Category Archives: Video Games

A View From the Summit: Chapter 2 – Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns

In the last chapter I played through the indescribable oddity that is Zeno Clash, which left me more than a little confused, and I was able to take a step closer to the top of Backlog Mountain.

At the end of my last review, I said I was going to be reviewing Europa Universalis III, but as you can see by the title I’m instead reviewing Shadowrun Returns. Let me shed a little light on this turn of events, which has subsequently led to a new rule in the reviewing process, which is that if a game is broken to the point of unplayability I move on to another game.

In this instance, Europa Universalis III refuses to run on my system, for reasons I have yet to discover. The game seems to install fine, but any time it needs to change screens when not in the main menu, it force-quits to the desktop. Obviously I’d prefer to give the game a fair shake, so if I can solve the issue before I’ve finished the rest of my Backlog, I’ll do a proper review on it.

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A View From the Summit: One Man’s Journey to the Top of Backlog Mountain

I stand here at Base Camp, the cold January wind whipping around me, as I gaze upon the animal I am to tame. Before me, like a great hulking beast, lays my opponent, the Khan to my Kirk. Those who have come before have given this monstrosity a name; they call it Backlog Mountain.

It’s likely not the largest mountain in its range, but it’s my mountain, and I will conquer it. At 136 stories in height, my goal is simple, to reach the summit within a year’s time.


Chapter 1: Zeno Clash

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EarthBound Arriving on Wii U Virtual Console Later This Year

At 10:47AM this morning, I got a text message from a friend of mine saying “on a side note, Nintendo just announced EarthBound for the Wii U Virtual Console.” I’ve known people that have waited over thirteen years for this news, from all the way back in the days of the Nintendo 64, so for those of you who haven’t played EarthBound or haven’t played it in a while, I figured now would be the perfect time to cover what my favorite part of the SNES era was: the dialogue. As I grew older, I started to appreciate the art of writing, I believe, in part because of the dialogue in EarthBound and other SNES games. There’s a certain art and character to dialogue, and who knows, maybe I wouldn’t be a writer today without these games introducing me to a whole world of literacy. Let’s check out some dialogue from EarthBound and nine other RPG-type games that aren’t EarthBound, as a fun retrospective:

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Bioshock Infinite: Pack it in, 2013. You peaked in March.

Bioshock Infinite Title

Every console generation, for me at least, carries with it a handful of vivid memories that stand out above the rest–experiences that remind me how great of a hobby video games can be even when so many executives and shady developers are out to prove otherwise.  For the current cycle of consoles one such landmark moment came in 2007, after swimming through the flaming wreckage of an airplane to find a lighthouse.  Greeted by a large red banner proclaiming “No gods or kings. Only man.”, and accompanied by a violin rendition of “Beyond the Sea”, my first trip to the decayed underwater paradise of Rapture is a moment I’ll never forget.  Lots of great games have come and gone since, but for me nothing has ever lived up to the sense of wonder I felt playing through Bioshock for the first time.  Bioshock 2 was better than its reputation, even if it did suffer from retread syndrome and detached, arbitrary multiplayer features.  I enjoyed it, but it didn’t really recapture the magic.  So I kept a cautious eye on the development and seemingly endless delays of the third entry in the series, hopeful but all too aware of how quickly the gaming industry can disappoint its fans.

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Flea Market Fun: M.U.S.C.L.E. in My Pocket

I haven’t written anything for a while, so I thought I’d get back into the swing of things with a flea market find. I hit my local flea market last month, which snuck in before the region was blanketed with a beautiful white layer of what the local news referred to as “heart attack snow”. So the place was fairly busy for December, with more things to see than I expected.

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Super Mario Large Figure Collection: Koopa Troopa


On a recent stop into Kmart I was quite surprised to see a Koopa Troopa from the 5″ Super Mario figure line looking down at me from the top shelf. I love these Mario figures and new ones are so few and far between. I had to have it.

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Disney Buys Lucas Films: Why This is Good News

It is an energy field found in all things. It unites us, it binds us, it brings the galaxy together. Those words sparked more hope, inspiration, and deep feelings of what it means to be a good person than the entire sum of the rest of my whole life has to this very moment. I was hooked young, some of my earliest memories are of watching the Star Wars trilogy. Read the rest of this entry

I’m back … from outer space

I couldn’t resist the title.  I apologize.

Bear with me here. I know this has got to be an old topic for most of you. I mean the game is already over six months old. Plus this is for DLC. DLC that came out like what, two weeks ago? I know. I’m living in the past man! Well, listen here you future folk, I got something to say and you’ll hear it. Tonight we talk all about how awesome Mass Effect 3: Leviathan really is.

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A Nerd Roadtrip: Amazing Heroes, Vortex Music, and More

In celebration of life and all of its infinite beauty, I’d like to invite the Internet on a roadtrip I took today to various nerd locations in the greater Seattle, Washington, area with a great friend of mine, Brenden.

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Darksiders II: Another Great THQ Game Brought to You by the Color Purple

Like most of the gaming world, I completely overlooked the original Darksiders when it released in 2010, playing through it only after my girlfriend ran across a $10 copy and said “Hey, this looks like something you’d like”.  That ended up being something of an understatement.  The game centered around War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, being stripped of his powers and wrongfully accused of bringing about the end of mankind.  The play mechanics borrowed liberally from such diverse sources as the Zelda franchise and Portal, and what should have been a poor hodgepodge of clashing elements, or at best a mid-card God of War clone, ended up being one of my favorite games of this console cycle.  So when a sequel was announced despite the original’s middling sales performance, I (along with a substantially greater number of other gamers this time around) was incredibly excited.

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