Old School Racism On XBL.. ‘Insert facepalm here’

As a fan of history (WW1 in particular) I often use the following quote

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill

So on a random night this past spring I was upset by something which I feel applies to these words…

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Is it 2014? Yeah it is.. funny at work I deal with appointments and countless conference calls every day, yet it takes me a good 5-6 months into a new year to stop writing the previous year at the end of a date. But yeah.. its 2014.

Yet at times I shake my head at how some of our fellow human beings can act to each other, and I wonder if it’s 1914 or even 1814.

This past spring, in the midst of a NHL Hockey playoff series between my home town Montreal Canadiens & our arch rival Boston Bruins (An incredible 34th playoff series between the teams totaling over 170 post season games) there were a bunch of ignorant racial remarks made by people on Twitter following the game 1 victory where the Canandiens won in overtime thanks to a goal by PK Subban. Subban for those who might not know, is a Canadian born defenceman whose parents were born in the Caribbean. In short, he is black. That last statement is important, because in 2014, it shouldn’t be relevant. Yet some idiots on Twitter spewed racial based hate on Subban after the game and thankfully were booted from the service, but not before the media in both towns got the story and ran with it.

Now my hockey playing son, as many thousands of other kids in Quebec, love Subban. He is a talented player who helps their favorite team. In the elementary school playground the days after this, there were a few Bruins fans who then were unfairly labeled racists by the overwhelming majority of Habs fans. (Habs are the nickname of the Canadiens) So I dealt with this when it happened, and happily my son understood it was merely yahoos who don’t represent all Bruin fans. I explained to him that “Some people don’t accept others, they are simply stupid and don’t understand were all human beings.”

So then not a week later,  Connor tells me his Halo Reach clan is fighting a ‘Anti Racism war’ vs another clan. They’ll be playing games vs anther clan in good vs evil and he ‘Wasn’t joking.’

Connors clan leader, who seems like a fine guy getting his online clan mates a place to have fun under a clan banner, happens to be black. Now if course, this should be irrelevant, but it isn’t to at least one ignorant riddled clan who are calling him racist things.

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WOW… I am blown away, it this really happening now online with kids? Halo Reach went from Red vs Blue to Black vs White? So instead of calling another clan ‘A bunch of tryhards’ to goat them to clan battles in Halo, you call them racial slurs?

Society in my part of the world at least, was evolving, accepting more. We were losing ignorance seemingly a little more with each generation. I saw that with my now 20 year old daughter and with my son who is now 11. Even the 9 year gap between them shows that the environment and views they have are that we truly more accepting we are all the same, human beings! Not colors or religion. The gap between my dad and my generation is even bigger proof.

Yet you have stupidity like this hockey thing and the Reach Clan ‘Anti-Racism War’ just piss me off beyond explanation right now.

I am glad that my son is on the good side of this debate, but MAN.. when are we going to learn? Does he have to worry about BS like this? I mean this kid in his clan is getting old school name calling based on his skin color in cyberspace?

I mean trash talking is a part of online gameplay.. sadly.. but honest to god, when kids are doing it with racial angles? What the hell? Is ANYTHING off limits these days?

Why write about this?

      Partly because I need to vent

Partly because I was going to mention this total bull**** racist clan I’d love to mention their name to get heat on them, but don’t want to give them ANY attention.

Partly because we all sometimes need a reminder that we need to read Churchill’s aforementioned quote and live it.

Partly because as mother day is here, and though she’s been dead for 12 years, I never go a day without thinking about her. Here is a story I want to end this blog with.

My mother never yelled at me. I always thought she let me did what I want and I turned out to be a decent person. But it was not really so, for she showed me how to act and I mirrored it more and more. She showed me how to do and act when I did what I wanted to do!

One day, I was in grad 4 or 5, and I used a racial term I shouldn’t have with my mom. I didn’t even mean any malice, because all of the kids were using the term, I honestly though it was acceptable. She stopped my head in my tracks and with the mom finger in my face and a stern voice she never used before or after told me that I was keeping the world from being a better place by using such a term. I was no better than anyone else and if I wanted respect for myself in life I must too give the same respect to people who looked or believed in different things from me. I was ashamed. I didn’t want to let her down.

(Sorry, had to take a break for a minute after that last sentence)

I don’t want to let her down, nor do I want to let me own kids down on this part/lesson of life.

Yes, online gaming is extended internet. Of course the internet can have us with a quick search find naked women dressed like nuns or people who live their loves dressed like goats.. anything goes. But old outdated hatred on racial or religious grounds? Why keep alive the ignorance that has historically literally had us killing each other over…

When I think about it, the people doing this racist garbage on XBL probably wouldn’t have enough collective IQ to understand Churchill’s quote anyway.

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TBoD Podcast – 65 – Interview with Tara “Skunkie” Bellafiore

Hey all,

We were super stoked to have the wonderful Tara “Skunkie” Bellafiore of Punklabs fame join us for this episode. We spend the majority of the episode gaining insight into the life and work of an indie developer but we also manage to cover some news;

Goldfarb goes indie,

Popular YouTubers in cash for vids shock,

the tides are changing,

We had a great time with this one so I hope you all enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed recording it.

Interview special w/Tara

- eremenko

“Bricks of the Dead” Damn close to full zombie!

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It was a about a year ago I hopped onto the Zombie train. After hearing so much about The Walking Dead, I finally started up season 1 on Netflix with Connor. After 3 episodes we were talking about it so much that we restarted with my wife in tow.

We then binged watched until we had caught up and when season 4 started up last fall we were glued to it every Sunday night.

Now Connor and I were passive zombie fans when it comes to gaming. We loved the first Dead Rising and it’s add ons, and also liked Dead Rising 2. (Admittingly we prefer the original) Connor was a huge fan of Plants Vs Zombies, and as COD fans of course we have killed a Nazi Zombie or two.

Hell, we even found a bevy of zombie movies on Netflix, most of them B movies and all worth mostly laughs.

In November we drove 90 minutes to Ottawa to the Fan Expo and met, amongst other crew members Daryl from the Walking Dead.

Connor meets the Walking Dead's Norman Reedus (AKA Daryl)

Connor meets the Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus (AKA Daryl)

Literally good family times, as strange as that may seen to those not bitten by zombie bug.

Now I found, interestingly enough, a side community around zombies and another hobby Connor and I share, around animation/toymations with blocks.

In particular “BRICKS OF THE DEAD”

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http://bricksofthedead.com/

Now this site does more than Lego Zombies, although they do that exceptionally well.

How well?

How about the fact they are just hitting their 500th ‘Issue’ of their web comic. A comic which I look forward to each week and that is done at a very high standard in quality of story and visuals. (Pretty well all you can ask for in a comic!) One feature on their website I enjoy are character bios. To me this shows the thought and thoroughness put into the web comic one can’t help but admire.

But back to the other things it covers. It covers zombies, plain and simple. Reviews of zombie games, movies, books and more.

This wide array means it appeals to so many different fans of the zombie community. From cartoon to the most realistic movie, from comedy to dark & depressing, if it loves eating brains… it’s here!

They are active on social media as well, and their aforementioned website is organized and looks sharp. I urge you to visit their website and if you do the twitter thing to add them.

https://twitter.com/bricksofthedead

Bricks of the Dead has a great thing with its comic as a standalone, but they truly serve the bigger zombie community.

Yes, you never go in ‘Full Zombie’ but Bricks of the Dead gets close.. as close as you can without getting bit and turning…

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The TBoD Podcast – Episode 64 – Barbershop Duet

Barbershop Duet (right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download)

Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum

try getting that one out of your head.

Quim and Menko are once again a twosome for this weeks episode, joined in brief cameos by This is Reklaw and BadMotherLicker. The focus this week is in shooters with the following up for discussion;

Destiny,

Cliffy B’s Bluesteak,

updates to Titanfall and BF 4,

all rounded out with a discussion about Violence in games

 with comments from Ken Levine.

