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The Importance Of Being IndieCade -- Lessons We Can Learn From Past Games

The heat wave that’s been blasting the LA scene finally broke sometime yesterday as the cool ocean breezes of the fall slowly drift through downtown Culver City. With only a week before the big event, IndieCade proves to be bigger than ever with over 80 games hitting this event. Even with all the articles I read about the games at there, there’s always something surprising awaiting me.

But more than just a weekend of playing games, talking to developers, and meeting the future of our industry; there’s an important reason for all of this. As I might have mentioned before, these events to me represent where were are now and where we’re going in gaming. Every game that makes it into the festival says something about what games can really do.

I picked out several games from the previous festivals to demonstrate what we can learn from IndieCade. So when you head out to Culver City on October 4th – 7th and wait for that amazing indie game, know that there’s also something here that you can learn about gaming and why events like IndieCade are so important.

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With the changing leaves and the crisp chill in the air, the hearts and minds of man turn to only one subject – zombies. Instead of preparing for that Halloween party, maybe you should turn your attention to the coming zombie apocalypse. With the night getting longer and a chill settling on the ground, now is the perfect time to warm up your zombie slaying skills with some choice games.

And to get you back into the undead killing mood, we’ve come up with our Top 10 Favorite Zombie Games Presented by Resident Evil Damnation, available now on Blu-Ray and DVD.

So put a couple of extra nails in that bat, plan your escape route, and always aim for the head; we’re about to get swarmed by some of our favorite zombie titles to get you in the mood.

Our 10 Favorite Zombie Games --

Call Of Duty: World At War - Zombie Mode

Killing Nazis has never been easy. Killing them a second time doesn’t make it easier. Call of Duty: World At War hit shooter gold when they introduced the zombie mode. With you and up to three friends mowing down zombies who only get tougher and faster with every round. The twist here comes from the fact that you need to keep your wits about you and those boards on the windows if you hope to survive long enough to get to the next round.

The mode became so popular that it spawned into the incarnation that we see today with familiar faces taking the roles of the zombie hunters. From Danny Trejo to Nixon, the Call of Duty franchise has embraced the darker side of war with their new mode. With Black Ops 2 within striking distance, fans want to know when they head into the fray again to take on the endless army of the undead.

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Papo y Yo Announced For PSN; Puzzle Platformer Coming Early 2012

Some people play games in order to find escape; this may be the first where you’re playing as someone actually trying to escape. Papo & Yo puts you into the worn-out shoes of a kid, Quico, trying to hide out in a world that blurs the line of imagination and real life with his abusive father. As you journey through the Brazilian backstreets filled with the raw chalk outlines made by a child, you get a sense of the boy’s life and how he views his father.

He calls him “monster.” The giant pink beast lumbers around, sleeping and eating most of the time until he touches that moment of temptation. Frogs take the place of alcohol in the boys mind but the results are just the same, violent and nasty. There’s a point where one of the characters in the game actually asks if the boy is alright after one of these episodes. The kid seems to dust himself off while nodding the affirmative. The character asks again, not about the physical scars but the emotional ones instead.

As much of a downer as the subject matter is, Papo & Yo practically fills every corner of the world with colorful sights and sounds of the Brazilian streets. Puzzles take on the guise of the child’s imagination as buildings walk on their own and chalk drawings come to life with a little bit of work. Haunting, beautiful, and with just a hint of the child-like element that permeates every inch of this game, the music alone with worth the trip as you explore this somewhat familiar world with pan pipes and guitars leading the way.

While not perfect, this is a story you need to experience for yourself. When developers talk about games maturing and touching on deeper topics, Papo & Yo certainly leads the way for many others to follow. We were lucky enough to talk the creative director of the game, Vander Caballero, about the story and what it takes to tackle such a personal subject.

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Indie Overload -- Indie Uprising, Sense of Wonder Night, Fantastic Arcade, Boston Festival of Indie Games, And More

One big game hits the store and the indies are going to make sure you forget all about it. If you’re not already playing FTL, then you’re getting ready to jump into Torchlight 2 or any number of the dozen or so games to launch between now and next week.

