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I have never understood the acronym “MMORPG”, because it lies.

Role-playing games are what I played as a kid in high school. Combat tables, equipment, and loot only served as structure for the interactions between our player characters and the non-player characters (NPCs) portrayed by the Dungeon Master. The role-playing was the heart of the experience.

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Before I went to film school, I watched the Academy Awards. I believed they were a sincere arbiter of what the “best” movies were in a given year. I did not understand how those decisions were made, but trusted that the people making them had expertise which I lacked, and so I did not question their decisions. I learned in school that a small minority of the members of the Academy were people who actually knew anything about the art of filmmaking, i.e. directors, actors, cinematographers, or screenwriters. The rest of them were producers, agents, distributors, and other “suits” who really only knew about one thing: money.

Hollywood has patted itself on the back with award shows like the Oscars for decades, and no one wanted to see that the emperor had no clothes. Whatever clothes he’s wearing now are being seen on Blu Rays or DVDs sent through the mail instead of through film projected onto movie theater screens, and fewer consumers are willing to purchase those Blu Rays or DVDs every year. There’s a reason why ticket prices are skyrocketing, and why we’re being flooded with a series of remakes. Hollywood is creatively drained. They’ve beaten the tropes to death. The audience has figured out that there’s nothing under the hood, and aren’t willing to pay what Hollywood is asking.

I’m finding distressing similarities in the seeming mentality between those who hand out the Oscars, and those who handed out the E3 Game Critics Awards; considering the similarities between the two industries, the present state of film may say a lot about the future of video games.

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[Editor's note - at the current moment, Worgens cannot exit their starting area, so I explored the entire region]

Well, the time has come, and I’ve finally completed the two starting areas for both the Worgen and Goblins! If you’ve been following along so far, you’ll know the basics of each race, and how they fit into the World of Warcraft mythos.

The addition of two brand new races will certaintly mix up raids a bit, especially since Blizzard is giving 10-man raids another go – we’re getting to the point where entire raids will be comprised almost entirely of different races (and that 1% extra damage passive that the Worgen have isn’t too shabby for end-game content). Read on for my thoughts on the two new races. Read more… »

With the retro aesthetic, infectious music, and colourful visuals of their first series, Gaijin Games have endeared themselves to the hearts of many. What the Bit.Trip titles lack in excellent high-definition visuals and Hollywood budgets, they make up with a vibrant artistic style and actually substantive rhythm-based gameplay.

Beyond the addictive gameplay that can unintentionally leave one playing for hours on end, Gaijin Games subtly weaves an intriguing tale about man’s journey through life. Bit.Trip RUNNER shows Commander Video’s journey from adolescence into adulthood. Essentially, it is a story about the maturation of this man, his existential plateau, and his climactic moment.

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[We Need to Talk is a weekly feature that puts you in the driver's seat of the discussion. Got something to say? Hit up the comments and keep the discussion alive. Got a lot to say? Register for a Gamer Limit blog and write a response.]

We’re all busy people, and it’s no surprise that we don’t tolerate a lot of the bullsh*t that games feed us. Recently, one writer for a popular game site refused to review Nier because he couldn’t figure out a fishing minigame, citing that “you shouldn’t tolerate games that waste your time.” Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it?

Aside from his inability to fish in the correct spot, his argument isn’t quite as straightforward as it may seem. While I didn’t exactly love my 20-hour affair with Nier either, and while I agree that games have no right to waste our time, the reality is that even a bad game can be worth our time.

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There was once a time when mascots ruled the world. After the notorious video game crash of 1983 (otherwise known as the Atari Debacle), Nintendo managed to single handedly change people’s perceptions of gaming by introducing a large roster of instantly recognisable characters that offered far more than two lines and a dot. What could be regarded as the Nintendo Renaissance period, the company were able to transform the industry standard by upping quality control and ensuring that players will have the best possible gaming experience thanks to the Nintendo Seal of Approval. Apart from about 70% of the games still being truly awful.

