Exposing Thatnerdshow.com: homophobic and anti-Muslim Facebook postings, fake followers and attack articles

Full disclosure: Until a few weeks ago, I had an unpaid blog at Thatnerdshow.com. I quit in short because of much of the content of this article. I’ve made a few appearances that I now regret on their podcast. I quit because I was asked to edit the article that was posted to Thatnerdshow.com. David Herring’s poser article. I refused to edit it after reading it. I’ll go on in detail below. This is also a lengthy article with images, and several sections. If you’re wondering what it has to do with Gamergate, read on. The behavior I point out and link to both sides of Gamergate and the behavior of Marcus Blake and thatnerdshow.com shows unethical behavior, which I am a witness to, that Gamergate has legitimately railed against. The behavior as evidenced below by David Herring shows what women’s rights groups, the mainstream media and others point to when they say members of the gamer/nerd and Gamergaters community attack women and publicly shame them for not behaving how gamers want them to.

David Herring and “Opinion” articles

Although I hate to insert myself into news, and I also hate to bring attention to bad journalism and writing and give possible publicity to hate speech and attack articles, I feel the need to bring the article written by “writer” David Herring to the light of day. I hate to even link to the article in question, but here it is David Herring “article” on Liz Katz. I feel the need, and drive to post about it and expose David Herring and the owner of Thatnerdshow.com because I was asked to edit this article. I was also on the podcast where David Herring called Liz Katz a fraud and that he was going to expose her. I have an entire email thread, or two, where I point out to Marcus Blake, the owner of thatnerdshow.com, that it was poorly written, contained zero evidence, and sounded like a shaming article that was borderline liable and defamation. I was told to basically shut my mouth and quit if I didn’t like it. So, I did. I’ll add excerpts from the email threads below that I had with both Marcus and David.

I took it upon myself to reach out to David Herring before I even saw his article, because Marcus asked me to be an editor for the site, which is the only reason I stuck around, and David’s article was the first assignment. I asked David if he was using Chicago or AP style for his citations, because as he points out, this was supposed to be an expose. He was revealing how Liz Katz was cheating people out of their money and other things, so, I assumed he knew how to write an article and make accusations like he made. Before hearing back from him, I read the article and noticed the lack of anything substantial, the fact that he quoted someone calling her names, referenced her IMDB account and alleged porn background. I didn’t see an expose; I saw a cowardly and bitter attempt to use an article to pay a woman back for not acting in a way that was “legit” or nerdy enough. He also hid behind the op-ed curtain.

I wasn’t going to risk my contacts in the game and comics industry by being a part of the piece of trash Marcus Blake and David Herring were okay with putting up. I didn’t want anything to do with another “nerd” or gamer-type seeming to attack a female public figure either. Beyond that, Liz Katz is a human with feelings and a life and doesn’t deserve to be attacked for absolutely no reason whatsoever. One of the problems with articles like the one David Herring wrote is, there is no specific accusation of wrong doing. He’s accusing her of being fake. Of being a poser. She’s not a REAL nerd. Somewhere along the line, David picked up a degree in what is authentic. Liz Katz can’t possibly be real because of what? She didn’t interact with her fans in a way you and the other person you quote in your article? Because she has a porn background? What exactly did she do to be called a shyster? She’s preying on the cosplay community? How exactly?

After my back and forth with David, and Marcus, David agreed that he wouldn’t post the article, or his feelings wouldn’t be hurt if it didn’t get published. I told him he had writing ability and he should consider what he’s writing. I got on a soapbox, but I thought it was the right thing to do to warn him about posting the article. I told him I take being a writer seriously, and have it tattooed on my arm. I quit Thatnerdshow.com (I wasn’t being paid, just writing my blog) and didn’t want to continue discussing the issue with David before he wrote me back. I’d said my piece in a professional way to Marcus and I moved on from the subject. I thought the issue was dead, and then I saw the article posted to thatnerdshow.com. I’m supposed to be objective as a writer, and I admit that it startled me. So, I started to do some research and investigating into how authentic David Herring was. See what he stated himself to be. A writer? A Christian? Okay. I checked his twitter account and Facebook page, and did some digging on the internet, just like he did with Liz Katz.

Accountability

What David has to understand is that, even though he wrote an “opinion piece” he still needs to use some sort of standards. Once you attack someone, and you post to the internet and claim to be a writer, you’ve become a public figure just like the one you’ve “exposed” for being an alleged fraud. You’re not popular, or liked liked like your target, but once you call someone else to account, or hold them accountable, you have set a standard, and guess what? You have to meet those same standards. So, here is David, this is your time to be held accountable as a writer and person that is holding the torch for nerds everywhere. You end your article, literally, by saying it is you, or “us” that are the victims. I have to say, I’m pretty shocked at what I found out about this person that writes and is a co-host for thatnerdshow.com. I feel bad for the other writers that have to have their content next to his. David has posted multiple homophobic, insensitive, border-line racist, anti-Muslim and other hateful, mean spirited comments. He also states he’s a Christian, and I’m pretty sure Christians aren’t supposed to act the way David Does on Facebook and Twitter. Below, I’m up what I’ve said with screenshots from his public pages. He has an abundance of pictures with women showing cleavage, has many many views on politics that are far right-wing. The political views are of course legal and not the focus of the article. But, his extreme views and insulting comments and behavior are. Let’s take a look at some of David Herring’s highlights.

Here's a picture he posted about feminists.
Here’s a picture he posted about feminists.

Ok, this picture is clearly offensive to women, feminists and others. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s look at some more, as they get progressively worse. Again, keep in mind that this is someone that is supposedly a professional writer, and he is appearing on thatnerdshow.com’s podcast and posting reviews about comics, movies, tv shows and other things your kids might read.

The World trade center and a world without Muslims?
The World trade center and a world without Muslims?

Now we’re getting to who David Herring is as a person. I’m not sure if he created this image, or just posted it on his page. Hateful and just calling this anti-Muslim is an understatement. Very Christian of you David. This guy is writing about Archie Comics. Let’s see some more, because we’re not even close to being done.

David's homophobic rant on facebook.
David’s homophobic rant on facebook.

I’ve blurred out the other people involved in this post David made to Facebook. It’s a screenshot that shows the time and date. It’s more than a year old, but it’s still there, and he still said it. Apparently David doesn’t appreciate being put “on blast” in public. I understand David, believe me. He clearly thinks being in the closet while being gay is an insult worthy of posting. This is likely the most horrible post by David, because it comes from his mouth and isn’t a meme, or an image reposted. I’m not sure how you play this one down. I’m sure he was upset, but it’s no excuse. He’s a professional writer and has, I assume, some sort of an audience. Even if he doesn’t, what he has written is out there to be found. Marcus Blake is clearly okay with it, or hasn’t vetted him. That’s understandable. But, what’s not understandable or forgivable is the fact that Marcus willingly allowed, and edited and posted the attack article.

So, let’s have a look at more of David’s internet comments etc. I think it’s a safe question to ask when I ask “David, how can you claim to be a professional writer, or Christian with behavior like this?” Professional writers are trained not to post what he posted. It’s early on in communications, journalism and other classes you take to learn to write. I think it’s safe to call into question his nerd credentials as well. Being so judgmental of nearly every group that isn’t his isn’t a tenet of nerd society. Now, on to more of his hateful behavior.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.11.21 AM
This one is the most disgusting picture of the lot. David doesn’t post a comment, but posting a picture of someone that looks a lot like David, that is waiting for 2 girls to pass out from being roofied is horrible. Waiting for the roofies to kick in? This is what people are talking about with the dirty and dark corner of the internet filled with people like David. These jokes aren’t funny and they aren’t okay.
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.03.15 AM
Here David shows of his mastery of “Female logic”. Yeah, exceptional grasp of how women think there David.
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.02.04 AM
Classy. Use of an insensitive insult and using Muslim like it’s an insult. It’s pretty common knowledge that President Obama isn’t a Muslim and publicly states he’s a Chrisitan David. It’s against the Quran to deny Allah. But, who needs facts? Not writers right?

