March 30, 2011

Latest Going-Ons

Hey there everyone!  Hope you are all doing well and are ready for our speaker to come.  Remember, in addition to the speaker there will be pizza and a fan art contest.  So if you want to enter, then feel free to do so!  There will be a small prize to the winner, and the winner will be decided by a written vote.  No talent required, it is supposed to be fun!

In other upcoming news, the Unforum will be occurring April 12 and our club will be part of the show.  The Unforum is basically a forum where campus culture is showcased, including clubs.  This will be a great chance to advertise our club and attract new gamers!  For the Unforum, we will be doing a small skit that will basically be an intro for clubs in general and then we will do our own skit that will be us explaining about our club in a creative way.  We are currently thinking of ideas for what we want to do and our deadline for our final plan is Thursday night, so we will be discussing it for part of our meeting Thursday.  In addition, we encourage all club members to come to an Unforum prep meeting next Tuesday at 7pm.  If you want to participate, you need to come, and we want at least 5 people to come.  There will also be a dress rehearsal  Monday April 11 8:30-10:30pm.  It will be fun, so come!

This next meeting will be led by Malia and will be about video games in fan fiction.  I am personally looking forward to this and believe it will be insightful and hilarious!  If you know anything about fan fiction, I am sure you will feel the same.  We are also advertising Mon, Tues, Wed before the speaker event so if you can help, please come!  We will be in the Wilk.  See you all tomorrow!

Josh Matern
Gaming President

March 23, 2011

SMU Speaker, Dinner, and Fan Art Contest Facebook Event

Made a Facebook event for the upcoming event.  Add yourself and invite others!  We expect ALL members to be there unless you have a valid reason you can not come and tell us beforehand.  See you there!!/event.php?eid=190007747708114

March 17, 2011

Current Events

What's up everyone?  Hope you are all doing well and having a great week!

Our next event and LAST gaming event for this semester is this Friday from 6-11pm in Room 340 Crabtree.  The ROTC has taken our usual spot.  This will be a CONSOLES ONLY event so bring any console and screen that you want so that more people can join the fun!  There will also be a Halo Reach Tournament with a prize for the winner, so get ready!  Please feel free to invite anyone you want to come.

We are currently advertising Monday and Wednesday from 1pm - 5pm in the Wilkinson Center every week.  We are also advertising Tuesday from 12-4, and any other day that people have time.  Seriously, there are always open booths that we can grab.  We encourage EVERY member to spend some time helping advertise, even if it is just for an hour.  We want to have as many people join as we can and get as many people to the Guildhall speaker and dinner event as possible.

Tomorrow, Thursday, is our next meeting so we hope to see many people there!  The subject will be on Professional Gaming, meaning when you play games for money.  It is sure to be very interesting and full of discussion.

We will be putting out a podcast and a commercial soon for the club so be ready for that.  We will tell you where to find them when we have them done!  We also will soon be making club t-shirts and want to know who wants one! They will probably be around $7.

Finally, a big welcome to our newest officer, Malia Beckstrand!  She will be our Keep Guardian (Treasurer) and will have all the duties and authority that come with the title, so please welcome her!  We are sure she will do an excellent job.

See you all next week and game on!

Josh Matern
Gaming President

March 8, 2011



"Stacking," the latest game from Double Fine (the mad team behind "Brutal Legend" and the masterpiece that is "Psychonauts"), just hit the electonic shelves earlier this week. You see, it is only available for digital download on Xbox 360 and PS3. I was looking quite forward to this game and have spent a little time with the demo. You play as Charlie, the smalls Russian nesting doll around. You can jump into dolls bigger than you, taking control of them and utilizing their special abilities to solve puzzles. The cutscenes are novel and the gameplay is jolly. Anything that hearkens to "Space Station Silicon Valley," where you play a hijacking microchip of robotic animals, is a pleasantry. That said, everyone speaking in text boxes left me a little overwhelmed in crowds. Running into frequent identical dolls also was a minor let down. Still, it is getting great reviews. You can read what GameSpot had to say here.

