The Community Spotlight - 12/27/2013 (GOTY 2013: Part Two)

Special Thanks to JokerSmilez's Wife for This Amazing Work of Art!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Community Spotlight! Alright I'm not going to lie this edition was kind of a nightmare to make. You all wrote a ton of stuff for Game of the Year! That aside let's get on with the site housekeeping. If you downloaded the GOTY Bombcasts and noticed that Toto's "Africa" is inexplicably in the podcast description...yeah I have no idea why that's there. While @ltsquigs has left the building you can keep track of what he's doing on his recently created Tumblr account. Also as seen on the banner for this week @jokersmilez's wife is making embroideries in dedication of Ryan Davis and is donating the proceeds to the National Sleep Institute for Sleep Apnea Research. While her first has been sold she has room to make five more if you contact her Etsy or Twitter. With that let's get on with this content filled edition of the Community Spotlight!

Clip of the Week

So Andrew Allen made the GOTY theme that all of you have been enjoying on the Bombcast. He has posted the jazzy theme on YouTube for you to put on infinite loop if you so desire. TheBurlapLemur is back this week with another edition of the BiteSize Bomb which continues to highlight the best moments of every single Quick Giant Bomb has ever made. Finally @clintlandon made an animated Bombcast using only his iPad that adds a little 1920s charm to the GB staff.

Community GOTY Lists

Okay...let's get this straight/ I'm not going to write bios or headers for anything this week. Everyone has their own list filled with different groupings of games. Thank you to everyone who took the time to make a list on the site!

Community GOTY Blogs

As with before thank you to everyone who made a blog this year. Please continue to make blogs on the site throughout the next year.

Community Activities

  • Holiday Gift Thread - Give Free Games on Your Own Terms to Other Users Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

We have a list of great wiki pages for game all of you nominated or selected as your Game of the Year list.

Best of Blogs

These are teh great blogs that have nothing to do with GOTY stuff. Plenty of people discussed their favorite albums of 2013, @aurahack was able to even convince Jeff to re-explore K-pop. Unlike that camp granderojo has his favorite five books of the year. dankempster has finally completed Final Fantasy, and Gamer_152 tackles the thorny issue of digital rights on YouTube. benspyda decided to take the time to explain why he doesn't like Zelda games. Tireyo has started a blog series reviewing fan made video game movies, and SirOptimusPrime got nostalgic over one of his favorite old school adventure games, Gabriel Knight. Finally if you can make sense of Video_Game_King's new blog series...call me.

Fantastic Forums

Hopefully your Christmas was fun if you celebrate! Anyways we have a discussion thread related to the new season of The WalkinG Dead game and plenty of GOTY discussions worth partaking in. Do you buy into Paul Barnett's "Golden Age" theory? If so what do you think is your "Golden Age?" Finally clintlandon created the 1920s animated Bombcast clip seen in the Clips of the Week.

Lovable Lists

Useful User Reviews

23 Comments

My 2013 Special Distinction Awards For Video Games and Other "Stuff"

Author's Note: Look I don't think that I played enough games released during 2013 to make a traditional "Game of the Year" list or blog. In fact as you will quickly see many of my awards went to non-video game stuff. Sacrilege? Maybe, but I will make amends with the Great Spaghetti Monster before the year is done to make up for that. So instead here are my Special Distinction Awards for stuff from 2013! I hope you enjoy them as much as I spent making and writing them.

Best Game Gimmick of the Year – Hunting (Again!)

This is still cool and will always be cool!

Man was it another great year for killing virtual fauna or what? Between Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider and small indie titles like Don’t Starve hunting became a surprise hit this gaming year, albeit again. That said while killing any random antelope by shooting an arrow through its nostril is fun the first couple of times it lacks drive unless you are able to make something from your prey…oh wait that’s not new either.

Yes while there were plenty of games in 2012 that had hunting as a mechanic, 2013 proves that this isn’t a gimmick that isn’t going to disappear any time soon, especially for open world games. Hey maybe there’s something to those Cabela’s games that we are all unwilling to admit. Maybe there’s an inner hunting enthusiast in all of us. Though I don’t think the NRA hosts lessons on how to kill a shark by harpooning it to death.

Most Visually Broken Game – X Rebirth

Oh...GOD!

Boy where do I even start with X Rebirth? Maybe the clichéd sound bite of “I am a longtime fan of the series and was bitterly disappointed by this recent reboot” works. Either way X Rebirth is an unmitigated disaster. It’s boring, there are no redeeming characters, but more importantly it’s a visual nightmare.

The developers of X Rebirth for some reason decided to take note from JJ Abrams and his recent helming of the Star Trek franchise, most notably his sometimes egregious and other times cinematic use of light bloom; except X Rebirth takes it to eleven. The neon drenched nebulas, and “authentic” cockpit end up becoming major hindrances when you are actually playing the game. The neon coated and bright space-scapes make piloting space ships in X Rebirth an assault on your occipital lobe. It’s impossible to even distinguish what is happening on your cramped screen. That’s why X Rebirth is just visually BROKEN. Every design decision related to the way the game looks not only hurts the game, but makes it impossible to play. I mean can any of you honestly tell me what’s going on this screenshot?

Worst Thing Sold as “Entertainment” – The Final Episode of Dexter

How does this even happen?

I was pretty close to going with Spike’s VGX Awards earlier, but by pure chance YouTube recommended Monty Python’s “I’m a Lumberjack” skit…and then I was instantly reminded of the last episode of Dexter, AND BOY HOWDY WAS THAT A SHITSHOW!

