The best (we mean worst) villains in fiction, fantasy, gaming, television, and real-life.
Thirty-two villains will enter the challenge.
Only one will come out on top.
How it works:
Every week (for the next several weeks) Tessera Guild will publish brackets chock full of bad guys.
The next week, we publish the previous week’s winners and create another bracket.
Until only one villain remains.
We start with eight matchups.
For each matchup, choose your winner. You decide the criteria. Does Villain A defeat Villain B because he’d more powerful…or does Villain B win because she’s got a wayyyyyyyy better costume?
Sauron vs Bowser
The Kraken vs Darth Vader
The Grim Reaper vs The Joker
Predator vs Lord Business
Satan vs Kim Jong Un
Dracula vs Darkness
Ganon vs Terminator
Skeletor vs Mr. Burns
Tune in next Monday for more diabolical matchups!
Pathfinder: Kingmaker Releases Today!
The Wait Is Over – The Time For Adventure Is At Hand!
Planegg, September 25, 2018: Owlcat Games and Deep Silver proudly announce that the critically acclaimed and highly anticipated cRPG Pathfinder: Kingmaker releases today for both PC and Mac.
Players can download digital versions at Steam and GOG. It’s also available in select retail outlets.
Players will be able to adventure through the Stolen Lands, exploring the vast world of the Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game universe. From humble beginnings, characters will face fearsome beasts, meet lifelong companions, and build their own kingdoms as a deep and engaging story unfolds around them.
Watch the Launch Trailer here –
“Making Pathfinder: Kingmaker has been the most incredible journey. As a team we have lived this game, poured our passion, energy and personalities into it. The time has now come to allow fans to experience all that the Stolen Lands has to offer! We hope you enjoy it!” said Oleg Shpilchevsky, Head Of Owlcat Games
“We’re thrilled to see Pathfinder’s world of Golarion so vividly realized by the team at Owlcat,” says Paizo Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Erik Mona. “Pathfinder: Kingmaker brings one of Pathfinder’s most exciting epic adventures to computers everywhere, leaping from the tabletop to the computer and bringing the exciting environments and canny creatures of Kingmaker to life on the computer screen!”
Your reign begins TODAY!
More information can be found at –
Pathfinder: Kingmaker takes players on a tour through the infamous Stolen Lands, the dangerous and turbulent territories well known within Pathfinder fandom. The computer RPG revisits familiar characters and well-known locations of the series’ lore as well as treat players to brand new adventures, deadly foes, and unforeseen twists and turns. Fans of the fantasy pen-and-paper RPG will experience its epic, heroic universe in new ways while computer RPG gamers will discover their favorite genre in a more contemporary light, in stunning 3D graphics that bring the universe to life.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker will challenge players as both adventurers and rulers as they claim explored lands and carve their own kingdom from the wilderness. Kingdom founding goes beyond simple stronghold-building to become a true reflection of the hero’s character and choices made throughout the game. Each kingdom is a living thing shaped by alignment, choices, allies, and the hero’s ability to lead his or her people.
Title: Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Platforms: PC, Mac
Players: Single Player
Developer: Owlcat Games
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: OUT NOW!
Explorer Edition $39.99/ €39.99/£34.99
Noble Edition $54.99/ €54.99/£49.99
Royal Edition $69.99/ €69.99/£59.99
Imperial Edition $84.99/ €84.99/£74.99
About Owlcat Games
Owlcat Games was founded in 2016 as part of a pilot initiative of My.com. The team is led by veteran game designers behind titles like Heroes of Might and Magic V, Silent Storm, Etherlords, Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul and other games. Team members also took part in the development of popular MMO titles, Allods Online and Skyforge. The first project unveiled by Owlcat Games is Pathfinder: Kingmaker, an isometric computer RPG based on the highly popular Pathfinder pen-and-paper roleplaying game by Paizo Inc.
Paizo Inc. is one of the world’s leading hobby game publishers. Since 2002, millions of players have joined the goblin army by playing the Pathfinder® and Starfinder® roleplaying games across tabletops, at conventions, at their favourite local game store, and digitally on virtual tabletops. Paizo.com is an online retail hobby destination for millions of gamers that carries the latest products from top hobby game publishers. Players also find accessories, like dice and maps, miniatures, T-shirts, goblin plush toys, and the newest releases to quickly replenish those adventuring supplies for the next dungeon run.