- eremenko

FPS Community: “Put on your headsets & be nice!”

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TAKE 1:

Look, if the ****ing Wonderpets know about teamwork, then online gamers should as well

No no no… lets try again…

TAKE 2:

(Spoken as Tarzan) Back many moons ago, Gagnon30 was not amungst us. I lurk amongst shadows in PC gaming as long name which begin with clan prefix. That is right.. mysterious animal of clan which hold most high honor and teamwork…

Wow.. that was REALLY bad….

TAKE 3:

I am a team player. I was a hockey goalie for years, and it’s a position that you can’t be a lone wolf and be successful. So its kind of engrained in so many things I do that teamwork equals success. Now that doesn’t mean its probably a wicked feeling to win a individual type tournament/sport like say golf. But the feeling when a group comes together to win is incredible because you can share the feeling with your teammates and have faced similar hurdles you collectively overcame. For gaming, I am a team player as well.

I am not happy that team oriented games, the backbone of multiplayer online gaming, is not really in optmal shape.

But what I find now is alot of people complaining about the games they play and claim to be fans of, not to mention speculation rules the day… mostly on people wanting to ‘fix’ things they think are out of line in their corner on the FPS world.

Personally, I don’t think things are broken, because the use of the term ‘fix’ so many use implies something is broken.

It boils down to games doing new and different things with each new release to justify their existence to some degree.

So for me it’s a matter of ‘changing’ things, not ‘fixing’.

Not too long ago, I listened to Podtacular’s episode 421, Dusty & Brent hit up that simply scaling back on ideas, would perhaps help the Halo community going forward. I think he is right. I don’t knock new things, but I believe Brent’s thoughts that is if some things that were there in the past are back, that the community would be a lot stronger at this point in the Halo franchise game cycle. Even with the Master Chief collection coming down the pipes having us giddy, we cant forget to discuss what will help out. It also applies to any FPS franchise IMHO.

We’re talking teamwork, were talking headsets.

Yes, by doing something ourselves, not the devs, we all used to do not too long ago, we can change the games we love back to better.

In the Halo 3 days, the minority of players were the ones who DIDN’T wear their headset, especially in team multiplayer. It lead to better gameplay and a healthier social experience.

One thing LONG gone for myself is adding XBL friends as much as I used to in those H3 days. I mean if you can’t interact speaking with players, you likely won’t party up after a good match, you likely won’t add them to your friends list. With my Xbone now and the 10 fold of friends my list maxed out to.. I have added maybe a dozen friends in 2 months.

Frankly I don’t feel as encouraged to play certain games because multiplayer has become a solo thing because of the lack of social action that more active headset use brings.

I will of course blame the lack of universal headset use on COD. Because even though I was a huge COD fan up until the first Black Ops was released (I liked Black Ops1, the games after this have let me down) The COD lobbies were chalk full of trash talking kids, who took in into the game and gave crap to their teammates all game long. There was no respect shown by most over the 10 kids talking at once and whoever could be loudest as calling the other “A f***ing tryhard” louder than the other was apparently the BMOC.

Sure enough while there were always rogue guys like this in Halo 3 lobbies, Halo Reach lobbies became infected with these type jerks as well. This led of course, (Or at least obvious in my mind) to people simply not using their headsets who used to. They didn’t want to deal with trash talking kids/jerks. The next step of course is totally new players pick up Reach and just assume that, “Hey, nobody uses headsets so I won’t.” And the Halo multiplayer culture changed to one which was headsetless. Team oriented games took a turn for the worst.

Whether I try to play Battlefield, any COD, and Halo or even new releases in the FPS world like Titanall or even Plants vs Zombies “Garden Warfare” most players, VAST majority in fact don’t wear headsets.

I even had an interesting conversation when playing Titanfall in March with a guy who happened to buck the trend and actually HAD headsets on. I made a comment to the tune of “Wow, great to actually be playing with a teammate who I can properly communicate with. I mean we should all have headsets since the XBone came with one!” The reply he told me was that he had a nice new pair of Turtle Beaches, but that all his buddies were taking their XBone headsets to places like Gamestop and getting 10$ for them. They don’t use them.

Apparently Gamestop will have the factory version headsets in stock for the rare birds like me who use them. No wait, the trash talkers must be buying them, since they represent a big chunk of headset users. As a left handed person, I am used to being the minority!

Now, Halo Reach had a feature I loved. You could set up preference in the type of player you could be partied up with. So by wanting a ‘chatty’ player meant they would have a headset. Now of course it could potentially be a trash talker, but with the law of averages if they all had headsets you were bound to find a good honest to goodness group of guys who wanted to chat and have fun using the headsets to communicate properly in a team oriented game.

Yet this feature was NOT offered again in Halo 4. UGH! Progress gone!

A mandatory headset feature/lobby would rock.. but the point here is what WE can do with what we have for now.

As I do a reread of this little ramble, I can sum things up that one thing that can make FPS that much better. To be more like that golden age we all yearn for again, we can help by wearing headsets we can get alot closer to that era. Communicating will help the games become more interactive/better, and help make any games community stronger by having us know each other better.

That’s right, lets get our torches, pitchforks and headsets on AND IMPORTANTLY take the trash talkers out of it by being in full force a responsible community member who wants to help his/her game by being a team player and a positive community supporter! Be the example of what you wish everyone in the community was like! When we are not doing this, we are then letting those trash talking squeakers win. Those jerks who effectively ran us honest community folk right out of our headsets years ago!

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It is such an easy thing to do and when we are not doing it, it means were not getting the most fun we can from any games experience.

INSERT CLICHE HERE: “Lets be part of the solution, not the problem.”

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TBoD Podcast – 63 – Towerfall Intervention

Hey all,

Apologies for the delay this week, I am useless.

This week we cover;

A few listener questions and,

the punishment of death,

games win prizes,

and our ‘we called the dog….’ section covers the gorgeous ‘Long Dark’

Crinbot was once again absent so no song …. sorry.

Right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download

eremenko

Video Features Will Help You Appreciate Old Games

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So I do have a bias towards videos/machinima. I myself make them, so there is the bias!

Now the next gen consoles of course allow you to take, edit and upload vids of game play very easily now. So yeah, a guy with video game and video making hobby like me is very happy!

The Xbone has the Upload/Upload Studio Apps. They allow you to take the 30 second to 5 minute clips you record and do things like some basic editing and send them either to your Xbone world, but also to your Onedrive (Formerly Skydrive) so you can download them to your PC and then take it one step further and edit with even more powerful software. While sitting on the Xbone you can even use the all seeing Kinect and record voiceover with vid of you sitting there, picture in picture if you want. Hey, if you’re a true gamer, consider it a picture of you in ‘your office!’

I also know the PS4 offers similar ‘Save and Share’ for clips up to 15 minutes long. I don’t think it has edit feature but with 15 minutes length and the fact you can put it on a USB key to edit on PC later.. it sounds like a cool feature as well!

Now although I tinkered a bit with the Xbone Upload when I got the machine back in March (It was a Titanfall launch baby) I only recently began to post vids more seriously I it with a new series “Gotta Love Titanfall”. As a shameless plug, it is short videos on cool, funny &/or strange things that happen in game.

Here are 2 examples of ‘Gotta Love Titanfall’

I have spent quite a few hours more than I would like to admit in front of the Xbone watching not only clips others have posted on Upload, but Twitch streaming of a ton of different games. There is no question going forward that this seems to be more than a trend but a key part of gaming culture and entertainment.

But what REALLY set me off on loving Upload? How about the Master Chief collection!

I mean think of it. We all have a game that in the past few years was OUR GAME. We played it to death for countless hours, met friends and had uncountable good times. For me, as most know its Halo.

