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The Value Proposition
Posted by News Fetcher on May 01 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Solve It (Etc.)
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I saw a review of an XBLIG called Solve It over at Joystiq, a game with a tile-laying mechanic where the tiles represent a kind of "program." It's probably better if you just play it, or examine this Kongregate experience entitled light-Bot, but if these kinds of things turn your crank you should get your mitts on a copy of RoboRally. The other two are perfectly good puzzle games, but when you've had that experience in a competitive context they feel lonely by comparison.

(CW)TB

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We have two new shirts!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
It only does pre-orders:



Rex Ready, time traveling secret agent dinosaur!



-Gabe out

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Even Newer Penny Arcade Television!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I always see things a couple weeks in advance, so I never know where the series is at on the live servers - but here is an actually new episode, entitled "The Retreat."

(CW)TB

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New Penny Arcade Television
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We've got a 4th Panel for you today, a show which covers the writing process for "When Larry Met Mary."

(CW)TB

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PAXDev Panel Submissions
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
If you are a developer, just, like... developin' all the time, and you'd like to submit a panel for the conference, this is where you would do that.

(CW)TB

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Editorializin'
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '11 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We have yet again distilled the news according to the old ways. This is that.

I was quite sad to hear that the planned arrival of The Witcher on consoles evaporated. It came down to business ultimately; there’s no functional reason it wouldn’t have worked there. Its combat wasn’t especially “heritage” for a PC game, but the level of trust in the player and narrative sophistication would stand out anywhere. This is all based on The Extended Edition of course, a substantial reworking of the game that brought it more in line with their ambitions and the expectations of players. I should mention that it was free as well, which more or less cemented to me that if they ever made a sequel, I would remember that humility. I would gladly have played it again on any gaming appliance, but when it fell through I was mostly disappointed that others wouldn’t have a chance to be as surprised by it as I was.

People like to contrast The Witcher with BioWare’s roleplaying output, and I think it can be educational to do so, even if I might not come to all the same conclusions. Part of why Bioware’s approach choice ends up along the Nourishing Gaia Earth-Force/Psychopathic Robo-Hitler continuum is at least partly to do with the idea of a User Interface. They - and it is polite that they do this - they give you two big levers and you get to pull one. It’s simplistic I guess, yeah; lots of useful thing are. A knife is simplistic also, with its clear delineations of handle and blade. They’re extending us a kind of courtesy.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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It Only Does Preorders!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:


-Gabe out

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The Song Of Something Something
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
People have different thresholds regarding spoilification, something we deal with in many comics, today&rsquo;s included - but the way these break down for the true Game of Thrones enthusiast is apparently quite nuanced.

There was a lot that I enjoyed about the first book in the series. I liked that it quite fearlessly fucked with the conventions of series fantasy, conventions which have long comforted readers, and I wasn&rsquo;t aware of this propensity when I read it, being brutalized thereby.

I honestly couldn&rsquo;t endure the second one.

I chose that word carefully: I felt like it was pressing down on me the entire time I read it. I know people love these books, and I&rsquo;m not here to tell them they&rsquo;re wrong to. Kiko loves them, and somehow we&rsquo;ve managed to remain friends. It wasn&rsquo;t for lack of trying, though. I wanted to like the Goddamn things! It was never my intention to become a professional contrarian, I would much rather just tell you things that you already believe, but I can&rsquo;t. I picked up the second book immediately, as in perhaps ten seconds after closing the first. It&rsquo;s how I intended to live, leaping to the next book in the series at regular intervals and clutching it to survive. Couldn&rsquo;t do it.

This is why I&rsquo;m excited for the show: now I can know what my friends are talking about, without having to read the books. I can watch Sean Bean being rad, again. The profound expense of converting these novels to video will act as a natural sieve, seizing the largest chunks of the excess. They can just show me a tender shank right there on the screen, or a table with a bunch of food on it. I don&rsquo;t have to hear how a woman has beef juice running down her arm and onions in her hair or whatever other calcified smut that rancid old coot has clanking around in his braincase.
< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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The Song Of Something Something
Posted by News Fetcher on April 26 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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It Only Doesn't
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We put up today&rsquo;s comic on Friday because it was inconceivable to conceive of thinking that they still wouldn&rsquo;t have their shit together by today. In the interim, its spicy payload has only grown more intense, like kimchi.

An issue like this should, in practice, be an argument against a monolithic service. For example, if Xbox Live were down, you wouldn&rsquo;t be able to access Netflix, which is still available to users even though the PSN is down. This should have been an incredible first showing for Portal 2, seeing as its richest functionality exists on a robust and venerable parallel network. But Steam access is gated via their warped-ass oculus for some reason, even though other partners aren&rsquo;t held to the same standard.

The thing to say on your web is that since PSN is free you can&rsquo;t really complain about it, and that&rsquo;s pretty dumb. Maybe you could have said that if you couldn&rsquo;t play Ratchet and Clank online with your Playstation 2, but that era is fucking over. By &ldquo;that era,&rdquo; I&rsquo;m referring to the one where chains of appliance &ldquo;islands&rdquo; exist in millions of discrete universes across the globe. The store, your friends list, these aren&rsquo;t perks. By 2011, they&rsquo;re bedrock assertions of the medium. The deal they made with users - one which, for years, was the justification for a gruesome price disparity - was &ldquo;free Xbox Live,&rdquo; not &ldquo;shit happens.&rdquo;

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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It Only Doesn't
Posted by News Fetcher on April 24 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Here's Monday's Comic Early
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
(just in case they get the service back up).

