The Doc Speaks: AVGC 2016 Retrospective/Review/Thing

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For those who don’t live in the Tri-State area or, more specifically, the Northern/Central New Jersey area, AVGC (or “A Video Game Convention”) is a smaller sized video games themed expo in the Parsippany area. Created and organized by Paul Solo, the convention has entered its second year.

After starting last September, it picked up a fair amount of buzz and attention pretty quickly.  In both 2015 and 2016, it was held at the Parsippany Police Athletic League center.  However, there has been discussion on if the convention must relocate much like other favorite expos in the past.  Last year, it had an incredible attendance and had an unprecedented crowd to boot!  Guests like “King of Kong”, Billy Mitchell, were live at the scene.  Arcade machines lined up a whole gymnasium room.  A live orchestra among various bands jammed in the day, while a burlesque show took stage at night.  Panelists from all corners of the web took to the main hall and the conference room by the gym.  It was vintage gaming bliss.   At the time, the then-new expo had already found a proper niche and audience.  This year, AVGC returned; back and better than ever!  Jump ahead to continue.

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The Doc Speaks: Konami, please stop.

Tacky?  Tasteless?  Perhaps!  But, it’s one way of capturing the well deserved backlash, right?

Oh, Konami!  You’re either gluttons for pain or you’re the biggest brunch of trolls within the gaming fandom this side of <insert joke about your disliked side in a gaming fandom conflict of choice here>. A ways back, my complete distaste and disgust was reserved for Electronic Arts (alias, “EA Games.”  Over the years, my ire towards many companies came and went.  This is mostly because they became less relevant and suffered for their mistakes.  That or they realized what they have been doing wrong and have made an effort to correct their past issues.  In EA’s case, one could say it’s the former leading into the latter.  However, the time to grill them is over… for now.  We’re here to dig into Konami!  I have a feeling the disdain for Konami will not vanish any time soon.

NOTE:  I know I didn’t post anything during the previous weekend.  The fair I volunteered at took a fair bit out of me, in addition to my non-stop job hunting… which may as well be a job all its own.  So, my time feels squeezed and attempting to balance it is quite the struggle.  As always, thanks for understanding.  Also, if you’re keeping a distance from the Konami clusterfuck, please understand my reasons for continuing to be flustered with a company that I supported for ages.

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Ghostbusters the Video Game (2009)

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People have been asking me to check out the continuation of the Ghostbusters franchise for a while… so here it is!

In all seriousness, all of the attention the franchise has gotten recently has encouraged me to dig up Atari’s 2009 release for all major consoles and PC.  At the time, it was quite well received.  In fact, Dan Aykroyd himself said that this is basically the “Third Movie” that fans had been waiting for.  In those 7 years since then, this leaves quite a few questions.  Has it aged well?  Was it as awesome as we remembered?  Did we get the 3rd movie we wanted or were we clouded by nostalgia?  Let’s crack open the Terminal Reality version (for PC, in my case) and crack down on some paranormal activity!  More after the jump.

Author’s Note: Pardon the lateness.  When a tree slams on your house due to a storm, that takes a little bit of precedence over writing, which sucks.  In fact, malevolent ghosts could have been behind it, for all we know.  After all, they say my town is haunted… or at least the large historic hotel is!

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The Doc Speaks: Fallout 4 – Awesome Video Game, Disappointing Fallout title

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It wouldn’t be Fallout without a masked figure on the front, right?

Fallout is a series of many things; a deconstruction of classic science fiction, a direct homage to said classic science fiction, a now long running franchise that’s practically 2 decades old and so much more.  Above all, it’s a beloved series with an amazing and devoted fanbase.  Sure, there is much division over older and newer generations of games (which I myself will admit to taking part in); but we’ve had more than enough proof that fans have kept the spirit of Fallout alive.  Archive sites like the Nexus contain thousands upon thousands of mods, adding new features to the game or rewriting it in its entirety.  You may wonder what this has to do with Fallout 4?  While others have focused on traversing the world of the wastelands and following a story, this one allows you to customize the weird wastes ahead.  So, why do I praise it as a great game, but comdemn it as a poor Fallout title?  More ahead.  (Warning: Spoilers)

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Game Reviews: Until Dawn

Until Dawn is a 2015 video game developed by Supermassive games for the Playstation 4.  In an essence, it’s a horror film simulator, right down to all of the tropes and cliches.  You guide the protagonists along various plot paths of the story and see who makes it out and who gets chewed up by the monster/psycho of the week.  Now, this sort of gameplay or idea in general is far from new.  Games like Clock Tower involve you running away from a maniac wielding giant scissors, while Manhunt involves you playing the serial killer.  Meanwhile, upcoming projects like Last Year, Summer Camp and the latest adaptation of Friday the 13th also plan on hitting the market in their own murder-happy fashion.  Not to mention, there’s plenty of twists that go beyond just some boogeyman in a house.  In fact, the mountains themselves hold an ancient evil to compliment many a horror classic.  With that stiff competition ahead, what does Until Dawn that sets it apart from the crowd?

