April 10, 2012

Play More Games: Cartoon Girls and Funny Hats

Fez

Fez is out this week! For reals! First announced all the way back in July of 2007 (the PS3 and Wii weren’t even a year old), you’ve probably heard of it since then if you follow the indie scene, or at least seen screenshots of its distinctive pixel graphics. I got to play it for a while at PAX last August, and it felt like a solid platformer. The Escher-like core mechanic—rotating the 2D world 90 degrees at a time to reveal new paths—took some time to get used to, but it was a nice twist (excuse me) on the genre.

What stuck out the most in my mind, though, is how one of the PAX presenters mentioned that part of the game’s ambition is to be something you can sit back and take your time with, which the player character’s leisurely movement encourages‐he’s definitely no Mario. That’s really cool, I thought, instantly imagining myself lazily rotating Fez‘s world around as I searched for the key to the next area. Will that fly with gamers accustomed to slurping up the newest releases and plowing through them so they can trade them in towards whatever’s out the next week? I’m a little skeptical, but considering how long the game has been in development, hopefully people can come to terms. I’d hate for everyone to rush through it too quickly.

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April 6, 2012

Weekend Hangover: ‘Not at PAX East’ edition

Borderlands 2 at Pax East 2012

PAX East kicks off today!!! …and we’re not there. It’s pretty darn exciting anyway though. Are you at PAX? What are you looking forward to seeing there? If not, what are you looking forward to reading/hearing about from the show? Borderlands 2 is sounding pretty fantastic to me so far (bonus points for the fact that Gearbox is located a mere hour from my house).

Drop us a comment and let us know what you’re looking forward to from PAX, what your game-playing plans for the weekend are, or just tell us anything else that’s on your mind!

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April 5, 2012

VGH #48: Fighting for Love and Whatever

VGH #48: Fighting for Love and Whatever

It’s a Hangover takeover! Rather than squeezing this week’s gaming talk into the first segment of the show,  we’ve decided to dedicate the entire episode to Kid Icarus: Uprising, Xenoblade Chronicles, and the recent Battlefield 3 updates. Game on!

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April 3, 2012

Wheels of Destruction review: Burnt rubber

Have you ever found yourself playing Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars and thinking, “this is fun, but what would really be great is if you took out all this soccer stuff and replaced it with guns and rockets”? No? Yeah, neither have I, but at first blush, that was the vibe I was getting from Wheels of Destruction: World Tour before actually getting my hands on it. Upon playing it, I found Wheels of Destruction felt a bit more like a vehicular game of Unreal Tournament accompanied by a control scheme I’d summarily label as “wonky”.

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March 29, 2012

VGH #47: Vegetable-Based Objectives

VGH #47: Vegetable-Based Objectives

Oh, Mass Effect 3…where did it all go wrong? Inspired by Bioware’s recent debacle, we’re seizing the opportunity this week to discuss video game endings: the ones that got it right and the ones that missed the mark. Also: Mulchers, hand cramps, vagina monsters, generic white men, and the importance of carrying enough arrows.

In the Hangover: Paul is having fun losing with Dark Souls, D.J. addresses some concerns with the Starhawk beta, and Randy la-la-la-la-loves Gears of War 3.

For our Last Call this week, we shine a light on our killer new theme music from Shane Reaction: Zombieland.

The end is nigh!

Warning: Episode contains spoilers for Super Mario Bros. 2.

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March 23, 2012

Weekend Hangover: Carpal Tunnel Edition

It seems that Nintendo finally figured out that Amazon doesn’t deliver on Sundays because they’ve released Kid Icarus: Uprising today.  Reviews have been trickling out all week long and they’re all over the place: Destructoid called it “equal parts tremendous and terrible” and Joystiq called it “an excellent game”.

While the critics can’t seem to agree on the quality of the game, one thing that nearly every review cites is the painful hand contortions that are required to actually play it. Perhaps a red flag should have gone up at Nintendo HQ when someone suggested including a plastic stand for the 3DS so gamers wouldn’t be doomed to a lifetime of wrist pain?

Regardless, after a 20-year absence, Pit, Medusa and the Eggplant Wizard are back this weekend. At least 2 members of the VGH team have expressed interest in the game. Will it be worth the pain?

