I’ve counted no less than 15 titles releasing before the end of the year that I’m excited about playing. To think there were stretches of weeks this year where nothing of interest released is mind boggling. To get through all of these games, I’d need to become a social hermit.

On the other hand, ;matt was over yesterday and he picked up my copy of Alan Wake, asking me if I’d played it. Nope. Have I finished SSX? Also no. What about… the list is pretty long. As matt and Gavin will point out, I’m sure, unfinished games are ;sacrilege. Why get another before the first one is through? Because new stuff, that’s why! It’s unfortunate that so many top-end titles release in the same 4-month window each year; I know the trick is not to buy them all on release, and I’m getting better at it, but I think I need to form a support group to help keep me strong.

Albert can come, too.

Friday, 12:24 pm – matt

I finally beat SoundShapes (i think its one word) this morning and started the “death mode” levels, which are very short trials that will test the very best players skills. I was able to complete the first section and it proved very difficult indeed. one of the main reasons is a random layout of the collectibles needed to complete the level each time the level is loaded from a fail, making it more difficult than memorizing the pattern and running. again its a fucking amazing game with an awesome idea of the collectibles you find actually composing the music that accompanies the game, if you have a ps3 or VITA, definitely try to check it out!

nintendo’s dominance in japan is not hard for me to believe. nintendo places a greater importance on the japanese market than they do in North America, releasing several hundreds of titles that never make their way stateside, with all that love surely the community there will love them back. north americans are for the most part receiving of the majority of Sony games, and certainly EVERY Xbox game thats released, so the market dominance here is also understandable.

nintendo knows their market and focuses on it. the ubisoft/eidos offices are actually one block from my office in montreal, so im constantly passing by there. one of the sandwich shops has autographed ubi games like splinter cell and prince of persia, have a good time Gavin, are any gamentators joining you?

Friday, 11:24 am – Gavin

Well well well, looks like Nintendo wins at something yet again. ; New Super Mario Brothers 2 was the best-selling game of August, clocking in at 240,000 units. ; It beat out #2, Kingdom Hearst 3D, by 80,000 units (source here).

I have to say that I’m surprised at this. ; NMSB 2 didn’t really set any alarms going in my head that I needed to play it. ; But never underestimate the power of the Japanese video-game-buying contingent. ; It’s funny, video game reviewers, commentators, and industry analysts often speak only of the video game market in the North American context, forgetting that Japan is an insane force when it comes to the industry, and that monolithic group almost always defaults to Nintendo. ; Microsoft and Sony WISH they had the attachment rate that Nintendo does in Japan.

I’m excited for GamerCamp. ; One of the guest speakers, Mary DeMarle, is currently a writer/designer from Eidos Montreal, whose credits include Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a couple of Splinter Cell games, and a couple of games in the Myst franchise. ; I’ll have to make it my goal to beat DE:HR before her session. ; I think that could really be an interesting session. ; GamerCamp also has Patrick Redding, Game Director for Splinter Cell: Blacklist. ; You won’t find a ton of AAA game designers and names here, at least not yet, not with FanExpo having just taken place, but you’ll get some absolutely fascinating talks from indie developers, designers, and writers. ; I can’t wait!

Thursday, 5:01 pm – Albert

I’ve never been a game developer, or anything or the sorts, but i’ve always enjoyed using tools (map editors, mods) that allow me to manipulate the environment and models around me while streamlining the process. As you all may know, Gary’s Mod was a great mod that would allow you to mess around with all the functions that the Source Engine allowed you to. I would sit there for hours and make wild and crazy contraptions while my friends would play ‘real’ games.

Valve released Source Film Maker in which it is “…the movie-making tool built and used by Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. It is how we have been making all of our animated short movies. Because the Source Filmmaker uses the same assets as a Source-engine game, what goes into the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa. By using the hardware rendering of a modern PC gaming machine, the SFM allows storytellers to work in a “what you see is what you get” environment so that they can iterate in the context of what it will feel like for the final audience.”

After watching this hilarious short video, I might have to consider getting into this.

Thursday, 10:02 am – Ricky

Well, looks like the PAX Prime floodgates are open. I never played through more than a few hours of Far Cry 2, but I was all over the pre-release hype. The game itself let me down: The AI was useless, the game mechanics were frustrating (I JUST CLEARED THAT FUCKING CHECKPOINT!!), and the story didn’t catch me at all.

