story to me and explain EVERY SINGLE twist and nuance that the intricate story has to offer. But when is the movie coming out? And who’s playing Solid Snake? Nathan Fillion? Christian Bale? WHO KNOWS?

AH! SLENDER (on steam greenlight). I’ve been waiting for someone to bring that up and i’m glad you did Gavin. Am I sensing a slender playthrough? I’ve heard a bit about the game but from what I’ve gathered it’s basically this: terrifying. Great addition and I can’t wait to hear more about it!

Very cool PC mods are always coming out and that Mod with Back to the Future is amazing. Pretty intense. Who knows what they’ll make next in that game?

As for me, i’ve just been playing Jagged Alliance 2: Back in Action. I played a good 70 hours before and I quit for a while. When i came back, the huge patch changed many things and I couldn’t get my saves to stop crashing sooooo I started again. I’m now about 80% back and i’m really enjoying it. I can’t believe with all my steam games i’m going back and playing older ones. Who knew?

I have to try and get through them before Borderlands 2 comes out. But that reminds me of a picture I saw earlier on reddit.com

Thursday, 2:15 pm – matt

HE’S BACK! Solid Snake returns in a ll new, open world Metal Gear Solid game that is short on words but they include: groundbreaking, amazing, and cant miss.

cant wait for the gameconnect recap!

Thursday, 10:14 am – Gavin

Great video, matt!  And really looking forward to hearing more about GameConnect.

One of the key things in games that I go for is atmosphere.  Atmosphere helps support immersion, which makes the game feel more “real”.  It doesn’t have to be realistic – certainly, there’s no realism whatsoever to Super Mario Galaxy 2.  But I can absolutely get lost in it.  It’s all the little details that make a game.  So when I hear about really atmospheric games, I know that I have to try them out.  Dear Esther was terrifically atmospheric, so it was easy to get lost and immersed.  Same with Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory.  The minute details of that game, the ability to whistle from twenty feet away to distract a guard so that you could slip by, it all helped to create a great environment that you could really believe, even if the plot itself wasn’t at all believable.

So, all of this leads to my latest discovery.  Apologies to everyone who’s already heard about this, and to those I’ve already told (preezie), but I was recently introduced to Slender, a survival-horror game built very much with the spirit of Dear Esther, but tossed in a blender with equal parts Amnesia and Silent Hill 2.  I would implore you not to read anything about the gameplay, but rather to experience it for yourself.  And if you’re not up for a survival-horror game, then watch a brief playthrough on the Youtubez.  The developer describes it as an “experimental short survival-horror game”, and having played it very briefly, I can tell you that this game is pants-crappingly terrifying.   All I will tell you is that the game plays much like Dear Esther in that there is limited interaction, but there definitely are consequences that can lead to the game ending.

It’s still in its beta format, but it seems to run smoothly, and it looks decent.  It’s a very short game, if you can get through it all in one sitting.  It’s also 100% free and the developer, Parsec Productions, has stated that they never intend to charge for it.  Head to the developer’s site here and follow the links for downloading.

Now pardon me, for I must change my pants.

Thursday, 7:58 am – Ricky

Umm, that video is amazing. I’m reinstalling that game and giving it a whirl this weekend! You’ll be in town for it, matt 🙂

I’ll be doing a proper write-up over the weekend, but for now I’ll say this: GameConnect Toronto was a blast. Albert, Preezie and I met a ton of really cool people from all different parts of the industry. It was a great experience for us, getting out and meeting some local Toronto talent, and it’s something we plan to pursue more in the future.

Until the write-up, photos!

The Panel

Free Chipotle!

Wednesday, 10:35 pm – matt

saw a ridiculously awesome PC mod for one of my favorite games, grand theft auto 4, which brings Marty McFly and a tricked out Delorian with full time travel capabilities. Yeah.

Wednesday, 7:38 am – Ricky

Tonight’s the night! It’s GameConnect here in Toronto. Starting at 6pm, we’ll be treated to a panel of 6 game developers, talking about … well, games I would think. All the devs are Toronto locals, so I’m sure there will be a focus on the scene here in The Big Smoke. We’ll be hanging around, chatting people up, schmoozing and networking. We might even do an interview or two.

If you’re around town tonight and want to check it out, make sure to register first. Oh, and free Chipotle.

Haven’t had much time for gaming myself. I’ve made some check-ins to the auction house in Diablo 3, and things are going well. I’m holding back some items for when the guys decide to return, or for when my alternate characters get to level 60. At this rate, I’m thinking my alts are in luck…

I just updated my Vita to the 1.8 firmware, and promptly loaded in Final Fantasy 7. In North America, FF7 is one of only a handful of games available directly from the PSN Store on the Vita itself:

  • Arc the Lad
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • FINAL FANTASY VII
  • Hot Shots Golf 2
  • Jet Moto
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tomb Raider
  • Twisted Metal 2
  • Wild Arms

Europe has 124 games on their marketplace, and Japan has over 200, making our selection paltry by comparison. That being said, there is a way to load additional titles – Joystiq has the hot scoop for you on that one. But, they also advise using it at your own risk.

Tuesday, 12:01 pm – Albert

I LOVE RABBIT.

That is pretty sweet for the Vita. I’m really digging the cross-platform and the steps that Sony has been making to continue to promote Vita. I’m rooting for it!

