Review – Sam & Max: Night of the Raving Dead

I’ll be honest with you. When I started writing this review, I was only doing it to get this game out of the way. I really wanted to review episodes 4 and 5, and it just didn’t seem right to skip this tale of the emo undead, no matter how mediocre I may have found it upon first playthrough. As I began writing, however, I realized that this game taught me something. It taught me why I play Sam and Max. Not a deep, meaningful life lesson by any means, but a lesson nonetheless.

To catch people up who haven’t played the game already, New York is invaded by hoards of zombies, and Sam and Max must travel to Stuttgart in order to stop them at their source: a castle-turned-goth-club called “The Zombie Factory.” →  All this can be yours, if the read is right.

GTAIV perfectly captures look and feel of fictitious city

When you get a postcard, do you look at the photo of the Grand Canyon or the Eifel tower or whatever and go “oh my god! It’s so lifelike! It’s like I’m actually there!!!!” No, of course you don’t. Similarly, I should have realized – before I shelled out my 60+ dollars yesterday – that playing GTA IV wouldn’t make me feel like I was actually in New York City (why I wanted that, when I know exactly what it feels like all the time, is beyond me). Unfortunately for me, I came to the conclusion that GTA IV would be an exact, block-by-block replica of the city in which I currently reside. I actually thought I’d be able to go over the Williamsburg bridge and continue going in the same general direction in Brooklyn until I found a street that roughly resembled my street and a house that looked sorta like my house. →  Zone of the Readers: The 2nd Reader

Best Game Ever – Drug Wars

About two years ago my mother walked in on me… Playing Drug Wars. (Get it? You thought I was going to say “masturbating.” But I pulled the old switcharoo on you. Ha…haha…h…sigh…) Anywho, my mom walked in and asked:

“What are you doing, Gunter?” Normally, it’s her loving nickname for me, but the emphasis on the word made it sound like something dirty.

And I said, “Why mother dearest, I am playing Drug Wars!” I indicated the exclamation point by spreading my hands and doing a quick shuffle.

“What Wars?!” she said; indicating the question mark/exclamation mark combination by fainting.

“Drug Wars” I repeated, waving the smelling salts beneath her nostrils. (I always keep an assortment of smelling salts in my fanny pack. They have saved my life on many an occasion.) →  Read, I am your father!

Gaming on the L train

I like to look cool. Obviously I’m not alone in this, but living in New York and taking the much-derided (for its “hipness”) L train makes this a more pressing issue for me than most. Many of our dear readers no doubt plop into their clunky cars, polluted with fast food wrappers and other etc’s, and drive to and from work more or less anonymously. I, on the other hand get jabbed with stares by confidence-sapping girls who are far too pretty, rich, and successful to ever want to talk to me for more than an instant. Still, I like to pretend.

So when I received my shiny-black Nintendo DS for Xmas, my thoughts quickly turned to “how cool am I going to look using this on the subway?” In fact I’d say this was the second thing that came to mind, right after “why didn’t I get any fucking games?!” →  Read or die.

Best Game Ever — Baldur’s Gate 2, Shadows of Amn

When Jay asked me to write a “Best Game Ever” entry for Baldur’s Gate 2, my first instinct was to refuse the offer. Why? Because I love the game too much and I feared that nothing I could write would do it justice. It would be like trying to write a review for New York City. I mean where would you even begin something like that? How would you dissect something so steeped in its own mythology? Would you even want to? And just because here I am writing, does not mean that sentiment has changed. Whatever ideas I might express here will ultimately fall short of accurately encompassing the experience of playing Baldur’s Gate 2. However strong my control over language might be, it will ultimately prove woefully inadequate in approximating for you, the reader, the overall feeling I had as a player of Baldur’s Gate 2. →  Read me now, believe me later.

Politicians aiming to censor games have an uphill battle

Unless you spent the last year hiding in a cave playing Gears of War and Elebits, you’ve probably noticed that video games continue to be a great way for politicians to score points with the obsessively-worried-with-no-rational-basis constituency (I usually just call them “crotchety old people,” where, since this is a legal article and I’d hate to be vague, old is defined as “belonging to any generation that is unable to recognize the sequence ‘up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start’”).

