August 10, 2012

VGHomework: Space is the place

wtf

Every weekend, the VGH crew answers a few follow-up questions from that week’s episode, then turns the floor over to you! This is VGHomework.

This week’s episode was all about the Mars lander and space games–the definition of which was up for debate. That, and we had some trouble agreeing on what a space marine actually is. You might say our definitions were a bit nebulous.

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August 9, 2012

VGH #65: Space Madness

VGH #65: Space Madness

NASA’s Curiosity rover is the coolest thing to happen on Mars since the rise of the Red Faction. This week, we’re talking about games in space. We’ve also got your Viewer Mail, thoughts on Deadlight, Red Faction: Armageddon, Bioshock and Limbo, and we pick sides in the EA vs. Zynga dust-up.

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August 8, 2012

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 6

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 6

Confession: We straight up forgot to check in with our backlog progress last episode. We’re really embarrassed! Almost as embarrassed as we are to admit that last week was the slowest backlog week in six weeks running. I lost some of the momentum coming off Mega Man and was lured away by Modern Warfare 3. Paul still hates first-person shooters. And Randy… we heard he was too busy tracking down his new laptop, bounty-hunter style.

Has the crew hit bottom? I don’t want to give anything away, but tune in to this week’s episode for some shocking revelations in the most inflammatory installment of Backlog Attack yet!

August 8, 2012

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita preview: A touch of familiarity

The first five months of the Playstation Vita’s lifecycle have been a bit rocky. While I’ve been thoroughly satisfied with mine, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the software lineup has been a little hit-or-miss. After a strong initial launch, the release list of Vita titles has been a bit spotty–Gravity Rush and this week’s Sound Shapes being a couple of notable standouts. A number of solid looking titles have been announced or at least hinted at, but few have been given concrete release dates for game-hungry Vita owners to look forward to. Thankfully, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is now officially slated for a September 25th launch in the U.S. and if my limited time with it is any indication, it’s shaping up to be the next great flagship title for the Sony’s handheld.
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August 3, 2012

VGH #64: Moves like Toothpaste

VGH #64: Moves like Toothpaste

Sure, Michael Phelps can swim…but how is he at Tekken 3? With apologies to all of the real Olympians out there, we humbly present our own Gold Medal Moments in Gaming.  We’ve also got talk of Modern Warfare 3, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Puddle, Quantum Conundrum and lots and lots of fighting games. Go for the gold!

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August 1, 2012

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 5

Summer Backlog Attack, Week 5

Here’s a quick, late-night backlog update for you before the next episode comes out!

Last week, I proudly announced that I finished Mega Man ZX Advent–my first backlog game completed since I abandoned Psychonauts several weeks ago. Max Payne is up next on my list, thanks to Paul’s recommendation, but will I be able to keep the momentum going?

Meanwhile, Paul took a vacation from Rapture to visit Ivalice in Final Fantasy Tactics A-2, and Randy… well, who knows what Randy’s doing? As the fall releases start to appear on the horizon (Borderlands 2, anyone?), will our hosts clear some of these games out of the way or will next summer’s slate be full of familiar faces??

July 27, 2012

VGHomework: OOUUUUYYYYAAAAAAAAAAA!!

At least it's not Nicolas Cage.

Every weekend, the VGH crew answers a few follow-up questions from that week’s episode, then turns the floor over to you! This is VGHomework.

Q: What do you think of the Ouya? Is an open, Android-based box worth your hundred dollars?

Matt (@mkernan): I think the idea is interesting, if not all that compelling. The hardware specs are going to be a bit limited, so I kind of don’t see how the Ouya would be any better than hooking an iOS or Android tablet or phone to a television. Personally, I’d just like to see Apple add apps to the AppleTV and maybe even release some sort of controller. Ultimately, I think the Ouya is a novelty that people find intriguing, but will end up not really making much of a splash in the grand scheme of things.

Q: How long do you stick with a game after you’ve beaten it? Do you start it over, get rid of it, or do something else entirely?

D.J. (@metaly): Even if it’s a game I’m really into, I usually won’t start it over but I’ll go back and try to wrap up some of the sidequests or see content I missed on my way to the end. With longer term games like the Battlefield series and, of course, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (which I still haven’t even technically finished), I’ll try playing as a different class or using a different weapon to mix things up. I love it when games are able to add replay value via gameplay breadth instead of just grinding out another prestige rank.

Q: What game will you never get bored of, no matter how much you play it?

Paul (@spaulsandhu): Great question. Chrono Trigger. There isn’t a single game in history that I’ve completed more often than Chrono Trigger!

Q: Which video game character should Nicolas Cage play?

Matt: I’d like to see him play himself as the lead character in a self-referential action/adventure game.

Paul: Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4. Take that Randy!

D.J.: I’d really like to see him play every game character eventually, but I’d probably start with toon Link from Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.


Should Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo be worried about the Ouya? Do Diablo players really need more reason to spend hundreds more hours clicking on loot? And what is up with Nicolas Cage? Somebody please explain it to us in the comments!