Did you play a disappointing or terrible game this year? Well how would you feel if a game you had been playing for eight years decided to shit its pants and completely forego all the good will you had for it in less than two years? It’s not just that the final episode of Dexter was bad…it was the just the worst storytelling and entertainment experience I had all year. What about resolving the Masuka stuff with his daughter? Or giving Angie Miller an actual character arc? No? Well…shit.

Best One Week Obsession – Salty Bet

Is it sad if I already know who is going to win this match?

I, like many people really enjoyed Salty Bet albeit my obsession over it only last about a week. Though that amount of time doesn’t seem that significant I think it’s important to provide some context.

I use Steam chat a lot, just ask @gamer_152 or @chaser324. However, it’s important to note that I use Steam chat to almost exclusively harass and harangue my fellow moderators. When Salty Bet first rolled out, I didn’t just enjoy it by myself. I spread that craziness to as many people as I knew…that wouldn’t ask me to stop messaging them. Not just that but I would not let up if some of my “peers” didn’t at least watch one full match.

Alas this relationship was not to last and after getting burned when Dragon Ball Z characters miraculously got good, and an incessant number of repeats it just kind of ended for me. That and the Salty Bet community…I mean Jaysus! All that aside I can say that I have no regrets, but I can’t recommend that anyone try the Schedule One Substance known as Salty Bet.

Door Opener of the Year – Candy Box

Candy Box deserves some sort of special distinction award for opening me up to this new generation of browser/url based games that have been coming out. I completely skipped on Frog Fractions last year, but decided to finally go back to it after getting engrossed with Candy Box. I felt triumphant when I finally defeated that goddamned dragon, but not only thatI spent a good deal of time trying to develop new potions and testing strategies.

CLICK THAT LOLLIPOP!

Candy Box gets my “Door Opener Award” not just because it resulted in me going back to games like Frog Fractions or Don’t Shit Your Pants, but also for changing my mindset. Jokes like Soda Drinker Pro or Bubsy 3D would have otherwise been given a prejudiced scoff by myself. Cookie Clicker or Clicking Bad wouldn’t have been given a chance. So for that Candy Box, you have my thanks.

That said…man was Candy Box 2 kind of a bummer.

Ostrich Moment of the Year – Dota 2

One of you “gifted” me Dota 2 when it was still in beta. Then I downloaded it when it went “live” this year. Then before actually playing it, I removed it from my computer.

Look I can’t be entirely open minded. As good as I may have been in giving browser games a shot this year I draw the line at Dota 2; although I have no idea why exactly I am drawing this line. During the summer I watched a TON of The International. Part of it had to do with me being the unofficial chat moderator for the stream, and from what I saw Dota 2 kind of looks awesome. Yet I want to have nothing to do with Dota 2. The time and patience you have to have in order to get even marginally good at Dota 2 is just not the commitment I ever want to make.

Do I have my head in the sand in regards to Dota 2? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Best Story – Breaking Bad Ozymandias

Do you want a better story than The Last of Us or BioShock? Here you go.

On a positive television note thank God for AMC! Though more thanks should be given to Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, and everyone involved with Breaking Bad for making a masterpiece. My only complaint about how things concluded for Breaking Bad is that the best episode of the last season, and in my opinion of the entire show, was the third to last episode.

Ozymandias was an emotionally gripping and exhausting experience. To be perfectly honest it was the single greatest self-contained story that I saw this entire year across all mediums, and I include video games in that mix of film, books, and television as well. The phone conversation between Walt and Skylar at the end of the episode…Jesus that was some great and powerful stuff. This cast of characters was more than a collection of television actors saying lines. Their actions were sometimes excruciating and I felt the horror that other characters conveyed as Walter White began his climatic downfall. As George R.R. Martin put it "Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros."

Now if only I knew what to watch on Sundays that didn’t involve glorified head and brain trauma.

Least Surprisingly Good, Good Game – Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag

Alright I’m not going to joke around here. Assassin’s Creed IV is not my most surprisingly good game, nor is it my “turnaround game of the year,” because I have no qualms with Assassin’s Creed III. Not only that but for the most part I found Assassin’s Creed III to be a fine and great game. Were there a couple of missions that came across as unfair or poorly designed? Sure, but most of the objectives that were “unfair” were completely optional and for crazy people. I also had no issues with the gritty re-imagining of the American Revolution, but I will not make apologies for how the Desmond stuff concluded. Then again Desmond was always the weakest part of the Assassin’s Creed franchise excluding the couple of “Oh Shit!” moments at the end of II and Brotherhood.

The Assassin’s Creed franchise has, to me at least, been a case example of how it’s okay to let developers re-iterate their games using the same technology. I mean just look at the improvement from II to Brotherhood. So to me it didn’t come as a surprise that Assassin’s Creed IV is better than III. The entire history of this franchise has been improvement over time and eventually adding in too many mechanics that result in a loss of cohesiveness (i.e. Revelations).

Black Flag is still a great game, and if I am so daring, would most likely take my “Game of the Year” award if I was giving one out this year. The ship battles were joyous, and the Caribbean came across as a living world. However, I never lacked the confidence that Ubisoft didn’t have it “in them,” to make this all happen.

Revelatory Food Experience of the Year – Eating Hi-Chews for the First Time

If something almost ruins your life...that's worth something, right?

Every year brings a new food experience to me. Two years ago I tried Code Red Mountain Dew for the first time in my life, and last year I ate my first Little Caesar’s pizza. This year I ate Hi-Chews for the first time. Just like the previous two items the experience was revelatory until I “gluttoned” myself out of a potentially dangerous relationship, but my overall love for the candy has gone unabated.

