Saving My Work on Screened - German Expressionism

Author's Note: As you all may be aware of Screened.com is dead. Screened launch roughly one year after I had become a moderator on Giant Bomb, which continues to humble me. Anyways during the earlier stages of my modship I could afford spending some time actually editing various wiki pages on both Giant Bomb and Screened. Rather than see a lot of that work just disappear I'm re-posting it here for old times sake and for my own benefit. I was but a teenage when I first published many of these text submissions and have combed over them a bit to buff out the rough edges here and there.

An era of early German cinema (roughly 1910 to 1922), which shows the first implementation of a recognizable national cinema. The movement came about largely as a transition from WWI into the interwar years, however it also contains elements form the long term German cultural mindset, especially the literary fascination

Background

Expressionism is the movement in the fine arts that emphasized the expression of one’s inner self and their angst rather than solely being realistic and fanboyish about the world and life. Expressionism was a reaction to impressionism which projected stark and absolute realities. Expressionists sought to reverse this trend in the arts and wished to portray allegorical worlds which were in themselves metaphors for what people were experiencing at the time. Originally a movement in painting and sculpture Expressionism quickly spread to the fledgling movie industry in Europe. A vast majority of film expressionists came from the nation of Germany, hence why the term “German Expressionism” is commonly used to describe this movement in film. However there were numerous Expressionist filmmakers not from Germany.

German Expressionism, painters

Painters are widely considered to have started the movement now known as German Expressionism. Their influences were: Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and even El Greco. Expressionist painters lead with their emotions, producing subjective interpretations of the world around them. Expressionist painters often created dynamic compositions in vivid or dark colors complimented with broad brush strokes. Kandinsky who was part of a group of painters known as: Der Blaue Reiter said that producing aesthetically pleasing impressions was not as important to him as it was to create powerful emotional reactions. In the world of film many place the start of German Expressionism at the beginning of the 20th century, although the ending for the movement is harder to define. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff who was a very influential member of this movement worked until his death in 1976, whereas Marc Chagall died in 1985. Most consider artists such as Lucien Freud and Hubert Roestenburg part of German Expressionism; with Hubert Roestenburg old but still working and Lucian Michael Freudhaving recently passed away in 2011.

Style and History

When German Expressionism started Germany had just recovered from the consequences and devestations of World War I. Just like their fellow Germans, many German film directors felt disillusioned with reality and the world around them. As a reaction to this these directors created films that with surreal landscapes that were oftentimes warped and distorted. German expressionist directors then toke their disillusionment one step further by having heavy and stark shadows, depressed/dark stories, and corruptible as well as untrustable characters. As many Germans had felt betrayed by their government at the conclusion of World War I many German Expressionist directors projected authority figures as villains to convey the sense that no one could be trusted in the world they were living in. For example, in the movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari the main antagonist was a doctor. Further coupled with their mise en scene direction Expressionist directors wanted viewers to look beyond the characters on the screen and examine the world the characters were interacting in.

There were other common motifs with this movement of filmmaking. Movies such as Metropolis conveyed a growing sense of skepticism towards industrialism and the roles that society had placed on its citizens. Other movies projected a sense of persecution that certain ethnic minorities were feeling and witnessing as Germany was trying to recover and rebuild after the Great War. In the movie The Golem: How He Came into the World, a Jewish community feels so persecuted and discriminated against that they create a golem to protect them. This film highlights the growing amount of religious persecution and intolerance many minorities people were facing at the time, especially in Germany. While most German Expressionist films depicted mature and real issues they oftentimes contained fantasy components that allowed the director to over stylize their stories to add greater drama. It was this fantasy component that also freed the director creatively thus giving them free realm to set their story in any time as well as any place.

The End of the Movement and Getting into the USA

Unfortunately, the “Golden Age” of German Expressionism was a short (from ~1920-1933). The reason for this is simple. By the 1930s a certain German dictator had gained complete control of the German government and discredited German Expressionism as a degenerate art and established propaganda as the dominant style of film making in Germany. However this did not mark the end of the road for many Expressionists. As a result of their persecution many expressionist directors left their home nation and found themselves immigrating to a land of glitz and glamor—Hollywood, California. While German silent and sound cinema was arguably far ahead of cinema in Hollywood in terms of cinematography and different in tone and mood, German directors found American movie studios willing to embrace them and find their movie projects. The results of this would shape the backbone of American cinema forever.

Influence on Early American Horror

Hollywood at first saw expressionist directors from Germany as best suited to direct horror movies. That horror genre at the time was just starting to gain popularity in the United States when the first wave of German Expressionists arrived. However, studios like Universal benefitted greatly when it decided to support and publish numerous projects run by German expatriates. Examples of this include Dracula (1931) and The Mummy (1932), by Karl Freund, and The Black Cat (1934), directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, which are now all considered horror film classics. However the number of movies under the direct control of German movie makers was not the full extent of their influence on American horror films. Earlier during the 1920s, when the German movie industry became the forefront of movie making, many American directors visited and learned film making from German institutions and universities.

