Saturday, March 31, 2012

Difficulties With Difficulties

You get off of a long day at work, drive by your favorite gaming location and pick up the newest and best game on the market.  Excited, you drive home, just barely containing your speed around the speed limit signs.  Throwing off your jacket while storming into your place of residence, you frisbee toss your new purchase into your gaming system of choice a la cheesy commercial segment, and it flies in and starts up.  Title screen, and excitement rises.  Then, you are faced with a struggle of a decision:  The difficulty screen pops up.  Select your difficulty.

Asking gamers what their skills are at a game before even trying the game?  What a cruel concept.  Make the wrong decision, and the entire game may be ruined for you! Too easy, too hard, not positioned at what the developer intended, all of these factors can mix together to give you a less favorable experience than that you expected with your sitcom levels of excitement earlier.  

What brings this topic to mind for me today?  Recently I came under fire from a friend about what difficulty I have chosen for a game in particular. 
I chose the hardest difficulty on this game.  I would never dream of trying this game on a lower difficulty, it just seems like cheating.  I know you like it though.
Why do we chose one difficulty over the other?  When is playing on easy acceptable vs. playing on hard?
My answer is completely dependent on the experience you want to take away from your game. 

When do I play on easy?
On a game primarily driven by narrative, I will usually take the semi-easier path.  I won't go so far as to make a game on the easiest setting possible.  Not usually.  However, when the main draw of the game is the story, I don't like to accomplish herculean tasks for that reward!  On a game like the Metal Gear Solid series, the story is integral to my experience.  If you miss the cinematics, you are skipping more than half the game, and  I know this from experience!  Same with Mass Effect.  While I enjoy the battle sequences immensely, the story was the main draw for me from square one.  The game is very rewarding in this aspect.  Why should I make it drawn out and difficult to get to my reward, the next part in the story? Thats like getting the first book in a series, but the only way to get the second one is to run three miles underwater and skydive off of a zeppelin.  I just want to find out what happens next!
Lets take a look at L.A. Noire for a second.  The game has equal parts story and gameplay, but if you don't play to the standards set upon by the game, maybe accidentally running over too many pedestrians or not asking the very obscure questions, you actually miss out on story, resulting in confusion.  I HATE missing out on a part of a story!  I would even dare to set this one on the easiest setting!  Heavy Rain does the same thing, but plays down the gameplay even more.  If the game is going to be an interactive movie, it is solely going off of the story.  When you accidentally kill characters from the difficulty of the game, how is this adding to the story?


Another reason to play on easy is to build up my skills/experience so that I can take on the bigger difficulties.  Sports games are the perfect example of this.  I play NHL games.  I love them.  When I first started though, I was absolutely terrible.  Starting at the easiest setting, I ramped up my skills until I'm at the harder levels, and while doing this, I'm building up the experience levels of my players to help my progress.
Magic: The Gathering for PSN and XBLA is another key point.  You play online or against the computer, and they have every card unlocked for their decks and access to each one of them.  When you start the game, you get the chance to unlock twenty more cards for each deck, but start with the best ones locked.  Starting with the computers at an even harder difficulty makes gives you then two issues:  They have the greatest stuff unlocked while you do not, and they know how to use them even better than you might!  Why not unlock the cards at a lower difficulty, matching the skills of your decks, then raise the abilities of the computer?

Imagine one of the more stressful days you've had.  After that day, go home and play video games.  When you get home, do you want to be met with the GAME OVER screen repeatedly?  I know I don't enjoy my failures being thrown in my face when I'm already on edge.  Call of Duty: Black Ops' combat training mode gave me a fantastic release.  I'd start up a game, set up many many bots on a low difficulty, and then let loose with some shotguns, knifes, tomahawks, whatever my angry heart desired.  Relaxation at it's best!

Don't think that I can't understand the hard gamers.  I know very well the arguments.  I do agree with some of them as well!  Those who were born in the fires of old school gaming love a challenge!  Being raised on the completely ambiguous Legend of Zelda for the NES, being forced to run through your paces on Mega Man and Contra OVER AND OVER again until you remembered the exact right path to take, or just playing a broken game like Mickey Mouse-capades... it makes your skin tough and resolve even tougher.
For those who believe that fun is in overcoming a challenge, I could see hard games being a draw.  I know the feeling.  Puzzle games I have to set to higher than average difficulties.   Super Puzzle Fighter II, Tetris, Professor Layton games, the harder the puzzles, the more accomplished I feel with the win.  I feel like I've achieved something!

