TR at E3: 7 Signs That Nintendo is in Panic Mode, And Why That's Awesome

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 6:00 am


Going into this year's E3, everybody thought they knew what to expect from Nintendo - given that their profits are almost literally in the toilet, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the one-time market leader would rest on its laurels and trot out the same ol' shtick. Another round of Mario sports titles, another spinoff, continued reliance on the Smash Bros. fanbase, and so forth.

But when Nintendo takes it on the chin, that's when their true, undisputed strength really shines; their unbridled creativity, and the freedom to let their talented developers do whatever the hell they damn well want.

And from playing their offerings at E3, as well as their Nintendo Direct presentation Tuesday morning, I can tell that Nintendo is indeed in "Panic Mode," and that's awesome for these seven reasons.

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10 Awesome, NON-D&D RPGs Your Collection NEEDS

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 6:00 am

Overthrow your (Dungeon) Master! Not every game needs a D20.

As con season approaches with the all-time title bout between Pathfinder and D&D Next in its wake, it seems like a time to step back a little. Let's remind ourselves of the smaller, weirder aspects of RPG fandom. Although publishers willing to commission a large-scale print run are diminishing, the tools available today can more than make up for it. Crowd funding, PDF, POD options - not to mention Amazon and eBay - make it so the obscure titles aren't as obscure as they used to be; most are little more than a Google search away. Although we've put together only a taste of what's available in the market today, here is a sample of ten that might catch your interest.

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Cthulhu Rises in Trailer for Jack Chick Tract Adaptation Dark Dungeons

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm


Filmmaker JR Ralls actually did it - he raised the money to make the first authorized, feature-length adaptation of one of Jack Chick's evangelical comics - the one that conclusively proves that RPGs are a tool of Satan. Playing it poker-faced enough to get Chick to sign off on it, Ralls has nonetheless clearly made something sufficiently absurd that I bet most of its fans will not likely be hysterical suburban parents terrified that the devil has their children. And as you can see from the image above, Cthulhu, whom the movie proclaims to be absolutely real (I missed that part in the Bible), gets his closeup.

Dark Dungeons premieres at Gen Con Indy, and is up for preorder now on the movie's official website.

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Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Magic, Jesus, Khaleesi and Korea

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 8:00 am


Luke's mother-in-law is former LAPD, a licensed property appraiser and a self-described crazy cat lady. None of which has prepared her for TR readers. All questions and answers are real.

Hey all, it's another Thursday again - hope you all have gotten thru the week so far. We made it past Mothers Day; it was quiet around here, but we did kinda celebrate motherhood with new kittens in the garage. See above for a photo of our new little fuzzy butts - so far I am getting to pet 3 of them. We have black ones, black/white and gray, all sooooo cute. This weekend is the Joshua Tree Music Festival, which is always fun, even when it's going to be in the 100's temperature-wise. This weekend, I am also going to the play Nunsense at our local playhouse, Theatre 29. The arts are alive and well in the basin.

And so are your questions...

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10 Things I Learned About The Sega-Nintendo War From Reading Console Wars

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 8:00 am


I grew up playing video games as far back as Colecovision, and when Nintendo came out with NES it blew my mind that games like Super Mario Bros. and Kid Niki - Radical Ninja (remember that?) that I played in the arcade would look exactly the same at home. Then when Sega Genesis came out with Altered Beast, I used my birthday money to buy a Genesis even when all my friends said I should be getting TurboGrafx 16. Who's laughing now? Um, I guess both are.

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5 Reasons Ground Zeroes is the Best Metal Gear Game Ever Made (and 3 Ways It Isn't)

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 6:00 am


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...

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Weekend Hangover 4-28-14: 20 Stories You Might Have Missed

Monday, April 28, 2014 at 6:00 am


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, skrag2112

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10 of the Crappiest and Most Expensive Video Games Ever Made

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 6:00 am


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!

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10 Things I Learned Running Game Demos at WonderCon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 6:00 am

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.

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Topless Robot at WonderCon 2014! With Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Rob Liefeld and More [VIDEO]

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 6:00 am


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.

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