Four Videos That Will Make You Feel Bad About Your Video Game Skills

Categories: Gaming

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time: The reason you see ocarinas at RenFests.
Few things in life are quite as satisfying as beating a video game. That rush of excitement is the reward for time spent, controllers broken and responsibilities neglected. It is a triumph, one to be savored for as long as it takes you to move on to the next game.

While that excitement might be enough for us run of the mill video game players, it's not enough for everyone. And so comes the world of speedrunning, where people seek to beat videogames as fast as possible. Most of us can beat Super Mario Bros. eventually, but only the best of the best of the best of us could beat it in less than 5 minutes.

Speedrunning has developed quite a following online, but even then watching someone smash through the beautiful mess of glitches that is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time for the 20th time is only so interesting.

Luckily, there are a few gamers out there who have taken on new, weirder video game challenges.

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5 Reasons Thief Was My Favorite Game of 2014

Categories: Gaming

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When Square Enix dropped its reboot of the Thief franchise it was met by a pretty solid wall of "meh", including from yours truly. As a reboot goes it wasn't the near-perfect work that Tomb Raider had been for SE and mostly the game just felt like a slightly less awesome version of Dishonored.

There's no doubt the game has problems. Its map is joke, the guard AI can get very twitchy and the lack of a fast travel option can seriously get on your nerves considering how much of the city is made up of dead ends and frustrating warp points that often make no sense.

Despite all that and my own lackluster review of the game on first look Thief grew on me until it honestly became my favorite release of all of 2014, Reasons include...

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3 Reasons They Need to Stop Trying to Bring Pac-Man Back

Categories: Gaming

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Pac-Man
Last year Namco released Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures to tie-in with the new cartoon series my daughter has recently become annoyingly addicted to on Netflix. It's just the latest attempt to dust off the legendary early gaming pioneer and repackage him for the current generation.

Which they really need to stop doing.

Look, Pac-Man was great. There was even a Pac-Man section of Six Flags Over Texas back in the day. That said, every time they try and bring Pac-Man into the modern age it's an inevitable screw-up because...

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Why #GamerGate Failed: A Look Back at 2014's Most Ridiculous Movement

Categories: Gaming

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Anita Sarkeesian on The Colbert Report
Update: The original version of this story used a screenshot of Lewis Denby and Ashton Raze's Richard and Alice instead of Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest. Thanks to commenter LionUCS for pointing out the error.

When media critic and creator of Feminist Frequency Anita Sarkeesian appeared on The Colbert Report near Halloween it seemed to come out of nowhere. Sarkeesian herself only announced it hours before it was to air, and Twitter and Reddit lit up as detractors to her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series discussed what she might say from the forum regarding the GamerGate phenomenon that had recently gained national news.

In all honesty neither Sarkeesian nor Colbert said anything particularly new or noteworthy for either of them. Colbert danced the line between playing his characters and reaching for understanding as always, and Sarkeesian brought a travel-sized version of her regular talking points. What it did do was drag the essence of the gory GamerGate mess into the spotlight for five whole minutes and revealed to the mainstream how utterly toxic and ridiculous it truly was.

It was a mortal wound for the movement and signaled its slow demise. A look at the hashtag's usage on Twitter shows a rallying spike around the discussion on Colbert, but then a slow, steady decline that continues as we head into 2015. America got a good look at GamerGate and pretty clearly it didn't think very much of it.

So why did it fail?

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Top 5 Best Guesses for the Mortal Kombat X Guest Character

Categories: Gaming

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Mortal Kombat X
When the last Mortal Kombat came out, fans got some real treats in the form of guest characters. The first was the Elm Street Slasher himself, Freddy Krueger. The Dream Master fit in nicely with the world of Mortal Kombat and more than held his own. The second was God of War's Kratos, also a worthy kombatant.

Ed Boon has already revealed that guest characters will return in the newest game, and because of that, speculation is completely rampant. I delved into some of the possibilities, and these five are the ones I think are probably the most likely.

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Reviews for the Lazy Gamer: Tomb Raider: Temple of Osiris

Categories: Gaming

Game: Tomb Raider: The Temple of Osiris

Platform: PS4, Xbox 360, PC

Publisher/Developer: Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics

Genre: Action

Score: 8 out of 10

Synopsis: Lara Croft has discovered the Tomb of Osiris, but in doing so has been marked for death by the Egyptian eater of souls. Now she, Carter Bell, Isis and Horus must all combine powers to defeat Set and restore Osiris to life.

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4 Arguments Anti-Feminists Use in Gaming (That Don't Work)

Categories: Gaming

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Tomb Raider

The feminist movement in gaming over the last several years has been a fun one to watch. At least for me because I'm a guy and nobody threatens to drive a bomb truck through my house for talking about the subject. Still, it has been very interesting to see gaming and the people involved in it start to take notice of some of the weaker aspects of their storytelling and working towards a less sexist, more inclusive world.

That being said, the fight to preserve gaming as a male-dominated space that only begrudgingly seems to offer anything outside typical male power fantasies is ongoing, loud, and awful. Throughout that fight there seem to be a small set of arguments anti-feminists keep using, and I have to tell you that these are not the slam dunk you think they are. Such as...


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10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Nintendo DS and 3DS

Categories: Gaming

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Evan-Amos via Wikipedia
The DS line of Nintendo handhelds is a monster. Not only is it the best-selling handheld gaming system of all time, it's the second-best-selling video game system period of all time. Only the PlayStation 2 beats it in terms of numbers moved. The amount of power that developers manage to get out of cartridge technology is amazing, and great titles continue to be released exclusively on the system every year.

As popular as it is, though, there are still some hidden mysteries about it. Let's look at a few.

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Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix and the Future of Video Game Preservation

Categories: Gaming

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I was delighted to receive an advance review copy of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix in the mail last week. Delighted, but also a bit uneasy. Confession time, I have never beaten the first one. I always seem to lose steam after the Tarzan stage. Nothing to do with how excellent the game is, of course, just me being the lazy gamer as always. Consequently, I have never played the sequel, either.

So it left me with a problem because Kingdom Hearts 2 is not a game that you can just jump into without really knowing the mythology of what came before. It's a rather unique series in that missing either an entry in the main franchise or one of the portable spin-offs affects your understanding of the plot a significant amount.

Reviewing the game in a conventional sense is clearly out, then, but it did bring me to a greater understanding of the unique problem of video games as an art form.

When people talk about the evolution of gaming as an art they are usually pointing to A List voice casts and photorealistic graphics. To be sure, all of those things have contributed a significant amount to where gaming has reached these days, but to focus on them is to ignore what makes gaming unique.

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10 Awesome Things From the Gamer's Edition of the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records

Categories: Gaming

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I don't think I've owned a hard copy of the Guinness Book of World Records since I was a kid, but the new Gamer's Edition is just too much to pass up. It's full of things that even I had never heard, and I spend all day talking about weird video game trivia. Here's a few of the choicest tidbits.

10. The most expensive virtual car in the gaming world is the Jaguar XJ13 from Gran Turismo 6. You can unlock it through regular play, or shell out $196 to earn it straight away. In real life the car is pretty much priceless, as only one has ever been produced.

9. The character Mo van Barr in Red Dead Redemption had his likeness, specifically his distinctive and epic mustache, decided through a charity mustache contest held by Rockstar Games. The winner was Canadian Charles Leece. The contest was part of Movember, an annual men's health awareness campaign that raises money for prostate cancer research and other men's health issues.

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