During German Expressionism's height the German film studio Universum Film AG (UFA), was one of the most significant champions of the movement and the art of film making in the country. There were myriads of foreign staff and directors who worked at and visited the UFA. One of the most important people to have visited UFA would eventually become one of the most important directors of Hollywood— Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock was sent to work on the German film The Blackguard. As a result similarities between Hitchock's earlier films and German Expressionism are quite clear. The direction seen in some of Hitcock’s films like Psycho or The Lodger all feature super saturated shadows and zoomed in camera angles which he learned about while studying at the UFA. Hitchcock himself was very open about the importance of German expressionism on his style of film making even going so far as to say that:

"I have acquired a strong German influence by working at the UFA studios [at] Berlin."

However, Hitchcock is only one example of many, but he stands as one of the most notable examples of a Western director learning from German Expressionism and applying it with Western film making techniques.

Creating the Foundation for Film Noir

Film Noir is oftentimes credited as having made Hollywood—Hollywood, and with good reason. Film Noir has proven to be one of the most important movements in American film history having shaped modern film directing forever. Film Noir established the everlasting imprint of American directors such as Orson Welles, who would go on to inspire numerous filmmakers to come. However, this all would not have happened if weren’t for the helping hand of German Expressionism. As it has already been noted German Expressionists came to Hollywood to find greater opportunities in the film industry, and they did. Josef von Sternberg, an Austrian exile would go onto make films such as Shanghai Express (1932) and The Devil Is a Woman (1935). These two pulpy erotic films would help establish the motif of the femme fatale for American directors. Sternberg also proved to be one of the most influential filmmakers for the aforementioned Orson Welles, especially for his magnum opus Citizen Kane which features numerous film techniques and motifs very similar to Sternberg’s earlier works. Techniques such as low camera angles and strategic lighting had all been well known techniques utilized by Sternberg and later adopted by Wells. The character Charles Foster Kane also shares many similarities to the archetypical German Expressionist protagonist. Kane starts out as an "every man," who feels in some way disillusioned by the world around him just like many of the protagonists in German Expressionist works.

Influence on Modern Day Film

Directors today still point to German Expressionism as the source of their inspiration. The two most well-known examples are Tim Burton, Ridley Scott, and Paul Verhoeven. Tim Burton would go onto emulate the German Expressionist vision for many of his early works and continues to create Expressionist world in some of his later films like Sweeney Todd. The most clear cut example would be Burton's film Edward Scissorhands, who is actually a take on the character, Caesar, from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Ridley Scott would emulate German Expressionism in his epic science fiction movie, Blade Runner. In it we see many of the same themes highlighted in the movie Metropolis and many set pieces that emulate earlier Expressionist works. Paul Verhoeven cited Metropolis as the most important film to him while filming RoboCop, wanting the design of the titular character to be a male version the robot Maria.

1 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 03/07/2014

Special thanks to Sin4profit for This Banner for the Alt+F1 Podcast!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! As the banner above suggest there's a new podcast! This one features Drew and continual friend of the site, Danny O'Dwyer, and is all about F1 racing called Alt+F1. The first episode is up for your listening enjoyment over here. Also which one of you created the VinnCo PR Department Twitter account? Seriously, that's kind of creepy. We have sold all of the copies of the Nighthawks posters that there will be printed. Also here's another Alt+F1 user created banner:

With that let's get on with the latest episode of the Spotlight!

Clips of the Week

I'm back to having four videos this week! Two come from @wallofbricks how continues to showcase the best of Brad's follies in Demon's Souls. TheBurlapLemur is back with another edition of his BiteSize Bomb video series, which seeks to find the best moments of every Quick Look on Giant Bomb. Finally we have @turboman with yet another great episode of his "Best of Giant Bomb" video series. This episode has more classic Random PC game moments.

Community Activities

  • The Mighty Quest for Loot Open Beta Friends Code Exchange Thread - Hook Up with Other Users In the Beta Over Here!
  • Giant Bomb Diablo III Community Group - Prepare for Reaper of Souls with Other Users Here!

Wonderful Wikis

@bobafettjm continues to create good wiki pages for "questionable" games with a 400+ point page for a Kids Next Door game. Also, @yummylee has been doing a lot of good work on the wiki pages for various Resident Evil character and concept pages.

Best of Blogs

Hailinel has written a massive blog about the end of the Lightning Saga and what the series means to him. thatpinguino looks back at Bioshock Infinite and the "end" of Irrational as we know it. MikeLemmer has been playing Banished for while, and explains why it is his designated "side-game." Ilikepopcans bought all of the Assassin's Creed mobile games, and breaks down why you should not follow his example. Heo_Swe is still playing Skyrim, and gives you a role-playing inspired look into his adventures. Video_Game_King is still in Japan with the first Onimusha game and Ninja Spirit as his game targets this week. FLStyle comments on the death of Screened as well as other gaming and non-gaming news. Tarfuin struck Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning from his backlog, but explains why the story of 38 Studios is more interesting than the game. dankempster re-kindled his Pokemon itch and has started a blog series of his foray into Pokemon FireRed, whereas Mento finishes his blog series sharing his play-through of Go! Go! Nippon. Mento also wrote a blog detailing how he accomplished some of the hardest achievements for Spelunky. MannyMAR defends his belief that the Crestfallen Warrior is the best NPC in the entire Souls franchise. MajorMitch has his gaming roundup for February, and BlackLagoon is also back with a blog of the new releases for the PlayStation Vita.