But I digress. If you think about Nintendo’s achievements, it’s baffling to see how far they have come. However, while it may seem that they have a limitless amount of franchises to work with, Miyamoto is still on the look out for fresh blood in an attempt to revitalise of what could be considered a dying breed of gaming.

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I’ve never been one “in-tune” with the Transformers franchise, as I was much more of a G.I Joe and Ninja Turtles kid. The idea of a non-movie licensed Transformers game didn’t get me as excited as our own resident robot nerd and podcast junkie Paul Clark. Yet, as I was highly entertained by the first movie, I was pretty interested to see how High Moon Studios were planning to execute a brutal war in the far reaches of deep space between enormous transforming robots in disguise.

While at first it may seem just like another run-of-the-mill shooter, once you get into the nitty and the gritty of the Cybertronian War, there is definitely more than meets the eye. Hiyoooo! Read more… »

A lot of people are skeptical about the future of 3D gaming on consoles, but until recently, I was not one of them.  Actually, one of the highlights of E3 I was most looking forward to was finally getting my hands on some of the 3D games Sony announced for the PS3, like Killzone 3 and Wipeout HD.

Maybe I shouldn’t have had such high hopes though, because if there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s that few things ever live up to the hype.  Now that I’ve played multiple PS3 games in 3D, I’m here to explain why the console isn’t quite ready to jump into the third dimension just yet. Read more… »

I know what you’re thinking: yet another shooter on the Xbox 360. But while shooters are certainly a dime a dozen, some manage to separate themselves from the competition and bring about a fresh experience. Sniper: Ghost Warrior sets out to do just that.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 was one of the more recent games to make me fall in love with sniping. It really is amazing what realistic bullet physics can do for a game. Sniper: Ghost Warrior takes sniping to a whole new level while stressing the importance of stealth. A combination that may not be for everyone, but sure as hell shows potential for an engaging experience.

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[We Need to Talk is a weekly feature that puts you in the driver's seat of the discussion. Got something to say? Hit up the comments and keep the discussion alive. Got a lot to say? Register for a Gamer Limit blog and write a response.]

The Electronic Entertainment Expo has a long and strange history; the event achieved an attendance of 70,000 people in 2005 before dropping down to about 5,000 for the two invite-only years of 2007 and 2008. This year, attendance was estimated to be about 46,000, which is a far cry from 2007-2008 levels, yet just over half of the size of the 2005 show.

So the question is: What is the current state of E3, both for the attendee and the non-attendee? After attending this year, I can say one thing for certain. E3 still has a lot of room to improve if it’s going to remain the one event that gamers anticipate all year.

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As someone who has neither been into the Grand Theft Auto series (I know it’s not the same developer or publisher) nor even laid eyes on the original Mafia, I went into the demonstration with no knowledge and low expectations.  When I came out, the first question I asked the proctor was, “When is the release date?”

There’s something refreshing about a game that suddenly spikes one’s interest after a simple 15 minute demonstration.  And whether much of that is credited to how well 2K games presented themselves this year or just the overall gameplay of the demo, they really did an excellent job of getting the public excited for its soon-to-be release.  Lest it to say, it did have some minor flaws, but from my initial impressions, its fun factor is what counts and it definitely delivers. Read more… »

After previewing and then getting a hands-on look at Bulletstorm, I really have no idea what to think about it.  On its surface, the game seems like it caters towards low IQ players who get their adrenaline pumping by smashing wooden furniture.  Basically, it comes off as one of those games where it’d be the focal point of a huge controversy should a kid get an impulsive rush to stab someone while playing it.  In other words, it’s an excellent college frat game.

On the other hand, your ability to rack up high scores is limited by your creativity to kill as many guys as you can in the most diverse and graphic ways possible.  Essentially, if you can’t get a high score, this game makes you feel very dumb for not being able to think in one of man’s most basic instincts, killing.

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