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Probably Not
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '11 at 01:15 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Try Our Decrepit Foot-Rags
Posted by News Fetcher on September 28 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The reason the electrified parts of the world have not ground to halt altogether is that the Diablo III beta includes only subset of a percentage of a portion of a slice of a morsel of the first part of the game. Well, we have been there, we have done that. And we’ve gotten the boots.

I talked about the “spirit” having gone out of the plastic when it came to youth fetishes; and it’s like that with Starcraft II for me. I’m not saying it isn’t good, I know it’s good. I simply know it too well. How can a game come out ten years later, which seems like a long time, and ultimately make me feel exhausted? I know where the problem is, believe me. I love watching other people play it. But whatever receptors I had for it are gone.
I came into the beta of Diablo III with a sizable chip placed squarely on my shoulder, a chip of substance, very nearly a pauldron. The reality is that Runic games makes a twenty dollar version of the Diablo series with grace and expertise that satisfies the starving gecko in my brain which longs to click. I played the sequel at PAX, and it’s incredible; I would buy the game for the idle animation on the female Berserker alone. You see “tough” barbarian-types, you see “crazy” ones, there’s a pronounced “noble” strain - but you don’t see wild, for some reason, which I thought was the point. Her eyes are rolling around in her head like marbles. I’ve never seen the like.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Try Our Decrepit Foot-Rags
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Burnout Crash
Posted by News Fetcher on September 26 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I picked up Burnout Crash this weekend and could not put it down. I’m serious, I downloaded it at about 10:00am and at 9:00 at night Kara and I were still playing it. We needed to get the house cleaned that day so we played in shifts. While she did a couple levels I would vacuum the family room. Then I would play a few levels and she cleaned up the kitchen. Gabe was out at a birthday party all afternoon so we only had to neglect the baby. By the end of the day we had racked up 192 stars.

The next day was my birthday and I had some friends over. Everyone who tried a level said the same thing: “just let me do one more!” The controller got passed around the couch all night and then they went home and I saw them pop up on on XBL playing it! The game is crack.

I don’t usually read reviews but when I started telling Tycho about Burnout he told me that they were very mixed. It looks like some people don’t like the announcer. An option to turn it off would be cool but it didn’t detract from my experience obviously. The other complaint I saw is that the game is too random. That your skill does not automatically equal a high score. I’m not sure this one is as fair. It is true that the game has a lot of random elements but that’s what makes it fun. This is not a puzzle game like Tetris where you you are trying to play skillfully so as to avoid chaos. This game is chaos and you are trying to play skillfully so as to manage it. There is no question that each one of these intersections is a cluster fuck. The trick is being fast enough and skilled enough to ride that mess to victory.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Dominion Sans Bullshit
Posted by News Fetcher on September 26 '11 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
You can now play Dominion without facing in a particular direction or making an obeisance to (insert god here).

(CW)TB

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Technically It’s Gung Fou
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Get The Merch In Firefall (Apparently)!
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
They gave me a chance to write The Merch into the fiction, and I didn’t pass on it - it actually woks, in a weird way, and bears within it a dark secret. In any event, they’re running a referral thingy you can use to get a Merch pet.

(CW)TB

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New Store Stuff
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Brian wanted me to mention a few new items from the mercantile wing, and I’m only too happy to do so. One may receive $5 off any poster simply by leveraging this powerful code: L2P2011. Good ‘til the end of month, perfect for covering up that scored portion of the wall or door you’ve been practicing on with your ninja stars. There are also SHIRTS! Plural.


From the Blamimation, for Women and Men (which is a really good song, coincidentally)



Pour Les Hommes and also Women (I forget the French word)



For Men et Les Femmes (I looked it up)

(CW)TB

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The Backyard
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Every now and then, Dominion - the new gametype for League of Legends - pops up in the matchmaker. If you hear that this has happened, you want to be in there. The queue might be, like, forty minutes. Log in, and then do some laundry. Sand a neighbor’s deck. Then, come back and see where this genre goes next.
My numbers stripweren’t all that bad</a> yesterday, honestly. I won twice as many as I lost, which (I think) bins me with the “demi-competent.” We lost the first game because even though we were playing with our regular “champions” in a game ostensibly contained within the League of Legends executable, we were no longer in “Kansas” where Kansas equals the game we play every other night. The hardest thing to learn about “moba” games, for us anyway, was learning where the Commit threshold is. The penalties for death are so brutal, and the reward for the opponent so plump, you learn to flip between hyper-awareness and savage bloodlust. There is a time to chase, and that time is determined by the Commit threshold.
Here, you win the game by holding zones. Specifically, by holding more zones than your opponent. You tick down “hit points” on their “Nexus” whenever you have more, and the amount you tick down is equal to how many more zones you have. That’s not rocket science, but I’m telling you so that you can win the game I lost: you don’t have to fully engage every person you see. The threshold is like the floating point of the needle, always dancing a bit, and you need to listen to it. Chasing someone away from a point, or delaying a capture until help arrives will win you games. At least, at our level of play. I imagine the team made up of players with inherent teleports is gonna be rough trade.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Backyard
Posted by News Fetcher on September 22 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Drawing Live Right Now!
Posted by News Fetcher on September 22 '11 at 12:30 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Watch live video from Penny Arcade on www.twitch.tv

If you’d like to participate in the chat you can follow this link.