During the height of this obsession I was going through one 100+ piece bag in a week. It got so bad that I was special ordering fruit flavors not available at my local grocery store from Japan at a premium. It got so bad that an online wholesale candy distributor thought I was a small business.

But damn was it worth it. I’d do anything to get some more of this superior Starburst alternative especially if it’s a flavor not available in the United States.

Patriot Act Approved Game of the Year – Splinter Cell Blacklist

I want to start this off by saying I actually really liked Splinter Cell Blacklist. It was a great co-op experience and was a blast to play. That said, boy can you tell this game is grounded in “re-enacting” the fears and drama of modern day society, and U.S. society at that. Maybe it was the nonchalance of being able to torture as well as execute characters that warranted me developing this award just for Blacklist. Now this isn’t political, but I have to believe that there’s a better way to do these sorts of games without them devolving into jingoism. Then again even Tim Clancy himself was quiet able to figure that one out himself.

All that aside, if the spectacle of said jingoism is as slick and fun as Blacklist, I can deal with that.

My Platform of the Year, for a Platform I Don’t Own – 3DS

I haven’t owned a handheld since the GameBoy Advance SP. At some point the appeal of being able to play video games during lunch or long commutes just didn’t have the same draw that it once did. Well…actually Steam happened and I got back into PC gaming. I also have continued to be obsessive over smart phones and money that would have gone into handhelds has gone into buying new phones. However, in the last two years my regret of leaving handheld gaming simply is becoming unbearable as the library for the 3DS continues to impress even myself.

I still think this looks stupid!

Great Mario and Legend of Zelda games? Then you throw in a desire to check out the new Pokemon and Animal Crossing and I’m starting to look at my new android phone with greater skepticism. Then you all sure don’t make my handheld free lifestyle any better. You kids have been talking about Fire Emblem being a great mix of all the best parts of the franchise forever! Yeah I know that Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has the proper mix between nostalgia and newness. SOMEHOW Nintendo made a good Mario Bros. game? Yeah that’s news to me, and what nerve you have telling me this! FINE! I’ll name the 3DS my “Platform of the Year,” now stop making me feel bad about my purchasing decisions.

As the days tick by and I read more and more from users on the site about all of these great 3DS games the more I want to kick myself in the pants for not just taking the plunge.

15 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 12/20/2013 (GOTY 2013: Part One)

Hilariously Unintentional!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! Yup it's that time of the year again...as Christmas draws near so does Giant Bomb's Game of the Year content. This Spotlight merely the tip of the iceberg as the staff and community really start to crank out the Game of the Year lists and blogs. For those wondering Paul Barnett will have his own GotY podcast. However, on a sadder note designer Ian Kelly of "Big Knob" fame will be leaving CBSi to join Dave Snider in his new venture. If you haven't done so already wish Ia the best on this thread here. If you had issues with embedding videos on the site that bug should be fixed, and you can embed as much as you want as long as it is not spam. Finally, it appears that Jeff's Gaming Minute is still playing during Rush Limbaugh.

Clip of the Week

@flavbot decided to cross Giant Bomb with Zelda and dubstep. The results are...baffling but also amazing. @turboman has another video of the best moments of Vinny being Vinny while playing Dark Souls.

Community Activities

  • Giantbomb Community Forum GOTY 2013 List Aggregation!! - Join the Effort to Crown the Community 2013 Game of the Year Over Here!
  • Bravely Default Friend Code Trading Thread - Enjoy the Multiplayer Features with Other Users By Posting your Codes Here!
  • VinnCo. Phantasy Star Online 2 Ship #02 Recruitment Thread - Join VinnCo NOW Over Here!
  • Christmas Hatify Your Giant Bomb Avatar - If You Feel Inclined Feel Free to Have Someone Put a Christmas Hat on Your Giant Bomb Avatar Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

Where do you stand in the great "Is Ryu a wizard," debate? Well read over our wiki page for Ryu to help you decide for yourself! Also, "Take a Break" is your awesome concept page of the week.

Best of Blogs

Jesus...that's million blogs. Luckily everyone is a little bit different and they are all worth reading over. Marino for example has the stats of every single site review with fanciful pie charts to boot! That said we have plenty of notable non-GotY related blogs this week. tamrillin has written a massive and impassioned plea in support of Final Fantasy XIII. MMMman pontificates upon the potential impact user input may have on the next Assassin's Creed game. Video_Game_King continues to examine the oddities of Japan with Pandora's Tower and Dynamite Dux as his victims this week. Mento on the other hand continues to look at the generation that was with a Comic Commish about the notable events and games of the first half of 2008. Winternet isn't just making a "Game of the Generation," blog. Instead he breaks down his entire thought process in creating his shortlist. Machofantastico and TandyQ both played the first episode of the second season of The Walking Dead and share their impressions of it. PerfidiousSinn is still working on being good at fighting games online and shares his efforts to learn Soul Calibur II HD Online. Chavtheworld participated in this year's Ludum Dare and you can watch the archive to his livestream as well as play the game he made! JClane explains how a mod for Warhammer 40K helped him warm up to the entire RTS genre. Vinny Carravella inspired MikeLemmer to give Dark Souls a shot and Jeff Green inspired him to detail why playing the game was an incredibly humbling experience for him. Finally MajorMitch has a blog with clips of his favorite video game themes of the year, and we have SO MANY Game of the Year blogs!

