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E3 2014 Predictions And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter #E3Live #E32014

UPDATE:  Watching the Twitch E3 preview with @DJwheat and gang.  In just a few minutes, Microsoft is doing their Day 0 press conference.  There’s a lot of wishing and hoping for Fallout 4 (and a new Gears Of War).  That sounds AWESOME to me but I won’t hold my breath, simply because Bethesda has already shot down that notion and they’ll want to let Elder Scrolls Online marinate a while first.  The next Fallout won’t be for at least another year or two.  What do you guys, think?

In the past week, everyone has been asking me if I am excited about E3.  I don’t know how to answer without sounding like a bitter old man or being a wet towel..  Truth is: I’ve barely given E3 much thought.  Everything I want from gaming is here and now so it was not a big deal to me..  Then, during HorsePLAY! LIVE EP25, TCollins89 asked why E3 is on weekdays. It got me thinking:

E3 is not for the everyday or common gamer.  So what is it really about and does it really matter?

DISCLAIMER:  What you are about to read is an editorial.  This, like anything else on Geeky Antics, is the opinion of me, the author.  I may ruffle some feathers but I am being honest and open here.  Keep an open mind.  I am not trying to belittle anyone.  We can disagree peacefully!

As far as I’m concerned, E3 is a glorified trade show meant to hype up gamers who, somehow, can’t get enough content or want more fuel for the console wars. It is geared towards marketers, suits, developers, and journalists.  Think about this:

How many of the presenters actually PLAY games?  Are they gamers first or marketing/business people first?  I reckon the latter is often the case.

For most, E3 is just an excuse for a change of scenery or time off from work. I would venture to say the only way you are looking forward to E3 is if you want the social experience or are super hardcore about gaming (i.e. you have to play every single major game that is released).  This is wishful thinking but I think I’d care more about console gaming again if the entry points were more appealing, at least for the software itself.

That may sound harsh but I think I have finally converted back to PC for good. There are countless reasons but, for me, it’s simply because all my friends are sharded amongst different games and the PC offers too much bang for your buck to even consider dedicated console gaming. I can’t justify the cost or budget the time for a console right now.  As a family man, it does not help that my kids are growing up and playing games with daddy is no longer cool.  Without the bonding experience, console gaming is ho-hum.  I just don’t have the time or interest to do single-player games.

I love my XBox 360 but, for the first time in around ten years, I have let my XBox LIVE subscription lapse for more than two months. My video game wall of shame beckons yet I do not feel compelled to fire her up. I am satisfied by my options on the PC and I don’t have to worry about the hidden costs or suddenly finding that online support has been shut down.

Granted, I have been mostly playing Hearthstone, League of Legends, and SolForge lately but I have a library of games on the PC that excites me every time I look at it. With my consoles, I have mostly felt depression and regret for the past generation or so. I will eventually get an XBox One to play with friends but I do not feel left out of the water cooler conversations.

Now, I can already hear people saying that E3 is about electronic entertainment (hence the name E3 – Electronic Entertainment Expo) as a whole. That is true but it can’t be denied that the expo focuses on the gaming consoles more than anything. With that in mind, consider this fact:

During the transitionary period between console generations, we can’t expect fresh, innovative games. The developers will stick to the console with the greater install base until they figure out how to take advantage of the new framework.

I have nothing against Watch Dogs or Titanfall. I just don’t think they are system sellers for me.  They are the games that are good now because there is nothing else.  Besides, after how Microsoft botched up the original XBox to 360 transition, I think they will play it smart and keep the 360 going for another two to three years.

Glorious PC Master Race - Dirty Console Peasants
[ source: comicvine.com ]
I am no elitist but the future of gaming has been on mobile devices and the PC.. For a while now. $300-500 gets you solid upgrades for your PC and you’re good for a while. With consoles, you have the hidden costs of accessories, DLCs, micro transactions, macro transactions, forced annual releases, preferred server access, season passes, etc. Yeah, I am a smidge jaded and cynical..   But I am also hopeful, especially with so many brilliant small studios and indie developers paving the way (THANK YOU)!

Continue reading E3 2014 Predictions And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter #E3Live #E32014

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HorsePLAY! Marvel Puzzle Quest Strategies With CaptinChaos & Yogizilla

In keeping with the #RetroFriday spirit, EP20 of HorsePLAY! LIVE delved into the simple little games that have us addicted.  Are games like Hearthstone and Marvel Puzzle Quest the real next generation of gaming we’ve been waiting for?  We think so.

