Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grand Theft Auto IV: Year One

Kotaku alerted me to the 1 year anniversary of Grand Theft Auto IV.  A year ago last night at midnight I was picking up my special edition of the controversial game.

I thought it might be prudent to go over my stats.  I haven't played the game as much as I could have but its been something that I've played on and off throughout the year.  Here are some of my stats:

Game progress: 71.17% / Missions passed: 94 / Missions failed: 71
Times busted: 4 / Times died: 101 / People killed: 2050
Playing time: 45:52:02 / Addiction level: Serious Habit / Longest non-stop game: 3:57:59
Cars stolen: 308 / Time wanted on 6 stars: 00:13:06 / Stars attained: 531
Longest cop chase time: 00:29:10 / People run down: 488 / Fires started: 564

Wellspring on the Radio?

I've been playing around with an idea in my head lately. I've been thinking about putting together some sort of radio show. Is it possible? Here's my idea:

I think I could probably program an hour to two hours a week. In the radio program there'd be lots of talk about video games, maybe even some play through commentary, and of course I'd invite anyone and everyone who wanted to come on and talk about games. Interspersed throughout I thought I might be able to play some 8Bit music. Obviously there'd also be some promotion of Wellspring of Games on the radio show. I think the show could also be posted online as a podcast as well.

What do you think? This whole thing was sort of sparked by listening to the college radio stations in my area (103.3 KSCU and 89.7 KFJC). Is there any possibility of this? Honestly I wouldn't mind any time slot they could give me.

This might be kind of a reach but its just an idea. I'm coming to realize that I'm going to need to do a little more than just write in order to make a bit of splash in games journalism....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Over the weekend

On Saturday, Austin came up and we played a bunch of fighting games.  On the list was Street Fighter IV, Soul Calibur IV, and Capcom vs. SNK 2.

It was fun, but I'm no where near where I'd like to be with Street Fighter IV.  I can't seem to settle on a main, mostly because Ryu is just so.... blah.  He has no flash or character, that and his super and ultra seem really bland.

So I think I'm going to settle on Abel.  I like his combos and throws, but I'm still having trouble with his Normal Trials (not to mention Hard Trials).

Where can I find the trick to nailing the focus attack combos and the cancels?

I've tried looking on youtube, but all of the videos just show the combos.  Where can I find some sort of tutorial on "the trick."

That's really what I need for all fighting games.  With Soul Calibur I got Mitsurugi's moves down but that doesn't mean I can perform well with characters I haven't played an extended amount of time with.

Beyond that I haven't been playing too many games so far this week, but I will be sending in the credential information for E3 tonight.  Oh, and I also applied for an internship at Gamepro, but I haven't heard anything back yet.

Lastly, on the topic of fighting games, I'm happy to hear about the rerelease of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 for XBLA and PSN.  I'm looking forward to it, IF I'll be able to afford it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

That's the Name of the Game - 6

Although I didn't write this week's "That's the Name of the Game" column over at, it is still a great read. Jenna did a great job writing about the Street Fighter IV National Tournament in San Francisco.

Last Saturday, April 18th, Gamestop held the Street Fighter IV National Tournament at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The gaming affair had a markedly successful turnout, as the warehouse-style building was filled with hordes of Street Fighter enthusiasts. Auxiliary game stations provided attendees with a chance to demonstrate their own Street Fighting skills, while building the anticipation for the final national tournament that would result in the crowning of a new Street Fighter IV champion. Although all sixteen of the regional finalists were granted a spot in the international 2009 EVO Championship Series, only the top contender received his very own Street Fighter IV arcade cabinet.

You can check out the rest of Jenna's write up this week at: ""

Slow News Day

This will be kept short. I just thought I'd post because I noticed something. While waiting at the doctor's office, I was looking at the usual gaming news sites and discovered absolutely nothing.