Now Halo had of course infamous Machinima. From Red vs. Blue (Honestly for one season it WAS funny) to The Spartan Life and hundreds of other shorts. I mean I still remember waiting for each weeks release of ‘Fails of the weak’! But these were reserved for those with the proper capture card/video edit set up to do it. (Not to mention time.) We got a lot of entertainment none the less.

But unquestionably there were so many layman gamers without the resources who had great ideas and/or moments from in game that never came to light because a feature like Upload and ‘Save & Share’ did not exist. BUT NOW THEY DO.

So on November 11th, a key thing I will be doing after I camp out to get my midnight release copy of the Master Chief Collection, is recording clips till the cows come home. Yes, “Gotta Love Halo” is born. But Ill also be scouring the interwebz for what will be the launch of a million vids similar that will now pop up thanks to this cool feature on the next gen consoles!

It won’t just effect random corners of any games universe either. You can have ‘Lets’s Play,’ speedruns, walkthroughs, funny clips, MLG battles, and things like forge have their own videos EASILY Made and shared. No matter what type gamer you are, you can likely find a video you will enjoy about the game you enjoy.

I think bringing old (Halo) with the new (Upload) will truly help us appreciate the new gen that much more.

If you haven’t used these feature with your Xbone or PS4… I recommend you look it up, there is a more than good chance you’ll be entertained! Join in on the addiction, I mean fun!

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The TBoD Podcast – Episode 62 – Statistically Masterful

Howdy,

We’re short a member again this week, Crinbot’s absence means we have no song either so apologies for that. We do have the usual content for your listening pleasure so without further ado the stuff we cover;

Continued support for X360,

Kingdom under fire and the new ‘Blueside’ engine,

PS now service update,

Console to PC parity,

Live GTAV in first person,

Oculus controller?

We called the dog ….. Anna!?!

…. and finally the WOW player who hit 90 as neither horde nor alliance.

as always thanks for listening and com-like-a-scribe.

Statistically Masterful

 - eremenko

Podcasting for the Community…

Please note: I am writing this weeks blog as a regular listener to Podtacular. I am not representing them nor does anyone from PT know I am writing this. With the other podcasters that were on the show mentioned in the article, I found them articulate and will listen to their shows to see if they come off just as well on them. I merely wanted to discuss a point that came up!

tbodgagnon

 

 

 

Listened to Podtaculars Episode 429, which was based not around Halo, but part 2 a show featuring its sister network podcast teams on the topic of podcasting itself.

In the description of show its notes:

429

  • This is the second episode in a series where we talk to the creators and hosts of shows featured on thePodKast.com, our gaming podcast network. Our topics for this show involves where we come up with the content for our episodes, what drives our discussions, how our sites facilitate our shows and how we promote the network. Guests includeAgro from Kritzkast, the TF2 Podcast, Mark Turcotte from Guardian Radio, a podcast dedicated to Bungie’s upcoming title Destiny, and Jon Shute from How to Murder Time.

Good podcast. All the parties are no question enthusiastic on what they do and serve their communities well.

Here is a point though on when PT got called out for website and forums ect. In short the other guys seemed to think having a website and things like forums was not needed for a podcast, it was up to others in thier comunity to facilitate these type things for the community. I got the impression they found it a waste of thier resources.

Okay, it boils down to the fact I think the other podcasts didn’t take longevity into account. They didn’t respect (I use  that word non maliciuously) what that means and brings to the table. In fact their own lack of long history like PT didn’t allow them to understand why PT supports a website/forums ect.

Podtacular in its history goes back to when these things were a must on all communities. Also when a podcast essentially had to have these things as they were, (For most games communities) merely spinoffs of their community website.

Not only that, but PT’s long history has seen them support their communities between different titles, and at times ‘droughts’ in the community. While the Halo community was so massive that there were many that still survived these lulls, a lot of them faded away or became (Cue in dramatic ‘duh duh dunnn’ sound clip) became ‘General Gaming Podcasts.’ A lot of community websites and forums disappeared.

So now that people are climbing back on the Halo bandwagon, PT offers the forums and website that fans loved in the past AND that were lost when other online places went the wayside.

Now while the other podcasts represented in the show seem to have a great read on what’s happening on podcasting, I say cutting edge as their views showed they know their stuff. They certainly may know the dynamics on podcasting and how on their own they can survive without home base websites, forums ect. Hell, I am an idiot with these things! But for these ‘more modern podcasters’ I think they are a lot like a rookie on a sports team that has all the talent, that is in its prime, but that lacks a little something that could bite them in the ass or hold them back until they earn it… experience. PT delivers on servicing their community by giving us old school, multifaceted options to give its fans what they want, what they have gotten and what they expect. All the while, looking forward for what is new

Hey guys, give the veterans some repsect!! *insert winky face here*

To listen to the episode of Podtacular I rambled about, find it here:

http://www.podtacular.com/media/podtacular-429/

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TheSSMinecraft Needs Your Support

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In this week’s blog I am taking the opportunity to promote a project some people who have supported my own projects in the past are now driving.

I am personally excited over TheSSMinecraft! As we now know Minecraft for the Xbone will allow import of 360 worlds into it. So couple that with the in game recording features of the new console, and it spells win! TheSSMinecraft is hitting the already and always hot Minecraft iron, and it’s going to get even hotter with the new console and easier was for places like TheSSMinecraft to get material!

Here is a write up from the creators themselves:

    TheSSMinecraft is a YouTube Channel which supplies Minecraft videos and more! The videos are anything from tutorials and reviews to Let’s Plays.
    The main duo are Sam and Shannon although the videos will also feature Joe, Simon, Ashley and others! Each person has their own ‘character’ which has come from something in the Minecraft world. For example, Shannon is ‘Ender Girl’ and Sam is ‘CreeperBoy’ this is to make it more child friendly for those younger viewers and makes the whole concept exciting.
    The channel wishes to reach out to different types of audience, not just focus on one. What’s the fun it that?!;) So to do this, we will have different ‘sections’ where we do tutorials and Let’s Play and Let’s Build for those more creative people, there will also be animations which a certain theme can be suggested.
    Hopefully, if the Channel and Facebook page gets enough likes and fans, competitions will be run and there will also be TheSSMinecraft merchandise as well as Minecraft goodies… And not forgetting, TheSSMinecraft is in partnership with TheSSMotion due to Simon and Sam being the original owners, and so there is a chance of a feature in the 2015 Halo MegaBloksFest, and so TheSSMinecraft will do cross-overs with Halo to support this.

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Link to TheSSMinecraft Facebook

Link to TheSSMinecraft Youtube

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Halo Master Chief Collection? (YES)

    In the wake of E3 Monday and gameplay vids we got bombed with, I wanted to write and spew Halo love but when I started typing I realized that it would be too long.. even by my own babbling standards. I wanted to poke at Destiny because.. well just because. I wanted to laugh at COD Advanced Warfare for a gameplay demo that had ODST intro, with drop pods and enemy craft being bombed that both screamed Titanfall…

    BUT WAIT. POSITIVE WAVES NEEDED!

    There are many games out there and many people. Why hate on what other people love… at least for this weeks blog.

tbodgagnon

ME: So…

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ME: Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4?

343: (Yes)

ME: All the maps?

343: (Yes)

ME: Ability to play all on multiplayer?

343: (Yes)

ME: Dedicated servers?

343: (Yes)

ME: $60?

343: (Yes)

ME: Xbox One, 1080p?

343: (Yes)

ME: Great!

343: (There is more goodies, want to hear them?)

ME: Later… I can’t type with tears of joy in my eyes…

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The TBoD Podcast – 60 – Tribute

Howdy baggers,

The regular TBoD aural assault is here for your listening pleasure.

This week we talk;

Mortal Kombat,

XBOX exclusives headed to PC,

again,

Hohokum,

Terraria,

One way trip,

Uncharted back on track,

Valvetual reality,

Oculus and Samsung pair up,

and our ‘we called the dog..’ section is about a website this week,

got spare money to spend? buy this…..

