I just got a new car and, let me tell you, it is something else. It feels remarkable. The steering wheel under my fingertips, the responsive grip of the tires on the road, the graceful suspension, the throaty purr of the engine. And the interior! Plush seats that feel like they were made to fit me, fancy leather, lots of cool lights on the dashboard. It’s a dream to drive this thing, to sit in it, to take it across town, to admire it.
Well, it would be if it weren’t for a couple of features.
Why are games called what they’re called instead of games that should have been called that? Why isn’t Space Base called Among the Stars, why isn’t Paper Tales called Vorpal, and why isn’t Arkham Noir called Arkham Horror?
Space Base at :51, Paper Tales at 16:04, and Arkham Noir at 34:20.
Emily Kim is a wildy popular chef on YouTube. She goes by the online handle “Maangchi” and has built a devoted global fan base by cooking Korean dishes, wearing amusing clothing, and generally acting like all the good stereotypes of a Korean mother. She’s published two cookbooks and turned herself into a brand worth millions by showing people how to make kimchi and babimbap.
“My job was usually Attacker. I just always wanted to be wielding my sword and hammer.”
What most people don’t know is that “Maangchi” was also the name of Emily’s avatar in City of Heroes. It means “hammer” in Korean. Before she blew up the world of YouTube cooking, she spent her nights trouncing MMO bad guys as a sexy superheroine. Her son saw all the late night gaming and told her to try her hand at YouTube for a creative outlet.
Emily Kim doesn’t play City of Heroes any longer. She’s too busy with her foodie empire, and City of Heroes officially closed down in 2012. Has she seen the unofficial servers that recently popped up? Maangchi could be the hero Paragon City needs!
There is a long stretch of six-lane blacktop going from Kuwait City to Basra, officially known as Highway 80. To most of the world, it’s the Highway of Death, and it’s the home of the most enduring images of Operation Desert Storm. You’ve probably seen them. Hundreds of burnt vehicles littering a desolate road. Mangled metal and smoking rubber for miles. The aftermath of Mad Max. Multiple Mad Maxes. There are pages of scholarly debate on the subject of the Highway of Death. I won’t bore you with the details, but the summary is that on February 26th, 1991, Coalition forces, led by the U.S. military, targeted the retreating Iraqi army just north of Al Jahra. Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers were bombed, shot, or roasted along the road during the 10-hour assault. One pilot later said the battle was “like shooting fish in a barrel.”
In Call of Duty Modern Warfare, the Highway of Death has moved to the fictional country of Urzikstan, and it’s the villainous Russians that did the deed instead of us. That may be the most telling bit of how this Call of Duty treats war.
Har har. Those crazy esport kids and their gaming. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, or jungling in a one-lane. Chance the Rapper plays Lazlo Holmes, the befuddled basketball correspondent sent to cover a League of Legends tournament, and he doesn’t understand gaming! It’s mostly the type of humor you’d expect from the outside looking in on esports, especially for the general audience of Saturday Night Live. These “athletes” just sit there! People pay to watch them do this? These kids and their dang games! I’ll at least give them credit for not trotting out another Fortnite skit.
Tom Chick talks about a movie called The Boat, Bruce Geryk talks about the short stories of Flannery O’Connor, and Jason McMaster talks about how to find illegal drugs. We also talk about some videogames we’ve been playing.
Sea Salt at 2:54, Slay the Spire at 22:43, and Disco Elysium at 42:42.
Agent 47 is getting spooky in the latest Hitman 2 update. The Halloween themed Escalation Contract starts today and brings some tricks and treats for players. It takes place in the Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand level, so even players of the free “starter pack” edition of the game can take part in the ghoulish activities.
Microsoft has confirmed that all Xbox One controllers will be forward compatible with the next Xbox console. The tweet from James Shields, the Xbox Product Marketing Manager, is short and sweet. Adding on to a discussion regarding the Xbox Elite Controller’s viability with the upcoming console, (codenamed “Scarlett”) Shields dropped in to clarify that the future can include all Xbox One controllers.
“Yep – all Xbox One controllers!”
That’s good news for any Xbox gamers that want to keep their favorite controller going into the next generation.
Activision has announced an end to random loot boxes in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It’s all about the Battle Pass now. According to the official blog post, there will be premium and free Battle Pass tracks and an in-game store in which you can directly buy whatever cosmetic bits you want, but random Kinder Egg style rewards are out. The team vows that any balance impacting items, like new weapons or attachments, will be available for free by playing the game.
If that’s not shocking enough, the team has committed to releasing all post-launch maps and modes to all platforms simultaneously! It’s almost as if someone working on Call of Duty was paying attention to the rest of the industry.
For a couple of days, Fortnite was unavailable to players. If you had logged in, you’d have just seen a black hole with no option to play. Of course, everyone assumed something big was coming, but when compared to Fortnite’s previous events, yesterday’s Chapter 2 release is quite literally a game-changer in a lot of ways.
The update’s features are numerous and the mechanical, as well as qualitative, differences from the previous version of Fortnite exert influence over almost every facet of the gameplay. There’s a completely new map in which bodies of water aren’t just obstacles. Thanks to the addition of speedy watercraft, lakes and rivers are actually highways to other parts of the map. Weapon tables have been reorganized and streamlined to make arsenals less finicky and obtuse. The XP system has been overhauled to provide easier progression with medals and challenges. The game’s community is still trying to figure out what it all means for their meta discussion.
Oh, but I did say “almost” everything is different. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that the 14-year old with lightning-quick construction menu mastery will still beat you. Sorry. It is still, at its core, Fortnite.
The PC version of Saints Row 2 is infamously troubled. When it first launched on Windows in 2009, the port was derided as sloppy, buggy, and slapdash. Despite being primarily done by CD Projekt’s localization team, the game had numerous graphical issues and broken quests. To make matters worse, the multiplayer was done through GameSpy, which shut down in 2013, and the game’s source code was lost during THQ’s bankruptcy sale in the same year. It’s been a mess for years and many PC gamers rightfully skipped right past it to the third and fourth installments.
There may now be hope for PC people that have never experienced the 3rd Street Saints in their home town of Stilwater! The missing source code has been found. In Volition’s Saints Row 2 anniversary stream, the studio revealed that with this original code, they can right the wrongs of the past and update the game to its intended performance. Additionally, they will add higher resolution support, farther in-game draw distance, all the DLC that’s only been available on console, and they are switching multiplayer over to Steamworks. Current owners of Saints Row 2 on Steam will get the updated version for free.