My.com is a global online services platform which focuses on North America and Europe with offices in Amsterdam (NL) and San Jose (US). My.com comprises myMail, MAPS.ME, myTarget, and online and mobile games. My.com publishes award winning online gaming experiences including Armoured Warfare, Skyforge and Revelation Online. Its mobile communications and entertainment services and apps facilitate its multimillion user base in pursuing their business goals – and let them relax and have a good time gaming in-between. Copyright © 2018 My.com. For more information, visit My.com
About Koch Media
Koch Media is a leading producer and distributor of digital entertainment products (software, games and films). The company’s own publishing activities, marketing and distribution extend throughout Europe and the USA. The Koch Media group has more than 20 years of experience in the digital media business, and has risen to become the number one distributor in Europe. It has also formed strategic alliances with numerous games and software publishers: Bethesda, Capcom, Kaspersky Labs, NC SOFT, Sega, Square Enix and Tecmo-Koei, etc. in various European countries. With Headquarters in Planegg near Munich/Germany, Koch Media owns branches in Germany, England, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Nordic regions, Benelux and the United States.
All product titles, publisher names, trademarks, artwork and associated imagery are trademarks, registered trademarks and/or copyright material of the respective owners. All rights reserved.
You’re busy, right? Really busy.
Aren’t we all?
What you need are ways to squeeze in a little exercise into the gaps of ordinary life.
Here’s ten simple exercise solutions. Try a few or do them all.
1. Park in the Farthest Spot Available
It’s funny how people operate. The fittest guy or gal, even when driving to the gym for a vigorous workout, will usually pick the closest, most convenient parking spot. It makes zero sense when you think about it. Forget about driving around the mall or the airport trying to find the best spot. Park way, way out there, and burn some calories on your way in/out of wherever you’re going.
Another bonus to this tactic: never having to fight with other drivers over parking spots.
2. Take the Stairs Instead of the Elevator
Three floors up? What’s the problem? Bypass the herd waiting outside the elevator doors and sprint for the stairs. As far as time spent, taking the stairs will cost you…what? An extra 5 seconds per floor? Instead of standing idly inside a big metal box, you can stretch your legs out nicely.
Bonus: Carrying luggage while scaling the stairs.
3. Take the Stairs Two at a Time
Ever notice how close stairs are to one another? It’s almost like they were built to accommodate children and octogenarians. So why are you, a robust thirty or forty-something, taking them one at a time? Come on, man! Move those legs and climb at twice the speed!
Bonus: Taking stairs two at a time…while on an escalator
4. Do One Set of Pushups Every 20 Minutes (while doing household chores)
Stop. Drop. Give me twenty.
You’re doing laundry? Do a set of pushups after hitting ‘Wash’ on the machine. You’re waiting for pasta to boil on the stove? Do another set. You’re waiting for your computer to boot up? Drop to the floor and knock yet another set out. I’ve been doing this for years, and sometimes at day’s end I look back and realize I’ve banged out 500 pushups. You don’t have to do 500. Just do what suits you…while setting aside only a fraction of the time you would have for an actual trip to the gym.
Bonus: Set weekly pushup goals. Then shatter your own records.
5. Buy a Push Mower
Sometimes I peek out my front door and see my neighbor (who’s twenty years younger) riding around his tiny little yard on a $1,500 John Deere mower. And sometimes I see my other neighbor, a former marine, striding slowly behind his self-propelled mower. First of all, these machines cost way more than a typical walk-behind mower. And second of all, these guys are mowing outside on a beautiful summer day…somehow getting no exercise at all. You can get a push mower for $150-$300. Slap on a mulcher (bagging your grass will slow you down) and get going! Studies show that with a medium-sized lawn, you can walk 1-2 miles while mowing.
We have another word for all that walking: exercise
6. While Playing Video Games, Ride a Stationary Bike
This one is among my favorites. I’m a video game nut (see this and this) and yet there’s possibly no activity in the world that’ll kill fitness quite like plopping on the sofa and not moving for hours on end. Solution? Buy a stationary bike and pump out the miles…while crushing your favorite games. I’ve found that the higher energy level the game requires, the faster you’ll tend to bike. Once, while playing Zelda – Breath of the Wild, I biked for two-and-a-half hours without really even noticing.
