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The Greasy Incline
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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It’s Adventure Time
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I finished my cover for the new Adventure Time comic. You can pick up issue one today at the Boom Studios site or your local comic book shop. My cover will be appearing on issue five.



My son knows that I’m an artist and he understands I draw comics but when I told him I was drawing Finn and Jake he looked at me like I was a movie star. All of a sudden I understand what actors mean when they say they wanted to make a movie their kids could enjoy.

-Gabe out

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Mum’s The Word
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
It has become obvious by now that Moms crave games, they crave them; theirs is the hunger absolute. One of the games these ravenous moms crave is Words With Friends.
I once played Scrabble with a mother not my own and also with Brenna’s Grandmother, which is a kind of meta-mom, and these two beat the shit out of me. People assume that I would be good at Scrabble because I collect words, but Scrabble isn’t a game where you just recite all the words you know really fast. I would be a bull-headed death god at that game, which doesn’t exist, unless you count <a hrtef="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taboo_(game)">Taboo</a>.
No, these women took turns thrashing me with my own language until the bag ran mercifully out of tiles. I saw this mom again at Christmas - “Nancy” - and somewhere in her fully eight pages of iPhone apps I saw Words With Friends poking out, and thought I might have an opportunity for Redemption capital r. No, actually. I never even finished that game. I could see the ravine, and I jerked the wheel hard right.
Gabriel recently had an experience in this vein that was transformed into a comic, somehow. It has been more than thirteen years of constant production, and I’m not certain I’ll ever fully recognize the process.
I’m obsessed with a game called Flash Duel, by Sirlin Games; I carry the deck around in my pocket just to think about it any spare moment, or to harangue others into playing a match.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Mum’s The Word
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 10:15 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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FF XIII-2
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I ended up enjoying FF XIII by the time I got to hour thirty or so. My biggest problem with that game was how slow it was to start. Also the story didn’t make any fucking sense but I don’t really care about that. By the time I got the hang of the paradigm system I was bored with the game. FF XIII-2 gets rid of all the bullshit set up and throws you right into the fun stuff.

There is a bit of a tutorial but for the most part the game assumes you know how Paradigms work. In reality though the game doesn’t even work very hard to teach you the brand new mechanics. The monster collecting and time travel stuff is glossed over pretty quick and a lot of the details are left out. It might sound crazy but I actually found the strategy guide very useful for FF XIII-2. It gives you the standard walk-through but the real value is in the monster list. It breaks down powers and characteristics Pokemon style and it also sheds some light on the games enigmatic Crystarium system.

Story wise this game makes very little sense which is an improvement from the last game which made no sense. I think I have a very broad understanding of what’s happening. I know who the bad guys are and I even might know why I’m fighting them. Honestly I just love the battle system and that’s why I keep playing. I was already a fan of Paradigms but the addition of collection monsters to round out your party seals the deal for me.

If you liked FF XIII then the sequel is even better and you should go get it right now. If you hated the previous game you’ll find nothing to like about XIII-2.

