GameSkinny RSS Feed The top articles on GameSkinny. en Guild Launch, LLC [Spoilers] How LEGOs Will Help You Win the Game of Thrones fe6gr/spoilers-how-legos-will-help-you-win-the-game-of-thrones Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:51:04 -0400 Stephanie Tang And lastly, for those of you who are itching to get your hands on some baby Westerosi of your own, but lack the artistic powers of repainting some for yourself, the folks at Citizen Brick have you covered with the biggest set of Game of Thrones figures currently out on the internet. 


You'd probably have to be serious about recreating your own little Battle of King's Landing though because the full set of these babies (complete with bonus G.R.R. Martin figure aptly named \"Sir Typesalot\") sells for a whopping $220 USD. 


Looking for a smaller set to get your imagination going? While still expensive, Etsy seller MiniBIGS sells a few custom minifigs for $17 USD each. The set of 5 is currently unavailable, but you can still find Daenerys Targaryan in her Khaleesi clothes holding a baby dragon, Tyrion Lannister grumpy and drunk as always, and Jon Snow dressed for the Wall in individual sets. (Check under the \"Throne of Bricks\" shop section.)


Even further north than Winterfell, Jon Snow fights a pitched battle with his Brothers of the Night's Watch against the might of the Free Folk - and his lady love Ygritte in particular.


(Source: Flickr)


While the forces of King's Landing are bunkered down waiting, Renly and Stannis meet in this backyard meeting under peaceful banners while the Knight of Flowers and the Red Woman look on. 


(Source: Flickr)


Back in Winterfell, Theon Greyjoy goes turncloak as he takes over the home that has warded him ever since the Kraken was soundly defeated by Robert's army. The people look on in horror as charred black LEGO boys swing from the rafters.


(Source: Flickr)


No part is too small to play, as the dastardly scheming face of Littlefinger with a handful of shiny coins sits and plots with Maester Pycelle to represent the Small Council. 


(Source: Flickr)


While the scions of Tywin Lannister are all grown up, little Tyrion keeps to his roots by returning to his big book of dragons - which incidentally is nearly as big as he is. 


(Source: Flickr)


Many years later, Robert's ascent to the throne poses an important, if unanswerable question: which is more terrifying - the Iron Throne or the threat of Robert's face-consuming beard? (This poor LEGO man may have more hair than head.)


(Source: Flickr)


In this depiction of the Ruby Ford, the final days of Robert Baratheon's rebellion against the Mad King Targaeryen reach their climax as Rhaegar falls in the Battle of the Trident:


“Rubies flew like drops of blood from the chest of a dying prince, and he sank to his knees in the water and with his last breath murmured a woman’s name.” – A Clash of Kings


(Source: Lego Game of Thrones)


Nick Fury might not have a place in Game of Thrones, but it looks like the Avengers crest certainly does. In this recreation of the duel for Tyrion Lannister's innocence in the Eyrie, you might not notice that the crescent moon in the House Arryn crest is nowhere to be seen, but you may appreciate the niceties of Catelyn's facial scar and hints of white hair. 


(Source: Lego Game of Thrones)


While Tyrion might not enjoy his precarious situation huddled against the wall of his sky cell, it's probably a mercy that he can't see the dilapidated state of his neighbor. 


(Source: Lego Game of Thrones)


In this LEGO recreation of the shocking death of Ned Stark, the loss of Winterfell's patriarch is immortalized in minifigs as G.R.R. Martin proves that no hero is safe just by being a hero.


House Lannister, the lion with its claws sunk deep in the royal Baratheon stag, is embodied in this crafty set of golden-haired minis posing for their family photo. 


Poor baby Tommen, he looks so puzzled to be here.


The lands and loosely-knit kingdoms of Westeros are vast and varied, but there are few things that stand out as starkly (tee hee) and beautifully as the heart tree of Winterfell.


Here a little LEGO Ned Stark sits and broods in this place of the old gods, while the brooding, grumpy LEGO tree pats an oddly cheerful-looking Catelyn Stark for peering down at her own reflection. 


(Source: LEGO Game of Thrones)


Game of Thrones' now unmistakeable theme song has been mixed, remixed, and rearranged within an inch of its life. As it continues to grow ever longer as an opening theme and the world of Westeros continues to shape itself before your eyes, these enterprising LEGO enthusiasts have set out to recreate the same thing.


Paired with rearranged music by Matt Warder, MatthewP and Monica Garcia build a real-life Westeros from the ground LEGO brick at a time.


This year, HBO's mega-hit show Game of Thrones made it back onto the small screen for an epic fourth season... once again filled with not-so-baby dragons, dramatic medieval politics, and fantastical full-frontal nudity. 


The long wait in between seasons hasn't seen much drop in fan enthusiasm either. And perhaps the influence of so many LEGO movies and video game successes have taken their toll on our collective unconscious because many fans are turning to their own creativity to recreate iconic scenes and characters using these yellow-faced block-bodies. 


While officially the children's toy mogul hasn't sought to align itself with G.R.R. Martin's bloody, adult-themed fantasy franchise, here are some of the best LEGO fan creations out on the internet.


(Source: Flickr)

Dear Insomniac: PlayStation Fans Still Love You, So Come Back! 23ca1/dear-insomniac-playstation-fans-still-love-you-so-come-back Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:10:14 -0400 Fathoms_4209 Insomniac Games will always hold a special place in the hearts of veteran PlayStation players.

This is the team that brought you the lovable and acclaimed Spyro the Dragon IP in the PS1 era, the widely revered Ratchet & Clank franchise during the PS2 era, and the excellent (and very much under-appreciated) Resistance franchise in the PS3 era. Now, they're working on a very promising new title: Sunset Overdrive. But this one is exclusive to the enemy (aka, Microsoft's Xbox One).

