Crispy Gamer

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Yes, But Is It Art?

Subtitle: 
How the NEA Including Video Games for Grants Affects You
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Why should gamers care about the recent decision by the National Endowment for the Arts to include video games in their list of types of media eligible for grants? The answer that immediately leaps to mind is that this decision now technically makes video games an art form. However, as others have pointed out why should that matter to gamers?

Why should gamers care about the recent decision by the National Endowment for the Arts to include video games in their list of types of media eligible for grants? The answer that immediately leaps to mind is that this decision now technically makes video games an art form.

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Complexity in Civilization

Subtitle: 
Is the Civ 5 hate justified?
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Since Civilization 5 released last year in early October, there has been a torrent of negativity spewed at it from the veteran Civ community. In comparison to previous Civ installments (primarily Civ 4), it has been labeled as “dumbed down”, “restructured for mass appeal”, made into a “casual game”…and the list goes on. The general feeling among Civ vets is that Civ 5 is the Wii of Civilization progression.

Since Civilization 5 released last year in early October, there has been a torrent of negativity spewed at it from the veteran Civ community. In comparison to previous Civ installments (primarily Civ 4), it has been labeled as “dumbed down”, “restructured for mass appeal”, made into a “casual game”…and the list goes on. The general feeling among Civ vets is that Civ 5 is the Wii of Civilization progression.

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Review: Dragon Age 2

Subtitle: 
Is this a practical joke?
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Do you ever feel like the world's getting...simpler? Like everything from eating to fighting is a lot less complex than it used to be.

"Do you ever feel like the world's getting...simpler? Like everything from eating to fighting is a lot less complex than it used to be," a lunatic confides to me in a run-down tavern. The line elicits immediate resentment in me. Why? Because a Bioware writer had inserted a fourth wall-breaking background character into their game, Dragon Age 2, in an effort to be tongue-in-cheek but instead, it neatly encapsulates the developer's apparent disdain for their loyal following.

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Review: Portal 2

Subtitle: 
This is a Triumph!
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Portal 2 has Chell awakening after hundreds of years trapped in an Aperture Science stasis chamber, only to find that facility has fallen to ruin with plants growing throughout the facility. Guided by Wheatley, a somewhat klutzy personality core (eye-shaped computer) voiced by British comedian Stephen Merchant, Chell seeks to escape the ruins of Aperture Science, and in the process GLaDOS is accidentally resurrected.

Does this one really need a full review?  Portal 2 is a great game.  So just buy the damned thing.

Bam!  Easy review; cash in the bank.  Moving on now…

(No.  Do the review.  –Ed.)

Ok ok, fine!

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Holy Saturday

Subtitle: 
Long Ago, In The Beautiful Kingdom Of Hyrule, Surrounded By Mountains And Forests
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Long ago, in the beautiful kingdom of Hyrule, surrounded by mountains and forests...

                        <Power.>

Long ago, in the beautiful
kingdom of Hyrule, surrounded
by mountains and forests...

***

         There were six of us that day—I and the housemates Rad, Waker, Alex,

and Sylvio traced along Front Street from Hancock, met up with Haley on

Oxford, then turned up north, along Aramingo Ave.

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Review: Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime

Subtitle: 
We're Not Afraid of Ghosts, But This Game Is A Nightmare
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Last month, Atari released Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, a new foray into the Ghostbusters universe. If you remember, 2009 brought us Ghostbusters: The Video Game, a third-person shooter that placed players in the role of the Rookie, a new employee hired by the original 4 Ghostbusters to help out with the increased workload brought on by the return of Gozer (the bad guy/hot chick covered in bubbles from the first movie). It’s important to point out how and why Ghostbusters: The Video Game was as good as it was, because the new Ghostbusters release shows that maybe it was just too damn good to follow up.

Last month, Atari released Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, a new foray into the Ghostbusters universe. If you remember, 2009 brought us Ghostbusters: The Video Game, a third-person shooter that placed players in the role of the Rookie, a new employee hired by the original 4 Ghostbusters to help out with the increased workload brought on by the return of Gozer (the bad guy/hot chick covered in bubbles from the first movie).

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Review: Sims Medieval

Subtitle: 
What?! A Sims game for actual gamers?
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What would it take to make me enjoy a Sims game at this point? Sims games have never really had compelling goals and no real way to fail. You are simply given a sandbox and told to create.

What would it take to make me enjoy a Sims game at this point? Sims games have never really had compelling goals and no real way to fail. You are simply given a sandbox and told to create. This works to a point, but eventually everything just feels like "going through the motions". Why was I trying so hard to make money? To buy the best car in the game? What would that really get me? The more questions I asked myself about the goals I created, the more everything felt hollow to me. It was with this previously established mindset that I approached The Sims: Medieval.

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Flashy Friday: Vol. 5

Subtitle: 
Think Fast On Your Feet
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This week’s Flash games are all about being quick on your feet. Ninjas, dinosaurs, and aliens galore! Happy gaming weekend!

This week’s Flash games are all about being quick on your feet. Ninjas, dinosaurs, and aliens galore! Happy gaming weekend!

Dino Run (June 2008)

78 If you see that wall appear behind you, then you're doing it wrong.

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Review: The 3rd Birthday

Subtitle: 
There's No Escape From New York
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On Christmas Eve 2013, Manhattan is devastated by an attack by the Twisted: deformed and dangerous monsters that emerge and gather around giant tree trunk-like nests called Babels. Some pedestrians scream and run, while others stay behind to record the events. Christmas has come early, and everyone is getting coal.

On Christmas Eve 2013, Manhattan is devastated by an attack by the Twisted: deformed and dangerous monsters that emerge and gather around giant tree trunk-like nests called Babels. Some pedestrians scream and run, while others stay behind to record the events. Christmas has come early, and everyone is getting coal.

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Review: ilomilo

Subtitle: 
You Would Dance When You Finish These Puzzles as Well
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Created by the Swedish development team at SouthEnd Interactive (previously known for the 2009 XBLA remake of Lode Runner), the premise of ilomilo is simple: presented as though it were designed for a children’s book, the player must unite best friends ilo and milo throughout each level, who meet every day for snacks and tea and dance when reunited.

If there’s one thing you can say about the gaming industry these days, it’s that sometimes it feels like we’re playing more of the same year after year. The most anticipated titles are usually retreads, remakes, and sequels of games already played before, only with MORE, BIGGER, BETTER. It’s a problem that plagues the industry, though it doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon; hell, even mediocre games are rewarded with sequels these days.

64

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