And afterward, I’d gotten both a gaming fix and a really satisfying workout.
Bonus: Play Mario Kart while on a bike and pretend you’re racing along with the game. Seriously. It works.
7. Take the Printer out of your Office
Humans are always striving to increase their level of convenience. But at what cost? This suggestion isn’t just about printers or other office hardware. It’s about purposely not obsessing about convenience. So you’ll have to get up and walk thirty steps every time you print something? Big deal. Just do it. So you’ll have to carry your laundry upstairs? I’m not sure I see the problem.
Force yourself to move. Get out of your chair. Savor every step you have to take.
8. Carry Hand-Baskets in the Store instead of using Shopping Carts
What’s that you say? A shopping cart with just six things inside? Nope. That’s hand-basket territory. You know what a hand-basket is, right? The little things with handles stacked just inside the grocery store entrance.
Bonus: If you must use a shopping cart, push it all the way back into the store rather than into the cart corral
9. Install a Chin-Up Bar in a Household Doorway
They don’t cost much. They’re surprisingly safe. And chin-ups are an awesome way to tone your shoulders and boost your core strength. My suggestion is this: install a bar in a doorway you pass through 5-6 times every day. And then…every single time you pass through that doorway…pump out 5-10 (or more, if you’re buff) chin-ups. Even if you can only do 1-2 chin-ups per pass, it’s fine. They’re quick, and it’s a fantastic exercise.
10. Walk Faster
No, don’t be a fast-walking robot. Just be swift. While taking a stroll at the park, pick up the pace a little. While watching the kids play at the park, walk brisk circuits around the playground. Slogging along through grocery stores, parks, and parking lots is the same as sitting in traffic. Get off the surface roads and onto the highway. Move those feet and get your heart-rate rising!
Bonus: On moving sidewalks, actually walk. (Most people just stand there and let the sidewalk float them into oblivion.)
You’ve started exercising your mind.
Ten years ago, my annual list of want-to-play video games would’ve been twenty games long, maybe even thirty.
But dad life has narrowed my expectations. To squeeze in max gaming time, I have to seek out the best of the best upcoming games.
It’s not easy to carve away a ton of good games to get the list down to seven. It’s a dirty job.
…but somebody’s got to do it.
7 Video Games I Want to Play in 2018
Wait, you mean it’s got Terry Crews? Ok, no…that’s not the only reason I need to play this game. The original Crackdown is one of my favorite open-world games of all time. I’ve never been a Grand Theft Auto guy or a Saint’s Row lover. I prefer my open world action cut straight to the chase. Ridiculously big explosions? Check. Fun boss lairs to invade and annihilate? Yep. Freedom to destroy stuff in any way I choose without annoying plotlines getting in my face? Sign me up.
If Crackdown 3 has any of these things, I foresee long nights of me on the couch blowing everything to smithereens. One caveat – They’d better have agility orbs. Just sayin’.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Speaking of open world games, this one has me hyped. Long have I craved a medieval game with some sense of realism. Long have I desired to fear for my life with every axe-stroke, flying arrow, and falling sword. Kingdom Come promises me this realism. Events within the game are real-time, meaning they happen whether or not the player chooses to get involved. The HUD, always an obnoxious staple of RPG’s, is promised to be minimal. Take an arrow to the knee? Well…just one is probably enough to kill you. I’m hoping it’s easier than Dark Souls, but only slightly. And while I loved Skyrim, I crave the sort of realism most RPG’s have avoided.
Here’s to hoping Kingdom Come: Deliverance…delivers on its promises.
Shadow of the Colossus: the Remake
In the past twenty years, few games have genuinely impacted me beyond my immediate time spent playing them. Most titles are pick up/play/forget games. They’re fun, but nothing transcendent. Not so, Shadow of the Colossus. Upon playing the original game, I felt as if I’d fallen into another world. It was a beautiful, haunting place. And now it’s back.
I was willing to buy a Nintendo Switch just to play Breath of the Wild. And so it goes for Shadow of the Colossus. I’ll pick up a PS4 just to play it. And yes, I know the PS4 has plenty of great exclusive titles. Shadow is just the gateway.
