, | Games podcasts

I’m delighted to discuss The Witness with Matt Peckham from Time.com and Stephen Totilo from Kotaku, both of whom loved The Witness, a game I didn’t like. The model for our discussion is the latest Republican debates. I’ll be playing the role of Donald Trump. Peckham plays Jeb Bush and Totilo plays Marco Rubio. None of us was willing to play Ted Cruz.

, | Game reviews

I’m looking at a puzzle. I’m considering how to solve it. I’m pretty sure there’s no way to solve it. Literally no way to solve it. It simply can’t work. It’s nonsense. It’s clearly impossible. You might as well ask me to make two plus two equal five. But then something clicks, suddenly and decisively. A Copernican shift introduces itself into a simple set of inviolable rules. The center has moved and now everything turns into something else entirely. It feels like a miracle of geometry, of logic, like oh, hey, a fourth dimension has opened up where a wall used to be. Maybe Newtonain shift is a better way to put it. What seemed impossible is now as simple as letting gravity take an apple.

These are the best parts of The Witness. And, to be fair, they’re fairly frequent. Regular even. But to what end?

After the jump, ssentiW ehT, dnalsi na, nalp a, man a. Continue reading →

, | News

I’m a sucker for Euro Truck Simulator. I’m also American, which means I’m probably going to be a sucker for American Truck Simulator, despite the fact that it was scaled down from American Truck Simulator to West Side of America Only Truck Simulator. But even I have a hard time taking the above launch trailer seriously. It’s like a beer commercial that never gets around to mentioning the beer it’s supposed to be about.

American Truck Simulator comes out February 3rd.

, | News

Really, the main reasons I’m writing this is so I can use that headline. It’s not even that good of a headline. It’s certainly not accurate. But I couldn’t resist. Today’s patch just makes Boba Fett’s wrist rocket less powerful. But his mobility still gives him an enormous advantage. Have you tried to hit a flying Boba Fett? I have and it’s not easy, let me tell you. And don’t get me started on Slave One in the fighter squadron matches! To be fair, the patch did strip Boba Fett’s ship of 30% its hit points. And the Millennium Falcon. Now they’re only 70% of the bullet sponges they used to be.

The more relevant changes in the patch are nerfs to the DL-44, aka Han Solo’s pistol; the bowcaster, aka Chewbacca’s crossbow thing that Han Solo apparently didn’t notice until Force Awakened; the ION anti-vehicle torpedo, aka the thing that makes AT-STs one of the quickest ways to give the other team points; and the homing shot and smart rocket, aka the things that always kill you from out of nowhere.

The patch also adds daily challenges, which is all I need. Yet another reason to keep playing what turned out to be last year’s best shooter. Electronic Arts has even announced the upcoming content will add more support for the excellent split-screen and single player challenges. How much was that season pass again?

Read the full notes here.

, | News

If there was one thing better than Firaxis smartly streamling X-Com with XCOM, it was John Lumpkin and Rachel Norma smartly deepening and expanding that streamlining with their ambitious Long War mod. One of my reservations about the impending release of XCOM 2 in a few weeks is that it will take a while for cool mods like Long War to catch up with the sequel.

Except that — surprise! — it won’t. Firaxis announced today that designer Lumpkin, programmer Norma, and their artist James Karlson have already been working on XCOM 2. Furthermore, they’re far enough along that “multiple mods” will be available when the game launches. Firaxis will release more details about these mods on January 30th at a PAX South panel in Texas.

XCOM 2 will be out on February 5th for PCs. There are currently no plans for a console version. Ha ha.

, | Movie podcasts

This week we see the movie that tried to give the latest Star Wars a run for its money. After 58 minutes, we slap into the podcast a discussion about our favorite reloading scenes in movies.

Also, our Sort of Annual Fund Drive is in effect! For each dollar you donate between now and 9pm PST February 21, you get a vote for whatever movie you want us to watch for the February 28th podcast. Donate here or use the button to the right and be sure to specify the movie you’re voting for. We’ll draw the winner randomly on the February 21 podcast.

Next week: Brooklyn

, | Game reviews

“What about this one?”

My sister is holding up a little square box, about the size of a cocktail napkin, the thickness of a paperback dictionary. The motif is black and blue, with cutely crude hand-drawn artwork. The silhouette of a cat-eared demon peers over a title in block letters: ONIRIM. Is that a real word? I think it’s Hebrew.

After the jump, well, what about that one? Continue reading →

, | Movie podcasts

As the curtain lowers on a fine fine year of moviemaking, we shuffle out into the lobby and hang out to chat for a couple hours. Join us. We promise not to spoil anything!

Tom Chick
10. ’71
9. Sicario
8. Cop Car
7. It Follows
6. Spotlight
5. The Revenant
4. Z for Zachariah
3. Bone Tomahawk
2. Victoria
1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Christien Murawski
10. Bone Tomahawk
9. The Tribe
8. It Follows
7. Two Step
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
5. Sicario
4. Spotlight
3. Ex Machina
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. The Revenant

Kelly Wand
10. some Spongebob Squarepants movie
9. Hateful Eight
8. ’71
7. Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant
6. The Overnight
5. The Revenant
4. It Follows
3. Bone Tomahawk
2. Creed
1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Next week: The Revenant