It’s our Nation’s birthday this week (and Independence day in the States – not a celebration of the Birth of their Nation like Canada, more of a proclamation of freedom after a bloody defense of their land, but hey!), so I thought it would be a neat idea to visit some of our favourite games/interesting tidbits/quirky facts about the our great nation in some fashion. Canadian publishers and development teams are producing some of the bigger games on the market with major studios like EA, Ubisoft, Bioware and Squeenix all finding homes in Canada. Perhaps you have loved a particular game that was set in Canada, or maybe you just talk about the Uncharted series because the lead actor is Nolan NORTH…

Friday, 12:11 pm – matt

whoa Albert’s entered some crazy west coast time portal… to honour our American correspond, and millions of Americans reading around the world:

America, Fuck Yeah!
Comin’ again to save the motherfuckin’ day, Yeah

America, Fuck Yeah!
Freedom is the only way, Yeah

Terrorists, your game is through
’cause now you have ta answer to

America, Fuck yeah!
So lick my butt and suck on my balls

America, Fuck Yeah!
Whatcha’ gonna do when we come for you now

It’s the dream that we all share
It’s the hope for tomorrow
(Fuck Yeah!)

McDonald’s (Fuck Yeah!)
Wal-Mart (Fuck Yeah!)
The Gap (Fuck Yeah!)
Baseball (Fuck Yeah!)
The NFL (Fuck Yeah!)
Rock N’ Roll (Fuck Yeah!)
The Internet (Fuck Yeah!)
Slavery (Fuck Yeah!)

Fuck Yeah!

Starbucks (Fuck Yeah!)
Disneyworld (Fuck Yeah!)
Porno (Fuck Yeah!)
Valium (Fuck Yeah!)
Reeboks (Fuck Yeah!)
Fake Tits (Fuck Yeah!)
Sushi (Fuck Yeah!)
Taco Bell (Fuck Yeah!)
Rodeos (Fuck Yeah!)
Bed, Bath and Beyond (Fuck yeah..Fuck Yeah)

Liberty (Fuck Yeah!)
White Slips (Fuck Yeah!)
The Alamo (Fuck Yeah!)
Band-aids (Fuck Yeah!)
Las Vegas (Fuck Yeah!)
Christmas (Fuck Yeah!)
Immigrants (Fuck Yeah!)
Popeyes (Fuck Yeah!)
Democrats (Fuck Yeah!)
Republicans (..Fuck Yeah..Fuck Yeah)
Sportsmanship (…)
Books (….)

Friday, 2:27 pm – Albert

Trevor was my favorite character in GTA V. The other two characters were mostly bland. There was something endearing from the first time you watch Trevor stomp a previous protagonist (Lost and the Damned — Johnny) face to death. It was a lovely moment that you knew that he truly had a heart of gold after selling meth to get Johnny’s girlfriend addicted and was having sex with her then killing Johnny in a gruesome and barbaric way. Just like the anti-hero that Wolverine is to all Canadians and this American boy.

That being said, it’s almost The 4th of July! Hooray! Firecrackers and beers. Murrrikkaaa — Fuuukkk ya!

Oh yeah — Video Games. I’ve been playing AC: Black Flag and it’s pretty awesome so far. I’ve been searching for a new pirate game for a while since I really enjoyed Sid Meier’s Pirates! a lot when it came out in remake form. The only thing that was weird is that you had to dance with chicks in this minigame and for some reason my roommates would only come into my room when I was doing that. I lost a lot of street cred those days.

The ship combat in AC: BlackFlag has been fun and I think there are still some more tutorials before they let me roam the high seas by myself but it’s been quite a journey. I’m about 3 hours in and i’m starting to understand most of the mechanics and remember my fighting skills. My favorite thing to do now i just set up in some tall grass and whistle to get all the guards to me and just gut them when they come close. Just makes me laugh… I might need help.

Other than that I played one single player match of COH: Western Front — I played at the Americans (OBVIOUSLY AND VERY RELEVANT TO THIS POST). They are extremely different from COH 1. They used to be my go-to in the original but I have a feeling that i’m going to need to spend more time to develop a taste for them this time. Ricky and I have had some epic battles that have spanned multiple hours and I hope to get into that again soon!

I had heard that Watch Dogs was more of the same (in reference to GTA, Sleeping Dogs, etc). I also plowed through GTA V in a couple of days and I have not found my urge to play another 3rd person sandbox yet… I’m interested in hearing more next week from matt and Ricky on what they like about the game and what sets it apart. I mean, I could read other reviews but hearing it from people you trust rather than journalist is probably the way to go. (HINT HINT to our 2 readers).

Thursday, 10:33 am – matt

ahh how could I forget Canada’s favourite anti-hero, just like the understaker, he hails from “parts unknown” other than its somewhere in Canada. I picked up a Canadian creation last night, Ubisoft Montreal’s Watch Dogs, which I have to say I am REALLY, REALLY liking. its a bit campy, a bit fun at time with the dialogue and story, but it feels like a classic 3rd person adventure game from the original psone days. I cant put my finger on it, but I like. I like it a lot.