Speaking of achievements (see what I did there?  It's called an excellent segway), the trophies and achievements that only unlock when completing the hardest modes in gaming are, in my opinion, a fantastic idea.  They really feed into your feeling of superiority when finally conquering insanity difficulty on Mass Effect, or beating Halo with all of the skulls turned on, etc.  The whole premise really feeds into human's desire to prove how good they are compared to others, giving us even more to brag about.

Are you setting yourself up to fail repeatedly to gain that bragging right?  Are you looking to enjoy the story, and damn the difficulty?  Maybe you want to gain more gamer skills rather than cred, or vise-versa?  Do you like to learn how to swim by throwing yourself in the deep end?  It all comes down to personal preference.  I'm a "normal" gamer, in that I play on the normal setting initially and adjust according to the experience.  If you are an "easy" or a "hard" gamer, then that's your choice.  Just know that I have my reasons, and would love to throw down against you any time, regardless of the level you play on.  I'll show you how much difficulties really change in the end!

What do you play on?  Please let me know your reasoning in the comments below, or even on our FACEBOOK page!  Did you enjoy reading my point of view, or want to see what our other staff have to offer?  Subscribe too!

Friday, March 30, 2012

How to do Boss Battles Right

Boss battles are a divisive feature in most games. In my eyes, they fall onto one of two extremes: absolute garbage or an exciting, well-crafted finale piece to the narrative of obstacles you face throughout the game. Honestly, in most games it seems like an afterthought tacked on to a combat encounter to try to artificially induce a narrative climax, and in those circumstances, they are usually failures.
 I’ve selected three games that do boss battles right to illustrate how they should be constructed, and to hopefully make you think about the more subtle points of game design. 

Friendships will be destroyed.

Spoilers ahead.
The Portal games are famous for taking a novel approach to puzzle gaming and first-person games by giving you the devices needed to alter the three-dimensional space of the world. While the puzzles are confusing at first, you go in to a test chamber knowing that you have every tool you need to solve it in your hand.
The boss battle against Wheatley in Portal 2 is the pinnacle of the game’s puzzle and encounter design. After trekking your way through the old Aperture Science facility and learning about bomb-throwing machines and the three colors of gel, you go in to the final encounter with the knowledge of how to use them to defeat a sociopathic robot. Valve are masters of training you on new gameplay mechanics without you even realizing it. When it’s finally time to rumble with Wheatley, the boss encounter feels like a final exam that you didn’t know you’d been studying for the past 7 hours.

J-Just passing through...

In a game where the core mechanic is fighting gargantuan stone and fur monsters, you better hope that the bosses are fun to fight. Luckily, in 2005’s Shadow of the Colossus, the game takes skills you learn along the way and applies them in a whole new way.
To even get to the environments where the Colossi reside, you have to platform, shimmy, grip, and explore the geometry of the locations around you. Team Ico is doing a very clever thing here: they are planting the seeds of the game’s mechanics into your brain, long before you slay your first monster. By the time you reach one of the behemoths, you realize that you have been practicing how to platform and clamber your way to its weak spot the whole time you thought you were just trying to get from point A to point B.
Shadow of the Colossus’ boss fights are a success not only in regards to game mechanics, but also succeed in progressing the story’s minimal narrative. No one I know didn’t feel at least a tiny pang of sorrow when he struck the final blow on the majestic creatures. If you know anyone who kills colossi without any remorse or regret, they probably aren’t the type of people you want to talk to at parties if you know what I mean.

Quick Man, really?

The Mega Man games are hard. They are not, however, unfair. Every time you die, the game does an excellent job of making you feel like you made a mistake, rather than the game being unfair. The series is very good at communicating what you need to do to succeed, and it is very good at punishing you when you make the slightest mistake.
Despite this, the creators of the series are actually somewhat flexible when designing the boss encounters. You can tackle the main stages in any order you want, but through some trial and error, you realize that there is a certain subtlety to the game. There is a “correct” order to go through the bosses: each one giving you a new tool or ability that is more effective at the next boss in line.
However, the best part about this free-form design is that it’s completely optional. If you want, you can try to just bludgeon your way through the stages in a random order, but if you figure out (or look up) the optimum order to approach the encounters, you might save yourself a world of pain.