Fantastic Forums

Big round of applause goes to andmm for creating a Giant Bomb live stream notification system for Chrome! Related to that we have a community appreciation thread for the greatest American, Twitch user Cigs66. Join Brackynews's community effort to make following users cool again. Finally we have discussion threads for Amy Hening's departure, the second episode of The Walking Dead, Batman Arkham Knight, and when you last said "I'm done" while playing a game.

Lovable Lists

Mento has decided to annotate the number of times video game characters have dramatically cut their hair. Feel free to help him out with more examples.

Useful User Reviews

Potent Podcasts

Good Job mashermallow!

15 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 02/28/2014

Special Thanks to Teddie for This Fantastic Work of Art!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! I am your host as always. The chat system has been updated so the new reply system should be fine. Earlier this week the CBSi live stream servers were functioning at 30%, but we should be fine now. Not only that but we have a new batch of chat emoticons for you to abuse/enjoy! Brad Muir, Dave Lang, Cool Baby, and myself are all new emoticons you can use and enjoy. On a bit of a low note our former sister sit, Screened, is closing down. Share and discuss your favorite Screened memories over here. Patrick got jolted by his teenage self when someone located an old letter he sent to The Official PlayStation Magazine. Speaking of Patrick Tumblr user jneuman13 admits to being the one that rope a doped Patrick into a talk at his campus. With that let's get on with the latest edition of the Community Spotlight!

Clips of the Week

wallofbricks is back with another video showcasing Brad's follies in Demon's Souls.

Community Activities

  • Form/Find a Fantasy Dota League - Join Other Users in Creating Fantasy Leagues Over Here!
  • Battlefield 4 GBSQ Platoon - Join the Newly Created Community Platoon for Battlefield 4 Over Here!
  • Giant Bomb Diablo III Clan - Enjoy the Diablo III Update with Other Users By Heading Over Here!
  • Community RUST Server - Get an Invite to Join PHARAOH's Private Server for GB User Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

Someone...@demoskinos put over two hunder wiki points into Project DIVA 2nd. Read all about Hatsune Freaku there. Also with the new Strider read all about the two major versions of the original Strider game.

Best of Blogs

We have another video game "conspiracy theory" this week, but this one comes from thatpinguino and Persona 4's anti-video game agenda. ArbitraryWater has a blog discussing a decidedly not so old PC game, Might & Magic X, and why it tickled his fancy. Video_Game_King is back in Japan this week, and this time toiled away in the daimyo with Sakura Samurai and Tenchu. Gamer_152 explains why he doesn't think Titanfall is the "next Call of Duty," and pontificates on what he enjoyed and disliked about the beta. lordgodalming cuts to the chase with this edition of his "Good Games that Cheat" blog with Ninja Gaiden and Lords of Shadow. Cathryn uses the Fable and Persona franchises to discuss her unusual relationship with game sequels. Mento has panty shots and a MS Paint webcomic this week. PerfidiousSinn has been playing Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate again and provides his final thoughts on the good and bad of the game. Granderojo explains why the iOS port of R-Type II has potential to be great, but is held back by control weirdness. MooseyMcMan talks about his experiences with Metro Last Light and Remember Me and why they have great atmosphere but questionable gameplay. PimblyCharles has broken the 1,000th post mark this week and looks back on following the GB staff for ten years. NathHaw interviewed a bunch of cosplayers from Katsucon XX, and dudeglove shares his dedication to The Binding of Isaac over the years.

Fantastic Forums

Teddie is the one who provided that wonderful Binding of Patrick artwork that I used for the banner. So if you can send your regards to him. wallofbricks has yet another awesome compilation video of some hilarious moments from Brad and Vinny's romp through Demon's Souls. On top of that join other members of the community in predicting how many times you will die playing Dark Souls II. Should stealth games allow you to kill the gaurds impeding your progress? Also join the discussion related to the shutdown of GFWL, HD remakes, dead franchises, and Persona 5.

Lovable Lists

Jagged85 continues to examine pan-generational aspects of the gaming industry with a list of "the most powerful consoles."

Useful User Reviews

Potent Podcasts

Brad is SOOO Moe it Hurts.

23 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 02/21/2014 (I Have Gone YouTube Crazy!)

Jesse Ventura Would Be Proud.

Hello everyone and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight, I am your host as always! As you may have noticed design changes to the site are still rolling out. The most notable example this week being the new in-chat reply system. For those that are concerned about the new system just based on the day of its release please rest assured that that version of the system was incomplete and it is still being worked on and improved. For those of you that were or are unable to log onto the live chat try clearing your cache and restarting your browser and seeing if that helps you out. For those of you that have ordered one of the Nighthawks Posters from a while back rest assured that the order for the posters has been placed and they are being made as we speak! Finally the Giant Bomb moderation team would like you to assist us in saving everyone a bit of a headache. Due to a glitch threads and blogs cannot be moved to game specific boards. As a result please ensure that all of your blogs and threads are attached to the correct board.

Clips of the Week

I have THREE videos this week! The first comes from @questionmarkman who has compiled every single one of Brad's deaths while playing Volgarr the Viking...his video is over FORTY MINUTES LONG! @turboman's latest "Best of Giant Bomb" video is all about the best moments of Random PC Game and permanent friend Dave Snider. Finally LieutenantEddy is back with another Bombcast animated clip showing off the staff's latest "Year of Luigi" conversation.

