It’s finally here! Video Games Live is in Toronto. Gavin and I (and our respective significant others) have had our tickets for months! We’re finally going to get to hear the dulcet tones of a symphony orchestra perform scores from games like “Final Fantasy, Zelda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Pokemon, Warcraft, Diablo III, Earthworm Jim, Mass Effect and more.” Yeah, gonna be bad ass AND cultural! Looks like tickets are still available if you’re in Toronto.

Friday, 9:30 am – Albert

Given the success of Assassin’s Creed 3’s preorder status, especially over AC: Revelations, I thought this was relevant.

Source: Reddit

Also check out this game called StarForge. It’s calling for funding and the potential looks amazing. It’s inspired by Minecraft/Starcraft/Halo/Borderlands….

Thursday, 6:15 pm – Albert

About a month or two ago I posted some photos of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime by several gentlemen (known as AsteroidBase) that were locally creating the game here in Toronto. They got a trailer up and it’s awesome! Check it out!

Thursday, 8:02 am – Ricky

It’s here! We’re off to Video Games Live tonight in Toronto. Can’t wait to see what’s on the program – I’ve kept myself relatively in the dark, and I’m looking to be surprised. One of my favourite soundtracks from the last year is Bastion, but I’d be floored if it’s included tonight.

Cannot. Wait.

Wednesday, 9:03 am – Albert

Amazing Trailer! The new environment and setting (as well as the gameplay mechanics that i’ve heard about) seem like a welcome addition! Speaking of which — I’m glad I got the first orange item while not even playing! Horray for the sniper of the group! I can’t wait to get back into Borderlands 2 and get my loot finding addiction back up. I hope it has a lot more staying power than that previous loot finding game… Di… Dia… Something like that. Whatever it was i’m sure it was good at one point but my interest burnt out on it quite early.

VERY Happy to hear that Ricky is getting into XCOM. Finally, I won’t be the only guy touting the greatness of the game. “Slingshot”, the upcoming DLC comes in the form of three new council missions with a unique story arc and a new playable “hero” character. Seems interesting. Unfortunately, I was hoping for a bigger change or maybe something more memorable, but I won’t count Firaxis out until I get my hands on it.

Wednesday, 8:47 am – Ricky

Want to get hyped this morning? Here’s the Assassin’s Creed 3 launch trailer.

AC3 drops on October 30th stateside and I guarantee that you will hear about it from us next week.

Wednesday, 7:41 am – Ricky

I’d love to go back and finish off Dead Island – I think we are pretty close to the end, and as I recall, we had some pretty incredible weapons with which to smash zombies. Great game, and I’m intrigued by a follow-up entry.

In a rare occurrence for me, I got in some weeknight gaming last night! Preezie and I played a few of side-quests in Borderlands 2 – I think I’m really falling in love with this game, and I don’t want to play it solo and have it lose it’s charm. In one mission, we tried to pit two rival gangs against each other, then we went in search of Mordecai’s loot (the sniper from the first game), and we rounded the session out with a huge battle with Slappy. Slappy slapped the hell out of us, but we each dinged a couple of levels on the night, and found some amazing loot. Mmm, loot.

Albert, Preezie has your orange sniper rifle. Our first orange drop and we’re giving it to a guy who wasn’t even playing…

I also played some more XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I’m still very early in the game, but I’m starting to get to the meat. The hand-holding from the tutorial is over, and I’m selecting missions, researching, engineering and building my base all on my own. It’s a ton of fun; I just wish I had more time to dedicate to it.

The Gamentary Crew! And… some dude with a flat-top.

Should’ve mentioned it in the original post, but we’re heading to the concert on Thursday night. Friday impressions will be delivered on schedule.

