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Wednesday, 24 October 2012 22:37

Home-Fake-Home

Skyrim: Hearthfire

So, it's an ill-kept secret that I'm a geek. I enjoy me my fantasy books, sci-fi movies, and RPG video games, including 'Skyrim.' In September, Bethesda released their latest downloadable content (DLC) 'Hearthfire' for Xbox users and in early October to PC players, which is when I got involved.

Now, though most of you know I'm a geek, I'm a geek among geeks when it comes to my playing. I enjoy the lamest parts of 'Skyrim.' While some prefer to go full-on badass, slaying dragons and crafting armor from their skin and bones, I'm chasing butterflies and seeing how many different pieces of pottery I can collect and display in my house. One of my biggest frustrations in the game is how difficult it is to properly place items on tables and display cases. I mean, really Bethesda, did you have to make the physics so that every time I pick something up it flips upside down? Do you hate me that much?

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 22:32

Great Expectations

Looking forward to being disappointed

I remember when 'Halo 3' came out like it was yesterday. Or like it was five years ago. Which, rather coincidentally, it was.

My friends and I had poured hundreds upon hundreds of hours into 'Halo 2's' multiplayer. We had dedicated most of our high school years to it, sacrificing homework time for Team Slayer and basically absorbing ourselves into the universe any way possible. By the time we graduated (I personally thanked Bungie for making 'Halo' in my graduation speech), the rumblings of 'Halo 3' coming out were already starting. We were bombarded with trailers and CG vignettes that reminded us that Sept. 25, 2007 was to be the Third Coming of the Master Chief, and the constant barrage of media wouldn't have let us forget if we had wanted to. Microsoft was the dealer of 'Halo' news, and we were the junkies that scrambled after each tidbit. I remember dropping a bunch of money on 'Halo 3' memorabilia and rewarding my binge with roughly 300 bucks in overdraft fees, but I didn't care. I was riding high on the hype train.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 15:42

The End

A discussion of permanent consequence

Two X-Rays, one leering at my entrenched squad from the top of a defunct train, the other slinking about the benches and flower beds of the ruined subway. The aliens had set up a bomb in the Japanese rail system, and it was up to us, the stalwart soldiers of X-COM, to make sure that Shibuya didn't become a smoking, whitewashed memorial to the advanced technological might of the extraterrestrial invaders.

Published in Tekk
Thursday, 04 October 2012 07:39

The Zen of Dark Souls

How to love a game that hates you

50,000 souls.

Fifty-mother-frakking-thousand souls.

I stared in disbelief at the incredibly subtle 'YOU DIED' crimson across the screen like a neon slap in the face. Fifty thousand souls (the measure of experience in this game) plus 11 humanity - a good couple of hours of work vanished under the club of a fat, venomous troll. It was my own fault for being overconfident and pressing onward into the face of obvious danger and then spitting in the face of said obvious danger, which resulted in that same danger beating the crap out of me.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 18:09

Presenting The Protomen

Gaming's best tribute band is barely a tribute

This world is full of people between the ages of 23-35, covering NES music in an attempt to hold onto the awesomeness that was 8-bit gaming. They pour themselves into their work, trying to recreate each and every note exactly as they remember it from their childhood, clad in their Transformers/She-Ra jammies as they explored these lo-res environments of imagination.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 16:38

Theory of Relatibility

On fantasy visuals in a visual world 

I'm just going warn you ahead of time, by the end of this article, you are probably going to think I'm a:

  1. prude
  2. chauvinist
  3. sexually-suppressed mouse of a man, or
  4. a psycho on a soapbox
Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 17:03

Pixelated Guilt

For the ones we can't save

I already knew going into this that this was about to happen and there was nothing I could do about it.

That really didn't make it any easier.

I was 14 when I first played 'Final Fantasy VII,' in the grand summer of 2002. Not only was it the summer I was introduced to pop punk (which I quickly upgraded to metal short months after), but it was the golden age of playing RPGs on my newly-purchased PS1. Free of the shackles of school for a few brief months, I played through 'The Legend of Dragoon,' 'Final Fantasy VIII' and, of course, 'Final Fantasy VII.'

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 15:51

Quad-Core Hipster Power Pro

A new MacBook put through the gauntlet

I finally broke down and joined the dark side. Citing high-demand professional needs, I broke the bank and invested in a new MacBook Pro. Now, surely you're all thinking that this computer (whom I fondly refer to as Wheatley and/or The Intelligence Dampening Quad-Core) was obviously going to raise my productivity to new heights at work.

Pfft. No. Gaming.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 16:14

Top five series in gaming

5: 'Final Fantasy' 

Final-Fantasy

Whatever your opinion on the post-Sakaguchi/Umaetsu era, there is absolutely no doubt who shaped the RPG as we know it. During the 90s, Squaresoft (now Square-Enix) seemed to have an intricate knowledge of making a narrative that could pull you in and give you a personal connection with each character. The amount of emotion that was given to each and every one of their characters was evidence of the time spent making them individuals in their own right. The battle systems were sleek yet complex, and the added challenge of hidden bosses lurking the dark corners of the world made each experience both unique and familiar.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 16:11

Papo & Yo'

The fifth-best game of all time that features getting inside cardboard boxes

'Papo & Yo,' the latest in the Mainstream Art Game canon, stars a boy who works his way through a surreal city along with a monster. There are puzzles, but they only serve to maintain a certain rhythm in the flow of the graphics. Challenges are limited to some simple switch-hitting and some simpler platform-jumping, and are simple enough that the inclusion of hint boxes in every other room borders on insulting.

And yes, the monster. He's only mechanically interesting at first glance. He follows along, led by the odors of coconuts and the sounds of frogs, both of which he constantly wants to eat. Never mind any ideas you might already have: All you ever have to do is get him to sit on a switch or fall asleep on some cardboard so you can bounce off him. He's the key to most of the game's locks - you just have to hop around and rearrange the rooms to get him to the door.

Published in Tekk
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