TL;DP: Halloween Revue
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 October 2014, 6:14 am

Halloween has long held a special place in my heart. It wasn't just the petty vandalism, anonymous racketeering, or sugar highs (or, as I like to think of it, Reeser Madness). It was the spectacle of it. The pageantry. The theatricality.

Name me another holiday where you can dress up as a princess, a pirate, or a slavering beast from Hell (or indeed, all three at once) and people give you free stuff for it.

Well, yes yes. PAX for one. And ComicCon. And ... Look, do you mind? I'm reminiscing here!

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BOO!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 October 2014, 10:48 pm

What makes a game scary? Is it surprises? Is it gore? Is it psychological?

Well, yes, it's psychological. It's all psychological. Psychology is largely the study of fear. Just as all crime eventually boils down to theft (theft of property, theft of peace of mind, theft of life, etc.) so, too, all the study of psychology boils down to the study of fear. Not just the obvious stuff, like phobias, but the trinity of innate psychological needs for competence (I'm afraid I'm not good enough), autonomy (I'm afraid I can't do this on my own) and relatedness (I'm afraid people won't accept me). Virtually all of modern psychoanalysis is basically finding out what a person fears most and confronting it until it loses its power. So bear in that mind the next time someone says they prefer "psychological" scares to monsters-jumping-out-of-closets-unexpectedly scares. They're both psychological scares, they just poke different psychological buttons.

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Donation Drive 2014 Final List
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 October 2014, 6:49 pm

After the bump you'll find the final list of GWJ. From here on out if you're supposed to be on the list but for some reason not, I'll add you directly to this list instead of posting a new one.

While this list represents an amazing 540 of our donors, there's roughly another 400 who either didn't tie their forum to their donation or don't have an account who supported the site and the podcast. It feels redundant, but I honestly can't say it enough. It's unbelievable the support you guys put in to the site, and, speaking on behalf of everyone associated with GWJ, we can simply not thank you enough.

I appreciate everyone's patience as we went through some internal changes to the donation drive structure, both in how we manage the rewards and process the donations. There were some hiccups along the way, and probably still a few to iron out.

Thanks for sticking with us (or joining us!) in 2014. And thank you to everyone on and off this list that has in countless different ways helped make GWJ one of the best gaming communities on the web.

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I Can't Quit You Baby
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 October 2014, 5:04 pm

... But I Gotta Put You Down For A Little While

I was somewhere around the Rail Nomads Camp on the edge of the Wasteland when the bugs began to take hold. The framerate dropped to a slow chug. The camera started freewheeling.

Determined to complete my quest to broker a peace between two warring tribes, I kept walking. The typewriter in the corner spewed out descriptions of stuff I was apparently looking at, but the rest of my screen was a dizzying blur. Somehow I found one of the tribe leaders and struck up a conversation. All my dialogue options disappeared. Then a crash to desktop. I restarted, reloaded, tried again. Crash again. The error message suggested that maybe I tell the developers about it.

Before reloading again, I checked the clock. It was 12:23 am. I sighed, "I suppose I should go to bed anyway." As I got up from my desk I was disappointed, but by the time I was in bed, I had convinced myself to be grateful that Wasteland 2's glitches gave me a relatively early night.

Hi, I'm Felix Threepaper and I have a problem. I play broken games.

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October 27 - November 2
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 October 2014, 10:31 am

I know a lot of people probably think I'm crazy, but the morning after an 800 mile, 14 hour car trip, I feel pretty good. I'm not saying I want to, but I could turn around and drive all the way back today and it wouldn't be that bad. I'm a fan of the open road -- less a fan of the heavy, traffic, lanes-blocked-off-for-construction road -- and even as I closed the last dozen miles last night, bone weary, just the right song came on the radio for the orange lamplight reflecting off the white lines of the road, that I was sort of glad in a deep place to be right there at that moment in that context.

I think I'm part of a relatively small crowd that can recall the particular road-trippy smell a BP station off I-74 can smell as you walk in to get that next giant bottle of water in anything like a fond way. That's not to say I'm fundamentally against public transportation, but airlines can go collectively suck an egg. With apologies to the many fine people I'm sure work diligently in service to the airline industry, and whose livelihood depends on people like me not saying, "ugh, I'd rather drive 500 miles than put up with that unmitigated disaster of a constantly hassling and almost aggressive travel industry," flying is just the worst. If I have enough time and a contiguous road, I will always choose the open road.