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.01.40 AM
Stay Classy David. Keep up the standards.
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Nice addition of the hashtags there David! Have views on feminism?
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.48.04 AM
And here I present this uncalled for comment about Aids in Africa. This is how Christians and journalists are supposed to act in public? This is the thing we’re supposed to say? What a hateful and callous remark. “Then how come they got so much aids?”
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.46.57 AM
Here’s another considerate post by Mr. Herring. Because killing people with plastic bags, or posting this kind of thing is humorous, or compassionate and showing love like Jesus taught?

 

 

Here are a few of his comments from Twitter.

 

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Less smarter than you…hmm. The irony here.
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.19.39 AM
Still keeping that classy thing going huh? Can you imagine Wolf Blitzer posting something like this?
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.15.24 AM
Because we all know how great being gay is for your career. Must be why so many people call it the closet. So much light and access to equal rights in the closet.

There are so many examples on his facebook page, and there are more that I could post here. I honestly got sick of investigating David for this article. His posts are hateful and mean spirited. Except when he’s talking about his adorable dog or sticking up for Christian’s rights, or posting the rare comment about being a Christian. The majority of his activity seems to be focused around professional wrestling, and retweeting other people’s comments on Twitter. I’ll end the section on David with this racist, pro-violence on women, copyright infringing and disgusting use of Mario characters repost by David. I’m not posting the link to the video itself, just the screenshot where David Herring reposts the link and image to it, unaccompanied with no comment. Why post this video and not denounce it? Regardless, here it is.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.43.18 AM

 

 

Ok, just a few more. David makes it a point to state that he’s a writer, and according to this posting on eLance.com, he surely is putting himself out there as a writer. But, if he would’ve proofread his posting, he’d see he made a couple of errors. I know, I’m pointing out every little mistake he makes now. I admit that. He did go really far out of his way to attack more than one person and group on his Facebook page and Twitter though. He’s targeted every group except for animal lovers and white Christian Republicans. I can state with some certainty though, most upstanding, god-fearing Republicans and Christians would stay away from the majority of what David says and posts. That’s one of the reasons I’m posting most of this; to shed light on what he says, because many of the views he expresses would shame the groups he claims to be a part of. I know I’m ashamed to know that David Herring is doing the same thing as me. I’m not talking about breathing, I’m talking about throwing letters together to form sentences, and then take those sentences and put them together and calling it writing.

If you're looking for a writer with a strong desire and penchant to post ridiculous things like Racist videos, homophobic rants, David Herring is your guy.
If you’re looking for a writer with a strong desire and penchant to post ridiculous things like Racist videos, homophobic rants, David Herring is your guy.

Marcus Blake

Marcus and his connection to the rest of this piece may be unclear to you, but i’ll try to clear it up.  There are two sections here on him: The first is his knowledge and blessing of the David Herring article. The second is not a legal, but ethical issue. I don’t have evidence outside of what he told me personally on the phone, because he was cautious enough not to put it in writing. While what I have isn’t evidence of wrong doing, it points to unethical behavior.

In addition to him giving the okay to David’s article, and actually physically posting it to his website Thatnerdshow.com he also knew about the content and I advised him I thought it could be liable. He told me that it’s an opinion piece and he’s ok with that. He also goes on to claim that he owns the news organization several times in emails to me. I think this is relevant. If there is liable, then this is evidence. I don’t know that Liz Katz will take action, but I do know that she has been made aware of the situation.

Screen shot of email response from Marcus Blake
Screen shot of email response from Marcus Blake

As you can see, he’s okay with attacking people as long as it reads as opinion. He attacks Michael Bay. Saying Michael Bay sucks or can’t direct or produce is one thing, and David Herring’s is another. Keep in mind, Marcus himself calls thatnerdshow.com a news organization several times, and it’s his. We know how many news organizations are okay with attack ads don’t we?

Buying followers-“No one checks that”

Marcus told me in a phone call that he was okay with the buying of Twitter followers on Twitter. Before I quit, I had been on hiatus from thatnerdshow.com for months when I moved to Seattle. Marcus had informed me months ago, in a mass email, that he couldn’t pay freelance rates anymore, even though he never really did. He probably paid me around 60-70 bucks over six months and over 40 articles. I decided to stay on because I wanted experience and wanted to keep my skills sharp, and I thought the show had potential. It really did. Marcus, although abrasive, moderately socially awkward and jerky sometimes, is intelligent. Co-host Brendan Smith is bright, well read and can be engaging. They both seemed to go out of their way to criticize a lot in my opinion, but I thought we had a chance to do something good with game/comics/nerd stuff. I was getting into some conventions and the site hired Alex Moore, another good writer personality. I decided to stay on. Back on point, I decided to help utilize our enormous twitter following. We had thousands of followers and I thought there was no reason not to promote our product to them. I sent out some tweets about the podcasts and my own blog. I waited, and I saw zero results. I mean, none. Surely some of those people would visit the site and my blog from my twitters postings. I mean, with over 40,000 followers you’d expect someone to accidentally click on the blog. That wasn’t the case. So, I decided to do some digging.

I went through all of the followers for @thatnerdshow, and I noticed something strange. There were thousands and thousands of followers with just that little place holder image, the egg. Thousands. They seemed to never end. There were a couple legitimate followers, but it seemed all of them were fake. I set to checking with Marcus about the issue. In the meantime, I took to reporting the followers to twitter for SPAM because I thought some of them could be malicious. I honestly assumed that Marcus had hired someone to help promote the show, and they were using black-hat methods. While waiting for Marcus to respond to my issue, I took to the Twitter airwaves and set out to start a dialogue. I wanted to make genuine connections. I started tweeting to people, and sending links, and asking questions. I offered to do reviews on games if developers sent me their copies. I wanted to talk to people that were fans, or potential fans of the show. That’s what Twitter is for, I thought. We started to see some genuine activity again. I’d done this earlier this year and was able to add followers then too. I wanted That Nerd Show to be successful, and I wanted to be proud of working for it.

I started writing some again, this is around the beginning of August, and I kept up the interactions. Marcus contacted me one day in October to discuss my own comic book, which for nearly a year has pledged to help produce, and about being the Editor at large for Games with That Nerd Show. Wow I thought, it’s a promotion. Even though I’m not being paid, I can have some bright young writers working with me, I can create good content. That in turn will turn into some money through advertising. I guess that’s how it works. Or, Marcus will get money from advertising and that will trickle down to me. We talked about hiring in Seattle and giving me my own game podcast. I put things into work in my mind. Then he told me that he wanted to talk about the Twitter issue. This was a little while later, weeks or so maybe, from when I’d brought it up. He went on to tell me that he felt it was needed to compete and get some of the bigger companies, advertisers and others to pay attention to us. And besides, “No one checks that anyway” He said. That’s a direct quote on the record. Now, I wasn’t interviewing him, but I’m a writer and he didn’t say that was off of the record. He told me it was needed. I told him that people do check that stuff, and an indie game company brought it up to me. It really happened, and I told him that. I am genuinely trying to look out for this company, this entity that I’m trying to help grow. He told me he understood in essence, and that we will stop since we have so many. We can start adding real followers soon. Or, that I could do it. I agreed to keep going and that once we got going with me as the editor, I’d go through and phase out those followers. I should’ve quit then, but, I didn’t until days later. I thought I was helping. Even though I wasn’t involved, I still feel bad about not quitting then.

I can be a bit over anxious sometimes, and I’ve been accused of being a diva. I consider it having high standards, or scruples. Marcus said I was overreaching, and I’m smug or arrogant. My issue is with when people like Marcus, or David, say you’re overreaching or getting on a soapbox. I try not to go with the flow, and right is right. Wrong is wrong. I understand that there are areas that are grey, believe me. I don’t like compromising my morals and standards though. I don’t believe in cheating. That’s where the Gamergate aspect of this comes in, in my opinion.