July 26, 2012

VGH #63: Take His Face/Off

VGH #63: Take His Face/Off

What Summer lull? This week, we’re talking about the crazy new Ouya console and the Diablo III endgame controversy. We also recast the upcoming Superman movie and report on our time with Tribes: Ascend, Quantum Conundrum, and Mighty Switch Force.

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July 25, 2012

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 4

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 4

Do you know where your millionaire ninja is?

If you listened to last week’s episode (VGH #62: Millionaire Ninja), you got impressions of the latest Lego game, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, and Mega Man ZX Advent–plus Batman, Batman, Batman. We admit we might have gone a little overboard.

Speaking of going overboard, we must have gotten too caught up in the hype over The Dark Knight Rises because this was the slowest backlog week so far–but don’t worry! Tune in this week to see at least one game fall off the stack. Progress!

July 19, 2012

VGH #62: Millionaire Ninja

VGH #62: Millionaire Ninjas

On this week’s show, we try really hard to connect our love for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies with a conversation about video game culture. We’ve also got talk of Mega Man, Final Fantasy Tactics, Metal Gear, Lego Batman, and the salvation of G4TV.

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July 18, 2012

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 3

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 3

We chatted a bit about StarCraft: Ghost last week on the show–one game that unfortunately won’t be gracing anyone’s backlog any time soon.

Not that we need the extra weight, of course. Making slow progress and not really enjoying myself, I threw in the towel on Psychonauts, instead starting up Mega Man ZX Advent and enjoying that much more. I may go revisit Tim Schafer’s classic later on, but for now I’m enjoying shooting reploids with my megabuster.

Meanwhile, Paul was still treading water in Bioshock and Randy was still busy at work to even think about the backlog. Besides, there was a new Walking Dead episode out! Check out the episode for their impressions, and tune in this week to find out if anyone gets out of their rut!

July 13, 2012

VGHomework: In the Cloud

Gaikai/StarCraft: Ghost

Every weekend, the VGH crew answers a few follow-up questions from that week’s episode, then turns the floor over to you! This is VGHomework.

We dove a bit into some gaming news this week on the show, first speculating about what Sony will do with their Gaikai purchase, and then getting all misty over some promising games that never saw release.

Q: Have you tried a cloud gaming service like Gaikai or OnLive? Could you ever foresee trading your disc-based/digital download console for one?
Paul (@spaulsandhu): I’ve never tried a cloud gaming service before but when we were spitballing on the show the idea of a Netflix style service but for games came up. I would definitely be interested in a service like that especially if it gave us access to a library of classic games! Man I really hope that comes to pass…

Matt (@mkernan): I’ve dabbled with OnLive a little bit in the past. I came away pretty impressed overall with the responsiveness of the system and the fact that I could play popular PC games on my Mac. I think I could eventually see myself moving to an all-streaming situation, but for the time being I’ll stick with my traditional consoles.

Q: What’s the best way Sony could incorporate the cloud into the PlayStation 4 or Vita?
Matt: I think the current conditions with broadband penetration and speeds in the US mean that there’s not a chance in hell of the PlayStation 4 being all-streaming, but I’d really like to see Sony use Gaikai’s technology to implement 100% backward compatibility. Heck, maybe even just use it to give the users the ability to start playing new games instantly–start off by streaming the game to us, while the full game itself is slowly downloading in the background. I’d be happy to temporarily put up with an ever-so-slight latency and slightly-degraded visuals in a PS4 game just to be able to jump directly into it the moment I’ve purchased it. The technology could make demos far easier to swallow too.

Aside from that, I’d like to see them use the streaming technology to create a much more fluid experience where I can play all of my PlayStation games on any device I own.

Q: What canceled game were you most looking forward to playing and why?
D.J. (@metaly): I mentioned it on the show, but Front Mission 5 and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd are the two biggest casualties in terms of Japanese games that never got their chance in the West. I guess they weren’t technically canceled since they did see an overseas release, but I’d love to be able to play games without having to futz with a fan translation patch.

Q: If StarCraft: Ghost actually came out, what game(s) should it be most similar to?
D.J.: I’d love to see a campaign with a little more deliberately paced stealth, like Splinter Cell pre-… Kind of like Chaos Theory but set in the StarCraft universe. The multiplayer could be larger scale, with ghosts just being one class you could play, alongside squads of marines and StarCraft‘s iconic vehicles. I think they were originally planning to have players infiltrate the other side’s floating Command Centers, and… wait, isn’t that just Battlefield 2142?


Is there cloud gaming in your future? What are some canned titles you wish you could play right now? Let us know in the comments!

July 12, 2012

VGH #61: Man in a Vent Shaft

VGH #61: Man in a Vent Shaft

Sony’s purchase of cloud-gaming company Gaikai has us wondering about the future of shiny plastic discs. Also: THQ’s near-cancellation of The Devil’s Third gets us talking about some potentially good games that never saw the light of day.

In the Hangover, we offer a quick update on our Summer Backlog Project, survive The Walking Dead: Starved for Help and the tap to the beat of Final Fantasy: Theatrhythm.