Community Activities

  • Officially Unofficial Giant Bomb Titanfall Xbox One Friends and Gamertag Sharing Thread - Post Your Gamertag HERE!
  • Earth Defense Force 2025 Online/Multiplayer Hook-up Thread - Post Your Console Preference and Gamertag/ID HERE!

Wonderful Wikis

If someone ever asks you to name someone who is excited to play Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2...you a can definitively respond with "VINNY MOTHERFUCKING CARAVELLA!" Finally a special thanks goes to @jeanluc for keeping the character page to Clementine of The Walking Dead up to date and completely awesome.

Best of Blogs

GunstarRed bought and played the new Rambo video game and played and wrote more about than any sane person should. TheMasterDS wants you to join his "Always Be Rolling" club when it comes to playing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Raven10 questions why many gamers judge and rate games based on how long they are. Pabba created two humorous webcomic summaries of Brothers and Blood Dragon based on what he played of them this week. Jan is back with another showcase of his CG skills with a fan video of the disco zombie from Plants vs. Zombies. Video_Game_King has three games this week and two of them were actually good. Sackmanjones and tamriilin both played a good deal of the Titanfall beta and share their thoughts on what they think of what they played. Wuddle was also all about multiplayer games this week, and tarfuin vents about why LofR: War in the North is frustrating for a dedicated LotR fan such as himself. SirOptimusPrime went back to the original Myst and comments on its impact on adventure games. Sarumarine breaksdown his latest attempt to complete Blitz the League 2 after trying for over five years, whereas demmetje comments on how Spelunky meets all of the criteria to be classified as an "e-sport." Finally 7force imagine what the boardroom discussions for Asura's Wrath were like, and shonboy630 defends his love for Final fantasy XII.

Fantastic Forums

If you haven't done so already check out the "Best of" videos that wallofbricks has been making! Thus far both videos show off the best/worst that Brad Shoemaker has to offer. On a more serious not please join the civil and constructive discussion over the lack of playable females in Deep Down. Remember to keep things civil. Then we have plenty of game discussion threads ranging from the Left Behind DLC to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.

Lovable Lists

Jagged85 utilized multiple sources to compile lists of the highest grossing games of 2013 and the biggest game companies in terms of total assets as of 2013. These two lists are highly educational and worth checking out.

Useful User Reviews

20 Comments

I Play Video Games - Not My Cup of Tea

Author's Note: It has been a while since I last posted one of these blogs but for those that don't know it is a reoccurring joke that I do not play a lot of video games. The only issue that I have with this joke is that it's mostly 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.

A Virus Named Tom

As hinted on the last one of these back in November of 2013 I indicated that I was playing A Virus Named Tom, and I was not enjoying myself. Since then I have been intermittently playing it in thirty minute to one hour burst. Ultimately this is the optimal way to play most puzzle games, but my resentment towards A Virus Named Tom continued unabated.

Oh the Hell with this

A Virus Named Tom commits what I consider to be a cardinal sin in puzzle games. With the progression of every single level there’s a new mechanic to create difficulty as you progress. This is fine the first couple of times, but eventually you hit a gameplay wall. Whenever puzzle games rely on this strategy there comes a time when the game expects you to micro-manage everything in a matter of seconds. At that point you either “get it” or you don’t, and you might be able to guess where I stood by the time I reached the final stage of A Virus Named Tom. You have to flip puzzle pieces, avoid bugs, grace them ever so slightly to get extra time, and plant well timed “bombs." Slap on a countdown timer and things just got a bit too hectic for my tastes.

So at some point I just decided to stop playing A Virus Named Tom rather than seeing it through until the end. At that point I decided that if I was going to play a frustrating game it was going to be more than a Pipe Dream derivative with a “light” story.

VVVVVV

I must say that as someone who doesn’t really enjoy the “masocore,” VVVVVV was a fun time, but this might be all that I can handle. Masocore games are designed exactly opposite to what I want to see in my video games, and as a result I avoid them like the plague.

One of my fundamental issues with the genre of masocore is that I have never really been a fan of “designed frustration,” and the caveats this entails. Part of it is how trivial death ends up becoming, and another is that this genre as a whole does not reward genuine experimentation. On the first point I oftentimes don’t understand why I am not able to get past certain obstacles or why I had finally conquered others. Solutions are sudden and death occurs swiftly which prevents real productive meditation on ones actions. The only real solution in this regard is to see things as the developer which I will extrapolate on further. This also leads to my second point of experimentation. Experimentation can only occur in video games if the consequences of dying are light, and if it is possible to reach multiple right conclusions when presented a problem or obstacle. Masocore games usually permit neither and as a result do not permit genuine experimentation.

So what do masocore games value most of all? Revelation and progression. Revelation is the emotional sense of finally understanding the design logic behind a puzzle or obstacle after having been murdered so many times. As the player starts to understand the logic of the designer they begin to feel they are getting better at the game. This is the only way to get better at the game as few of the obstacles have more than one real solution disregarding bugs.