Complaints about the cost of games giving you a heart attack? Fear not. Again, the indie have shown mercy where others have not by launching Indie Royale, Humble Bundle 6, and Build-A-Bundle 3. You’re looking at over twenty games for less than what most DLC will cost you and with most of the money going to charity. And while some may hang up the “Mission Accomplish” banner and call it a night, indie developers work around the clock to produce even more games that will keep me up late into the night just trying to keep track of them.

But I say bring them on. Let’s take on innovation and creativity head-on. I’ve sorted through some of the big events happening around the world and in your backyard right now. With each one, you’ll find a couple of choice games that I’ve picked out just for you.

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Borderlands 2 Guide Of Guides -- Your Guide To All Of Our Guides

Welcome Vault Hunters! The time has come for you yet again to dip your toe into the wilds of Pandora to get your hands on the mysterious vault that has only become a big prize than before. Borderlands 2 throws more action, more comedy, and – if you can believe it – more guns at the new recruits looking to take on the wastelands.

But you don’t have to go unprepared into this new world of danger and massive boss battles. We have gathered up all the Intel you will need to take on the world – or at least Handsome Jack who will throw everything at you and your team to stop them from reaching the vault.

Borderlands 2 Beginner's Guide -- What You Need To Know Before You Pull The Trigger– We cover all of the new enemies and rewards you need to know about before you put a finger on this game.

Borderlands 2 "Boss Fight: Captain Flynt" Walkthrough VideoYou might be a tough guy, but you might need a little help when if comes to facing off with the Captain. Check out this video to make it easier than ever.

X-Play Goes Hands-On With Borderlands 2 -- Randy Pitchford Reveals Everything That You Need To KnowThe manwho made “claptrap” a household word hits the X-Play stage to tell you everything you need to know about Borderlands 2.

Hit the jump to get your full dose of Borderlands 2 information overload.

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With Borderlands 2 only hours away from hitting your home console, we turn to the man behind it all, Randy Pitchford the President & CEO at Gearbox, to talk about the game you’ve been itching to play for so long. Get ready to go blasting into Pandora with guns ready and a chest full of loot. The world may never be the same, and your loved ones may never see you again until you beat the game – twice.

Find out what it takes to be a true Bad Ass with the new rank system when X-Play goes hands-on with Borderlands 2 in this exclusive preview. 

Borderlands 2 Pre-Launch Hands-On Exclusive »


 

G4 Extra Life Charity Drive - We Need You!

Giving back to the community is easier than ever before. With Paypal, social networking, and a little old fashion sweat; any gamer can help out those in need and have a little fun along the way.

We have gathered some of the gamer-centric charities that you can participate in to help out other games like yourself. From giving a little money or a little of your time, you can make a huge difference in the life of someone else in need. Making a difference has never been easier and you can often do it while playing your favorite games.

While there are dozen of events and organization out there making a difference every day, we highlight a few of our favorites. You’re only one click away from changing the world for the better.

Extra Life – On October 20th, gamers everywhere will be glues at to their screens for a good cause. This worldwide event lets gamers raise money for CMN Hospitals in their community by doing what they do best. You can sign-up now for this year’s event or give to a deserving group. Did I happen to mention that G4 is participating this year? Start giving today.

 

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Guild Wars 2 -- The Other Big MMO Launching This Year

Our Guild Wars 2 guide of guides brings all of our GW2 content together in one neat place.

Do you have the power, the determination, and the skill it will take to reunite the disbanded members of Destiny’s Edge and face Zhaitan, the undead Elder Dragon in Guild Wars 2?

You’ll need every blade, ounce of raw magic power, and the knowledge it takes to stay ahead one-step ahead of the enemy. With our guides, you’ll be able to figure out which profession best fits your fighting style, get a handle on the lore of the land, and get some quick tips for anyone just stepping into the land of Tyria.

For anyone looking for a new profession or just to get a better handle on one of the best MMO’s to hit the PC this year, make sure that you check out all of our guides for Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars 2 Beginner's Guide -- Setting The Stage And Picking Your Race - Don’t know the difference between a Charr and an Asura? Not quite sure if you should pick Norn as a thief? We walk you through all the races as well as the lore of the land.

