General News
The Case for Final Fantasy IX

General News
Why I'm looking forward to Kanye West's game

 

General News
The Top 10 Saddest Statues in The Witness

I have now finished The Witness, which means that I am very cool and also smart.

Unfortunately, The Witness takes place on an island filled with people who are not cool at all: the statue people. For the world’s most extremely very Buddhist videogame, there sure is a lot of anguish in The Witness! There are like fifty statue people on the island, and I’d say that maybe half of them are definitely in the tearing-clothes and gnashing-teeth category of sadness.

So I’ve collected the best ones here. These are the saddest statue people in The Witness, arranged in increasing order of sadness. (Watch out-- they’re also a little spoilery!)

General News
American Truck Simulator Review Impressions

In life, when you’ve chosen a career path as foolish as “video game reviewer” you sometimes find yourself fantasising about the good, honest job you’ll do when you finally give up. For me, it’s always been long-haul truck driver.   
                           
I honestly don’t know why I find that idea so romantic. After all, it’s just driving along roads—in the case of American Truck Simulator, often through the near featureless deserts of Nevada and California, the only states currently in the game—for hours on end, interspersed with visits to truck stops to eat greasy food and catch not-enough sleep in your tiny cabin. Maybe it’s having grown up with games like Elite—where you’re essentially a long-haul trucker, just in space.

General News
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia impressions

Let me tell you about my favorite part of the original Assassin’s Creed: escaping after a successful assassination. Once you’ve planned your careful approach and stealthily dispatched your target, all hell breaks loose, and any plan of egress is quickly forgotten in a mad dash across rooftops. 

General News
XCOM Taught Me How To Lose

Videogames were a pacifier for my family. My dad had to work lots of late nights in a small town bank, so I'd keep him company in the dark of that poorly-designed Midwestern corporate hellhole. There wasn’t much to keep a young boy preoccupied in that place: just some fish in the aquarium, but that only kept my attention for so long. (To this day, I still think zoos are terrible but I love aquariums, because fish are already trapped in a prison of water, so we aren't really hurting them.) I needed something to keep my attention, so I borrowed video games from my father’s coworker’s husband. He'd send large diskettes to work with his wife, and she'd hide them in her desk for me to find at night.

At first it was Sierra adventure games, which bore a weird sense of humor more suited to a middle-aged nerd man than a ten year old kid. Then, one day, it wasn't silly games anymore. There were no more Gobliiins or King's Quests.

This time, it was X-COM.

General News
The Track to Enlightenment

Racing games are not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s easy to forgive the average gamer for having little concern about the completeness of their trophy collection in Mario Kart, let alone their individual car manufacturer XP levels in Forza. Given their hyper-focused gameplay with often little or no story, there are plenty of perfectly acceptable reasons to keep it casual with racing games.

That doesn’t mean there is nothing to gain from a deeper proclivity for virtual racing. The genre has valuable wisdom to impart. What follows is a look at just a few life lessons from the track.

General News
Strangling my dinner with my own two hands

The lede-buryingest, depths-hidingest videogames in the world are open-world survival-construction games.

In your average survival-construction game, you’ll spend your first three hours punching trees to death, or crafting simple tools out of rocks. You might tell yourself: “This game is about surviving, with rocks.” The first fifty times you die, the game is brutal. But ten or twelve hours later, your power usually escalates so dramatically that you’re crafting cannons or building solar-powered cattle farms or summoning robot soldiers through a death portal. “I’ve learned recently that the robot death portal mechanic is the real meat of this game,” you’ll say. Fifty hours in, you’ll probably be teaching yourself basic electrical engineering so that you can hand-program an even larger robot to kill dragons for you on the moon. “I understand now that the real endgame is moon dragons,” you’ll tell your friends. They’ll nod sympathetically.

EverQuest
Erollisi Day is almost upon us!

From the EQ Forums:

 

Happy Erollisi Day! Let’s celebrate!

“Good tidings and blessings of love to you! The days of Erollisi are upon us!” – Emissary of Erollisi

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You can’t avoid it. Love is in the air, and Norrathians near and far are honoring and celebrating Erollisi Marr. Join in the festivities with favorite returning holiday-themed items, events, and achievements!

From Wednesday, February 3rd through 11:00PM PST on Wednesday, February 17th, seek out the Emissary of Erollisi and Grimble Grumblemaker in the Plane of Knowledge to embark on these special, time-limited adventures. If you haven’t completed the Erollisi Day Achievement, you can check under the “Special” tab in your in-game Achievement window to see what is needed!

Want more details on the Erollisi Day events? Read up on the holiday on Fanra’s EverQuest Wiki!

Looking to do some lovely holiday shopping? The Erollisi Day-themed Marketplace items will arrive on Friday, February 5th and will be available through Sunday, February 28th.

Go forth with heart, fair citizens of Norrath, and spend some time adventuring with those you love!

General News
What the heck is Agario?

"Have you heard of Agar.io?"

I look up from my dinner menu to see my friend Chez watching me, expectant. Chez (not his real name) is a PhD student working on his dissertation, a film historian, and a freaking College Jeopardy champion, for crying out loud. If a name like "Agar.io" comes across his dash, it's probably because it came up while he was researching stumpers for a pub quiz.

"You are the third person to mention that game to me this month," I sigh, setting my menu down.