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  • bowlisimo 5:08 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink

    That’s a weird announcement, didn’t think Dark Souls was mainstream enough for TV. Regardless, my reaction was one of eager anticipation and a subtle, but palpable dread. Oh, and also splattering of breeches (gross).

  • unmanneddrone 4:16 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink  

    I know two people here who will be spattering their breeches over such an announcement!

    @bowlisimo I had high hopes for Stellar Impact, but since LoL set the precedent for MOBAs requiring no upfront costs, my starship combat dreams ended up being nothing more than a lot of empty space. Absolutely gorgeous vessel design, with very nuanced combat.

    And Demigod…well, it was that sense of grandeur that I just don’t get from the other subgenre heavyweights. That notion of the clash of demiurges, their savage combat taking place in the most majestic of locations. I do wish they’d launched that one right. It might have been a very different world today.

    That said, it’s fantastic to see strategy games as the competitive forefront. So many people getting their game on.

  • RedSwirl 3:15 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink

    I totally forgot the VGAs were even on this year until goddamn DARK SOULS II GOT ANNOUNCED.

  • ckim 3:01 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink  

    @angryjedi Yeah, that sounds a lot like Hotline Miami to me!

    I’ve been playing Spec Ops, but this game has gotten ridiculously hard. I get the “it’s supposed to be hard” thing, because it helps create a mechanic that allows me to experience some of the frustration of the soldiers and blah blah blah, but I’m super bad at shooters and it’s hard.

  • RedSwirl 2:07 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink

    On MOBAs, I’ve got a Dota 2 install sitting on my computer, but whenever I boot it up I have no damn idea where to start. Does the game expect me to do the “learn” thingie on every single character?

  • Pete Davison 1:42 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink

    So, uh, I picked up Hotline Miami for 50% off on Steam and thought I’d give it a “quick try” earlier.

    Five hours and an achievement for dying a thousand times later, I appear to have finished it.

    That was… Well. Quite something. Gosh.

    Also, where the fuck did my evening go?

  • bowlisimo 1:10 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink  

    @unmanneddrone I’m so with you on that one, they all look like Warcraft 3 (for obvious reasons). Not that I’m a MOBA patron or anything. That format isn’t for me. Demigod was indeed cool, though.

  • unmanneddrone 10:50 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink  

    I’ve only really played Demigod and Stellar Impact, but what’s a MOBA without a community, right?

    Shame especially with those two…such a departure from the norm. Wish they’d shake up the visual formula in the sub-genre, but I suppose it’s like bemoaning the design of chess pieces.

  • beige 9:27 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink  

    I’ve never played a MOBA game. -____- Well, I guess Monday Night Combat counts.

  • Shingro 8:37 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    I’m game for squad santa, it was fun~ (though I confess I still haven’t gotten through those shooters ^^;; so dis tractable I am :<)

    Season 3 of League of Legends is in full swing, tons of new items and actives. Makes my role (support main) a tooooon more fun. (though mobas are still mobas =P)

  • unmanneddrone 10:50 am on December 7, 2012 Permalink  

    I’m wondering where the hell RAD Soldiers is, in regards to F2P iOS games! It apparently launched in Canada, so get on that, my Canuck brethren.

    I mentioned to @rocgaude that RAD Soldiers’ global launch into asynchronous excellence will get me back into iOS gaming that isn’t called Walking Dead.

  • Pete Davison 9:52 am on December 7, 2012 Permalink

    @mjpilon I played that a while back when they first accidentally released it, and I thought it was a complete turd. Not up to Double Fine’s usual standards at all — the usual shallow free-to-play business “sim” (and I use the term loosely) gameplay with only some fairly amusing writing to redeem it from the million and one other almost identical titles on the App Store. (And believe me, given my day job, I see nearly all of the fucking things). I’d hope they’ve improved it a bit since then — the version they released was supposedly not intended for public consumption — but it left a very sour taste in my mouth.

  • ckim 5:55 am on December 7, 2012 Permalink  

    I’ve had a real job for much longer this year, so you all are for sure going to get a real gift and a so bad it might still be bad gift.

  • mjpilon 3:06 am on December 7, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    I am still up for Squad Santa. Was awesome last year… especially in my case with @bowlisimo ‘s generosity 😉

    Also, for my Canadian brethren, I want to mention that Double Fine just released their iOS game in our app store, Middle Manager of Justice. It is one of those free but with in-app transaction games but so far, I haven’t felt like you need to buy anything to enjoy the game yet.