Now in regards to progression this is the ultimate reward for masocore games. The real punishment in masocore games is not death, but the failure to progress further in the game. Whereas in other genres you might be able to avoid certain situations or side quests you know you would have issues with masocore games do not permit this. If there is even one mechanic or type of situation you find especially difficult you are, for lack of a better word, shit out of luck. You as the player must master everything, otherwise you will get nothing.

I say all of this merely to point out why I have problems with this particular genre of games. After five hours of trying and almost two thousand deaths I finally beat VVVVVV. I also should say that I am thankful that VVVVVV has a myriad of well-placed checkpoints and the look of the game was a charming homage to the ZX Spectrum. However, even then I find the overall design to be “eh” so to speak.

Proteus

So after discussing restrictive game design we move to the other side of the game design spectrum with Proteus. In fact Proteus maybe pushes things a little too far on the other side of the gaming spectrum towards anarchy.

Proteus is a sandbox game of the walking variety à la Dear Esther or Thirty Flights of Love. The difference here is that Proteus lacks a formal narrative and instead relies on audio and visual “flair” to encourage user exploration. This lack of a formal narrative is admittedly a distinctive aspect of Proteus, but it is also one of its weaknesses. The complete lack of any real or tangible objectives caused me to struggle find any real benefit to discovering new objects or sounds. Sure each object and thing makes a distinctive sound, but because everything is spread apart you aren’t really creating music, nor are you “solving” anything.

This is actually a pleasant surprise in the game

What you are doing is inducing transitions from Spring to Summer, from Summer to Fall, and finally from Fall to Winter. While the transitions are notable in their own regard I just didn’t feel like they were special enough. Now the exception to that would be the transition to Winter which reveals that the island is actually dead and what you had experienced up to that point was a reflection of what the island once was. It is a beautiful message, but it is one conveyed using only the most barebones of means.

It is however difficult to condemn Proteus outright. It is a very brief audio and visual experience that ends up being more dazzling than actually “fun” to play. It just lacks a sense of established mood to place its conclusion into a better, more powerful context.

Other Stuff

I almost did a write up of Divekick, as someone who does not enjoy fighting games. If you wanted to know it is an enjoyable riot that is a little beyond my comprehension than what I had hoped. I had hoped that a fighting game with a two button fighting system would more greatly value timing and reflexes versus more technical technique. The online community is a reflection of this considering how I got my ass handed to myself time and time again. At least getting defeated is hilarious though.

I do not like Kill la Kill (anymore). Expect a formal review of the series once it has concluded. Might I recommend Space Dandy or Samurai Flamenco instead?

7 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 02/14/2014

Special Thanks to greenseaweed for This Heartwarming Work of Art!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! I am your host as always. Well let's talk about not being a dick. As some of you may or may not be aware of we have seen an increase in trollish behavior on staff articles. The stance of the Giant Bomb staff and the moderation team is simple. Everyone is free to level criticism related to the site and opinions shared by the staff in a civil and constructive manner. What you cannot do is devolve to insults, nor are you allowed to attack the character of any staff member or users in an inflammatory manner. Failing to abide by this very simple directive is in violation of the Forum Rules of this site and will result in moderation. In happier news feel free to give the latest episode of the "Just Talking" Podcast which features our very own Patrick as a guest! Mr. Rorie has announced that Giant Bomb is looking into doing some hiring to bring some new faces to the site.

Finally AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Clips of the Week

We have two fantastic videos this week. The first of which comes from @wallofbricks who has compiled all of Patrick's best deaths from his Spelunkin' video series. Next we have @turboman who has another episode of his Best of Giant Bomb series.

Community Activities

  • Giant Bomb Bravely Default Friend Code Exchange Thread - Get Some Street Pass Friends to Help you Default Faster Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

It comes as no surprise that Lightning Returns has a well done and impressive wiki. However, you might be surprised to see that the new Steel Diver page is completely filled as well as our Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze page.

Best of Blogs

Special thanks go to greenseaweed for the touching Ryan drawing used for the banner this week. Gamer_152 re-examines Proteus now that he's picked up on a new dimension about the game. MMMman and Deathpooky both defend the free to play model including the "wait to play" strategy. DonPixel is playing the Titanfall beta for both the Xbox One and PC and shares the differences as well as which version he plans on buying. Mento has a handful of games that surprised him this week from Remember Me to Shufflepuck. Tarfuin explains why the second half of Gone Home soured him on the entire experience. thatpinguino has two blogs that extrapolate on why he thinks Double Fine is helping to usher in a new "Renaissance" in the games industry. PerfidiousSinn makes no qualms about being late, but you should still check out his 2013 Game of the Year list anyways. MooseyMcMan comments on his experiences with Outlast and the reaction to Metal Gear: Ground Zeroes. Similarly halomaste19 explains why he thinks the internet needs to chill out about Ground Zeroes length and price. TheMasterDS wants you to hear out a conspiracy he has related to the Metroid franchise that may seem Zeitgeist worthy. Starshine_m2a2 breaks down how GTA V satirizes the ideal of the "melting pot" theory for its story and why he thinks it's successful in doing so. Finally F1000003 is back in his effort to play "All the Video Games," and this week talks about 'dillos.