Enjoy mother funsters….

Tribute <right click and hit ‘save as’ to download.>

eremenko

 

 

Old School Arcades & Slugs!

tbodgagnon

Where I currently work there’s industrial manufacturing, which includes a lot of steel stamping. So it’s not uncommon to find pieces of metal lying around the dumpsters near in the parking lot. Which can be a dangerous thing for your tires by the way if you don’t watch it!

Low and behold this morning I looked down as I walk to the path beside the factory to the main office area, I see something I haven’t seen in a long time. “Could it be?” I think as I get down on one knee and pick up a slug!

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It’s not the kind that you find a garden. It’s the kind that in my world the late 70’s early 80’s growing up in Calgary allowed us to be game hackers in a certain way. Understand that while I had an Atari 2600 and the Intelevision to play home console gaming back then, where the vast majority of games good games were at were arcades. (Asteroids, Defender, Ms. Pacman, ect) These slugs helped us out a great deal of the arcade!

At the same period of time, Calgary was undergoing a housing boom as the oil market industry was booming as well. People were moving to town and therefore slugs were available

What the hell am I talking about? Housing and video games? Well…when you’re wiring a house, a typical electrical outlet will have little metal discs you can pop out when you put wires in and out of it. Check out this picture below, and look at the little circular discs on the inside of them. These are popped out by electricians as they plug wiring through them.

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Now the time these electrical boxes slug sizes were basically the exact size of a quarter, which of course for those old enough like me to remember, was a universal cost of one video game.

As mentioned at this time Calgary was a boom town for the housing industry, so when a new development popped up and as soon as the frame went up in a house my friends and I would eyeball when the electrician was going visiting. Usually after school go over to these places and go all over the floor picking of these slugs that it been punched out as the wiring had been put in.

Our next trip was to the arcade of course! The trick of was that you had to go to a different arcades most time time because eventually the teenager (Cause it always seem to be some pimply 17-year-old teenager was working the arcade) would figure out that it was you and your buddies that it filled their machines full of slugs. We could of course throw caution to the wind and go to same place mixing slugs with real quarters. But one of my pals got busted as he got searched in the arcade with a pocket full of slugs, no matter how many real quarters you had on you.. having one slug was getting banned from that arcade!

Now nowadays of course, new arcade machines a lot more sophisticated, and can tell it’s a proper quarter popped in, so the slug thing won’t work. But I’m curious if I find an old-school Asteroids game somewhere, (And you see them in places from time to time) for I’ll be keeping keeping an this new found slug in my pocket and giving it another try, just for old time sake of course!

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The TBoD Podcast – 59 – Deeply Dippy

Ok folks, welcome back to another episode of the TBoD Podcast, our lively debate this week consists of the following stories;

BF: Hardline leaked,

Dice promise to look after BF 4,

this old article sparks some discussion,

new PS+ content,

and
right, I’ve been eremenko, like, com, scribe and all that shite
.
Deeply Dippy right click and choose “save link as” to download.
go away.

TBoD Video – State of Decay: Lifeline Review

Hey guys,

Undead labs were kind enough to provide us with a steam key for the latest DLC for the epic Zombie survival game State of Decay, I threw together a quick review featuring gameplay footage from my playthough of the game.

Check it out here or over on our YouTube channel.

 

Special thanks to The Wach for helping us to secure this review copy.

You can see The Wach’s review in print over on PGCR

 

TBoD Podcast 58 – With an open hand

Another week, another installment on the TBoD podcast.

The topics on the smörgåsbord for discussion this week are;

Xbox stuff,

Frankie is unhappy,

Will Ubi win E3 for the second year running?

Dinner, Dinner, Dinner, Dinner …. BATMAN,

Middle Witcher, Assassin of Mordor,

Evolve,

Destiny,

in no particular Order,

Google/YouTube is feeling Twitchy,

IFightBears Lumberjack-em-up Fist of Awesome comes to mac and pc,

And Greenlight,

and our Indie game of the week is “Total Chaos“.

As always thanks for tuning in, if you like what you hear leave us a comment or a review on iTunes, if you have a burning question that you need answering in a meandering tangenty fashion by all means give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook or leave a comment here on the blog.

With an Open Hand < — Right click and choose “save as” to download

- eremenko

The Blocking Dead : Yes, I animate with toys.

EDIT: Episode 1 of the Blocking Dead, has been released since this article was published, it can be found at bottom of this write up!

Okay, so I got fan mail last week. Normally I get lots of email, normally telling me what an idiot I am, normally including the words ‘delusional’& ‘fanboy’, & often people wishing I would die. But I actually got an email of someone who liked my work. One point the person pointed out is question why I hadn’t blogged about the toymations I make. It was pointed out that for a lot of people, that what I did to get known to people in a small corner of the Halo universe.

Considering I have a new series “The Blocking Dead” debuting with its first episode later this week, time to blog!
tbodgagnon

Now without going into too long a blog, I have made over the past 3-4 years various toymations with Halo Mega Bloks, which in 2013 saw the more than 2 hour comedy ‘Fridge 2 Far 2’ hit the YouTube world. Along the way I created a few shorter vids I am proud of, don’t for fun or in some cases contests. The vast majority were Halo Mega Bloks.

A Fridge 2 Far 2 In one vid.

Now my son Connor and I have made other vids together, mostly reviews of Mega Bloks and Lego sets Connor has gotten. I made some promotional vids for places like Postgame Carnage Report and things like promos for other projects I am working on. However with the more popular longer vids, it’s been over a years since the release of one, and I am typing this to let people know it’s because work is in progress! It HASN’T stopped.

A Connor’s vid, this one he interviews Tim, Comm Manager at Mega Bloks

    There are two projects right now in process.

      1: TERRA ALTUS: This is a feature length Halo Mega Bok drama, revolving around ODSTs in a post Covie war setting. The production around this will be the most complex I have done, so will take time but is needed to really get the story across the right way. I would estimate a good 80+ hours put into this already. I have a great deal of various Halo community members who have agreed and in a lot of cases already submitted lines to be voice actors. (Including a key ‘performance’ by a TBOD Host!) The estimate to release this in episodic form should start in 2104. Just as with Fridge 2, it will be a full length movie cut into smaller parts over a set period of time, but with a specific finish.

      Terra Altus Teaser Trailer/Concept Vid

      About time I get to the main part of this blog right? The Blocking Dead…

      2: THE BLOCKING DEAD: As mentioned before, the first episode debuts this week. Now this will be an ongoing episodic series, so unlike Terra Altus, doesn’t have a set story with ending. It theoretically will go on and on till the Energizer bunny dies or me I suppose.

      It will be a comedy and for the first time ever be done not with Halo Mega Bloks but in Lego. This will allow a much more dynamic and open possibility for scenes and film ‘sets’ as between what sets I got a as a kid years ago, and what Connor has, we have the ability to build much more different things.

      As the name and teaser material released so far shows, it is based around the world after a Zombie Apocalypse and takes the characters of Connor and I from the Fridge world into this new one.

      The look of the ‘filming’ will be different from what I have done in the past, but I think will work well balancing look and the ability to produce episodes quicker.

    10379234_10152490846188783_886227886_n
    Cover of Blocking Dead : Episode 1

One thing I really want to do is to grow the toymations/animation communities I am a part of and have begin to create videos on how I make these projects to show its easier that some people might think, or at least give them tips!

For those who don’t know about this little hobby I share with my son, my YouTube page can be found HERE. True to YouTube whore, like, comment & share!

For Blocking Dead info, there is a Facebook page: HERE

For the record, when my wife is mad at me tells me to ‘Go play with your Lego.’ Which I suppose technically is true to what I do.

THE BLOCKING DEAD : Episode 1

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Guardian, shmardian! (Took me 10 minutes to make that title!)