The Gamgergate connection

For all that’s been said about Gamergate, I genuinely believe that they have points. I believe they really do care about nepotism or cronyism and favoritism in games. I believe that the community of Gamergate felt attacked by a few journalists and the media in general. The problem with the media’s reaction to Gamergate is, the people that were being criticized are the people reporting about the issue. That’s a conflict of interest. The outside, or more mainstream media quickly jumped on some comments made by some crazies, once the mainstream media actually caught up to the story, and it discredited the movement. And believe me, it is a movement. At first I thought it wasn’t that important. We’re talking about video games here! Right, but it’s deeper than that because video games are a billion dollar industry. The other arms of entertainment certainly have their own media problems, but I can say that they are much more harsh and pay closer attention to the industry. 21 billion dollars or so to be exact. (Source Theconsumerist.com) Have a look at this article on ‘The Consumerist’ for more statistics and citations, it’s a more in depth read and outline with some great stats. Article by Kate Cox. (Also, David Herring, this is one way to use a citation.)

I’m not trying to derail this article by focusing on Gamergate and I do believe some of the people in Gamergate went way way too far and their behavior is beyond horrible. It shouldn’t be excused.

But, I do know that the type of behavior displayed by That Nerd Show and David Herring is what Gamergate was talking about in the beginning, before their ideas were highjacked. At least that i what I’ve seen. Deception in the industry. Thatnerdshow.com doesn’t really focus that much on games, but MSNBC doesn’t focus on world events as much as politics. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a news organization. And According to Marcus Blake, his site is a news organization. The issue is about deception and fooling not only gamers and fans, but also trying to manipulate the system. If a game fan, or someone that is looking for comics news, or movies and commentary runs across your Twitter page, they see 64,000 followers. They may think, “Oh, this is a reputable source. How else would they get all of these followers?” That’s the issue. It is to me anyway. I talked with a few people in the game industry, especially a few indie game developers, and this made them pretty angry. I started to get some flack on Twitter because I was asking for opinions first. I wanted to get the pulse on the issue. I’m writing, I’m putting things out there so I’m ok with catching some unintended shrapnel so to speak. People are passionate about this kind of thing.

A long track record of deception

The deception doesn’t stop with Twitter. After finding so much detestable content on David Herring’s pages, I decided to look into my former bosses’ background. Marcus Blake is also an author, podcaster, blogger, former co-host of ‘Dualing Patriots’ podcast, a songwriter/musician, a comedian apparently, and according to multiple postings, including his own website, an award winning writer. We will get to the award winning part later. Knowing Marcus is a writer, I decided to look at several sources where his books were sold including Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads.com and others. I’m including links and have several screenshots to support my belief, or opinion, that Marcus has himself engaged in deceptive practices with false reviews. False reviews and fraudulent ratings are in fact against FTC guidelines in addition to being unethical. Here is a more in-depth article on a lawyer’s website. (Source http://kbhilferlaw.com) Especially when you’re a writer and owner of a news organization.  It’s called “astroturfing” because it’s not grass roots, it’s false and it’s fake. I believe what was done on Twitter, which he admitted to, is the same thing. If you’re interested, go to @thatnerdshow on Twitter and have a look at their followers. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see the sea of fakes.

The first example of fake reviews is his Amazon.com reviews. Each book only has 1 review at the time this was written, it’s pretty indicative of what’s going on.

 

I think the name of this book is quite appropriate
I think the name of this book is quite appropriate

Look closely at the name of the reviewer. On first inspection, it doesn’t appear to be off. When you look closer, you see the deception. And again, this isn’t direct proof, but circumstantial and the clues are there, and it’s why I say it’s my opinion, but I’m certain that Amazon can track these reviews back to Marcus Blake. The reviewer is from Chicago, Marcus’s home town. He even wrote  book about “Return to Wrigley” with that title. Let’s have another look at a screenshot and go to the included link to see where I’m going.

ChicagoBook Worm’s Amazon.com activity

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I could only fit in four of his reviews in this screenshot, but follow the link. You’ll see that the Chicago Bookworm has six reviews. All of them are for products created by Marcus Blake. Five books and, “ahem” a ‘song’ written and recorded by Marcus. I hate to use those quotes and italics so much, but I use them to show that those terms and uses are suspect at best.

Ok, so we have those reviews from the Chicago Bookworm, and all of them are on those Marcus Blake products. Suspicious, but not really concrete proof. Just some more smoke signals.

We can move on to Barnes and Noble and other sources now.

Then there are the reviews on Barnes and Noble’s website, where the only reviews are by anonymous, and are eerily similar to one another. So similar in fact, that many of those anonymous users only activity was rating other books written by Marcus. There is one other review, and that is by the user name “texaspublican”. Yep.

Here is the link to his Barnes and Noble page. It show’s 24 reviews, all anonymous except for the one by Texaspublican. Marcus Blake Barnes and Noble page.

I was unable to find any reviews of his books on iTunes. He’s told me that he hates MAC and Apple though.

Let’s move on to other aspects of Marcus and his writing and career.

On his personal website, as well as other postings, he claims to have won the following awards. All of which I was unable to verify, or even find the awards. The only references to these awards are through Marcus’s own self promotion. In fact, the only place the phrase “American book choice awards” appears on the internet, is in relation to Marcus Blake and his web content. Anywhere on the entire internet. I thought it could’ve been spelled wrong, and I tried every possible variation when it comes to those awards he said he won, but found none. The closest was the STIFF awards, but those are for Seattle film makers.

  • 2008 American Book Choice for Fiction Award Winner for my book Returning Home
  • 2008 S.T.I.F. Award Winner for my book Sex Game
  • National Literary Awards sponsored by the National Literary Foundation in Chicago

Again, I was unable to verify these awards via the internet. If someone is able to find proof of these awards, I’d be happy to see it. If they can’t be found, is this deceptive?

Here’s another little nugget. It’s not illegal, and it’s not unethical, it’s just hilarious because he has a stand-up routine on his website. He’s not standing up and he added laugh tracks to the routine. Oh, and it’s not even remotely funny. I know, it’s adding insult to injury, and it’s likely not adding to my case. I’m going Hunter S. Thompson on this thing and going a little Gonzo. These fiends have to be stopped!!

Marcus Blake laugh tracks

Are you a published author, if you own the publishing company?

The company that publishes his books, TM publishers, its website returns with a page not found. I suspect that TM publishers is Truesourcq media. That’s speculation, right now, but more hair brained schemes have been thrown out there as conspiracy theories, actually, by Marcus Blake’s own people. So, connecting the dots, the physical mailing address listed for TM publishing, is the same address listed for Truesourcq media, which is actually a residence. The address is given on Marcus’s website here. I’m using it as a citation. It’s listed as a company, which  is public knowledge.
http://marcusmaverickblake.com/home/?page_id=167

Same address as Truesource media, which is the company he works for. I have his email address from an email from him there. That company creates physical print products, among other things and apparently, that is the address for a construction company as well. So, the same company that publishes his books, is the same company that prints his books, which is the same company that Marcus at least works for, and I suspect he is at least part owner. The contact listed for Truesourcq is Clint Stutts, who Marcus also did a political podcast with not long ago called ‘Dueling patriots. Ok, he writes, or well, he doesn’t write much, his “news organization” does a podcast about nerd stuff and has people that work for free and posts reviews, or hatchet attacks like the one by David Herring. What is of note is the deception, the awards that can’t be tracked, the fact that he basically prints his own books, purchases his twitter followers and rates his own books. In fact, outside of goodreads.com, the only reviews of his books are by either anonymous, or an amazon.com account that appears to be him.

This links shows him rating his own books without concern about being noticed. Not sure if he didn’t care or know they would show up that way, but his name is there with a 5 star rating. His book “Atlantis: Revelations” does actually have some genuine reviews, or seemingly. That is the only location where his books have been reviewed, that I have found anyway. I guess it’s not against any rules to rate your own book, but the fact that he is rating his own books on Goodreads, makes me think he is rating them other places as well.

All of these things aren’t hard evidence. A lot of it may not hold up in court. But, a lot of what thatnerdshow.com and Marcus Blake is doing, and allowing to be done isn’t illegal, it’s just unethical. Although some of the evidence I present may not hold up in court, hypothetically, it might. We’d be able to trace his IP address and connect him or whomever did it. We’d also be able to find out more about his Twitter by following the paper trail to the shady company he hired to get those followers. The only evidence (other than the smell test and common sense) I have for him paying for those twitter followers is what he told me himself, that I would swear to in court. Twitter of course will investigate the amount of dummy accounts that are following @thatnerdshow.com. They’ll see that another company and IP is logging into the account, trace that account back to where it is, see the name of that company and what it does and it will hopefully shut down the Twitter.