Fantastic Forums

We have a myriad of creative users this week. Firstly we have wallofbricks who provided the Patrick death video. MutenMiller on the other hand has created his own game that features the Giant Bomb staff! Check it out and play it and give him some input on how to improve it! Pabba has created a work of art that envisions Mr. Rorie as a dog. renahzor gives you an update on how KiteCo. is doing in EVE Online in light of some insane events in the game. Beyond that we have a smattering of discussion and sharing threads worth checking out as well.

Lovable Lists

Mento has a list of notable indie games with his recommendations for every one as well. Mento has also created a list of games with duo bosses. Mortuss_Zero annotates the games he owns but still has not played as well as the fifty fighting game characters he thinks are the best. Finally benspyda provides a list of his favorite games from 2004 to 2013.

Useful User Reviews

Hey everyone things are acting up for reviews. There's a bit of a glitch with the site right now. Basically if post your review link without the "/" at the end it'll lead to your review, but if you do it with the "/" it'll link to the review page for that game. Because the site automatically adds the ending "/" to every link you post, there's currently no way to properly link reviews.

Potent Podcasts

ALL HAIL PATRICK!

23 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 02/07/2014

Special Thanks to maxbeckart on Tumblr for this Work of Art!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight, I am your host as always! As you may have noticed a major re-design has been published on Giant Bomb. As with all website re-designs there have been a few kinks with the implementation of this recent batch of code. As of right now here is the list of known bugs that the engineering team is aware of and working to rectify. Major issues such as the search engine being broken or not being able to edit lists are known and being worked on. If you notice anything that is not currently on the list feel free to file a report on the Bug Reporting board. Oh and it was Patrick's birthday this week! With that let's get on with the Spotlight!

Clip of the Week

The latest episode of @turboman's Best of Giant Bomb video series is all about showcasing the best moments of Giant Bomb's Sports Game Quick Look team. Next we have @hamst3r who chronicles the evolution of video game graphics in a single video.

Community Activities

  • GiantBomb Video of the Month - January - Come Vote Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

Big Buck HD and Hoplite both are two great pages that happened because of dedicated users; specifically @bobafettjm and @geraltitude respectively. Finally we have the return of the "wonderfully wacky concept page of the week," with Based on Internet Phenomena.

Best of Blogs

Fattony12000 has made it possible for you to play as Ryan Davis in Civilization V! Read all about how you can lead The Nation of Taswell. Onekillwonder_ details exactly why Brave Fencer Musashi is a forgotten classic, similarly believer258 extrapolates on why Skrim is his personal favorite game of the generation. FLStyle has the event line up and timeline for EVO 2014, whereas BlackLagoon is back with an annotation of the big and notable games coming out for the Vita. Zakn uses the recent insanity in EVE to justify why he thinks EVE Online is one of the deepest video game experiences ever made. DevourerOfTime discusses how the first 45 days of 2014 have been a smash hit; Mento on the other hand has been striking out with the games he has bought from Desura. Video_Game_King delves straight into bullshit with the Wand of Gamelon. Tarfuin explains why he can't entirely recommend Proteus, and Jim_Efantis admits to being a trackball users and details his attempts to kick that habit. halomaste9 systematically re-reviews all of the games from the Tony Hawk franchise he played, whereas LCom breaksdown exactly why he cannot stand playing Dota 2. BisonHero raises the question over if Hideo Kojima is the man to tackle the issue of torture in video games properly, whereas thatpinguino takes issue with Brothers' only female character (spoiler warning!). D_W not only wants you to check out the game he made for the Candy Jam but the other works made for the event as well! Shivoa got decidedly less indie by comparing the dominate proposals on how to deal with video game copyrights. Scroll laments on the state of RTS games. Hailinel on the other hand shares his recent foray in importing Japanese games, including a Japanese 3DS. MarkWahlberg uses Dear Esther and The Last Express to prove that "walking games" are a lot older than most gamers give them credit for. Finally dankempster and MajorMitch are here to share the games they played throughout January.

Fantastic Forums

As already mentioned it was Patrick's birthday this week! If you haven't done so already wish him a very happy birthday! Fink has created a downloadable MP3 sound bite of Brad saying "EMAILS!" that you can use for your own devices. If you have played the second episode of The Wolf Among Us feel free to share your own thoughts about it with your fellow Bombers. Finally who would cast in a movie adaptation of the founding of Giant Bomb?

Lovable Lists

DevourerOfTime decided to create a list of what he thinks is a gender balanced roster for Smash Bros. 4 with a mix of new and old characters.

Useful User Reviews

Potent Podcasts

22 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 01/31/2014

Special Thanks to Spacedongle for this Work of Art!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! I have a bit of good news for all of you that did not get a chance to buy a poster from the store. Due to a glitch that said we were sold out of the signed posters the posters have been temporarily pulled from the store. However, they will be back this Monday so keep on the watch for that! If you haven't done so already wish @alexisg a happy birthday! Artist @aurahack just wants to die.

Clip of the Week

@turboman deserves a round of applause for reaching his fiftieth episode for his Best of Giant Bomb video series! This one features a lot of Patrick screaming and "Bat-Tech!"

Community Activities

  • New Giant Bomb Community Rust Server - Join the Now Official U.S. Server Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

Old school PC game aficionado took the time to put in a bunch of good work into the Might & Magic X Legacy wiki page. Also, our tradition of having huge wiki pages for Touhou Project games continues.