Friday June 16, 9:26 am, 2nd cup of coffee (I am one behind regular pace)

THE NEWS: Halo 5 : Guardians, to be released in 2015 for XBone. “Halo 5 : Guardians”

tbodgagnon

Hero_Halo5

So I am happy for 2 reasons.

    1: This means promised 2014 Halo will no doubt mean H2A

    2: An extra year of development means a better product with the additional time. Especially when it comes to the XBone itself even which as all new consoles have, has its bugs to fix.

Yet one of the most common thing I read on social media this am is a new stone in the Halo/Destiny debate.

Basically those on the greener side of the fence at Destiny genuinely upset that the name Guardian is in title since there are Guardians in Destiny.

fpsm

I always love the opportunity to post that pic!

Okay, we all know ‘Guardians’ go back to the early Halo days, opening the debate as well that Bungie seems to be able to use then term because they brought it into Halo.

It’s a stupid debate. After all.. they are copying this!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardian_(video_game)THE REAL GUARDIANS GAME!

250px-Guardian_Cover

Made in 1994 the 3D shooter was made for the Amiga. It sucked so badly, they might have been many copies buried close to all those copies of the Atari 2600′s ET game recently unearthed.

Seriously? Good news at a new Halo release being given more time to develop and we grab feces and start throwing it at each other over the term “Guardian”?

I’m hoping both games are great that use these terms. Better 2 great games than any weak or even worse, no game at all. And while I have taken serious kicks at Destiny, I’m beyond that now. (Thanks to Titanfall largely for showing me games are for fun again.)

It boils down to this, my theory is, when you step out of bounds in Halo 3 and the Guardians kill you.. they actually were spies working for Amiga all that time.. or at least their legal team.

All hail Amiga Guardian!

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I like the Kinect! Plus, PS4 & XBone users only win from here on in!

tbodgagnon

Was just a normal Tuesday afternoon, when I went to check my Twitter feed (when it’s little slow at work) and I see the Xbox One have a few announcements, including as of June it will be available without connect. Firs thing that popped into my head was “That’s great!” As more people are going to buy it, & I have more PrevGen friends to play games with as some no doubt finally switch over to NexGen.

I get home, have dinner & start to relax later in the evening when I log into Facebook. Not one but two of my friends when saying you must be so pissed about the XBone news and what they’ve done with the Kinect, how “I can’t believe they suck so many people into buying Kinect” and “Now they’ve done this. You must be pissed!”

I couldn’t be further from pissed.

In both cases, to these friends I responded, “No I figured this would happen,” and the people on the other end of the chat were surprised to hear me calm. Personally, as someone who got the XBone already, I’m not upsetting Xbox as a matter fact I’m very happy I got to Kinect. I’ll admit, had I had the option right from the start to get with or without I would’ve gotten without, but frankly I like the little things that Kinect adds. It goes beyond being able to turn it on and off with a voice commands (Which is pretty cool by the way) like pausing it in an instant and of course, as most of you know I am a video guy, so being able to capture by saying “Xbox get that” for a little video snippet in the middle of the game is something I love. No doubt that they’ll have the ability to do that without Kinect going forward, but not as easily Ill bet. But that’s just a small thing that appeals to me and I understand it doesn’t appeal to everybody.

I do understand the price point change in XBone will allow alot of people to get now. There was in many cases resent at the higher cost, to whcih I understand. But its like getting a book when it comes out. Hardcover for a year first, then the paperback later. In the end, you will get to join in on the literary fun, but you have options, and as with most things, there are price points.

I have been an Xbox guy since Halo 3 day. I had a PlayStation 2 years ago when it was “the” machine, yet I don’t have anything against PS4. I’m just been totally engulfed in the culture of Xbox since getting one and it’s how I am. Sure last year I kind of trolled a bit in blogs when it was a heated debate between the two systems, where everyone was taking it seem to be taking aside. I too took a side but again I maybe trolled a little bit the PS users most notably on the infamous PlayStation online outage they had. By no means would I be one of the narrow minded people who would say ‘I’ll never get a PS4’. As things stand the Xbox still does the trick to fill my current needs, but maybe not forever.

But really very early in this NextGen lifespan, only a fraction of the OldGen users switched over. Mostly burned by the old 360 RROD, I was going to wait a whole year before I got my Xbone, but then caved for Titanfall and a good sale and got one, and frankly I’m happy with it. There are no doubts little kinks that the Xbox one has that even the PS4 has that we know are going to get fixed as the machines get older. Its par for the course!

I also recently made a blog that I have now bought into the fact that this is not just a game system but an entertainment system it’s the wave of the future no question. At first, it was an excuse to my wife for spending the money.. but man.. love the fact its intergrated and changed my families home entertainment system to the better.

In fact what I mostly take-out from the announcements made by Microsoft on Tuesday was that it’s all good propaganda, if you want to call it propaganda, because I prefer to all it I call it progress. In addition Games With Gold just coming out of the Xbox One which I’m very excited about, I mean I can’t believe the uproar before because it wasn’t in place from the launch. On launch there were no games for it, so how could they start giving away any for free? It was coming, I knew, I accepted and voila, now its here!

There’s no question that with this year’s E3 Microsoft doesn’t want to drop the ball like they did last year, even if it was in my opinion just a case of Microsoft explaining/presenting the system improperly. I still wish we had been given the original option they had to share games with friends!

No question with new frontman at Xbox, it screams “Games games games!” I think this pre-E3 announcement is marketing and smart marketing and we know that PlayStation will also do similar, as both understand the needs of consumers and do a little bit of propaganda that its users will benefit as well, just like the Xbox users would benefit from these announcements we just heard.

Sure PlayStation users can shout out “Xbox is doing this just like PlayStation always did!” When it comes to the new Gold account not needed to use popular apps, which was also announced today. The same way Xbox said the same similar words to things that PlayStation brought in that Xbox of been doing prior. Its tit for tat and irrelevant now IMHO.

In fact hindsight as it is now in this phase of the NexGen lifespan, where we’re not primarily focused on taking pokes who has what on their system, but just enjoying the fact that it’s all going forward. We the users regardless of what decision we made as far as which consol we get our benefiting from positive waves. Don’t beat each other up with what the other guy doesn’t have, focus on options on the units you make!

As always when a new console comes out, the only thing that really upsets me is how the friends list will change dramatically as people choose not to jump at all or jump into a different system. We all lose that way, most of us have all been though it before.

But this is what happens if you say play sports, where the year-to-year the lineup on your team changes and sometimes you choose to play a different team altogether

In fact to a large degree PlayStation and Xbox users should feel united because of these two companies battle each other to get our dollars collectively we all can now gain by the positive work they do adding things.

So, an I really just trying to justify the fact that I paid extra money for Kinect, when now less than a year later I didn’t have to? Honestly and I’ve already had 2 cups of coffee today’s so I’m fairly rational, No… I’m not trying to justify the spent money! Because I really do enjoy a little perks I have from it. Is it simply because I’m too lazy to hit a button to turn the machine on and off? Well maybe its a tiny little part of it! Also I don’t mind and even like the fact that maybe somebody spying to me as I play Titanfall my underwear! I’ll let you make a decision on that one, but if that interests you got my contact details below. Skype me… but only if you have Kinect!

Hugs and Kisses

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VIDEO GAMES! A podcast for all…

tbodgagnon

Let me assume since you are here at the Teabag or Die website that it is because of the great podcast it is, and I say that most sincerely. Now, I am not sure how many podcasts you might listen to, and given the staggering amount of podcasts out there, the personal menu can be quite diverse person to person.

Personally I normally listened to Halo related podcasts, but have added a few more general gaming ones as I sit and await an all Titanfall Podcast! (Crosses fingers, ponders going to a Church and lighting a candle and praying to the patron saint on gaming podcasts, St. Mario of Nintendo)

Outside these gaming podcasts in my circle are comedy ones have sprouted up. I have found one that covers both games and comedy, and at a running time of around 12-15 minutes per show, a great little show I look forward to each release.