One final note: under no circumstances should you ever do a Google Image Search for “carpal tunnel syndrome surgery”. I may not sleep tonight.

What’s everyone playing this weekend?

Randy Dickinson (@randy_wrecked):
I recently downloaded my freebie copy of Super Stardust Delta on the Vita and I’m itching to play more. It’s gorgeous, it’s devilishly chaotic, and the touch controls feel unobtrusive and natural.

I’ve also got at least 10 games of Hustle Kings and Draw Something running at any given time. Don’t judge me.

D.J. Ross (@metaly):
To help ensure I don’t get to Mass Effect 3 this century, I was thinking of picking up the new Kid Icarus: Uprising. Is this a good plan? You tell me.

Paul Sandhu (@spaulsandhu):
I hate Mass Effect 3! Am I doing it right? Gonna continue my second playthrough a bit. Rarrrr how dare Bioware do this to me rarrrr.

Matt Kernan (@mkernan):
I’m taking a road trip down south for a wedding this weekend, so I’ve loaded up my Vita with all the demos that I haven’t gotten around to trying yet. I might even finally start up Uncharted: Golden Abyss. I contemplated packing up the PS3 and hoping the hotel TV had an open HDMI port, but Mrs. Kernan vetoed me. I left it on at home though, just so I could prove that Remote Play works.

March 22, 2012

VGH #46: An Enormous Scarf

VGH #46: An Enormous Scarf

Our love for thatgamecompany’s Journey can not be contained…nor could our discussion of the game be confined to just one episode. On this week’s show, we engage in some nothing-held-back talk about our experiences with the game and what, if anything, it all means.**

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March 20, 2012

Play More Games: Eggplants vs. Zombies

Kid Icarus: Uprising

This might go without saying at this point, but if you stop by your local games retailer this week to check out the new releases, expect to see familiar franchises from wall to wall. I know that the games industry loves to stick to their tried and true series—this generation more than ever—but even I’m a little surprised at the extent to which they’ve done it this week.

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March 16, 2012

Weekend Hangover: St. Patrick’s edition

someecards.com - St. Patrick's day is like Valentine's day for people who love Jameson and bad decisions. Like us.

Ha, it’s funny because it’s true.

Before you drown your sorrows in a painfully un-Irish glass of green beer, why not listen to this week’s episode of VGH? Also, here are some drinks that are actually green for a reason.

What are the VGH crew drinking, err… playing this weekend?

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March 15, 2012

VGH #45: Zoo Hunter

VGH #45: Zoo Hunter

Every gamer has a story about the one that got away. Red Dead, GTA, Fable, Dead Space…

On this week’s show, we’re talking about the games that we’ve played but somehow never finished. Sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes we have to force ourselves to finish a game that just isn’t fun…and sometimes Randy just can’t get past a certain boss battle and won’t stop talking about it.

In the Hangover: Matt buys a Vita, D.J. prepares himself for Mass Effect 3 by getting his Shepard in order, and Randy gets closer to God with El Shaddai: The Ascension of the Metatron. D.J. also got his hands on the yet-to-be-released fighting game Skullgirls, and Randy and Matt keep their Journey talk 100% spoiler-free.

In Last Call: Quantic Dream follows up on Heavy Rain with something very moving, Stromkern emerges from hiding with some killer new music, and EA’s Origin service seems to be getting its act together.

Lastly, we pay tribute to some of our favorite fake radio ads from the Grand Theft Auto series in this week’s Video Game Community Theatre segments.

The Video Game Hangover podcast: it moistens your mouth and it’s mildly offensive to French people.

Mais non! Pas du tous!

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March 13, 2012

Play More Games: Just Add Zombies!

Someone decided it would be a good idea to add zombies to Sega’s Yakuza series of action-adventure games.

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March 9, 2012

Weekend Hangover: ‘Freaking jetbikes!’ edition

Did you hear? They added freaking jetbikes to the Starhawk beta this week! Pretty cool. For some reason, I went into it thinking they would fly, but no… they dont. They do jump though. That’s gotta be worth something, right?

Hmm… I wonder what the VGH crew are up to this weekend…

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March 9, 2012

Contest: Win Nexuiz (XBLA)!