That is if they’re looking, and they notice. Let’s hope they do. Because people like Marcus Blake and David Herring count on the rest of you to not look, to not check. To take what they’re spitting out at face value. They don’t expect you to look and read. Start looking.

 

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PETZ BEACH/COUNTRYSIDE coming-Get your flip-flops

Uh oh, looks like the creepy and cute critters of PETZ Beach and PETZ Countryside are making their way to store shelves. These games aren’t really my cup o’ tea really, but who’s to say they aren’t for you? Blocky pandas haunt your dreams, er…inhabit the beach in these two games running wild in your local game store. Ugh…I’m writing about ‘pets at the beach’ games. What would Hunter think? Look below for the details from Ubisoft.

You ate my bamboo didn't you Mr. Barky pants?
You ate my bamboo didn’t you Mr. Barky pants?

 

Take Your Petz on the Ultimate Journey and Collect Encyclopaedia Britannica® Fun Facts Along the Way

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — October 14, 2014 — Today, Ubisoft® announced that Petz® Beach and Petz® Countryside, the two latest entries in the popular pet simulation adventure game series for kids, are now available for Nintendo 3DS™ system, just in time for the holiday season. Both Petz Beach and Petz Countryside are rated E for Everyone, and are available in stores for $29.99 each.

Players will embark on the ultimate adventure in two new vibrant locales where they can care for a variety of animals, complete exciting quests to expand their village and connect with other Petz owners.

Through its partnership with Encyclopaedia Britannica®, Petz Beach and Petz Countryside incorporate learning throughout the journey.

Please visit petz.com/beach and petz.com/countryside.

For the latest on all of Ubisoft’s games, please visit ubiblog.com.

MMM PETZ logo look delicious. Drooool
MMM PETZ logo look delicious. Drooool

UBISOFT® TAKES PLAYERS ACROSS THE HIMALAYAS WITH FAR CRY 4

Keeping up with Ubisoft’s press releases is a full-time job lately. E3 has seen around 10 press releases, with a few of them coming in the wee hours. This release concerns Far Cry 4. Looks like The next-gen is finally here folks. Far Cry 4 will be one of the first franchises to be solely released for next-gen consoles. It’s definitely the most successful. Read on for more details about Far Cry 4 and keep checking back for the latest in E3 news. ESPECIALLY Ubisoft news. Plus, this screenshot is of a smoking monkey. Let’s hope that’s an E-cig the little primate is puffing on too.

 

 

I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you.
I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you.

Sequel to the #1 Rated Shooter of 2012*
Will Re-Imagine the Open World Cooperative Experience

LOS ANGELES, CA — June 9, 2014 — Today, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Ubisoft® showcased Far Cry® 4, the much anticipated sequel to the #1 rated shooter of 2012. Players can now bring a friend along on their open world journey, making Far Cry 4 the ultimate Far Cry® experience.

Hidden in the towering Himalayas lies a country steeped in tradition and violence. You are Ajay Ghale, returning to the country of your birth, the lush forests and harsh snowcapped summits of Kyrat, to fulfill your mother’s dying wish of spreading her ashes. This striking and unpredictable country offers visitors opportunity and peril. You quickly find yourself caught up in a rebellion to overthrow the oppressive regime of Pagan Min, a man known as much for his sense of style and charisma as his cruelty and calculated brutality. Navigating the treacherous landscape, you find your fate increasingly determined by the choices you make because in Kyrat, every second is a story.

In Far Cry 4, you’ll conquer fortress outposts from the back of a six-ton elephant and take to the skies as you rain down explosives from the seat of your gyrocopter. The vertical landscape of the Himalayas isn’t just a pretty backdrop, but a playground that encourages the player to fight, hunt and explore, grappling up cliffs or launching into the air, plummeting to the valley below in a controlled free fall with your wing suit. You’ll carry with you a truly unique arsenal of weaponry that lets you play your way, whether it’s sniping, sneaking or all-out assault. When all else fails, animals can be your biggest allies or your greatest danger, as Kyrat’s wilderness delivers on the promise of a true open world anecdote factory.

For the first time in any Far Cry game, you’ll be able to hunt, fight and explore in the open world with a friend. With co-op Guns for Hire, you can invite a friend into your world to liberate towers, take over outposts and share in the spoils. Hurk, from the Monkey Business add-on content of Far Cry® 3, joins in the fight to take over Kyrat.

Players who purchase Far Cry 4 on PlayStation® will get an exclusive set of Keys to Kyrat, allowing them to invite a few of their friends on PlayStation®Network to tackle the open world together, even if they don’t yet own the game.

Development on Far Cry 4 is being led by Ubisoft Montreal in collaboration with Ubisoft Red Storm, Ubisoft Toronto, Ubisoft Shanghai and Ubisoft Kiev. The game will be available worldwide on November 18 for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.

Customers who pre-order Far Cry 4 receive a free upgrade to the Limited Edition which includes Hurk’s Redemption, a series of three action-packed single-player missions featuring the popular character, Hurk, from Far Cry® 3. The Limited Edition also includes Hurk’s signature harpoon gun called The Impaler. Pre-orders are now available at all major retailers.

The Kyrat Edition will also be available for any fan looking to fully immerse themselves in the world and culture of Kyrat. The Kyrat Edition includes the Limited Edition with Hurk’s Redemption, as well as exclusive collectible items and extra playable content. This edition also includes a figurine of the despotic Pagan Min seated on an elephant throne, a travel journal to record your own adventures, a propaganda poster and a traveler’s map of Kyrat.

For more information on Far Cry 4, please visit: farcrygame.com

For the latest on all of Ubisoft’s games, please visit: ubiblog.com

 

IMPOSSIBEAR TAKES CENTER STAGE IN ‘BRAVEST WARRIORS 2014 IMPOSSIBEAR SPECIAL

Listen up, err, read up faithful readers and comic lovers. Boom! is at it again with Bravest Warriors. These folks put out some of the best comics in the business. Look for some reviews starting soon! Read on to find out more.

IMPOSSIBEAR TAKES CENTER STAGE
IN ‘BRAVEST WARRIORS 2014
IMPOSSIBEAR SPECIAL’

Bravest Warriors 2014 Impossibear Special Cover A
BRAVEST WARRIORS 2014 IMPOSSIBEAR SPECIAL Cover A by Ian McGinty

Bravest Warriors 2014 Impossibear Special Cover B
BRAVEST WARRIORS 2014 IMPOSSIBEAR SPECIAL Cover B by Andy Hirsch
 

June 9,  2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Finally, the true leader of the Bravest Warriors is getting his own comic! This June, the jivest rainbow bear to have ever worn butter skates is taking the spotlight in the BRAVEST WARRIORS 2014 IMPOSSIBEAR SPECIAL. A fantastic team of all-star indie creators has come together to make what is probably the greatest comic in history, because…Impossibear. Creators Kevin PanettaNikki Mannino(BRAVEST WARRIORS), Jeremy Sorese (STEVEN UNIVERSE), Kevin Church(ADVENTURE TIME), Kat LeyhPaulina Ganucheau (THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL), and Jess Fink (ADVENTURE TIME) are donning orange mustaches and bringing you a collection of stories that are all about the Bravest Warriors’ favorite. No, not Catbug, it’s Impossibear! While the Bravest Warriors are off on a mission, Impossibear and Catbug are up to no good and having all sorts of shenanigans that are definitely not Impossibear’s fault.

“Honestly, how could we not make a comic all about Impossibear? Have you seen his butter skating performances?” said BOOM! Studios Editor-In-Chief Matt Gagnon under some duress. “The bear’s a genius, so we gathered some of the best indie talent out there to do these stories justice. What…oh, right…’Catbug is a little crybaby, Impossibear is way cooler.’ There, I read it, now can you please untie me, Impossibear?”

