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Vacillatr
Posted by News Fetcher on June 18 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Microsoft has some kind of mysterious something or other today; the rumor is that they’re going to announce a tablet of some kind, and we are all by now aware that Microsoft Rumors are absolutely, one hundred percent always true. But in the event that this is the freaky edge case, we’ve got full coverage on each rhetorical base<a>.

As the <a href="http://penny-arcade.com/archive/results/search&keywords=zune/">only Zune enthusiast
in recorded history, I wouldn’t expect a Microsoft tablet to be bad. In fact, given their excellent phone - a robust proving ground for touch UI concepts - I would expect it to be great. I would also expect that it won’t actually penetrate the skull and enter into the meat of the consumer brain.
It used to be that Microsoft made dumb things, and noone cared. Now, they make great things, and get the same result. This isn’t about sympathy for a literal or putative devil; it just chews on the root of the idea that merit constitutes some kind of magical force.
In another Era, manufacturers would have endeavored to create compatibility of some kind with a competitor; either physically or in software. The wholly digital nature of today’s “app” environment makes that more or less impossible. More recently, Microsoft has realized that other manufacturer’s phones exist and might be a good way to extend an electronic tendril which draws a person back into their circular maw. SmartGlass is the next wing of that, which we theorized as a joke in a previous strip; success is about Ubiquity, even on your competitors’ platform.
(CW)TB out.
<a>are you blind

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A Ripe Kickstarter Morsel: Disaster Looms
Posted by News Fetcher on June 18 '12 at 08:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Post en route, obviously, but since there’s only two hours left on this one it seemed worth a mention. I’d backed this before I knew there was an Enforcer working on it; once I found out, I was flush with arcing, eternal power like in Highlander. I say it is “ripe” because they have sufficiently overfunded to unlock an included minigame and the inevitable 5-6 player expansion for anyone pledging at $50 dollars, which is already cheaper than it will retail for. Of course, it’s all contingent on your interest; I have a flashing “weak point” where hex-based, build-the-board games are concerned. They’ve got plenty of videos (and the by now expected Tom Vasel preview) all on the page.

(CW)TB

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Vacillatr
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '12 at 11:30 PM
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Terribility
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel’s most recently hatched larvae is a brute, a yeti in miniature, whose knack for cataclysm is already refined after two quick solar revolutions. Neither of us have any experience with “boys,” our own sons are nowhere to be found in any of the “accepted” young male archetypes, so it’s fascinating. Well, fascinating for me. I suspect that for Gabriel and Kara it’s more “aerobic.”
My own son, who is six, barely recognizes other human beings as fellow sentients; my daughter is already fluent in over six million forms of manipulation. I want to be proud of it, but I can’t; it’s a little pat for a young girl to express social mastery and an awareness of others’ emotional states. This is why I make her fight and kill animals in a deep pit I dug out back.
I recognize that when I tell you about an ongoing work, I’m attempting to commit a certain percentage of your time and total mind - it’s not something I take lightly. I mentioned Starshift Crisis seven years ago, because it was made by a Kris that I know. The nepotism was jangling and raw. When it became Starslip Crisis I mentioned this also, though I’m not certain if I marked the hard-to-port maneuver which caused it to become simply Starslip. It’s finished now, as in, it ended today, so this recommendation is no longer open-ended: it constitutes a fixed amount of time, which might make it more palatable.

As I have said on previous occasions, the fact that you can get his work for free, in bulk, is an index of our development as a culture, a notch on a doorframe which represents our continued upward growth. Get at it.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Terribility
Posted by News Fetcher on June 14 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Ouroboros Or Whatever
Posted by News Fetcher on June 13 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The more time passes, the more I hate Prometheus. My theory is that I’ve wrung all the juice out of the Goddamn thing now, every touchpoint about The Pilot or Engineers or Xenomorphs or whatever, so all I have left is this hateful, spongy rind.
People get way crazier about movies than they do about videogames, any day of the week; it usually isn’t wise to insert coin into these kinds of conversations. But, good God! This movie makes me want to fight someone, and I know exactly who. I must have, in the prosecution of my satirical duties, made a person as angry as I am now. The thought terrifies me, frankly; the culmination of that particular narrative seems like a “when” proposition, as opposed to “if.” I’m glad I’m taking Karate.
The best thing we can do with it now is to use it as a cautionary tale, to glean the education from it, and burn the remainder.

