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Since the dawn of video games, gamers have been fascinated with the concept of a seemingly “infinite” experience – a game that had no end. Some accepted the concept that classics like Robotron could not be beaten. However, some brave souls defied the odds, spent small fortunes in quarters, and discovered something called a “killscreen“. Once gaming became more and more mainstream, and eventually, into people’s homes, the concept of creating an unbeatable game to eat up giant stacks of quarters was over, and titles like Smash TV started the trend of horde shooters that had an actual ending. As time passed however, the focus again shifted to mystifying “unending” horde modes.

Gears of War 2 (which was released just days before World at War oddly enough and included a very small zombie level that hadn’t taken off yet) championed modern day horde modes, and introduced the concept of an infinite cycle of death shared traditionally by four players. Despite the fact that you couldn’t really “win”, modern day gamers eat these modes up with the same fervor that Steve Wiebe has whenever he reaches Donkey Kong’s killscreen. Recently, developer Treyarch has managed to top every horde mode on the market: read on to find out why.

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The 12th of November proved to be a momentously uplifting day for Gran Turismo devotees as, after months of rumours, delays and teasing leaks, the final release date for Gran Turismo 5 was finally announced amidst a plethora of ecstatic cheers and relief.

In conjunction, the full car list was also unveiled, confirming that Gran Turismo 5 will have no less than 1031 cars to drive. It’s an undeniably staggering feat for a video game, and easily the largest line-up of cars ever seen in a driving game, trouncing GT4’s previous 700+ strong car collection.

However, there may well be over 1000 cars but literally half of these are from Japanese manufacturers – there are almost 100 Mazdas, and no less than 40 variations of the bloody Nissan Skyline, for example. It’s beyond excessive.

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Flower is a title that is considered by many to be largely centered on evoking positive emotions from players. With simplistic gameplay, vibrant visuals and a calming soundtrack, developer thatgamecompany succeeds in providing a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Flower also has a subtle story to tell, one that is far more interesting and profound than a gorgeous game about the interaction between wind and flower petals might first let on.

From the very beginning Flower delivers on the aesthetic which first makes the title so attractive. Within the first moments of gameplay thatgamecompany provides an experience that is beautiful, calming, and liberating all at once. Flower romanticizes nature and revolves around a common modern mindset towards nature: the absence of human development allows the natural systems of the planet to shine and offer their raw beauty.

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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.]

Greed. One of the seven deadly sins. A simple five letters, yet no one seems to be able to talk about greed properly in the gaming world. We constantly hear about the greed of big companies like Microsoft and Sony due to their apparent desire to charge us out the ass for everything.

Early this week, news broke that Microsoft was raising the subscription fee of its Xbox Live Gold service by ten dollars, and the G word began to fly around. Microsoft is obviously driven by nothing but greed. They’re out to screw over the consumer.

I don’t think you understand what greed is.

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We are living in a time where our resource consumption is beginning to threaten the delicate balance of global climatic and ecological systems that make this planet a suitable place to call home. With the future viability of the human species at stake, individuals the world over have taken it upon themselves to do their part to lead environmentally-friendly lifestyles, and so must we.

If you are someone who is conscious of environmental issues and also are an avid gamer, chances are that having such an energy-intensive hobby makes you at least a little uncomfortable. While one might feel torn between their love of games and environmental commitments, that does not mean we are forced to choose.

Hit the jump to find out nine easy ways you can save the environment and maybe even a little money.

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Jerry Holkins, Tycho of Penny Arcade fame, penned a comic (shown above) and an accompanying blog post in defense of THQ’s recent comments regarding purchasers of used games. The quick recap is that THQ doesn’t care if used game buyers are upset that purchasers of new titles are going to get a bunch of “free” stuff that a used game buyer is going to have to pay extra for, and Tycho doesn’t think it’s appropriate for these used game purchasers to get angry at THQ over it.

What bothers me about Tycho’s commentary is that he comes across as sounding more like a privileged industry insider rather than the civilian commentator everyone has come to love, and I don’t think he meant to be taken that way.
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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.]

Sony Computer Entertainment big boss Kaz Hirai said this week that he believes that a PlayStation console supporting 100% digital distribution is over ten years away. As expected, this opened the floodgates of discussion, with topics ranging from the desire for more downloadable games to net neutrality and the worldwide internet infrastructure. Obviously, this is a multifaceted issue.

But I’m interested in a hypothetical situation here. Assuming that the infrastructure were in place today, and we could quickly, painlessly, and easily download all of our games, would we? When will we, the consumers, be ready to switch to 100% digital distribution?

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Stop It: Microtransactions
By: | August 25th, 2010

["Stop It" is a weekly feature which serves as a forum for me to express my opinions on things in the video game industry or community that need to stop. Despite the fact these things may never stop, this will, at the least, fuel 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.]

Let me first say that I am not opposing microtransactions in their entirety. In my opinion, there is a right way and a wrong way to implement them. It is the greedy implementation which impacts gameplay that I cannot agree with.

Microtransactions are a great way for games to bring in a steady stream of profit for extra elements of a game. However, those games that have allowed game design to be altered by microtransactions are undoubtedly the wrong way to go about it. Stop it!

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Bright people sometimes do stupid things. Experienced people sometimes stumble into a noob mistake. Either of these instances are expressions of the fact that we’re all simply human, and therefore err…but I don’t think either of them explain why Microsoft decided to distribute their review copies of Halo: Reach digitally rather than via physical discs shipped overnight to the reviewers. I think, perhaps, that they simply just don’t care anymore.
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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.]

Adventure, as a genre, doesn’t really exist anymore. We have some studios like Telltale who make nice, traditional adventure games that not many people play. Aside from that, you could ask a random gamer what the last adventure game he played was, and he’d probably look at you weird and ask, “You mean like God of War?

Honestly, I’m not in any rush to see “adventure games” make some sudden, miraculous resurgence. Instead, I’m much more interested in those games from other genres that still feel like grand adventures. You know – setting out to explore a huge land, meeting eccentric inhabitants, and generally feeling that sense of adventure that never fails to excite.

But even the sense of adventure seems to be disappearing, and it’s quite troubling.

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[Warning: there are links to some potentially disturbing material, and distressing images, within this piece.]

I’ve been writing quite a bit lately about my distaste for calls for “realism” in military first person shooter titles, both in comment threads and in my own, original work. What’s somewhat disheartening is that the conversation usually comes down to arguments like “Do you know what getting hit with a Squad Automatic Weapon would actually be like?” or “You understand that modern infantry tactics bear absolutely no resemblance to Modern Warfare 2, right?” or “Even mil-sims like Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising have medics that can heal missing limbs with their magic syringe.” It’s all a very clinical conversation.

EA premiered at GamesCom a video of a new Apache helicopter gunship level from the upcoming Medal of Honor, and in doing so have given me a golden opportunity to make my point in a more direct, human, and hopefully poignant fashion.
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["Stop It" is a weekly feature which serves as a forum for me to express my opinions on things in the video game industry or community that need to stop. Despite the fact these things may never stop, this will, at the least, fuel 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 video game community is full of a bunch of whining babies. I am one at times, I will absolutely admit that. After all, isn’t this feature just me whining like a baby? Oh no, what will you have to comment about now that I already beat you to the punch? Something constructive maybe? Probably asking too much, nevermind.

Anyhow, while these members of the community are full of a number of annoying idiosyncrasies, the one that I wish to discuss this week is purchasing a game without enough knowledge of what it will provide and then bitching about said game. You’re being stupid. Stop it!

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