Which is interesting, because I know that statistically I'm putting myself at much greater risk of harm. So, I think the conclusion you can draw is that I would rather risk death and the certainty of cramped muscles and exhaustion than take a 3 hour flight.

Oh, this week's game of the week is Sunset Overdrive from Insomniac Games. It looks pretty fun.

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Extra Life 2014 is About to Begin!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 October 2014, 10:44 pm

The countdown has almost reached zero as plenty of Goodjers prepare for the twenty-four-hour slog-a-thon that is the Extra Life fundraising drive. You can find all the information in our original post on the subject or through the forum thread.

We're currently at
$1,840
of our $3,500 goal!

Visit the Team Page if you would like to donate.

If you'd like to participate, the Gamers With Jobs community will be playing the following games at the listed times on Saturday, October 25th:

  • League of Legends - 10am Eastern Time
  • Mario Kart 8 - 5pm Eastern Time
  • Destiny (Playstation 4) - 7pm Eastern Time

We'll also undoubtedly be going in and out of the Extra Life channel in the GamersWithJobs Ventrilo server.

Also of note, I, Chris "C" Cesarano, will have Image & Form Marketing and PR Manager Mikael Forslind as a guest while streaming Steamworld Dig at 1pm Eastern Time.

All participating GWJers:

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TL;DP: The Void
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 October 2014, 6:17 am

Sponsored By: Antichulius

Blink Review

What if Microsoft Paint was a really dark, desolate place featuring a lot of nudity and overwrought dialogue? DeviantArt is a good guess, but actually it's The Void.

The Long Sleep Review

The part of Mysteriously Whispering Naked Lady Narrator (MWNLN) will be played by Keira Knightley with laryngitis.

Narrator 2 will be played by Lord Voldemort. From the first movie, not the last one.

The part of The PLAYER will be played by Doubtingthomas396.

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Mall Raiding
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 October 2014, 6:43 am

It's fashionable to hate GameStop, and I can't deny there are a few good reasons for it. One of the things I love about GameStop, though, is the opportunity it affords spelunkers.

A man with five dollars in his pocket and an hour to kill can find some marvelous tombs to raid. All it takes, beyond the fiver and the lunch break, is an open mind and a willingness to sit on the floor in front of a giant cardboard sculpture of Kratos.

There are important lessons to be drawn from a lifetime of crawling through bargain bins. Important things that make your spelunking expedition healthy and productive. Things like wearing kneepads under your pants so you don't scuff your knees, and to never-ever squat because you could blow out a meniscus. Things like bringing hand santitizer because goodness knows what a person has to do to make a Game Boy Advance box that sticky.

But more important than knee safety and basic flu-prevention is the attitude you bring on the expedition. (These days those things are less important than before anyway, since you can hop on Steam or Humble or GoG and hunt through a bevy of overlooked beauties from the comfort of your own toilet.) Attitude is everything. You want your mind so open it's in danger of falling out of your head and seeking a cauliflower to mate with. Gold is where you find it, the song says, and you can find it if you're willing to see it.

So if you're willing to paw through stacks and stacks of Madden 2007 (Currently $0.99. Ignore the "low-stock" designator. We got 'em. Trust me on that.) you can find all sorts of also-rans, never-gonna-bes and please-don't-short-sell-us-we-fired-everyone-in-engineering-and-marketings.

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October 20 - October 26
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 October 2014, 9:46 am

I'm really not sure what to make of Beyond Earth. I think I still feel a little burned from when Firaxis released a revamp of Colonization, and I ended up playing it for about 15 minutes. It's been a while since I've had the Civ V bug, and Beyond Earth — from everything I've seen — ultimately looks like a really well crafted skin of Civ, but a skin all the same. I'm really not sure how much I want that. I'm really hoping to be pleasantly surprised, which is why I'm still going to give it the nod for my game of the week, but my enthusiasm could certainly be higher.

Want to take a moment here to recognize that our own Alan "Pyroman" Cook is getting married this coming weekend. He has made the disastrous choice to have the Meeples play at his reception, and that's pretty much what the rest of my week is going to be about — practicing four songs over and over again so I can bungle them as little as possible in front of other people. All that aside, I wanted to take a second and wish Pyro congratulations. This is really the big thing happening this week as far as I'm concerned.