Wednesday, 9:14 am – Ricky

Oh hi der friends! Thanks to matt for creating the post this week. I was swamped on Monday…

I’ve recently tried out Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves, which is a tower defense-type game that takes place in the Quebec wilderness in the 1800s, complete with lumberjacks and corny French accents. It’s quite a bit of fun, but I’m sad to see it didn’t make the Canada Day Steam sale.

Of course, you can’t have this topic without talking about everyone’s favourite Canadian: Trevor.

And just to show we’re all equal here, I picked up Ultimate Generals: Gettysburg on Steam to help celebrate July 4th. I was a HUGE Sid Meir’s Gettysburg! fan, and it’s been far too long since I’ve played a civil war era strategy game. It’s in Early Access so it’s a bit cheaper than the eventual full release. For $10, I picked it up and will probably give it a quick try this weekend while drinking some watered down American beer.

Just kidding, I have some Anchor Steam in my fridge. The Yanks are alright in my books.

Tuesday, 6:50 pm – Albert

The 4th of July is upon us my Canadian brethren. The USA showed a good fight in the World Cup but alas, we return to only dominating every other sport. Damn it. Anybody notice how Tim Howard (who is the God of Goalies) looks a lot like Tim Duncan? Do I just think all Tims look alike?

Canada has become a gaming mecca where for many years there was usually only Japan and the good ole US of A pumping worthwhile games out. I applaud Canada! North America rules. From the American side we started with Wolfenstein, Doom, Mortal Kombat — then Fallout, Half-life, GTA, etc. So rather than list all the American games, perhaps what I will do is suggest some “American” games that really make you just want to drink a bud light, tailgate, dress like the statue of liberty, and make uninformed opinions about other countries:

1. Fallout: New Vegas — A game about the wasteland of the most treasured American playground. Gamble, kill stuff. Y’know.

2. Assassin’s Creed 3: — I have not played this game but it’s all about American during the revolution, aka Amurika v. Da British.

3. Madden 14 — It’s football. There is not much more to say here.

4. Saints Row IV — You are the president of the United States. You fight aliens. You save the day. Your fairy tale American story really.

5. Call of Duty — Nothing says America like any of the games in this series. Military power = USA. Look it up.

Shout out to my Canadian brothers, Steam is having a sale inspired by the greatness of the Oh Canada: TowerFall Ascension ($10.04), Fez ($4.99), Dyad($3.75), Rogue Legacy ($7.49), Retro City Rampage ($2.50), and Mark of the Ninja ($4.99).

Monday, 4:03 pm – Gavin

Last year, I Kickstarted The Long Dark, a game made by Canadian developer Hinterland Studios, about survival in the Canadian wilderness.  We’re expecting it to land this October, but we’ll see.  The cast is quite Canadian as well, with Elias Toufexis, David Hayter, Mark Meer, and Jennifer Hale (of course) providing the main talent.  I’m very much looking forward to it!

I suppose the biggest Canadian video game success story would be Bioware.  I’m blasting through Mass Effect 2 right now, just about done, and despite the flaws I’ve found in the series so far, it overwhelmingly succeeds despite them.  They really piled on the talent for ME2, with Martin Sheen, Shohreh Agdashloo, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Keith David, Seth Green, Tricia Helfer, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Lance Henriksen among the more famous folks providing voice talent (obviously there’s a ton of very successful voice actors kicking in there as well).

And you surely can’t talk about Canadian success without talking about Ubisoft Montreal (Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell 1 and 3), Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: Human Revolution) and to a lesser extent, Ubisoft Toronto (Splinter Cell: Blacklist – I say lesser extent because it was a sales disappointment).

Our indie scene is also substantial, with Capybara Games (Super Time Force) leading the charge, and Klei Entertainment (Mark of the Ninja, Shank) not too far behind.  Obviously you can’t forget about the hard work done by folks at EA Canada, Rockstar Vancouver (soon to be Rockstar Oakville), and anyone else I might be forgetting.  It’s a good time for northern development!

Seriously though, Bioware.  I’ve dropped 30 hours into Mass Effect 2 over the last two weeks.  I do slightly regret not playing this when it first came out so that I could have been a part of the conversation.  It’s not earth-shattering, but as an ensemble piece, it’s absolutely solid.  I have a significant investment in my FemShep, and while one of the characters, Jacob, is noticeably weak, the rest are all sufficiently strong and fleshed out in a way that supports the game properly.

Monday, 3:00 pm – matt

So I’ve got a classic that no one probably remembers (mainly becasuse the term “classic” is being used loosely). Back in the 90’s game boom, two companies (Goldstar and Panansonic) decided to make the exact same game system, the 3DO. The result was a horrible piece of crap that doomed both companies, however they released a pocket of really awesome games, one of them being a cinematic adventure game simply called D (for death). The game followed a female protagonist named Laura as she investigated a campus where your father has killed a bunch of people. Anyways flash forward a few years and the release of the Sega Dreamcast brought the sequel, D2, to the Canadian wilderness. It was one of the first times I remember seeing Canada used as the setting for a game and despite it being a total basterdized “American” version of what people think Canada is (barren wasteland of snow and trees), I still thought it was awesome.

WOW, it's Canada! Just like I see it everyday...

WOW, it’s Canada! Just like I see it everyday…

Reminds you of a walk home from work doesn't it?

Reminds you of a walk home from work doesn’t it?

Can't you tell it's Canada?

Can’t you tell it’s Canada?