Here are some of the highlights of the show before we jump into some Marvel Puzzle Quest strategies.  We did not quite get into Hearthstone as heavily as we wanted in the episode but don’t worry: we’ll be revisiting the game lots..  Yeah, I know: we talk about it lots here at Geeky Antics – we’ll convert you yet!

Obligatory News:

  • ARS Technica Steam game library usage and ownership stats.
  • Microsoft announces XBox Originals Channel.  New video games..  Sure, we’ll have those too..  Eventually.
  • Bungie veteran, Marty O’Donnell fired without cause.
  • Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings a flop so far… or are they?
  • Twitter changes have been rolled out – hello Facebook Junior!

Opinions & Discussions:

  • Dear consoles, please focus on GAMES..  We have enough videos and junk to consume as it is.
  • How Marty discovered Bungie years ago.
  • Remember the precursor to Halo?  Neither do we.
  • Macs have games too!
  • Imagine if Halo was an Apple exclusive..  YUCK.
  • The state of the gaming industry is pretty sad now BUT…
  • Tabletop gaming and indie games are on the rise – YAY!
  • Twitter, if you become craptastic like Facebook, FUCK YOU!

Don’t forget: if you want to join the conversation, perhaps disagree with our points or shed some light on things, leave us voicemail at (206) 415-4987.  Keep it simple and sweet, por favor – we will play them during our shows and discuss!

So, during EP20, we hit upon a lot of key strategies for newbies and players having trouble in Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign.  The idea is to prevent endless grinding and dropping money, which sucks unless you have tons of money and time to throw away.  Here are some of the things Chip Cella (a.k.a. @CaptinChaos)  of The B-Team Podcast, our resident MPQ ninja, suggested to keep the game fun and help you PWN (without making it into a lifestyle game):

  • Save Hero Coins for roster spots.
  • Focus your ISO on maxing your top characters, rather than leveling them all up evenly.
  • Keep “Fishnet” Black Widow or Amazing Spider-Man in your to keep your teammates healed.
  • During PvP events, farm newbies instead of going for difficult targets – use the skip button to avoid needless knock-outs.
  • If you’re just starting out, grind the campaign and AI battles to get easy ISO and Hero Coins..  Farm newbies too.
  • Do not waste Hero Coins on health packs – they regenerate once you go below a five count.
  • Remember: this is not Candy Crush..  MPQ is the match-three puzzle game for strategy lovers and deep thinkers!

Here are some other tips that I have found useful.  I will preface these tips by saying I avoid any scenario where I am playing for several hours at end.  I love this game and want to avoid burning out on it and making it a grind like I did with my previous mobile game of choice, Rage Of Bahamut (a.k.a. Mobage’s relentless money grab).

Original Black Widow (a.k.a. Fishnet)

Fishnet & The Support Crew

Original Black Widow, affectionately called “Fishnet”, is easily one of the Top 5 characters in Marvel Puzzle Quest.  She compliments any team you add her too, especially against teams that need black, purple, and blue matches to activate abilities.  Her abilities can best be described as follows:

Heals and steals.

Ideally, you want to place her alongside a higher-level, tankier (high life/hit points) character(s) with same-colored abilities.   This will prevent her from taking too much damage, which is good since she can be one-hit by certain characters (i.e. Wolverine).  Some good teammates for her include…

  • Storm
  • Moonstone
  • Venom
  • Bullseye

For heavy grinding sessions, I find the combination of Daken, Fishnet, and Moonstone/Thor/Wolverine works really well.  Daken adds stacking damage and tanks incoming damage while the third character provides the burst damage and “bigger body”.  Your preferences may be different depending on how aggressive you want to be.  Admittedly, Daken takes time to build up damage with strike tiles but his self-healing ability makes him great.