I did not even know of the video game series "You Don't Know Jack" until now. GameSpot gave the latest a 8.0 (for "great") in their video review. It is a trivia game that gets a little a flippant about its duties (as one might suppose from the title). GameSpot is not alone in heralding the zesty game, it currently has an 84% on metacritic.

"Pokemon White" and "Black" for the Nintendo DS hit shelves two days ago (on a Sunday, I know, weird right?). Of course, it is the same tried-and-true formula with some new features slapped on, namely the 3D-ish environments. IGN gave the game a 9 and labeled it "Amazing." Click here for access to their written and video reviews. The game currently has an 87 on metacritic.

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One of the games I am most looking forward to this year (third to "Skyrim" and "Portal 2") is "L.A. Noire." Made by Team Bondi and published by the ever-reliable Rockstar, it is shaping up to look stellar. Check out this interview with Rob Nelson of Rockstar juxtaposed with plenty of gameplay action. The technology behind the game (especially the secret behind those state-of-the-art facial animations) is legit. The "L.A. Noire" equation in my head? Take "Mafia," set it in Los Angles and you play as a detective instead of a gangster. I am looking very forward to May 17th.

Before Tim Burton got his hands on the "Alice in Wonderland" franchise (which turned out to be a rather disappointing venture) there was "American McGee's Alice," a macabre and bloody action game based on Lewis Carroll's books. Now, American McGee and his team at Spicy Horse are finishing the sequel, "Alice: Madness Returns," due this summer (June 14th). Here is the trailer and gameplay. I feel the twisted visuals and overall lunacy demonstrated herein surpasses what you may have seen in theaters last year and that is what Alice is all about. Still, no adaptation can surpass the under-appreciated masterpiece that emerged from Disney studios in 1951.

If I am going to buy one game this year, it is going to be "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim." The first trailer (with gameplay!) came out last week. All of the excitement that I had in the months before "Oblivion" released is coming back! It is a grand time to be a gamer. Charles and Ryan from IGN breakdown the trailer in a hearty session ofRewind Theater. There is so much to dissect herein and they do a great job (even managing to point out the nirnroot that I honestly missed!). 11.11.11 is the day.

Check out the powerful announcement trailer for yet another zombie video game, "Dead Island." It is beautiful and it is disgusting. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but see it and you will know what I mean. It left me pondering if the only way a zombie tale can have a happy ending is if you are telling it in reverse. Personally, I am sold based on a few words in the description for the game: "open world... survival on a zombie-infested island." Well, I guess the correct phrasing would be it is an "open island" game. Some dedicated journalists at IGN have recut the trailer to chronological order and analyze it in this 8-minute video. "Dead Island" is made by the folks at Techland who are otherwise noted as the makers of "Call of Juarez" series, which I have not yet played and will therefore not comment on. "Dead Island" is due sometime this year.

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At the Game Developers Conference this year, Toru Iwatani (the creator of Pac-Man) spoke on the influences and development of the arcade classic from 1980. Check out IGN's entertaining and informative article, "7 Things You Never Knew About Pac-Man."

Xbox Live Arcade is one of the best platforms for gaming today. With new releases every week and with multiple 5-star titles already in the library, it is an easy sale for anyone interested in games. Besides that, every game is required to have a playable demo! Last year IGN posted their "Top 25 Xbox Live Arcade Games." My only grievance is that their placement of "Braid" is much too low... Still, their #1 is a pleasant surprise!

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J.S. Lewis
Online Steward

March Video Games

FYI:  The facebook message saying to look at the newest blog post is talking about the one after this.  I am just a wee bit slow in getting my posts done.  Anyway, being the Game Warden and all, one of my duties is to keep people up to date with general gaming.  I say general gaming because I can't keep track of every freeware game that pops up, or the newest Jap-only puzzle game that came out yesterday.  So, I thought I'd start with a post showing all the awesome stuff the month of March has in store for us.  Ready?  Hope you are, because March is here whether or not you like it.

Rift, March 1st.