-Gabe out

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Le Chat Avec Le Chapeau
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel played Final Fantasy XIII the requisite number of hours to know that he liked it, and so he was well prepared to like Final Fantasy XIII-2: the XIIIening. He was also well equipped by his previous experience to dominate the game’s earliest chapters, as he’d already long mastered the Paradigm system. I never quite got there myself, because I quit too early, and also because I was playing a game that I’m not entirely sure even exists.
I was playing the one where instead of simply calling “plays” in the form of tuned Paradigms you do that and micromanage every Goddamn thing. It’s not as fun as the game he is playing. The game he is playing looks pretty good. Plus, well… you know. Be aware that such jaunty caps may also be placed on quadrupedal demons, which is a radical reinterpretation of their cosmological role.
I seem to like new stuff when it occurs in the designated, agreed-upon sector - like the “Free Speech Zones” that accompany fractious political events, I prefer my innovations tidy. You may have picked up on it, but just in case: I don’t think this is actually a good thing. I’m simply trying to keep you abreast of my failures as a being. In trying to retain earlier iterations of the series’ fiddly menu-swappin’s alongside the new ideas, I wasn’t able to find something enjoyable. I’ll bring it up at my next session.
Having completed Resident Evil: Revelations on Saturday, it became clear just how much of my time I’ve been spending with my little topaz eclair. I didn’t want to stop; I played tons of Pushmo and Zen Pinball just to keep it going.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Le Chat Avec Le Chapeau
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '12 at 09:30 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Transposition
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Readers are lashing out at William C. Deitz’ addition to the Mass Effect ouvre, with his new novel “Deception.” Indeed, they feel deceived! And they are cataloguing this beast-man’s transgressions in an endlessly elaborated upon codex with such terrible granularity that I’ve begun to feel sympathy for the man. I was under the impression that I liked Mass Effect, maybe even liked it a lot, liked it more than most people. But, no. I’m not entirely certain I want to like Mass Effect this much.
Tie-In Fiction seems like a tough racket, all told. It has a mercenary quality and a legacy of literary abortion such that no sensate being could ever entirely trust it. I described the first Mass Effect book as “a volley of Satanic aggression toward the reader,” but it was still “Mass Effect” by definition having been penned by the game’s lead writer. To come in from outside and speak truthfully about that setting without eight or nine years of shared history with the team would be… hard? I’m not sure hard covers it. It’s not impossible, because I’ve seen it done. But it’s not something I would undertake in the absence of concussion or some strange condition whereby I say “yes” when what I actually mean to say is “no.” I don’t see the upside.
I have no idea why it arrived, because we’re not on any Capcom list that I know of, but I’ve very nearly completed Resident Evil: Revelations over the last couple days. The main thing I am told you should avoid when discussing games are pronouncements of the form

If you like X, you should like B

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Transposition
Posted by News Fetcher on February 02 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Creative Spark
Posted by News Fetcher on February 01 '12 at 08:00 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Plurality
Posted by News Fetcher on January 30 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel the Younger expressed intense delight at the prospect of Minecraft Lego, a state of affairs his father could not entirely understand. A member of the forums awaits with great anticipation the inevitable Lego Minecraft videogame. This is the Circle of Life; one can very nearly hear Elton John.
I didn’t even know about any extra quests or whatever in Kingdoms of Amalur with new copies, but learning that such a thing exists isn’t as startling to me as it is to other sentients. The version of Kingdoms of Amalur we have contains no DLC code, it was just a little Blu-Ray contained in only the most functional swaddling and transport, our little Moses on the Nile. This practice is fairly typical Project Ten Dollar stuff, and has a strong allegory in the publisher’s other genre offerings, like Mass Effect 2’s Cerberus Network and the extra Companions included with Dragon Age: Origins and the sequel.
All discussions of DLC ultimately return to Oblivion, a game so big that DLC was never quite necessary. Similarly, in Kingdoms, you probably wont feel the loss of seven quests. Even if these quests were amazing quests, the game has so much going on otherwise and you will be cutting, electrocuting, and sometimes cutting with a sword that also electrocutes for so many hours that I would be very surprised if you were able to remain angry.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Plurality
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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PAX East Concerts!
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
We have just finalized the concert line up for PAX East. Check this shit out!

Friday:

VGO

Protomen

Metroid Metal

Minibosses

Saturday:

Supercommuter

Paul & Storm

Jonathan Coulton

MC Frontalot

Also a reminder that PAX East 3 day badges are sold out. You can still get single day badges though.

-Gabe out

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Amalur
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Once again I was able to beg an early copy of a game. This time I scored Kingdoms of Amalur. I’ve been playing it now for a few days and I am in love. I’m probably not supposed to talk about the game yet but I figured it would be much easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission as the old saying goes.