BRAVEST WARRIORS 2014 IMPOSSIBEAR SPECIAL #1 arrives in comic shops this week on June 11th with a cover price of $4.99 under Diamond order code APR141022. The main cover is illustrated by Ian McGinty (ADVENTURE TIME), with an incentive cover available in a limited quantity drawn by Andy Hirsch (GARFIELD). Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use comicshoplocator.com or findacomicshop.com to find one! It’s also available for order directly from boom-studios.com.

 

ABOUT BOOM! STUDIOS
Founded by Ross Richie in 2005, Diamond Gem Award-winning “Best Publisher” BOOM! Studios (boom-studios.com) generates a constellation of best-selling Eisner and Harvey Award-winning original and licensed comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent. BOOM! Studios is the home of Mike Carey’s SUICIDE RISK, Clive Barker’s NEXT TESTAMENT and HELLRAISER, Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos’ FAIRY QUEST, PLANET OF THE APES, Max Bemis’ POLARITY and Mark Waid’s IRREDEEMABLE. Steven Grant’s graphic novel 2 GUNS was recently released as a feature film from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. BOOM!’s all-ages imprint KaBOOM! publishes Charles Schulz’ PEANUTS, Jim Davis’ GARFIELD, Cartoon Network’s ADVENTURE TIME and REGULAR SHOW, Mike Kunkel’s HEROBEAR AND THE KID, and Roger Langridge’s Eisner Award-winning SNARKED. In June 2013, BOOM! acquired Archaia Entertainment (archaia.com). Archaia is the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning graphic novel publisher of MOUSE GUARD, COW BOY, GUNNERKRIGG COURT, RUST, SPERA, JIM HENSON’S TALE OF SAND, and many other great titles. In October 2013, BOOM! Studios entered into a unique first-look relationship with 20th Century Fox, giving the studio access to its library of titles and giving the publisher access to Fox’s vast catalog of films.
 

BOOM! Studios
Twitter = @boomstudios
Facebook = facebook.com/BOOMStudiosComics

Bravest Warriors
Twitter = @BravestWarriors

Kevin Panetta
Twitter = @kevinpanetta

Jeremy Sorese
Twitter = @jeremy_sorese

Kevin Church
Twitter = @Kevin_Church

Paulina Ganucheau
Twitter = @PlinaGanucheau

Jess Fink
Twitter = @JessFink

Ian McGinty
Twitter = @ianmcginty

Andy Hirsch
Twitter = ItsAndyHirsch

UBISOFT® ENTERS THE CHAOS AND BRUTALITY OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION WITH ASSASSIN’S CREED® UNITY

Alright folks, this is fresh from E3 2014. Seems the fine French folks at Ubi are ready to give us some more details about the new Assassin’s Creed installment. I know I haven’t picked up the serious since the second installment, but I’m looking forward to firing up the PS4 and giving the series another shot. Check the details below, and make sure to comment. Are you ready for the new installment, or are you burned out on the series?

 

Assassin’s Creed® Unity Available in stores on October 28 


LOS ANGELES — June 9, 2014 — Today, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Ubisoft announced that the next installment of the 76 million unit-selling Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed Unity, will be released worldwide on October 28. Assassin’s Creed Unity will be released on Xbox One video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and PC.

Assassin’s Creed Unity is being developed by the veteran Assassin’s Creed team in Ubisoft Montreal with support from nine Ubisoft studios around the world*. Set in a once-magnificent Paris, Assassin’s Creed Unity plunges into the terror of the 1789 French Revolution and features the most dense and immersive Assassin’s Creed city ever created. Through the streets of Paris, the starving inhabitants are set to take up arms for freedom and equality. In this time of chaos and brutality, a young man named Arno, wounded by the loss of those he loved, sets on a deadly path of redemption. Arno’s pursuit throws him into the middle of a ruthless struggle for the fate of a nation, and transforms him into a true Master Assassin.

Assassin’s Creed Unity reinvents the franchise, starting with the core gameplay pillars that have defined the series from the beginning: navigation, stealth and combat. Players will carve their way through a stunning, full-scale open-world Paris, thanks to the power of the new Anvil engine, rebuilt from the ground up for new generation consoles. Assassin’s Creed Unity gives players full control parkour mechanics, a reinvented fighting system for a richer combat experience, a new stealth mode, cover system and crowd manipulation techniques. Players can channel their inner Assassin, customizing weapons, equipment, outfits and specialized skills to match their play style.

In addition to the sprawling single-player campaign, players can join with up to three friends and take part in story-driven online co-op missions designed specifically for Assassins to play together. Skills and unique gear acquired in the single-player missions will be accessible in co-op and will define a player’s personalized Assassin’s style, whether emphasizing brute force, agility or stealth. Players also will select a unique co-op skill that will help the team survive, evade or fight more effectively to the benefit of the team.

In North America, gamers can purchase the Assassin’s Creed Unity Collector’s Edition. The premium collector’s edition includes the new Assassin Arno as a lifelike 16” figurine poised atop an iconic gargoyle, a music box which plays a remixed version of the Assassin’s Creed Unity theme, the official soundtrack, an art book and two in-game missions.

Players who pre-order Assassin’s Creed Unity will receive 2 bonus offers.  The first is an exclusive single player mission, The Chemical Revolution, offering 30 minutes of additional gameplay. During this mission the player will help Lavoisier the “Father of Modern Chemistry” to escape from his kidnappers and recover his poison bomb formula.

The second is access to the Guillotine Spin to Win Game. Every Friday through launch, consumers have a chance to win a new, incredible prize and receive five more  spins and more chances to win.  For a chance to win, consumers can go to AssassinsCreed.com/play and spin the Guillotine wheel and to try to hit the jackpot.

Potential prizes include:
•    Exotic trips – Paris, Ubisoft Montreal, Comic-Con
•    Games and digital content
•    Exclusive apparel and gear
•    Home Entertainment Systems 
•    And more

Ubisoft also announced the Assassin’s Creed Unity Phantom Blade, a life-size replica of Arno’s new signature weapon. This limited-run collectible designed by the award-winning McFarlane Toys features a functional hidden blade, retractable crossbow arms, and a soft firing dart. Players can display this as part of their collection or wear it to complete the ultimate Assassin look. The Phantom Blade will be available while supplies last in select countries on October 28. It is priced at  $59.99 USD in the United States.

For more information on Assassin’s Creed, please visit: assassinscreed.com and facebook.com/assassinscreed.

For the latest on all of Ubisoft’s games, visit the UbiBlog: http://www.ubiblog.com


* The following studios are working on Assassin’s Creed Unity: Ubisoft Montreal (lead), Ubisoft Toronto, Ubisoft Québec, Ubisoft Annecy, Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Bucharest, Ubisoft Kiev, Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Chengdu Ubisoft Singapore.

ACU_HR_E3Banner_E3_140609_11amPST_1402143448

‘THE COLLECTOR’ FINALLY AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH

ARCHAIA TO MAKE SERGIO TOPPI’S
‘THE COLLECTOR’ FINALLY AVAILABLE
IN ENGLISH

BOOM! Studios releasing the collector for us English speakers.
The Collector coming in English

THE COLLECTOR Cover by Sergio Toppi
May 29,  2014 – Los Angeles, CA – The late Sergio Toppi is considered one of the greatest sequential masters of our time, influencing generations of comic artists and illustrators with his beautifully detailed line work, including Sean Gordon Murphy, Simone Bianchi, Walt Simonson, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Francesco Francavilla. Archaia, an award-winning imprint of BOOM! Studios, is proud to announce the September release of THE COLLECTOR, Toppi’s longest-running original series, now translated into English for the first time since its debut in 1984. Archaia previously published Toppi’s SHARAZ-DE: TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS to much acclaim.

 

Toppi’s breathtaking line work and composition will leave you staring at his pages for hours. While this oversized edition serves as much as an art book as a comic, the adventures of the globe-scouring, daredevil Collector will appeal to fans of the Indiana Jones movies, Five Ghosts, or Doc Savage.

