5 Superheroic Things About inFamous: Second Son (and 5 Super-Failures)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Art by CitrusKing46

Seven years have passed since the events of inFamous 2. Some of the Conduits (read: Superpowered folks) still remain, and with the public in a panic over these potential threats, the Department of Unified Protection (D.U.P.) is sent to round them up. When three Conduits escape close to Seattle, rebel Native American Delsin Rowe comes into contact with one and discovers that he's a Conduit himself, who can absorb the powers of others. Unfortunately, D.U.P. director Brooke Augustine then pops by looking for the escapees, and ends up torturing Delsin's tribe for any information on them, leaving them in a condition only her powers can cure. Determined to copy Augustine's powers and save his tribe, Delsin heads out to Seattle to find the D.U.P. settled in, and proceeds to get what he needs from them any way possible...

Three years have also passed since inFamous 2 itself, and along with a whole new generation of Conduits comes a chance for one of the PlayStation's biggest successes of the previous generation to shine again in a virtual superhero epic. So does it end up capturing the glory of, say, a George Pérez comic, or is it more akin to a comic that needs to be burnt atop some sort of imaginary wall? Let us find out...

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7 Reasons You Should See Terminator Too: Judgment Play

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 6:00 am

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In 2003, a Los Angeles-based theater troupe premiered a live version of the movie Point Break, appropriately entitled Point Break Live!, and it was good. So good, in fact, that it's been running ever since, bouncing around Los Angeles, New York, and my home turf of San Francisco.

A few years ago they debuted Terminator Too: Judgment Play elsewhere, and after attending its San Francisco premiere on April 3, 2014 at the DNA Lounge, I'm here to tell you why you should go see either (or both!) of 'em if you can.

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8 Reasons Why Jughead's Skate Punk Makeover Was a Huge Mistake

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Even before he was a zombie, Jughead was awesome. Seriously. If you think that eating hamburgers and avoiding girls are the only personality traits that Forsythe P. Jones possesses, you are seriously mistaken. Throughout the decades, Jughead has obviously been a master of misogyny and gluttony to be sure. But he is also the smartest character in all of Archie comics. (With apologies to Dilton Doiley).

Sadly, however, in 1987 Archie Comics made the inexplicable decision to relaunch the Jughead book for a new generation of readers. Replacing the book's smart humor and unforgettable artistic style was a string of awkward creative decisions that attempted to make Jughead more popular amongst young comic readers. The most notorious of these occurred in conjunction with Archie's 50th Anniversary in 1992. Yes friends, I am talking about the (mercifully) brief period in which Jughead Jones became a skate punk. Believe it or not, but this could be the lowest point in Archie's 75 years of comics, and that's including Al Hartley's religious Archie books and, ugh, Archie Babies. The skate punk era pretty much was over after four issues, but it remains a cautionary tale in how to annoy readers. Why? Hit the jump and find out!

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6 Ways Donkey Konga Out-Rocks Guitar Hero (and 2 Brown Bananas)

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Illustration by Matthew Steele

If you've left behind your rock star lifestyle of debauchery, you may recall when Guitar Hero was a huge phenomenon, followed quickly by the Rock Band Era. Including mobile spin-offs and exclusive titles, Guitar Hero currently has 18 games under its belt, and that number jumps to 24 when you include the DJ Hero and Band Hero series. Rock Band boasts a still-impressive 11 title catalogue, proving the rhythm - based model was not one to be tampered with. Both are undeniably great franchises, and deserve accolades for achieving remarkable sales, acquiring some tricky song licenses, and spreading the gaming community to a new audience. However, if we look back a few years, as we often love to do, we can see our old friend Donkey Kong, clapping his hands on the ground and making that strange hiccupping/laughing noise he makes. It's as if he's trying to say, "What about me? WHAT ABOUT ME?!" Poor guy. He asked me to prepare 6 reasons why his band's poster deserves to be on your ceiling instead of...who is that? Slash? Oh come on....

