In the midst of some of the crazy “controversies” (and I use that term loosely) that discuss the role of sexism in gaming culture and the industry at large — including the frothing attacks that were leveled against Anita Sarkeesian for daring to study the role of women in video games (the first video is fantastic, by the way), the bumbled PR about Tomb Raider, and the “Bros Before Hos” trophy in God of War — it’s nice to get a more touching story about why all of this stuff actually matters.
Mike Mika, a former video game designer for Atari, recently took up a “father of the year” level quest to please his 3 year old daughter when he realized how sad she was that she couldn’t play as Pauline, the princess in Donkey Kong, in order to save Mario. Mike, being a knowledgeable sort of dude, set to some pretty impressive work.
One thing that most shooters gloss over is the fact that guns are fiddly little things, prone to failure as often as function. There’s more that goes into the operation of firearms than your average FPS player would suspect: it’s not just point-and-click, there’s a whole myriad of things you need to check before you can start cappin’.
As part of the 7 Day FPS Challenge, indie studio Wolfire Games created Receiver, a cyber-punk game where it’s just you and your trusty 1911 A1 versus a swarm of robots as you uncover a conspiracy. Maybe I’ll just let the walkthrough explain:
For a game created in seven days, the depth of the gun mechanics is pretty impressive. A bit more work would have obviously helped polish the game but as it stands right now it’s a pretty cool take on the FPS genre. The way that the gun commands light up as you progress through them really helps you learn how to get a gun ready and I appreciate all the small details such as being able to do a brass check. What do you guys think of Receiver?
This might be the coolest thing I have seen in a long time, but that might also just be the fanboy in me talking. Radiohead is my favorite band and OK Computer is my favorite album of all time. I also happen to have a fondness for 8-bit NES music. Apparently, someone out there named Quinton Sung saw into my soul and with a flash of inspiration, he recorded OK Computer and Kid A in glorious 8-bit. It’s pretty awesome to listen to, especially “Let Down”, which sounds like a Final Fantasy theme. Take a listen to OK Computer below and hit the link at the bottom to listen to Kid A. What say you? What other albums would you like to hear get the 8-bit treatment? GO!
Of all the things to mod into Skyrim, I’m not sure that Randy Savage was at the top of the list, but here we are in 2012 and someone has found a way to put the Macho Man into the game. The video detailing the mod is three minutes of pure terror and hilarity.
Originally I thought the mod would just replace the voices of the dragons with soundbites of Randy Savage, but when I saw what had become of their appearance, well, that’s a whole other story. I just couldn’t stop laughing when the guards heard the cry of at the beginning of the video and started acting scared. Good stuff! Here’s the link if you want to try out the Skyrim Macho Man mod for yourself.
Skyrim has been out for just over two weeks, even though it might feel like you’ve already put a lifetime into that game. For those of us playing on the PC, we have the added benefit of modding our expereience and the kind folks over at PC Gamer put together a list of the 20 best Skyrim mods as of right now. If you’re playing on consoles you had best look away, lest you get all jealous like.
Modding is nothing new to Bethesda games as Oblivion and the two Fallout titles have seen a slew of great user-created enhancements, and Skyrim is shaping up to top all of them. Included in PC Gamer’s list are things like a fully 3D map, a crafting enhancement where you can melt down pots and pans into usable ore and several custom tweaks that improve the faces of NPCs right down to their lips (seriously). There’s even a couple goofy ones in here like the one that replaces the spiders with other creatures like bears but keeps the animation model so you have a giant bear scuttling towards you like a spider.
This is just the beginning, though, as I’m sure that there are plenty more of these in the works. You may think that my image for this post is a joke, but oh no, someone is actually working on a dragon riding mod. So, Skyrim PC gamers, what do you think? Any of these mods catch your fancy? Anything that blew your mind? I didn’t think that the water in this game could get any nicer looking, but I learned a thing or two from these mods.
I’m kind of a sucker for awesome mods and sadly they’re kind of going out of vogue with the video game industry. While there is still the odd company that still has mod support in their games, these are few and far between. Even though active modders can’t really look forward to new releases and the possibilities there, they can go back to older games and create some really neat stuff. Take this video I found of a Total War conversion that puts Legend of Zelda skins on the various armies as an example. There’s a ton of attention to detail here, and it’s guaranteed to make you nerd out at least a little bit.
Pretty cool, right? I really hope that Nintendo lets this guy continue with the project because they’re notoriously harsh about the use of their IPs. What did you guys think of this mod? Pretty sweet? Would you try it out?