I. Can’t. Wait.
Yeah, yeah. I know. Vampyr was supposed to come out in 2017. I was all hyped up about it, as I talked about here. So anyway, I figure the game deserves my patience. The idea of being allowed to turn good or evil in an open world setting pleases me. Will I go all out Dracula? Or will the in-game plot convince me to tread lightly on the throats of humanity? Set in a gothic-looking London, Vampyr will be a release-day purchase for me.
Assuming it ever gets released. 🙂
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Most gamers will fondly recall the stunningly beautiful game, Ori and the Blind Forest. With deep shadows, sharp lighting, and crisp, smooth controls, the original Ori proved to be the 2D adventure game we all needed. And while I’ll admit some parts of it were pretty challenging, it hooked me all the same. My kid and I stayed up wayyyy too late on many a school night bouncing around Ori’s deep, dark woods.
I don’t know much about upcoming title Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Details are scant and the release date isn’t set in stone.
One thing I do know?
I’m getting this game.
Sea of Thieves
It’s the kind of good-looking game that makes me want to take a leap of faith. Stunning visuals, bombastic gameplay, first-person action…it all looks amazing. And while I confess I’m not a guy who’s usually into pirate games, Sea of Thieves looks ready to change my mind.
Things I hope for with this game: A solid single-player campaign. No always-online requirement. No bugs (Microsoft reports it’s allowing the developers to skip the normal certification process.)
If it all comes to fruition, this could the game that propels me into buying an Xbox One.
Time will tell…
Metroid Prime 4
Whoa. Ok. Take a deep breath.
Metroid Prime 4 release date – unknown. Gameplay details – not currently available. Screenshots – nowhere to be found. Do I care? No. The Metroid series is the reason I play video games. The original was the first game I played on the old school NES. I’m not too proud to admit I still play it from time to time.
In development for the Switch, Metroid Prime 4 isn’t just the game I want. It’s the game I need. A part of me hopes it’ll return to Samus’ 2D roots. Another part wants the awesome FPS design made so famous by the original Prime series.
Good god, Nintendo. Please release this game in 2018.
J Edward Neill
Before the review, let’s get the two elephants out of the room.
- Elephant One. This is not a short film. It is a video game trailer. That said, for a video game trailer, it does an amazing job of being a well-considered short film.
- Elephant Two. I’ve never played the video game because reviews indicate that it does not live up to its trailer’s potential. This review is just for the short film/trailer.
If you broke this film down to hashtags, they would read:
A young mother, father, and their tween daughter are on an island vacation when zombies!
[If you type “zombies” is there a need to type “attack”? What else will zombies do? “When zombies text.” “When zombies channel surf.” “When zombies vote.” No zombies do those things!
… er… hmm…]
The film’s premise is straight-forward which allows the storytelling to be intricate.
The film is wordless but not mute. The emotion is built by the soundtrack and well-acted characters (“well-acted” within the limits of six year old CGI. What looked triple-A in 2011 looks unpolished today). The storytelling is a reverse chronological order tale – it literally runs backwards – intercut with flashbacks.
It’s an unfolding action-horror sequence but the amazing part is, for so brief – 3 minutes and 6 seconds – a tale, it pulls hard at the heartstrings with more skill than many productions. That’s because of the star of this film, the editing. The editing elevates the storytelling from a straightforward horror scene to an emotional story worth seeing.
Not sure I’m right about the storytelling and the editing being the stars? Compare the original cut to IGN’s chronological edit that runs from the logical start to finish. Seeing the story from different perspectives triggers different emotions. Watch them both and you decide which is better?
The movie has one glaring plot question (not a plot hole, just a question that goes unanswered) – Why was the tween daughter out of the parent’s room while the zombies were rampaging across the resort? The parent’s room only has one bed so it’s easy to assume they got their daughter her own room to sleep in but… where? That answer may be way the girls was running down the hall in the first place.