VideoGamesPageHeader

I have for you: Video Games! “A podcast about video games”

http://supertotallyawesome.com/videogames/

You have two guys who declare themselves hardcore gamers who are effectively your stereotypical live in your basement, social awkward and foremost ignorant of the world guys talking about video games and getting it totally wrong.

The way the two can stay in character and go from sometimes subtle and sometimes dark humored gags to another is top notch.

Amongst the Episodes I recommend are ‘Plants vs. Zombies 2’, ‘Xbox Won’, ‘Titanfall’ & ‘Flappy Bird’.

Well written & acted humor in a dose long enough to make it a winner.

Of course you should only listen to Video Games! after listening to the most recent Podcast of TBOD.. I mean.. goes without sayin’!

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My Spider-Sense is Tingling…

Another Summer, another Superhero game!

Another Summer, another Superhero game!

Or rather has been going off the scale since The Amazing Spiderman 2 game was announced by Activision and Beenox.  Not only is it a follow-up to a fairly good movie tie-in, but appeared to provide a huge throwback to the one title that made Spidey games huge:  Spiderman 2 which was launched wayyy back in yesteryear for the O.G. XBOX, PS2, and other consoles of that time.  For a movie tie-in this game set a new precedent for superhero games, and even made it to XBOX’s Platinum hits, which is no small feat for a traditionally shitty movie based game.

Spiderman 2 was the first in the long series of titles modeled after our friendly neighborhood web-head, which offered a free-roaming New York to go about fighting petty crimes, and baddies in a GTA style environment of quasi-freedom.  It was even voiced by Toby Macguire – the Peter Parker we’re all doing our best to forget. Especially the Emo-Jazzcat version in Spiderman 3.  There were other additions to the series with this style of freedom based gameplay that were NOT based on a movie release, most notably for me as a drooling spider-fan:  Spiderman: Web of Shadows.

Getting back to this day in age, as soon as this game was announced I knew it must be mine, and so it is.  So True Believers:  Is this game worth your money and time?  Let’s swing into The Amazing Spiderman 2 and you be the judge.  (And no, I will not apologize for ANY corny Spidey jokes in this post.)

One feature which perked my interest with this game was the re-vamped web-sling mechanic.  In application it is very reminiscent of Spiderman 2′s more realistic version of web-slinging.  Unlike the previous Amazing Spiderman game you can’t magically “Sky-Sling” high above the skyscrapers, and must rely on buildings that are in-range and relative to your altitude.  Much like Spiderman 2, each trigger corresponds to it’s respective web-shooter while traversing Manhattan.  This made for some clumsy, noobish and embarrassing web-slinging at first as I wrapped my head around the new hotness, and to the artificial onlookers on the sidewalk it must have appeared that Spidey was black-out drunk.

Admittedly after a good 6-7 hours of gameplay I still find myself over-shooting a turn while chasing a getaway car, or slamming into the side of a building as I attempt to live up to the Parker hype.  Trust me, it’s fun learning how to web sling, and after a fairly early unlock you gain the web-boost ability which helps you use speed and accuracy to launch yourself into the air, or use a webline to vault gaps in the skyline rather than helplessly fall to the street.  Use caution when boosting however, I discovered a game-breaking bug which clipped me into a water-tower after which I was stuck in a perpetual free-fall and had to restart the checkpoint to free myself.  (Beenox:  OOPS!)

The free-roaming aspects are similar, but not a re-hash of the repetitive mini-crimes which happen in previous titles.  Added to the mix in this installment is building fires, bomb threats, and newer more challenging revamps on assisting pinned down cops, and other classic items like Break & Enters, public disturbances, etc.  In Amazing Spiderman 2 however they have introduced a new character element called Hero or Menace.  If you fail, or neglect crimes in progress they will expire and push you toward the menace side during which J Jonah Jameson will give you an earful on the Daily Bugle News Network.

The more of a bumbling menace you become, the more attention you attract from Oscorp’s law enforcement task-force.  A high-tech patrol of robot baddies, and armed thugs on goblin gliders funded by local philanthropist and (crime kingpin) Wilson Fisk.  Yes:  The Kingpin is in this game.  I haven’t completed the campaign yet, because I’m a huge explore/stop and smell the roses type of gamer with titles like this.

The story so far is pretty good, the round-up of Spiderman’s rogues gallery is satisfying and I haven’t encountered them all.  On the list so far is Kingpin, Black Cat, The Shocker, Electro, Kraven The Hunter (who starts off as a mentor who practically wants to adopt Spiderman instead of kill him and send him to a taxidermist…), Harry Osborn/Green Goblin, and likely others.  Through mini missions outside the main plot, I learned the Police are hunting down the classic Hammerhead villain, and a gruesome serial killer who leaves the initials CK written in blood at each scene.  The media has dubbed him “The Carnage Killer.”  hmmm I wonder who he could be.

For the details obsessed people like myself there’s cool locations for you to vist such as Aunt May’s house where you can replay unlocked missions, change your unlocked costumes, but sadly can’t sit down and eat her famous wheat-cakes.  The unlockable costumes in this game are actually more than cosmetic this time as they each have their own traits which you can level up.  I found that rather cool instead of just a new costume with no functional benefits in gameplay.

Another awesome location is a comic store owned by none other than Stan Lee.  Again Stan-The-Man lends his voice to the movie series, and has some great lines.  At the comic shop you can read entire digital versions of comics you unlock by finding “hidden” comic pages throughout the city, figurines, concept art, and you’ll also find an arcade machine where you can play a b-list “horde mode” or battle royale against waves of thugs.

All in all the story is a strong mix of elements from the original classic comics, and the Ultimate Universe.  Voice acting is a little…campy but hey, what can you expect.  The plot supposedly takes place in the aftermath of the 2nd film, but has it’s confusing parts such as a chance meeting with Max Dillon (AKA Electro) which is seemingly for the first time.  Oh well.  I was too busy beating the snot out of petty thugs to really care about one interaction with a poorly designed Jamie Fox lookalike with a comb-over.

Combat is faster, and more fluid than the last title, but the stealth missions can get frustrating due to some jittery controls at first.  It didn’t take me long to figure out how best to approach these indoor scenarios and they are an improvement over ASM 1.  But be prepared for some true WTF moments as you learn the webs…er ropes.

They’ve added sequences where you play as Peter Parker, using his Daily Bugle press-pass to get into places and interview/gather intel on characters, etc.  The Mass Effect style dialogue selection is a nice touch, but the silly dialogue in some instances make you scratch your head, like for instance when asking heatscore questions to Wilson Fisk about “What his problem is with Spiderman.”  or  “I heard your Oscorp taskforce was corrupt!”

All in all, it’s a good game for die-hards like-myself to jump into and swing around in superhero bliss.  If you go into this game expecting an award winning stupendous Walloping Webshooter of a game…  Don’t.  It’s one of those titles that is what it is.  A Spiderman Game.  Love it or hate it however, you’ll still have some fun.  A side-note for Beenox though…  By wielding the franchise they have been granted the power to create some seriously Spectacular experiences in the future.  But of course:  With great power, comes great responsibility.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back often for more great gaming goodness right here, at Teabag or Die.

 

 

 

What Bungie hasn’t done & I appreciate.

tbodgagnon

I have been outspoken on Destiny.

I made it clear that of the limited info released I have gotten literally NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in it. I do not like magic in games and with the capes characters wear, I regularly joke its Halo meets Harry Potter.

