The Beatles: Rock Band trailer

June 17, 2009

Holy Shit! I had shivers running up the back of my neck for the entire clip. I so can’t wait for this game.

A Sims Story: Alice & Kev

June 17, 2009
Zev goes grocery shopping

Zev goes grocery shopping

Narrative in video games is a topic close to my heart. I want to believe that video games can tell compelling, dramatic stories. Most games that I do declare to have excellent stories, however, end up needing the qualifier “for a video game.”

So I’m constantly looking for ways that narrative and video games intersect, and this project by a British game design student is an excellent example. Robin Burkinshaw is conducting an experiment that turns stories in gaming on its head to explore the stories you make up yourself while playing.

Using the Sims 3, he has created a pair of memorable characters and using his blog to tell their story. The beauty of the Sims is the characters have specific personality traits, dreams and goals and you let them loose to watch how they interact together.

–CHECK OUT BURKINSHAW’S BLOG HERE–

He created a family, Alice and her father, Kev, and made them wander the world of The Sims homeless. Kev is a disparaging asshole lunatic who is constantly putting his daughter down and Alice is a miserable teen with no friends.

The brilliance of Burkinshaw’s project is the stories he weaves on his blog about his two characters. Kev persecutes and insults his daughter with zeal while she’s around. When she is not, he tries to mack on ladies in his wife beater and underwear. Alice is constantly depressed whose friendship goals are thwarted when her targets are repulsed by her desire to sleep in their comfortable beds and take a shower when invited into their homes.

Here’s an excerpt: Read the rest of this entry »

Ghostbusters: The Video Game {review}

June 16, 2009

Here’s a copy of my latest review for the Omaha City Weekly. I’ll post the link to the site later after it’s up.

You just know they’re going to cross the streams

Fighting Stay Puft

Fighting Stay Puft

This is the Ghostbusters game fans across the world have been waiting for. It is as close to a true successor to the original films as could be hoped, and the paragon of how to turn a successful movie franchise into a great video game.

Children of the 80s will want to play this game. While it still does not hold a candle to the movies, the plot is so entrenched in their mythology that it feels like an organic growth of the franchise.

I was one of those kids who was a Ghostbuster for Halloween. I had all the toys… literally, ALL the toys. I had all the lines memorized. I watched the cartoon. Suffice it to say I had high expectations for this game. I am happy to announce it has met them all. Read the rest of this entry »

New job

June 16, 2009

The reason I’ve been absent from the blog for a while is that I got myself a freelance job reviewing video games for the Omaha City Weekly. We’re the only publication in Omaha that covers video games at all, so this is a pretty exciting deal.

8-bit Keyboard Cat, play me back in

June 16, 2009

I’ve been away from the blog for a while. I want to get back in the habit, starting with this video I stumbled across today.  I’m also going to add a couple more game links in the Free Online Games section.

Punch Out: The Trailer

March 24, 2009

The people at Nintendo just released the first trailer for the Punch Out remake, and it looks AWESOME!

From what I understand they are also preserving the classic control scheme which should make it easy for everybody to reminisce about one of the best games of the 8-bit era. This is the first Wii game in a looooooooong time worth getting excited about.

Free online games

March 21, 2009

I went ahead and added a new page to the Cornfed Gamer, available via the sidebar to the right, or by clicking on this link. This is just a simple collection of my favorite online flash games for you guys to enjoy.

If you have any recommendations for other cool games, let me know. I’m always looking for new timewasters.

Only sexual predators use Animal Crossing

March 17, 2009

I’ve never been a fan of local television news. Mostly because they make you wait through commercials before they answer questions they pose, such as, “Can your refrigerator be killing you?” Come on! Tell me now, I was just visit accused death trap for some life-sustaining food! Am I making a mistake!

But I digress. In another bout of outlandish sensationalism a Columbia, Missouri news program has  Nintendo in its crosshairs. Their threat this time is their second favorite behind the threat of death… the threat of sexual predators.

KMIZ is reporting claims by the obviously uninformed Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force that Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Wii is being used by sexual predators to target children.

What makes it obvious that neither the reporters or the cops have played the game is quotes like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Trade games, skip the middle man

March 17, 2009

Mooch announced a new peer-to-peer video game trading service today that will give gamers another option when it comes to trading in video games.

While I signed up for the free beta today, I obviously haven’t tried it yet, but I still wanted to share what information I could gleen off of the Web site.

It sounds like you can just list the games you have, and the games you want, and use the system to search for trades with other members. Once a deal is arranged you simply mail each other the game.

To balance trades, they’ve implemented a point system. Points can be traded straight up for games if you can find a trade, or traded alongside of games to make that Call of Duty/Wii Carnival Games trade fair. Read the rest of this entry »

Taxing violent video games

March 11, 2009

Yet again lawmakers are attempting to censor video games in ways that directly infringe on First Amendment rights and would not fly in other media.

Now it’s Pennsylvania and our British friends on the other side of the pond who are considering such legislation.

Pennsylvania took the first steps in this direction in 2007 by setting up a task force to study video game violence and potential legislation to address it. The task force released a report in December 2008 that recomended the state NOT pursue any censorship or legislation.

The Children & Youth Committee of the Pennsylvania House held a hearing to explore the issue this week. Game Politics extensively covered the hearing. It appears that some of the representatives were a little irked that the task force didn’t simply confirm their preudices and give them a green light to do what they will.

Violent video games were implied to have a causation with police shootings. The fact that the military sometimes uses games to train officers was mentioned (although military-grade games a specifically designed for that purpose). One rep even suggested a 5 percent tax on violent video games. Read the rest of this entry »