    Quick pitch: You are the manager of a superhero company branch. You manage, level up and motivate a staple of superheroes as you fight crime in the land. You select which heroes you send to combat each crime event. You can watch the fights in a action RPG system where you can provide extra support bonus/ directives or you can delegate ala Assassin’s creed assassins missions.

    The game has a nice animated/ comic book style with the usual Double fine humor and wit – playing very strong on the office motif. Think it is worth a look

  • ckim 1:48 am on December 7, 2012 Permalink

    You all know that I am down for Squad Santa. I think I was complaining that we hadn’t started it already a while back. Let’s just make sure everyone adds everyone else on Steam. I think I’m friends with most of you, but in case we’re not friends on Steam, my username is LoveIsUnity

  • bowlisimo 6:57 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink

    @angryjedi “Mrs. RocGaude” picked our names from a hat and emailed us. Don’t know if she wants to do that again or if someone else wants to.

    Do we have the same amount of people who want to participate?

  • Pete Davison 5:17 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink  

    Christmas is coming! Squad Santa time!

    Can anyone remember how we organised this last time, or indeed who organised it last time?

  • bowlisimo 3:07 am on December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone try the Ni No Kuni demo? My snap impression (without knowing much beforehand) is that it’s Ghibli + Harry Potter + Pokemon + Final Fantasy.

    I’ll probably buy it, but I found myself wishing it was less Final Fantasy and more animated film. I like Olly, Drippy and Marr-Mite. I don’t like reading unvoiced text underneath them.

    Video games.

  • RedSwirl 11:10 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink

    Fuck mang. FTL.

    If we all don’t have it yet, it’s $6.

  • RocGaude 9:45 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink  

    @cptcarnage When you post, be sure it’s an “update”. Your post was set as a “quote”.

  • beige 8:41 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink  

    Wondering if there might be something like a low cost PVR that has both a coaxial TV input and the abillity to record directly to either a USB stick or a DVD that would do the trick…

  • cptcarnage 7:16 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink  

    @beige tricky question 🙂

    First thing that comes to mind is a digital tuner in a small media center pc but I don’t know how that can be made simple. Windows Media Center does include a PVR function as to whether it can be transferred and viewed else where I don’t know, seems it records in a special wtv format. Boxee can play the wtv files but there seems to be issues with it. There’s a guide here on how to automate the conversion of the file to an MP4 but I think the file size could end up being huge.

    I’ll keep diggin

    Edit: how’d i manage to get this funky format on the reply?

  • beige 2:55 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink  

    Hey Squad: I’m going to post something here as opposed to on Facebook to see if one of my fellow nerds can help a brother out. There is basically zero chance of my folks ever stumbling across our little corner of the world and I need to ask a Christmas Question.

    I’m trying to get a nice gift for my parents for Christmas. Note: My folks are luddites. Here are some truths about them:

    • They do not have (and have NEVER had) cable TV, but instead siphon HD signals through the airwaves from Michigan using a digital TV tuner and a big arial on top of our house. They are morally opposed to paying for cable television.
    • Up until recently their favorite thing to do was to record TV shows from standard broadcast networks onto VHS tapes and play them back at leisure.
    • They also liked very much bringing these VHS tapes with TV on them up to their cottage so they could watch shows there in the evening.
    • The cottage has no Internet access, high speed or no. I believe our normal house has a basic, not great, DSL package.

    Their major pain point in life right now is that they have lost the ability to record and move their TV shows because, y’know, VHS tapes being extinct technology 15 years ago and all that. Also, HD signals don’t record to VHS anyway on any piece of modern hardware.

    They’ve been asking recently if there’s some kind of magic solution that can help solve their problem. I am considering the alternatives – a DVD Recorder would be the closest thing to a technology they understood, but even DVD Recorders are going the way of the dodo in 2012. I don’t want to saddle them with something that will just be obsolete again.

    Two christmases ago I bought them an iPod, and they’ve been able to successfully integrate both iTunes and podcasting into their lives. They can learn things.

    I’m at the point in life where pretty much all of my media comes down the fat pipe from my ISP. Netflix is a possibility for them (if I get some kind of appliance) but it doesn’t solve their problem of not being able to migrate their shows North to a place without Internet access.

    Anybody know if a device exists that can record a TV signal to MP4 format? Something that could play on a boxee? Any other solution would be considered as well.

    Confused, trying to be a good son.

    • Beige
  • unmanneddrone 11:27 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink  

    @beige Miasmata, from what I remember, was coded by two blokes and is their own proprietary engine! Not sure what the game is like, but even from that angle, you’ve got to admire the tech.