Yesterday, Ricky and I managed to watch the live stream of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It looks amazing! The tactical play seems incredibly developed. I played the original and I was very worried about the possible destruction of such a childhood franchise but after watching the following footage, I think we’ll be safe 🙂

Recently, Skyrim has released their first DLC: Dawnguard which allows you to take on the life of a Vampire/Van Helsing kinda life. While that seems intriguing, i’m not really ready to head back to the game just yet. But with the release of the latest information on their latest DLC dubbed: Hearthfire, things could change. If you haven’t spent the 160+ hours into Skyrim (that you should), you might think that homes are not important. This is definitely not the case! If you can build your ideal home where you don’t have to run around town to use the Blacksmiths’ forge, and then run up to the Mages guild to use their alchemy table… then run over to the potions lady to make potions… it makes life a lot easier. And probably would have cut at least 30 hours from my time. It does seem a bit Sim-ish. But hey… Shut up.

Also, we’ve pre-ordered Borderlands 2 (under much coercion from Ricky) but now that i’m in, i’m excited!

Tuesday, 11:35 am – matt

whoa it seems everyone is making a return with the new website up and running, like a bear stumbling out of hibernation to new spring season, just waiting to eat the first rabbit of the new year.

today marks a sweet day in the life of the PS Vita, and pretty much marks the end of my console gaming for this generation (until maybe GTA 5) with the announcement that all PSone titles will now be available for the system, bringing one of the largest libraries of blockbuster games to the handheld. despite already starting a pretty sweet collection of VITA games, the PSone is probably the most important videogame console to ever be released so its addition is certainly welcomed, now i just need a bigger memory card…

btw… IM COMING TO TORONTO!

Monday, 10:05 pm – Preezie

Whaddup gamentariers?! gamentarites?! gamentarilings?!  I’ll stop now but I’ll have to admit, that was fun.  First things first.  Woah.  What did you do to this website? Mega e-boner.  Well done.  Secondly, I’m back baby! After a 3-4 week hiatus of having a BROKEN HAND, I can finally type again, let alone game.  I missed you all. Here is a pic of the busted wing 😦

That was not fun.  I blame the cast for my poor performance in the L4D2 video. Haha.  I did, however, get to play a decent amount Fifa Street on the 360.  Still a super huge fan of the game.  The “world tour” mode lets you travel the world (big surprise) playing tournaments in 5 different types of modes all while upgrading your players in a variety of categories and unlocking different moves to get past your opponents. It gets really hard when trying to beat tournaments on gold mode and that keeps me coming back for more.   A big downside though – the XBL experience.  For a game that offers so much variety in single player mode, the online play is nothing short of disappointing.  Without getting too much into it, it lacks options and even people to play against.  I think Albert, Ricky and I lasted 20 minutes before throwing in the towel and running L4D2 instead.

Since I got the cast removed, I have been playing a good amount of TF2: Mann vs Machine.  Boy, oh boy.  Do they get it.  I’m going to post a video tomorrow of some scout action and may even be cocky enough to make it a “scout tutorial” video.  We’ll see.

Can’t wait for Wednesday to meet some readers and hopefully gather some new ones.

It’s good to be back.

Monday, 4:00 pm – Albert

Awesome look! We are pretty pretty butterflies!

I have to agree with Gavin about JRPGs and grinding. I actually remembering playing Final Fantasy (can’t remember which one) but I remember being at a boss point and playing that battle over and over and could not even come close to beating it. After my 20th time, I believe I just went to play something else.  I feel your pain.

I played a bit of TF2: Mann vs. Machine (which is AMAZING), Jagged Alliance: Back in Action (which has been patched into a decent game), and Supreme Commander 2 this weekend. I’m really enjoying all the games and I’ll have more to post and talk about once I get more into them. I’m even thinking some Diablo 3 or Crusader Kings II with Ricky soon!

As the featured image suggests for this week, we are heading to Game Connect Toronto at Bento Miso this Wednesday! We’ll be there covering some insights from the gaming panel.

Monday, 11:34 am – Gavin

New site is up!  Thanks to Ricky for getting this up and running.

I accidentally went outside and had fun in the sun this weekend, so I didn’t get much of a chance to game.  However, I’d like to take a few minutes to gripe about grinding.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m going through Final Fantasy 3 right now, and this game is just grinding central at this point.  I’m not at all opposed to leveling in games at all, but steady progressions throughout the game work a lot better than massive spikes in difficulty, which is what happens in FF3.  Because there’s no specific direction in how you complete certain side quests, you can find yourself well tucked into a dungeon before realizing that you aren’t nearly powerful enough to handle the boss.  And FF3 was absolutely awful for RANDOM ENCOUNTERS.  Terrible game mechanic.

I’m reminded why I stopped playing a lot of JRPGs in the first place.  Working in order to play the game defeats the purpose of “play”.  I’m not opposed to a bit of work, like I would often have to do in Fable if I wanted to try out different spells once I’d deposited most of my experience towards one spell, or ability, or whatever, but that was always due to my own choices.  I hate the idea of finishing a dungeon at level 35, and then having to work to get to level 45 just to give yourself a sporting chance at the next dungeon.  Early JRPGs, no matter how nostalgic we get for them, were heavily flawed in this manner.

Monday, 10:51 am – Ricky

Looks like we’re going to get some live gameplay today, direct from Firaxis, on 2K’s Twitch.tv channel. Festivities kick off at 1PM EST – I’ll post the replay here tonight for those that miss it.

Monday, 7:00 am – Ricky

And boom goes the dynamite.

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