Dead Island – Trailer (2011)
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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™
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Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:
- Sasquatch Game Studio’s Primeval Thule for 5e available at DriveThruRPG.com – Writer
- Ember Design Studios’ Yrisa’s Nightmare for 5e and Pathfinder available at DriveThurRPG.com – Writer
- Ember Design Studios’ Rats in the Street for 5e and Pathfinder available at DriveThurRPG.com – Writer & Artist
- Kobold Press’ Tome of Beasts for 5e available at KoboldPress.com – Playtester
- Kobold Press’ Deep Magic 9: Ring Magic (5e) available at KoboldPress.com – Playtester
- EN World’ Gaming at the Kids’ Table Column – Journalist
- Total Party Kill Games’ Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge – Writer
- Total Party Kill Games’ Fifth Edition Fighter Folio – Writer
- Codex The Gauntlet’s Monthly RPG Zine – Writer
- MidCity Comics’ Soon-to-be-Announced Comic Book Mini-Series – Writer
Every generation prior to the current one is always held with such esteem. And they always lament the next generation. They were the hard-workers and this next one is lazy. We know how the world works. They’ll be lucky if they can tie their shoe laces correctly.
I heard the same things said about the Generation Xers that are now being said about the Millenials. And I’m pretty sure in a few years we’re going to hear that the Millenials are worried the world is going to go downhill with the generation after them.
I try not to judge too harshly. I want to understand where other people’s thoughts and experiences have taken them. And maybe I don’t always agree with them about any number of things, I’m also not entirely sure I’m the one who is correct.
I loved video games growing up. The Atari was played as much as humanly possible, and when everyone else had a Nintendo, I begged my parents for one of those. As the years have gone on I’ve gone through many gaming systems and it is probably only in the last few years I haven’t played as much as I might like (given the quality of today’s games).
However, there is a weird (to me) phenomenon where a whole generation of kids aren’t necessarily playing the video games themselves, but are instead going online to watch others play the games. I don’t know if I even knew about this being a thing until South Park ran an episode a few years ago “#REHASH”.
And it is clearly big business as it shows up on my tv some late nights on TBS or ESPN. The other night I saw a show where they were breaking down a Street Fighter Tournament like it was the NCAA March Madness selection show. And while I might watch out of curiosity for a little while, mostly shows like that make it where I’d just rather play something myself.
During our annual family beach trip, I saw that my nephew is one of those kids who watch Youtubers (is that even the correct word?) for hours upon hours. Now he also plays some games, but there is a definite joy for him by simply watching and listening to other people playing.
So I decided to run an impromptu interview with my nephew in an effort to get to the bottom of this (and did a follow up on the phone). But as with anything asked of him, he can be a bit evasive to actually give answers.
Who is your favorite person on Youtube to watch?
Why is that?
Ah, I see. Not going to give me very much to go on already. That was OK, though, I had ways of making people talk.
So what’s the deal with watching other people playing video games on Youtube all day?
I don’t know.
Hmm, this might be a tougher nut to crack than I first thought.
Well, you like watching them, right?
Right. Maybe try a different tactic?
Would you rather watch them or play the game yourself?
Really? Why is that?
They show you how to play. You don’t have to look up how to do something because they already know and won’t get stuck.
Finally, now we’re getting somewhere.
Do you watch them play games you’ve never played?
Most of them I’ve never played.
I mean, I’ve played Dumb Ways To Die and Battlefront.
What’s your current favorite game?
Star Wars Battlefront and Nascar 14. It’s a much better game than ’09 was.
What is your favorite game to watch, but you haven’t played?
Is making Youtube videos something you’d want to do?
Why don’t you do it now?
I don’t have all the equipment for it.
At that point, his people swooped in and ended the interview. The phone went dead. I scrambled with my own cell, making sure it wasn’t me who was the problem… but I had plenty of bars and plenty of power. His mother called me back shortly thereafter to let me know that he hung up on me.
I’m not sure if I was asking the right questions or if he was just leading me through a maze with no escape. Or maybe I was getting too close to the truth of it all, and he decided that he’d end the conversation before we reached a place we could never come back from.
And I’m not sure if I’ll ever really know the answer.
John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novellas Theft & Therapy and There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.
He also has a short story in the Beyond the Gate anthology, which is free on most platforms!
And has two shorts in the Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows anthology! Check it out!
He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.