-Gabe out

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You Got Your Bas In My Relief
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
As a generality, a game’s “writer” has a task similar to a composer for film: they “score” the game, a game that is already in various stages of completion, using language.
People have an idea about creative works as being inviolate somehow, when it’s all just monkeys banging things together. Maybe there’s some romance left for the sole operator; that person is welcome to embroider a personal mythology, and you’re welcome to buy in. As soon as you rely on any other person to create a work, buckle up. There will come a time - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow - where you will be up to your ass in blood.
Why are these things done out of sequence so often? Creating content is almost mindbogglingly expensive compared to (for example) a single British lady typing her fucking ass off in the middle of the night, which is her day. There’s a reverse engineering aspect to the writing of (most) games as a moment to moment experience. I say most, because I’ve been to Irrational Games, and I’ll be Goddamned if it works that way over there.

There is a story in Gears to spoil, regardless of what the strip may say. It answered a question that I didn’t know had even been asked, and it withheld the only answer I was actively seeking. Whether or not you can actually spoil a game like this for Gabriel is another matter: in the same way he is horrified that I can read an entire issue of JLA (let’s say) in thirty seconds without looking at a single picture, his ability to glide through a narrative without absorbing it - without getting any narrative on him - is shocking. I honestly don’t know how we’re able to communicate at all, our experience of consciousness has almost no overlap.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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You Got Your Bas In My Relief
Posted by News Fetcher on September 20 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Booking Facewise
Posted by News Fetcher on September 19 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
There’s a Facebook distillation of Fourth Edition Dungeons and/or Dragons that could be much, much worse than it is. That may seem like it’s not a compliment, but given the grotesqueries that have writhed beneath that tarnished banner the improvement is almost incalculable.
That’s something I never entirely understood, this gulf between the paper systems (i.e., the fucking game!) and the moist band of ill-starred mutants it seems to produce. Everyone wants to make hack and slash action games with the license, or an RTS for some reason - at any rate, this is what companies are allowed to make with the licenses they are allowed to buy. If this is an attempt by Wizards of the Coast to protect the table, it’s misguided; I play Dungeons & Dragons because of SSI’s legendary Gold Box. These things are a virtuous cycle.
Facebook and D&D as a generality, though, wasn’t something we could leave alone.

I managed to complete Gears of War a few days ago, and it’s real good. That’s pretty much it; there’s not much more you can say. They worked on it for a super long time, brought in a pro to write a script, and dished up a multiplayer beta so that the game’s solitary extant problem melted into syrup. I’m that guy, though, and you should incorporate that into your assessment; I own a Lancer you’ll recall, and what’s more, I know it’s called a Lancer.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Booking Facewise
Posted by News Fetcher on September 18 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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La Vida Vita
Posted by News Fetcher on September 18 '11 at 02:15 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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La Vida Vita
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
This isn’t just true of the Vita, of course, this battery stuff; if anyone actually played their 3DS for any length of time, I suspect they’d come away similarly despondent, pressing buttons which don’t do anything and looking at a screen which is connected to nothing.
This is that “portability” thing when we talk about a “portable” gaming system. Portability means more than the ability to carry something or stow it on your person. Obviously, the word doesn’t mean that - it’s not bound up in the roots. But the implication is that something may be carried and still retain its function. Right? Right. This isn’t really a philosophical distinction, it’s not hair-splitting for dialectic giggles. A portable without robust power storage is not.
Would you believe that I am still remembering things from PAX? Is that something you would believe? For example, I played Dominion.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Work Ethics
Posted by News Fetcher on September 14 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel and Kara have been investing themselves in Crimson Alliance, investing of themselves and perhaps even of their holdings. They will even farm old levels, trying to use the game’s combo system to secure incredible virtual wealth. It’s got the hooks in, apparently.
The comparison that generally gets made is to Diablo or Torchlight, but the actual experience of the game doesn’t sustain that: its heritage is much more Gauntlet, right down to the color-swapped Wizards. This is an action game that, having been created in 2011, must heap tribute upon the Altar of Progression. This isn’t a game where you spend a lot of time twiddling between marginally distinct gear. It may appeal to whatever chittering rodent cortex these other games do, but it’s trying to do something else.
The other thing it does, and others have talked about this as well, is that it incorporates some exploratory free-to-play concepts. There’s no evidence that it leverages any kind of customized framework for the model, which is supposedly under development at Microsoft and is more or less an open secret. It gets there via in-game purchases, the currency exchange mentioned in the strip, and multiple tiers of entry that I suspect confused a non-trivial portion of its audience.
They call the game’s demo the “Full Version,” which allows you to play any of the game’s three classes in an early portion of the game. You can purchase a character for use in the entire campaign for ten dollars, which might make you think this was the first thirty dollar Xbox Live Arcade game, but you can purchase all three characters at once for fifteen dollars. That’s the normal price for a game these days, so it’s unfortunate that they didn’t tread more boldly in their experimentation.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Work Ethics
Posted by News Fetcher on September 14 '11 at 07:00 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Live Drawing starting at 1:30 PST
Posted by News Fetcher on September 13 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Watch live video from Penny Arcade on www.twitch.tv

If you’d like to participate in the chat you can follow this link.

-Gabe out

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