    And Cargo Commander isn’t a long haul game. It’s an after dinner mint. Or a morning coffee. Go for a space walk, loot some gear, aim for score, go play something else. Kinda like Weird Worlds or FTL in some regards. However, the game does have more beneath the surface when you start upgrading your kit and ship, and features an entirely new mode after you crack level seven.

  • beige 4:41 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink  

    Hey, have you guys seen Miasmata? It’s a weird little title recently greenlit on Steam. I’m going to pick it up and give a report back.

    I can’t exactly tell 100% from the demo materials available, but it looks similar to that game I’m always yammering on about wanting to play in which a protagonist is “stranded somewhere” and as a consequence has to forage for survival materials Minecraft-style while exploring the wilderness, discovering things and learning about the capital-T Truth.

    From what I’ve seen online, this is basically what Miasmata is. Your character is some kind of scientist on a mysterious island (NOT in space) foraging for a cure to some disease or other. He has to hunt and collect plants, wildlife and resources from various places around the island. There are survival elements, hunting and I believe fishing — also there’s some kind of dangerous beast haunting the island that you have to constantly sneak around from and/or hide from. Plants to seek out and collect, chemistry and crafting that happens back at Home Base. Sliding down mud hills into secret gullies, even (yes!) doing actual cartography to find your way around using things like map triangulation and local landforms as points of reference.

    Anyway, no idea whether it’ll be great or just kind of indifferent, but I’ll let you know.

    @UMD We spent some pleasant time with Cargo Commander over the weekend. Not sure exactly if it’s my kind of jam in a “long haul” sense but it has a charming aesthetic and it does what it does well. It’s great at being exactly what it is, which is being a randomly generated score-based loot grabber combined with a risk/reward system that tempts you to overextend and die. Maybe I haven’t given it quite enough time to blossom fully yet into maturity. I’ll go back and keep exploring later.

    At the moment, I’m looking for something that scratches more narrative based appeal elements.

  • mjpilon 2:40 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink

    @unmanneddrone @cgrajko @redswir1 Having just completed Hotline Miami this morning, I also would include it as one of my favourite games in 2012. Love the vibe this game has. The twitchy nature of the action, the graphic violence, the 80s neon lighting, the absolutely amazing synth soundtrack that accompanies it. Everything about this game screams 80s drug bender. Never completely approaches Super Meat Boy level of brutal difficulty/ repeated attempts but I could see it get there for some.

    I tended to stick to that mask as well @cgrajko – the fists of fury really helped keep things stealthy. I would also love to hear your theory – if only because the game can lead to interesting interpretations and I’m curious where yours went.

  • Pete Davison 11:31 am on December 3, 2012 Permalink  

    Hello! Do you have friends, relatives and/or loved ones who own iOS devices and who are in relatively close physical proximity to you and each another? Do you like the idea of bellowing “FLUSH THE MEGACONDENSERS! SET THE SHIFTSANITIZER TO 1! PRESS THAT BUTTON THAT LOOKS LIKE A BABY! ASTEROOOOOIIIIID!” at one another while frantically pressing buttons to do all those things? Do you wish that you were the little people running around frantically trying to avoid death in FTL rather than the all-seeing eye in the sky watching them from above?

    Then Spaceteam, a new free iOS game, is for you.

    Seriously, this shit is amazing. It’s the perfect party game for modern smartphone-wielding geeks. Check it out. I wish I was near the rest of you so we could play this together.

  • unmanneddrone 10:51 pm on December 2, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    @sinfony Awesome. I don’t think I’ve met another bloke who had played it! What a rich and intriguing world, like some sort of techno-Crimson Skies. I really hope we see another Yager down the line, especially with current gen/next-gen tech. Both that and Battle Engine Aquila need high definition sequels. Two absolute favourites.

    @cgrajko That game leaves a fellow breathless and twitchy.

  • ckim 8:40 pm on December 2, 2012 Permalink

    @unmanneddrone @redswir1 Hotline Miami is also one of my favorites of the year. I talk mush about it during the final segment of the most recent Squadcast that we recorded. I love how eventually you go from playing really timidly (because everything is ridiculously lethal) to just bursting through doors and slaughtering fools with your hands. I can’t remember the name of the mask, but the one that lets you kill stuff with your bare fists has become my favorite. (I also love the one that kills enemies by opening doors on them, but there’s something so beautiful about becoming a vortex of carnage with just your fists I can’t pass up.)