Guest post by Tessera contributor – Katie Green
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In the modern gaming world, it appears that over-the-top violence for the sake of violence has lost its appeal. Gamers no longer care about ripping off their opponent’s arms and beating them to death with the bloody appendages. Over-the-top killing in video games is a cliché at this point in time, hardly a selling point for any new title – in this article I will examine what led us here.
The video game moral panic of the early 90s was led by Mortal Kombat. I don’t need to explain what Mortal Kombat is, but we should examine what it was – the heralding of an age of deadly finishing moves, flying blood sprites, and outraged parents. In comes Senator Joe Lieberman, the ESRB rating, and CBS 60 Minutes documentaries, stirring up all this controversy around 2D characters decapitating each other.
Now quickly fast forward to modern era, before we jump back in time again – Mortal Kombat X topped the sales charts in 2015, selling over 5 million copies worldwide. But was this due to the appeal factor of extreme game violence, or simply a successful franchise releasing a highly polished product that captured a nostalgia factor? Because we should take into consideration that MK 2011 sold only 2m units, and MK: Armageddon has sold around 1m units between 2007 and today.
So after the Mortal Kombat controversy of the 90s, video game developers started pushing the envelope – one title, Thrill Kill, was infamously scrapped by EA just weeks before shipping the final product, because they didn’t want to “publish such a senselessly violent game”.
Thrill Kill was pretty much finished and ready to ship before it was cancelled, and members of the development team leaked copies, so you can download it on various emulator websites to experience what never was. But the gameplay itself, hyped up by promises of ultra-violence, “really sucked” according to Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine.
Now I don’t want this article to be a history of violent video games, so bear with me for just a few more titles – Grand Theft Auto obviously generated loads of controversy. Postal 2 sort of flew under the radar, despite being one of the most senselessly violent games in history, because it was primarily sold online instead of retail stores.
Postal 2 was a sandbox-style first-person shooter, where you could literally decapitate people with a shovel, pour gasoline on their body, light a match, then urinate on the flames.
Manhunt also achieved a good amount of controversy, and – you know what, I could list controversial titles all day. But here’s the point I want to make – all of these titles I’m naming are from the 90s to mid-2000s era. What is the last controversial game you can think of? I mean truly controversial, moral panics and all that. None, zero, nada, right? Okay, maybe the “No Russian” level from Call of Duty. But the moral panic of video game violence has pretty much reached its peak and jumped off, and modern titles attempting to cash in on the controversial are jumping the shark, as I’ll show next.
Let’s examine the most recent title that could have generated controversy the likes of which have never seen before. Hatred, developed in 2015 for PC, released via Steam Greenlight. It was basically every Columbine, Aurora theatre, Sandy Hook Elementary public shootings rolled into one game. You played a psychopath mass murderer on a killing spree, mercilessly slaughtering civilians left and right. Not only that, but it was disturbingly graphic – this wasn’t the cartoon violence of Grand Theft Auto / Mortal Kombat, this was a “realistic” portrayal of mass murder – people wept and begged you for their lives as you stabbed them to death in Hatred.
So because gamers love video game violence, Hatred has sold millions of copies, right? Gone on to become the top-selling video game of all time, marketing fueled by Joe Lieberman and an army of CBS 60 Minutes reporters? Wrong. Hatred was panned by critics and gamers alike, before it was even released. Hatred has sold a total of around 155,000+ copies, despite being easily accessible through Steam. User reviews are fairly apathetic to its “violent appeal”, let me paste a few from Steam:
- “it’s cool for a couple minutes but then it’s kinda lame”
- “Killing everyone for no reason. Alien shooter or GTA is more fun than this. Waste of money”
- “bored of it within half an hour”
- “Bleeds edgy angst that seems more “try hard” then scary. Like your goth friend in high school that makes everything into a violent tragedy.”
So I’ll just come out and state the obvious – video game violence is no longer shocking. Decapitating 3D people and setting the bodies on fire is like, so totally 2007. Either we’re desensitized to it by now, or we’ve realized it for the gimmick it always was and expect more from developers than head-ripping fatalities.
The truly humorous thing about all this is the complete 180 the video game market has done. The most popular titles nowadays are cutesy, casual games – I mean even simple online .io games Agar.io and UNO Online get peaks of 200,000 simultaneous players per day, more than what Hatred has sold 2 years. If you’re reading this, game developers of the world, want to know the secret to truly shocking your audience? Release a good game.
