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The Gardening: When the Zombies Return

Okay, so I saw the E3 trailer and was all like, “Plants vs Zombies shooter? lolwut.” Then, at that precise moment (way later), I stumbled across a gameplay video and thought to myself: Why aren’t I already playing this game right now, forever?

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Look at that beaming smile!

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare, developed by Popcap,  is reminiscent of Dungeon Defenders, a tower defense meets third person hack and slash action RPG hybrid; only the escalation of the zombie-plant-war looks way more impressive (and addictive) than a high-five from God.

The gameplay basically resembles like a hectic team based third person shooter. As of now there are four plant classes announced: the standard Pea Shooter, melee specialist Chomper, the healing Sunflower, and a creepy Cactus. You can plant turrets in pots to reinforce your team, release Garlic drones, and even call in corn strikes. These are only some of the shenanigans. I’m sure (and hope) there’s plenty more to come.

The smooth transition from a traditional two dimensional tower defense to such a promising third person shooter is a great sign for things to come.

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My Thoughts on the Day 1 E3 Pressers

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Microsoft!

Not bad, but as it should be. Definitely better than recent E3s. Titafall looks great – I love mech games! And that new Halo trailer blew my mind. So simple, yet so Master Chief. They also announced the new 360 mini, but nothing special about it. It’s regular price! $299 is insane. As for the XB1? $500. I’m not too sure about that.

EA!

Battlefield 4. And I think we’re done.

Ubisoft!

The Crew looked tight, as did The Division. I really liked their presser. Aisha Tyler is swell on stage.

Sony!

They won, as far as I’m concerned. $400 and can play used games? I still prefer the Xbone exclusives…but they don’t justify the price.

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The Lord Inquisitor: A New Hope

Both the Fantasy and 40k universes are great in their own right, but let’s be honest – 40k is way
flashier. I mean, they have ork units called “Flash Gitz” for Sigmar’s sake. Look at the grimdark gothic
architecture; super soldier demi-gods in power armor battling an array of filthy xenos scum, with
enough extreme prejudice to make Hitler blush. Seriously, nobody likes anybody. Warhammer Fantasy
localizes the plights of the people to one planet. Humans have to fight against all of those antagonistic
races, monstrous demon hordes, and (of course) each other in constant civil wars, whereas 40k explores
the constant war and torment in space.

There’s already been one movie, Ultramarines, but it wasn’t great and it wasn’t the most profound
exploration of a Warhammer universe. The shooting/generic violence is cool, but fans need more than
that. Here’s what I’m excited about: The Lord Inquisitor. This is a fan-made movie project headed by
Erasmus Brosdau (thank you!) working to create a 40k movie, like it should have always been done.
This is a project of passion, made by fans, for fans. The trailer is gorgeous and promising. It captures the
broad scale while focusing on the meticulous details of the universe. I replayed that Bloodletter tongue whip way too many times.

While I would like to see a big budget (eye candy) Warhammer Fantasy movie, I feel like watching Game
of Thrones is a safer and inevitably higher quality option. There are already enough fantasy themed
movies, books, and video games. I mean, look at Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Dragon Age,
Witcher 1/2/3, and so on just to name a few. Tons of swords and stabbing. Did I forget to mention
Dungeons and Dragons?

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Yes, Ork Space Pirates are canonical and pimpin’.

Having said that, imagine the Imperium’s desperate reactions to a war spanning multiple solar systems
involving orks (green hairless gorillas), tyranid (zerg on deified steroids), and chaos (devil worshippers).
Why can’t we witness an Inquisitor investigate a genestealer cult (tyranid body snatchers) on a
hiveworld only to discover too late that a tendril of the Tyranid fleet has already released the initial
wave of spores onto the planet’s surface (all dead)?

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Spoilers: This is how the Horus Heresy ends

Wars are fought across star systems; space ships travel through a dimension of insane power (warp) that
hearkens back to Lovecraft’s questionable imaginings. The main difference that I perceive – and please
throw your views at me through comments – is not just the scale of setting, but also the meticulous and
fleshed out lives of the imperial citizens.

Yes, the scale is massive. But the magnification of individual lives, mundane and otherwise, the
exploration of lost technologies being discovered and researched because nobody remembers how to
use or recreate it; tons of technology was lost during the Horus Heresy. Mars, for instance, was blasted
into a robotic death trap filled with meme-viruses, devil worshipping robots, and more false information
than you could ever imagine as a result of it being a warzone. These are the types of thoughts that have
been carried to fruition. Warhammer 40k is grimdark to the max. The bleakness isn’t just the tone of the
writing or fluff, it’s a result of the human race slowly rotting away in the fetid twilight of its own failures
and shortcomings (see: xenophobia).

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Look at those weak and frail humans. No, they’re the ones in the red robes.

The Warhammer 40k universe contains intrigue at all levels, an incredible scale, and all it needs is
a decent story teller. The tabletop games like Rogue Trader or Dark Heresy are great to play, but
sometimes imagination isn’t enough.