Of course, what could be wrong with censoring video games? As spokesperson for New York State Senator Leland Yee, the sponsor of the latest video game censorship law, points out, “we prohibit children from smoking…we regulate driver’s licenses. We prohibit alcohol. We prohibit lots of things from children, and we think it’s logical that kids should not be able to purchase these games on their own.” →  I’d buy that for a dollar.

The Circle is Now Complete: Wii News Channel Released

After being MIA since launch, Nintendo finally released the News Channel for the Wii last Friday. Using the Associated Press as its information provider, the Wii News Channel lets you read regional, national and even international news stories, all at the click of your Wii-mote.

Nintendo, in all their wisdom, even included the Globe feature from the recently released Forecast Channel. If users want, they can rotate a realistic-looking 3D globe (complete with topographical data from NASA), looking for news stories from any region on Earth, as well as brush up on their geography. It still amazes me that the Sahara Desert is really that big. The damn thing covers almost half of the African continent.

Anyway, after using the News Channel for almost a week now, I’ve gone from not caring about any news to feverishly wanting to fire up the channel every night after work. →  Final Post VII

N’Gai Croal to Phil Harrison: What’s Up With Rare?

Following yesterday’s big news story about Rare’s departing co-founding brothers, Chris and Tim Stamper, N’Gai Croal of Newsweek interviewed Sony’s Phil Harrison and asked him what he thought of Rare’s recent decline in fame.

Can someone explain to me why he asked Sony this question? Did he willingly pick the most irrelevant person to ask, or was it, “Damn, I have this huge hole in my Q&A sheet. Hmmmm. Oh, I know what to fill it in with!”

Phil tries admirably to dodge the issue a bit, and tries to assume logically what happened.

“… I think that they became quite insular and quite inward-facing, and they missed some of the trends that were going on in the business generally. Now also, if you sell your company to Microsoft and get hundreds of millions of whatevers, currency in the bank, it does tend to defocus management a little bit.” →  The gamers have only interpreted the games, in various ways. The point, however, is to change them.

Like, totally super cool shopping recommendations

It’s becoming somewhat of a rarity to find a video game store that actually knows what they’re doing. Most of the time, you go into a store and get hounded to death by a caveman who just got hired off the streets. And no, they’re not even the cool Geico cavemen, either. Other times, a store has a complete lack of selection, believing Madden is the only game ever made, and proudly advertising their ignorance.

With two new consoles being released this year, videolamer is here to survey the battle field by detailing many stores that sell video games. We’ll break them up into categories of stores, and work from there.

Specialty Retailers
These are your EB Games, GameStop’s, GameCrazy’s, and what have you. These stores are the absolute best for selection. →  Devil Summoner: Readou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Article

Polarity

Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

If you ever asked yourself why video games were invented, you probably answered that the original creators just wanted to have fun. And, in fact, you’d be correct. The very first video game was created in 1958 by a scientist named William Higinbotham to let people have a little bit of fun at a science fair in Long Island, NY. The fair was mostly centered on nuclear theories and revelations, but Higinbotham thought it made the exhibit a bit scary for the general public, so he made what is now known to be the very first video game: Tennis for Two.

Suffice to say, it was a hit at the show. People were amazed that they could control something on a screen (which was actually a 3-inch radar screen). →  Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Authors, Nine Articles

Girlfriend of a gamer

Game Rush
Game Rush may be in Blockbuster, but only in the way the Confederacy is "in" the Union.

Do you or does someone you know have a partner who is a gamer? Well I imagine if you are reading this uber nerdy site that you do or you are one. For many gamers, gaming is not just a habit but a way of life. Gamers eat, sleep and breath video gaaaaaames. I learned this lesson the hard way when I fell in love with a fan boy. Being in a relationship with a gamer is not easy. There are the long hours spent waiting while your gamer guy/gal looks through piles of used games hoping to find that hidden gem, or the times when your partner totally ignores you because they are completely immersed in a game. →  Lose belly fat now!