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Contributor – ReadWrite.com, BusinessInsider.com, Cvent.com
Loves – Gaming, Travelling, Business, Tech
You say you’ve played a ton of video games.
You say you’re a master of classic and modern consoles.
Each of the fifteen questions below has a point value. At the quiz’s end, add up your points to gauge your level of awesome.
Answers are way down at the bottom.
(1 point per correct boss named)
Name the three bosses in the original NES Metroid.
What type of fantastical creature gets its tail pulled in the first boss fight of Zelda – Windwaker?
What dessert does the evil computer in Portal promise the player if they complete the game?
What song plays during the intro to famed shooter game, Borderlands?
Name the main character from the Mass Effect series.
What was the main city used as a refuge in the original Diablo?
In Minecraft, what does the Green Creeper do if your character gets too close?
(1 point per correct name)
Name the two primary love interests of Geralt in the Witcher series.
The huge metallic men with heavy armor and diving helmets appearing in the original Bioshock are known as
How many segments does each and every block in Tetris have?
In the Halo series, what is the name of the massive green Flood-controlling entity?
(1 point per correct answer)
In Castlevania II – Simon’s Quest, what are the four whip upgrades Simon can possess?
Name the open-world RPG game in which a character famously utters, “I was an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow to the knee.”
Name the robotic giant appearing first in Fallout 3 and then again in Fallout 4 (in which players must repair it.)
Which game series focuses on an age-old rivalry between two secret societies, both of whom are related to an ancient species pre-dating humanity, whose society was destroyed by a massive solar storm?
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Ok. All done with the quiz. Now check your answers wayyyyy down at the bottom and tally up your points:
0-10 points – At least you tried. Played any Wii Bowling lately?
11-20 points – Not bad at all. You probably grew up with the NES in your house, didn’t you?
21-28 points – Impressive! How many consoles have you owned anyway??
29 points – No one has ever scored this high. You cheated! 🙂
These questions are just a tiny splash of what you’ll find in The Ultimate Video Game Quiz, which is available right here!
Now back to button mashing!
Answer 1: Kraid, Ridley, Mother Brain
Answer 2: Dragon
Answer 3: Cake
Answer 4: Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked (performed by Cage the Elephant)
Answer 5: Commander Shepard
Answer 6: Tristram
Answer 7: Explode
Answer 8: Triss and Yennefer
Answer 9: Big Daddies
Answer 10: Four
Answer 11: Gravemind
Answer 12: Thorn whip, Chain whip, Morning star, Flame whip
Answer 13: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Answer 14: Liberty Prime
Answer 15: Assassin’s Creed
Ever daydream of being somewhere other than wherever you are?
Maybe you fantasize about slumming at a beachside tiki bar?
Maybe you daydream of sitting in the backyard on a warm night, soaking up a pitcher of sweet tea?
Or mayyybe sometimes you dream of nestling on a couch with all the lights off, controller in hand, television ablaze with an amazing video game?
Yeah. You know you’ve thought about it. It’s ok to admit. I’m right there with you.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate where we are these days. We’re in the golden age of video games, and that’s no exaggeration. As far as new forms of art (yeah, video games are art) games are advancing leaps and bounds ahead of other industries. Hollywood movies are kinda stagnant. Television is all reality shows, zombies, and superhero/crime drama.
Every time a new year rolls around, we get to swim in a shiny ocean of faster, prettier, more artistic gaming entertainment. For $60, you can either take your family to see a single 2-hour movie at the theater OR you can buy a game like Skyrim, Witcher, or Zelda -Breath of the Wild and create stories of your own via your console of choice.
And so here we are. Another new year. After a powerful 2016, which saw a waterfall of hot, stunning titles roll over the precipice, we’re primed for what could be the most beautiful year of games ever. And I don’t just mean good games like I’ve listed here, but gorgeous, artistic, crazy-good looking titles. Like sharp and futuristic Mass Effect 4 and noir-looking Vampyr.
Which begs the question: what are some of the most beautiful game titles of all time?
