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The Maw
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The truth is that I am the one with the Dentist problem; I haven’t been to the dentist since just before the first Precipice game. The experience was so traumatic that I decided to transform my mouth into a kind of reserve. It has a wild, untamed beauty. Occasionally my gums recede a bit, exposing the nerve. But this only makes me feel more alive.

Trauma is relative, of course; I imagine that biting into a Charleston Chew and having the lion’s share of my teeth remain lodged in the bar might leave an impression - on the bar, at the very least.

I was vibrating constantly yesterday, and it took me several hours to recognize the sensation as “joy.” I’m capable of it, certainly, but I rarely allow it; I can typically tamp it back down into mere bemusement. I can remember a previous joy, one that is more pure and less adulterated than this, and it generally serves to tarnish the current iteration.

I can’t even wrestle this thing down, though: it’s too strong, for one, but there are three distinct, sucker-laced tentacles to contend with. I’m just going to let it happen, I think. When I sit down to invest my leisure time, I rarely know where to start.

- The Witcher 2 works fine on my machine, which was literally my only concern about the game. That might be foolhardy, but I was left a psychic ruin by the Director’s Cut of the previous one, read every book that’s been translated into my language, and even considered (for five consecutive minutes) learning Polish. The art and technology here are simply different than what you might expect, “in a world” where games are made to ship on multiple platforms. What this thing is showing me is almost always amazing, and fully formed; occasionally, it’s shocking.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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The Maw
Posted by News Fetcher on May 17 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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His Dark Thesis
Posted by News Fetcher on May 16 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The hostility and madness of a PC tech support forum recalls the iniquity of a prison asylum. Specifically, the one from The Silence Of The Lambs, where people are howling and trying to jack off on you, but there is something in that godless crevice you desperately require so you have to go into the very opposite of Heaven and prostrate yourself before the very opposite of God.

These places make Gabriel resent me, he sees them as &ldquo;my people,&rdquo; in the same way that Brenna resents me whenever something happens to a piece of her technology at any juncture, because she believes that I am secretly in league with her phone.

I saw the recent console update referred to as a &ldquo;fix,&rdquo; when what was done in actual fact was to cut six human players out of the playercount in the default mode. I had begun to choose the &ldquo;Competition&rdquo; mode for this reason already, as it seemed to offer a smoother ride, and when it’s working well I think the game feels pretty good from the couch. It would never be my first choice, though: my first choice would be the PC, which (post-patch) feels like its natural home on a wider variety of machine.

The patch finally resolved Gabriel’s grid issue, which no amount of forumite witchwork could defeat, because the game was released broken. What this means is that we can actually play it! I’m invigorated at the prospect. This is something I have been very curious about!

They’ve also committed to free DLC, which makes a good step toward papering over the disappointments. They had to get out in front of this, definitively. I want to play more Brink games, I want Brink to be a thing, and I hope it’s not too late.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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His Dark Thesis
Posted by News Fetcher on May 15 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Heal Thyself
Posted by News Fetcher on May 13 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Typically games based on the interplay of classes restrict your weapon choices, but this is something they chose not to do with Brink. Weapons are gated by your survivability and mobility, via one of the three Body Types. This means that you can set up a huge Medic made of bricks who hauls around a minigun, and nobody can say boo about it. I thought this might help me invigorate my fallen allies; one could also use it to become an undying warbringer.

I want to be absolutely clear on this point. The &ldquo;one&rdquo; referred to above is Gabriel. And &ldquo;could also&rdquo; might reasonably be replaced with &ldquo;does, perpetually.&rdquo;

Brink is a better game than its metascore might imply, provided you can get to that round where every gossamer template of its potential finds alignment. It’s very &ldquo;designed,&rdquo; which makes the experience very fragile in cases where its technology fails, which isn’t something you really have control over on the console. Or on the PC, frankly. Which we’ll get to.

It’s certainly true that running back and forth from the spawn point to the scene of the action - wherever that might be at the moment - perfectly captures that Sisyphean hellhole feeling that capture point games can descend into. Where things diverge from the norm is the ring of objectives you can pull up, the unique grammar of its classes, and the incredibly novel sense of momentum. Whenever I find myself running back again and again to form a kind of &ldquo;corpse bridge&rdquo; to my objective, it's usually because I haven't considered some facet of this strange triumvirate.

As the shooter of the week, it’s a miss; as Brink, which is to say, as itself - a kind of class-based action platformer - there’s something here.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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New Penny Arcade Television
Posted by News Fetcher on May 13 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Part One of our rematch against the infernal, warlockin' sonsabitches at Bungie is now available. (CW)TB

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Heal Thyself
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Scholarship, Enforcers, PAX 10!
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Here is everything else i needed to tell you today:

- We would like to give you ten thousand dollars to help with the incredible debt you are accruing at school. It's called the Penny Arcade Scholarship, and this will be the fifth year that we have awarded it. You can find a FAQ and the application here, which needs to get back to us by June 30th. Sound good?

- Enforcers are the colloquial name for PAX Volunteers, so chosen because Enforcer sounds substantially more rad. We're looking for help with the next PAX, and the application for that can be found here.

- If you'd like to submit your independent game for the PAX 10, our illustrious public showcase, that can be done here. We'll be accepting submissions until June 1st.

(CW)TB

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The Threshold Protocol
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel and I will be attending a bachelor party so intense that I am told the B and the P should be capitalized. I am also told that its shape will differ radically from the norm, and I’m glad, because the model for events like this doesn’t exactly invigorate me.