THQ was nice enough to send over three codes for the Xbox Live Arcade version of Nexuiz for us to give away to our wonderful listeners and readers. For those not familiar with it, Nexuiz is a fast-paced, online competitive first-person shooter from IllFonic. I had great time with it when I checked it out for review last month. It’s available on XBLA now and is heading to PC and PSN soon.

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March 8, 2012

VGH #44: Too Many Ninjas Everywhere

VGH #44: Too Many Ninjas Everywhere

Opinions? We has them.

On this week’s show, we chime in on the big Mass Effect 3 DLC debacle, the rampant rumors about Valve’s “Steam Box” home console, and the recently leaked (then quickly confirmed) Assassin’s Creed III.

In the Hangover: Randy wraps up both inFAMOUS 2 and Syndicate, Paul gets a fancy-pants smartphone and finally plays Game Dev Story, and D.J. does NOT, in fact, revisit Mass Effect 2.

In Last Call: a classic fighting game gets inexplicably turned in to a board game and Slate.com wonders if Dark Souls would have been better if it were only 5 hours long.

Too many ninjas? Is there really even such a thing?

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March 8, 2012

Matt Makes His Wife Play Games – Soulcalibur V

I love games, but my wife doesn’t.

Every now and then, I sit her down, stick a controller in her hand and ask her to play something, hoping that one of these days she’ll change her mind.

My Wife and I sit down for a few friendly rounds of fighting. The results are… interesting.

March 2, 2012

Weekend Hangover – ‘Galactic Readiness’ edition

Only four. more. days. Are you ready for Mass Effect 3?

Are you scrambling to rush back through Mass Effect 2 one more time or are you going in fresh? Planning to pick up any of the countless items that come with DLC bundled in?

I hope you’re ready. If not for the game itself, then at least to hear Paul gush about it (or rail against it?!?) on a future episode.

What’s everybody up to this weekend?

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March 1, 2012

VGH #43: The Internet Was Upset

VGH #43: The Internet Was Upset

Would Uncharted be just as fun as a kart racer? New series reboots of Syndicate, XCOM and Kid Icarus bear little (if any) resemblance to the classic games that they’re based on. Naturally, purists and fanboys around the ‘net have mixed feelings on the matter. On this week’s show, we offer up our 2 cents and talk about how important genre classification is to our favorite games.

In the Hangover: Randy declares which game stands out as his favorite in the huge PS Vita launch line-up, Paul plays a game that isn’t really a game, and D.J.’s love affair with SoulCalibur V continues unchecked.

In Last Call: delicious baked goods, classic sitcoms reconsidered, and amusing (but ultimately heartwarming) nonsense from Twitter.

Somewhere in all of this, Phoenix Wright makes his first appearance in our Video Game Community Theatre segment. We hope you don’t object.

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February 29, 2012

Nexuiz review: Frenetic fragging

Note (2/26/2013): In the wake of the dissolution of THQ, the multiplayer servers for the XBLA version of Nexuiz have been shut down. If the game sounds fun, there’s always still the PC version, which is still functional as of this update.

Nexuiz, the third title in Microsoft’s “House Party” 2012 promotion on Xbox Live Arcade, is an arena-based first-person shooter which initially began life over a decade ago as a freely available quake mod. This new commercially released iteration from Illfonic may be gussied up to match modern technical expectations, but the game’s lineage is immediately felt the moment you jump into a match.

Intense and fast-paced, Nexuiz’s design sensibilities are clearly rooted in a bygone era. One where there was no sprint button because your player character already moved quite swiftly in the first place and where the word “gib” was an everyday part of a gamer’s vernacular.

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February 28, 2012

Play More Games: Super Über

SSX

Shhh… Is everyone who picked up a Vita happily distracted playing their shiny, new handheld? Good, let’s talk about some of the non-Vita games coming out this week, including something that could shake up the whole industry.

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February 28, 2012

Contest: Win Shank 2 (XBLA)!

Well, looky what we have here. The wonderful folks over at Klei Entertainment (@Klei) were kind enough to give us three Xbox Live Arcade codes for Shank 2 for us to pass along to you, our dear listeners and readers. If you haven’t heard my thoughts on the game yet from VGH #42, I’ve gone ahead and embedded a video version below. How convenient is that?!?

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