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2015, The Year of the Fighting Game
Jan 5th 2015
While 2014 started off slow as far as fighting games go, there was a big push at the end of the year with some fantastic new games for one of the oldest genres of competitive video games. With fantastic games like Super Smash Bros 4, Guilty Gear Xrd Sign and Omega Mode Street Fighter 4 coming at the end of the year, it looks like the FGC is making it's way back to the forefront.
The schedule for 2015 looks promising, with many popular series that have become stale receiving new entries into their catalogs, and some surprising new IPs that could potentially make a splash, 2015 looks like a golden year for fighting.
Let's look at some of the releases scheduled for next year (in no particular order)
Starpoint Gemini 2 - I'm a God Damned Starship Captain
Jan 3rd 2015
Starpoint Gemini 2 is not a brand new game, it’s been out for a few months now. I picked it up with high hopes during the Steam winter sale, having long been searching for the spiritual successor to Freelancer, and I have not been disappointed. There is a certain patient majesty to sailing the stars, master of my own destiny, a captain beholden to no one but the bottom line, which has always brought me back to the space sim genre. A few of the community members recommended this game to me during one of our late night TeamSpeak sessions, and I can only say that I am glad that they did.
I never played the first Starpoint Gemini game, so I must admit that I came in to the universe cold. However, it doesn’t seem to have detracted any from the experience so far. This game, like most space sims, is all about exploring, trading, fighting, and upgrading as you cruise around an extremely large universe created by the developer, Little Green Men Games. Despite a somewhat steep learning curve, and a sometimes confusing text heavy tutorial, this has already turned in to one of those games that causes me to lose track of time.
Before we get to the meat of this review, I want to emphasize that this game is not Star Citizen or Elite: Dangerous. I look forward to both of those titles, but they will be online, centered upon persistent universes populated by hundreds and thousands of other human players. Starpoint Gemini 2 is a one man sandbox. Both of those games have emphasized piloting your own ship, whereas SP2 is in no way a space flight sim. There is no first person/cockpit view. In fact, SP2 is more a tactical space sim than a flight sim, and oftentimes I leave the computer to do the shooting for me a la EVE Online rather than take direct manual control. Trust me, as Captain you’ll have better things to do than try and land every shot yourself.
Rumors of Fallout 4 Multiplayer
Dec 27th 2014
The fact that I love Fallout will come as no surprise to our long time listeners. I enjoy the stories, the game play, the universe, the lore, the guns, the mutants, the mutants exploding as I shoot them with the guns…you get the point. I would love to see another Fallout game. I yearn to wander the wasteland once more, and supposedly, I may get the chance to do so again soon.
Rumors of a Fallout 4 set in Boston have been out on the net for quite some time now. It all started with a post on Bethesda’s Blog (http://www.bethblog.com/2013/04/15/moving-to-our-next-adventure/) where they mention a new game that the studio was devoting its full attention too. Many began to speculate that this game was Fallout 4. Bethesda has always been adamant about their determination to continue exploring the Fallout universe. Their VP of Communications, Pete Hines, said in 2008: "This is not something we're going to do once and then go away and never do it again. When that will be or how long that will be god only knows, but we acquired it specifically because we wanted to own it and develop it and work on it like we do with The Elder Scrolls."
That quote was prior to the release of New Vegas, but it sounds as if Bethesda has always planned to make Fallout a multi game franchise a la Elder Scrolls. More hope struck the webs when Erik Todd Dellums, voice of the infamous Three Dog, tweeted to the world that Three Dog may return to the wastelands. Shortly after that tweet, he spoke with Agent C of Nukapedia (fallout.wikia.com) and said that he had been in contact with Bethesda and that they had invited him to share with his followers that his character may return to the airwaves once more. This, of course, ignited a firestorm of speculation. However, with no more news for months, interest returned to the back burner of gamers’ consciousness.
Baron Busts Alien: Isolation Part 10
Dec 27th 2014
Baroness shows just how much she "supports her husband" as he tries to avoid not being eaten, punched, shot and burned to death. Also Baroness and Edge come up with plans to hold RCM Con at Denny's despite Bio's objections.
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Blender Class: Modeling A Cell Phone Part 1
Dec 22nd 2014
In this class we go over some basic modeling workflow setups such as setting up reference photos for orthographic views, blocking out and refining our shape as well as using our main body mesh as starting points for other pieces of the model. Note that the video is intended for people who have very little modeling experience and it is quite lengthy(just under 2 hours) as I go over concepts as such as how certain modifiers work and how to use them in ways to speed up your workflow. Additionally I had a few issues with vertices getting out of alignment and spent a significant portion of time correcting them using Vertex Snapping.
