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Morning Hangover

War is Games: From the Civil War to the Iraq War and Beyond Memorial Day

Sadly, the long Memorial Day weekend has come to a close. But boy was it good while it lasted. I mean, I’m not going to go into details, but let’s just say that “morning” isn’t the only thing accurate about the headline of this post at this particular time of the day. As such, and because I’m genuinely interested, I want to know how you spent your long weekend. Catching up on overlooked games? Playing stickball with neighborhood scamps? Honoring friends or family members who have served/are serving bravely in the military? All of the above? You tell me, because I’ll just keep throwing out activities until someone pulls my plug.

Red Dead Redemption PAX East 2010 Preview

A scenario came up over the weekend while I was playing Red Dead Redmeption that got me thinking again about the idea of playing games for fun vs. playing them to win. The discussion came up after I informed a friend I was playing with that you could toggle off the snap-to aiming that the game sets as the default. This led to a debate about whether using auto-aim is “wrong” and if people who complain about it are just beating their chests to satisfy their own sense of superiority over other players.

Obviously, the core of this debate is casual vs. hardcore, and that’s fine. But what I’m curious about is if there are hardcore players--the ones that always play to win--who can also simply play to have fun. Or is their definition of fun so tied into success that they can’t have fun unless they’re winning? What kind of player are you? Can you play games just for fun, or is anything less that total domination your definition of hell?


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Morning Hangover -- The Game You Gave Up On

Sometimes, enough is enough. In a piece I'm publishing later today, I'll tell you why I haven't given up on Bit.Trip.Runner, despite the game's brutal difficulty level. That's not to say I'm not willing to give up on a game, though. I can't actually remember the last time I actually said "no, eff you, I'm done" and turned the console off. Usually, I get bored and forget to go back. In that case, Bayonetta.

[image credit: flickr/carianoff]

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Red Dead Redemption Bonus Outfit Voting Begins

So, what did you play this weekend? I spent as much time as possible within Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption.

Before Red Dead came out, the conventional wisdom described it as "Grand Theft Auto with cowboys."  Not really, though. The mechanics may be similar, but the tone and setting are so distinct, I was barely reminded of GTA at all. It was more like The Outlaw Josey Wales: The Game than Nico Bellic Goes West.

Also: I hunted and skinned every animal in the West, right down to the dogs and my own horse. He was killed by a cougar -- I'm not so mean that I would have shot Buttercup myself.



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Portal Designer Kim Swift Leaves Valve, Joins Dark Void Developer

A whole mess of people have downloaded Valve’s brilliant puzzler Portal since it went free a few days ago (It’s going to be free until May 24 just in case you feel like downloading it for yourself). I actually downloaded a copy myself even though I own the The Orange Box and have played through the game five or six times. But it’s free, and it’s an amazing game, so the more copies the better. Right?

With this in mind, what are some of the best free games you’ve ever played? Mobile, console, board, whatever kind of game you want. You have free reign. See what I did there?

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Rock Band: LEGO

Yesterday’s news about Rock Band 3 being “surprisingly big” prompted more than a few readers to admit that they’ve pretty much decided to take a hiatus from music games for the time being. I certainly understand this genre burnout idea, because it seems to crop up every few years, whether it’s music games, World War II shooters, or open-world crime games.

Given how familiar gamers are with this phenomenon, I bet you have some very strong opinions about it. So I want to know what genres you are/have been burned out on, and what genres you’ll never get sick of no matter how many games are released based on it. And why, of course




Morning Hangover: Surprise Surprise

Alan Wake and Red Dead Redemption, both of which hit shelves yesterday, are jam packed with “holy crap!” moments. They aren’t exactly the same kinds of surprises, since Wake’s is more about capitalizing on the fact that you have no idea what’s coming next, and Red Dead’s are about giving you the pieces to create wild scenarios and letting you behold the craziness as it unfolds around you. But each are equally affecting, enjoyable and memorable.

So, what I’m wondering about this morning is what are some the memorable surprises you’ve had playing a game? Plot twists? Unexpected level designs or game mechanics? Anything that caught you off guard, good or bad, that you won’t ever forget. Have at it.

Alan Wake Receives T Rating

It’s fitting that Remedy’s long awaited and fantastic thriller Alan Wake steps out of the shadows today, because just yesterday, Stephen “Always Making Points” Johnson was talking about how he felt a little let down by Wake’s ending. I won’t go into details since the game just came out, and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone planning to play it. But I did want to ask you all what you consider some of the best and worst game endings you’ve come across over the years.

Coincidentally, Rockstar’s western title Red Dead Redemption, also available today, features an incredibly ballsy ending (See my review for more details), and the Alan Wake prequel mini-series Bright Falls also came to an especially brilliant end just recently as well. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come as we inch ever closer to the finale of Lost.

Red Dead Redemption Achievements, New Screens Released

I’m keeping today’s Morning Hangover very simple, because today brings an end to a wild week, and weekend, of nearly none stop Red Dead Redemption playing, and a rather exhaustive review process as well. (My review will be going up at 9am today, so check back then to find out what’s what). So that’s how I spent my weekend. What games did you all play to pass your Saturday and Sunday? And if you didn’t get any gaming in, what gives?!

Darth Vader washing a car

It's Friday, people, and the Morning Hangover is having a free-for-all. That's why I posted a picture of Darth Vader washing an Ewok's car! Anything goes! So feel free to use our comment section to talk about anything you like.

Maybe you want to use our comment section to discuss the the elusive nature of Truth, or the ultimate futility of man's search for Meaning. Perhaps you'd like to discuss a video game you really enjoy playing. Whatever, man. It's a Friday and it's a free-for-all. Go crazy.






Lost Planet 2

It's Tuesday, and that means new release day. The most notable new titles of the week are Capcom's Lost Planet 2 and EA's Skate 3. So, are you going to buy either of these games? Both? Neither? Are you coming out of left field and pickig up Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 for the PSP?

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Dead or Alive Paradise

I have a confession to make: I played Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust long enough to earn two achievements. They are right there on my list for all to see. Also, I earned a few points from Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. I wish I could go back and edit my gamerscore and remove the ill-gotten gains from these terrible titles, but it is impossible.

What about you... what game are you the most embarrassed to have on your list of "achievements" or trophies?

Alan Wake And Fear

I laid it all on the line yesterday when discussing the impact The Blair Witch Project had on me and the lasting impact it's had on my perception of the woods at night, aka they scare the living crap out of me and I won't go near them ever. Some folks chimed in with some of the things that spook them, but I wanted to toss a more pointed question to the morning audience at G4tv.com: what scares you?

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.








Red Dead Redemption

I cannot understate how much I'm looking forward to Red Dead Redemption. May is a good month for gamers, between Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2. But I'm worried Red Dead Redemption will fall into a traditional Rockstar Games trope, which is a storyline that drags itself on for nearly 40 hours, losing steam somewhere around the middle, but continuing on for hours.

Grand Theft Auto IV particularly accentuated this problem, which is why the two downloadable expansions were really enjoyable: they were short, to the point and completely devoid of fluff.

Somehow, I don't think that's going to be the case with Red Dead Redemption. What do you think?

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Morning Hangover -- Who Wants A Black Wii?

Seriously. Who wants a black Wii? Anyone? Is there someone out there who's so desperate for a black-tinted Wii that they're going to buy a second one? There must be, right? Despite this, I expect sales to spike, mostly because it makes total sense as a gift and Wii Sports Resort + Wii Sports = awesome.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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