Now after seeing ‘The Devils Lair’ 7 minute game play video of Destiny, I might have even LESS than zero interest n the game, if that’s possible. The flowing capes as the characters run, because in the future capes are so important for.. er.. hmm… I mean… oh boy… maybe…. Dunno.. storing recipes or matches maybe? Okay so then the trailer has the magic spells and lights zapping opponents more effectively than I saw when the shit went down in the last Harry Potter movie at Hogwarts. Or was it the feeling that Bungie had left Halo to do different things and effectively from what I saw in the Dragons Lair, had made a Halo feeling rehash with brighter colors and better graphics. So Bungie left Halo to copy Halo…

I mean good lord, when they made the Star Wars prequels, I remember seeing a documentary where the costume designers decided to go crazy with the costumes because the original movies they were too ‘conservative’. So the bright red guns and flowing gowns, Oh geez.. SORRY.. I mean capes might have us seeing Bungie going down the Jar Jar path.

BUT LET ME GIVE BUNGIE CREDIT IN ONE PLACE THEY ARE DUE.

Hype… or lack of it generated by Bungie propaganda, is something I appreciate.

Let’s look at Titanfall, where we knew very little about the game until it came out, when you compare it to so many campaigns other manufacturers go through prior to release. Bungie is right now going down a similar path, not as much in the dark but not showing all its cards. Work on the game, not the self promotion!

Sure, they will no doubt have a great E3 show with Destiny. But it’s releasing this year, so that goes without saying. But it’s not building up a supergame that can only be a disappointment like Halo 4 was, which for me wasn’t a question of a bad game.. but more like the hype Halo 4 helped generate about itself that made it IMHO only inevitable to be a let down.

I’m thinking like the movie trailer that shows you all the great parts to the point where when you see the movie, it just fills in the boring parts NOT shown in the trailer. You think “I gotta see this.. imagine what they DIDN’T show in trailer!” Come on.. admit it.. we have all fallen for this.

Now of course some people might say “Bungie aren’t releasing a ton of info because it sucks.” While I honestly think what I have seen of it amounts to a steaming pile of dog crap on a icky cold morning, I think Bungie is being smart. Bungie doesn’t have to be MacDonalds spending so much money on advertising despite the fact they have so many dedicated fans hooked to the point they don’t need to spend a penny on promos.

People expect too much from Bungie/Destiny, and no matter what, at least some people will be let down by it because they fell victim to the hype. But at least it won’t be hype Bungie themselves built up if this in fact is the case. At the very least not the bulk of it.

Now unlike Titanfall, the relative tightly lipped campaign form Bungie isn’t as risky. As aforementioned Bungie has the fanbase and track record they can pull this thing off more than Respawn could. I do respect Bungie for so far taking this approach. Sure from E3 on well get no doubt a ton of hype, but that to me is an acceptable sell to clients so close to release.

I’ll stand behind my dislike of Bungie which has also been generated by hype from its fans who don’t think it can do any wrong. I have a few blogs where I point out they are not as flawless as a lot of their fanboys build them up to be, they started Halo down its current path (the 343 gets all the heat for) and showed that in the end they are a company there to make money, not service the fans foremost when they canned Marty O’Donnell.

I’ll still keep hating on Destiny, but Bunge I thank you, at least you aren’t throwing the game in my face like it’s the second coming of Christ… which the last 3 versions of COD and Halo 4 blatantly told me they were… well pretty well the marketing team told me.. but at least they didn’t dress them up in capes.

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The TBoD Podcast – 54 – Unleash the Dragon

Howdy chaps and chapesses,

Here we are again. Another week older, but probably not any wiser; you be the judge.

This week we talk:

XBONE price drops

Virtuix Omni secures funding

Playstation Plus free games for May

New Watch Dogs gameplay video

Civilization: Beyond Earth – wowzers…

Four player narrative coop announced for AC: Unity

Minecraft real-world application awesomeness

More departures from Naughty Dog

Our Indie game this week was Franchise Hockey Manager (chosen by Crinbot, obviously)

As ever, get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, or comment below.

Right-click here and choose ‘save as’ to download

X-Bone Was Like, Totally Gnarley Vision…

CLEARS THROAT PUTS ON BEST VALLEY GIRL IMITATION: “It’s like, OMG, I’m like liking what I was sure I would like totally wouldn’t like.”

tbodgagnon

So there I was May 21st 2013, the fallout of fecal matter from the s***storm that was the Xbox One announcement still raining down.

I was amongst the unimpressed, albeit not to a big degree as some, yet miffed enough to post the following pic on my Twitter feed.

coke

Not my best graphical work, but it got my gut feeling out.

The fact is perhaps only the old timers remember the new Coke fiasco. I was in High School at the time and remember that this move got me addicted to coffee. Now history will show that ‘Classic Coke’ was announced not 3 months after New Coke was launched. Certainly there are similarities on the original XBone launch , the backlash and 180 by execs/decision makers and what we got in the end.

However the similarities end, for me personally, on that now a nearly a year later I actually think some of the XBone retracts were things now I really wish we had. Yeah, I freaked to get rid of them a year ago… and NO I don’t feel like having a new Coke.. not since 1985 anyhow.

As a refresher, here is the 62 minute launch video

Here are some things I now have 180ed on that XBone pitched to us and we got them to reverse to varying degrees. In short, I don’t think they were bad ideas any more!

    1: IT’S AN ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM!

    This really rubbed me the wrong way. Like so many others, I thought after seeing the video that gaming was taking a backseat to TV, videos ect. I wasn’t too hopeful that the gaming jump would be that great.

    Yet here I am, the owner of a XBone and I honestly love the total package this machine does bridging gaming to TV, movies and even sound system.
    Going back and forth to home screen to tie it all in is the kicker for me. I mean outside the TV you could do it on the 360, but not swapping back and forth as smoothly as the XBone does it.

    Also with the Blue Ray on the console, I scrapped my stand alone player and can finally hook up my optical audio cable and get surround sound for gaming.

    Integration of Twitch and Skype brings my PC into the true home entertainment system.

    Funny, because when I relook at the video from last year, it said that it would do this and I just ignored that because I wanted game stuff. Why? I don’t know, because there is no question the games I have played on XBone are definitely next gen in looks and performance. My outrage at the lack of games emphasis blinded me to this entertainment feature I now love.

    2: KINECT

    Now that I set here and think, wow.. yeah I hated the idea of this as well. I have no use for Kinect, I mean I haven’t even had a single inkling to get one for the 360 for any game or feature.

    Now I didn’t then nor now give a rats behind if by XBone Kinect is staring at me all the time. If somehow its streaming me secretly to someone in MS HQ as I play Titanfall in my underwear then so be it.. honestly I don’t care.

    I was upset that because Kinect was in all units, I would be paying more for the overall package and wouldn’t use the Kinect.

    Yet I really love the speech and gesture feature in operating the X Bone. It’s not a novelty, it’s a cool function I use nearly every time I turn it on.. which includes HOW I turn it on.

    Searching for things with Bing (I prefer Google on PC, but for X Bone it works well) is also cool using voice.

    I am surprised Kinect is working so well and has so many features I use. To think that they’ll only be working on more is interesting.

    For the first time ever as well, I hope games I love, like Halo will feature more Kinects use so I can continue to enjoy.

    Also helps me keep the living room tidy so the spies at MS enjoy the underwear shows more!

    3: RESELLING GAMES/DIGITAL DOWNLOADS

    I actually had NO issue whatsoever with the idea of not allowing me to sell old games or buy second hand ones. Honestly people either do or don’t do this. I am a ‘Don’t do this’ person on reselling games. Call me a games hoarder if you want, but I like to keep games and see them physically in a collection.

    In fact my beef with the whole ban on reselling games that originally proposed by MS (but then scrapped) was the idea it was clear we were going down path to have only digitally downloaded versions of games.

    Now not only do I own the Titanfall X Bone bundle, but my second 360 was a Reach bundle. (Although I already had a hard copy of Reach I bought for old 360.) So 2 of the games I have played the most were both full digital downloads.

    Last week Connor wanted a ‘Plants Vs Zombies : Garden Warfare’ & I actually said, “Lets get digital copy.” Yes, I have changed my game hoarding ways.