 

“Not everyone realizes how much of an influence Toppi was to some of today’s most successful creators,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “When Archaia released SHARAZ-DE early last year, new fans began to discover what a classic illustrator he truly was. Now, with this English translation of THE COLLECTOR, one of his seminal works, it’s our pleasure to continue to publish the masterworks of one of the all-time greats.”

 

Far from the auction halls of the elite, The Collector seeks out rare and mysterious artifacts across the world. He is as at home in the salons of Paris as he is in the jungles of Borneo. Set against the backdrop of late 19th-century colonialism, THE COLLECTOR is a delightful, swashbuckling adventure! This edition features an introduction by Sean Gordon Murphy (The Wake).

 

THE COLLECTOR hardcover graphic novel arrives from Archaia in comic shops on September 3rd with a cover price of $34.99. It will be available for pre-order through comic shops starting May 28th. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use comicshoplocator.com or findacomicshop.com to find one!

 

 

“The Fall” review for MAC: Kickstarted Indie hybrid is a modern classic

When game fans trust in a relative unknown on kickstarter, they trust that their faith and money goes into the right hands. It takes intelligence, hard-work and a good idea to be a success. You have to think outside of normal parameters and protect your dream at all costs. This philosophy is at the heart of The Fall-literally and philosophically.

The Fall starts shortly after your craft lands on an unfamiliar planet. You quickly learn that it is not a human that is in control of the game, it’s an advanced A.I. named A.R.I.D. The pilot  inside the advanced combat suit is critically injured and incapacitated, and A.R.I.D. is in control. The advanced A.I. that is the focus of The Fall has 3 guiding principles: Do not mis-represent reality. Protect your pilot at all costs. Obey.These principles are the focus of the game as you control A.R.I.D. in her quest to take her human and get him medical treatment.

The Fall is a quirky hybrid of action/adventure, platformer and survival horror. The combination isn’t just a novelty however, as the different elements are melded together seamlessly and I never felt as though anything was tacked on just for the sake of a new mechanic.

The story

As pointed out previously, you’re marooned on what seems to be a junk planet. You make uneasy friends with a cleverly adaptive Mainframe AI that is overseeing this planet’s operations, and you quickly realize that he is adept at gaming the system. You can only speak to him through various interfaces and monitors throughout the game. His appearance on the monitors is distorted,  reflecting the twisted and contorted “personality”.The system in this place is a droid training ground. In order to get your pilot medical attention, you have to go through a training process to learn to appease humans. Graduate from the domestic droid school, you get access to the medical area and get the much needed access to medical care for your pilot.

You are hounded throughout the game by a “malfunctioning” droid called the Caretaker. The Caretaker has a droid’s body and also has an uneasy relationship with the helpful A.I. His aim is to have you scrapped and repurposed and he will stop at nothing to see that happen. As the story progresses, you are faced with weighty decisions, and see the “progress” of the A.R.I.D. artificial intelligence. aShe shows compassion for his life, or perhaps it’s an obsession or fault in her coding.

You face decisions in The Fall that truly stand out. You are drawn into A.R.I.D.’s struggle, and though she has the voice of a dry, nearly unwavering robot, her voice takes on inflection and emphasis at times that makes you think there’s something more there. This A.I. is advancing and becoming human. Her personality explores some of the more dark and drastic aspects of humanity later in the game as well.

Gameplay

The Fall is a side scroller with light platforming elements. Some running, jumping and climbing are involved, but they aren’t overbearing and don’t take away from the gameplay. As I mentioned earlier, the elements of the different genres of game meld together very well.

There is combat involved as well. It’s not abundant, and the amount balances well with the adventure, point and click aspects of the game. You are first tasked with finding a side arm once you establish your surroundings, and when you find a gun you quickly realize its worth. The gunplay doesn’t stand out, but is more than serviceable. Basic cover and a cloaking element are available and do add a degree of depth to the game. The gunplay, while not a major focus of the game is satisfying. You start with a “charge then shoot” mechanic, and unlock semi-automatic later on. The satisfaction of the shooting comes when lining up a headshot on a droid and watching the head topple and “clank” on the ground. I credit the wonderful feeling to the exceptional sound design in the game. The “whizz” and “whir” and explosion of your pistol lead to impacts that feel really good. More on the sound later.

You will spend a good chunk of your time in The Fall backtracking and hunting items. Like any good adventure game, you’ll need to solve puzzles to open a door or defeat a foe, and especially to get through the droid training. Many of the puzzles are very clever, while some of them I had no clue how to solve, and it was trial and error before I found them, while others you literally fall into. None of the puzzles were terribly tedious and I never felt frustrated. I did feel a little like the folks that designed this game are used to being the smartest people in the room, though. One particularly grisly solution made me feel rather bright, and I smiled as soon as it presented itself.

Design and feel

When I first fired up The Fall, I noticed a couple of things that reminded me of other games. One, was the rudimentary DOS type interface for your pause screen and interface for A.R.I.D. and the other was how the game initially looked like Limbo, or Deadlight. Though, it is closer to Deadlight really. The game isn’t in the upper echelon as far as graphics go, but it is distinct and the soft glow of A.R.I.D.’s helmet is memorable.The atmosphere is downright frightening, and there is a feeling of dread throughout your journey. I felt as though I was in a place where I didn’t belong, and the side scrolling nature made me move at a terribly slow pace throughout.

In addition to a fine atmosphere, the game features top-notch sound design by Cameron Jarvis. Music is sparse for the most part, and the “whiz” and “hum” of your Mark 7 combat suit becomes a steady friend. It’s what tells you that you’re real. That and the “tink tink” of your boots and the warm purr of your gun-mounted flashlight. When the music does appear, it is appropriately tense. I love the whole design outside of one section below ground where it got a little abrasive. The effect didn’t last, as I didn’t linger in the section too long. Perhaps that was the point of the part of the score. Either way, it worked.

The voice acting is surprisingly good for such a small budget, especially A.R.I.D. whom is voiced by Alison Kumar. I’m not sure how tough it is to make a programmed droid sound authentic though. All of the voice acting has appropriate tone and was recorded well, and outside of one drunken wooden cutout in the domestic area of the facility, all of the dialogue is crisp and spot on.

What I’m loathing

For my regular readers, you know I typically add this section as an ode to Hunter S. Thompson and it’s a section where I point out anything that bothers me about a game. Really, outside of a lot of backtracking and a couple minor graphical hitches, there’s not much to dislike. I didn’t enjoy needing to point my light at everything to interact with it, or having to point my light or laser sight to fire, but minor annoyances truly. There are some little oversights however. Generally when you select to interact with an object, you will get a text pop-up telling you “I cannot” or such. In some sections of the game, that is replaced with a sound, sometimes nothing. Again, minor annoyances. Truly, I experienced fewer bugs than the majority of games I’ve played. That’s AAA games or indie. The coding seems really solid and well done.

The Verdict

The Fall really caught me a bit off guard, and the premise intrigued me but, I honestly didn’t expect a high level of quality. The Kickstarter raised just over 30,000 or so and I heard little buzz about the game. The Steam Greenlight program has been mostly a miss for me, as I have a backlog of games that I feel bad about posting because my experiences were so poor. That is not the case at all with The Fall. The story is absolutely the most original Sci-fi, A.I. horror story that I’ve experienced since Isaac Asimov. I’ve gone away from sci-fi after many disappointments like the Dead Space series, Star Wars and Trek, and many others. This story by Caleb Allard however hit home and made me think and evaluate. The characters are memorable and the story is such that it causes a problem for me as a writer. I enjoyed it so much, I’m nearly left speechless because I want you, the reader to enjoy it as well. The villain and scenarios are fresh and powerful, and the ending literally left me with my jaw hanging open. I almost wrote to John Warner at Over The Moon Games to call him a bastard. I didn’t, though I did call him faulty. Once you play the game, you’ll get that inside joke.

The Fall is must have for Sci-fi and horror games, or if you enjoy a good story.

 

finalgrade9

For more information on The Fall, go to http://www.overthemoongames.com

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” 
― Isaac AsimovI, Robot

I was granted  beta code via Steam for MAC by Over The Moon games for the purpose of this review. In total, I spent almost exactly 6 hours playing the game.

