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I guess it makes sense to talk about the worst garbage in a pretty garbage-ass year, right? So here we are again, dredging up the sludge from the bottom of gaming’s trench, finding a bunch of skeletons and nuclear waste and whatever the hell Randy Pitchford dumped in there. Enjoy!

[While we did separate lists before discussing the Gremmies on the podcast, the final winners, as seen in the images, were agreed upon, and our separate lists are here for… Transparency? Sure, let’s go with that.]

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Hey, we’re back! You know, like We’re Back: A Dinosaur’s Story. It’s exactly like that, because we’re a couple of freakin’ dinosaurs that have no place in the modern era. Anyway, after an experiment in video-podcasting the Gizmos, and then straight-up not doing them last year, here’s a return to form. If you’d like to hear us discuss this year’s categories, including reading some of the below text out loud for some reason, head over here for the Golden Gizmos podcast (and here for the Gremmies!). Now, with the re-introduction out of the way, it’s time… For the TWENTY-NINETEEN GOLDEN GIZMOS! YEEEEEEEEEHAW!!! George and I have compiled separate lists this year, so this is going to be A Lot, especially since George apparently thought he needed to write an entire damn page for every entry. Strap in.

NOTE: Games released in November or December of this year are eligible for next year’s Gizmos. This includes titles such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, MechWarrior 5, and… I think that’s it, really, we played everything else.

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Man, 2016 was a real fucker, huh? Everyone dropping dead, a Cheeto dust-covered meme being elected President thanks to an antiquated electoral system (plus a sizable white supremacist contingent), and a general feeling of despair draped over every second of the year. But hey! There were a lot of really good games that came out this year, and this is about those. The Golden Gizmos do not dwell upon the horrible and terrifying — that’s the Golden Gremmies’ job — but instead celebrate the remarkable, as we look at the greatest achievements in interactive entertainment this year.

NOTE: Games released in November or December of this year are eligible for the following year. This includes titles such as Dishonored 2, Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian, Dead Rising 4, etc.

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Above is the trailer Nintendo just released for what was previously codenamed the NX. Surprise, it looks exactly like the previously leaked patent images that have been reported on everywhere. A tablet with removable controller sidebars, cartridges, and a TV dock.

The trailer also shows a new Mario game in the 64/Sunshine/Galaxy single-player mold, rather than the more multiplayer focused games they’ve been into for the past couple of generations. Praise Gorb.

Oh, and there’s portable Skrim, which is probably cool for people who still care about Skrim. The Switch will also have a version of Splatoon, apparently, but it’s unclear if it will be retroactively cross-buy with the Wii U version (ha ha, of course it won’t) or even have the same feature set. After all, a multiplayer-only portable game doesn’t seem like the best idea.

Among the last things shown is a new Pro controller which looks like a standard 360/Xone-style pad. That’s good news, as it might indicate that Nintendo is finally focusing on usability instead of gimmickry. Or not. The trailer does have a whole lot of people click-clackin’ them sidebars on and off of the thing. It’s fairly unrealistic, considering the guy on the plane was not eyeballing the dude playing like he’s a goddamned maniac.

As if the whole brouhaha about Mafia 3’s 30fps cap wasn’t enough of a terrible portent, there’s an issue that’s affected many purchasers of the game, including me — one that means we can’t even play the game we paid for. In the physical Deluxe editions, it seems like the majority have not included any Steam keys, making the product a glorified paperweight.

The Amazon page for this version of the game is full of one-star reviews from people who had the same problem, along with one smug asshole who actually did get a code and should probably go buy a lottery ticket. There are multiple threads on the Steam forums about this as well (the second one there featuring a 2K rep sticking his head in, followed by him doing this at the realization of what was happening), as well as Best Buy’s forum and *shudder* reddit. There’s also an anecdotal story floating around that a Gamestop received 25 copies total, and 17 of them were missing inserts.