Lastly, we’ve got your Tweets and comments, a reminder to set your DVR for the new season of Breaking Bad, a celebration of 25 years of Metal Gear, and a fun foodie recommendation.

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July 9, 2012

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 2

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 2

We checked in on our backlog progress in Episode 60. Paul has already blown through Enslaved and has made a fair amount of progress in Bioshock, although he’s not exactly loving it. I ran into a similar situation with Psychonauts–I can see why it garners so much praise, but its flavor of 3D platforming isn’t really my thing. Meanwhile, Randy wasn’t doing much of anything, but he may have been distracted by all the short skirts and zombies in Lollipop Chainsaw.

Will I overcome my platforming apathy and make it to the end (or at least to the next level) of Psychonauts? Will Paul have an epiphany that turns him into an FPS die-hard? Will Randy ever relive those two lost hours of Radiant Historia?? (If only he could go back in time and avert that disaster in the first place.) Tune in to this week’s episode to find out!

Until then: If you’ve got a backlog, does it contain more “short” games like Enslaved or Bioshock, or is it the longer games that end up going unplayed?

July 6, 2012

VGHomework: NSFW

Oh, hello.

This week’s show was even randier than usual since we were talking gaming and sex! Now it’s time for your hosts to answer a few questions the morning after:

Q: Is sex in games exciting, or does it make you roll your eyes?
Matt (@mkernan): I think that if it’s done well in terms of writing, acting, and animation, it has the potential to be great. Most of the “sex appeal” I’ve seen in games tends toward the pointless and exploitative end of the spectrum though.

Q: Have you ever played a game because you were attracted to one of the characters?
Randy (@randy_wrecked): Bayonetta. I had zero interest in the mechanics of that game but I found the character smokin’ hot. I played it on the easiest difficulty just to get it out of my system.

Q: What’s your sexiest gaming moment and why?
Paul (@spaulsandhu): Sexiest moment in gaming for me would probably be the sex scene in Witcher 2 between Geralt and Triss in the elven pool. It has just the right amount of lady butt, man butt, but in all seriousness it was a really nice combination of explicit sex and tenderness that came together in a scene that didn’t cause me to roll my eyes. It was really well done.

Q: Who has the best butt in gaming?
Paul: Best butt in gaming is pretty obvious, feast your eyes on this.

Randy: D.J. Ross does, of course.

Matt: Miranda Lawson.

D.J.: Well, Matt and Randy already stole my choices, so I’ll have to go with the dancer from Final Fantasy IV that they actually censored in the original SNES release. Yow!


Don’t be shy! Let us know if you think games have grown up enough to handle this subject matter, or if they still have some maturing to do.

Image credits: Super Adventures in Gaming, Bioware forums

July 5, 2012

VGH #60: What a Downer

VGH #60: What a Downer

We’re getting all hot and bothered this week, and not just because it’s 103 degrees outside. The release of Lollipop Chainsaw prompts a decidedly PG-13 conversation about sex, sexuality and video games. NSFW!

Paul and D.J. are working their way through their backlogs and offer quick updates on Psychonauts and Bioshock.

We’ve also got thoughts on the new Mass Effect ending, Andrew Garfield’s pre-Spider-Man work, and the tenuous threads between Dane Cook and Capcom.

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July 3, 2012

Play More Games: Theatrhyththrymthrhynmythm

omg look at their adorable stupid faces

Each week in Play More Games, members of the VGH team will chime in on the new video game releases that have piqued their interest.

Hey, a new 3DS game! It’s a sure sign that a console has finally gained a foothold when it gets its very own, awkwardly titled Final Fantasy spinoff. For the 3DS, that’s Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. (Or Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, if you prefer.) I need only the slightest excuse to pick up a new music game, so fill one full of classic Final Fantasy songs and it’s a no-brainer. The gameplay looks similar to Ouendan or DJMAX Technika, which have you tapping on-screen targets or sliding the stylus along a track in time with the music. But, drawing from its namesake’s RPG roots, you’ll be doing all this while guiding a party across a Final Fantasy overworld, or tapping notes to help your party battle monsters. That’s cool, I guess, although it’s really going beyond the call–all they had to do was give me some stuff to tap while male cheerleaders chocobos and moogles dance in the background and I’d be set.

Look for my impressions in next week’s episode! (more…)

July 2, 2012

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 1

Summer Backlog Attack 2012, Week 1

As you already know if you’ve checked out Episode 59, we’re launching an all-out attack on our backlogs as we get into the middle of summer. We even came up with a ridiculous name for it, and I figured, while we’re at it, let’s have a huge leaderboard graphic, too. So now, here we are.

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June 29, 2012

VGHomework: Backloggery

Typical gamer's backlog

This week on the show, we’re talking about gaming backlogs and what we can do to eliminate (or at least reduce) our piles of shame. How did it get to this point??

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June 28, 2012

VGH #59: The Burning of the Everything

VGH #59: The Burning of the Everything

We start our Summer Backlog Attack this week to avoid the summer gaming lull… but with this many games, is there ever really a lull? We’ve also got a second opinion on Gravity Rush, more Mario Tennis Open, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, your Viewer Mail and Last Call.

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