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5 Reasons Pathfinder Outsells D&D (and 5 Ways it's Still Less Good)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Paizo

First off, you might be wondering what Pathfinder is. Pathfinder is a tabletop RPG published by Paizo that is based on D&D and yet outsells D&D, at least according to some sources. This is pretty amazing considering the average person might not even know that table top RPGs besides D&D even exist. Before you fire up your defensive comments - I understand RPG sales numbers are murky. But nonetheless, Paizo went from being "the people who published the D&D magazines" (Dungeon and Dragon respectively) to "the people competing with D&D for the number one slot" in just a few years. Certainly I can believe that Pathfinder is outselling D&D at the moment since D&D is between editions and Pathfinder had some strong releases this summer. I personally play and enjoy Pathfinder, but it's far from perfect. Let's take a look at five of the best and five of the worst parts to Pathfinder.

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10 Great Video Games Lost in Development Hell

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Video games! It's always the great ones you don't get to play. Whether it's the sad demise of Star Wars: Battlefront 3 and Star Wars 1313, or the nebulous state of Prey 2, game development is the history of great ideas that might never see the light of day.

With that in mind, I've compiled a list of 10 lost could-be greats that - due to everything from studio closure to internal politics to simply a change in the industry as a whole - never made it to our grasping, excited hands.

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7 Lessons Game Designers Can Learn From Telltale's The Walking Dead

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 6:00 am

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The second episode of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: Season Two was released earlier this month to the same critical acclaim that has become the norm for this post-apocalyptic series since the first episode of its premiere "season" came out nearly two years ago. The Walking Dead video game may not be as popular as its sister television series or even the comic it's based on, but in terms of character development alone it's of higher quality than both of them combined. The episodic series draws heavily on the adventure game genre, though it places a greater emphasis on character interaction and branching conversation than puzzle-solving. More importantly, it's one of the most engaging, immersive and downright effective entries in the entire medium of video gaming. While it's not a Triple A franchise in the same vein as Call of Duty, BioShock or Grand Theft Auto, The Walking Dead is hands down more effective at storytelling than all three.

Here are a few leaves other developers can take out of Telltale's book...

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8 Things I Learned After a Week of Dying in Dark Souls II

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 6:00 am

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I'm not sure I'm done hating you yet, Dark Souls II, but I get you.

And if we're being completely honest, I also kind of love you.

After spending much of the last console generation avoiding the previous Souls games, I decided to give From Software's latest brutal RPG a try. And behind the often obtuse systems, occasionally baffling UI, and some initially rocky network performance, I found 8 ways to survive (and love) Dark Souls II.

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The 5 Best Things About Clone Wars Season 6 (and 4 Lingering Questions)

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 6:00 am

It's safe to say that most Star Wars fans were left wanting after the conclusion of the prequel trilogy. Sure, we got to see the rise of the Empire, the fall of the Jedi, Yoda going medieval on Sith Lords, and the whiny-ass patriarch of the Skywalker family turn into a whiny-ass deep fat fried cyborg. But as "wizard" as some of the better parts of the prequel trilogy were, we paid for those epic moments with Jar-Jar Binks, CGI menageries, and dissertations on the viscosity of sand by a cardboard cutout of Anakin Skywalker...oh wait, that was Hayden Christensen doing his Kristen Stewart impression. The glimpses we were shown of the Clone Wars (shouldn't it technically be a Clone War, not plural?) in the live-action films were exciting, but barely scratched the surface of the conflict. With as much money as the series had earned, it wasn't much of a surprise to learn that fans would be getting a closer look at the Clone Wars. The surprise lay in the format...


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10 Reasons "Forever Evil: Blight" Makes Me Hate DC Comics

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 6:00 am

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DC Comics

Back in 2001, I was an avid comic book reader. I bought almost every major title DC Comics published and read them eagerly. My wife and I would make a weekly trip to the local comic store, returning with armloads of entertainment, which we would usually read at some fast food place or another while eating french fries. But then came "Our Worlds at War." Over thirty comics and two months of my life dedicated to an alleged "war" involving our favorite comic book heroes.

Do you know what happens in wars, though? People die. Nations are devastated or sometimes stop existing at all. In short, things change.

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