Guild Wars 2 Beginner's Guide -- Exploring The World, Combat, And How To Survive - Get a taste of the battle system before you ever enter the world. Our guide gives you the lowdown on all the new mechanics Guild Wars 2 brings to the table.

Guild Wars 2 Beginner Tips -- Welcome To Tyria - We start you off with all the tips you need to get into the heat of the battle and on the right track. You can thank us later with some of that sweet loot you'll find in the land of Tyria.

Hit the jump to get ahead of the competition in Guild Wars 2. –Read More--

Guild Wars 2 Ranger Profession Guide -- Getting In Touch With Nature - Don't go in alone. Our Ranger guide shows you the pets you need as well as the traps that will keep you alive in the wilderness.

Guild Wars 2 Guardian Profession Guide -- The Hero We Need - Sometimes support comes with a shield and an even bigger sword. The Guardian Guide shows you what you need to protect your friends and dish out some pain.

Guild Wars 2 Necromancer Profession Guide -- Build An Army Of The Dead - Who needs an army when you can raise your own? Our Necromancer Guide gives you the tools you need to put the fear in your foes.

Guild Wars 2 Mesmer Profession Guide -- The Illustrious Summoners - Dance. Sing. Bring on the pain. This army of artistians can take on the world with their illusions and cloudy clones. Find out how to control their powers with our guide.

Guild Wars 2 Elementalist Profession Guide -- Tyria's Splendid Spellcasters - When you have the powers of the world at your fingertips, life is good for an elementalist. Check out our guide to see what kind of spells you'll weave.

Guild Wars 2 Engineer Profession Guide -- Tinker With Power - Taste the power of steampunk. Our Engineer Guide will put you through the paces as you set up turrets and shine up your glue gun.

Guild Wars 2 Warrior Profession Guide -- The Masters Of Weaponry - It's time to go to war! Our Warrior Guide gets you ready to take on whatever comes your way with sharp swords and a banner at your side.

Guild Wars 2 Thief Profession Guide -- The Fine Art Of Sneaking And Stealing - The Thief Guide will help you sneak in with a deadly knife and a greedy hand. Why worry about what your enemies are wielding when you can simply steal it?

Weekly Wrap-Up: G4U Teaches You How To Get A Job In The Gaming Industry Edition

As the High School Senior Class of ’13, it is you who will build a path to the next generation of gaming. Already, the ideas in your head will be for games that no one can conceive of in this day and age. You will build a new path of the new games and amazing stories yet to come.

And right now, you’re probably being hit by senioritis so hard that you barely have the energy to make it through this paragraph. Fear not. We have the tips you need to make it out of high school and into the video game college program you want to be in. We even have a couple of words from MassDigi, the people who will be thumbing through your transcript soon enough.

Break out that number 2 pencil. We’re going to help you get to the next level.

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One of the most wonderful events of the year is about to hit Los Angeles – INDIECADE!

And knowing how you drag your feet through all the games already out there, you are not ready. Come October 4-7, the galleries of beautiful downtown Culver City will be transformed into a virtual wonderland of indie games, pushing every boundary and, at times, redefining what gaming can do. Some of the greatest minds in gaming such as Steve Russell, John Romero, and Mary Flanagan will be talking about every aspect of gaming, from developing the future of the medium to Kickstarting your own ideas.

So to make sure you're up to speed, let's take a look at five games you should have played through by now. These games are all finalists in this year’s IndieCade competition, and are all equally brilliant. These are not just game you need to play in order to survive the wild indie parties in Culver City. You need to play these games because it’s your right as a gamer to experience something truly amazing.

Botanicula

Turn back those who hate joy, merriment, or the act of a smile crossing your lips. If you tend to break out in a rash when it comes to exploration and discovery, you might want to keep moving. There’s a brown and gray shooter waiting for you right around the corner. For everyone else, your salvation has arrived...and it’s adorable.

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Torchlight 2 Hands-On Preview

Torchlight 2 is the kind of dungeon crawler that lets you plan out every single move you make, pick the right spells, or just lets you destroy everything in sight. For all of those gamers out there you like the taste of steel, the Berserker class lets you take on the world with little more than a couple of swords and one bad attitude.