I want to watch the universe slowly unfurl itself, splaying its pages like a spell book’s centerfold. A
fight scene is a fight scene is a sword fight is a knife fight is a laser chainsaw duel in power armor. The
props might change, but the combatants are largely irrelevant eye candy. A generic action flick can
be recreated in any setting, but that’s not what could be great. Observing the slow rot of an empire
spanning the stars across all levels: the soldiers, the super soldiers, aristocrats, beauracrats, everyone. Characters live and breathe within said universe, worlds and planets strive to overcome their own
unique problems, the threat of chaos looming over the Imperium and Inquisitors lurking in the shadows; I want this universe to speak—nay, scream to me—not regurgitate hackneyed archetypes and one
liners.

Here’s hoping for the best.

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Weekend in Ga….ahhhh E3.

Here’s my weekend (And I’ll sum it up by quoting someone on Twitter):

Because E3.

But that didn’t mean I didn’t play anything. In fact, my wife likes to watch me play a game that’s ‘like a movie’, and I really didn’t have anything at the time (she’ll love the Last of Us). But, I had recently installed Alan Wake because I’m trying to force my way through it. It never really clicked for me. Though, playing the first chapter again was sort of fun. As if it’s now clicking? It still looks great by the way.

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To add to that, I actually got to play some Strike Suit Zero. I was always interested in this, but the talk about the game was rather negative near release. Green Man Gaming had it for about $6 – so why not? And it does deliver. It really feels like X-Wing from back in the day which is a nice challenge. But, I’m a few missions in and no mech yet – that was the original selling point for me. Also, it doesn’t look too amazing. Putting those few complaints aside, it really is a fun time.

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Week in Gaming – Halo Spartan Assault, E3 Wishes, Titanfall, Diablo 3 360

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This week in gaming is the calm before the storm that is E3. Speaking of ’3′, Diablo 3 will be released on 360 and PS3 on September 3rd! I talk Halo Spartan Assault, the new Titanfall from Respawn, and DuckTales Remastered news!

Want to win a copy of Dead Island Riptide on Steam? Comment on the video and I’ll pick a user at random that will be announced on next week’s Week in Gaming. Make sure to comment on next week’s video after your username is called, and I’ll get the game to you.

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Weekend in Gaming – One Game Space to Rule Them All

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Even though that is a Lord of the Rings reference, I actually do not have interest in those books or movies. I tried…but it’s just not my thing. As far as I know LotR runs in the blood of the average gamer, so please be gentle – ok?

To put perspective on that reference, I have finally moved my gaming PC into the living room with all the other game consoles. Besides the lower resolution of an HDTV versus a monitor, the problem was still being able to use my mouse and keyboard for games that use them (competitive FPS, strategy games, etc). But I solved that. Behold, the collapsible mouse/kb tray/table/desk (I need an official simple name for this).

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And it works. The only other thing I may add are ‘arm rests’ for my elbows (elbow rests?) since I played that way on my computer desk. And the best part is I can collapse it and slide it under the couch.

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Boom!

As for gaming, more Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. It is a ton of fun. Room to room, trying to figure out what to do. Along with that, I’m still slowly playing through Resident Evil: Revelations. It’s ok, but you can tell it was structured for handheld gaming. It’s a bit too basic and forward, even if it’s less action-y than RE6. But that’s about it…

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Week in Gaming – Tropes vs Women 2 Thoughts, Ben Kuchera Supports DRM, and Sonic Lost World Trailer

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I present to you another Week in Gaming! Episode 11 to be precise, so let’s celebrate! With what? I don’t know, how about an awesome video? I give my two-cents on the Tropes vs Women videos thus far, Ben Kuchera’s defense of a no used games market, and generally just tell people to be nice!

I think this week I break new ground by calling people out and getting very opinionated in video form! And below, check out the other thumbnails Tera Pixel created for this video:

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Late to the Party – Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

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I think the Vita and 3DS are neat, but I really need an amazing title to pull me in. Sitting on the couch to play a full screen game is more appealing than hunching my shoulders over a small screen. I rented Luigi’s Mansion from GameFly (RIP…or too soon?) to give it a whirl, but there was so much to play I kept in on the back burner. I finally decided to pop it in…and I regret not doing it sooner!

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The 3D works amazingly well. The way the camera works is amazing, as it’s static in a way that the game doesn’t move around you, but on a plane staring at you. This helps it feel more like an adventure game. This may sound odd, but the graphics of the flashlight – especially when shined at the player, looks very convincing and pleasing to witness. The graphics themselves as a whole are great. A bit better than Wii titles to be honest. As you play, you unlock new abilities that let you get to places you couldn’t before. It feels a bit like Metroid at this point, which is welcoming. But sometimes the game will stop and you’ll be presented with a completion time and points and whatnot which is a bit confusing as it doesn’t seem to play like a mission-based game. Especially considering you can generally walk wherever you want. So, little missions in between all the exploration may make sense for challenges, but nothing else.

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I really, really like what I’m playing so far. It’s simple, yet makes you think. There’s something very addictive about it.

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Watch Me Play Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

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I was stuck on a stand-off/boss battle for nearly 20 minutes. If you saw the stream live, you suffered through a director’s cut no one else will ever see. I cut most of that out as to not bore you, but here you go – Gunslinger gameplay from the PC. It was taken directly from a Twitch.tv stream of me playing. You can view future streams here.

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