    It is more convenient then having to get up and get disk, it means you don’t have to leave home to get it, and with a larger hard drive than the 30 GB I had for years with the 360, I don’t have to worry about space as much as I used to.

    In fact it was concerns on space to dl a bunch of games that I realize this digital dl only path irked me. Again, I was told there was a lot of space on the new console.. yet like so many others ran for the pitchfork.

    I want to say it is better for environment too.. but that sounds like a hippy thing to say.

    Back to the resell of games, I don’t want to weigh in on that too much, I mentioned I don’t like to buy used games, but I also feel bead because people make a living in that corner of industry.. but then again, milk men were honest workers, but just aren’t needed in today’s world.

    I also REALLY hope the now backburnered idea that we could share games with friends we purchased but they didn’t gets green lighted in the near future.

    4: XBONE ALWAYS ON/CONNECTED TO NET

    Like many, I was a victim of RROD, so my sole concern was wear and tear on machine.

    Like a computer is goes dormant, updates happen overnight/out of view and the box is not hot at all and is performing well. In February my concerns pretty well were gone. No reports of overheating or any horror stories at all I found on this topic.

    Now it didn’t take hours of my life wasted when I turned on my 360 to get updates. But really, it’s nice to say “Xbox on” have it boot up and not have to see installation/update needed on anything, were barely 6 months into launch of new console, there are PLENTY of updates, yet it has been seamless!

    I also see my internet usage with the exception of the first week I got the XBone is pretty steady with what I used for 360. That’s first week of course I dled Titanfall and a ton of other goodies to the new console.

UNFORSEEN BEEF: I can’t deny one beef I didn’t foresee about the X Bone that bugs the hell out of me though. The friends list and system it uses is cluttered and really not practical. I want to see when friend pop in and out, and what games they are playing when they do such. I mean why can’t we voice message friends anymore? Now I have to type messages.. UGH.. come on, I’d rather voice message than honestly have people ‘follow me’. It’s a friends list, not a follow list. I normally give devs benefits of the doubt, but whoever pitched the idea, implemented and tested and ultimately put it to gold, should all be taken out and be slapped in the side of a head with a rotting salmon.

So in closing, (That sounds too formal for a hack like me to use.. oh well.. I used the line) I say now that a year later, I panicked prematurely and followed too many other sheep condemning MS in May of 2013. While I don’t think we were all ready for what they originally proposed collectively, I think that a lot of what they said and took out or delayed, would have probably been things at least I would have liked.

NOTE: Out of respect for the TBOD founders who are Playstation boys, I will not say that Playstation sucks.. at least not until I find a polite way to say it.

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The TBoD Podcast – 53 – Marty be Gone

Sup’ bitches,

We’re back again for another week of epic gaming lolz. This week:

Marty gets kicked

Virtual insanity/reality returns with more news from Occulus. More here. And yet more here.

Continued nonsense from Call of Doody.

Nice words from a Titanfall dev.

And the PS4 gets a long-overdue update.

Click here and choose ‘save as’ to download

Pluto TV, A Step Forward By Going Back!

tbodgagnon

Gonna go by memory on a conversation I have had a few times with my wife when she says she doesn’t understand how I can watch YouTube so much.

    Me: “It’s like TV. But better.”

    Wife: “We have a TV, how can it be better?”

    Me: “I can watch literally a million things whenever I want! No schedule, no limits.”

Now I have gone through this with here a few times, and similar conversations with friends. I still maintain that I love the freedom YouTube allows. But sometimes it’s TOO big.

So then I tripped over Pluto.tv

pluto blog

What Pluto offers is channels that have been set up by scouring YouTube, Veemo and other video hosting sites online and placed similar vids on appropriate channels. This can simplify things if you feel like say watching music videos on certain genres (Because somehow MTV no longer shows music videos) sports vids, or more specific things like Minecraft videos for gamers.

Now wait.. now I’m back to a schedule someone else sets up if I want to watch something on a particular topic. True, but honestly, the people behind Pluto literally have experts on certain topics put theses channel playlists together. They find things about topics you may already try to scour to find videos for and are unable to.

Face it, there are times I am watching a Halo video on say Forge, and at the end YouTube in its infinite wisdom shows on ‘suggested video’ section when my vid is over something REALLY off base like “How to remove unwanted body hair.” Though I do appreciate manscaping on myself, I don’t see a correlation.

So Pluto can bring to light corners of a community you like that you haven’t found in the depths of the internet. As put before, sometimes the internet is TOO big.

There are some ads that flash on screen, but unobtrusive like YouTube currently has.

So now in real time you and your buddies can watch a show at the same time and interact with the private chat feature, personally appeals to me.

There are a varying range of topics, however if there is a topic not covered maybe let them know and a channel can be set up for you and your buds.

On the gaming angle consider how Twitch has blown up with the X Box One’s integration. Pluto is hitting on something that is more than trending right now but seems to be a serious emerging new real integration of the internet as true entertainment base, that can take a big bite from the TV we have known for so long. I mean if you miss an episode of your favorite sitcom now, you can go to the networks website and often watch it after the fact, so it’s happening now. The TV networks use the web for what was considered not apples to apples as far as home entertainment, the gap is bridged, and dare I say, forming into one.

Looks like the Xbone 2013 spring uproar when it was pushed more as entertainment system than games was something so many of us shouldn’t have flipped out on (Including me) I see things like Pluto benefiting from this and I am enjoying it early into the game.

Now will this stick? I think so but who knows it what form it will evolve, but right now its new and hot and I think people should look into it and help it grow.

Fairly short and simple blog gang… Pluto.tv…. check it out!

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Lets Change the Pace…

Wow, the last 2 weeks of blogs, dealing with Halo, took a lot of attention to follow up on. Writing them was something I knew would be difficult on a lot of angles, but in the end I felt I needed to say it. I do appreciate those who took the high road in proper rebuttal to in particular my blog on ‘Halo community having too much say.’ I got a lot of emails and replies that say apparently I should simply fornicate with myself. I assure you all, if I could to that, I probably wouldn’t leave home for a solid week or two.

tbodgagnon

None the less had some good comments from different corners of the Halo community which despite what we think on the topic I brought up, it’s clear a lot of people care about the game.

So how do I follow those 2 weeks up? Well honestly I have a couple of blogs ‘banked’ but to change the pace a bit, I figured I should simply post one of my favorite recipes.

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You may have just said “WTF?”

Yeah, it’s a recipe, and it’s easy and tasty. Would you rather I spew Halo stuff for a third week in a row?

PULLED PORK A LA GAGNON

What you need

1 KG (About 2.2 lbs) Pork Tenderloin

1 Can of Root Beer (Yeah.. that’s right, root beer)

1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (18 oz/500ish ml)

Slow cooker

Instructions

Place tenderloin in slow cooker

Pour Root Beer over meat

Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours, until meat shreds easily

Drain liquid from meat

Stir in BBQ sauce to meat

Serve on fresh buns (Hell on stale ones if that floats your boat)

Recommended

A little homemade cole slaw on top of meat is popular.

Great part about this meal it’s easy to make, a quick clean up and you can brag it took 7 hours to make, yet you can play a solid 6 hours of games while it cooks!

Yeah.. my blog is a recipe this week… so?

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The TBoD Podcast – 51 – TBoD Bingo

Howdy chaps and chapesses,

TBoD return the normal schedule this week with more news from the gamesphere from the past 7 days or so.

We firstly bash Xbox for erroneous reasons; the Game with Gold this month is indeed Hitman: Absolution. Apologies to Microsoft…

We touch on our thoughts around the more broad points from Gagnon30′s recent post.

Phil Spencer promoted;

Disney buys Maker Studios; and

Amazon Fire TV, among others

The indie game this week is the truly excellent Gang Beasts

As ever, get your lugs (English for ‘ears’) around our dulcet tones, and give us your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or the comments section below.

Right-click here and click ‘Save As’