Man, it is a slow news week. What is going on out there? I thought there was so much talk of publishers avoiding the usual spring-summer drought, but the total lack of news has me wary.

I will say though that this bodes extremely well for my first visit to E3. Jenna's guest-spot on "That's the Name of the Game" will go live in about two hours. After that I'll have everything needed to submit for media passes for the big show. Stay tuned for Jenna's post in a little bit.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What did I do today?

Unfortunately, I didn't play any games today.  (I feel a little like Stephen Totilo on Tuesdays).

I did however, conduct my interview with Justin McElroy.  He was a stand up guy and took time out of his busy schedule of blogging in his sweat pants to answer a few questions.  I managed to get the stuff together to record the conversation over Skype.  It was kind of fun feeling a little professional: thinking up the questions was my favorite part, it was fun but kind of difficult at the same time.  I'm wondering if I should do a straight write up or if I should just transcribe it and lay up on the site.  Maybe I'll do a couple of posts over the next week or so.

On another note: I'm excited for tomorrow because Jenna will be writing her guest-spot on "That's the Name of the Game."  After that I'll be able to submit the credential information and cross my fingers to get our passes to E3.

The last thing I did today in regards to the blog is think of plenty of story ideas over the next two weeks or so.  I've already accomplished a few of the goals I set out for myself earlier this year and its time to bring it all together and finish the semester by posting every week day until the end of May.  But that really shouldn't be the end of it right?  I'll continue posting through then (until someone pays me to do it for their site instead [which won't be for a while]).

So today was really about getting a few chores around the blog done, and it was nice to take care of the few things that were required of me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Left 4 Dead's Survival mode impressions

I just got Left 4 Dead and I've been struggling with it. The game requires such a different dynamic than that of Team Fortress 2 or Counter Strike: Source.

In TF2 I can get away with pairing up, maybe working in tandem with a pyro as a medic or with other engineers. In Counter Strike: Source, I operate on a team, but in the long run, its about me.

Left 4 Dead is requiring me to closely coordinate my attacks with other infected (if I'm playing infected) and to stay close with my team (if I'm playing a survivor). I can't seem to get into this mode. As a survivor, I want to charge, I'm impatient, but I really need to hang back and cover the teams rear. As an infected I want to charge too, but doing so teaches a harsh lesson. Its hard to lay in wait, find the best spot, attack, retreat, repeat. Infected requires so much finesse, finesse I don't have.

But I sure am having fun. Every time I play, I can't wait to get into the shoes of a zombie nemesis.

Survival mode is an entirely different beast on its own. I played with TheRealBob, Wazn, and In_B4_Zombie yesterday and we successfully made it into the twelfth minute of survival on the sewer's map. While I was playing, it was clear how well the group was meshing, reacting not only to the hordes of zombies clamoring onto the platform we were holding, but also to each other. Did someone need ammo? Did someone need healing? Without speaking, there was a designated healing spot (the back corner) and there was a game plan for when someone was healing (block them from the hordes).

The tanks spawn so quickly. I think that survival mode realizes a completely different experience. When hearing the music start, signaling the spawn of the super infected, you are not scared, maybe worried, or panicked, but your skin doesn't crawl like it would if a tank were spawning in campaign or versus mode.

What do you think of survival mode and what's your best score so far?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

McElroy speaks

So after setting out to talk to a couple of game journos before the semester was over, I worked at it, maybe not as diligently as I could have, but I reached out to three separate industry journalists. The first was kind of a swing and a miss, and the second was really friendly and pointed me to a couple of good articles.

Well the third is going to be answer questions for me sometime in the next week. Justin McElroy of Joystiq has agreed to talk to me briefly and I'm really excited to hear what he has to say. But what should I ask?

Anyways, I finagled my way into Justin's heart by flagging him (and Christ Grant) down after the Game Developers Choice Awards. Look, here's proof! I'm not lying really...