That said, I’m looking forward to Far Cry 3. Of course it looks amazing, but I have high hopes that they’ve “fixed” the issues from the last game.

Then again, maybe I’m just a perma-optimist on pre-release. I PO on PR.

Wednesday, ;11:06 pm – Albert

It’s tough to think of games I have but haven’t started… and I used to have none until this years Steam Summer sales… but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have some group therapy.

GAVIN! Always room in MvM for you! It’s always a good time and we need good players. I think Preezie is working on a video for Scout so look forward to that. I usually play as Demoman. It’s a very easy character to play as it mainly does most of the damage. We’ll probably chat about it in the podcast that’s coming up!

The Last of Us extended demo.. WOW. Just. WOW.

Wednesday, 2:56 pm – Ricky

I’ll just leave this here:

On my face, please.

Tuesday, 8:50 pm – Ricky

Well, I guess we have room for a few more. Gavin, you were pretty integral to our Left4Dead2 survival, so you can come along… If you’re Mann enough!

Also – consider this your reminder to set your fantasy football lineup before tomorrow night. I’m the ;commissioner, but I still wanna kick your ass.

Tuesday, 1:52 pm – Gavin

What, no invite to MvM for Gavin? ; FUCK ALL Y’ALL.

So, as of right now, it is an agonizing 9 days, 20 hours, 54 minutes and 19 seconds until the release of Black Mesa: Source, a complete reimagining of the original Half-Life, using the Source engine. ; This is different than Half-Life: Source, as HL:S was simply a direct port of Half-Life, using the Source engine in 2004. ; This is essentially a redesign of the game. ; Levels will be different, the physics will be better, the AI will be better, and hopefully, the Xen level will CEASE TO FUCKING EXIST. ; Considerable advancements have been made in developers’ understanding of the Source engine in the last 8 years, so we could be looking at a wildly different game. ; I don’t want to say that it’s going to be the greatest thing ever, but it stands to be highly, highly enjoyable. ; I wouldn’t be that amped about a simple HD remake; it’s the notion that the levels could be fundamentally redesigned while still maintaining the spirit and same core story of the game that really tickles my undercarriage. ; It’s going to be released on Steam as a mod for Half-Life 2. ; If you don’t already have that and missed the 66% off sale this past weekend…womp womp.

What else has been happening? ; Slender. ; I mentioned this last week. ; I can’t get more than halfway through the game before I die. ; For a game that one should ostensibly be able to beat in an hour, that’s pretty terrible. ; The design is great but I just keep getting lost. ; And then he shows up. ; Asshole.

Tuesday, 7:47 am – Ricky

OK all of you sleepy beers, time to stumble out of your long-weekend slumber.

Last night, Preezie, Albert and I played Man vs. Machine, the Team Fortress 2 mode we’ve all been raving about. This time though, we each chipped in a shiny dollar to play the version of the mode that gives you phat loot at the end. To elaborate: Mann vs. Machine is a cog in the free-to-play machine that is Team Fortress 2. You can play the “boot camp” version of the horde mode for free, OR, you can purchase a “tour of duty” ticket for a dollar and play the same game with other paying customers where, upon completion, you get phat loot.

It’s an interesting model. Items on the Team Fortress 2 store go for anywhere between a few bucks to 10s of bucks for packs, so a dollar seems like a bargain. However, unlike some other free-to-play games, there’s no way to earn a tour of duty ticket without paying. This is what irks me – I feel like the content should be available for a grind if I want to put in the time instead of the dollars (ex. play 30 free boot camp games to completion to earn a tour of duty ticket). In fairness to the game, it’s been out for almost 5 years now, so I appreciate the business side of doing anything possible to help your revenue stream.

Quite honestly, that was the only gaming I did this long weekend. We had our fantasy football draft on Sunday, but that’s hardly a GAME! That’s serious business! I also played a game of Ticket to Ride with matt and our significant others, which was a blast. Hopefully the week brings some more playtime, before the beast that is Borderlands 2 takes hold.

Monday, 9:06 am – Ricky

Yep, a new week. Nope, haven’t posted my thoughts on GameConnect. Yep, gonna do it this week. Back to Diablo.