Fantastic Forums

Superkenon has compiled every single piece of Giant Bomb Game of the Year content on one convenient forum post. Also, when the 2013 GotY starts hitting the site feel free to join the discussion thread. Feel free to also join our discussion threads for the Winter Steam Sale, your Christmas Jams, and Hyrule Warriors. Core647 beat Jeff to it! He went to Japan and filled two duffle bags full of Japanese video games. Finally as mentioned before comment on flavbot's insane Giant Bomb x A Link Between Worlds video and wish Ian the best in his future ventures.

Lovable Lists

Boy...you all made a lot of Game of the Year lists this week. As exhausted as this may make me, I couldn't be happier. Honestly, keep up the good work Giant Bomb. Just remember that if you make a Game of the Year list to drop me a link to it and add it to @thatfrood's community list aggregation Google Doc.

Useful User Reviews

Potent Podcasts

28 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 12/13/2013

Special Thanks to Teddie for this AMAZING Work of Art!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! Giant Bomb's 2013 Game of the Year video content has been recorded, the fight to decide the winners of the categories mostly complete, and Patrick and Alex have both left the building. That said the community is starting to get the "Game of the Year" buzz this week. As a new year draws nearer I would like to inform everyone that Brad is done with the "...but is it better than Brothers" jokes. So stop it. Rorie took the time to write a puppy filled blog about his scattered impressions of Dragon's Dogma. Also the VGX happened last weekend...and something really weird about "Hardcore" Dave happened.

Clip of the Week

TurboMan has another episode of his Best of Giant Bomb video series and this episode has even MORE examples of Vinny being Vinny while playing Dark Souls. Also, mod mracoon shares a video fo the title screens of the big games of 2013.

Community Activities

  • GTA V Custom Job Exchange - Link Users to Your Custom Missions Over Here!
  • Giant Bomb Community Cards Against Humanity Holiday BS Puzzle Solution Thread - Join the Effort to Figure Out the Bullshit Over Here!
  • Hearthstone Arena Practice Thread - Practice your Hearthstone Game and Get Critiques About Your Play Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

So yeah remember the Spike Video Game Awards? Well give our wiki page for the award show a look to jolt your memory if not. Also, check out our wiki page for Geoff Keighley, he's actually a really interesting person. Finally out recent release with a good wiki page is Tales of Maj'Eyal.

Best of Blogs

AlisterCat has written the blog of the week with a write up about playing To the Moon while dealing with some big personal stuff. Taku128 pleads the case for Project M even if you hate Super Smash Bros. Jeust has an incredibly detailed blog extrapolating upon his theories about the Dementium franchise. As a Wii U owner YukoAsho pontificates upon the current state of Nintendo. Gamer_152 blogs about why he was incredibly impressed with Bioshock Infinite from a story and narrative perspective. machofantastico has blogged about Actual Sunlight and extrapolates upon how it deals with depression. SexyToad shares his experiences in re-selling stuff on Steam and how much he has made thus far. Video_Game_King does a retread of games he has already played and explains how his thoughts have and haven't changed about them. ShaggE has cracked the first three games of one of those terrible "250 Games on One Discs!" PC games. IrrelevantJohn breaks down his recent attempt to make a custom fighting game stick, and Hailinel details an anime crossover fighting game you most likely have never heard about. TruthTella does his damnedest to make sense of the VGX with a heap of irony. PufferFiz shares a recent conference he saw related to "freemium model" for video games. MooseyMcMan and dankempster both detail what they have been doing recently, and Mento finishes his blog series about his Desura backlog. sinusoidal is giving game development a shot and he has started with an indie adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Then we have a BUNCH of Game of the Year stuff...which I am grateful for and keep it coming!

Fantastic Forums

Teddie has created the Wind Wkaer x Giant Bomb fanart seen as the banner this week and he has more worth checking out! Brackynews wants you to join him in talking about your favorite Mass Effect 2 moments. Have you seen anything in Starbound that was really cool? Well talk about with the rest of the community playing the game. Then we have a poll for the best "Drake of the Generation," and which statement in Dark Souls is better. Finally join the official discussions about the NBA season and Gran Turismo 6.

Lovable Lists

Oh no...I take it back I'm not ready for Game of the Year....Winter AND GotY is coming, and I am shaking in my boots if you must know.

Useful User Reviews

30 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 12/06/2013

Ryan Davis's Legacy Continues Strong!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! For any of you that have watched any of the premium live stream may have noticed that the engineers have been experimenting with an alternative to Twitch. Currently all signs point to a reformed version of GameSpot's video player being the new live stream player for premium streams, and if it works well for everyone involved a possible replacement to twitch entirely. Rorie is pinging the engineers to fix your wiki issues, but also wants you to help us fix the insane shipping costs for anyone who lives outside of the United States. Finally Hotline Miami has won the Giant Bomb community Soundtrack of the Generation contest.

Clip of the Week

@turboman has another Best of Giant Bomb video for you to enjoy this week, and this video compiles the best moments of Vinny playing Dark Souls for your entertainment. The second video comes from TheBurlapLemur who has now made FIFTY versions of his Bitesize Bomb video series which compiles the best moments of every single Quick Look on Giant Bomb.

Community Activities

  • Giant Bomb Community Starbound Server - Get the Details on How to Join the Server Here!
  • Assassin's Creed IV Uplay and Social Benefits Community Hookup Thread - Have Other Users Help you Get Uplay Points Over Here!
  • Pokémon X/Y Safari Friend Code Exchange Thread for Latecomers - Feel Free to Trade your Codes Even if you are Late Over Here!
  • Official PS4 Screenshot/Share Thread - Share your Screenshots to Other Users Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

Gran Turismo 6 and Starbound are the recent releases this week worth checking out on the wiki. Finally, as Patrick has clearly established as fact, Final fantasy VIII is the best Final Fantasy game.

