Weekend Hangover: Top Gun Drones on, Escher Gets Gamey, a Puppet Gets Laid and More

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Our name for it is better.

Well, I for one was too busy planning a WrestleMania party all weekend to see what other fun things were going on in the world, but if, like me, you missed out, here are some highlights of this weekend's reader-submitted items, compiled with the help of Kyle LeClair.

Tipsters this week include SlyDante777, skrag2112, Dr.Gonzo82, Anyone00, franciebrady27, rkwsuperstar, troi, Gallen_Dugall

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Overnight/Weekend Open Thread - WrestleMania!

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm

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Check in Sunday to see if I decide to liveblog it. It's like six hours long if you count the preshow, so I don't know if I'm up to the whole thing. But if I am it'll be here.

A few last-minute items before the big weekend:

-NECA's General Ursus wants YOU...to buy him when he comes out. Also, better photos of their Godzilla.

-Bruce Timm is doing a new Batman short. Now that's the goddamn Batman.

-The Michael Bay Ninja Turtles look a lot better in Lego.

-Twin Peaks Twitter fanfic.

-Amazon's game box, to compete with...what exactly?

-Riding in Cars With Zombies, the game.

-Axel Braun's new Captain America porno patriotically comes out on tax day.

-Kids today. You're getting a video game to help brush your teeth properly? In my day we just had stupid-ass tablets that dyed your teeth red until you got it all off.

-Possibly an April Fool, but here's a robot kangaroo:

If anyone in the LA area wants to see WrestleMania on Sunday, hit me up. Holla.

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Game Launches at "The Drunken Clam" [Pics & Junk]

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm

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On April 10th, mobile gamers will be able to build their own Quahog and collect stuff in it, as Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff appears ripe for cashing in on love for The Simpsons: Tapped Out. As I found at the launch party, though, nobody involved is overly fond of that comparison; one Fox marketing guy threw out a ton of buzzwords that esssentially amounted to, "they're similar but different" (he did confirm a Firefly game, though, but when asked if any of the original actors are involved his only response was "stay tuned.")

I'll put it this way: The Quest for Stuff is not like Tapped Out in the same way that Family Guy is not like The Simpsons. For one thing, you're not building the town from scratch - you're RE-building it following an apocalyptic fight with the Giant Chicken. Totally different. Also, this game may not yell at me as loudly from Julia's phone as Homer currently does, randomly, in the middle of the night.

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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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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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Weekend Hangover: Harry Potter Prequels, Robo-Fish, Unreleased Gandalf Animation, More

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 10:00 am

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What stories fell through the cracks this past weekend? With the aid of ace compiler Kyle LeClair, we'll tell you.

This week's tipsters include: Gallen_Dugall, Anyone00, SlyDante777, rkwsuperstar, troi, BumblebeeZ3, Timely-Tardis-Lego, RegularStormy

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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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Overnight/Weekend Open Thread - I Just Wanna McFly

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm

One of many nerdy slot machines from last week's Vegas trip...

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Before I get to the last-minute desk-clearing items, a guideline: I have been fishing several weekend comments out of the spam filter, so here's a heads up. If you only post a link, or a YouTube, with no commentary, and you do this multiple times, there is a better than average chance Livefyre will read that as spam. I will rescue everything I see, but I'm not on 24/7. Now you know. Here are some links:

-I almost never post about basketball, but this full-court 3D image-mapping is too cool not to share.

-When your plastic bags are in shreds, you have Bane cat's permission to meow.

-A Blackout is coming to Agents of SHIELD. No, not that kind - the show remains on the air.

-Taco Bell Crunchwrap pajamas are fun, but if you want them, it's already too late.

-Every WrestleMania match ever, ranked in order from 1-287.

-A guy I never heard of before will play Miles Dyson's kid in the new Terminator trilogy.

-Hardee's X-Men commercial implies women have to dumb themselves into men before they'll eat huge slabs of unhealthy crap. (I think they mean it the other way, but whatever.)

-Carmageddon ruins a childhood favorite song, much to the delight of parents who are sick of it.

-The spirit of Wesley Willis lives, and loves Sonic the Hedgehog.

-Adding virtual arms to the Oculus Rift.

-Suspended animation isn't just a jokey term for cancelled Pixar movies any more.

h/t to Gallen_Dugall and SlyDante777 for some of the above.

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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Meet Batman's New Villain: The Arkham Knight!

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 2:16 am

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Bet you all thought the title of the game Arkham Knight referred to Batman. Nuh-uh. It's this guy, above, who looks like Robo-Terry McGinnis.

All I've been told is that he's the new villain. No further details, though the press release also calls this "the explosive finale to the Arkham series," indicating perhaps that any future Bat-games will likely be in a different style altogether.

More pics of the new baddie - and Batman - below...

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