To this end I have endeavored to scour my mind with your recent vidyogames. Grabbed Krater yesterday, and I… couldn’t tell you what it is exactly; it’s a single player MOBA? An RTS Diablo? I don’t have any Goddamned idea, and honestly that’s sort of refreshing. I appreciate the kind of toy I can’t grip readily with the suspended claw. Sins of a Solar Empire is a game I always liked, and wanted to be devoured by, but the timing never worked out: the Rebellion expandalone has arrived in time for me to gift a copy to a unsuspecting comrade, and the resultant guilt trip should power two or three rounds at least.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Ouroboros Or Whatever
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 11:15 PM
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All Those Who Say Neigh
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Still just generally sort of taken aback by the level of sophistication Ubisoft is bringing to their WiiU launch titles. It’s not that I expect garbage from them or something, it’s that almost as a rule Nintendo has to lead people around by the hand on their recent hardware, especially at launch. Even now, nearing the end of its run, there are games released for the Wii where you just do crazy shit with the controller and go wild. Rules are tempered by their exceptions, I suppose.
Jamie ran a hell of an event last Friday, with the Child’s Play and the Golf; I made friends last year I’ve kept in contact with, and picked up a new crop this time around. Scramble, the ruleset for cooperative golf, even inspired me to try my hand at it. Everyone plays from the best of each round of shots, so there’s an intoxicating strategic aspect: you can afford to play a safe shot, and then run a few experiments. The reality is that even if I am very, very bad at golf, and this is demonstrably true, if everyone else puts their ball in the literally rattlesnake infested weeds, I can hit it ten yards off the tee and save their lives on more than one axis. That’s pretty strong ROI.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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All Those Who Say Neigh
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '12 at 06:30 AM
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Expansive
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Expansive
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
That there new Stur Wurrs game has incredible junk in its metaphorical trunk. A “long time ago,” Shadows of the Empire spent time embroidering the setting’s underworld, and here they are with a pair of new characters exploring that underworld’s literal underworld.

We are always enthused when they give you somebody to play as who isn’t a sorcerous monk; it has the additional effect of making the sorcerous monks that you do see even scarier than they already were. You can set a clock by these Goddamn Jedi: they turn to the dark side on the regular. They’ll turn to the dark side if it means they don’t have to walk all the way to the kitchen to get a soda. Their internal narrative will somehow connect their momentary thirst with the fate of the greater galaxy.
I’m glad to see them swinging again, too, as that’s the prerequisite for hitting. Something really weird happened with the second Force Unleashed, I don’t know what; it’s a game that feels as though it was created in a turbulent environment. They have succeeded in making me very curious about what’s next.
Nintendo talked about Asymmetry a lot in their presentation, and they should have: don’t forget that they were pushing some of these ideas on the Gamecube, with their DS hookup stuff that everybody hated but us. The first thing I thought about when they were talking about asymmetry was Spy Party, and how apt the WiiU hardware would be for it, and Patrick Klepek from GiantBomb tells us that Nintendo has already done some work in this vein with a game called Thief.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Perils
Posted by News Fetcher on June 06 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about the new Tomb Raider. Well, I know how they want me to feel about it, because they’re monkeying around with some pretty fundamental socialization. You really have to wonder about these voiceover sessions.
I feel the same way about the gameplay trailer they put up for The Last Of Us. I think these two things are extremely scary! They’re explicit disempowerment fantasies. Is that, um… progress? I’m not entirely certain I want to be present in either of these scenarios. I think I’ll let Gabe play these, while I sit on the couch with my legs drawn in, pillow at the ready for expeditious face coverings.
I enjoyed the Dead Space co-op presentation and Ben’s article describing how they went the long way around the fence. The punchline is that it has drop-in/drop-out cooperative play, but the game changes when there are two of you. Assuming it’s the same story, and that’s certainly the implication from a narrative perspective, it makes you think. I’m calling it now; helpful, conveniently present Carver doesn’t exist.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Perils
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Father’s Day!
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Father’s day is on June 17th! Don’t worry though, if Dad happens to be a PA fan we’ve got you covered. We’ve packed our store with a bunch of cool shit for Dads.