    I also have a theory that it’s impossible to discuss this game without coming off as completely misanthropic and sociopathic. As @unmanneddrone said to me when we were discussing the game over Steam, “this is the game that parents have been worried about their kids playing for years.”

  • sinfony 8:33 pm on December 2, 2012 Permalink  

    @UMD I loved Yager. Gave up at one point because of an irritatingly difficult mission, but it had a lovely flight model.

  • unmanneddrone 2:10 pm on December 2, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Teleglitch   

    Fellows of the Squawk, may I just direct your attention this way for a moment. In a word, Teleglitch.

    I’m reviewing this sucker at the moment, and it’s a corker. Imagine if Quake was a top-down survival horror shooter with roguelike sensibilities. And had a crafting-lite system. Teleglitch is essentially that. It’s a nice little piece of indie excellence and I highly recommend anyone who reckons the above sounds luvverly to dig in for the asking price of thirteen clams. A challenging, cold and satisfying thing.

    It lacks a soundtrack, so augment your play with something interesting. I went with Stars of the Lid and it was phenomenally sad, watching my little bloke dismally try to find his way to the teleporter with rapidly depleting health…cobbling together nails and his old ration cans to make nailbombs (get behind something when these go off!), scratching around for shotgun ammunition and being cornered and slain by biological entities in this offworld base gone Island of Dr. Moreau. The crafting system, incidentally, is very slick. Combine tubing with plastic explosives to create a one-use Panzerfaust…hardware modules and pistol to create an SMG…rather spiffy.

    Quite a tense and bleak experience. Might have to throw a little drum and bass at it for the next play session. Roni Size Reprazent…on Medusa 1-C. That’s well wikkid, innit.

    Oh, and there’s a demo.

  • unmanneddrone 7:31 am on December 2, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 Good man. That’s one hell of a game. I’d say it’s my favourite puzzle game of the year! 😀

  • RedSwirl 7:10 am on December 2, 2012 Permalink  

    Well, anyway, I got a shitload of other stuff I’d actually rather finish before the year is out. Might check it out next Steam sale (winter?).

    What’s really surprised me so far is that Hotline Miami is probably my favorite action game of the year.

  • unmanneddrone 5:50 am on December 2, 2012 Permalink  

    @redswir1 I’d go with the Squaddie intelligentsia on this one, because I felt the same way about the demo as well – and let’s be honest, it was a horrible demo but I gather there’s really nothing you could squash into the demo that wouldn’t be detrimental to the overarching narrative.

    And it’s Yager! You know, Yager! Magnus Tide? No? No.

    …I remember you, Magnus Tide.

  • ckim 9:01 pm on December 1, 2012 Permalink  

    I can’t address the question directly because I haven’t played it yet, but there are a few people @bluesforbuddha is one of them) who I trust well enough that I will jump on something they recommend. I also want to play it so I can read the book that was written about it and referenced earlier.

  • RedSwirl 8:38 pm on December 1, 2012 Permalink  

    What is it about Spec Ops anyway? I abstained because I played the demo on Xbox and it did absolutely nothing to convince me that it wasn’t third person military shooter #571. Even after reading up on the references to Heart of Darkness I’m still not convinced it’s anything more than a token adaptation of those themes through the shooter gameplay tropes we’ve all gotten bored of. If the game was indeed a more unique tactical shooter I’d be interested.

  • mjpilon 4:43 am on December 1, 2012 Permalink  

    Our inevitable Spec Ops squadcast continues to take shape….

  • ckim 3:37 am on December 1, 2012 Permalink  

    I grabbed it as well.

  • feenwager 2:08 am on December 1, 2012 Permalink  

    Five bucks? Sure, why not?

  • bowlisimo 2:07 am on December 1, 2012 Permalink  

    Sold! I will “subject” myself to this bullshit forthwith!

  • Pete Davison 10:35 pm on November 30, 2012 Permalink  

    Spec Ops is $5 on Amazon right now for anyone who wants to subject themselves to it.

  • ckim 8:00 pm on November 30, 2012 Permalink

    @impynickers Thank you for all of your thoughts on Baldur’s Gate. Basically, as I read through it, I say to myself, “well, I have copies of the originals and the Trilogy mod… this new thing is irrelevant.” If it ends up being as well updated as they claim it will be, I may have to bite, but it seems like those of us who already have copies can stick with those.

  • impynickers 4:41 pm on November 30, 2012 Permalink

    @bowlisimo Oddly enough pathfinding was not improved as far as I can tell. The PR spiel touts major engine improvements, but they forgot about that one. I will say the loading is instantaneous. Thats pretty nice. A quick load will immediately plop you where you were without so much as a thought. So there are some nice things going on underneath the hood, but its very rare that you will actually notice.