It's probably worth mentioning the release this week, also, of Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U. It's been a while (ever?) since the Wii U got a major exclusive that wasn't a first-party title (edit: apparently it is first-party — I was wrong). It will be interesting to see how it's received here state-side, given some of the other ... unpleasantness going on in the broader community. Also this week, Just Dance 2015 and The Walking Dead: Season 2 come to a variety of console systems.

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TL;DP: Bus Driver
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 October 2014, 6:17 am

Sponsored By: Steam sale (I am ashamed.)

Behind schedule by: 51 minutes

Express Review

Hey-HEY! Come on over and have some fun with BUS DRIVER! All right! Let’s get ready to make some BUS money!

YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH!

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Ignoring the Smorgasbord
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 October 2014, 4:47 pm

I’ve heard a lot of praise recently for Shadow of Mordor, a stealth-action game set in Tolkien's Middle Earth. In general, I think the praise is mostly well-deserved, and the game delivers a satisfying experience.

It’s just that, with some six or seven hours played, I’m done with it.

This article isn't really a critique of Shadow of Mordor, and shouldn't be seen as such, but I'm going to use it for a few minutes to illustrate a broader point. I used to be of the mind that seven hours with a game was a pretty satisfactory amount of time. I’m not sure I’m entirely ready to back down from that position, particularly if I’m getting something really unique out of that time. A relatively short Brothers or Gone Home experience, despite not being particularly time consuming, is completely worth the price of admission. But when I think about Shadow of Mordor, I’m hard-pressed to think of anything really that unique about it. As a result, it felt like once the patina washed away I was left with a nugget of a game I’d played plenty of times before.

I don’t necessarily mean that as a criticism. Not every game has to be some hothouse orchid, a rare and beautiful thing. After all, some of the greatest games ever made are really just extremely polished versions of collected ideas gathered from mediocre games that had come before. That Shadow of Mordor is just a Batman game recast in the land of orcs as seen through the lens of Assassin’s Creed doesn’t mean it doesn’t do a damn fine job of being that.

But given the depths to which I’ve plumbed some games over the past year, my context for being satisfied by just playing a game for six or seven hours has changed.

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We Want YOU To Support the Extra Life 2014 Team!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 October 2014, 11:20 pm

The sun is setting earlier in the day, trees exchange their illustrious emerald leaves in exchange for crinkling amber, and the temperature gradually begins to fall. Autumn is coming out in full, and with it comes the annual Extra Life gaming charity.

If you're not familiar with Extra Life, it is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across North America. Each year they organize a twenty-four-hour gaming marathon where players of all sorts can test their mental endurance with their favorite hobby. Think of it like the Color Run, only without the physical exertion and with more delirious midnight hallucinations.

Last year Gamers With Jobs organized a team that managed to raise over $3,500 for a variety of Children's Hospitals, and this year we're trying again. On Saturday, October 25th, several of your fellow community members will be logging on to their various streaming channels to prove to the world that they can stay awake for twenty-four hours playing video games, all in an effort to raise funds for Children's Hospitals.

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October 13 - October 19
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 October 2014, 2:01 pm

The number-one cause of my playing Destiny regularly can be boiled down to two primary causes: my roommate, and the need to relieve all the stress built up from playing Alien: Isolation. 'Tis the season, I suppose, what with being October and all. A month coated in orange, pumpkin-spiced [noun /], and decorations ranging from cheesy cardboard-cutouts of witches and mummies to increasingly disturbing plastic zombie babies. So what better time to enjoy a most frightening game like Alien: Isolation?

It seems Bethesda agreed, because The Evil Within hits shelves and servers alike this week. The real excitement here is the involvement of director Shinji Mikami, a Japanese developer whose name gained significance for his role in the Resident Evil series up to and including the fourth title.

The Evil Within looks to be a creepily atmospheric romp through dirty blood-and-rust-covered environments, stalked by brutal creatures of nightmarish design that are sure to keep you awake at night — unless you're from Australia, in which case it's just another stroll to the convenience store. A perfect title to help celebrate a month of low-budget horror movie marathons, interspersed between shifts of cleaning egg off your house.

Also, some game called Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel comes out. I haven't looked into it, but I presume it to be a politically charged title investigating the root causes of immigration issues throughout Europe.

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TL;DP: Science Girls
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 October 2014, 6:09 am

Time Played: Around 3 hours (JRPGs deserve their own time scale)

Sponsored By: Me

Volatile Review

What if I told you that a JRPG featuring school girls could be educational? What if I told you it could be educational in a child-friendly way? Well get your mind out of the gutter and believe it, because the science club is here to save the world!

