Archive for November, 2011

, | Games

A reader sent along pictures from Justin Bieber’s latest music video, in which he ravenously purchases Nintendo 3DSs. According to the reader:

All He Wants for Christmas – is Nintendo 3DS! In the newly debuted video for his holiday song, “All I Want for Christmas” Justin Bieber and his friends go on a holiday shopping spree and fill their carts up with this season’s must have gifts – including Nintendo 3DS!

The video also stars Mariah Carey, who demonstrates a complete lack of interest in videogaming. According to examiner.com:

The uniqueness of the All I Want For Christmas is You video has fans from both artist checking out the video. Shot in the middle of the night at the iconic Macy’s Department Store, both entertainers shared their parts with the song quite differently. Justin Bieber was seen singing in the middle of the store while Mariah Carey was dressed in a mini Santa skirt close to a decorated wall.

(Thanks Nintendo PR!)

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, | Games podcasts

We enlist Eric “shellfishguy” Campbell to help us solve a dilemma. Then we settle in for some serious talk about World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic, at which point Tom Chick sets a couple of n00bs straight on the finer points of Star Wars lore. Plus a touch of Distant Worlds, Battlefield 3, ESRB controversy, and pinball. Skyrim doesn’t come up. Oh, wait. Yes it does.

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, | Games

In the last episode of Walking Dead, one of the characters explains his cavalier attitude about being lowered into a well to try to extract a zombie from the drinking water. He says he approached it as if he was playing Portal. “It’s a videogame,” he explains.

I appreciate the product placement, but I don’t really get a Portal vibe from that scene. It does vaguely recall a certain Valve game, but not Portal. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe Team Fortress 2.

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, | Movie podcasts

Is Alexander Payne’s The Descendants an effective story about a man’s struggle through a family crisis, or a maudlin soap opera with a made-for-TV sensibility? Depends on who you listen to on this week’s Qt3 Movie Podcast. At the 52-minute mark, for this week’s 3×3, we discuss our favorite uses of the color red. At least one of us is literally color blind.

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, | Games

The wallet threat level isn’t high due to any new releases. There aren’t any, of course. Instead, the threat to your wallet is due to any holiday sales that may or may not be going on. But if you made it through Steam over the weekend — that front page of deals was deadly — you’re probably past the worst of it.

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, | Games

The Quarter to Three offices will be shut down for the holiday so our employees and interns can spend time with their families. Happy holiday to everyone, best wishes if you’re going to wade into Shopping Hell, and whatever you do, don’t forget to spend a little time leveling up as well.

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, | Features

Lots of folks hate The Library, a level that appears near the end of the original Halo. I can sort of understand why. But after playing the remastered version in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, I’m convinced it’s a triumph of gameplay, level design, storytelling, and even character development. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s the high point of the entire Halo series.

Read the article on Gamepro.

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, | Games

I want to trade some items with you, I tell Lydia by selecting that choice from the menu. Which is oddly placed several entries down. What a terrible place for my most common interaction with Lydia, who routinely helps me out with my inventory overflow. I don’t want to call her a mule, because she’s also a tank.

“I live to share you burden,” she says. Although you’d think a housecarl would be more professional, the actresses’ line reading sounds as if the director wrote the word “sarcastic” in big red letters on the script.

“Look, I just need you to carry these dragon bones for a while. Just until we get to the next MISC merchant, where I’ll sell them first thing. I promise.”

So when I apply a frost damage enchantment to a dwarven greatsword we found in some ruins, I name it “Lydia’s Icy Retort”. I want to trade some items with you, I tell her.

“I live to share your burden.”

I give her the newly enchanted sword. It’s pretty cool to see her swinging that big thing around. It’s not so cool that she looks so stupid in that helmet I gave her. But better safe than dignified, I always say. Thousands of years in the future, this same thinking will cause people to wear similarly ridiculous helmets when they ride bicycles.

Unfortunately, Lydia apparently doesn’t live to share my burden. I told her to wait while I ran ahead in a dungeon to test a scroll that causes area damage. When I went back, she was gone. She had taken the sword, about a dozen dragon bones, and various and sundry heavy goods that I didn’t want to carry, being that I’m a willowy mage type.

I miss Lydia’s icy retort. Both of them. After doing some research on the Skyrim wiki, I discovered that sometimes when Lydia leaves, you can find her at Breezehome, the player housing available for purchase in Whiterun. Pictured. So I purchased Breezehome and now I’m loitering in this unfurnished dusty house, waiting, sleeping a few hours at a time, flipping through the remodeling catalog, imagining the sort of home we could share, hoping she’ll come through that door.

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, | Games

Bethesda games are, traditionally, buggy at release. After release as well. When something weird starts happening in an Elder Scrolls game, I take it with a grain of salt. This behavior can be intended, but often enough the game’s quirky behavior is thanks to a bug. I’ve played through all of the main Elder Scrolls games, so I think of myself as a junior problem solver when it comes to wacky AI scripting (pictured).

But last night, something happened that shook me to my bug-squashing core.

After the jump, I meet Farkas. Continue reading →

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, | Game reviews

With each successive Halo, I’ve gotten less interested in the series. So I was kind of dreading having to play Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the remastered version of the original game. Turns out I didn’t remember what I was missing.

Thumbs up. Read the review here.

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, | Games

And that’s a wrap on 2011. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the last big release of the year that isn’t a Star Wars themed MMO or Mario crammed into a tiny car.

Also out this week is Serious Sam 3, a palate cleanser to all those serious tactical shooters you’ve been playing lately. Fighting game fans who like older versions of their favorite fighting games might enjoy Tekken Hybrid, a PS3 exclusive bundle that combines an old Tekken game with a Japanese cartoon you can watch you your PS3. King of Fighters XIII is the latest fighting game featuring characters who are as well known as they are thanks to the enduring success of the Neo Geo. Finally, there’s a Jaws game for your Wii in which you pet sharks.

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