Marvel Puzzle Quest - Amazing Spider-Man - Spidey

Fishnet Black Widow is what I would call a support character.  If you don’t have her, there are other options for mitigating damage, whether you are healing or blocking damage.   Amazing Spider-Man is likely your next best bet since he can stun AND heal.  Here are some other solid picks:

  • Modern Black Widow
  • Bullseye
  • Yelena Belova Black Widow
  • Captain America
  • Iron Man Model 35
  • Iron Man Model 45
  • Magneto (ALL)
  • Loki
  • Moonstone

Support roles go beyond healing and stealing.  Characters like Yelena Belova (evil Black Widow), Loki, Magneto,  and Bullseye can create and manipulate special tiles, which can be devastating against opponent teams that rely on them.

Marvel Puzzle Quest: Captain America VS. Moonstone

Between Captain America and Moonstone, I feel Moonstone is the best pick.  Captain America feels like an under-powered Iron Man Model 35.  Here is why he sucks:

  • His powers/abilities take too long to ramp up.
  • His damage output is poop.
  • He is balanced and, by extension, not very good at anything.

Captain America does have more HP than most support characters.  He also has a stun ability plus the ability to cycle abilities but, if the countdown tiles get removed, his effectiveness is negated.  Cap is just not good for aggressive wins and, thus, using him becomes a grindfest…  Meh.

Moonstone, on the other hand, can manipulate the board, do massive burst damage (based upon how many red tiles are in stock), and she can stun opponents.  She is amazing yet she doesn’t get nearly enough love.  I love you Moonstone.

Ms. Marvel..  Or Is That Moonstone?

Continue reading HorsePLAY! Marvel Puzzle Quest Strategies With CaptinChaos & Yogizilla

The Infamous #HorrorFrog & Show Notes/Previews – Leave Us Voicemail – (206) 415-4987

A few of you have suggested that we post our show notes more often here to encourage more voicemail messages and such.  We’ve been doing that for HorsePLAY! LIVE and The Gaming Death Podcast but we welcome any and all kinds of voicemail.  Here are some of the things we’ve been discussing if you want to keep the conversation going:

  • Why Hearthstone is such a big deal
  • Tips and tricks for Marvel Puzzle Quest & Hearthstone
  • Is Hearthstone a pay-to-win game?
  • Greatest games of all time (The GOATs)
  • Our defining moments in gaming
  • What are the most random games you’ve ever played that you think most missed (and should play)?
  • Games that were great because they inspired new concepts
  • Games that are great because they are still fun years later
  • Why are Internet trolls so prevelant?
  • Drunken karaoke (thanks DekardC)
  • XBox Originals Channel – YAY or NAY?
  • Console gaming is dead – it’s all about all-in-one entertainment!
  • How close are we to drones delivering our goods?
  • Marvel Agents Of SHIELD vs. Arrow
  • Objectification of women and biases surrounding geek girls
  • The rise and fall of social games (a.k.a. Facebook SPAM)
  • The cardinal sings of League Of Legends players
  • Have we as consumers become too spoiled or impatient?
  • Broke Wars: Nintendo VS. Sony
  • Sony predicts 1.3 BILLION loss over fiscal year
  • Indie games are the future of gaming!
  • No, we’re tired of indie games.
  • No, we’re tired of big studio regurgitations.
  • We geeks are just jaded all around, amirite?
  • Transistor art style: beautiful or more hipster pandering?
  • Microtransactions VS. Macrotransactions
  • Popular games with the worst virtual economies
  • What defines the value of something?
  • Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare..  Does anyone care?
  • Capcom is bouncing back – Mega Man, PLEASE!
  • Can gardening be considered geeky?
  • Fantasy sports can be geeky..  Sports themselves, not so much.
  • How do you define a geek or nerd?
  • Labels suck..  But they have a purpose!
  • #RetroFriday VOTES for NES, Genesis, arcade, etc.
  • Sports games are games too!

Hopefully those snippets should provide some good talking points.  There’s a lot of gaming stuff there but anything geeky or random is cool, y0.   Speaking of RANDOM, on Episode 81 of The Gaming Death Podcast, they brought up the horror frog

Horror Frog Breaks It's Own Bones To Form Claws!

Yes, this is a real thing.

According to the NewScientist, the horror frog breaks his own bones to form claws.  WTF?  It’s the real-life Wolverine!  That is pretty darn sick.  I can relate, too, because my home life is often just as masochistic!  LOL..  Sorry, I could not resist!

Personally, I find nature so fascinating.  Here in Georgia we see all sorts of weird critters, like the paper wasp.  These wasps are comparable to hornets and are usually found down South, where creepy crawlers seem to be abundant.  The coolest thing about the paper wasp is that it builds nests out of a paper-like substance.  It creates this substance using harvested materials and it’s own saliva.  Kinda gross yet kinda neat.