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Donation Drive 2014 Penultimate Update
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 October 2014, 11:42 am

This will be the next to last update for the donation drive, and the final one before the drive ends tomorrow night at midnight. That means there's currently some 36 hours left in this donation drive before we return to your previously scheduled programming. As of earlier today we crossed the latest drive goal of an original written and performed Meeples song.

I'm sorry in advance.

I talked last week about my take on what seems a pretty certain reality that this is the first year that GWJ's donation drive brought in a smaller amount than the previous year. The tl;dr version of that -- we're alright with it because it's for the right reasons -- remains true. That said, I'd really love to see us clear the $25,000 level for the radio play, so I'm putting that last $2,500 we need to get there as a challenge. If you haven't donated, but you listened to the radio play we produced recently and would like to hear another, any amount will help us get there!

As of the moment I'm writing this we have 767 donors. Last year we ended the drive with 821 donors, putting us 54 donors short of clearing last year. While we may not break the total donation amount total, I'd really like to see us break the record for people participating. This number is less than 5% of the total audience for the site and podcast combined, so I know it's something that can be accomplished.

So, here's our one, final push for support. If GWJ and the community here is a place you value, we could use your help in keeping it going. It doesn't need to be a huge donation, but every little bit adds up and allows us to keep trying new things and hopefully keeping this a place you want to visit.

If you've already donated, thank you so much for your support. The outpouring of kind words in the hundreds of emails I've received over the past few weeks is incredible. You people are the best.

Another round of icon updates based on recent donations will be coming in the next day or two, and we should be sending out a new round of beta invites to the new site soon. After the bump you'll see the latest list of forum donors. As always if your name is missing (and, I guarantee at least a few names will be missing), please let me know.

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October 6 - October 12
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 October 2014, 10:52 am

Every indication so far is that Alien: Isolation isn't a bad game, but neither is it the savior of the franchise that many might have hoped. Reviews, so far, have been pretty mixed with it definitely clicking nicely with some reviewers more than others. It's not the slam dunk of a game we may have been hoping for, but at least it's not as abysmally bad as some other recent entries into the franchise.

Seems like exactly the kind of game I'll watch a let's play or a Twitch stream of as opposed to buying, reminding me yet again of how grateful I am these services are around. Hearthstone remains the quintessential Twitch game for me, one I'm deeply interested in and enjoy as long as I'm not actually playing it myself. In many ways, these services have become my new favorite review platform, and it's probably how I'll end up judging whether to buy a lot of the fall season's big games or not.

Also this week, Project Spark which was heavily touted in the run up through the Xbox One reveal has quietly reached its official launch date both on the next gen MS console as well as Windows 8. On the PS4 we see the release of Drive Club as well as that console's version of Minecraft. And, 2K games releases their NBA2K15 on just about every platform available, as long as that platform is not made by a company whose name starts with the letter N.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: Transistor
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 October 2014, 6:15 am

Time played: 112 minutes
Sponsored by: Me.
56k review
Red-headed heroine with a sword that lets her hack the environment, and a raft of powerups based on computer programming tools, goes on an epic adventure to save her world from a mysterious and dangerous enemy. A truly interesting and unique system, mired slightly by some worn-out, conventional gameplay

T1 Review

Full disclosure: I’ve never played Bastion. So I don’t really have anything to compare this one to. I went in knowing it was about a girl with bright red hair and a special kind of sword that lets her do things in the environment that no other sword can do. Well it turns out there is a lot more to it than that. There’s fathoms of depth here.

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Donation Drive Update
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 October 2014, 11:59 pm

Thank you to everyone who has donated this year so far in our annual donation drive. It’s impossible to say how much we appreciate it, but know that if we were to quantify that appreciation into a specific number it would be very large and probably best expressed in scientific notation.

Those of you who donated as of the beginning of this week should have received your beta invite to test the upcoming design and format update for the site. If you haven’t donated yet, but are interested in getting a sneak peek -- and perhaps some input -- into the upcoming changes for GamersWithJobs, then please visit our donation page to support the site and we’ll make sure you get included in the next release of invites.

If you’re just here to check and see your name in lights, go ahead and proceed to the bump. That list _should_ represent most everyone who has emailed me through Monday, September 29. If you donated or emailed me after Monday, we’ll get you in the next update.