I don’t know how many of you played Empire at War, the most recent of the Star Wars brands’ long line of mediocre Real Time Strategy titles, but I sank a fair few hours into that game. It wasn’t bad by any stretch, but it was nothing worth writing home about, either. While the ground combat was severely lacking (you couldn’t build base structures where you wanted them), the space battles were great fun. Taking control of either the Rebellion, the Empire or Tyber Zann’s Consortium, you could duke it out with anything from X-Wings to Super Star Destroyers. As fun as it was, it was fairly limited in scope, and the Galactic Conquest mode made the space battles more of a stepping stone than a main attraction. I’ve longed for the day that I can control the Empire on a mission to take over the galaxy, and it may have finally arrived with this fan made mod for Sins of a Solar Empire.
Sins is a game that focuses on managing a huge empire, so the large scale of its maps (which can range from one solar system to several) is a perfect fit for the Star Wars aesthetics. The mod is fairly easy to install, too, since all of Gas Powered Games’ titles are DRM free and open to modding. As soon as you boot the program up, you’re instantly treated to Duel of the Fates, the song that plays when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Gin are dueling Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace. The whole mod is fantastic, and all of the Star Wars ships look exactly like you would imagine them to. Even ships that are only present in the expanded universe, such as Lancer assault frigates, are represented in game. The models for the ships are really well detailed, and the sound effects are very true to the movies; they even replaced the phase jump sound effect with the noise of a ship jumping to hyperspace. The mod does rip quite a few sound files from Empire at War, so they loose a few points for that. Over all, this is a really high quality mod, and it got me excited enough to install Sins on my machine again. If you’ve got the game and are inclined towards Star Wars, pick up this mod. Heck, even if you’re just interested in high quality homebrew expansions, grab it as well. Hit the jump for a video of a space battle in progress:
This is kind of an awesome little story. Ed Fries, former VP of Microsoft Game Publishing division, designed an Atari 2600 version of Halo. The game made its debut at the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas this past week, where cartridges were sold for $20.00 a pop. Apparently, Microsoft is okay with this and has decided not to send the Brutes (AKA: Legal Department) after Mr. Fries.
I know what you’re thinking: but, Anthony, I didn’t go to the Classic Gaming Expo and I don’t have an Atari 2600. In fact, some of you are probably wondering what that even is. Well, fret not, because Code Mystics was nice enough to host a flash version of the game that you can play for free! It reminds me of E.T. without the suckiness. Hearing the Halo title screen theme in those old-school bleeps and bloops is more than surreal.
So hit this link to start blasting away at the Covenant in a way you never thought possible:
Crysis was an underappreciated gem, in my opinion, and one of the most endearing facets of this game was that it was fairly easy to mod. During my time with Crytek’s military sci-fi shooter, I saw some pretty neat stuff, but nothing that could combine my love of video gaming with one of my favorite movies. Today, I finally get my wish. Check out the following video which features a DeLorean in Crysis. Does it travel through time? Maybe. You’ll have to find out.
If there’s two things I love, it’s Star Wars and shooting people in the face. Thankfully, a nice group of modders calling themselves blackMonkeys shares my love of sci-fi warfare and are hard at work on a total conversion kit for Call of Duty 4 called “Galactic Warfare”, which takes the silky smooth game-play of CoD and fits it in with classic Star Wars imagery.
The trailer for the mod showcases Stormtroopers and Rebel fighters battling it out in Mos Eisely, and it looks like everything that I hoped Battlefront II would be. With the future of the Battlefront series in limbo, I’m looking forward to trying this out when the mod is complete. Check out the video:
We don’t like to post two videos in a row here, but this one is so cool I just had to make the exception. This is some kind hack/mod of Resident Evil 4, where a Link model was added. It is kind of awesome looking, and I kind of wish that the whole thing was in Hyrule, etc. Give it a watch.
Since I know some of you are into modding and the like, I thought I’d post this little find from Engadget, where it claims that the new Intel 80 GB X25-M SSD can boost your load times.
While this won’t help on those absolutely unbearable install times on games like MGS 4 and DMC 4, it’ll certainly help on demos you’ve downloaded and on already installed content. And that’s a start, no?
Unfortunately, this thing runs the price of a PS3 and a half at $600, but hey, to each his own.
Here’s a neat little trick for your PSP: using it as a second computer monitor. Apparently, there are people out there that need about 32 extra square inches of screen space, or approximately 966 x 544 pixels.
So, if you’re one of those dudes that likes to do crazy stuff to his PSP, you should definitely check out the requirements and install procedures at PSP Updates.
I’ve never been one to do much homebrew action. But I know that some people out there are into violating their own electronics like a prison cellmate, so I thought I’d post this guide I came across over at DS Fanboy about playing NeoGeo games on your Nintendo DS through NeoDS.
Metal Slug X and King of Fighters, anyone? You can find the actual guide at RacketBoy. Video demo below.