Best of Blogs

Mento starts the month of December with a new blog series, this one is all about his Desura backlog and his efforts to tackle said backlog. dankempster has also joined the December blog series movement with his "Dan's Blogvent Calendar" feature. Video_Game_King is kicking it Japanese this week with Metal Gear Solid 2 and some obscure JRPG bullshit once again. FLStyle has the itinerary and event list for the 2013 Capcom Cup for any fighting game enthusiasts. MMMman has a confession, he use to rent video games via snail mail using lovefilm, and he explains why he started doing that as well as why he quit on his latest blog. SgtSphynx has thrown his hat into the fray and has used Pokemon Y and his re-introduction to the franchise after being Pokemon abstinent for fourteen years. ArbitraryWater played moderns games this week ranging from XCOM to The Legend of Zelda, and MajorMitch joins him in providing you a monthly roundup of the games he has played. Daneian also got around to A Link Between Worlds and explains why he thinks the game hits all of the good nostalgic notes. CharlesAlanRatliff gives you a video and blog breakdown on how long it took him to set up his Xbox One, and finally BlackLagoon annotates all of the great Playstation Vita games you might want to consider buying this month.

Fantastic Forums

I don't even think I can in good faith recommend it...but Hamst3r has opened a portal directly to Hell with his glitter .gif thread combining pure .gif madness with pictures of the Giant Bomb staff. Beyond that feel free to discuss your underrated games of the generation as well as the games that surprised you and unexpectedly drew you in. Are any of you excited for the VGX tomorrow? Whether you are anticipating trailers or want to share your predictions for the awards ceremony. We have plenty of debate threads ranging from discussing high light contrast in next gen games to Doom vs. Doom II. Finally join the Frozen Endzone beta discussion if you got in the beta and check out PilotXian's Giant Bomb decal for Forza 5.

Lovable Lists

Doppelgamer plans on using the power of video games to help him learn Japanese! Check out the games he plans on playing to improve his literacy skills. shenstra plans on playing every single Final Fantasy game and shares his progress thus far on his list. DevourerofTime shares a list of games he plans on playing before making his Game of the Year List, whereas damswedon completes his.

Useful User Reviews

Potent Podcasts

18 Comments

This is the Worst(Best) Birthday Ever

This is what my video game birthday present was:

Uh WHAT THE FUCK?!

Yup that's right...my parents SOMEHOW randomly decided to buy me Monster Hunter for the Wii as my birthday gift.

I want to give a little insight in why this is one of the greatest unintentionally hilarious gifts ever. When I asked my mother why she bought this her exact words were "I hear you like anime, so we got you this Japanese video game." That and when she inquired which video games I may want as a gift I said Bioshock Infinite was a solid game that I'd like to play.

Now I didn't DEMAND Bioshock, but I still have no idea how my parents got to Monster Hunter based on my enjoyment of anime alone. However when I opened the package that ominously looked like a video game box and found it to be Monster Hunter...I broke down in laughter.

It was PERFECT! At no point did I let on that I wanted to play Monster Hunter, and at no point have I ever wanted to...I mean Jesus. I don't know how or why this happening to me...but it's magical. I cannot believe any of this is happening to me.

So I guess I have to play Monster Hunter, eh?

37 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 11/29/2013

Special Thanks to RenegadeMike for This Banner!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! You have been asking for it for a while, but a new t-shirt is finally here! The new VinnCo Maglift System t-shirt is still available for $20 (plus shipping) in all sizes at the Giant Bomb Emporium. For those wondering if there is going to be a 2014 subscriber t-shirt don't worry it's coming, but the staff can't agree on the design. For those still wondering why the last Unprofessional live stream was free Twitch.tv removed its access code feature meaning that premium or subscriber streams are no longer possible. The engineers are going to work on a solution soon, and expect an update if they can't design something by the time the next premium stream rolls out. Speaking of Jeff, he's still a man with no luck. In terms of Thanksgiving Patrick wants to know that HE is very thankful of YOU, even if it should be the other way around. Also Josh Melnick has the best Thanksgiving Thanks for Ryan:

Well Said!

Clips of the Week

TurboMan is back but this time has compiled the best moments from the Xbox One live stream. TepidShark on the other hand decided to mash the Persona 4 Dancing All Night trailer with Van Halen.

Community Activities

  • Characters of the Generation - Hub Thread - Join the Community Effort to Crown a "Character of the Generation" Over Here!
  • PKMN League - Sign Ups for Season 3 Close on Saturday - Sign Up Here!
  • Spelunky Giveaway - Humor mracoon's Obsession with Spelunky By Taking Free Copies of the Game from Him Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

The Legend of Zelda and Mario are swinging strong this week. With Ryse and The Shivah are bringing up the rear.