I took the opportunity to get a picture when I saw the pair walking out of the awards ceremony. I even got to listen in on the development of a Joystiq feature (I guess they might call it). [Photo by Jenna Jue].

Anyways, what should I ask Justin?

Monday, April 20, 2009

National SF IV Tournament report for JOUR61

I thought I'd post this up just for preservation's sake. I'm not really that happy with it, and I'm sure I can do a better write up about the event (maybe tomorrow) but before I do that I'd like to get the pictures Jenna took off of her camera.

The following is just the write up I did on the National Street Fighter IV Tournament Finale for my Journalism 61 class. I did it way too late at night and I don't think its very good, so we'll see how the next draft goes.

Justin Wong of New York won Capcom and Gamestop’s National Street Fighter Tournament yesterday in San Francisco, besting the top contenders from around the country and then facing off in exhibition matches with the best players from Japan and Korea.

“Everyone’s a threat, I practice about three to five hours a day, but I haven’t played Daigo on Street Fighter IV yet,” Wong said speaking about Daigo Umehara, who many consider to be the best Street Fighter player in the world.

The tournament bracket consisted of 16 players from around the United States. The two favorites of the tournament, Wong and Mike Ross of Los Angeles, CA, faced off in the final round with Wong emerging as the victor.

At the start of the tournament there were clearly stronger players who dominated over others, but as the bracket thinned out, matches grew longer and players were more resistant to making the first move for fear of retaliation.

The first round of the tournament went by quickly with two matches being played at once. The crowd gathered around the stage and cheered when long combinations of moves were made or when the competitors pulled off particularly spectacular finishes.

The finalist from San Jose, CA, Chris Barnes played Balrog. Fighting his way to the final round of the national tournament proved a large payout.

“They flew us to San Francisco and put us up in a hotel for the weekend and even gave us some cash to spend. At the hotel we got to play around a little bit for fun. I played the Korean champion but I haven’t gone up against Daigo yet,” Barnes said.

Barnes lost to another Balrog player in round two, but the rest of the tournament provided extremely close matches between very skilled competitors.

In the end though, Wong and Ross squared off for the title of best Street Fighter in America. Both players were reluctant to attack waiting to instead react to their opponents move. After very dominant rounds, Wong would get into his opponents face to big crowd reactions.

With Wong’s victory, the international exhibition matches began giving the crowd even more excitement with big moves and even bigger wins. Daigo Umehara ended up being the overall victor of these exhibitions, even beating Wong in a four round to none shut out.

In attendance was Sony Format QA Ramon.

“The turn out is good and that means good game sales. Capcom, Sony, Microsoft, all businesses involved benefit from community events like this one,” said Ramon.

When asked about whether or not he had been playing Street Fighter IV at all, Ramon said that several tournaments had started up around the office.

Also in attendance was San Francisco native Carlo.

“These guys are hella good, I’d get owned,” Carlo simply stated in reaction to the international exhibition matches.

Overall there was a large crowd with everyone feeling generally friendly. Before almost every match the competitors would shake hands or exchange friendly gestures. Even during the international matches players shook after their battles.

“There are a lot more people that I would have expected,” Jenna Jue said. With several stations set up for playing Street Fighter IV, the crowd could get in on the fighting action as well.

In the end, observers could tell that everyone felt in on the action, the crowd’s roar, the celebration of the winners and smiles on everyone’s faces showed that the Street Fighter IV community shared a good time.

New Fallout iteration set in Vegas

Reading about the announcement of a new Fallout title has me itching to get back to Fallout 3. Why haven't I gotten through more of it already?

To be honest, it requires too much time in one sitting. I can pick up something like Street Fighter IV or Prince of Persia and play for half an hour before being able to put the controller back down again. I can't seem to get personally involved with Fallout 3 because it needs a bit more immersion on my side of things.