First up is a really cool set of designs from Erika. She put together these awesome Player One, Player Two combos. You can get it as an adult shirt with a Onesie for those of you with the little gamers to be.



Or you can grab an adult and a youth shirt for you and your gamer in training.



We’ve also got some great new First Party items that would be perfect for Dad.



If you’re looking for a classic gift you can go with one of our new First Party ties.

The Penny Arcade deckbuilding game was a huge hit. So much so that the expansion “Rumble in R’Lyeh is already out! This is an expansion but you can also play it as a stand-alone game.

-Gabe out

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Southern Exposure
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I haven’t “missed” E3 until this year. I went every year from ‘99 or so until it collapsed, and the last few years I’ve been fine; I have larvae at home which are molting constantly, and sometimes they need help writhing out of their dessicated sheaths. They need my mandibles. But it was nice to have an excuse to make full use of portables, a chance to leverage all those multiplayer features that were purchased but so rarely utilized.
We’re in the Old Growth stage now for these machines, and there’s a lot of entrenchment, but it’s a time where little green shoots sometimes erupt to startle deliciously. I am keeping a watchful eye; Ben is there as well for The Report, under strict orders to act as our black cloud of surveillance crows.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Southern Exposure
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '12 at 11:15 PM
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Turnaround
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I saw a single still used to promote a Hitman: Absolution trailer, a phalanx of leather-clad Battle-Nuns, and decided to skip it. I felt like I had probably seen something very similar at some point. But being mad at it is apparently a thing, a compulsory thing. But I don’t do compulsory, and I also don’t do infantilizing chivalry. So I don’t do well at these kinds of parties.
The cinematic ambitions of the Hitman games have always been prominently displayed on (or very near to) its sleeve; I watched the video to see what the deal was, and they’re playing around with their subtitle in a pulpy, grindhouse vein. Robert Rodriguez through and through. It’s fight choreography, and it may set an “erotic” stage but it quickly - and I mean quickly - gives way to a gruesome, life or death, septum obliterating struggle that might be hot for somebody but I suspect that’s a very specific demographic. Only a necrophile could be titillated by something like this; by the end, it literally defies the viewer to maintain an erection. As spank material, it leaves something to be desired; specifically, spank material.
I think that once a nun produces an RPG from her habit, we have passed through a kind of “veil” critically speaking. We can certainly talk about it for a long time if you want to. But she did pull out a rocket launcher, seriously just right out of there. It came out. And then people still wanted to talk about this as though it were some kind of haunted obelisk around which an entire medium whirls.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Turnaround
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '12 at 11:15 PM
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Humble Bundle V = Holy Shit
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
These last couple bundles have been fucking crazy, but this one is just balls out. Amnesia, AND Psychonauts, AND Limbo, AND Sword & Sworcery, and Bastion if you pay over the average? It does not compute.

(CW)TB

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Pitchin’
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Have you ever seen <a hrtef="http://www.artandcopyfilm.com/">Art & Copy</a>? It’s by the rad guy who did Scratch and a bunch of other awesome shit. It’s a documentary which is about Advertising, which is to say that it is about Mercenary Communication, which people have varying opinions about. My feeling is that once we are aware of its ubiquity, we may study it with greater safety; loss of containment is always a concern, but I find these weaponized memes fascinating beyond belief.
The Pitch is an AMC show which transforms that documentary’s texture into a competition-style program. Having a better product is, as ever, a portion of the whole; competing in such an environment involves telling a better “story” than your opponent. The metadata, though - the stories these companies tell themselves, about themselves - is incadescent. I can’t look away.
I get pretty tantalized by all this talk of Dead Space 3 Co-Op.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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