The cool thing is that retailers won’t take refunds for PC games, and 2K has zero interest in either rectifying this or even admitting that it’s an issue. Amazon and Best Buy have removed the game from sale, but 2K has yet to issue any kind of response to this, opting for complete radio silence instead. When I contacted them to see if there was anything they could do about this, even offering to provide photographic proof that I bought the game, I got this response:

Thank you for contacting 2K support. I’m sorry to hear that you are missing your Key, I know how frustrating it can be when your game doesn’t come complete.

Sadly, as this was a physical copy of the game, you will have to contact your retailer for more information about your key.

We are however trying to gather information, so if you don’t mind, could you provide the following information:

  • Which retailer did you use to purchase your copy of Mafia III?

  • Which region of the world do you live in?

A big fat “fuck off,” more or less. So now we’re all stuck here with a bunch of useless discs until somewhere, someone at 2K gets their head out of their ass and sends out some goddamn codes.

 

[UPDATE: Once this started showing up on news outlets, 2K decided maybe they should actually do something, and are in the process of sending codes. Finally.]

Ok, sure, Zoe Quinn is mostly known for being the genesis of the whole “gamergate” thing which I still don’t fully understand. She’s fairly (in)famous for this exact reason, as well as a pretty lengthy history of shrieking incessantly about things no grown human being should care about, so normally this kind of behavior wouldn’t warrant any further attention — but this is just too funny.

Zoe has published the following tweet, accompanied by two screenshots of the upcoming Paper Mario: Color Splash, a game that nobody, including Nintendo, seemed to remember was coming out:

[In case of deletion, it reads: “what the fuck did I ever do to you, Nintendo, that y’all had to make my suffering into a fucking joke”, with the screenshots saying “Let’s watch the Five Fun Guys dance and shuffle!” and “Man, is this gonna ruin my career?! I can see the headline now: ‘Shufflegate: Exposed!'”]

Zoe appears to view this as a direct attack against her, as if Watergate (and _______ -gate in general) wasn’t already media shorthand for any sort of scandal. Apparently, “Five Guys” was often used as a meme against Quinn, as she reportedly cheated on her boyfriend with five other men. Of course, the Watergate burglary was also committed by five men, and “Fun Guys” is a pretty obvious “fungi” pun. But nah, I’m sure Nintendo’s translators have a specific grudge against her.

Check her twitter timeline for more gems, including her railing against Nintendo for firing someone who was a literal prostitute, and thus criminal, as well as an advocate for pedophilia. Can’t say I’m too sad, or shocked, that a company like Nintendo wouldn’t want to be associated with that person.

Starting soon, here comes Sony with their batch of nonsense. Will Hideo Kojima show up? How much time will be dedicated to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (answer: too much)? Will we all die of old age while watching montages of mediocre-looking VR games? Here we gooooooooooo!

welcome to the 70th annual Tony awards

welcome to the 70th annual Tony awards

e3_2016_gow4

God of War 4 is being shown, with Kratos showing some kid how to hunt. Kratos has a beard, and the game is shown from an over-the-shoulder perspective now. It seems like an entirely different game, very much like the recent Tomb Raiders. I’m totally okay with that, especially with the implication that now Kratos will be murdering his way through the Norse pantheon.

Just called God of War. Reboots, they’re so hot right now!

Short trailer for DaysGone, a post-apocalyptic game about bikers?

Another short trailer for The Last Guardian, now with a date of October 25th, this year.

Also some gameplay of Horizon: Zero Dawn, which still looks super good.

Also some gameplay of Horizon: Zero Dawn, which still looks super good.

There’s also a bit for Detroit: Become Human, Quantic Dream’s latest over-promising disaster.

And now some sort of horror game, so I don’t care. Oh, it’s Resident EVIIl. EVIL. 7. Evil7. Killer7. It’s only on VR, apparently.

 

Some VR things, and some CoD: Infinite Warfare.

Then, Crash Bandicoot is teased, but it’s just remakes of 1, 2, and Warped, plus Crash is in the new Skylanders. George is currently in a murderous rage.

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out in a couple of weeks, in case you forgot.

Andrew House coming out to not talk about the Playstation NEO.

e3_2016_kojima

Kojima’s here to show the first thing from his NEW GAME!

It stars Norman Reedus, of P.T. fame, and is called Death Stranding.