Paper Wasp Nest In Yucatan, Mexico
WARNING: Do NOT approach a paper wasp nest.. They are VERY protective.

I had one of these things hang out with me in my house recently.  It was surprisingly friendly but that stinger was scary.  Lately the wasps here in Georgia fly really close to me, especially by my ears or the back of my head..  It makes me feel…. Violated. O_O

Anywho, on future episodes of HorsePLAY! LIVE we’re going to be returning to our roots in League Of Legends and cover more indie games (of course).  We’ll continue Hearthstone talk too since that’s definitely on rotation for years to come.  On EP22 or so, we should be wrapping up the #RetroFriday kicker series.  With that…

Tell us what your favorite moments in gaming are.  What made you a dedicated or hardcore gamer?  What are your G.O.A.T. picks for games, both tabletop and digital?  Are there any games you really love that you think people missed?

While we’ll be ending the #RetroFriday mini-series, we’ll continue to do weekly videos and streams.  Be sure to join our Steam community groups.  Simply look up #YOHTAI, #RetroFriday, and HorsePLAY.  The links are also scattered throughout the site. 8)

Do you have any fun stories or random thoughts to share?  Call us and leave a voicemail at (206) 415-4987 – if you don’t, Stewie will PEW PEW PEW you with his ray gun!  Also, take this poll, por favor.

HorsePLAY! Zombie Talk Series: Two Podcasts Featuring Zombie Cast!

HorsePLAY! LIVE
Episodes 10 & 11 – Zombie Talk Series Featuring Zombie Cast

Pass the brains and smoked paprika – Zombie Talk is here!

In this special two-episode series, Zombie Cast from AllGames.com joins us for our best horseplay yet. In fact, the geeky antics and shenanigans are so good that we get to talking about tons of stuff beyond zombies and even horror. In Part 2 of this Zombie Talk series, we do manage to get Shawn and Matt to behave bit so we could talk about The Walking Dead and zombies in depth.

Gosh, there are too many hilarious moments and great topics to highlight here.. Well, here is a little taste.. zombie bite, if you prefer:

  • Matt does crossword puzzles and plays with his desk toys to distract us.
  • The truth about Canadian bacon is revealed!
  • A cross-eyed crafter’s Stanley Cup replica unveiled.
  • Now you too can have your very own K-9 (snarky remarks database optional).
  • Beth and Daryl might be going the wrong way on the tracks, away from Terminus!
  • What if Daryl is being set up to be killed off??!
  • The military’s real-life Iron Man project.
  • Matt and Shawn share intimate Fun Facts about themselves.
  • Norma rolls wit da homies.
  • The Walking Dead spin-off show details.
  • Why Shane was a real douchebag.
  • Attack of the Flappy Bird!!

Watch HorsePLAY! EP11 “Night of the Zombie Geeks” HD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STUsNX70kkk

…And, for your convenience, we’ll even embed the video.  Technology OP.

 

A GANG Manifesto: Horseplay, Origins, and Team Spirit

Riddle me this…

What *is* GANG exactly?

To understand the spirit of the Geeky Antics Network Global (GANG) initiative, it may be worth talking a bit about the origins of HorsePLAY! and how we have evolved.  As we see it, HorsePLAY! is one of many brands and communities we will use to expand the network.  We love teaming up with other podcasters, geeks, and content marketers..

…But, anyway, origins…

 

HorsePLAY! iTunes-Friendly Podcast Cover
HorsePLAY! Where Geeks Come To Play!

When Obi and I first started HorsePLAY!, it was three of us crazy geeks talking video games (we miss ya Soldierism), technology, and whatever else happened to tickle our fancies at the time.  We had a very heavy focus on PC gaming, indie games, and MOBAs (League of Legends in particular).  We’re still a very young podcast but in our few months of doing this together, we’ve evolved quite a bit.  Now, HorsePLAY! is more about digital entertainment as a whole and we certainly have other defining elements in comedy, news, etc.

The beauty of starting any content is that you can run with a very vague idea and build upon it as you go along.; in fact, it’s best to just jump right in and not just over-think things into paralysis.  As we do more HorsePLAY! episodes, our general ideas get more refined.  We like to keep our content as raw and gritty as possible, yet we have a very deliberate direction for HorsePLAY! and GANG alike.