These three games offer a refreshing breath of air in a world dominated by awful boss design. All too often, a boss battle means “enemy x with twice as much health”. These encounters offer only frustration and disappointment, and are the quickest way to get me to stop playing a game. If you’re going to put a boss battle or two in your game, do it right, or for the love of god, don’t do it at all.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The State of Gaming: Survival Horror


                                                       The State of Gaming: Survival Horror

It’s no secret, Resident Evil:Operation Raccoon City and Silent Hill Downpour have not been received well critically. Capcom’s Producer, Masachita Kawata,just went on record saying, "Looking at the marketing data [for survival horror games] ... the market is small, compared to the number of units Call of Duty and all those action games sell. A 'survival horror' Resident Evil doesn't seem like it'd be able to sell those kinds of numbers." The survival horror genre use to be bursting with incredible titles, but the almighty dollar rules all. What changed? Where is the genre going? Will it soon be known as strictly survival-action? In this article I’mgoing to take a look at the past, present and future of the survival horror genre.
Oh Fatal Frame II....

The Past

I won’t lie to you, in the late90’s/2000 era if there was a survival horror game that hit the market I was allover it. I still remember the first time I rented a Resident Evil title. Resident Evil 2 was my first experience with the genre in 1998. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. At the time I wasn’t all over the Internet looking for reviews, There were no magazines I subscribed to, I just had my own personal instincts and the cover of the box to go off of. I had never gotten a natural scare off
of a video game until that point. I remember the hum of the PlayStation, the lights in my bedroom being off, and my palms were as damp as could be while gripping onto the controller tightly, navigating Leon Kennedy through the halls of the Raccoon City Police Department.

Never had a game set that type of atmosphere before, provoking real emotion from the player. I was nervous; I didn’t know what zombie or monster would be lurking around the next corner.After beating the game it became a drug. Resident Evil was the gateway and I was fully committed. I riffled through Resident Evil, Silent Hill, even the cult classic “D” not being able to get enough. Then it happened. I picked up a little title by the name of Fatal Frame and the rest is history. To this day when people ask me what my favorite genre I tell them survival horror, my favorite game of all time? Fatal Frame II.
And what zombie do they look afraid of?

The Present

More so than not there is one thing that seems to be linked to time, that is change. Over the past few years we have seen the survival horror genre begin to blend with the action genre.The genre now 
dubbed “Action Horror” has produced such games like Resident Evil 4 & 5, Dead Space, and The Fear Series to name a few. Once a genre predicated on scrounging around for ammo and relying on flight over fight now has you well equipped and ready to take on anything that Hell has to offer.The genre is dying, and if quotes like the ones that are coming out of Capcom are true…then get the pallbearers ready.

The Future

If there is one is looking just a meek. Silent Hill has tried to reinvent itself several times to no critical acclaim.However, one of the more interesting things I was able to pull up involved some developers looking into what could be done in the “3D” space. Yes, this would require that an already dwindling fan base of survival horror games also have 3D TV’s, but nonetheless it would provide quite the scare tactic. 

So what do you think? Let us know in the comments and as always Like our Facebook page and subscribe to our blog! You could win a free video game!

What is Matt Doing?

Hey Ladies and Gents! Just thought I'd post a little video showing you what I am doing as far as gaming goes! I will try to post these videos every once and a while. Also, just a thank you to all of those who read and participate in the blog. We really appreciate it!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Bargain Bin Reviews

We’ve all heard it. The economy is bad, games are 60 bucks a pop, and I’m bored with what I have to play. Have no fear! The staff here at +10 Damage Gaming has taken it upon themselves to do all the dirty work for you. Below you will see staff favorites that you can nab for under 20 bucks! You’re welcome in advance. All prices reflect those of We even put all the games in a nice little box over to the right!

Matt’s Pick

Title: Dark Sector
Dark Sector
Platforms: X-Box 360/PS3

Released in 2008, this game may easily be one of the best games you can buy at its price point. Dark Sector blends the cover based shooting that you will find out of a Gears of War while throwing in its own twist, introducing a boomerang like blade. Outcome? One of the most underrated games to hit the shelves in a long time.

Kory’s Pick

Title: Bulletstorm

Platforms: X-Box 360/PS3

Well looking through the bargain bin this time around I would have to say that my choice for best pick would be Bulletstorm for X360/PS3.  Bulletstorm is one hell of a ride. Brief story-plot: Because of a bullish move, the crass and crude protagonist, Grayson Hunt, is now stuck on the planet of Stygia.  Now, you have to get off before you die from the land's hellish mutant inhabitants, or from Sarrano, Grayson's toughest foe.