Best of Blogs

Fobwashed is the man of the hour this week with his own custom Spelunky skin that allows you to play as Patrick! Download it and see if you too can beat Chris Remo!

You Can Do It!

Former site engineer ltsquigs may have moved on, but he still would like for you to know why he really likes Final Fantasy XIII-2. Mento wades in the interesting waters of indie Metroidvania games, whereas Video_Game_King got killed by a slew of video game zombies this week. D_W ended up making a game during the Candy Game Jam, and wants you to test out and play what he made. Stubbleman is back with the fourth edition of his career retrospective of Liam O'Brien, and similarly lordgodalming is back to share a handful of games that he enjoys, but thinks cheat in order to create difficulty. Tarfuin finally experienced the insanity of Saints Row IV and talks about why he enjoyed it more than the third game in the series. Jim_Efantis details why he thinks Battlefield 4 is perpetually making two steps forward but always is taking one step back. EXTomar provides a break down of the New Bloom event in Dota 2, whereas GunstarRed shares his first experiences with his Playstation 4. The_Nubster rounded up January with metal Gear Rising, and similarly dankempster also provides a summary of his gaming this month. Humanity explains why he made the questionable decision of playing Assassin's Creed II after Black Flag. MooseyMcMan shares his hatred for Brothers and enjoyment of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. MMMman theorizes why he spent so much time wasting away on Cookie Clicker, and ildon takes the position of defending Conan O'Brien being paid to play games on his show. Finally sammo21 shares his foray into Pathfinder, and BlazeHedgehog finally has his 2013 GOTY blog, but also has an amazing video to accompany it.

Fantastic Forums

If the banner isn't a dead giveaway it was all about the art this week! Spacedongle did a great Persona 5 banner, saik0u envisioned Brad as a wizard in Demon's Souls, and 1Gorebash remade the music video for "Money For Nothing" with the Bomb Squad! After checking all of those out feel free to join any of the many discussion threads we have on the site that range from playing EVE Online to predicting how bad the Sly Cooper movie will be.

Useful User Reviews

Portent Podcasts

Special Thanks to Saik0u for This Work of Art!

18 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 01/24/2014

Special Thanks to @chronicthehedgehog For This Amazing Work of Art!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! I am your host as always and everyone should rejoice! The reason is simple, the new 2014 subscriber t-shirts and posters are coming soon! Not to go from that to a low note this week marked a couple of anniversaries to denote how old we are. Not only did the first Super Smash Bros. game turn fifteen this week, but the original Brad Shoemaker photobomb that we all know and love turned four. As many of you might have noticed the staff and moderation team has been taking a tougher stance on inappropriate and rule breaking comments on the Live Chat. These words from Mr.@rorie have been true, and will always be true about those that think they have a "right" to say whatever they want. With that let's get on with the Community Spotlight!

Clips of the Week

We have THREE great clips this week! The first comes from @clintlandon who has created another Animated Bombcast clip which imagines Jeff as an Xbox One. Next, @turboman has created the final montage of the best moments of Vinny playing Dark Souls, including one more musical clipshow of Vinny's many deaths during his "Load our Last Souls" feature. Speaking of montages of our staff dying horribly our final video comes from Ian Minor who has a video of every single one of Brad's deaths while playing Volgarr the Viking.

Community Activities

  • Giant Bomb iRacing League: Season Two Preview - Learn About What the Race Club Has Set Up for Season Two Over Here!
  • Giant Bomb Community Rust Server - Join the Community Server Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

As already mentioned the original Super Smash Bros. game turned fifteen this week, and you can read more about the game that started it all on our wiki page for the game. That said, please stop trying to add Project M to the database, you are all crazy people when calling that a "game."

Best of Blogs

DonChipotle is back to discuss the legacy, and future of the Lightning Saga and Final Fantasy XIII. Mento uses a collection of recent games to discuss creating the illusion of player choice, and he also has another edition of his always entertaining Commic Commish MS Paint webcomic. Shivoa discusses a recent topic from this week's "Worth Reading" about difficulty in games and debates if difficulty is helping further game design or not. SirOptimusPrime continues his attempt to finish System Shock 2, but has the new Shadow Warrior to boot in his latest blog. Chemystery continues his playthrough of old school JRPGs Final Fantasy VI and .hack Infection. Continuing the trend of users exploring oldish RPGs amlabella has started his own "Amateur Endurance Run," featuring Dragon Quest VIII, whereas demoskinos has started his own video Let's Play of the Hitman franchise and both blogs have the first parts to those follies. Speaking of user created videos EpicSteve has been hitting it out of the park with his "Amateur..." videos! He not only did he create an Amateur Quick Look for The Banner Saga, but he also has a Spookin' video for Babysitter Bloodbath as well as an interview of the developer of the game. Jim_Efantis has started a creative writing activity where users join him in writing letters on the status of Nintendo to Nintendo. Peezmachine is back with another update on his Giant Bomb x Windjammers game, SummerJammers. Video_Game_King is starting to kick his demons crutch with Gears of War 3 and Burai Fighter. Pezen contemplates on the good and bad of the Steam Greenlight system, whereas Sir_WilliamIII shares thoughts on Rust after playing the Alpha for three days. Wess continues his effort to catch every single Pokemon in Pokemon Y. Hailinel extrapolates on why he has burned out on Spelunky, and GrantHeaslip shares his exasperation and tiredness in regards to Super Mario 3D Land and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. MikeLemmer implores you to experience Ash Lake even if Patrick did not. Dankempster breaks down the thematic and gameplay differences between 2D and 3D Legend of Zelda games, and expresses his preference for one over the other. Finally DocHaus has the animeezy for sheezy that the Giant Bomb community voted for as the best anime of 2013...which you are all wrong for voting for Kill la Kill BECAUSE THAT SHOW IS MEDIOCRE AS HELL!