Every time I have to put the controller back down I grow more reluctant to grow attached to my character or what I'm doing in the game world. My dad ran away from me? Well I haven't seen him since the opening sequence and its been quite a few months since that. Who cares where he is? I don't, I'm not involved enough to care.

Anyways, the new Fallout iteration sounds interesting, reportedly taking place in Vegas (I don't think we'll be seeing any greenery for a while...). You can read more about Fallout New Vegas at Kotaku or your choice of video game news sites. Maybe this will encourage me to dedicate a little more time to Fallout 3... maybe.

Friday, April 17, 2009

That's the Name of the Game - 5

Another week, another entry at  I've been playing through Prince of Persia (released last December), and its been getting me thinking.

But back to the “hand-holding.” It’s really odd splitting my gaming time between Street Fighter IV and Prince of Persia. They seem like polar opposites on the difficulty scale. But what I wonder most is whether or not I would be OK with PoP’s difficulty if it weren’t so gosh darn gorgeous? Maybe… Video games follow cultural trends all the time, and the downturn of difficulty in games is something that’s been happening over time. But really, being able to walk through Prince of Persia really makes it seem MORE like art. Hear me out: for me, in order for something to be considered art, people have to have the ABILITY to appreciate it.

This week I've been splitting my time between SF IV, Prince of Persia, and Bioshock.  I can't tell you how disjointed it has been playing such different games.  Each one has taken roads the other would never think about.  There are two contrasting pairs: Street Fighter/Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia/Bioshock.

SF IV has is this huge mountain, there is such a huge difficulty spike and PoP is really easy although there is a little trial and error when you mess up on a platforming segment.  PoP has this bright vivid visual aesthetic that breathes life into the game world and Bioshock is too dark to see anything, plus it scares the shit out of me.

I'll continue these, and tomorrow I'll be heading up to San Francisco to cover the National Street Fighter tournament, so I don't think I'll have any time for the other titles tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wellspring of Games @ E3

Well, I'm excited.

It looks like Wellspring of Games will be heading to E3 in June.  I'll be doing plenty of writing for both Wellspring and my column at  Barring anything drastic, I'll be heading down south at the start of June.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

National SF IV Gamestop Tournament Update:

I've read more and more about this Saturday's SF IV tournament in San Francisco. Apparently Daigo will be making an appearance and I'm pretty excited about that. I'm still looking forward to going, but I was looking at Craigslist today and I found this little posting:

"Encore Nationwide, Inc., an event staffing company, is seeking Make Staff to dress up as the character "Ken Masters" to promote the video game at the Finals Tournament in SF.

Pay is $25/hr

Job Qualifications:
1 Male Promotional Model to act as and wear the “Ken Masters” costume
“Ken” needs to have blonde (preferably longer) hair, be between 5'8" and 6" tall, and weigh between 160-180 lbs in order to fit the costume.
(Costume provided by client)
Promotional and Tradeshow Experience a plus!
Be enthusiastic, outgoing, energetic, and positive.
Must be responsible, dependable and reliable.
Good communication skills.
Have a flexible schedule.
Have your own transportation."

This should be pretty interesting.... Are you going to the SF IV tournament in San Francisco?

Modern Wafare 2

I was privy to the teaser trailer for MW2 at the end of the Game Developer's Choice Awards a couple of weeks ago. It was exciting. I had managed to get into GDC on a chance listing on Craigslist.

It was really exhilarating. The picture is from my seat in the middle of the ballroom. I didn't know about it, but it was a nice little perk. How many of these change encounters will I have over the rest of this year? I'm certainly hoping to be privy to some new information that I might get this blog noticed with.

Besides that, my thoughts on the trailer were very positive. I'll be interested in what level of visual fidelity Infinity Ward will bring to the table this time. I remember looking at trailers and screen shots of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and dropping my jaw. I was more than a little awestruck by the Ghillies in the Mist trailer.

