Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category


VASSALS OF KINGSGRAVE: EPISODE 338
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The Vassals gather round the console to bask in gaming’s warm, pixelated glow. Join Duncan (Valkyrist), Zach (Alias), Katie (Lady Griffin), Bing (Shoeshiner), Patrick (Ser Patrick the Tall), Paul (SerDinnerRoll), Adam (drownedsnow), and Hannah (shadow_ baby) as they chat video games and gush over some of their favourite titles of all time.

1:17 – What We’re Playing
17:21 – Favourite Games (Round #1)
1:04:33 – Favourite Games (Round #2)
1:58:38 – Thoughts on the Current Gen

Credits:
Edited by Valkyrist
Audio Clips owned by Nintendo

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gaming-round-table

VASSALS OF KINGSGRAVE: EPISODE 193
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Join fortytwo, White Raven, Valkyrist, Alias, Khal Wadege, Shoeshiner, and Ser Patrick the Tall as they talk about their favorite games, consoles, mods, franchises, and their most anticipated titles of 2015.

03:50 – Dark Souls 2
24:30 – Hello Kitty Online
28:00 – Valkyria Chronicles
43:50 – Gaming Consoles discussion
51:20 – Bayonetta
01:11:00 – Darkest Dungeon
01:30:00 – Metroid Prime
01:52:00 – League of Legends
01:55:00 – Star Wars games
01:58:00 – Anticipated titles of 2015
02:15:00 – Game of Throne games and mods (contains minor spoilers)

Credits:
Edited by fortytwo

GamerGate

VASSALS OF KINGSGRAVE: EPISODE 170
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In Part 2 of VOK’s Women and Geek Culture series, hosts No True Lady, Alias, Beric175, inkasrain, and Valkyrist bring passion, opinions and insight to GamerGate, the controversy that’s taken the internet by storm.

Credits:
Edited by No True Lady

This is a conversation I had with another member of the A Podcast of Ice and Fire forum, in the lead-up to Feminism in Geek Culture. We didn’t really focus much on video games during that episode, so I thought people might find this exchange valuable. Alias raises a lot of excellent points, and I hope we can have him on for a for a followup podcast on feminism.

Valkyrist: It might be worth looking at how femininity is constructed in video games and video game culture. As people have mentioned, gaming is very male-centered and male-focused, and in most cases the gamers avatar is a male, with female characters depicted as objects to be rescued, guarded or conquered. The two most famous exceptions of female protagonists—Lara Croft and Samus Aaron—probably reveal a lot about the attitudes of the culture. Where Lara is hyper-sexualised and fetishised, Samus is almost like a repression of femininity, wherein the vulnerable female form is contained within masculine armor and weaponry. Of course, there is progress. I think the female characters in Half-Life 2 and The Last of Us are very interesting, well-rounded, pro-active representations of women. (more…)

FakeGamerGirl

VASSALS OF KINGSGRAVE: EPISODE 36
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Things get raucous as Bina007, No True Lady and Valkyrist navigate the murky waters of geek culture’s woman problem and attempt to slay the myth of the Fake Geek Girl. This episode also features a shocking lack of Tolkien knowledge, the secret behind Tom Hiddleston’s charm and the heartbreak of discovering that the creators of things you like are actually terrible people.

Credits:
Edited by No True Lady

Links:
Feminist Frequency YouTube Channel
Harassment Against Anita Sarkeesian
The “Fake Geek Girl” Has Got to Go
Tony Harris’ Facebook Rant
Tolkien’s Ladies: Is Geek Culture Female-Friendly?
Podcast Awards
Suits and Madness Podcast

This is a follow-up post to the podcast I helped record on The Last of Us, for PlayStation 3. I gave a similar argument in that episode, but I wanted to try and articulate thoughts a little more clearly. This post addresses the ending of The Last of Us, and so will obviously contain MAJOR SPOILERS:

Joel

I’ve been thinking about this game a lot since I completed it a few days ago. Sure I could nitpick elements of the gameplay, but in my opinion, it contains far and away the most powerful and emotionally complex narrative I’ve experienced in a game (Half-Life 2 notwithstanding). Like most people, I think the Winter chapter is the high-point of the game, and it takes gamers to a really dark and uncharted space (no pun intended). Conversely, a lot of people seemed disappointed with the final act, especially Joel’s decision to rescue Ellie, wipe out the last of the Firefly’s, and possibly rob humanity of its only chance of survival. The final piece of dialogue was also pretty ambiguous, and I’m sure gamers will dissect its meaning for years to come. However, what I wanted to talk about is why I think Joel made the right decision, to save Ellie (relatively speaking of course – the murder of the worlds last brain surgeon was pretty rough). (more…)

TheLastOfUs

VASSALS OF KINGSGRAVE: EPISODE 32
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Join the Vassals for their very first video game podcast! Hosts Duncan (aka Valkyrist), Zach (aka Alias), Katie (aka Lady Griffin), and Peter (aka Shellfish) unite for a critical discussion of The Last of Us, for PlayStation 3 And stay tuned for the Aftershow, where they delve into their top 5 games for this console cycle, and ask the question: “Can video games be considered art?”

0:00 – Introduction [lemon cake ratings; favourite moments in the game]
11:36 – Story and Characters [Joel and Ellie’s character arcs; interpreting the ending; narrative and thematic structure; writing quality]
41:59 – Gameplay and Design [combat and inventory mechanics; level design; enemy and ally AI; music and visual presentation; voice acting and character animations; online multiplayer]
1:08:11 – Conclusion [criticisms of the game; recommendations for similar works; DLC predictions]
1:17:13 – Aftershow [top 5 games of this gen; can video games be considered art?]

Warning: Contains explicit language, and plot spoilers for The Last of Us and Game of Thrones.

Credits:
Edited by Valkyrist
Audio clips owned by Sony Computer Entertainment

Links:
The Last of Us: The Kotaku Review (by Kirk Hamilton)
The Last of Us – The Musical (with Orchestra)
Map of Joel’s Progress
Video Games can never be Art (by Roger Ebert)
The Rootwork Building: Interactive and Thematic Structure in The Last of Us
Two Best Friends Play The Last of Us
The Last of Us: Between the Lines with Barry Kibrick and Neil Druckmann

Late 90s Internet Tutorial

Posted: October 19, 2013 in Video Games
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I found this on an Encyclopedia CD-ROM from the late 1990s, and thought people might enjoy it. Don’t think about how far we’ve come. Think about how far we have left to go.

I spent so much time trying to beat this mission on Veteran difficulty that I felt compelled to make a video of it. There are plenty of identical YouTube playthroughs for the PS3 and 360, but none for the Wii (called Reflex Edition), so I thought I might as well upload it.

This in my second favourite game on the Wii, and by far one of the hardest levels I’ve ever experienced. Playing on Mirror Mode means that the stage is reversed, you can’t use Diddy or any of your inventory items, and you only have one piece of heart.