One of the newest MMORPGs out there.  Thankfully, this is offered via Steam, so I didn't need to look very far for some basic information.  I'd call it your standard MMORPG; quests, player-to-player interaction, guilds and stuff, but one of the big focuses for this game is its PvP action.  Why?  Because every article I read had stuff about the PvP.  The creators really like that aspect.

Pokemon, Black/White Editions March 6th

What can I say... its a Pokemon game.  Granted, I strongly avoid them because of my completion-ist gaming attitude.  With Pokemon, I ended up trying to get all creatures to level 100, then all evolutions of a creature to level 100, then each one with the different abilities.... suffice to say, I must avoid Pokemon.

Dragon Age 2 March 8th

Its Dragon Age!  Bioware is at it again, this time toting a more action-packed game than the game before it.  I found the UI of the demo much more user-friendly (I'm a PC guy, so I can't vouch for the console version) than the game before.

HomeFront March 15th 

Trailers call it the second American Revolution.  People are calling it awesome.  One more FPS to add to the list of games to play.

Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy March 22nd

Like I said in the last meeting, this game has got the weirdest name I've seen on a sequel.  I don't even try to pronounce it.  Sequel to Square's successful Final Fantasy Action/Fighter game, this one boasts more characters (to name a couple: Tifa, FF7, Vaan, FFXII, and Lightning, FFXIII), a world map, and better gameplay.  We shall have to see, just like any other game, I suppose.

Crysis 2 March 22nd

To be honest, I have yet to play Crysis, so I can't vouch for the awesomeness of the first game, but, if they're making a second, the first must have been successful enough.  However, I remember people saying Crysis made their computer catch on fire, so I can only expect the sequel to have groundbreaking graphics as well.

This is only a very small list of what is to come.  Please, please, please!  Feel free to add comments detailing opinions on above games, games that I failed to mention that you think I should have mentioned and you'll hate me forever for not mentioning, and anything else!  That's what comments are for, after all.

And... Now I need to go do my homework.  See you guys later!

Andrew Blomquist
Game Warden

March 7, 2011

Post-Charity and News

So the charity fundraiser has come and gone.  Thanks to everyone who came!  I personally had a lot of fun and was very glad to see our eminent adviser there too.  Unfortunately, not nearly as many people came as we had hoped, so we will have to try harder with advertising next time.  Still, we are very happy for all the money we were able to raise for One Laptop per Child, and we hope we are able to bless the lives of some children.

Now the main focus we have is the speaker coming April 6!  We plan on advertising that for the whole month of March to get as large a turnout as possible.  We encourage everyone to volunteer time to advertise!  Just tell us when you can and we will reserve the time for you and a partner.  We will also be having a game playing event in between, but this one will be strictly consoles.  Details for the location will be coming soon, but expect it to be in the same room as usual.  For that one, we encourage everyone to bring a screen or console!  Also, if you think you know anyone interested in attending either event, then let them know.  We want as many people as possible to come and game with us!

So about our club banner. We sent in a design for the banner to the campus design team, but they rejected it as too complicated and being copyright infringement, despite saying previously that it would not be copyright infringement.  Go figure.  So two weeks ago we sent in another, simpler design, and they said it was still too complicated for the free hour of design we get.  So basically, for the design we want, we would need to pay them for three hours of designing.  We are working out whether we want to come up with some way to raise money or just go for a super simple design that can be done in an hour, which basically means words and colors.  If you want to voice your opinions or ideas, post them in the comments!

Malia will be leading the discussion this Thursday so everyone come and participate!  Also, tell us if you would like to lead a discussion too!

Gaming news this week:  Dragon Age II comes out tomorrow and Crysis II later this month (22nd).  Pokemon Black and White came out and received a lot of positive reviews.  Shogun II Total War will be out the 15th, and for those of you interested, Alice: Madness Returns has a new, freaky trailer!  That is just a smattering of the news, but I'll let our esteemed Game Warden post the rest.

Well, that's the news!  Hope everyone has a great week and I'll see you Thursday at 7!

Josh Matern
Gaming President