I thought the use of audio to tease the game was a great route to take because of the role audio plays in a lot of the game. Hearing the terrorists (probably?) suiting up and getting ready to move out was almost chilling. I'm looking forward to the game, and I'm happy to see that Infinity Ward are keeping things close to the chest. I hate when developers show too much of the game too far away from its release.

My hope is that I'll be able to finish any other games I have started so it doesn't take me months to complete the campaign in Modern Warfare 2 like it did on CoD4:MW.

On Bioshock

I'm playing through Bioshock in order to get excited about Bioshock 2. How I managed to buy the game on both PC and Xbox 360 is beyond me. How can I offload the PC version to someone else?

Anyways, I'm not far yet, I'm in the Medical Pavilion at the beginning of the game, and I'm rediscovering the reasoning behind my not completing the game in the first place. These Vita-Chambers are really a hindrance versus a help. I can appreciate that getting right back into the thick of the action is something 2K Boston wanted, but I'm continuously running low on ammo and EVE. How can I continue fighting all these splicers when they constantly seem to outnumber, surprise, annoy, and overtake me all within a matter of seconds. [Photo Source]

I flipped the power switch and suddenly countless enemies sprung out of no where, from in front and behind. I had to let my security bot friend take care of most of them and camp the door into the chamber I was trapped in.

I don't necessarily want the game to be easier or the enemies to die faster. I just want to have enough ammo, and I want to be able to handle these enemies without breaking the game's A.I.

I'll keep playing though, I always liked the style and fidelity of the game. Big Daddies are some of my favorite enemy encounters in all of games. I love sinking bullets and lighting bolts, freezing and incinerating, the hulking forms. Bioshock will have to be balanced somewhere between Prince of Persia and SF IV.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An SF IV fight club in my garage

On Saturday, I did plenty of gaming, including rediscovering some hidden talent in Rock Band drumming. We played quite a bit of Rock Band over the weekend. Playing some of the new songs I downloaded. Unfortunately, there was a problem with one song in particular that Jenna (pictured: determined to master the Hard difficulty of drumming) and I were looking forward to playing, but hopefully that issue will be hammered out in the next week.

One thing I'm wondering is how bothersome Rock Band is to neighbors in an apartment building. Is the pedal going to be thumping into the floor too much? How about those loud clacks the drum heads give off? I'm finding myself looking into drum muffling accessories all over again.

At some point over the weekend, some friends showed up and a small fight club started up on SF IV. The controllers were passed around and some big finishes and tight matches broke out.

Balrog was a favorite and he seemed to dominate. He seems so easy to play, there isn't a lot to his punches, and specials are almost all executable coming out of a crouched block. At the Gamestop tournament, it seemed that there were a lot of Balrogs vying for the top spot.

What makes that character so popular? I can't really get my head (or my thumbs) around the specials that require you to charge a direction first. I think I just prefer some of the easier characters to play (Ryu, Fei Long) and the more difficult characters tend to give me fits (Guile, I'm looking at you.

One of my friends who played a few rounds on Saturday night bought the game today, so it looks like I might have another sparring partner, although Jenna has been a magnificent sport about playing a few rounds with me every other day.

That same friend let me borrow his copy of Prince of Persia and I made it through the tutorial part of the game on Sunday, so I'm looking to intersperse my time between SF IV and PoP.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Achievement Unlocked

Achievements are a strange breed of gaming culture.  Such a small and inconspicuous message can bring such a large smile to my face.

Take this for example: the other day, I was playing Grand Theft Auto IV.  I was doing the street races for Brucie in an effort to get the Genetically Superior achievement.  I checked my stats to see how many races I had left to do.  When I exited the pause menu, I got a call from Brucie explaining that I could call him for a ride in the helicopter.  I thought nothing of this, until the phone hung up and I was awarded with "That's How We Roll!" for 10 points.  Needless to say, I was pretty stoked.