Don’t be afraid to dive in – the GANG is here for you!

It’s hard to describe what HorsePLAY! is in terms of categories (maybe you can help us when conclude this article) and main themes but we certainly know what we want to be in everyone’s minds.  In simple terms, we see HorsePLAY! as a community platform for geeks to collaborate, laugh, and just hang out.  That’s exactly what GANG is being built for as well.

HorsePLAY! LIVE has evolved to become the primary podcast platform  for Geeky Antics.  It is an interactive show focused on cross-promotion and community engagement, just like the rest of the GANG.

Certainly, there are tons of networks out there taking the gaming or geeky angle.  Geek & Sundry, AllGames (one of our unofficial partners), PodGods, and VOG (Voice of Geek) come to mind.  These are all networks we love yet they are missing a few things.  These are the opportunities the major networks miss and we’d like to capitalize on:

  • Creating systems to make it easier for people with great ideas to produce great content.
  • Delivering multi-language content around the world.
  • Building communities that are just as much a part of the creative process as the authors, producers, and hosts.
  • Collaborating with geeks that have the same passion and goals we do here on GANG.
  • Fostering a team spirit while allowing everyone to express themselves freely and authentically.
  • Liberating content marketers so that they can have fun – for the first time or all over again!

The last two items are particularly important to us.  All the big networks do a good job of branding and spreading influence; however, the individual contributors usually get the worst part of the deal.  We want to guide creatives and geeks through the processes of content marketing while allowing as much freedom as possible to our contributors.  We don’t want anyone to feel trapped or restricted while we provide such guidance.

GANG provides the tools, experience, and people to foster an environment of collaboration, fun, and results.  It’s a team effort – for REAL!

All GANG team members and contributors have the option of producing exclusive content or syndicating.  Regardless of the path chosen, we want this network to feel more like a family or, better yet, gathering place for friends and family.  We’re willing to give almost anyone a chance.  The only real rule is this: don’t be an asshat and please check your ego at the door.

Your eCards - Don't Be A Douchebag..  You Asshat

Of course, things get tricky when monetization is involved.  Everyone has bills to pay and nothing is truly free so we have plans for revenue sharing and building capital.   Now, we recognize there is a fine line between sustainability/profit and selling out.  Our hope is that we can stay authentic and have fun doing what we’re passionate, while being profitable.  It’s a tall order but we know it can be done.

Another major pitfall we want to avoid is become elitist or too exclusive.  We’ve found that many outlets refuse to give people a chance yet everyone has to start somewhere.  Whereas most media networks/empires pursue established personalities to siphen some of their audience, we want to create mutually-beneficial scenarios where audiences, creatives, and platforms all win (win-win-win’s, as I like to call them).  Establishing a good balance between being professional and casual will be a challenge in itself.

Whereas most media networks pursue established personalities to siphen some of their audience, we want to create win-win-win scenarios.

If you believe in team spirit and are tired of the politics in major media networks, GANG is the place for you.  We can’t promise that we will never employ ads, microtransactions, or anything of the sort but we can promise that the art comes first.  That said, donations and volunteering will be a big part of our sustainability and growth.  Fundraisers are definitely on the horizon.  Believe me, every contribution (creative, financial, or otherwise) goes a long way for our collective success.

So that there is our GANG manifesto.  We know the specifics will become more clear as we grow our team and release more great content.  Thus far, the response has been amazing.  The support we have been getting has made the process far less daunting so we truly appreciate all the folks volunteering and rallying for us.

Now it’s time to introduce our team so far because a network, or any organization at that, is nothing without the right people supporting it.  First, James Tarr, better known to HorsePLAY! fans as ObioneX2 (or just plain Obi), is a growing personality on Twitch.  These days he is heavily into Arma 2 but he has also been hardcore into League of Legends, War Thunder, Hearthstone, Battlefield 4, Day-Z, and other PC games.  Obi specializes in video production, particularly when it comes to livestreaming, which involves a balance of community engagement, overlay/scene design, and scheduling.  His knowledge in these areas will help us establish the production value and timing necessary to create and build audiences in what are otherwise very crowded spaces.