As always, I’m sure someone who should be on the list isn’t. First of all, check to make sure you followed the directions for getting your forum account tied to your donation. If you sent the follow up e-mail but you’re still not listed, please PM your information including the name tied to your PayPal account, your email address tied to the PayPal account, the date donated and the amount.

As we come up on the final week of the donation drive, I thought it might be worth doing a bit of number crunching and talking about how the changes this year have impacted the drive. If you’re up for a little light reading on my thoughts on fundraising for the site, then by all means, read on. If you're just here to see the list, it's a long one and can be found at the bottom of this post.

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Games That Ruin Other Games
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 September 2014, 2:32 am

When it comes to discussing issues in a timely fashion, I'm as topical as a tube of Tiger Balm.

As such, I'm picking up on a thread from GWJCC 397 and ensuing comments: the notion that Europa Universalis IV — People's Choice frontrunner for the "GWJ Bestest Fun-per-Dollar-per-Hour GOTY 2014" award — ruined Civilization V for a lot of folks. The gist of it (I'm paraphrasing here) was that EUIV is the Lego Technic of history simulators while Civ is the Duplo. You may have played Civ first, but EUIV has gears and pneumatics. You can't go back.

The reverse is true for me. I know Civ is chunkier and less versatile than other grand strategy titles, but the colours are vivid and the pieces snap into place with a satisfying click. More importantly, I know how Civ works. I look at the assembly instructions for other titles — many of which start with "Watch 7 hours of Let's Plays so you can learn the basics" — and my brain clenches into a fist of rejection. Why waste all that time (let alone money) on being bad at a new game, when I could try Civ's new Civil War scenario or try a one-city run as Venice? When my brain is looking for excuses to commit to a 20-plus hour campaign, the prospect of honing skills in a familiar playground sets my synapses a-cracklin' more than that of scaling a fresh, steep learning curve.

Being so timely and all, I was JUST about to tweet something about games ruining other games when doubtingthomas396 dropped "Backward Incompatibility". In it, he posits that playing Fallout 3 before Oblivion ruined Oblivion. I played those games in order of their release as Bethesda intended, but I could relate. Once, I had a really nice glass of red wine, from a bottle. After that, I could never drink wine out of a box again. My palate had been pampered and it made me fussier. It's like when you have a really good, well made coffee: You can never drink coffee in America again. (Why no, I've not had coffee in America MYSELF; it's just what everyone on Twitter says. So it's a hearsay zing, whatevs.)

As my gaming palate has refined, some games have ruined entire genres for me, and vice versa.

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September 29 - October 5
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 September 2014, 1:02 pm

There's no two ways about it, whatever I pick for the Game of the Week this week, you can make a completely reasonable and legitimate argument that I'm wrong. Someone is getting, as they say, robbed.

Possibly this is true every week, but this time around I'm definitely feeling it.

This week contains two must-have games for me, two different games I'll be picking up for my boys, and probably a handful of others that other people are pretty excited to play. For me, personally, the big game of the week is Shadow of Mordor. The reviews have been gushing, and after watching a few videos it's not hard to see why. Existing somewhere between the Batman: Arkham series and Assassin's Creed, this smacks of one of those deep, open-world, emergent gameplay titles that you can lose days to.

The other big offering this week, though, is probably more for my boys than it is for me. The Super Smash Bros. series goes portable, and the early reviews and opinions are no less favorable than Shadow. With a ridiculous number of playable characters and arenas to battle in, and a cavalcade of fan-favorites, it's hard not to think that SSB may be among the most important and anticipated 3DS titles in years.

Then there's games like Forza Horizons 2, Skylanders Trap Team and even a new Castlevania port for the Wii U to enjoy this week. Yup, it's definitely the fall gaming season.

In the end, perhaps to some surprise, it feels like the Super Smash Bros. launch on 3DS is probably the Game of the Week. It sorta has that "instant classic" vibe to it, the kind of game you might still be playing in a year, and while Shadow has a lot going for it, I'd be a little surprised if I'm still kicking around in it by the time Thanksgiving rolls around here in the US.

So, there it is. My Game of the Week, Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS.

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TL;DP: Damnation
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 September 2014, 7:03 am

Time Played: 99 minutes (official Steam log)

Sponsored by: Bonus Eruptus

850 PSI review

A steampunk, platforming, action shooter with the worst voice acting since House of the Dead 2 that cannot make up its mind about whether it wants to be any good or not.

Incidentally, here's a fun fact: It was originally an Unreal Tournament 2004 mod that won second place for Best Total Conversion. And it plays exactly as well as that would imply.