From the start of the game you can tell that this won't just be any old shooter.  Armed with a "tether" (read: electric whip), your main goal is to get from the start of each level to the end.  The real goal, however, is to do it as stylishly as possible.  How, you may ask?  By being as creative as you can with your weapons, your tether, your feet, and your environment. The game rewards you for creating more and more ludicrous situations; all while enemies are trying to take you out.  By slowly introducing new elements in the environment and new weapons, the game never gets stale, and it never slows down the action.  Just when you think things can’t get better than fighting a Godzilla like monster through a miniature city, you get to control one.  Then a giant wheel starts chasing you down a desert path, or you battle across a collapsing dam, or you battle through a dilapidated hotel just waiting to be ambushed... you see what I mean? If a relentless single player campaign isn't enough, all of your scores are uploaded online to compare with your friends and the world.  Which is way more addicting than it sounds! You'll be replaying levels constantly looking for that one trick you didn't do, or maybe even trying to do it faster for a bigger multiplier.

To cap off this delicious package, it has online cooperative play.  With all new tricks to pull off with your friends, the game doubles in replay value. For thirty bucks, this game would be worth your money.  For less than twenty, it’s an absolute steal

Juan’s Picks

Title: Resident Evil 4

Platform: Wii

If you haven't played this game yet, shame on you! One of the best games ever made and the motion controls added to it actually work (for the most part). The graphics may appear grainy by today's standards but for 10 bucks, this game will still have you jumping and swearing in Spanish.

Title: MadWorld

Platform: Wii

Collector alert! This was the first MA game on the Wii and it bombed hard. Was it bad? No, this game is a bloody bonanza of bonified goodness. I blame the poor marketing and the strange comic black and white graphics to the demise of this great title. Pick it up before it disappears...

Title: Civilization Revolution

Platform: X-Box 360/PS3

Probably the only pc ported strategy game ever done well on a console. They took smart moves (like going to turn based) that make this title an addictive, quick, and glorious achievement in console gaming. Even the handhelds were done well so don't pass this one up during the summer gaming drought.

Title: Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Platform: X-Box 360/PS3

  If you love fully destructible environments, huge draw distances, and more cheese than the entire state of Wisconsin, you cannot pass up one of the best co-op experiences in all of gaming. This is silly bug shootin’ fun that is a steal at 10-20 bucks. Collectors, look for the original (EDF 2017) on american release on the 360. Hard to find!

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Arguments On The Side Of Gaming

"You're wasting your time."  
"Can't you put that brain to better use?"
"Why would you rather sit with a controller staring at the screen when you could (insert other activity here)"

If you are a gamer, and seeing as you are here reading this, then you probably are, then you have encountered one of the above phrases in your life.  What do you say to those?  What possible response can one come up with?  Well I've been proposed these questions many times in my life, and in defense of video games, one has to be creative in their answers.
What could possibly be learned from gaming?  Passing aside the silly answers like "blocks give out coins hurrr hurrr" there are many intellectual answers that could be given instead.

1. Action video game players are better at tracking and remembering objects
A very recent study done by Sungur and Boduroglu (2012) shows that people that play action video games at least an hour a day for three to four days a week perform better than those who do not.  While tracking colors, moving objects, and remembering placement of certain symbols, video game players outperformed non players in both speed and accuracy by a significant amount.  Of course, we gamers who play shooters don't need to be told this by those fancy psych majors, we'll take 'em on any time.  But its nice to finally get some notice of the fact.  This information could be applied to driving, law enforcement, bird watching, Where's Waldo finding, fishing, the list could go on, but I'm quickly running into more jokes than applicable situations.  Moving on!

2. "Serious video games" can be used as a therapeutic tool for many mental disorders

Just last winter, Santamaria et al. (2011) discovered by compiling other studies that using so called "serious games" can be very beneficial to mental health, even allieviating some neurological problems.  These games created in their players: "elevated self-esteem, higher self-efficacy, increased knowledge, awareness of the illness, adherence to treatment and problem solving skills, and enhanced outcome on cognitive and behavioral aspects of aggression".  Basically all good news!  The games that they use are a little more basic, but its a start.  For example, one game, called Re-Mission, features an oddly Samus-esque character fighting malignant cancer cells throughout the body.  This allows patients that are experiencing symptoms from cancer to virtually "fight" the illness that is wrecking their bodies.

Nice haircut there Sam- er I mean Roxxi.

2.5. Video games are being used to help children deal with ADHD
Careful kid! That stylish helmet is
ACTUALLY this fits in with #2, but I thought it was so cool I needed to give it it's own heading, hence the 2.5 label.  A game called Play Attention is being used currently to help children cope with ADHD and learn how to direct their attention better.  The game itself is just your standard educational game, fun and interactive for the kiddies but a teaching tool for their little brains.  Problem is that children with ADHD normally have problems focusing.  So, a helmet was made for the kids to wear, that looks just like a bicycle helmet.  But the helmet can read brain waves, and if the child is not paying enough attention to the game, the game stops playing.  In this way, the child is being trained on how to keep their focus on something long enough to complete a task, otherwise, GAME OVER.  Very cool. 