A while back (and I mean WAY back) game-devoted site IGN did an article focusing on the best graphics ever. Now I don’t mean to be picky, but great graphics don’t always translate into superior beauty. Yes, realism is nice. And yeah, a poppin’ frame-rate is great. But sometimes it’s not the sharpest, most advanced games that strike an artistic chord.
Take Playdead’s Limbo and Inside, for example. Neither game was a technological achievement, but both were atmospheric, subtle, and beautiful. And let’s not forget Wind Waker, now more than a decade old, using cel-shading to give gamers a whole new perspective of Link. Both were risky moves by their developers, and both paid off.
Speaking of developers, they haven’t always had the tools they do today. Take one look at my progression of best games ever, and you’ll see the jumps we’ve made in graphical power.
Which begs the question: which old-school games are the most beautiful?
Admittedly, it’s slim pickings if you go much older than the mid-90’s. Games back in the day had to be fun first, pretty last. That’s not to say old-school games don’t have moments of beauty, but the highly pixelated graphics usually meant the beauty was due to the story or the atmosphere.
And that’s the true test, isn’t it?
A fun-to-play game can be good, but it’s the rare game that makes us think and feel, and thus it’s the rare game that’s truly beautiful throughout.
Games can be art. Art can be games. The better developers gets at making them, the more the line will blur.
And that’s a good thing.
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Creator of Coffee Table Philosophy
Ok. That’s not entirely true. I want to be gaming, but more likely I’m chilling with my young son, doing laundry, or building giant fires in my backyard pit.
I’ve decided that in 2017, I’ll get a little more screen time in.
And get back to my gaming roots.
My Seven Most Anticipated Games of the coming year…
Horizon Dawn Zero
This PS4 exclusive looks like a beautiful riot. The details are still coming out, but it appears we’re looking at a giant open world (like Skyrim) with crazy enemies (like Borderlands) and amazing graphics and combat (like Witcher.) The best thing? It’s due out in February! After failing hard at Dark Souls (I quit after the first boss) I need a fresh RPG/action game to get me back in the groove of not hating my controller.
In reading the preview for Prey, one is reminded of hit shooter Dead Space. Got aliens? Check. Got a creepy space station? Check. Word is that Prey will have some customizable features, and the player will be able to steal the aliens’ abilities. Also…no levels. Just one big continuous run of terror. If it’s half as good as 2016’s Doom reboot, it’ll be awesome.
The Last of Us – Part 2
Ok, so the release date of this one may or may not be in 2017. So what? It’s known only that it’ll take place five years after the original, and that the theme will be similar to the game we know and love. Post-outbreak…post heartbreak. Games like this balance out the typically hyper-violent fare made for gaming adults. Embrace it. It’s a good thing.
The promo for this game hooked me with the following line: “It’s up to you to decide whether to kill enough people to become powerful beyond belief, or heal London’s citizens and blah, blah, blah…” You mean I get to be an evil, soul-slaughtering denizen of the night? Sign me up now!
Mass Effect – Andromeda
Having spent nearly a billion hours playing the original Mass Effect trilogy while crushing Reapers and chasing Miranda, it’s not like I can resist playing the next installment. Word is, the new game takes place 600 years after Commander Sheperd’s glorious victory. Plot details are scarce. But can you imagine how good this game will look on the latest-gen consoles? I. Can’t. Wait.
Confession: I just replayed the original Crackdown on my ancient Xbox 360. And I loved it the same as ever. Even if Crackdown 3 weren’t coming out on a pretty new console with (likely) amazing new features, I’d play it. I could spend a lifetime hunting down Los Muertos gang members just to hear them insult me while throwing grenades at my face. My only request: they’d better bring back agility orbs. Because…“Skills for kills, agent. Skills for kills.”
The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild
They say it’ll be an open world resembling the original NES game. They say it’ll have fewer tutorials and less hand-holding. They say it’ll be friggin’ epic.
I’ll be buying a Nintendo Switch solely for the purpose of playing this game. I don’t really care if Nintendo publishes another game on their new console that I’ll like (they won’t.) Zelda is the kind of game I can play over and over again with my kid. We’ll team up to figure out dungeons. We’ll wait for Ganon to cackle. And we’ll be in heaven.
See you soon, Link.
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