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Morning Hangover

Most Unlikely Videogame Heroes -- From Mario to Gordon Freeman

One of my least favorite things in games is the over "bro-ification" of main characters. I hate muscle-bound lunkheads with crew-cuts and tribal tattoos, but these days, it's like every game stars a bro. That's why Half-Life is so amazing. Gordon Freeman rules -- a scientist with a crowbar wins!

What about you? What do you hate in gaming?


New Super Mario Bros. Wii Screenshot

I played New Super Mario Bros. Wii all weekend, and now consider the game a triumph of game design. What other game would allow three people of vastly different skill levels to all have fun at once. It was me (who plays games all the time), my wife (who never picks up a controller) and my son (who is three years old) all on the same playing field, all having fun at once. Truly, this can only come from a lifetime of good game-making. Yay, Nintendo!

What about you? What did you play all weekend?

Morning Hangover: April Fools Day

Today is the first day of April, and with that comes the warning of April Fools Day. That may have been the last genuine sentence you read all day as the entire world will be trying to trick you. For some reason I always get pranked with toothpaste. Once there was toothpaste in my coffee and another time someone put salt in my toothpaste. Leave my minty fresh breathe out of this people!

What was the best prank you've ever pulled? How about what's the most embarrassing prank someone has played on you?

Morning Hangover: Video Game Shoes  Today we will talk about shoes. Why? Because I like shoes and I'm in charge. I'm not the only one who sees the value in fabulous footwear. There are tons of video game characters who rely on their shoes to get them through levels and through life. Here are my favorite video game shoes, what are yours?

  • Link's Pegasus Boots
  • Sonic's Red Shoes
  • Pokemon Trainer's Running Shoes
  • Goomba's Shoe From Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Bayonetta's Pistol Heels

Morning Hangover: National Doctors' Day   Every year on March 30th we honor the fine physicians who help us get better. National Doctors' Day is your chance to thank the doctors and nurses who have helped the citizens of America. To do my part in honoring the fine men and women who cure us, I'm going to honor doctors in video games.

Best Video Game Doctors:

  • Dr. Mario
  • Nurse Joy
  • Medic in TF2
  • Dr. Light

And to balance the playing field, here are the Worst Doctors:

  • Dr. Wiley
  • Dr. Doom
  • Dr. Steinman
  • Dr. Nefarious

Who are your favorite and least favorite video game doctors?

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Nintendogs + Cats Will Launch With Three Different Versions -- So Much Harder Than Sophie's Choice

Tuesday is the day I look at my bank account and sigh, it's video game day! There are a handful of games that come out this week, like WWE All Stars, Dynasty Warrior 7 and Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle(French Bulldog or Golden Retriever) and New Friends. I don't think I'll be picking up any games this week after my video game shopping spree a few weeks ago. Plus I have a real toy poodle so my patience for a virtual one might be limited. For a complete list of this week's new releases go here.

Do any of these games tickle your fancy?

Ubisoft Confirms Beyond Good & Evil 2, I Am Alive Still In Development

The weekend is over, but don't worry, there's another one on the way. Before you get sucked into the work-week ahead of you, tell me how you spent your weekend. Were you catching up on the games from the week, like Crysis 2? Or were you relaxing around the house? Me? Oh I did both, played some Pokemon Black and I got farther in Beyond Good and Evil HD. The highlight of my weekend was the naps, there were so many naps.

Morning Hangover: Våffeldagen

Today is a glorious day, a blessed day, a day to be remembered for always. Why, you ask? Silly children, today is Våffeldagen, aka Waffle Day. It's technically a Swedish holiday, but in the name of world peace I've decided America will celebrate it too. Apparently Waffle Day occurs 9 months to the day before Christmas, the day the Archangel Gabriel visited Mary. Somehow that means we should eat waffles, I will never argue with waffle-logic. 

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door  Luigi visits the Waffle Kingdom, so by waffle-logic you should eat waffles today.

Nintendo 3DS

G4's 3DS coverage started yesterday with several reviews: Pilotwings Resort, Madden 3DS, and Super Street Fighter 4 3DS. So far we've given most of the game a 3/5. We have even more reviews coming throughout the week too. We've had a few 3DS consoles for a week now but many members of the G4 staff, myself included, are still on the fence about it. How do you feel about the 3DS? Has our coverage helped you decide whether or not you'll pick one up?

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Do you know what today is? Of course you do, you've been waiting for World Meteorological Day all year. If there's one thing we all love more than video games it's the climate. Weather and video games don't always go together, so it's important to honor the times when they compliment each other. Which games use weather and climate in the best ways? Some of my favorites are the blizzards in CoD: Modern Warfare 2 and rain in Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Dead Or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball

Now that it's officially spring students are starting their spring breaks. Spring and winter breaks are probably the only thing I miss about being in school. Since I won't be having a great time in Cancun, Lake Havasu or Daytona, you have become burdened with telling me how you'll spend your time off. Allow me to live vicariously through you.

[I've never actually done anything for "spring break" but I imagine it looks just like that picture from Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball.]

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L.A. Noire

You know what game I can't wait for? L.A. Noire. Rockstar Games' upcoming gumshoe simulator hits all my personal gaming likes: Open-world. 1940s setting. Innovative gameplay. Incredible presentation. It seems to have it all.

What about you? What upcoming game are you most looking forward to?

This Week's Best of TheFeed

Okay, faithful TheFeed readers, let's hear what you think about the way TheFeed covers news. Is there some aspect of gaming you're into that we ignore? Something you particularly like about the way we work? Are we doing everything wrong? Are we doing everything right? Feedback, people, we want it!

Wii Vitality Sensor

Recognize the device above? It's a picture of Nintendo's "Vitality Sensor" for the Wii. It was announced at E3 2009, and never released. It measures your pulse rate and has, literally, no discernible usefulness as a gaming peripheral, but I want one. Badly. 

I love incredibly stupid, useless gaming crap more than you can imagine. I'll try out any motion control game. I'll put quarters into any arcade game as long as there's a huge metal paddle to control my kayak or a steel arm to arm wrestle against. My closets are packed with dumb plastic music instruments, add-ons to my Wii-mote and other awesomely useless game-junk. In 20 years, my kid is going to be psyched... imagine you had every weird piece of gaming detritus ever put out by Nintendo during it's early 90s, pre N64 incarnation! Cool, right?

What about you guys? Do you like dumb gaming garbage or not?

Morning Hangover: Games And Photography

You know what blew my mind in gaming? The first time I saw a lens flare in a video game. It was in Pilot Wings for the N64, and it seemed so peculiar and awesome that a game would artificially add a lighting effect that is entirely the product of a camera lens and doesn't exist in nature. Lens flare and other effects are added for "realism" in games, but "realism," in this case, is actually fake-ism, and only refers to a mistake when using a camera.

Lens-FlareNow check out the screenshot above from Epic's Unreal Engine 3 presentation at GDC. Note the bottom left quarter of the image. It's raining in the game, and the "lens" of the "camera" that took this image has a bit of condensation on it, resulting in a smudged, cloudy image. Of course, there is no camera and there was no "real" image to capture, so a fake layer of graphics was added to the image to suggest something real. If the smudge wasn't there, it would look more fake to you, in spite of the fact that, if this neon sign actually existed, and you were really there, standing in the rain looking at it, there would be no smudge at all.

It makes me wonder: Will game makers continue to refine their presentation of artificial, filmic effects in game graphics? Or will the industry, gradually, abanoned "fake realism" in a move toward real-realism?

Also: Good morning!

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