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Game Review: Splatoon (2015)

There should be no doubt that I have been quite hyped about this game.  I’ve seen something about it almost everywhere.  And considering a new IP from Nintendo pops up once in a blue moon, there’s reason to celebrate!  This new IP in particular is Ninty’s leap into their own shooting arena game.  Sure, we’ve had some moments of that in Starfox and to my memory even Metroid, but those were far from the main feature of those titles.  Here, we have a unique and high octane game that’s all Nintendo.  Let’s swim deep into the colorful land of the Inklings and find out more!

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Ramblings: E3 Quick Thoughts Part 2

Yesterday, I rambled a little about the companies that presented yesterday and the day before.  In a sense, E3 is almost like a holiday to me at this point.  While I’ve been falling out of loop with the gaming world, tons of great titles and genuinely fascinating events have been pulling me back into it.  That said, two platforms for gaming have been constants for me, even after I faded in and out of the fandom and community.  Today, it’s all about PC gaming and Nintendo!  Brace yourselves, this one’s quite a bit longer than the last one!!!  More after the jump.

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Ramblings: E3 Quick Thoughts Part 1

As everything gets back to “normal”, I’m beyond psyched for everything E3 has presented so far and what has yet to be seen.  So far, this seems to be a pretty successful expo so far.  It has been a mix of safe presentations and some pleasing surprises.  In terms of conferences, I’ve viewed Bethesda, Ubisoft and Sony.  In no particular order, here’s pretty much some blurbs.  More after the jump.

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Ramblings/Review: A look at HATRED

A Lighthearted Adventure for the Whole Family!

People have asked me to review the 2015 game, “HATRED”.  So I dived deeper, watched some videos, and delved into it myself (thanks to people who wanted to purchase the game).  After a couple of hours of slogging through waves of NPCs ways, I had enough and decided to fulfill the request of many. In the end, I didn’t so much write a review, but an angry tangent instead.  So, what did I think of Hatred?  In short, I found it vapid, repetitive, and sophomoric. While many other games do that (well), this one does all of it poorly.  If you wanna see the rest of my ranting tangent, read on.

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Nostalgia Review: Goosebumps Escape from Horrorland

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“Horrorland may seem like a scary, foreboding place… BECAUSE IT IS!”

NOTE: Pardon the lateness!  Things have been a bit stressful on my end, but the show must go on!

Like many children in the 1990s, there weren’t too many book series that really garnered my attention.  One of the many exceptions was a certain youth-oriented horror series by R.L. Stine, who was already famous for the “Fear Street” series (aimed towards Teenagers).  Of course, I’m referring to the Goosebumps books.  They were fun, creepy, and usually pretty campy.  At times ,the scariest parts about the stories were the at-times graphic cover images.  Despite how silly many view the books nowadays, one couldn’t help but admire the incredible following the books had in the 1990s through the early 2000s.  While there have been attempts at recapturing that bit of lightning in a bottle with series like “Goosebumps Horrorland”, the massive explosion of popularity will match up to such a huge phenomenon.  Considering the series was pretty much everywhere, countless bits of merchandise popped up all over.  This included shirts, toys, a television adaptation, and even a laughable stage adaptation (that was thankfully short lived.) While some parts of the popularity boom sucked (including waves of imitators), others were truly memorable for many reasons!

However, I’m not here to talk about those things so much as one of the video games adapted as a sequel of sorts to “One Day at Horrorland”, the story of the Morris family trying to survive a demented amusement park ran by deranged monsters.  Needless to say, the family escapes from wicked rides and a diabolic game show before one of the monsters offers them tickets for another visit!  The game picks up afterwards where those tickets have magically showed up again.  Against better judgement, Lizzy Morris (from the original story) decides to study them, only for their dark magick to take its toll and abduct the whole family (and Cole, a neighborhood friend) back to Horrorland!  Grab a ticket and join me on this thrill ride!

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