It stars Norman Reedus, of P.T. fame, and is called Death Stranding. It also looks hella weird.

Insomniac is making a Spider-Man game that actually looks pretty cool.

Then there was a longer gameplay clip of DaysGone, and surprise, it’s a zombie game. Looks super boring, although the hordes of zombos and gollums look pretty good in motion.

 

THE END. George is still mad about Crash.

What will EA’s annual masturbatory disaster have in store for us this year? Let’s find out! This post will be updated as Things Happen.

Expected games: Titanfall 2, Mass Effect: Andromeda, some new stuff for Star Wars: The Old Republic, Battlefront 2, Battlefield 1, and maybe some fun surprises!

 

e32016_petermoore

People fuckin LOVE Peter Moore, they’re losing their shit for the Chief Competition Officer. He says almost nothing, then EA’s main android leader comes back on stage to talk about the best things in Battlefield 1, including “shovels”.

 

e3_2016_titanfall

Titanfall 2 looks FUCKIN AWESOME. Grappling hooks, robot kung-fu, teleportation, and a bunch of other rad shit. Trailer to be posted here later. Titanfall 2, or TF2, will also have a full campaign this time, if you’re into that.

 

Sports are happening. Esports are also happening.

There are some short snippets of Mass Effect: Andromeda, but nothing of substance. That thing is not anywhere near finished.

And now some Fifa stuff, which means time to go get a drink.

EA is announcing a new program that sounds suspiciously like EA Partners, focused on indie games like Unraveled. The new announcement is Fe, not to be confused with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.

JADE RAYMOND IS HERE! She’s introducing the Star Wars games, which means we might see the one from Visceral that she’s attached to.

mo-cap for Respawn's third-person action game

mo-cap for Respawn’s third-person action game

 

a short snippet of footage from Visceral's Star Wars game

a short snippet of footage from Visceral’s Star Wars game

 

some Battlefield-shilling chucklefuck talks while standing awkwardly next to Jamie Foxx and Zac Efron

some Battlefield-shilling chucklefuck talks while standing awkwardly next to Jamie Foxx and Zac Efron

Battlefield 1 looks really good, and that’s it! Pretty much nothing new or surprising! Thanks, EA! Join us later today for the Bethesda conference, where we’ll see more non-surprises such as a new Wolfenstein, The Evil Within 2, and Prey 2 (or whatever it’ll be called)!

civ6

lookit that smug motherfucker, he’s all ready to build nukes and then bitch at you for walking too close to his cities

2K has announced Civilization VI, the newest numbered entry in the legendary 4X franchise. So what, exactly, does this game add to the previous game’s formula? I’m glad you asked! Here’s some stuff!

  • Although you don’t just stack tons of units onto one tile, a la Civ IV, you can now combine some units together. Some will also have special permutations unlocked by combining them.
  • Dynamic Diplomacy” apparently means that in the early game, you just throw rocks and feces at other civilizations you meet, later gaining the ability to parley in an honorable fashion. Of course, once you reach the early 21st century, you return to being xenophobic with the goal of “making Denmark great again”.
  • Everything else seemed to be a bunch of buzzwords with no actual new gameplay ramifications, such as “expansive empires”, “active research”, and “enhanced multiplayer”.

The game does still operate with hex tiles, as in Civ V and Beyond Earth, but the most pressing question (as evidenced by previous new Civ games) is not what they added, but what has been removed. In all likelihood, the game will not be worth buying until the first expansion is out — and maybe not until the second. That’s the precedent that’s been set, anyway.

Here’s hoping the playerbase doesn’t fall as quickly as the first game, which was narrowly beaten for our 2014 Best Multiplayer Golden Gizmo by some weird semi-browser game full of bugs and insanity. You have George (and the aforementioned exodus of players) to thank for that one.

No date is given in this very short, unsubstantial teaser, but it’s prooobably safe to say that it’ll be late this year or early next year. It does mention a “worldwide reveal” on June 12th, because I guess this trailer isn’t a reveal, and the internet isn’t worldwide. Man, what have I been doing all this time?