3. Gamers will have higher GPA's
As long as you don't spend more time playing video games than you spend in school, that is.  Ventura, Shute and Kim (2011) found that students that play video games an average of eleven to fifty hours during a month have significantly higher GPAs than those students that played less or not at all.  But lets be honest here, over 50 hours in a month while still attending school, those numbers are clearly lower as well.  The very same study found that people that play 7 or more different games in a year were more open-minded, and that those who played 7 or more hours a week were more conscientious in their actions (they thought more about the consequences of their actions and were more painstakingly careful).  So good news students! If your parents tell you that you can't have a system until your grades go up, show them this study and tell them that getting the system will actually help your cause! Its a win-win!
If this baby plays this between 11 and 50 hours this month,
it's GPA is going to skyrocket.  Take THAT parents!

4. Gamers live the lives that they want to live through games
Ok, so maybe this person would be
better off playing his video games.
This one might seem obvious, but lets take a look at the facts here.  Say you are a socially confused teenager.  You want to be somebody, but you aren't sure who you'd like to be.  Video games are a good way for that person to figure that out.  Multiple playthroughs of Mass Effect can give you a decent sense of morality.  The Sims may teach you more about certain careers.  Its a safe way to experiment with different options of who you may want to be as a person, without the threat of getting beat up by bullies at your school.  Przybylski (wow how do you pronounce that one), Weinstein, Murayama, Lynch, and Ryan (2012) looked at players and their characters in varying video games, and the characters that were more reflective of their player's "inner self" were more likely to be more compelling to the gamer, and more time was subsequently sunk into the game.  This is compelling evidence that the more you hide under a profile, the more likely you are to be yourself in the safe virtual world of video games.  They let you be who you really want to be.

This woman is going to be terrifying with a real baseball bat.
5. Video gaming is rehabilitating to senior citizens as well
More and more elderly homes are adopting Wii's in their locations, and for good reason.  Apparently, seniors are liking video games more and more.  All this new-fangled technology is hard to understand, but Wii-motes, which respond to simple actions, are easy.  You just move! That's it!  An unforseen side effect of these video games, however, is that the seniors are learning that even though they are older, it doesn't mean that they don't have to not do anything.  A study performed by Aarhus, Gronvall, Larsen and Wollsen (2011) proves that not only are the senior's physical fitness improving, but so is their motivation to continue moving.  This motivation decreases, however, when the video gaming stops.  As long as the game is simple enough for the seniors to understand, they'll see improvements.

6. Gaming is an industry juggernaut, grossing more in one day than an entire opening weekend blockbuster film
$169 Million dollars in a weekend?  Thats nothing to sneeze at, coming from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
$400 Million dollars in one day. November 8th, 2011.  Of course I'm speaking of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  Love it or hate it, it is the perfect example of the impact video gaming can have on our economy.  And we gamers are in the center of it.  Call of Duty may be the biggest example, but its nowhere near the only one. Modern Warfare 2 (320 million), Grand Theft Auto 4 (310 million) and Halo 3 (170 million) all top that record set by HP7(2) by a sizable margin.  Its hard to argue against the industry giant.

7. Art and video games are one and the same
Taken from the Smithsonian's web page.
Yes this is a real exhibit!
When does the line get blurred between art and video games?  The age old argument of what constitutes as art has been shoved onto video game territory for years now, and one official source may have a major opinion to express.  That source?
The Smithsonian American Art Museum.
When the Smithsonian institution recognizes video games as art, when are we going to just stop this argument?  Regardless, an exhibit just opened up with games taking the center stage, celebrating everything involving the medium.  The exhibit opened on March 16.

If you are being told that our hobby is stupid and for kids, just show them how superior we gamers actually are.  With more studies being done all the time, who knows what other ways we are improving our bodies and minds with our passion?