Fantastic Forums

ChrisHarris deserves an award for creating a new notification system to keep you updated on when Giant Bomb starts a new live stream. As seen above clintlandon made a new Giant Bomb Animated clip, and likewise ChronicTheHedgehog is the user to thank for the Spring Bomber fan art. We have a discussion thread for OlliOlli for all of you radical duders, and LiquidPrice wants you to join him in discussing the visual glitches you cannot stand. Finally dwigtk has a detailed post on his efforts to create his own arcade cabinet.

Lovable Lists

Pyromagnestir has created a list of games that he think have some novel ideas that other developers could borrow. List master Mento has annotated the biggest and most notable steel cities in video games. Finally Dimsey shares his excitement for the games coming out in 2014 on his latest list.

Useful User Reviews

Potent Podcasts

19 Comments

The Community Spotlight - 01/17/2014

Special Thanks to Fobwashed for this Simple Yet Great Banner!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Community Spotlight! I am your host as always, and we have some big announcements to get through! @mento and @rmanthorp are your two new moderators on Giant Bomb! Join the rest of the community in welcoming them both to the fold over here. Another piece of news comes from Mr. Rorie. Sometime next week you can expect new posters, and the 2014 subscriber t-shirt to go on sale! If you haven't used your subscriber coupon get excited! @fobwashed has been on an awesome art making grinder. He even made a great Banner Saga inspired version of Will Smith. People have even gotten creative enough to include Giant Bomb in their webcomics.

Clip of the Week

So StarForge...that's a video game. Oh and if you haven't been watching patrick's attempt at Dark Souls...just know that he now understand why people hate hate Anor Londo.

Community Activities

  • Giant Bomb Community Pokemon League Season 4 - Join the Community League Over Here!

Wonderful Wikis

Join me in giving @billymaysrip a round of applause for doing a bang up job on the game page for Darius. He didn't even let a wiki glitch that resulted in him being awarded just 3 points for all of his work to discourage him in continuing to edit the database.

Best of Blogs

As mentioned in the introductions Fobwashed has been killing it with his art this week. Check out and comment on his creative treatments of the Giant Bomb logo. A Link Between Worlds inspired Hailinel to give Hyrule Historia a shot and you can read about what he thought on the book. Gamer_152 tackles the fallacy that many gamers have committed when dismissing something as "not being a game." ArbitraryWater started 2014 on a mediocre note thanks to XCOM Declassified. Instead of playing a point and click adventure game SirOptimusPrime made a pilgrimage that every classic PC gamer makes...that pilgrimage being playing System Shock 2. Speaking of horrifying experiences Halomaste19 shares why he was utterly terrified when playing Gone Home. Video_Game_King is still dealing with demons of all sorts with Darwinia and Koudelka as his games of choice this week. MooseyMcMan got some gaming done this week and discusses why he really enjoyed DmC Devil may Cry. GunstarRed bought a Sega Saturn and wants to explain why that wasn't THAT crazy of a decision. GERALTITUDE played a lot recently, but really wants you to know that Super Mario Galaxy is a masterpiece worth experiencing. Cathryn has decided to finally put down Skyrim...after perpetually playing it for two years straight, and shares her final impressions of it. MachoFantastico discusses how he's used games to recuperate from a burst appendix. Marino breaks down his conflicted thoughts about the Pantheon Kickstarter as a big fan of EverQuest. Given the increase in interest over the Souls franchise MikeLemmer has blogged about how being different in your design and control scheme doesn't always make a game harder. EpicSteve returns to making Amateur Bombastica, and this time did something about Dragon Ball. Speaking of old ass Japanese games Chemystery decided to go back and try to finish some of the old PS2 era .hack games. Tarfuin pontificated upon Papers, Please and its ability to convey morality. PeezMachine has another update on his Giant Bomb x Widjammers game, whereas Finstern shares the open source Windjammers clone he made as part of a Game Jam he participated in. MisterBananFoam returns to his blog series related to beating the first Jak and Daxter game, and librariangmr discusses why he returned to The Old Republic. Finally dankempster shares how his most recent attempt to tackle his Steam backlog went.

Fantastic Forums

The great art continues with Saik0u's Windjammers x Vinny fanart. MB is working on creating stats for every episode of the Demon's Souls Breaking Brad, and TruthTellah has taken the time to create convenient links to every AGDQ stream. FInally join the community in discussing Broken Age, Zelda II and if the way you play games reflects your personality.

Lovable Lists

DevourerOfTime has finally published his top ten list...for the ten games that bummed him out in 2013. Also, help _K1_ create a comprehensive list of the last games of big development studios.

Useful User Reviews

Potent Podcasts

21 Comments