Assassin's Creed III isn't supposed to be out until tomorrow, but you know what? There are more important things in life than honouring street dates when your town is about to be swallowed up by water.
Reader Andrew says his local game store in New Jersey, knowing they wouldn't be open until at least Wednesday because of Hurricane Sandy closures, figured "screw it" and sold the copies of Assassin's Creed III they had so that people bunkering down could at least bunker down with one of the biggest games of the year.
Stay safe, Andrew! And if you're safe, enjoy!
Worried that a power outage might prevent you from playing video games? Worried you might have to do something unimaginable, like talk to other people?
Fret not! I've crunched some of the numbers, and as long as you're up to date on your portable gaming, you should be able to avoid human contact for almost two entire days. Forty-seven hours. If you take time to eat and sleep, that could be enough to get you through one serious power failure. (And I'm not even counting any gaming devices that have batteries! If you're stocked up, that Game Boy Color could last you the next four weeks.)
Here's a quick list:
Nintendo 3DS - ~5 hours
PlayStation Vita - ~4 hours
Nintendo DSi - ~12 hours
PlayStation Portable - ~7 hours
iPad, Nexus 7, or other tablet - ~10 hours
iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S3, or other smart phone - ~5 hours
Gaming Laptop - Anywhere between 2 and 8 hours, depending on your laptop's specs and settings. Let's say ~4 hours.
Diablo III - 0 hours
So start charging! Also, if you haven't started charging already, you're probably screwed. Sorry.
Oct 29, 2012
The Ghost Recon Facebook game, Ghost Recon Commander, has been canceled.
The game was designed by Loot Drop. Brenda Romero, Loot Drop co-founder, announced the cancellation, tweeting, "Sad news. Today, Ghost Recon Commander was cancelled. As a result, we laid off a team of kick-ass developers. If you have openings, ping me."
Ghost Recon Commander launched in May as a "companion game" to Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which was released just after.
I'm getting rid of my iPhone 4S. After years of using my phone more as a gaming machine than a communication device, I've decided to move on. The recently-released fifth generation iPod Touch is the perfect tool to wean me off of my iPhone dependency.
I'm not impressed by the iPhone 5 — I prefer a little more heft to my handset. Despite its perfect size, the iPad Mini does nothing for me, largely because Apple has been drilling hot amazing the retina screen is to me for so long I can't bring myself to purchase a device without it. The iPad 4 just makes me angry about my iPad 3.
I still love an Apple product, however, and considering I am the mobile gaming guy for Kotaku, I need easy access to gaming apps on iTunes.
The fifth generation iPod Touch has everything I need. It's got the A5 chip and 512mb of memory if the iPhone 4S, with the 1136 x 640 retina display of the iPhone 5. It's not nearly as powerful as the latest phone, but then I've never owned the latest phone so I don't notice a drop in performance.
I picked up the slate version of the iPod Touch with 32GB storage for $299 from my local Best Buy (should have gone with pink), and so far the only problem I've had is forgetting the 3.1 ounce device was still in my pocket.
So really the fifth generation iPod Touch is my iPhone 4S without the phone bits, only thinner and with a sexier screen. Works for me.
Oct 29, 2012
I could write lots and lots of words about the super-cool, super-violent new PC game Hotline Miami. In fact, I've already kinda done that.
The game is: Awesome. You should: Play it. But if you're still unsure what it's all about, check out this playthrough of the first level, uploaded by JereHakala. This guy/gal is waaaay better at the game than I am, but that makes it pretty fun to watch just how quickly and crazily a level can go down.
Also, go listen to the whole soundtrack, because it is killer.
The old man leaned back in his chair and took a lingering drawl from his pipe as the wide-eyed children before him took in his tale. "But why, Grandfather?" asked one of the doe-eyed ragamuffins at his feet. "Why did Fahey eat a peanut butter and pickle sandwich for us?"
The old man smiled wistfully. "Because he loves us, child. Because he loves us."
Actually I did it because of a New York Times article Stephen Totilo linked to me late last week regarding the odd combination, which has been enjoying a mild resurgence after years of being the sort of food eaten by folks wishing to relive the Great Depression.
I don't really love you. If we slept together it wouldn't mean anything. You wouldn't want to anyway — I just ate a peanut butter and pickle sandwich.
I am no food daredevil either. I am hypersensitive to not only tastes and textures, but also the very atmosphere around me while I am eating. I can eat the same exact item in two different places and have two completely disparate experiences. For instance, I can only eat sushi if I can see the ocean — otherwise it tastes like week-old dead body.
My palate is a work in progress. Up until last year I couldn't stomach pickles on their own, let alone bathed in creamy churned peanut meat and lovingly nestled between two pieces of bread.
I explain all of this because when Dr. Totilo (not a doctor) linked the article from the New York Times and I read it, something inside me thought "Hey, that might be something I could place between my teeth and chew without throwing up."
It certainly doesn't look like that, especially with a large bite taken out of it. See those seeds dangling off the end of the bite marks? No? Here, I'll zoom.
There you go.