Any other arguments you can think of?  Tell us in the comments!
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Aarhus, R., Gronvall, E., Larsen, S. B., Wollsen, S. Turning training into play: Embodied gaming, seniors, physical training and
     motivation. Gerontechnology, 10(2) p.110-120

Przybylski, A. K. Weinstein, N., Murayama, K., Lynch, M. F., Ryan, R. M. The Ideal Self at Play: The Appeal of Video Games That Let
      You Be All You Can Be. Psychological Science, 23(1) p.69-76. doi:10.1177/0956797611418676 

Santamaria, J. J., Soto, A., Fernandez-Aranda, F., Krug, I., Forcano, L., Gunnard, K., Kalapanidas, E., Lam, T., Raguin, T., Davarakis, C.,
      Menchon, J. M., Jimenez-Murcia, S. (2011). Serious games as additional psychological support. Journal of CyberTherapy and 
      Rehabilitation, 4(4) p.469-476. 

Sungur, H., Boduroglu, A. (Feb 2012). Action video game players form more detailed representation of objects. Acta Psychologica, 139(2) 

Ventura, M., Shute, V., Kim, Y. J. Video gameplay, personality and academic performance. Computers & Education, 58(4) p.1260-1266. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

How To Get Your Girl Gaming

Before we begin on the glorious quest of getting a controller or pc in the hands of your beloved non gaming girlfriend, please excuse me a few disclaimers. This article is geared towards the ladies because getting a guy to game is as easy as putting a controller in his hand and pointing at the pretty lights. Our competitive nature compels us to want to shoot our friends and humiliate them upon the field of battle. And while not all men or woman fit into a single mold, this article is written for those guys who want to share an important portion of their lives with their special ladies who either do not understand the value and entertainment in gaming, or have just never had the experience or opportunity to try.

Getting your girl to game has so many benefits to the gamer and the couple as a whole its ludicrous to not even try. Sharing your passions is part of any successful relationship and that leads to my first tip.

1. Share Your Life. It all starts here. You, as a couple, must first be willing to spend time together trying out the activities that the other enjoys. This may mean you might have to go shopping or endure some American Idol guys, but in return, she tries out gaming. Also, use passionate language during the discussion. Say things like "I want to share my life with you." and "I want to spend more time with you, together." These kinds of arguments will tug at heart strings and break down the barriers of whatever kind of nerd invested basement she may have had her first negative gaming experience. Avoid saying something stupid. "Well, I went to your grandmas!" or "I just want to do something with you that I enjoy..." NO! Keep it positive, honest, and reasonable.

2. Start Off Slow. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many guys that have screwed up by starting their girl off with a first person shooter. Is that how you started gaming? Probably not. It will take time for a new gamer to develop the skills as such needed to enjoy the activity of gaming. This doesn't necessarily mean break out the old school Nintendo, but it's not far off. I have found the most success comes from puzzle games.Women seem to have a natural ability for organizing, multi-tasking, and problem solving that makes a perfect fit for games like Tetris, Puzzle Quest, and the Proffesor Layton series. This will get them use to using a controller and feeling comfortable playing. Plus, games like Tetris feature multiplayer so you can jump in and introduce her to the joy of competition. Just check out her smile when she kicks the crap out of you or your best friend. Once she seems to have mastered the puzzle game then move her into one of the Zelda or Mario titles. These are well known games that will test her platforming yet keep the puzzles she has mastered. Also, these games have very well thought out 3d tutorials that can teach her how to navigate through 3d spaces without the fear of getting fragged over and over. From there, you can probably start moving to more complicated games depending on her skill level.

3. Avoid Impatience or Yelling! This is probably something new to her so not only will she be nervous, she will probably be extra sensitive. Do not yell at her if she is having problems jumping up "there" or looking up. Let her learn at her own pace and BE PATIENT! Yelling at her will certainly get her off the couch and  never so much as look at your console or pc ever again. Keep the experience as positive as possible with reinforcing statements like "Great job, honey!" or "I knew you could do it!". And enjoy the view. Girls gaming can be hot and let her know that. She'll appreciate it.

4. Bring Some Friends. We all know by now that the Wii's success didn't come from the system power, waggle controls, or a slew of epic games. It was it's ability to bring people who normally don't game together. Use this. Peer pressure to try something new works like a charm with gaming and is a good way for her to show off her skills to your friends. Also, try some co-op before you escalate to full fledged multiplayer. This depends greatly upon the woman, but I find most tend to be cooperative than competitive. And guys, Avoid acting like a jackass. It may be fun to wiggle your ass in front of a fallen foe when it's you're best friend, but its a terrible turn off to your mate. Especially if she is still learning and you're in front of friends.

So, there you guys. Just be sure to remember that gaming is a skill that takes time to learn. With a little patience, you can be spending more time gaming and best of all, more time with your lady love. Plus, the Christmas and birthday gifts get better...