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Child's PLay Charity Golf Tourney
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I&rsquo;ve had a few questions about the Child&rsquo;s Play Charity Golf Tournament that I wanted to go ahead and cover here in a quick post.

&ldquo;Do I need to be a decent golfer?&rdquo;

Absolutely not! I apologize if I gave the impression that I was good at the sport. While it&rsquo;s true that in my younger days I had what the kids call &ldquo;Skillz&rdquo; that is no longer the case. I only play once or twice a year now and believe me it shows. I fully intend to get my money&rsquo;s worth as I will be seeing every inch of this course.

Also since the format is a four person scramble you really only need the occasional decent/lucky shot to do well as a team. That brings me to the other question I got a lot.

&ldquo;What is a four person scramble?&rdquo;

It is essentially co-op golf! We will all be grouped up into four person teams. Each person in the team makes their drive and then as a team you choose the best one. Then everyone hits from that spot and again you choose the best shot and everyone hits from there. You do this until the ball is holed. Maybe your team won&rsquo;t use your drive but you might be the guy who drops the five foot putt at the end! It really is a ton of fun and in my opinion the format that delivers the most fun.

After you sign up there is an option to request a foursome. So if you want to go with your buddies you can all get in the same team. Otherwise you&rsquo;ll just be put into a team at random which is how I intend to go.

So hit the site and sign up for our very first Child&rsquo;s Play Charity Golf Tournament today!

-Gabe out

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The Mantle
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
If you played Bulletstorm, specifically on the 360, you have probably checked out Gears of War already. I'm fairly critical of Gears precisely because I do love it, and want it to be better, so that people will see what I do. Ultimately, this will have the side effect of making me feel less crazy. It's a long-term play.

The playercount in Gears was eight, which they bumped to ten for the sequel, which means there&rsquo;s no systemic tolerance for nonperformance. I&rsquo;ve taken great care to surround myself with competents, and when I play games with them, they perform in the capacity they were selected for: they keen and gnash and slay. Gabriel is a threat at medium and close range. Robert governs the field. Kiko is an incredibly savvy duelist. I&rsquo;ve described my role generally as a Force Multiplier, and it works.

Generally.

My rules don&rsquo;t work in Gears, the ones I&rsquo;ve crafted and subsequently distilled, the ones which allow me to succeed vicariously without commitment. There aren&rsquo;t enough players for me to remain ballast. What this means is that I must fight, every second, against all foes, always. It reveals the extent to which I&rsquo;ve chosen the role of observer even in an ostensibly interactive medium.

There are other games with low playercounts, but they generally don&rsquo;t place as much weight on individual spawns: Team Deathmatch in Gears has a total of twenty lives per team, and I still feel the sensation, but the modes I tend to favor are all single spawn in the mode of Counter-Strike. Couple this with the often terrifying and punitive Cobra Kai hazing that goes on with its executions and I&rsquo;m always in situations that I would prefer to avoid.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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The Mantle
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Child's Play Golf Tournament!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
So it&rsquo;s no secret that I am a huge golf nerd. When I was a kid I played Washington Junior golf and then ended up on the golf team in high school. Growing up, golf and art were the two things I did. I remember getting dropped off at the local golf course at six in the morning so I could play a round before school .Then on the way home, the bus would actually drop me off at the same course and I&rsquo;d just keep playing until my mom came to pick me up around dinner time. Eventually it got to the point were I wanted to start putting more time into my art and less into golf. Pretty soon golf fell off to the side and I was only playing a couple times a year. I still LOVE the game though and every year I tell myself &ldquo;this year I&rsquo;m gonna play more!&rdquo; but so far that has not happened.

This year will be different though.



Something I&rsquo;ve been pushing for a long time to get is a Child&rsquo;s Play Charity golf tournament. Well it&rsquo;s finally happening and I could not be more excited. So since I don&rsquo;t want to look like a jack ass at this thing I&rsquo;m going to try and get out and practice. I won&rsquo;t bore you non golf fans with too many details here. If you&rsquo;re interested in playing you can find all the info you need right here. We&rsquo;ve scheduled it around E3 down in LA so all you industry types who are down there anyway can catch a complimentary shuttle over to the course. If you want to come play golf with us, we&rsquo;ve got room for a little over a hundred people so I recommend signing up as soon as you can. Remember it&rsquo;s all for a good cause!

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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On Kombat
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Robert considers Mortal Kombat his "game," in the way that some might consider Empire State Of Mind their "jam." He's been busy repairing the business we are perpetually trying to destroy, so he hasn't had a chance to come in and see it. I'm not an expert, like some people; we tend to play the fighters of the mysterious East, though this is at least partially because those are the fighters which exist.

Being able to perform a Fatality (or, indeed, any -ality) was akin to Alchemy in the arcades and pizza parlors of my youth, I've never really been able to muster it; the new one lets you go right into the menu and look at the commands, with your eyes, which communicate the needed inputs to your brain, and I am still unable to do so.

After a marathon session yesterday, a friend of mine (on the PS3) and I (mounted on my brutal Fear Engine) wrapped up the co-operative portion of Portal 2. We managed to break the tutorial in about seven minutes, generating an intractable scenario that required us to start again, but whaddya do. Ultimately, we gave up on the cross-platform voice chat as well. It's one thing if you both have the same shit, and can compare notes; solving computer problems is a kind of game, and I don't mind playing it. I didn't really know where to start on this one though, and I didn't particularly want to, because Portal 2 was out and I wanted to play that instead. I made a Party on Xbox Live and we just used that, partially because it would be quick, and partly so we could incorporate yet another platform.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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On Kombat
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '11 at 09:00 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Book 7 Cover!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '11 at 01:30 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I just wrapped this up.



-Gabe out

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