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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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: Raging Boll Part 3!

That glorious moment when the world saw Uwe Boll’s massive frown.

Uwe Boll has snapped and I do believe this is beginning of a great unraveling.  Now, those out of the loop might find my sadistic enjoyment (or as they say in Deutschland, Schadenfreude) towards Mr. Boll’s descent into madness a bit disturbing.  In that case, let me enlighten you with some tidbits on our fine film making friend.

This is the same guy who exploited a law in Germany designed to bolster artists and compete with international cinema.  All in all, not a bad thing.  The German underground of horror helped to evolve as a result of this bill.  However, he made massive bank for crapping out effortless films that slapped on names of then popular video game franchises before shipping them around for gullible fools to dig up.  Amidst people calling him out for bad movies, he calls himself the only fucking genius here, while mocking both Michael Bay and disabled people in the same sentence.  Jump forward some more years and he’s fed up with critics calling his work rubbish.  His response was a massive publicity stunt where he showed off his amateur/probably-not-quite-“pro” boxing skills against all those meany bully journalists and reviewers out there.  Or rather, beat the snot out of these people in a boxing ring so he can feel better about his low self-esteem.  At the very least, we got a self-aware documentary called “Raging Boll” out of it… and yes, we saw what they did there.  Several bits of rubbish later, he returned utilizing social media and crowdfunding.  After he realized that no one wanted to fund his work, he went off on tirades about how Captain America doesn’t exist, Hollywood can’t art, and the BULLSHIT BUSINESS is run by BULLSHIT IDIOTS.  That said, he didn’t need the kickstarter anyway, since he has enough money to play golf until he’s dead.

With that and much much more, we have a real class act here, folks!  Now, since Boll has more talent making an ass of himself rather than making a good movie, I’m sure his descent into self-destruction will only go deeper and deeper… with the attention either bolstering him for a little bit or probably tearing him down further.  Seeing as he’s become a villain of both the video gaming world and the cinema world, I have my doubts anyone will bail him out as he keeps bringing himself into more trouble.  That or he’ll make a new career based off childish rage and petty passive aggressive vlogs about his misunderstood he is and how much of an artist he truly is…  My lord, he has regressed to that emo kid in your High School art class (the one who was waiting for a game like HATRED to come out, of course)!  With that revelation, I’ll catch you cool ghouls next time.

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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Video Game Review: Bloodborne

I won’t lie, I’ve been waiting to cover this game for a while now!  I won’t deny it, I’m a huge fan of From Software’s line of brutally challenging fantasy-horror games!  Since 2009, they’ve delivered punishing, but fair action strategy games which force the player to study the environment and learn from their continuous failures.  The previous Soul series in particular relied on defending yourself from danger while striking the foe at the right time.  You could shield an enemy’s devastating attack while delivering one of your own.  And lucky for you, your armor can sometimes absorb some of that pain.  Of course, this is all to reflect those worlds’ faux-Medieval fantasy analogue.  Bloodborne discards many of those concepts, while still keeping a lot of familiarity.  The land of Yharnam is one emerging into an industrial age.  But, before modernization truly takes off, a sickening plague has washed over the lands.  Of course, this concept should seem familiar to Souls fans everywhere.  However, this one plays it up a bit differently.  Instead of a curse that drains life from the world, this infectious plague spread madness and mutation.  If Souls is gritty pulp, Bloodborne is a hybrid of Gothic and Lovecraftian style horror.  Does it live up to the legacy?  Does it do something different?  If so, is it too far or not far enough?

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