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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
From Penny Arcade:


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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
From Penny Arcade:


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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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Pitchin’
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Reubens
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
This past weekend we attended the Reubens down in Las Vegas. Tycho could not make it but I went down with Robert and our ladies to see what it was all about. On Friday the girls hung out on the strip while Robert and I went to check out the panels. The first one we walked into was something like “how I got two million dollars in free advertising!” Robert and I sat down and almost immediately we were uncomfortable. I’m not going to say the guy’s name because the entire focus of his talk was how he is able to get free publicity all over the place. I’d rather not give him anymore since I think he is a shameless monster. He showed some videos of himself on various local morning news shows circa 1989 and explained that you should always be trying to tie yourself to local news events in order to get on tv. He told us all a story about how “excited” he was when Elizabeth Taylor died because his wife’s family had some photos of the actress as a young girl. He ran to the papers with these on the day she died and used them to promote his animation business. It was at this point that Robert and I stood up and walked out.

We took Gary Tyrrell of Fleen along with us as he had also had enough and we hit the casino. After a few hands of Pai Gow we returned for the panel with Dave Kellett about cartooning in the 21st century. I was disappointed to see that Dave was not alone on the panel. He was up there with two other guys who I had never heard of. I was told the plan was that each of them would speak for ten minutes and then open it up for questions. This is not what happened. Instead the first guy told us his life story for about twenty minutes, then the next guy was boring for ten and finally Dave had to rush through his bit about how webcomics actually work. The first panel I attended was disgusting but this one was just sad.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Child’s Play Golf Tournament
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:


This is just a heads up that Wednesday is the last day to sign up for our Child’s Play Charity golf tournament. We’ll be playing golf on June 8th at the Angeles National golf course in Sunland Ca. This is actually the Friday after E3 so if you happen to be down there already the course is not too far away.

We still have some spots available. You can check out this site for all the details. We’ll have golf, food, prizes and a bouncy castle. One of those was a lie. You’ll have to come to the tournament to see which one though.

-Gabe out

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Further Disruptions
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
John Carmack’s bit about game stories, which are often porn stories, was controversial in the way that true things tend to be. It isn’t always this way, and it doesn’t have to be, but it often is.

Globetrotting military shooters illustrate this maxim fairly well: it might help, next time you are embroiled in one, to assign archetypes like Pizza Boy or Lecherous Mechanic to your various pawns. It’s not meant to be caustic, it’s simply observable. As a generality “good” stories are additive and “extant” stories are expected; it’s possible to lose on that axis but there have to be failures elsewhere. If you’re giving somebody a chance to play in big, dynamic environments with crates full of horizon tech while you incorporate the best thinking about interface the last ten years has to offer, though, well… maybe we can sorta meet in the middle.

I had a conversation two full years ago with 5th Cell’s Jeremiah Slaczka about what indie meant, and it’s something that actually takes some doing. I mean, Valve is “indie.” Right? Except they own the copyright on the digital equivalent of the carbon molecule. I’m not trying to denigrate them, and anyway, it’s not possible to. I’m just saying we might want to figure out what the term means with some kind of granularity: what virtues it supposedly represents.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Further Disruptions
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Disruptive Technology
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Whenever we come up with something dumb, something that’s supposed to be a joke like the game in the strip, a lot of times it starts to grow on me. I don’t know! I think there’s a lot of headroom there.
I do have a Kickstarter problem, though, and it may require a technology a sophisticated as Gabriel’s to bring this irresistible drive to its conclusion. Part of it is that… yeah. Right? Arimaa is cool, and a beautiful set that honors Arimaa is wanty, that is to say, it generates want.
I think that I could elaborate in a very robust way on my reasoning for backing any specific project; it would run the gamut from “flights of fancy” to “social pressure” to any other damn thing. At a very low level, though, somewhere in my brain’s ineffable primality, I hate it - hate it - when cool ideas, or people who have cool ideas, are unable to realize them because they haven’t collected enough green pieces of paper. That’s the White Trash in me coming out; I’ve talked about him before. Get me mad enough, and you’ll hear him: the way he snaps off a trailing G, the way his teeth make a tongue prison. But that variant has a deep loathing for the undulations of class which serve primarily to strangle the real. I very nearly typed that entire sentence in all caps; there he goes again.

The long and the short of it is that I’ve never has a methodology whereby three clicks can obviate some measure of this fucking stupid-ass crap. Therein lies the danger.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Disruptive Technology
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Foxtrot Papa Of Bravo Alpha
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We’d only played about ten minutes of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier when we wrote the comic, but it was enough time for someone to ask me What The Situation Was, and whenever they do that this is always the conversation I hear in my head. It’s ineluctable. I have to say the whole thing out loud, too. If I don’t say it out loud, things begin to thicken up there. I can feel the words forming a clot in my brain.

Splinter Cell: Conviction is one of my favorite games, and I only know a couple people who agree with that assessment. The competitive multiplayer had a different shape than previous games, different enough to horrify longtime proponents of the series: one on one, in an era with a hundred and twenty-six versus a hundred and twenty-six, seems like a failure of imagination. It succeeded, though, by retaining its stealth cache while letting you corral each round’s limited number of targets: either as points to be scored, or as dogs to sic on your opponent.
I don’t know them personally, but there are apparently fans of Conviction on the team of Future Soldier, because the three things that define the last Splinter Cell:

1. A “queued kill” mechanism,

2. Text projections directly into the environment, and

3. The best stealth traversal mechanic in existence

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Foxtrot Papa Of Bravo Alpha
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Incredulity
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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