Developer:
Over The Moon
Based in Vancouver, BC

Release date:
May 30th, 2014

Platforms:
PC / Mac / Linux/ Wii U

Website:
overthemoongames.com/

Regular Price:

USD $9.99
CAD $9.99
EUR €6.99
GBP £5.99

CALL OF DUTY®: MODERN WARFARE® 2 AND CALL OF DUTY®: MODERN WARFARE® 3 NOW AVAILABLE ON MAC

CODMW2-Press-iMac2
Get ready to bring your kill streak to MAC

This is  hot off of the press folks. I know me and my pals have been itching to get more great games for the MAC. For some reason, games are seriously lacking on the MAC. Aspyr aims to change that. They are tasked with converting those delicious PC games over to MAC. They’ve had great success with BIOSHOCK and CIV V, which I reviewed, and they’re taking the kill-streak mania of COD to your favorite Apple product. Here is all of the information you need…below. Are you looking forward to playing these on MAC, or are you waiting for something else to debut on MAC? Discuss it in the comments.

 

CALL OF DUTY®: MODERN WARFARE® 2 AND CALL OF DUTY®: MODERN WARFARE® 3 NOW AVAILABLE ON MAC

 

Both Games Feature Steam Play Support and Cross-platform Competitive Play

 

AUSTIN, Texas – May XX, 2014 – Aspyr Media announced today that Activision Publishing, Inc.’s record-setting Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 2 and Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 video games are now available on the Mac. The full versions of both games, including all available DLC Packs for each, are available via digital download through the Steam platform and can be purchased directly from Steam, Aspyr’s online store GameAgent.com, and other participating online Mac game retailers. Players are encouraged to head over to GameAgent.com and utilize the site’s “Mac Match” feature to automatically determine if their Mac meets the games’ system requirements.

 

 

This isn’t the first time Aspyr Media has brought the Call of Duty experience to Mac gamers, as the company delivered the first in the series, Call of Duty® 4: Modern Warfare®, to the Mac in 2011, which has remained a popular shooter on the platform since.

 

“The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games are incredibly feature-rich and nothing short of amazing in their presentation,” said Aspyr Media’s Executive Vice President, Ted Staloch. “It’s incredibly rewarding for us to now offer gamers access to the Modern Warfare trilogy on the Mac.”

 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 picks up immediately following the historic events of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, with players facing off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse. And Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 continues the series’ epic storyline with even bigger and more explosive action.

 

Both games feature:

  • Cinematic, action-packed single player campaigns
  • Cross-platform competitive multiplayer and cooperative online play
  • Multiple DLC Packs which add new maps and other great content to the multiplayer experience
  • Steam Works integration and Steam Play support
  • And more!

 

For more information on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series of games on the Mac, please visit www.aspyr.com or follow us on Twitter (@aspyrmedia) and Facebook (/AspyrMedia).

CODMW3-Press-iMac1

The Yawhg Review: an elegant and profound masterpiece

Adventure awaits
Adventure awaits

Many days as a child I spent locked away in a windowless room. Punished for something or another I did as a child with a vivid imagination and undiagnosed ADHD, I found solace in comic books, old books about chivalry and choose your own adventure books. I was able to transport myself to another place through my decisions and the imagination of another. As an adult, those moments are incredibly hard to find. I’m excited to have found one of those moments with The Yawhg.

The Yawhg is a sort of “Choose your own Adventure” tale for Windows. Labeling it as such I’m afraid is to undersell The Yawhg and its innate ability to move in a quiet and disarming way though. It is a co-op adventure fairytale with adornments stripped away. Although magic exists, it often performs in humorous ways and is used sparingly. Although I read somewhere in the materials for The Yawhg that the game is good for sitting in a room full of people and experiencing it together, I found it best enjoyed alone with the sound very loud and played through headphones. The sound as a matter of fact, is something I’ll be expanding upon shortly.Yawhg logo

A tale of 4 different characters in a town like many in the days of yore, you are tasked with day to day life, moving from assignment to assignment and choosing what you would do in certain situations. In between quests you are warned about an impending disaster, but you and your other characters carry on as though it isn’t happening. It’s  similar to how we deal with tragedy that ominously stalks our real lives. We go to the pub or tavern, we pursue gold and other things. The game really took off for me, when it was over, or ending.

 

A Grim Fairy Tale

The atmosphere is really cemented with the playful and understated artwork that graces The Yawhg. It is used perfectly, and the way in which you navigate the world feels perfectly suited for an ebook. The true hero of the tale in my opinion is the sound design by Ryan Roth. The songs are reminiscent of Iron and Wine for the most part, though electronic strings do ebb and surge in parts, and are a pleasant counterpoint to the scratchy and reverb draped acoustic guitars. The wonderful vocals of Halina Heron remind me of a younger, more spritely Beth Gibbons. Subtle, with an ability to sway and nearly explode with little notice. I am listening to her sound cloud as I write this review, and go back and forth between her page and the page of Mr. Roth. I can’t seem to stop playing Oceans. It loops and I am quietly in a state of contented joy.

Though the experience of The Yawhg can be had in a very short amount of time, 20 minutes even, its effects last. I found it a requirement to write Damian as soon as I finished it to tell him how moved I was with it. As mentioned earlier, the game, or experience, truly takes off when it is ending and the life you led up to when The Yawhg arrives, and what you do after is what struck me most profoundly. Your character’s life is summed up in a few sentences in eulogy form.

What I’m Loathing

Nothing. Nothing at all. I do wish there was more of it, but I adore this game.

The Verdict

It is striking in its subtlety, and I wanted more of it. The Yawhg is more of an experience than a game or adventure. It can be enjoyed with others, and should be shared if possible. The Yawhg is a testament to what can be done when a few people with beautiful minds and talents converge. Buy the Yawhg.

 

I will retire to my room with a view now as an adult, and float off to a far away place again thanks to The Yawhg.

I was provided a review copy via Steam by Damian Sommer.

FinalGrade8

Please find the information below and read more about the game and the people that made it.

 

Credits
Damian Sommer
Game Designer, Programmer, WriterEmily Carroll
Artist, WriterRyan Roth
Sound DesignerHalina Heron
Musician

 

Developers:

Damian Sommer
Toronto, Canada

Emily Carroll
Vancouver, Canada

Release date:

May 30th, 2013

Platform:

Windows

Website:

TheYawhg.com

Regular Price:

USD $10.00

Preorder Price:

USD $5.00 until release

Damian’s Website
damiansgames.comEmily’s Website
emcarroll.comRyan’s Website
dualryan.com

UBISOFT® RELEASES CO-OP TRAILER FOR CHILD OF LIGHT

Beautiful visuals and whimsical environments.
Beautiful visuals and whimsical environments.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m really looking forward to this game. I’m anxiously awaiting a review copy. Read the details below released from Ubisoft today.

Ubisoft released today a co-op trailer for Child of Light™, releasing on April 30, 2014.  The turn based RPG set in the magical world of Lemuria will be available for download for $14.99 on Microsoft Xbox LIVE for the Microsoft Xbox® 360 and Microsoft Xbox® One, the Sony PlayStation Network for the Sony PlayStation® 3 and Sony PlayStation® 4, the Nintendo eShop for the Wii U, and Steam for PC and is rated “Everyone 10+.

To all those wandering lost in the dark, may you be visited by a spark.  Reveal hidden passages, protect one another.  Join forces to uncover Lemuria’s secrets, for the darkness is full of dangers.”

Press release

 

Child of Light is created by a small team of seasoned developers based in Ubisoft Montreal.  Child of Light has been developed on Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework, a powerful engine that lets programmers and artists bring their art to life by allowing original concept art to be inserted unedited into the game world.  In Child of Light, the effect is that playing becomes akin to stepping into an interactive painting.

Child of Light is a re-imagining of classic fairy tales, inviting players on an epic adventure into the magical painted world of Lemuria.  Players will uncover mysteries, participate in turn-by-turn combat inspired by classic JRPGs, and explore a mystical kingdom.  The game puts players in the shoes of Aurora, a child stolen from her home, who, in her quest to return, must bring back the sun, the moon and the stars held captive by the mysterious Queen of the Night.  Helped by her companion Igniculus the firefly and several unlikely allies, Aurora will face her darkest fears, including dragons and other mystical creatures in this modern take on a coming-of-age story.