I think of myself as &ldquo;enthusiastic&rdquo; when it comes to whatever people want to do in this regard. I’m almost the polar opposite of a prude, with a ravenous ethos that has as its core tenet &ldquo;everything they taught me in church about the human body is demonstrably wrong and or evil.&rdquo; I just never had an especially good time in the ordinary continuum of the Strip Club thing; I mostly felt filthy the entire time. Not morally filthy, physically filthy. As in, like, dirty.

Primarily, it didn’t seem like an especially good investment of our rapidly diminishing time. It did seem like a good way to buy a thimbleful of flat soda for nine dollars and come away with MRSA. But I’m not sure why you would want to do that? Maybe that’s your thing.

I won’t judge.

Brink has been kind of strange. I’ve said that I like it when scores on games are widely disparate, and this one has some dips that verge on the subterranean. If the game were dumb, I would tell you so. Then I would be done, and we could do something else. But it’s not dumb, it’s just weird. I’d rather convene the Council of Elrond on this motherfucker and see where we can get to.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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The Threshold Protocol
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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New PATV: Checkpoint
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
LoadingReadyRun - Yes! The Desert Bus people! - debut their new show on PATV today, a news digest vehicle they call Checkpoint.

(CW)TB

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A Gentlemen's Evening
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '11 at 07:00 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Dire Circumstances
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '11 at 11:30 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Crisis averted! Hopefully.

Two things.

- Like all other conscious beings, we have constantly fantasized about operating our own gaming shop. The contours of this thing have changed multiple times - in its most recent incarnation, it was Olympus: a kind of evolved arcade that The Mana Bar would ultimately make real.

A shop called Card Kingdom just opened up dangerously close to the office, and it’s essentially the tabletop version of my fantasy store. In addition to a frankly ridiculous supply of games from every conceivable discipline, it’s got a cafe with local taps and a barista who knows his shit. The only thing they don’t have is cots, which keeps me from simply living there.

- It’s been so long since I’ve had to cover multiplayer fundamentals, but it does happen. In fact, it’s happening now: you do not win King of The Hill matches (in Gears or any other game) by killing members of the opposite team.

It can help, certainly. The Hill itself should be well greased with foe-pulp. What I’m saying is that without capturing the hill, you can’t score any points. Devoid of a context which grants them value, all those sweet killz of yours are frenzied masturbation. I think there is a misconception at the root: the &ldquo;Hill&rdquo; in question is not a hill of corpses you pile up, and when it reaches a certain height it results in your coronation.

This is not what happens.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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Part The Rusted Chains
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '11 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel has a hunger for DeviantArt, and maybe even deviant art, or at any rate an appetite for the art of deviants; I have been made to absorb more than one cache of unique offerings on his assertion that I have to &ldquo;come and look at this,&rdquo; because it’s &ldquo;so weird,&rdquo; but when I go over there a pool of cooling saliva has already gathered on the surface of his Wacom, and it is connected to his mouth by a hair-thin column of glistening spit.

Presumably on account of its &ldquo;weirdness,&rdquo; he just sent - to the entire office - a link to a DA page that featured

- Quetzalcoatl biting a woman’s vagina with a kind of jagged proto-beak
- A werewolf biting a woman on her vagina
- A malevolent vagina biting another vagina on the vagina

There’s a theme there, but it’s hard to put my finger on it. Anyway, there’s a lot of incredible material on there that is very much in the &ldquo;Exhibit A&rdquo; type vein.

While listening to the radio this morning, I heard some pretty real talk about the Sony thing - interviews with real, live Gamezorz about what it means when something you have purchased has key features which simply disappear. I can’t even imagine the fear they are feeling in their underground bunker at Microsoft, how many pizza men have been sniped just on principle. I'm sure they are eating things out of cans without heating the contents, cutting themselves occasionally on the serrated edge. I saw a truly amazing article on Krocataw that suggested that no networks anywhere were safe ever, but to keep using them every day because you have no choice.

That was an interesting perspective.

Then again, it was from a person who makes their living offering security services. Maybe that’s just what his sales pitch looks like.

(CW)TB out.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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Part The Rusted Chains
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Value Proposition
Posted by News Fetcher on May 02 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Having committed themselves to in absolute terms to the replication of Blizzard’s back catalogue, it’s no wonder that Gameloft found their way to World of Warcraft eventually. The shocking part is that it actually kind of works.

Getting your phone off the nightstand, doing a couple quests, and going back to sleep is either something which is appealing or appalling; you’d have a right to either. If you have questions about the way that it works and looks, typically it’s fair to say that it operates in a Wowvian manner, except where it’s been cleverly cut to fit a portable.

I would love to tell you that you should just grab it; you’d probably be impressed. But as we suggest in the strip, there are multiple tiers of payment. It may be that ultimately the game becomes free, once the premium &ldquo;booster phase&rdquo; of the client has fallen into the atmosphere. Between its two concurrent tokenized currencies - hereafter and forever known as Smurfberries - and a monthly subscription that kicks in, it starts to look less like &ldquo;options&rdquo; and more like &ldquo;tentacles.&rdquo;

It’s tempting to say that &ldquo;free&rdquo; is the future, but it’s more tempting to say that &ldquo;free&rdquo; is the present; that ship has sailed. And it didn’t cost anything to ride on it.

Watch out for the concessions, though.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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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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