Now for Mr. Ellis!  Dakota Ellis has gone by many names, including DingleDorf and Asmodeus.  He is a long-time clanmate – GO NOF – and friend.  Kota is pretty new to online marketing but has been involved in forums, Twitter, Facebook groups/pages, mailing lists, and other projects.  He’s also been a moderator and community liaison for small games like ARC/Spark and Babo.  Our hopes are to groom him as a social media specialist so he can help us curate content and sustain our various engagement paths (or marketing channels, if you prefer).

Next up is James Fortengard, known by AllGamers as Yuri or Fort.  James has quite the impressive resume, which boasts the ability to speak many languages and vast knowledge of comics, anime, film, video games, and more.  Like many lesser-known online personalities, Fort never quite got the chance to strut his stuff on an established platform or network.  He’s a tough cookie with strong opinions so we’re excited to see what we he can do once he is given a chance to do his thang.  We already have several concepts for shows/podcasts so expect some new exclusives soon!

Finally, Matt Bradford (@MattoMcFly on Twitter) has confirmed interest in joining GANG.  He’s currently busy with Guiness World Records, VGO (VideoGameOutsiders), AllGames Network, Games Radar, and Zombie Cast so he’ll be a guest host and blog contributor until we can all seduce him to stay for the long haul.  Please show Matt and the rest of the team some love, guys!

So that’s our team so far.  We hope to introduce our new GANGsters as HorsePLAY! guests but, for now, expect some blog contributions here soon enough.  Before we close out this GANG manifesto, I wanted to involve you all in the evolution of HorsePLAY! since it is our flagship show.  Take the poll below and leave some comments.  Let us know what your impressions of HorsePLAY! are so far.  This feedback will help us produce even better content.  Keep it positive and constructive.  We will not feed trolls! *wink*

HorsePLAY! Zombie Talk Series: The Walking Dead Season 4 & Beyond

Greetings horsies, zombies, and GANGsters!

We got a great response from HorsePLAY! EP10 so we are going to continue our unofficial Zombie Talk Series for at least an episode or two more. So far, we have barely scraped the surface wounds so will switch the format up a bit to jump straight into the zombie herd. For tonight’s show, HorsePLAY! LIVE EP11 “Night of the Zombie Geeks”, we will team up with Zombie Cast for a total of five hosts. The focus will be on The Walking Dead but we will try to delve into games, podcasts, books, movies, etc.

NEW!  Did you miss HorsePLAY! EP10?  No worries – here is the HD video, just for you!  We’ll be adding more videos and show highlights so let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see more of!

 

So far in Season 4.5 of The Walking Dead, Episodes 9 through 11, we have seen a rather slow build-up. It looks like the show is still committed to fan fare for followers of the comics yet the introduction of Terminus is taking the story into a whole new direction. We have a lot of speculations and predictions on this aspect of the story arc alone.

Here are some topics we will tackle, straight from our HorsePLAY! LIVE show notes:

  • Has Daryl gone derp like Rick?
  • Wait, Beth is the hopeful one and now Daryl seems to be giving up?  Get it together, Daryl!
  • Babies in the zombie apocalypse: hope or nuisance?
  • Lizzie must be related to The Governor – she’s CRAZY!
  • Will Tara go straight?
  • What if Tyreese finds out about what Carol did?
  • Did any of the Season 4.5 scenes lack tension?  Maggie searching for Glenn on the bus, for example.
  • Will Glen be overwhelmed by guilt and give up?
  • WTF?  Bulletproof Maggie!
  • Wait a minute..  Are Daryl and Beth going the wrong way on the tracks??!  That’s not Terminus!
  • An upcoming Daryl-only episode makes us think someone will die.  Will they be bold and kill Daryl or just dump Beth?
  • Spin-off TWD show coming 2015 alongside Season 5.  Any thoughts or additional info?
  • Keep up the zombie talk! Be sure to visit our friends at The Zombie Blog – http://thezombieblog.net – and Zombie Cast –http://zombiecast.net – guys, any other zombie content you wanna share?

In EP10 we raised one particularly spicy question:

How long does The Walking Dead show have before it runs out of steam?

With the TWD spin-off show set for a 2015 release, how long will this current crew of survivors keep us hooked?  The general consensus by Shawn Freeman and Matt Bradford of Zombie Cast in EP10 was that they have one or two strong seasons left, yet there is a world of things they can still do in this universe.. without the spin-off(s).  We are concerned yet hopeful!