Best of Blogs

Mento continues to look back at the generation that was using MS Paint with the year 2007 as his target year this week. Video_Game_King finally got around to playing Assassin's Creed III and shares his thoughts about that and some obscure Japanese anime garbage. On the flip side GoranP played Assassin's Creed IV and explains why it's the first Assassin's Creed game he has actually liked. Spraynardtatum uses Dead Rising 3 as a case study of why in-game exploits good for games, and how micro-transactions are killing them. Similarly, Falconer breaks down why as a fan of the Forza franchise the micro-transactions in that game have seriously bummed him out. Granderojo pleads the case for hex grids and uses Fire Emblem Awakening as his evidence. DonChipotle however, pleads the case for why Nier is his game of the generation. Irishdoom and MooseyMcMan share the ups and downs they have had with the PS4. Music maestro Hamst3r has some original music for you to enjoy, and PeezMachine shares his progress in designing a Giant Bomb themed version of WindJammers. tamriilin takes up Brad's challenge and lists ten games that came out this year that he thinks are better than Brothers (even though that wasn't his challenge). Yummylee decided to go back to the first Onimusha game and talks about how it holds up today. As seen above TepidShark crossed Van Halen with Persona, even though the instructions clearly say to not cross the streams. With all of this Persona talk swirling around Aaox shares his concerns about the Persona franchise and disappointment with the Persona 5 reveal.

Fantastic Forums

SupaPuerco has created a Giant Bomb random headline generator where you can mashup TMZ, BuzzFeed, and Tested headlines with real Giant Bomb ones with hilarious results. It's time to change your avatar to have a Santa hat...yeah! There's another thread where you can have another user photoshop a Santa hat for you. Then we have a shit ton of video game discussion threads, and at over five discussion threads this week I'm going to go on a limb and say meets Urban Dictionary's definition of a "metric shit ton."

Lovable Lists

Mento throws his hat into fray in determining the Soundtrack of the Generation with his list. alucasan decided to go back to the games of his gaming past and listed out his favorites. doppelgamer also went old school but annotates the old examples of censorship in video games that still grind his gears. Inspired by his enjoyment of A Link Between Worlds MormonWarrior decided to rank all of the Legend of Zelda games from best to worst. natedagr811 decided to call it a year and has published his GotY list.

Useful User Reviews

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I Play Video Games - Off Into Space!

Author's Note: It has become a reoccurring joke that I do not play a lot of video games. The only contrivance that I have with this joke is that it's true. Part of it is work, and another part is my own personal problems with time management. Regardless of the reason I'm trying to get better. So please join my as I try to rectify an injustice. There will be no fancy banners, nor will I have any humorous videos to share. It's just me talking about video games...and maybe anime.

FTL

With rougelikes I feel an inclination that everyone has their “techniques” so to speak when approaching them. An often ignored aspect to roguelikes is the fact that they reward different playstyles. With my fifteen hours of FTL I found a strong preference of utilizing both offensive and defensive droids. However, FTL is a game that wants you to explore its possibilities as much as it wants you to explore every possible scenario that it has to share with you. I want to first say that for some reason I find myself enjoy the strategy game takes of the roguelike formula a lot more than the more traditional takes of the rogue-like concept (i.e. Legend of Grimrock). Another reason for my enjoyment of FTL most likely comes down to my passion for science fiction and options. The nonchalant nature of death assuages much of my fears of “spec-ing” incorrectly or leveling myself into a corner, two phobias which have led me to experiencing this massive JRPG blackhole in my video game lifetime.

No really think about giving Flotilla a shot!

I feel the slight desire to mention that FTL reminded me of another game I played a while back of a similar design structure, that game being the oft forgotten Flotilla. In fact if you enjoyed FTL and have not played Flotilla I give it a strong recommendation. Just like FTL you deal with random scenarios and premises for your battles, but with Flotilla there is an element of wackiness. The first major difference is that in Flotilla you move units around a 3D space while tackling foes. Also, Flotilla tasks you with creating and leading a fleet whereas FTL asks you to more closely manage a single ship. They are both interesting takes of the space roguelike formula that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Despite that recommendation there are two main criticisms that I have with FTL. The first issue is that many of the cruisers are downright impossible to unlock because they require an inordinate amount of luck. The exponentially slim chances of successfully accomplishing each step towards unlocking a single new cruiser is discouraging for a game that revels in the world of discovery and space exploration. Just reading over the steps you need to accomplish in order to unlock something like the Crystal Cruiser is slightly disheartening.

One of these day I will get you....

The second conundrum I face with the game is the same conundrum that Jeff faced last year when he placed FTL on his Game of the Year list; that issue being, I cannot for the life of me beat the Rebel Flagship. Part of this descends from my preferred play style, the use of droids and ion cannons, which I found to be woefully ill-suited for the Flagship. Indeed, the Flagship discouraged a lot of play styles that worked up until that point that I enjoyed using. Alas, sadism is also part of the course when it comes to roguelikes and it appears that just like Flotilla and previous games of this type I can honestly equivocate a liking of the game, despite never having completed it.

That all aside I enjoyed my time with FTL and plan on tinkering around with it more. Hopefully the bits and pieces that haven’t yet “clicked” with me soon will, and I can revel in the steaming hunk that is a defeated Rebel Flagship.

Neptune’s Pride

I had a minor debate with myself in regards to whether I wanted to write about this or A Virus Named Tom, two games that I spent a decent amount of time with, but developed a distaste for as I progressed with them. Now I say all of this to prep you for a very controversial statement. Neptune’s Pride is Risk, but slower and with a lot of spreadsheets. This is a problem for me for one main reason.

That reason being that Risk is a shit strategy game.

In order to have some fun...I named my character "Pig Sticker."

