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A Geek in Exile

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For about 7 years I worked in video game stores. To put that in perspective, my first week on the job saw the release of Halo 2 and my last week on the job saw the release of Dance on Broadway (even if that’s not quite as fortuitous or funny as I was hoping). Most of my days were spent talking about video games, Captain America, playing around on the internet, and selling the occasional video game.

Yes I have had arguments about Darth Vader fighting Captain America that came close to physical violence. So yeah, it was a pretty sweet gig while it lasted, but as all the economic indicators were pointing to the fact that the store I was working at was in the midst of financial implosion, I decided to leave to find work elsewhere.

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Review: Two Worlds II (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

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If you would have asked me if I thought that Two Worlds was going to get a sequel, I wouldn’t have laughed, I would have slapped you in the face. Unless someone announces a sequel to Ninjabread Man this is the most surprising and unlikely sequel ever.

So you can understand that it was with great fear and trepidation that I put the Two Worlds II disc in my PS3. I groaned as the first enemy I faced became stuck in a wall as he half heartedly swung his weapon at me. I made it through the first dungeon and then finally to my first town. I fumbled my way through the initial quests, fighting things like ostriches and poo flinging baboons.

Every time I found a new place to explore, I was murdered instantly. It is not a good sign when an open world game punishes you for exploring. Needless to say I was not happy with the first couple hours of the game.

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Review: Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder (PSN)

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iFun4all marketed Paper Wars as an attempt to create the worst game ever. This clever marketing gimmick was certainly effective at getting my attention, but does the game live up to the anti-hype?

Is it truly the worst game ever?

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Aksys Games Announces a Limited Edition of Agarest War Zero

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Aksys Games announced the release of a special limited edition of Record of Agarest War Zero (PS3/Xbox 360). The game is the prequel to last year’s multi-generational Strategy RPG. The limited edition of the original Record of Agarest War came with a “special” mouse-pad that offered a “unique” support for your wrist.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your opinion of “special” mouse-pads), the prequel does not come with inappropriate mouse-pads. According to Wingdamage scientists this immediately makes the game 92% less creepy. (more…)

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Atlus to Bring Catherine to North America Summer 2011

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In a move that is sure to please Otakus across the country, Atlus announced a Summer 2011 release of  Catherine for PS3 and Xbox360. Produced by Katsura Hashino, the acclaimed director of Persona 3 and Persona 4, Catherine explores the nature of relationships and the impact of the choices we make.

The game stars Vincent, a young man in a relationship with the successful and pretty Katherine, who wakes up after a night of drinking with his friends to discover he is in bed with the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, the titular Catherine. (more…)

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Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder Available Now on PSN

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Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder is out now on PSN. It is being touted by its developer, iFun4all, as one of the worst games ever. With a reported budget of some 500 Russian Roubles, the team set out to create one of the worst games possible.

“Striving to be the best at making worst game ‘everz’ isn’t by any means as easy as it looks,” said Fülöp Mészáros, a developer with iFun4All and one of the most world–renown Hungarian designers (out of two). “It took a team of true hacks, a deaf composer and an inexperienced graphic artist to create such a disaster, and we are pleasantly surprised by the nightmare that is the outcome. We just hope gamers will feel the same way and think that it’s a truly terrible game.” (more…)

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Bye Bye Productivity: Minecraft is Coming to iPhone and Android

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Bye Bye Productivity: Minecraft is Coming to iPhone and AndroidWith over 1.3 million downloads and nearly 5 million registered accounts, Minecraft has gone beyond hit status and is officially a phenomenon. Gamasutra reports that Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, is poised to destroy productivity across the world.

Minecraft is being ported to iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. Expect the game to launch sometime this summer for the iPhone, followed in later 2011 with the Android release. The move to the iPhone and Android opens up the game to a whole new group of people and allows you to go nuts with blocks while you pretend to listen to your boss at the morning staff meeting. (more…)

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New Study Shows That Casual Games May Decrease Anxiety and Depression

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East Carolina University’s Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic revealed the results of their year long study into the effects of playing casual games. Researchers found that playing games like Bejeweled can actually decrease levels of depression by 57%, as well as improvements in all aspects of mood.

Dr. Carmen Russoniello, Director of the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at ECU and the professor who oversaw the study says, “In my opinion the findings support the possibility of using prescribed casual video games for treating depression and anxiety as an adjunct to, or perhaps even a replacement for, standard therapies including medication.”
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The Great Gatsby Gets the Flash Game Treatment

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When I booted up my computer today I never expected that I would stumble across a game based on the novel The Great Gatsby. But the fact that not only does something like this exist, but I can actually play it while I should be working, is just one more reason why I love the internet.

The game might not approach the novel in terms of complexity or depth, but did the novel feature a boss fight on top of a speeding train? I think not.

If you are interested, you can play the game here.

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FOG Review: Spider-Man (PS1)

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Friday Old Games” is a series of articles in which we review a game from the older generations of consoles, share why we picked it, and whether or not it holds up with time.

After being framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Spider-Man has to fight to clear his name and save the city. To do this he’ll have to take on super villains that any Spidey fan will immediately recognize and appreciate, like Venom, the Rhino, Scorpion, and Carnage.

This is the premise of the original Playstation Spider-Man. No movie tie-in, just a super hero game for the sake of having a super hero game.

There are a number of secrets to find, costumes to unlock (some of which upgrade his abilities) and comics littered throughout the game.

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