Child of Light co-op trailer

 

For more information please visit:
http://www.childoflight.ubi.com

The small team that worked on Child of Light clearly loves their world.
The small team that worked on Child of Light clearly loves their world.

BOSTON DLC PACK NOW AVAILABLE FOR UBISOFT’S ROCKSMITH 2014 EDITION

Hitch A Ride

Oh yeah Boston Fans- Ubisoft has a special treat for you folks that love those creamy guitar tones of TomScholz. Read the following announcement from Ubisoft about every nerd’s favorite guitar playing simulation/learning game Rocksmith.

Ubisoft announced today that the Boston DLC pack for Rocksmith® 2014 Edition is now available for download on Xbox LIVE for Xbox® 360, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation® 3 and Steam for PC and Mac.

Songs included in this 3-song pack are “Hitch A Ride”, “Don’t Look Back” and “Foreplay/Long Time.”

Individual songs are available for $2.99 or the complete 3-song pack for $7.99.

New music packs continue to be released on a regular basis so please continue to watch for updated information.

Rocksmith 2014 Edition includes new features, new modes, optimized tracking and responsiveness, and completely redesigned interface, new techniques and tunings, and much more.  Aspiring guitarists can now learn to play guitar in just 60 days with Rocksmith 2014 Edition.

 

UPDATED-Breaking:State of Decay new DLC possibly outed by intrepid gamer

*Update*

Undead Labs confirms my earlier dogged reported about DLC. There’s a new map coming. Follow the link for their full posting.

Full post from Undead Labs. 

 

*Update*

Right now, there isn’t news about Xbox 360 release. ‘Undead Labs’ recently signed on with Microsoft studios for sometime of agreement that extends beyond ‘State of Decay”. The details of that are hush hush, so information concerning this has been hard to come by. For more information, stop by undeadlabs.com. There have been recent hirings to indicate that the company is working on their much anticipated follow up to ‘State of Decay” “Class 4” that is an MMO. Stay tuned for more.

Original story

As posted on Undead Labs forum by user Axios, State of Decay maker ‘Undead Labs’ seem to have a new DLC in the pipeline. Here is a link to the forums where he posts his find, and also the link he provides to SteamDB information on the DLC named “Lifeline.” I’ve reached out to Undead Labs for comment and will post with more information when available.

SteamDB is not affiliated with Steam, but provides information for the public.

Richard Paul Davis

https://forums.undeadlabs.com/threads/dlc-2-state-of-decay-lifeline-156-39-mb.40071/

 

http://steamdb.info/app/241540/#section_depots

Finding time to game as an adult

I’m an adult. Everything that goes along with that is included. When I was a teenager (late80′ early 90’s) I played games, but my zeal and love for them didn’t develop until my 20s and 30s. I had a lot more time to dedicate to them then. When I was a teen, it was games like Rygar and R.B.I. baseball. Those games you could pick up and beat and then put down, and then run around outside for hours. Now that I’m in my late 30’s, finding time for writing, baseball, my girlfriend, plus trying to keep up with politics and the world in general is hard. It’s been a continual balancing act for years. I can go days without playing, and I can go days without spending a ton of quality time with my girlfriend too. She’s very busy and we have to struggle to find quality time, and luckily with HBOGO, Netflix and a few quality games (that we’ll go over later) we’re able to schedule time together doing things we both like.

So, after finding some free time this past wednesday, we decided we’d try to find something we could do together. The options were (in my mind anyway) going up highway 75 to Choctaw casino in Durant, OK. We could stay the night because she loves hotels, and spend a few bucks on the slots. Since she loves hotels and to win money, and I love games and Dean Martin, the casino was ideal. There are some cool and quirky slots with a cartoon Dino that plays his songs. Golden! The second option was to look into Dave and Busters. I’d always been hesitant to go anyplace that was called an adult Chucky Cheese. The douche factor in Dallas is high enough anywhere you go daily, and I REALLY don’t want to go to someplace where they can be more douchey. But I digress. I decided to look into Dave and Buster’s and found that they have half-price wednesdays. Games, drinks etc. are half priced. Okay, we decide to do this instead of the casino.

We pull up to D&B’s and are immediately smacked with the realization that we are in Dallas Douche town. The parking lot is littered with various empty bottles and mis-parked cars. The lights were very reminiscent of Casinos as well. Cut to later on-we purchased 100 credits or tokens, and had a drink and meal at the bar. The only thing I’ll point out about the bar is the huge and multiple beer bong devices that were 4-feet tall with taps. Yep, it was that kind of place. Anyway, on to the fun.

We started off with a bit of skeeball. The classic game of rolling wooden balls that everyone loves and remembers. My girlfriend and I playfully compete and then move on to a Batman sit down driving/shooting game that is a super fun on rails shooter. The voice acting is solid and campy, and you get a huge selection of bat-mobiles. The game is way too on the rails, but considering I’m out with my girlfriend for fun, she watched and we had a great time. Rumbling all around me and a feast of eye candy keep us both thoroughly entertained for nearly half an hour. Once we were done, we decided to have one more go at finding something we both could do. That’s when we found our couple’s nirvana; Dark Escape 4D.

My girlfriend Kris is a fright-prone young lady. I spend a good amount of time creeping around our house scaring her and setting up elaborate ways to pull pranks.  So I would be super excited to find an opportunity to see her scared. She isn’t exactly the gaming type, but she was pumped for this. Yay for life! THIS is why I am with this woman! The gaming unit is an enclosed box with curtains. You sit down, put on 3D glasses and grab your gun. You start with a bit of backstory where you follow around a Resident Evil knockoff girl, who is rendered in a Silent Hill style, and before you know it you’re off. We’re both waiting for the action to happen, and it doesn’t take long as we are quickly jolted by an onscreen zombie. Kris screams as our surroundings shake violently and her bullets spray all over the 3D background. I am more calm, but not by much. The entire game is little breaths, and then tense moments of terror. An onscreen meter tracks your pulse through the gun you hold too. What a cool touch, though I was surprised how ‘panicked’ how I was throughout the game.The experience was like being in a video game haunted house. Monsters lunged in 3D, growls exploded in our ears, and wind shot into our faces. At the end of every session, the game tells you how many time you became panicked on a scale of ten. I was 4/10 both times and I think she was 8/10 and 9/10. Hurray for video games. Wow. We pumped 30 minutes and who knows how many credits into this experience. I wish I had one in my home.

So after all of that, my point is that there are ways to interact with your family and friends who aren’t really gamers. You can be a part of society too. For times like this, you just have to bite the proverbial bullet and trek on through the ‘normals’ and douches.

Below I’m adding a few activities that I’ve found I can do with my girlfriend in our free time that allows us to spend time and scratch our individual itches.

 

Telltale Games: Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us

Walking Dead-We both love the TV series, and I love the comics. We play this one together by me handling the sticks and her helping with the decisions. It’s amazing how impactful this can be for us. We discuss the decisions and possible things to happen in the future for an hour sometimes. We enjoy it more than the TV show or something like Boardwalk Empire.

The Wolf Among us-The same thing with this game. We actually went out and bought some of the comics after playing the first episode (thanks Keith’s comics.) This one is more cartoonish, but somehow darker. Perhaps it’s because there is some sort of civilization in this world, albeit a pretend fairy tale district in a pretend New York. Kris actually learned about me through the decisions I made in this one. There was a decision I had to make as Bigby Wolf that made her cringe and made me show my teeth. She looked at me with genuine disbelief, and I responded with “He would have done that. He’s the big bad wolf and the rules are different here.”

HBOGO and Netflix

We have found our free time centered around my Xbox-360, and we’re okay with that. Boardwalk Empire, Treme and the Sopranos have all opened up great new music, books and other adventures that we wouldn’t have found otherwise. Netlflix is in three rooms of our house and Frasier, Glee or any number of documentaries can be heard or seen at any time.

Hope you enjoyed reading and found something that will help finding time for your family friends etc.

My playing with Frodo
Me playing with Frodo