Those creepy little bastards with their thin gelatinous coating are the primary reason I'd avoided pickles for so many years. On a burger it's not so bad, as the pickle genitalia (what?) is almost never fully exposed. Here, however, the drowned cucumber's naughty bits are exposed for the world to see.
Strangely, I am fine with this.
The first bite into this poor-man's layer cake of wheat bread, crunchy Jif (the wife's pick) and Mt. Olive kosher dill sandwich stuffers is like your first kiss. It's frightening. You're shaking. You might have a mild erection. Also, her (his) breath is particularly nasty, and she (he) isn't very good on the eyes.
But damn can she (he) kiss.
There's a bit of a flavor skirmish in that first bite, the warm and creamy peanut taste struggling with the vinegar salt and sour of the pickle. For a moment it feels as if the two are going to reject each other so violently your cheeks might explode. But then something wonderful happens.
These two strong tastes ultimately decide that they can work together to overcome their respective weaknesses. The peanut butter nullifies the brine. The pickles grant the creamy thickness as satisfying bite. The bread makes sure neither side gets out of control.
Soon the two distinct flavors are making out in your mouth, making everyone around you feel awkward. You pretend to feel awkward as well, but secretly you're enjoying having peanut butter and pickles having sex on your tongue, you sick bastard.
One caveat: When constructing your peanut butter and pickle sandwich, make sure no pickles dangle over the edge of the bread. Bite into one of these dangling participles and you'll be immediately acutely aware of the horrible thing you've just done.
I went into this review thinking I would come out of it with a funny story and maybe stomach cramps. Peanut butter and pickles? That Fahey is a wild man!
Instead, I discovered I am some sort twisted deviant that likes to imagine food screwing other food in his mouth. I only do it because I love you.
I agree with Sheik, that is an incredibly stupid costume, Link.
One of these days I'm going to get around to playing Majora's Mask long enough to understand why the strange people that worship it love it so.
For more sick and twisted video game comedy, follow the link to Dorkly.com.
Oct 29, 2012
With 12 of its most popular games coming to the next generation of Microsoft's mobile platform, I can stop complaining that games like Asphalt 7 and N.O.V.A. 3 aren't on Windows Phone 7 and start whining about not having a Windows Phone 8. Huzzah!
Along with bringing back the relative oldies-but-goodies, Gameloft is also ready to release the new Modern Combat 4 on Windows Phone 8, a game that should no doubt put Nokia, HTC and Samsung's devices through their paces. Each game is optimized to work with Xbox Live for Windows Phone, so we can expect achievments, leaderboards, and online multiplayer for select titles.
Here's the full list of what Gameloft has coming:
• Ice Age Village
• N.O.V.A. 3: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
• Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour
• Shark Dash
• Asphalt 7: Heat
• The Dark Knight Rises
• UNO & Friends
• Order & Chaos Online
• The Amazing Spider-Man
• Fashion Icon
• Poker for Prizes
• Real Soccer 2013
Now that Gameloft is paving the way for other publishers to drop their catalog on Windows Phone 8 devices I suppose I'll have to acquire one for testing purposes, just in case.
Wreck-It Ralph comes out this weekend. The film, Disney's newest animated feature, seeks to do with video games what Toy Story did for toys of the non-digital sort, and tie into nostalgia for the 8-bit era.
Pulling off a retro look seems simple but was deceptively difficult for the studio, the filmmakers explained to the New York Times. Animator Wayne Unten recalled explaining to the director, Rich Moore, that pixels rule the 8-bit world. "I was seeing things where, instead of two pixels wide for the eyes, it was one and a half pixels. And to break a pixel into a half was a big no-no for me. That's not how it was in the games. I would say, jokingly, ‘We have to respect the pixel.'"
Jokingly, perhaps, but a touch that no doubt purists and viewers who remember the 80s will appreciate. Throughout production, 8-bit images consistently had to be scaled back: made less realistic, less curved, less fluid. Moore said that at first, that didn't sit well with the animation team: "They're used to classic, realistic animation, and this style goes against everything that they've ever learned about what makes good animation."
Eventually, though, squarer heads prevailed. From trailers, it seems that inside his game, Ralph—and his nemesis, do-gooder Fix-It Felix—do indeed feel like they fell out of a thirty-year-old arcade. As for how it works in the film? Most of us can find out this Friday.
Disney's New Hero Is So 1982 [New York Times]
(Top photo: New York Times)
The folks who publish the Battlefield and Mass Effect franchises aren't above some really questionable marketing campaigns. Remember the fake protests for Dante's Inferno or the Dead Space 2 ads that talked about your moms? Now, their latest could-be-controversial gambit is a plea to raise the speed limit because that's what Americans want.
EA took out an advertisement in The New York Times today, arguing that raising the speed limit in America to Need For Speed-levels would stimulate job creation and stop people from texting. The basis of their pitch is a recently passed law that changed the speed limit in Texas to 85. It's clearly a spoofy attention-grab, but one that's a little tone-deaf to the dangers of driving so fast in the real world. Other meteorological concerns are on people's minds today, so we'll see if enough people notice to get up in arms over this. Or not. Your mileage may vary.