I’m not incredibly far in the game and I don’t want to spoil anything but I do want to give my impressions. Yesterday on Twitter I said I thought it was better than Skyrim and I want to tell you why that is.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a problem with open world games. When given all these options I tend to get paralyzed rather than excited. for some reason Amalur is different and I think I know the reasons why:

The combat in Skyrim is miserable. If games like Bayonetta and God of War are on one end of a spectrum, games like Skyrim are so far on the other end that they have fallen off the spectrum and actually can not even see the spectrum from where they are. It seems like if you want to play a massive open world RPG you have to give up a fun,energetic combat system. The thrill of discovering a cave full of vampires in Skyrim is diminished by the knowledge that once I get in there, fighting them is just going to be a chore.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Boxinalia
Posted by News Fetcher on January 26 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Star Wars crap
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
After playing so much SW:TOR and really enjoying it I decided to try a Star Wars book. I had given up them a while back after a series of extremely bad books. I ended up grabbing Darth Plagueis. If it had just been incredibly boring I might have stuck it out but it was also stupid. I was listening to an especially lame chapter when the narrator started talking about ancient Sith lords and their lost techniques. One such lord was a sort of ancient necromancer and his name was Darth Andeddu. I don’t care what stupid space way you spell it, the name is pronounced Undead-u. The immortal Sith dude is called Darth Undead. I said “fuck you” out loud in my car and turned the stupid thing off.

I was already not thrilled about Darth Plagueis. I mean why the hell do these Darths feel the need to advertise how evil they are? A good villain does not think he is evil. He thinks he is doing the right thing. That is what makes him so fucking scary. I mean why the hell would anyone deal with someone named Mr. Insidious? Does the Trade Federation really think this guy is gonna honor his deals? If a Sith lord really wanted to mess with people he’d call himself Darth Fruitbasket or something. Then when he shows up with the planet killer gun everyone would be like like “Whoa, what!?”.

If you want to read a really incredible story of a Jedi falling to the Dark Side check out the Legacy of the Force series. Despite Troy Denning attempting to ruin it with every word he writes, the rest of the writing team managed to make a great story. Karen Travis writes a fall to the Dark Side that is actually believable. You really get an idea for how seductive the Dark Side can be and how an honestly good person could give themselves over to it.

It makes me excited for the future of SW:TOR. Imagine a future update in which one of the Jedi story lines involves a brush with the Dark Side and even the ability to fall. Now that would be amazing!

-Gabe out

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Good times
Posted by News Fetcher on January 23 '12 at 04:00 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I love it when Tycho asks me if I want to go learn a new card game with him and then I proceed to destroy him at it. I would not be surprised if he never plays it again. Which is too bad because it’s a rad game.

-Gabe out

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Efficacy
Posted by News Fetcher on January 23 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The demo for Mass Effect 3 comes out next month, with both single and multiplayer attached, and it will apparently leverage all the Kinect “betterness” we have been promised. I have my, um… doubts.
I’ve found that voice commands in general have lost efficacy since the abysmal, nightmare cloaked Dashboard update; I was a proponent of the Kinect in that regard initially, voice being a daily use case in my house. They’ve really fucked this thing up, in my opinion: I genuinely hate using this device. I want to fight the people who made it, and I can, because I know Karate. Also, I will succeed - provided they attack me with a single punch along a very specific vector. I have pamphlets I distribute to potential foes detailing all my requirements.
In videos I’ve seen, there are many, many functions “bound” to voice that I would never use voice for. I’m not switching guns with voice, even without the obvious and awkward pause while the game tries to differentiate my speech from that of my female heir. That’s not a strong motivator. I’m not opening things with my voice. Usages like ally movement or firing specific abilities from specific characters - functions which are nested in menus and would normally pause the game - we’re moving in an interesting direction. That’s something that maintains flow, and someone taking a second to do what I asked doesn’t wreck the atmosphere.
Features like this are an incredible opportunity to use the word “foofaraw,” so I can’t get too angry. I’ve played Mass Effect 3, though - months ago, at San Diego Comic-Con. They’ve gotten to to a good place, shooter wise! You’ll see next month. It doesn’t need much in the way of condiments.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Efficacy
Posted by News Fetcher on January 22 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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ESA Drops Support For SOPA
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '12 at 04:45 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Wise.

(CW)TB

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