If any gamers out there have any more helpful tips or if the ladies feel like chiming in, feel free to post below. Don't forget to follow us at the top right of the page, like us on face book, and support us by clicking the ads so we can spend less time working and more time bringing you entertainment! Good luck and glorious gaming!

I in no way claim ownership to any of the photographs used in this article and simply pulled them from goolge. If any are subject to copyright laws, my bad, dude. Also, this article was in no way intended to be sexist, but meant to bring to people together and possibly have more sex. If you have a problem with it, I'm sure you'll get over it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Best Legend Of Zelda Tributes Collected

The Legend Of Zelda.  If you call yourself a gamer at all, you have some experience with this game.  Spanning more than 25 years and 16 official games, and selling 67.93 MILLION copies across all of them, many a gamer have called it one of the best series of all time.  And for good reason.  If you played any of them, you will find yourself treated to a symphony of excellent story telling, fantastic action and compelling settings that draw you in like few games do.  Over such a long period of time, there have been many tributes towards the material, and I have collected many of them.  Many are of great quality, and if you like Legend of Zelda's style, which I hope you do if you are reading this article, then you will love these great tributes!

I do not own any of these works and give credit to those that I can find! I only mean to collect these in one location to share to my readers and if you would like me to remove them please contact me and I will do so promptly!

This one, coming from user Smosh, is a rap, which normally would be enough to turn me away, but the quality is fairly good surprisingly!  Careful where you watch it, as it does contain some naughties, so you've been warned...

Egoraptor is the well-known creator of the Awesome series, which is rated exactly as titled.  Link to the Awesome plays off of my very first and most favorite of the Zelda adventures, A Link to the Past, and the quality, like all of his more recent videos, is phenomenal. 
Dubstep has recently become a very popular music genre.  Even I love how energized I feel from listening to it, and having it mixed with some Zelda tunes is weirdly hypnotic.  There is a solid series of these done by  DJ Ephixa, but this is one of the highlights!

And to be a little more loyal to the source material, for the 25th anniversary a full orchestra has been organized to play some of the series' own music, in a very moving concert playing even through this year:

Link, Zelda and Gannon have been done in cosplay plenty, but I think this is my favorite.

You just follow the music, Scott.

Anyone who knows me knows that Scott Pilgrim is one of my favorite things.  Period.  End of discussion.  So when Scott Pilgrim does a reference to Zelda, I pretty much lose my mind. Like here:

Found at, Gideon Gordon Grave's iconic shirt from the comics and movie.  Also, its awesome.

Or this one, done in a very similar style to Bryan Lee O'Mally's Scott Pilgrim series...

If you are looking for a really good creepy story, there is a great one involving a haunted N64 Majora's Mask cartridge, once owned by someone named BEN.  
Be warned, it is a VERY long read from start to finish, but it is a fantastic ghost story, and it literally gives me chills every time I read it!
Hello, I'm creepy as hell. Nice to meet you.
The little fairy introduced in Ocarina of Time has been the butt of many a joke, and for good reason.  I'm keeping her in a seperate section, as just one more HAY LISTEN from her could send people to the hospital or a killing spree, and I don't want any blood on my hands.
For those who remembered the Nyan Cat meme, this is a Navi remix that was done really well and uploaded by Musicman497, but don't listen to the whole thing as a full ten minutes is enough to cause brain hemorrhaging.

Link finally snaps too, in this great piece by Genzoman:

VG Cats!
Last one was from the great webcomic VG cats, done by Scott Ramsoomair, who likes to roast Zelda whenever possible.
See?  Great work though!
They hit Four Swords Adventures pretty hard as well:

Which leads me quite nicely into another Four Swords Adventure comic, this one done by Penny Arcade. Its by far my favorite comic done by the duo of Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik.


In this beautifully realized piece of art the series is shown in one giant tapestry, just like it would show up in the series itself. Done by an artist calling him/herself AG+, it encompasses all 25 years in one amazing picture.  I saved the best for last here people.  This is the creme de la creme.

Wanna see it in more detail?

And if that wasn't incredible enough...  here's the time-lapse video of the artist making it.  AG+ is a Japanese artist, however, so just watch it for the art and accompanying music, it really is astounding.

So there you go!  All the ones that have stuck with me as great tributes.  If you have any more, link them to me in the comments, and happy watching! Make sure to subscribe to our blog and LIKE our Facebook page!

How to Make More Time for Gaming

If you're like me, the relentless march of time has added all sorts of weight to the pack we bear on a daily basis. Full time + work, family, chores, honey do lists, and this god awful need for sleep. All of this has a tendency to cut into our quest to save the world once again and if we don't do it, the pain of watching a layer of dust form on your console or pc weighs upon our soul like lead blanket of suck.