    One thing about this version is that it seems the developers are sctively going to be updating and improving the game over time. Not just with DLC (of course) but with actual improvements based on feedback.

    I was a little dissapointed that at launch the multiplayer is only Direct IP connect. I felt it was a missed opportunity. In the game though you see a message that indicates that you will eventually be able to browse active games through So there may yet be a revived multiplayer community, though I suspect it to be mostly a dedicated few.

    The extent to which the game is updated will determine, I think, whether this will be THE version of Baldur’s Gate. It is nice that people don’t have to root around through mods to get this experience. Im an anomaly in that I enjoy the convoluted task, but there are some worthwhile things here for fans that don’t enjoy doing that. The BG2 classes really do change the game substantially.

    Im currently lobbying on the forums for them to create class specific missions/guilds like in BG2. The community input apparently has been fairly substantial up to now, so hopefully there will be some great stuff coming for fans… I hope I hope.

  • bowlisimo 3:04 pm on November 30, 2012 Permalink

    @impynickers Thanks for the thoughts on BG:EE, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from that thing.

    It sounds weird to have that extremely old design sprinkled with modern accoutrements. Did they update the pathfinding? If there’s one thing that constantly annoyed me about that series, it’s telling the group to go one way, and having half the group take the longest most ridiculous route possible.

    Anyway, going off of your experience, this version probably won’t give people who already played the game any real urgency to rebuy/replay it, but for anyone new that wants to see what this whole Baldur’s Gate thing is all about, this is probably the version to go with… unless you don’t mind dicking around with mods.

    I still want to do a second playthrough with this GoG version I bought and haven’t used yet, I never did get to see how Tales of the Sword Coast ended. Damn you scratched cd!

  • Pete Davison 11:00 am on November 30, 2012 Permalink  

    @feen I just have a wireless keyboard and mouse on a small coffee table that is a convenient height to reach from my sofa. It’s not IDEAL, I’ll admit, but it works. Alternatives would be a lap tray for a laptop or one of those hospital-style wheelie tables that you could poke over the sofa arm or something.

  • impynickers 4:26 am on November 30, 2012 Permalink

    So I have mixed feelings about Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition.
    Its not like you could suddenly make it a bad game, but some of the improvements aren’t that polished IMO.
    Basically all the major improvements were available through mods, such as widescreen HD, Baldur’s Gate 2 classes, bug fixes.

    The game does bring minor aesthetic changes that are unique to this release, such as UI elements being recolored. You can also zoom into the main game screen to make all that HD count for nothing. Also the journal is hella improved. Your available quests are immediately visible, and you can click on them for more info. Pretty standard for a modern RPG, but much improved over the original.
    The one new party member I have picked up is pretty interesting. One of the new missions I played ‘The Black Pit’ was not so much. All the voiced dialogue couldn’t hide that it was in fact an arena in which you fight waves of enemies. This has been done many times in many many other games.

    What I feel like is as though this release basically is a collaboration of fan made content, which I think is somewhat accurate. I think they hired some of the mod developers for the release. Many aspects of the game feel untouched, while others seem to have been given new dimensions. The new characters have fully voiced dialogue for instance, while the remainder of our memorable cast has only choice snippets of dialogue. So I can’t help but feel this is an inconsistent jumble of things based around a game I love to death.

    Now perhaps if you want to play the game on IPad, the pure novelty of that experience will overshadow any minor gripes I have with this release. I am however on PC, and something feels off about the whole thing.

  • feenwager 2:51 am on November 30, 2012 Permalink  

    Pete, I know you do your pc gaming in the living room. What’s your solution for mouse & keyboard games?

  • bowlisimo 7:35 pm on November 29, 2012 Permalink  

    Holy shit…that’s an insane deal! I probably paid close to 150 dollars for all those games and expansions. They all get the Bowley stamp of approval except Red Faction: Armageddon, which I totally skipped.

    @angryjedi To be fair, Trackmania, in general. is pretty awesome, and I’m not even a car/racing guy.

  • Pete Davison 7:32 pm on November 29, 2012 Permalink  

    Dargh. Beat me to it, @sinfony.

    Yes, everybody get on that. Then play Saints Row co-op with me.

  • sinfony 7:14 pm on November 29, 2012 Permalink  

    So right now you can get Saints Row 3, Metro 2033, Red Faction: Armageddon, a bunch of Company of Heroes, and Darksiders from Humble Bundle for just a bit over five dollars. It feels a little bit like looting.

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