If you feel basically comfortable with modeling and you have a decent understanding of how Edge Loops and Modifiers work you can skip down to the image/written version of this class as it is a bit more of a highlight version of the video. If you are new I encourage you to watch and browse through both versions.
In this first part we cover creating the main body of the phone as well as the inset bridge area between the front and back of the phone. Then we finish off on how to do the main numeric buttons(though the center buttons are not covered in this class).
Baron Busts Alien: Isolation - Part 9
Dec 19th 2014
Calvin makes a guest appearance! Baron and Meatwad tag team the synthetic graveyard looking for Samuels. And The Baroness creepily watches from the side, making sure Baron behaves before retiring for the night.
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Nerfing gameplay: The art of the knee-jerk reaction
Dec 15th 2014
In which Hax realises that game developers are much more heavy-handed in balancing co-operative play than versus play, and the reader muses that they ever thought Blizzard was bad at it.
Anyone who has played online co-op games with some degree of persistence has been here - players get attached to their characters, play the game for a good amount of time during which they hone the best possible use of abilities, best 'builds' and gear, then everyone suffers because the top players were judged to be too far above average in performance. It's not always the worst thing ever, especially if it is at least the case that equal skill results in equal performance after the changes are made, just a bit regrettable that it was done by shrinking a skill curve instead of expanding others.
As I have so intentionally foreshadowed, it's hard not to think of Blizzard in this context. They operate some of the most important online games in terms of number of players affected, yet they still managed to push out some recent balance changes for World of Warcraft involving several increases and reductions all over the place before ironically proceeding to admit that they can't balance it properly without data from Warlords of Draenor content which was due to be released that week. They have a delicate balance to maintain; a few tweaks to some classes in an RPG (or even hints or news about tweaks) can topple a virtual economy, and failing to understand the concept of percentages lower than 10 can ruin a tournament (and topple a very real economy given the rise of e-sports), yet they still blurt out broad-brush changes just because a few players have found a way to gain crafting materials too quickly, or found a particularly strong combo for PVP.
Baron Busts Alien: Isolation Part 7(...or 8?)
Dec 13th 2014
Meatwad goes on a bloodlust rampage while Bat Orc goes to fight crime and cry in his beer.if (typeof bbmedia == 'undefined') { bbmedia = true; var e = document.createElement('script'); e.async = true; e.src = 'http://www.rivalcastmedia.com/bbmedia.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s); }
Baron's Blitz: ...My Apology on The Evil Within
Dec 12th 2014
The term 'horror snob' is an often quoted phrase used to describe my take on the genre. Frequent listeners know this by now. I am hard on horror movies. I am hard on horror games. I am hard on horror books. Love and passion are not an acceptable excuses for shoddy story telling, lack of detail, and despite what the 'hardcore' horror fan base believes, gore is not an acceptable substitute for legitimate suspense and fear. I've railed against this sort of treatment by hollywood and indie film makers who expect us to fear character knock offs of Leatherface because of a few buckets of blood without ever really understanding what made the originals unique and terrifying. Because of all this I am labeled, and self labeled 'a horror snob.'
My only defense is I'm tired of the genre being disrespected. Movies, books, and games that follow these processes do little in my estimation to bring back the respectability of the genre. It was this same mind set that led to a rant on a recent episode of Ghost in the Podcast about a video game that released a couple months ago. At the time my rant was based on the early portions of the game, which a few listeners took exception to in the emails they sent after the show. They went on to say I needed to spend more time progressing further into the game before making a final judgment. They also said perhaps my usually hilarious rants may have gotten this one....wrong. It was this feedback that prompted me to boot up the game and go further into the story to see if my original snobbery was too quick to lambast something I should've taken more time to get to know. And you know what.....
....those sons of bitches were right.
Baron Busts Alien: Isolation Parts 5 & 6
Dec 6th 2014
Due to a computer failure Part 5 got split into two parts. Enjoy!
Baron and Meatwad get uppity until the "friendly neighborhood alien" gets involved.if (typeof bbmedia == 'undefined') { bbmedia = true; var e = document.createElement('script'); e.async = true; e.src = 'http://www.rivalcastmedia.com/bbmedia.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s); }
Baron recovers from a computer crash and allows Meatwad to pilot the game controls...which causes a rift in their relationship. Meanwhile Edge goes to find new sounders to make Baron crap his pants even more.if (typeof bbmedia == 'undefined') { bbmedia = true; var e = document.createElement('script'); e.async = true; e.src = 'http://www.rivalcastmedia.com/bbmedia.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(e, s); }