I think that achievements can certainly cause frustration, but I love getting surprised with such a small and insignificant bonus from time to time.  I think that when taken in that measure, the gamerscore system isn't just a virtual competition of "Who's is bigger?"  Instead, it allows the player to be filled with a sense of accomplishment (and sometimes a little motivation to keep on challenging themselves with their $60 games).

For what its worth, I've been a bit of an achievement whore myself, but that experience went awry and I haven't driven quite as hard for achievements since then.

The game was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.  I had looked at the achievement guide a couple of times and decided that I could get 1000 points off of it in the period of one rental.  On my first playthrough, I played the apprentice level difficulty (the easiest), and made sure I had gathered all of the holocrons (little power-ups scattered throughout every level).  Unfortunately, I fell victim to the holocron glitch and my collecting went unrecognized.  I was furious.  I tried to playthrough again on Sith Master difficulty, but at one point when I had died for the 12th time on the first level, I asked myself why I would go through with this?  Since when did games require you to punish yourself?

Why are some achievements designed to have the player collect everything or repeat a motion a million times?  Why do developers insist you play through a game in a manner unbecoming of your own motivations and desires?  Shouldn't you just want to have fun?

I've asked these questions when playing other games too.  Call of Duty 4 for example (how I hate "Heat" on Veteran...).  I think achievements work best when players are given rewards every so often throughout a game, and when the achievement is a reward for seeing or doing something significant in the game while also not encouraging behavior that is going to make a player throw their controller down in disgust.

Friday, April 10, 2009

That's the Name of the Game - 4

I've been a really bad blogger this week. After my birthday, almost all of my gaming time went to playing Street Fighter IV. Clearly I need to make a renewed effort here starting next week. This weekend is another busy one, but I'd like to get a post out tomorrow if I can.

I did however keep up with my column over at This week's column is actually about Street Fighter IV (I've got it on the brain right now, maybe I'll go play after I finish this).

Unfortunately, the challenge has also fueled some hate-filled rage at my controller.

The last boss of the arcade mode, Seth, is so infuriatingly cheap, and I’m playing on the easiest difficulty level! Any fighter I throw at Seth will come away bruised and beaten numerous times before I manage to continuously use kicks to sweep his legs off the ground and keep him in the corner.

I will say that the difficulty has only made me hungry. I’ve played training mode, I’ve gone through a lot of combo tutorials. I’m even looking at tutorials on youtube for help with the game!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A good birthday

Reporting in:

The day was a lot of fun.  Ryan took me out to lunch after school and we had fun there.  After that I managed to finish the main campaign on veteran on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (but I still have the epilogue and two more achievements).

At dinner, I had a beer and some sake.  I got lots of great gifts.  Gaming wise: Jenna got me Street Fighter IV, which I had been hoping for since going to see the tournament (look forward to coverage of the final battle in San Francisco [maybe]).

Now I just have to get myself a nice fight-stick and I'll be set for awhile.  Who should I main?

This weekend, I'm hoping to pick up a boxed copy of Left 4 Dead (I prefer the safe boxed copy of a game.  I don't know if I trust all that digital distribution platform stuff).  With luck I'll be blasting zombies with the guys from Bob's Pit [Bob's Pit Forums] soon.

I'll again tomorrow as I work towards fulfilling my promise to start posting every weekday up until finals.

My Birthday

Today I turn 21, and I wonder what gaming I'll do.

First things first: I've laid down some pretty heavy hints with my brother that I'd like to get Left 4 Dead for my birthday. Either way, I'm pretty happy with the way my gaming has been lately, catching up with some older titles, running through a little Team Fortress 2 and a little Counter Strike: Source when I can.

I've already been surprised by Jenna with 21 balloons and a big burst of confetti. My day certainly started with a smile on my face. Here's hoping it ends with one too.