There’s lots to say here but I will save it for the show.  I will say this: TWD EP9 and 11 were rather slow but they are definitely building up to something big.  I think they might redeem what has otherwise been a stale season towards the end.  The key is to keep introducing and building up key characters so we can get invested in the experience once again.

I am curious if Robert Kirkman will be bold enough to kill off Daryl.  He’s clearly a fan favorite and what will all the teeny bopper girls do if the stud is gone??  Regardless of how many badasses they assemble, I would say TWD’s strengths reside in the human elements so they should rely less on the zombie battles.  Of course, we love the epic takedowns but it’ll be better if they space it out and make us anticipate those moments more.

What do you guys think about Season 4.5 of The Walking Dead this far?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Come join us on HorsePLAY! LIVE tonight and every Thursday night at 11pm EST.  We may be rescheduling in a month or so to better accomodate our guests but, for now, we are the Interweb’s midnight crew for all things geeky.  Party with us!

Full HD Streamhttp://twitch.tv/obionex2

Mobile-Friendly Streamhttp://twitch.tv/yogizilla

HorsePLAY! EP10 – The Zombie Episode PREVIEW

HorsePLAY! is coming back after a one-week hiatus.  Well, maybe we can’t call it a hiatus as it wasn’t like we went on sabbatical or just got lazy.  Obi was under the weather and we’ve been getting hit by power outages here in Georgia so I could not make it.  Heck, we had another blackout last night so hopefully things will settle down in time for our first double-digit episode!

For HorsePLAY! EP 10, we’ll be joined by some of the folks over at Zombie Cast and, if we can nail him down (see what I did there?), Tony Rey of We’re Alive (and other fame).  Eli Sodoom from Knuckleballer Radio may also join us if he can stay awake.  This will be a special episode where we’ll discuss all things zombies but I am sure we will touch upon the infected and undead monsters that purists would never call a z-word.  This will likely be a two-part upload to make up for our week off, too!

Here is a little taste of what we’ll likely discuss…

The Walking Dead Episodes 9 & 10

If you ask me, there was quite a huge contrast between Episode 9 and 10 of the Walking Dead Season 4, particularly with the pacing.  We’ll talk about the wow moments, disappointments, and more predictions.  It’ll be fun to see the different perspectives, especially since Obi has not caught up on the show yet.  Beware – there will be spoilers!

Be sure to tweet us with any topics you’d like us to touch upon.  We’re @Yogizilla and @ObioneX2, guys.  I think we may even go back into previous seasons with some recaps and foreshadowing.  Have you noticed any clues or omens on TWD?  Do share!

Evil Dead - The BOOMSTICK!

Is Evil Dead A Zombie Movie?

With a title like Evil Dead, one would think the franchise is about zombies but that’s a debate that could go either way.  Certainly, there are undead creatures but are these zombies?  This discussion will almost certainly lead to our definitions of what zombies are, as well as distinctions between infected, behemoths, and the non-shambling runners.

Bring your boomstick and prepare to defend your fanboy position.  Regardless of whether you feel Evil Dead is a zombie flick or not, it is one of the best horror flicks ever made.  Campy humor, Bruce Campbell, and gore..  Classic horror right there!

Survive Day-Z

Game Developers LOVE Zombies

Dead Pixels and Day-Z are two examples of video games that embrace zombies.  Video games seem to be chock-full of them, whether they’re the focus of the title or a small part.  Plants Vs. Zombies, SolForge, Guardian Heroes, Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, Borderlands..   Zombies are invading all video games, big and small!

Is it me or do indie developers seem particularly drawn to zombies?  When will ninjas and vampires make a comeback?  Pirates have already started to but zombies seem to be the dominating force…

Dead Pixels Screenshot

Anyway, Dead Pixels.  Super fun game that is reminiscent of River City Ransom.  It has co-op and tons of upgrades.  Give it a try and let us know what your longest run was like.

HorsePLAY! LIVE airs every Thursday at 11pm over at the ObioneX2 Twitch Channel (simulcasted on my Yogizilla-branded Twitch channel as well).  Come join us!

The B-Team: Ball Gaggies 2013 PLUS Indie Game Talk!

