Tales From Behind the Counter – The Walking Dead

I love zombies. I love zombies so much that I would be lying if I said there weren’t nights that I have gone to bed hoping to wake up the following morning in a full-blown zombacalypse. In many ways this column and my video game store are in a state of zombie purgatory, not quite dead but not completely living either. Let me explain:

About two or three weeks ago a series of events transpired that granted me the magical power of telepathy. In the subsequent moments of enlightenment, I learned that the people who own my video game store were running into some serious financial issues in terms of the stores and keeping them running.…

Review – Civilization Revolution Demo

As the name might imply, it’s hard to make a full judgment of Civilization Revolution based on the demo for a few reasons. The game is time limited, you can only play on “pussy” or “Jay” mode (we’ll let the readers decide which is worse), both giving you bonuses significant enough that it’s hard to get a flavor for real balance. The Civlopedia isn’t full, so you can’t analyze all the techs without playing countless times, and you are limited to two civilizations. Despite these limitations, what you can do is get a good feeling for how Firaxis dramatically changed the game-style of Civ while still keeping it Civ–a paraphrased sentence you’ve heard over and over again about the game which is an excellent way to open up this review.…

Quick Impressions – The World Ends with You

I’ve put around five hours into The World Ends with You and besides the “I cut myself to see if I can still feel pain” emo moniker I am very pleased. The battle system makes use of both DS screens simultaneously and though movement of your character via stylus is sort of spotty, everything ultimately works together nicely. The music is absurd Japanese pop that’s both infectious and terrible and the graphics are very stylized – this is one of the few DS games that has a AAA presentation and Squeenix deserves praise for actually trying. Of course the game flopped in Japan and will likely follow suit worldwide, so their effort will be entirely unrewarded and they will realize what a huge mistake taking a chance was.…

Review – Shiren the Wanderer

Shiren the Wanderer is the video game equivalent of Candide. Think of something that can go wrong and it will, but not in the normal “I locked my keys in my car” kind of way. Like its literary inspiration, things don’t just not work out, they go absurdly wrong. As in “I locked my tiger in my car but forgot to unstrap my newborn child from the baby seat” wrong.

Shiren meets so many untimely deaths so often that it seems the game is mocking you. The most ridiculous deaths at least allow you to join in the laughter. For example, on the last level of the game a minotaur picked me up and threw me into a corner, then proceeded to pick up and hurl another minotaur at my head, followed by an undead mage, followed by the final boss itself.…

All you ever need to know about Japan

After spending 10 nights in Japan I am now qualified to make sweeping statements about the Japanese culture. The following are immutable truths (told in a convenient pros and cons style) about this wonderful and bizarre country:

Pro
Suntory Boss is the boss of them all since 1992.

There’s no use denying it.

Con
Japanese people seem as pro-Japan as Americans are pro-America. I was asked by one of my gracious host’s fathers why we came to Japan. He was an awesome guy but really pushed hard for an answer he found satisfactory. I think the question was probably just mistranslated and he actually asked, “How awesome is Japan?”…

It’s the end of Civilization as we know it, and I feel fine (I think)

There has been a recent hullabaloo about the pending Civilization Revolutions game. Having realized that the hardcore 4X PC gamer market is not as lucrative as say, every other platform, Firaxis has set about developing a new “made for console” version of Civilization.

Because a move like this smacks of “selling out” and “destroying the game concept,” and it coincides with what can only be described as criminal negligence of the Beyond the Sword expansion, the community has been at best, suspicious, and at worst, behaving like forum trolls at a n00b feeding frenzy. And they have every right to have this attitude.…

The State of Japanese Gaming Plus A Couple of Signs That the End Times Are Upon Us

As I type this, I am covetously inspecting my growing stockpile of canned goods and rice. Earlier I cleaned and loaded my Colt .45 Airsoft pistol with silencer and under barrel flashlight (think Metal Gear Solid 3). Within the next couple of hours I will be ready for what I am guessing is either going to be the zombocalypse, the Second Coming, WWIII, or possibly the release of a Vanilla Ice Greatest Hits album. One way or the other something bad is going to happen and I am going to be ready.

The Japanese are doing curious things that have tipped me off to our fast approaching doom, let me explain.…

The Sony Guide to Committing Game Console Suicide

Step 1: Create A Technologically Difficult Console. Decide that games don’t really matter and it is console specs that sell new gaming consoles. Create a partnership with IBM that introduces a very fast processor into your new gaming machine. Since games don’t sell systems, it is no big deal that this new bleeding edge CPU is very difficult to design titles around and port titles to. After dealing with the new CPU you decide to throw in your newest form of optical drive that shoots the concept of a decently priced system all to hell.

On top of that, you force yet another media standard on to consumers, something you are already notorious for.…

Gaming Meccas of Japan Pt. 1 — Den Den Town, Osaka, Japan

Being a geek and living in Japan is kind of like mixing Ecstasy with LSD – it’s one hell of a trip. There are four places in Japan that should be on the must-see list for anyone who calls himself a nerd. The big one is Akihabara in Tokyo and I will be covering that in September along with The Tokyo Game Show. The third spot goes to Nintendo’s world headquarters in Kyoto but there isn’t much to see there because no one is allowed into the facility and tours are never provided. The fourth spot and topic of today’s installment is Den Den Town in Osaka.…

Morning Glory Issue 001

In this first ever issue of Morning Glory, we see the typical setting of two gamers talking. One day we might see three gamers talking, or even four. This morning only required two though, so only two there are. Bring forth gamers one and two.
—-
It’s the typical setting of a conversation. There are two people. One fellow clearly favours the food, whilst the other obviously doesn’t favour it as much.

Porky decides it’s his turn to start off a deep and meaningful conversation. His expression suddenly turns sullen, and he takes in a deep breath.

“Hey man.”

“Hey.”

Porky fucks up starting a deep and meaningful conversation.…