Tuesday, 3:24 pm – Albert

I’ve never played it either! Although i’m sure it was a great game. That’s exciting about VGL this week! I can’t tell you how many hours i’ve listened to the music and background menus music in Skyrim… well I can: about 123 hours of it. And it’s amazing! I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Hitman: Absolution and Far Cry 3 are on my to play this year list. I have to play catch up on Assassin’s Creed but i’ll definitely be on that next. At the moment i’m still working through my 3rd playthrough (my 2nd was a writeoff  because I was not prepared for the difficulty) on Xcom: Enemy Unknown. I gave a little snippet of what I thought about it on the last podcast but there will be more to come!

Interestingly enough, i’ve been hearing more and more about Dead Island Riptide which is a spin-off of the first Dead Island and today it was revealed there will be a 5th character in the series. In addition to that the game will feature improvements to the original game engine with emphasis on the environment. I really enjoyed Dead Island multiplayer and i’m looking forward to playing the game with improvements because.. my god it needed it.

Tuesday ,12:41 pm – Ricky

Great article Gavin – having never played the game myself, it’s tough for some of the points to fully resonate with me. That said, it’s definitely inspired me to – err – discover a away to play the game. I’m sure Gavin will have some tips.

Coincidentally, Underworld from Yoshi’s Island (DS) is the song of the day at VGMusic.com. Coincidence, or conspiracy. YOU DECIDE!

Tuesday, 11:15 am – Gavin

I’ve raved in the past about Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island.  Turns out I’m not alone in my adoration for this game.  Check out this great article on Why Yoshi’s Island should be studied at game design schools.

This article goes a bit deeper than just “interesting colour palette, nice gameplay mechanics, good level design.”  Definitely worth a read.

Monday, 9:54 am – Gavin

Great list of solid titles, Ricky.  As we all know, the Wii-U is heavily on my radar, and my extension, New Super Mario Brothers U and Zombi-U.  Otherwise, there isn’t much out there coming out that really grabs my attention.

I’m quite excited for Video Games Live.  It just totally crept up on us, as we bought these tickets months ago and I just solidly put it out of my mind, as I am prone to death by anticipation.

I very much adore video game music.  A properly-fitted soundtrack enhances any game experience.  And even if the soundtrack doesn’t fit well, the music can still be entertaining.  We’re at the point now where most games have a soundtrack that is, at the very least, highly competent.  A soundtrack be understated and work heavily to enhance your immersion in the game (my gold standard example for this is Super Metroid), it can stand out on its own as an entertaining listen (Fable, Super Mario Galaxy), or as we know with games like SoundShapes, Audio Surf, and Symphony, it can form a key component of the game play.  I’m not going to sit here and rattle off good game soundtracks, because that list would be massive and it would be purely subjective – I love the Earthbound soundtrack, even though it was considered highly experimental at the time and was very polarizing – but I will say that in my opinion, a game won’t reach that “next level” without a great soundtrack to go along with it.

Also, two minutes of love for the soundtrack for Alien 3 for the NES.  That game was pretty much universally reviled for reasons that I have elucidated on a previous podcast, but the techno soundtrack was pretty decent.  It didn’t mesh with the game at all and what LJN was trying to accomplish with the game (cue the joke: “Who the hell knows what they were trying to accomplish with that garbage?”), but the music was complex and seemed to maximize the technical capabilities for the hardware.  Part Thomas Dolby, part Pearl Jam, part Smashing Pumpkins.  Worth a listen, even if the game was atrocious.  Open the link in Youtube to see the full track listing.  The music is best-suited to headphones, to get a sense for some of the isolated and complex elements the sound designer used.

Monday, 8:36 am – Ricky

Just wanted to make a quick list of games that I have on my radar for the remainder of the year. We’re truly in a golden age of games – so much to choose from, and so little time to play them all.

October 30th – Assassin’s Creed 3 and Need for Speed Most Wanted

November 6th – Halo 4

November 20th – PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and Hitman: Absolution

December 4th – Far Cry 3

Monday, 12:01 am – Ricky

My favourite use of music in a video game was in Red Dead. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t played the game up until Mexico, I suggest you do not listen to this song. Hearing it for the first time in the game was an amazing experience.

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