As far as what's planned for today, I'm hoping to get the rest of the way through Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on veteran, nailing down the rest of the achievements before the collecting achievements. (What is it about achievements that is so satisfying? Maybe I'll write about it). I've been caught at some pretty frustrating parts, even on hardened mode, but I think I can get through it with a little patience and some pacing. Is the Mile High Club achievement really that hard to get? Looking at videos on Youtube make it seems so easy.

I managed to get my Xbox on live over the weekend and I downloaded some new Rock Band songs. Jenna and I are looking forward to getting to those over the weekend.

What else is waiting for me? Happy Birthday everyone.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Daniel on Kotaku: I'm blogging this right now.

I couldn't help but post this as soon as I saw it.

After the GDC awards ended, Jenna and I hung around for a bit to see if I recognized any faces (more on that later). What I never realized was that it would also be the first time I appeared on Kotaku.

That's me walking around in the back. Jenna is also visible walking into the background. [Click the image to get a better look]

I wonder how I'll manage to get on Kotaku next time....

Friday, April 3, 2009

That's the Name of the Game - 3

The latest edition of "That's the Name of the Game" is up over at  This time I wrote about the launch of the Nintendo DSi....

Honestly, I was very skeptical about the DSi when I heard it was missing that key feature. I know I still have a lot of old games and without that backwards compatibility, I feel like I’m missing out on something. Plus, I’ve already gone from the original DS (coined “DS Phat”) to the DS Lite.

So how is it that I find myself wanting one, two days before its release? I’ve already bought 2 forms of the Nintendo DS, and I’m being lured back in for another go around. I’m almost disgusted with myself. I must be some kind of Nintendo fanboy, or they’re using mind control and subversive psychotherapy in their commercials.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

TF2's April Fools Day Joke

I wasn't planning on posting about April Fool's Day again, mostly because as video game related things go, I think that the joke is done and that we should be moving on from it now.  I would like to think that it wouldn't be so celebrated but the gaming community has always had a ferver and developers, publishers, and journos alike like to play on that ferver.

There were some really dubious  pranks yesterday, including IGN's mature-rated Smash Bros. Scoop.  That's an example where I think the April Fool's Day tradition can get quite annoying and childish.

Which brings me to the Team Fortress 2 Team's blog update.  Apparently the Sniper will have a new weapon coming soon.  Check out the graphic below (Click to enlarge).

I know I just lamented IGN's prank for its childishness, and I know that this one involves the sniper throwing a jar of pee (even going so far as to include a bubble of the spy covered in said pee), but hear me out.  The fact that the TF2 Team was literally taking the piss out of all who were pranked is pretty funny (although I don't think this got past many people).

I think that the real humor of April Fool's Day pranks is that they are completely nonsensical, so the difference here is how IGN presented their prank.  The video [view here] is made too look like some sort of bootleg of a private Nintendo showing.  The camera is shaky and the feed cuts out abruptly after the culminating decapitation.  Who are they trying to fool really?

I think April Fools only works in the video game industry when its done in the tongue in cheek manner TF2 pulled it off in.

That said, I don't know if I'll be able to post over the weekend, but I do know that Monday represents the first day of my "Post-every-day-of-the-week" benchmark.  Monday also happens to be my Birthday, so I'll most likely be posting something related to what I do that day.  After that, I'll have additional output of GDC 09 write-ups, as well as the short-sort-of-cop-out posts as school continues to ramp up.

If I don't see you over the weekend, have a good one.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's Day

It seems that it becomes inescapable. April 1st is upon us and the internet is alive with all sorts of debauchery. When Google gets in on it, you know its gone mainstream:

How did this happen? I used to think that April Fool's day was just a day that you could be disturbingly obnoxious or annoying to your family, friends, and (especially in elementary school) your teachers. Now I think its just a bit childish. Admittedly, when I went to log on to Gmail, I almost fell for this one.

Kotaku has a running post that they're updating with all of the foolery going on in the games industry, so instead of rehashing something like that I'll just post a link to it.

Kotaku's April Fools Day Round-up