Luckily for our readers, I have some tips that will help you dust off your power armor and get you kicking the enemies of the universe right in the face.

It all starts with time management. If you don't make time for gaming, you'll never get to game. Try this:

Ok, honey...
1: Pick a Day. I use to have 1 day a week assigned for my game room. Friday nights I was to be left alone to spend in my domicile of doom. Wether cleaning, organizing, or just straight gaming I was "guaranteed" one night a week in my game room, because I discussed it with my significant other and we made time for it. Why is my guarantee in quotes? Because a pair of doe eyes and a tight shirt has a very special way of pulling you away from your controller.

2: Get Your Girl/Guy a Controller. This may change the games you play, but is hands down the most successful way to up gaming time. It can be difficult to get your significant other to game (Check it!), but it literally pays for itself in time and gift improvement.

3: Pick a Game. If your like me, you probably have some closet loaded with more plastic than the Pacific Ocean. It can take me up to 45 minutes just to pick a game. For the time strapped gamer this is unacceptable. Pick one and finish it. Then move on.

4. Utilize Vacation Time. Most of us get vacation time, sick time or personal time. While I know some of us can't live without our workahol, someone needs to save the world and that someone is you. Do you need to go camping? No. Is Jamaica really that nice this time of year? No. Does the roof need patching? No. We only get so much vacation time and spending it doing something we love and find relaxing is what we're supposed to do. Anyone that says you're wasting your vacation time gaming is wasting their money on a vacation that will probably be more stressful than work.

5. Sleep is Over Rated. As gamers we are very familiar with this tip. We always stay up a little later to finish this level, collect ten more bear pelts, or frag a few more friends. But have you ever considered getting up an hour early? This trick works great for Mmo players especially on pvp servers. You can get all that pesky profession nonsense out of the way while avoiding getting ganked in the process. All you need is a cup of joe and to keep an eye on the clock.

So, there are some tips for all you gaming guys and gals. If you have anymore tips feel free to post below and don't forget to become a member and like us on facebook!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

+10 Damage Gaming wants you to win!

Our first contest started yesterday and all you have to do is get people to like our Facebook page or subscribe to our blog! The contest ends April 21st! So get to liking! The winner will get to choose out of these 5 games! Here is a link to our FACEBOOK!

Operation Redemption

A different look at Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City -- Special Edition (PlayStation 3).Opens in a new window
I’m not going to lie, I picked up the special edition of RE:ORC on the PS3 and began to get excited. I looked over the description on the back and I was hoping that work went a little quicker as my break drew to an end. For fun I figured I’d take a look online and see what some of the other sites had given RE:ORC as far as a review score. I play this game in my head too. Before the score actually pops up on the screen I imagine what number I am going to see in red. “I feel like it’s going to be 8.5, maybe an 8”. You can only imagine what I felt when I was staring at 4/10.

The first thought in my head was, “Wow, I’ve got to go return this on my way home…a 4? That’s damn near unplayable.” It ate at me for the last 4 hours of my day. I finally got off and drove past the local retailer that I had purchased it from, and just as I was about to take a left something in my head stopped me. I have loved some of the most critically hated games. I have also hated some of the most critically loved games out there. Where am I headed with this? RE:ORC is at least worth a rental.

Lupo, My Charator Choice
Where RE:ORC starts off is amidst the breakout infestation of Raccoon City. You are charged with controlling one of the Umbrella Special Forces group that is set out to destroy all evidence of any Umbrella involvement in the breakout. To not give too much away, my abbreviated playtime with the game had me blasting through humans and zombies alike, destroying records of Umbrella involvement and collecting data that translates into XP that you can invest into your desired character of choice.

These abilities go from passive to ones that need to be activated by a specific button press. For example, the character I chose was Lupo, the assault class character. By pressing triangle I was able to activate an ability that allowed me to shoot fire rounds for 10 seconds, setting my enemies on fire and causing them to stop rushing at me.

Of course there is a flipside to everything. Is the hit detection a bit off sometimes? Yes, but that can truly be attributed to the type of gun you are using. Is it the smoothest cover based shooter on the market? No, but it is fully functional. I would just not relay on the AI players, as they are about as effective as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest.

I’m not going to give this game a score. I have only played it for 2 hours, but I feel that everyone has been a bit too hard on it. I will tell you if a game is fun or not, and it defiantly is fun. RE:ORC is well worth your time, and if you’re a fan of 3rd person shooters this is one that you can easily grab out of the bargain bin in the near future.


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