The B-Team Podcast
Episode “The Ball Gaggies 2013”

[audio http://www.thebteampodcast.com/ep243final.mp3|titles=The B-Team – Ball Gaggies – Favorite Games In 2013|loop=yes|animation=no|initialvolume=80]

Does the so-called next-gen of gaming got you down?  You’re not alone.  2014 doesn’t look much better if you’re only looking at Triple A titles and gaming consoles.  Hey, you know it’s true!  We’re just seeing more of the same old (with slightly prettier graphics and better performance) in this generation of consoles.

Fortunately, there’s the PC and the indie gaming scene to save the day.  Now, I know some people love to take a proverbial dump on indie games.  I recall Derrick Hopkins agreeing with some AllGames.com chatters that indie games needs to stop meaning “cheap, crappy games with retro graphics” and be more about quality games that aren’t from a big studio.

I reckon indie games are already there, though we arguably back to the days of the NES; that is, it’s so easy to develop and distribute video games nowadays (thank you, Steam, RPG Maker, Blender, Physx, Unity, etc.) that there are tons of crappy releases cluttering the marketplace.  It’s unavoidable that we’ll run into games that should not even exist.  There are also those that are more tech demos and experiments than anything else, but there are far more unique titles coming from small, virtually unknown studios than there are from the major studios.

In one of the first episodes of 2014 for The B-Team Podcast, everyone shared their favorite games of 2013 in a special call called the “Ball Gaggies”.  I joined for a bit before kicking off HorsePLAY! LIVE for the evening and it was great fun.  The different categories that were covered were interesting.  What was more interesting is how lots of indie games popped up in non-indie categories.

The B-Team’s Ball Gaggies were entertaining and very enlightening.  I’ve noticed that we are seeing indie games permeating more mainstream spaces and that’s not going to change any time soon.  Crowdsourcing seed money and influence via social media – that’s what has made this all possible.  Thank goodness, too, because the mega-publishers are too scared to take risks and try out fresh new ideas.  As such, everything that is being released is utter rubbish.

Risk of Rain - WTF Is Going On?!
Risk Of Rain – You gotta play to understand WTF is going on here.

My picks for 2013 are games that have been released in the past four to six years yet are still fun today.  As you may have already learned, a good game in my book is one that has high replay value, social/online features, and/or deep immersion.  Amongst my favorite games of 2013 were X-Com: Enemy Unknown, Steam Marines, SolForge, Scrolls, League of Legends, DotA 2, Space Hulk, Risk of Rain, Rogue Legacy, and Skullgirls.  Many of these games could be considered indie or at least follow an indie spirit.  Quite a few of these were Kickstarter projects or funded through unusual methods.

Space Hulk - Kickstarter - Classic Remake
Space Hulk – Tactics, terror, deep space.. PREPARE.

Of particular note is Rogue Legacy (as depicted in the featured image), a game that will instantly remind you of Metroid, Castlevania, or, to a greater extent, Ghouls N’ Goblins.  This is a game that I felt was just a hipster favorite due to the retro graphics and nostalgia, but I soon found out it was so much more.  Rogue Legacy is amazing in my book because it is a single-player game that I actually want to keep coming back to (I’m more of a multiplayer gamer) <u>AND</u> it manages to make you feel fully-invested in the experience, something most roguelikes inherently have an issue with.

Steam Marines - Sci-Fi Tactics Game
Steam Marines – Kinda like XCOM LITE.. Dope!

Another game worth mentioning is Steam Marines.  I think this one may fall under the radar, which would be a great shame considering that the tactics space is lacking.  If you enjoy XCOM, Final Fantasy Tactics, FTL: Faster Than Light, or anything of the sort, this game may have something for you.  In simple terms, it is a sci-fi tactics games where you are marines in space killing stuff..  But there is surprising depth in this simple little package.  Best of all, every playthrough is completely randomized so there’s always a challenge to be had!

I won’t get too into these games because, really, they deserve their own review..  but this just speaks to the innovation we see in the indie industry.  It was nice to see the Ball Gaggies embrace some of these titles because, really, the mainstream stuff is becoming quite repetitive, amirite?

Be sure to leave The B-Team some love on Stitcher, iTunes, AllGames.com, Twitter, and their web site.  They’re easy to stalk, just like me – just Google “The B-Team Podcast”.  Tell ’em Yogi sent ya!