Risk is a giant lie. It values luck and die rolls over legitimate strategy. People who like Risk enjoy it because they have ONE good experience and think they can repeat that experience in another playthrough, impressing all those that oppose them. However, reality comes crushing down and usually in your follies you are out of the game in the first ten turns because you couldn’t get more than two states in a single continent. That and you are that one unlucky guy that got effed over before the first round and now someone is turtling Australia. That isn't strategy; that is chaos disguised as strategy. Chaos does fine in certain games, but strategy is not one of them. I am not dismissing the idea of games where a player can win against outstanding odds. No, that should always be an option or possibility in any good strategy game, but that should be a result of maneuvering tactics, tactical errors committed by an opponent, better equipped units, or Hell evenly Godly abilities work for me.

Now let’s talk about Neptune’s Pride II. Now let me further delay my stunning description of the game with a little backstory. This was all Sweep’s idea. The little British hamburger likes holding Giant Bomb mod gaming events and decided to try a browser based space Risk game that would take DAYS to complete. Part of the reasons why I joined was due to seeing the staff have a bunch of fun with Pathfinder, and as a result I was up for playing a board game with some friends.

So Neptune’s Pride did not tap into that goodwill in the way I had hoped. It was, as already mentioned, a slower more droll version of Risk. Just like Risk on multiple occasions I lost major battles despite having superior numbers and technology. However, whereas in Risk you have the dice to blame, Neptune’s Pride doesn't even share its logic behind why battles unfolded the way they do. You wait until the battle has finished and await a notification to pop up in your “Events” tab where it finally reveals the results of your engagement. It is…how do I put it…a giant cock tease. You take all of the effort to create the factories to make the ships and buy the carriers to move them and you are rewarded with…an event notification. To say that the most fundamental aspect of Neptune’s Pride is deflating is an understatement.

Another issue that I have with the game is its time commitment. Researching technology to make your space empire more efficient takes hours, and the simple act of moving around the map to deal with invasions takes days. Worse yet the game penalizes you for fundamental parts of the gameplay. Creating alliances for example costs $150 whereas carriers, which move your armies around the cost $25. That last number may not sound significant, but consider the fact that in order to actual move your army you have to spend in-game currency. The end result of all of this is a long gaming experience that is better suited to the Civilization franchise. It takes forever to do anything, and by the time you make even the most inane accomplishment, you are again only rewarded with a notification.

Chaser324 ended up winning by the way

I guess part of my dissatisfaction came with how my fellow “peers” conducted themselves. For example, at one point MB couldn't log into his account and his empire went into AI administration. So all of his neighbors got free planets with relative ease. I on the other hand was locked into a bitter battle with the squid aliens which I later discovered were led by none other than the nefarious Sweep. HOWEVER, by the fifth day everyone’s patience had been worn thin and more and more players dropped out from the match completely. By the end it was just Chaser324 and I and he was able to gobble up another empire to finally end our suffering. I can’t recommend this to anyone. It bored my friends and myself to tears, and even my attempt at roleplaying subsided when I realized that no one was even close to winning four days in.

Other Stuff

Oh and by other stuff I mean anime. Right now I'm watching Kill la Kill, which many of you already know about from the inordinate number of animated .gifs from it that have been posted on the internet. If only the show was always a .gif factory. I currently feel conflicted about the show. I love the action and the way it subverts the fanservice trope. I don't like it heavy handedness and pacing. In this first season there have been two episodes that have resulted in me reacting violently, one which resulted on my posting a four paragraph rant about why I did not like it. However, I keep watching it, because I KNOW it's going to "turn." This show is of course from the minds that created Gurren Lagann...so there's going to be a major "turn," that I am confident about. It's just a matter of when, and how. Even if the "turn" is bad I want to see it and as such I'm watching it consistently. If the show starts doing stupid stuff like making it official that Senketsu is Matoi's dead father, as hinted during the last episode, I'll just move onto to Samurai Flamenco, because that looks like some anime ass anime.

I guess that's one of the reasons why I like Kill la Kill. It's an anime ass anime, and revels in it.

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The Community Spotlight - 11/22/2013 (New Console Time!)

Ryan Davis, You Magnificent Man. Making us Laugh from the Grave!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! The Xbox One is here and the "Next Gen," is officially this gen. That's not the only thing notable about this week, as the Giant Bomb Game of the Generation voting has ended with Mass Effect2 being the victor! Regardless of how you may feel about the result let's give @mracoon a round of applause for setting up and managing the whole event on his own prerogative. If you want some more context about the image above, check out Ben Kuchera's Vine recording of the actual reading of Ryan's Tweet. With that I would like to remind you that Giant Bomb is a website about video games.

Clip(s) of the Week

@lackingsaint returns with another Animated Bombcast video, with this episode bringing new life to Jeff's Oculus Rift. @turboman also graces us this week with a "Best of..." clip compiling the best moments from Giant Bomb's PS4 live stream.

Community Activities

  • Xbox One Gamertag Exchange Thread - Grow Your Xbox One Friends List By Posting your Gamertag Here!
  • Giant Bomb Forza Race Night - Set for Thursdays, 9:30 PM ET - Race with Other User Over Here!
  • Spelunky PSN Daily Challenge Friends - Join the Friendly Competition Over Here!
  • Characters of the Generation! Now Accepting Nominations! - Join the Follow Up to the Giant Bomb Community Game of the Generation Event Here!

Wonderful Wikis

Hey the Xbox One came out this week. If you like cars check out our wiki page for Forza 5. If Killer Instinct is intriguing you check out our wiki page for the game to learn about the different tiers of the game. Also, support zombie genocide by checking out our wiki page for Dead Rising 3.