News: Torchlight 2 Comes Out On PC September 20

We got our hands on the game at PAX Prime 2012 along with one class that doesn’t know the meaning of the word “caution.”

All of the Berserker's abilities made the class seem like a rabid dog that could absolutely crush anything that came near her. Our Berserker's main ability was Eviscerate, which caused her to tear in to enemies and make them bleed for a few lingering seconds. Hersecondary attack, Wolfstrike, allowed our Berserker to lunge at multiple enemies and deal damage to them. I preferred Wolfstrike to Eviscerate, but that's not all our Berserker had to offer.

To find out what else the Berserker can dish out, make sure you check out our hands-on preview of Torchlight 2.

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During their 25th anniversary celebration, Square Enix announced the newest Final Fantasy game to hit the shelves in 2013, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

As described by Motomu Toriyama, the director of the Final Fantasy XIII project, this newest title will both be a continuation of Lightning’s saga as well as a stand-alone game that anyone can enjoy. Check out the announcement video below as Toriyama talks about the newest Final Fantasy game as well as some of the ideas swirling around this new title.

For those of you just jumping into the series, you might want to invest in some Cliff Notes as we’ve witnessed Lightning transform from soldier to rebel and in and out of crystal again. The last DLC for Final Fantasy XIII-2 once again awakens Lightning from her crystal slumber and into a world she hardly recognizes. This proud warrior that we’ve followed for two games now will take her final stand in the up coming title.

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Tags: Videogames

What You Need To Play At The PAX 10 And The Indie Megabooth -- That Indie Column

PAX Prime showcases some of the greatest indie games out on the market or about to hit in the near future. Anyone with a hunger for creativity, originality, and those who hunger for something more from their gaming experience will not be turned away once they reach this gathering of indie games from around the world. Anyone and everyone who love indie games will get their fill this year with the PAX 10 and The Indie Megabooth as nearly a hundred titles await your eager hands.

Except me. I’m on home team this year.

I can’t say that missing one of the grand indie galas of the year isn’t a bit tough. With They Bleed Pixels and The Basement Collection coming out this week, I will be happy enough with a stale bag of chips and soggy hamburger to celebrate the extended weekend. For everyone else, I present to you the games you need to play when you hit the PAX floor. And for those left behind, I give you a small taste of some of the indie goodness so you won’t go hungry as your read about the amazing indie titles you’re not playing.

Sit back and relax as we take a look at the lineup for The Indie Megabooth.

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The Pitfalls of Kickstarter - When A Good Idea Goes Bad

CW&T had a great idea: make a stainless steel high-quality pen so small that it fits into a custom ruler. This two-person team only needed a little dough to turn their dream into a reality. Enter the Kickstarter campaign that well exceeded their expectations nearly a hundred times over. Over 4,000 people agreed with CW&T that the world needed a high quality pen. And for only $50, backers were promised their very own pen that would later retail for nearly double that amount. You would have been a fool not to send them your money.

At this point, the story should have gone something like this. All that idea-supporting money goes into processing, delivery expenses, and making sure that everyone at the company doesn’t starve until they can get the product into retail stores. Backers receive their pens soon after the first batch is made, money exchanges hands, and capitalism lives for yet another day. But in the case of Pen Type-A, CW&T, and all of their backers, this is far from what actually happened.

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Tags: Features, Tech

After Valve released their Source Filmmaker for free to the public, the internet became flooded with videos the ran the gamut of shockingly good to ones better left on the cutting room floor. We sifted through hundreds of home-made shorts to deliver only the cream of the crop to your front door. Watch as these budding virtual directors use visuals, editing techniques, and the tools at hand to tell a story or at times simply convey a mood through a well-placed shot or eye roll.

For everyone else just wanting to kill fifteen minutes in their day, sit back and relax by watching the Top 5 Source Filmmaker Shorts that you need to check out.

Practical Problems

In this short, we watch as two Engineers from opposing sides try to one-up the other during a battle. Things quickly get out of hand as each one takes this act of revenge to the next level. Keep an eye on all the action happen around these two as well. The director here keeps the world alive by using quick bits of battle to make it seem as though a game is going on around the two rivals.

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