Category Archives: Video Games

Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, a dark legacy indeed

It started with an Angry Orchard Ale display stand at Sam’s Club, the old tree howled when I walked by, “Se-k t runestones a-d -ri-e Skorne fr-m -is d-sol-te -a-d.” I had no clue most of the words meant, but the sound profile immediately awoke some dim part of my brain.

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It was the voice of the yellow-robed wizard, Sumner of Gauntlet: Legends, and immediately after he spoke the tree made that spiraling sound you hear in the game when you get sucked into or out of a level.

My friend Justin perked up when I told him what happened in the store. “Damn, dude! Really?! I’ve got the Xbox version of Gauntlet at my house somewhere!”

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We found it in a pile of dirty clothes and trash in his laundry room/basement area.

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What’s on Your Game Queue?

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Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in the original first-person shooter.

Here’s a scenario we’re all familiar with.

You: Hey, friend or acquaintance, have you played [super cool video game]?

Friend or acquaintance: Why are you calling me “friend or acquaintance” when you know perfectly well that my name is Alexander Hamilton? You know, like the founding father, but with far less control over the U.S. Treasury?

You: Oh, right. Well…have you?

Alexander Hamilton: Not yet. I’m playing [a game] and then the sequel to [another game]. And then I promised John Jay that I would play this other game he recommended. John Jay, like this cool friend of mine, not John Jay, the first justice of the Supreme Court.

You: Well, let me know when you’ve played it.

Alexander Hamilton: Of course. And remember, I was not killed in a duel in 1804. That’s the other Alexander Hamilton. Ironically, though, I do have an enemy named Aaron Burr.

You: That’s cool, Alexander Hamilton. Okay, bye.

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Blendoku

Heads up, major addiction alert.

Blendoku came out in February 2013. I discovered it a few months ago while messing around on my dude’s iPad. He had downloaded it, apparently, but never played. I clicked the icon, started the first puzzle, and played until the rightful owner of the iPad turned up to take it away from me. “What are you playing?” he asked…and then didn’t speak again until I stole the iPad away from him that evening to play for three more hours.

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I Want to Play Stephen Colbert’s I’d Tap That

If you’re like me and you legit found Kim Kardashian’s: Hollywood the most boring ever, maybe you’ll be interested in Stephen Colbert’s I’d Tap That. Is it a real thing? We can only hope it will be soon…

Mass Effect 3, as recorded by a primitive cell phone from 2014

Attempting to capture images from games, prior to purchasing an Elgato Game Capture device (or whenever I’m trying to get a screenshot from a game on a system that doesn’t WORK with the Game Capture) was/is a trying experience. Having the ability to rip high-quality videos and screenshots from a game is great! But to do so, you’ve gotta leave the console hooked up to your laptop while playing, which requires a certain degree of forethought and preparation. Ofttimes I am not a very forethoughtful or prepared person, so when I pressed the right bumper to pause the action while playing the Omega DLC for Mass Effect 3 last week and noticed Aria suspended mid-leap in a still frame that just BEGGED to recorded for posterity, there was nothing for it but to use my cell phone.

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And you guys, it reminded me: there is just really nothing quite like snapping crap-quality pics of your TV screen to capture images from a video game you’re playing on your cell phone. It is WONDERFUL! Not just because you can spam all of your Instagram followers with multiple game pics, but the whole cell phone/screen thing—which was eternally frustrating back when I was trying to capture smooth images in the pre-Game Capture days—makes the most incredible bizarre distorted photo effects. Also, snapping away frantically on your phone while peering over top of it to watch a cutscene clearly on the screen gives a strangely satisfying sense of immediacy to the whole proceeding, and makes it feel like an incredibly exciting discovery when you DO manage to get a good shot, as opposed to the constant low-level dread that accompanies meticulously scanning through every frame of a Game Capture vid lest you miss the exact best shot and fall slightly short of perfection with the ultimate product. (Maybe that’s just me?)

ANYWAY. It is SO MUCH fun to take cell phone pics of your game, as it turns out, that I’ve taken approximately 37,000 more in the past several days since Aria made that glorious leap. Here are some of my favorites from the very first batch. (They’re all cropped, but not color-corrected or otherwise edited since that kind of defeats the friggin’ purpose. Click ‘em to biggen ‘em!) Continue reading

The Sharknado Video Game Is Coming

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Give me all your iPhones. And some fingers.

You guys! You guys! There’s a Sharknado video game. I don’t know about you, but I’m heading down into the basement and staying away from any and all forms of chum.

But guess what! I made a few calls and was able to talk with the stars of the movie to see what they could tell us about the game. Check it out!

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Too Busy; Didn’t Play: THE BANNER SAGA

Hi! My name is Kevin Copenhaver and one of the few things I love more than video games is key lime pie. (That, however, has nothing to do with this article, I just really love it. ) I also love telling my fiancée how awesome games I played are. I usually do this with crazy-eyed stares and ridiculous run-on sentences. This got me to thinking: shouldn’t EVERYONE be able to experience my love of games the same way she does? Doesn’t each and every man, woman, child, animal, sea monster, dragon, and sting chameleon deserve to have a game summed up for them in one long, run-on sentence that manages to stay below 500 words?  

Say you are at a party and everyone starts talking about a game—that unsettling feeling that sets in when you realize you are the ONLY person who hasn’t played it. You start to sweat as they tell tales of woe and bosses you’ve never even heard of. Your stomach starts to churn; your vision blurs. You cannot even figure out what genre the game is! As you start panting and convulsing on the floor your friends laugh and begin kicking you, gaily chanting, “You’ve never played Vagrant Story, you’ve never played Vagrant Story!” and, “You even game, brah(-sephina)?!” Moments like that ruin lives.  

Sometimes life is unfair and these stupid “responsibilities” get in the way of the important things like gaming, and eating. These recaps will save you from a lifetime of humiliation. You may not have played the game, you may not even understand the finer details, but if you stick it out for 500 words or less, you will at least be able to pretend you know what you are talking about.  

And now, for our first installment…

Too Busy; Didn’t Play: THE BANNER SAGA

The Banner Saga Continue reading