Best of Blogs

GoranP has gone down the game development rabbit hole and shares his experiences on his latest blog. TruthTella provides a breakdown of the Xbox One launch event as well as its insanity. Gamer_152 explains why little changes to console architecture can translate to a lot more than you would anticipate. CharlesAlanRatliff and GERALTITUDE both bought PS4s at launch and detail their thoughts and launch woe experiences. Video_Game_King is here this week with summaries of his impressions and adventures with Planet Laika and Illusion of Gaia. DarthOrange detailed the games of the last generation he was most fond of, whereas SeconPersonShooter looks back at 2013 and the games he thinks are better than Brothers. Cybexx talks about a presentation by Crytek related to Ryse, and how it made him respect the game at least from a technical perspective. Have you ever heard of the Senran Kagura franchise? If not then check out Apathylad's brief synopsis about Senran Kagura Burst for the 3DS. Endrdoug finally got around to playing Element4l, but pontificates on why he liked everything about it, except for the actual "game" part. Mento continues to blast through his Humble Bundle backlog; MooseyMcMan gives you a snapshot of his adventures in Dragon's Dogma; and finally JasonR86 gives you a day ten update on his time with Rocksmith and how it has improved his guitar playing skills.

Fantastic Forums

As mentioned LackingSaint has created a new and wonderful edition to his Giant Bomb Animated series, and you can provide your input about his video on his thread. Also previously hinted was Ryan's "guest" appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Read more about the revelatory event on the thread. You can also join in on discussions about the strongest gun in video game history and which is the best hot sauce.

Lovable Lists

Inspired by Hailinel's effort to crown a "Character of the Generation," Mento has decided to create a list of his personal favorite characters from this generation. Sparky_Buzzsaw on the other hand points out that there was plenty to be disappointed about with the 360, PS3, and Wii era of games on his list of disappointments.

Useful User Reviews

Potent Podcasts

20 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 11/15/2013

If You are not Following the giantbombconfessions Tumblr Account...You are Missing Out

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! Hey everyone the PS4 is out! As a result we have a bunch of PS4 goodies for you to enjoy this week. If you missed out on Giant Bomb's PS4 live stream here's a link to the best part. For those that are fans of Bombin' in the AM Greg Kasavin is going to be the featured guest for this Monday's episode. For those wondering Patrick is working to ensure that every Monday episode has a guest of some sort. For those that wanted an update on the Giant Bomb Extra Life team, the team has now raised over $117,000! Remember you can still donate until the end of the year!

Clip(s) of the Week

Our very own @turboman has created a new edition of his Best of Giant Bomb Quick Look video feature, but this time he has compiled the best moments from the Extra Life stream! The second video is from the YouTUbe account "The Mystery Zone," which has mashed up Giant Bomb with team Fortress.

Community Activities

  • GB Community Game of the Generation Bracket - Round 2 - Join the Community Effort to Elect a Game of the Generation Here!
  • PS4 PSN ID Exchange Thread - Add Fellow Giant Bomb Users to Your PS4 Friends List By Heading Over Here!
  • Season 8 of Star Trek Online! Join the GB STO Guild Space Neon Lobsters in Rediscovering STO Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

Hey the PS4 came out. That's kind of a big deal. the wiki pages for Need for Speed and Blacklight Retribution are great pieces of work. Also, learn about why you would want to return to the world of XCOM and what the heck Contrast is all about.

Best of Blogs

With a the PS4 official launched Dalai would like to remind you how weird and raw the first year of a console's lifespan can get, whereas rempresent reminisces about attending the midnight launch of the Wii. MMMman becomes the first and last person to refer to Saints Row IV as "lovely," but defends his words. GrantHeaslip has finally decided to bite the bullet and play the very first Kingdom Hearts game using the 1.5 release. Similarly Hailinel provides his thoughts on Assassin's Creed IV on the WiiU as someone who has never played a an Assassin's Creed game, whereas ArbitraryWater discusses why Assassin's Creed III is "less than the sum of its parts." Blogging veteran Video_Game_King hacked up some fools this week with Hotline Miami and Soul Blazer. Mento has started a new blog series, but this one showcases a slew of Humble Bundle games. thatpinguino's blog series examining the depiction of amnesia in the Final Fantasy franchise is back! Phatmac joins the "Game of the Generation" fray with a blog about his personal favorites of this generation. YukoAsho pontificates upon what she thinks are the real reasons for Blockbuster's closing, and the impact it has on the gaming industry. PerfidiousSinn breaksdown the gameplay mechanics from Sonic Unleashed that Sonic Lost Worlds could have used or learned from, whereas leebmx has a film and game analysis of the similarities between GTA V and To Live and Die in LA. Peezmachine is not giving up on making a Windjammers game featuring the Giant Bomb staff, and Sammo21 explains why he thinks Batman: Arkham Origins is a "lie" to fans of the Arkham games. Finally JasonR86 gives you an update on how Rocksmith is improving his guitar skills.

Fantastic Forums

Everyone has a story about how they lost a save or an important game file got corrupted, so join the therapy group discussion thread about experiencing such misfortune! If you have tinkered around with the latest Burial at Sea DLC for Bioshock Infinite feel free to share your spoilerific impression about the DLC on the discussion thread. Finally Viking_Funeral has taken the time to compile some stats from the Giant Bomb Community Game of the Generation voting that has been going on.

Lovable Lists

We have two very distinctive and well thought out Game of the Generation lists from Sparky_Buzzsaw and Demoskinos. Check them both out and feel free to come up with own lists. Mento on the other hand looks at the best and most well known video game characters named "James."

Useful User Review

Potent Podcasts

21 Comments