4500 PSI review

Have you ever seen one of those cars with a custom paint job that changes color as you move past it? That's what Damnation is for me. I've put roughly three sessions into it, each about a half hour long, and every single time I like it a different amount.

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Achievement Gap
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 September 2014, 6:09 pm

One of my favorite additions to games over the past decade has been the introduction of achievements. I know this is a point of some contention, and there are camps of varying stridency on the topic, but I find myself fixed firmly in the camp of people who get a little rush whenever one of those little notifications pops up.

I wouldn’t have necessarily thought this is where I’d end up on the matter. When achievements were introduced into mainstream gaming on the Xbox 360, I was as skeptical as anyone on why anyone would care. But since then I’ve come around on the issue, and I find myself actively missing achievements when they aren’t there. Particularly if it’s a game I play with any kind of consistency, having the occasional pop-up letting me know I’ve crossed some arguably arbitrary threshold is just another form of motivation.

I noticed this recently with Diablo 3’s introduction of seasons, which specifically measures who among your friends, who among your clan and even who among your entire server is amassing the most achievements over the season. As a result I’ve found myself scanning the bloated tome of possible achievements looking for any low-hanging fruit I can pick, and from which I can suck dry the sweet nectar of validation.

It occurred to me recently, though, that the achievement is nothing more than a slightly recast version of one of the oldest standards of video games: It’s just a new version of “score.”

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Donation Drive 2014 Update #2!
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 September 2014, 7:49 pm

Halfway through the drive and we're continuing apace quite nicely so far! Very close to unlocking custom icons for some lucky winners and then a hop, skip and a jump away from forcing Julian to write something deep and meaningful about something ridiculous.

We're also on the verge of opening up the brand new GWJ beta site to everyone who has donated any amount. Keep an eye on your email in the coming days for a double secret password to see what we have in store for the future and help us shape it!

Thanks so much for all the continued support! It means a great deal to all of us. Click on through to see a list of all the donors we've tagged so far. If you're missing from the list and you've donated before this past weekend make sure you check the top of the donation page for instructions to let Elysium know your details!

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September 22 - September 28
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 September 2014, 1:42 pm

Today marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere of the world, which means the games industry is preparing to shift gears and ignore all sensibilities in a desperate effort to just rush through an endless onslaught of releases.

This week, however, the industry remains in first gear.

There are a lot of interesting titles hitting the virtual shelves for just about every platform, but nothing quite strong or tempting enough to pull your average Goodjer away from Wasteland 2. That is, unless you're one of the few with enough taste to possess a WiiU in your household, offering up some first-class game design experiences from the Big N. At least, that's what I tell myself when I snuggle into bed with my gamepad at night.

Nintendo's autumn and holiday strategy is, quite honestly, a bit of a surprising one. With the exception of Super Smash Bros., just about every game they're throwing at consumers is a niche title of some variety, beginning this week with Hyrule Warriors. Developed by the same team that have worked on the endless Dynasty Warriors franchise, it is a simultaneous effort to not only generate greater interest in Tecmo Koei's series of pawn-slaughter simulators in the West, but to rustle up some love for Link and his companions in Nintendo's home country of Japan.

It's not going to be a game for everyone, and anyone hoping for another Legend of Zelda experience better brace themselves for disappointment, but any game that allows me to latch onto the moon so that I may crush my enemies beneath its grimacing weight is a game worth giving the week to.

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Too Long; Didn't Play: The Maw
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 September 2014, 6:14 am

Time played: 1.9 Hours

Sponsored By: A soft-hearted dad who can't say no when four-year-old boy says he wants to play "the Mawn!"

Bite-Size Review

An adorable cautionary tale about invasive species.

Super-Size Review

My kids love games. They love playing games (my seven-year-old daughter is better at Little Big Planet than I am, and has been speed-running Hohokum). They love watching walkthroughs of games (my 4-year-old son adores YouTube videos of Battletoads and various Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles speed runs) They love reading books about games (my daughter has worn out three Pokedexes). They love watching me play games.

So when I opened up Steam and they saw The Maw, they insisted on watching a trailer. After watching the trailer about twelve times (Mr. Newell, I would be much obliged if you'd include a looping feature on preview videos. Thanks!) they said they wanted to play it. More specifically, they wanted to watch me play it.

Well, for $2.38 for the game and all the DLC, who am I to deny them?

As it turns out, The Maw is actually a pretty darn fun game.

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