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Get Real: Complaining that Games are Unrealistic Shows a Lost Grip of Reality

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by Jon Lehtinen Apr 26, 2010 10:07 PM CST
filed under editorials, features

As a consequence of maturing, one gains an increasing appreciation for one’s time. This notion has come into sharp relief in my own life as my call center job evolved into an IT career, formal schooling gave way to professional development hours, and serial dating yielded a wife and child. There is no such thing as having more free time after earning pair of degrees if you are serious about your career, and family obligations will always supersede personal recreational time. To my chagrin, I seem to becoming… a grown up.

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The Realities in Gaming

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by David McDougall Apr 20, 2010 10:03 AM CST
filed under editorials, features


After a spate of FPS madness, I recently returned to the raceway world of Forza 3. It is sometimes nice to break away from the shotgun-in-the-face stuff and play something with a bit more realism and challenge. Turns out, with Forza 3, I couldn’t have been more wrong if I’d tried to invest in a company that sold sandwiches made of poo while using the sales pitch of “tasty”.

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BNG Video Tribute: A Salute to the Original Xbox Live

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by Kyle Lehtinen Apr 16, 2010 3:58 AM CST
filed under editorials, features, microsoft, xbox

Gaming: Adapted for Our Viewing Pleasure

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by David McDougall Apr 12, 2010 9:47 PM CST
filed under editorials, features

I’ve covered this subject before, but from the other side of the fence – movies that have been ruthlessly and shamefully turned into a woeful gaming experience. So I think we need to see if it works when the shoe is on the other foot.

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5 Awesome Things About God of War III

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by James Pikover Mar 16, 2010 12:03 AM CST
filed under editorials, features

God of War 3 isn’t perfect, but we still love it, even more after our chat with Game Director Stig Asmussen. Summing up its greatness is hard without spoilers, but in this case, spoilers are abound. We'eve already exposed the downsides to God of War 3. Now let's look at the highlights. (more...)

5 Things That Suck About God of War III

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by James Pikover Mar 15, 2010 11:53 PM CST
filed under editorials, features

God of War 3 is an excellent game. I think it’s, in many ways, the best exclusive PS3 title thus far. But it ain’t perfect, and we're all about finding the best, and worst, in games. As critics, it's our job to point out the extremes on both sides, so here, we discuss the darker side of God of War 3. (more...)

Yes, You Can Beat God of War III in Around 8 Hours

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by James Pikover Mar 15, 2010 11:23 PM CST
filed under editorials, features

A post by Ken Feldman of Santa Monica Studios, the developer of God of War 3, stated on the God of War forums that it took their fastest tester 12-13 hours to complete the game. As a game reviewer, I don't consider myself privy to special knowledge or skills, especially considered to testers, who literally play games 8-10 hours a day, and more often 6-7 days a week. But this is a false statement, as I completed the game in roughly 8 hours, 35 minutes, including the end credits and cutscenes. This screenshot is of my final auto-save:

Originally, I thought this was the last autosave upon fighting Zeus, but apparently it's the final cutscene before killing Zeus, so thankfully no spoilers there. Video below for non-believers. And just so you all know, there's nothing wrong with 8 hours of brilliance. Nothing at all. And no, I didn't run through the game, I played every bit and never restarted. Beat the game in two sittings. (more...)

Stig Asmussen on God of War III’s Ending

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by James Pikover Mar 15, 2010 9:17 PM CST
filed under editorials, features

When I’d set out for GDC, God of War 3 was fresh in my mind. I’d just beat the game a few days earlier, and while my brain still today staggers in awe of the grandiose nature of Kratos’ finale, one rotten tart left a sourness only someone who helped make the game could remove. I didn’t intend to find a cure to my ailment concerning the end of the game, which you can read about here, but instead received some important, and somewhat numbing and humbling, food for thought.

It all came from a chance meeting with Stig Asmussen, Game Director on God of War 3. (more...)

Why Infinity Ward Would Betray Activision

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by James Pikover Mar 5, 2010 12:44 AM CST
filed under editorials, features

The hubbub of Infinity Ward and Activision is huge. Call of Duty creators Vince Zampella and Jason West have supposedly been speaking to other publishers. Lawsuits are in order, the two are now gone from Infinity Ward, and Activision may be searching for incriminating documents, alleging communication between Infinity Ward and other publishers, specifically EA.

But why would they do that? They left EA, created one of Activision's most popular franchises, and just released one of the biggest blockbuster titles to date. Doesn't that make Activision and Infinity Ward the best of partners?

Apparently not. When Infinity Ward's creators initially left EA, the current #2 gaming publisher in the world was in a similar position to Activision: at the top of their game, raking in the big bucks, and selling some of the hottest games around. But they were also controlling, and ended up making Zampella and West decide to leave, presumably because they are artists and creators, not marketers and moneymakers.

With that mindset in hand, they went to Activision and created Call of Duty, which became a smash hit and single-handedly killed the Medal of Honor franchise. Not only did it make bring Infinity Ward into the limelight, it helped propel Activision to the status they currently have now: videogame publisher supergiant. Ironically, Infinity Ward's success has been their curse. Each new game they bring pulls in so much money and demand that the publishers step in to make sure no mistakes are made.

So who's at fault? Activision can't be blamed; as a publisher, it's their job to do whatever it takes to ensure the games they publish make the most money. Infinity Ward, on the other hand, put themselves in harms way, for the second time. It's no coincidence that the two largest game publishers have taken advantage of the popular developer to make money, and the pattern is repeating now.

If Infinity Ward is indeed looking to EA for future projects, it makes sense. EA has for the last three years been very generous to their developers, and has also helped create quite a few new IPs. Activision, however, won't just let the developer go, and has a vice-grip stronger than any competitor today. Our only message to Zampella and West: make sure Activision doesn't find anything compromising. We don't want to see you go just yet.

8 Reasons Why March Will Kick February’s Ass

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by James Pikover Mar 1, 2010 9:28 PM CST
filed under editorials, features

So you thought February was awesome? This is the best year in gaming, and things are just getting better and better. Here's Eight reasons why March will kick February's ass in gaming.

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