The Metal Gear series is one of the cornerstone franchises in video gaming, with central characters Solid Snake and his "father" Big Boss being two of the most celebrated in the entire medium. Snake made his way into a Smash Bros. game, for God's sake. Since the first game came out on the MSX2 in 1987, lead designer, writer and director Hideo Kojima has made the stealth franchise very much his own, peppering it with esoteric pop-culture references and his love of anime and huge mechs, not to mention a plethora of insane conspiracy theories...and deep philosophical questions, like whether love truly can bloom on the battlefield.
While Ground Zeroes is technically Metal Gear Solid V, it's merely the first act of a much larger campaign, known as The Phantom Pain, which is set to release at some unspecified time. It also takes some of the biggest risks in the series thus far. Depending on how thorough the player is, it can be completed in one to two hours (Konami wisely decided not to charge full price for this entry). It also has an entirely new, open-world style of gameplay. But for the most part, Ground Zeroes' risks pay off in a huge way, and it's arguably the best entry in the franchise yet.
Don't believe it? Then you should consider...More >>
I don't know why I didn't think of this before. It was silly to leave the weekend recap to the middle of the day, and the Hangover was basically kind of a list anyway. So now I'm combining the weekend recap and the first list of the week into one. The downside is that a rare few weekends will do without the Hangover, but the upside is that freelance money will be liberated to do a bit more...something I'll elaborate on as weeks go by.
As always, these tips were compiled with the help of Kyle LeClair, and tipsters for this week include: Anyone00, Dr.Gonzo82, SlyDante777, donnaryoko, troi, Gallen_Dugall, jaganar, skrag2112More >>
Video game collecting is a big deal these days. As the youth of the '80s and '90s approaches their 30s, many of us who grew up on the playground arguing between Sega and Nintendo are now grown-ass adults with jobs and expendable income. And so it goes that, much like the Gen-Xers who collected comic books and toys, we millenials are wasting our precious, hard-earned money by collecting ancient silicon chips ensconced in plastic cartridges. But video game collecting is an especially expensive hobby, and its popularity has skyrocketed the price of many games that were produced in very limited numbers.
However, a lot of those very expensive games are also complete shit! Here are 10 of the crappiest, most expensive video games of all time!More >>
This last weekend, I attended WonderCon for the first time. In addition to general convention activities like observing cosplayers and wandering the Exhibit Hall, I was also con liaison for Steve Jackson Games.
WonderCon didn't particularly have gaming as a focus, but there was a sizable gaming area, part of which was reserved for the Steve Jackson Games demo team. It was an interesting and fun experience, so I'm sharing ten things I learned serving as a con liaison and miscellaneous convention attendee.More >>
Instead of a list today, I give you my video adventures at WonderCon, featuring special appearances from the likes of Tommy Wiseau, Will Poulter, a cat lady, a Jesusy protester and more.
Full footage of the Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman and Will Poulter interviews will go up tomorrow. For now, enjoy the best bits all at once.More >>
Street fair season in San Francisco kicked off this this past weekend with the 47th annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown. It tends to focus more on traditional Japanese culture - I arrived just as a Taiko drumming performance was ending - but it's also a precursor to one of my most favorite festivals, also happening in Japantown, later this summer: the J-POP SUMMIT Festival. As the name implies, J-POP is a celebration of all things related to Japanese pop culture - as they put it, "the latest in Japanese music, film, art, fashion, games, anime, food, as well as" (my personal favorite) "niche subcultures" -- and we got a preview in the form of an autograph and photo session with Ayumi Seto. She's a Harajuku Kawaii model turned Aomoji-kei fashion designer, and I spoke with her about just what Aomoji-kei fashion is, as well as about the nerdy influences in her new clothing line, "Aymmy in the batty girls," which takes most of its inspiration from American pop culture. (There are aliens and zombies involved.)
While I am certain - not - that most of you were either partying at Coachella or gettin' down to the MTV Movie Awards, many of your fellow readers were scaring up the usual mess o' stories that we didn't have room for last week. Compiled from the weekend thread with the help of Kyle LeClair, here are your weekend highlights of hilariousness.
Tipsters include: donnaryoko, Anyone00, SlyDante777, Dr.Gonzo82, Gallen_Dugall, Citrus_King, troi, andre_morelloMore >>
If you're a Community fan, you've already enjoyed two episodes featuring the gang playing Dungeons & Dragons. But if you don't listen to Community creator Dan Harmon's podcast, Harmontown, you don't know that you're missing weekly D&D sessions. Spencer Crittenden, who guested on the VCR game episode of Community, is Harmon's Dungeon Master. Yes, when you're as famous as Dan Harmon, you get your own personal Dungeon Master. Every podcast ends with Harmon, his cohosts and celebrity guests sitting down with Crittenden for a short campaign.
Future You Pictures Dan Harmon on the road in Harmontown
So you know he knows what he's talking about when he lays it down...More >>
Is it too obvious to note that in person, this star of the horror film Oculus is easy on the eyes?
If you're a fan of Katee Sackhoff, you already know that she can be tough. But you may never have seen her get so downright deranged as she does in this terror tale of a mirror that drives people mad, then reincarnates them as undead apparitions. Poor Karen Gillan may have thought the Doctor was a little mad, but her new onscreen mother redefines the term.
Fortunately, the real Sackhoff spared my life, and we had a nice conversation.More >>
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....More >>