We don't need to know the reasons behind this little switcheroo; we just want Insomniac to come back. At the very least, make games for both sides; go multiplatform, but don't leave us entirely!

I don't care what anyone says, Resistance was a TOP-TIER FPS franchise

...and one of my all-time favorites. I don't really care as much about multiplayer, which I know doesn't make any sense in the FPS world today. But there was a time in this industry when many shooters boasted amazing campaigns, and Resistance always delivered on this front. The original was hands-down the best game of the PS3 launch (and far better than anything the Xbox 360 or Wii launched with, too). The sequel was wildly under-appreciated (and introduced 60-player multiplayer action for the console), and Resistance 3 was just plain great.

I still say the latter title featured the single best arsenal of any shooter I've ever played. Insomniac's endless inventiveness on the weapon front can be seen in just about every game they've made, and that includes the Ratchet & Clank franchise. One could argue that Resistance 3 felt like a step back, but I don't buy that analysis at all. As for R&C, it went off the beaten path with a few experimental installments but aside from that, Ratchet will always be Ratchet.

Fuse didn't perform as well as anticipated, but don't forget about good ol' Spyro!

Sony has the best first-party studios in the's less impressive without Insomniac, though

Insomniac was a staple of the PlayStation family, as far as I'm concerned. They've been every bit as important as Naughty Dog, Guerrilla, Sucker Punch, Sony Santa Monica, etc. I know they're independent, and I get that. They can go make games for whomever they wish. But why would they eliminate fans of 15 years and more by going to the Xbox side with Sunset Overdrive? I don't resent the move; I'm sure the studio had their reasons. I just hope Insomniac hasn't jumped ship entirely. I want them to eventually make games again for PlayStation platforms because without Insomniac, PlayStation feels just a little...light.

I wouldn't mind hearing about the studio's future plans, although I imagine they're not willing to talk about it yet. They may not even know right now. I think a lot will hinge on the performance of Sunset Overdrive; Microsoft is an extremely results-oriented company, and if that game doesn't sell too well, they might not have as much interest in securing exclusive rights for another Insomniac game. We'll have to see how that goes, I guess.

Interview with Killmonday Games: What Makes Fran Bow so Special? 2tvxy/interview-with-killmonday-games-what-makes-fran-bow-so-special Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:07:59 -0400 Yasmin Curren Fran Bow has been grabbing the attention of many gamers hungry for some creepy point-and-click adventures. Killmonday Games has already managed to well exceed its Indiegogo funding goal, while also receiving highly positive feedback from its Steam Greenlight page; with most people falling for the game's delicate art style, eerie atmosphere, and (most importantly) Mr. Midnight.

Who is Mr. Midnight? He's an adorable black cat, but not just any cat. Mr. Midnight is the only friend to a little girl who has been sent to a mental institution after witnessing a tragic scene, and is desperately trying to escape to be reunited with him. But with a strange creature trying to prevent Fran Bow from going home, her medicine is the only chance that she has to escape; taking it, however, brings her into a whole new nightmare.
Killmonday Games' Natalia and Isak kindly set aside some from their busy schedule of game-making to indulge me in their backstory and the progression of Fran Bow.

GameSkinny: Firstly, why did you begin creating games and what do you hope to achieve from the ones you make?

Natalia and Isak: Everything began a long time ago! We wanted to create things, it didn't matter what it was. 

Our first love was to create movies!
We did many short films with a very low-budget and learned much about ourselves and how to work as a team; it was pretty awesome!
As time progressed, we needed to learn even more, so Natalia went to Animation School, and Isak started to make more music.
We had all the skills needed for animations, short films, and music videos, but something was missing... The magic of interaction and freedom of reality and space!

Then the idea of making games came up! But we had a huge problem; we didn't knew anything about programming, and that was the biggest challenge! But we love to learn, so we just tried it. Isak fell in love with programming, Natalia didn't like programming that much, so she didn't learn anything. But that's fine, because she loves to write stories, draw and animate! 

When we realised that making games involved the right amount of everything we love, we fell completely in love with the development of a project. Our only hope is that the games we create are fun to play! Also, if it's possible, make somebody dig into something special, made with lots of love!

pet rockGS: Are there any games or games companies that you look to for inspiration?

Natalia and Isak: Inspiration for us is everywhere. Even in a tiny rock you find while you walk. We have huge respect for many games and game companies, but they are not our main inspiration. 

GS: In your own words, what are the advantages and disadvantages of working in a team as small as two?

Isak: The best part is that whenever we need to change something or make game design decisions, it goes really fast from talk to action. The only disadvantage is the huge workload we both get from doing everything ourselves, but that's also (in a way) fun, to always be doing something different, as long as our mental state is balanced.

Natalia: The advantages are great! As mentioned before, we have worked together for a long time, so we work effectively as a team! Time is very hard to judge though and always seems to be against us, but we try to not panic.
The only disadvantages I see is the same as Isak, we get too tired... But we always motivate each other! Making games for us is quite new, so there is always something we crash against, but we seek solutions as soon as we realize something is wrong.

GS: Why is Fran Bow so unique and special?

Natalia and Isak: What makes Fran Bow so special for us and unique is that the project itself, has a story behind its story. It's a compilation of very personal and hard episodes of our lives. So, it's kind of the missing piece in ourselves in a way.

GS: What was the inspiration behind the story of Fran Bow?

Natalia: It's based on really bad moments in my life and involves a fantasy world that I've created since I was a little girl. I really wanted to put emphasis on what life gives you and takes away from you. 

GS: Fran Bow received over $8,000 more than what you asked for it, how did this make you feel and how is it making the game even more awesome?

Natalia and Isak: We were amazingly thankful from the moment people started to believe in our project! To get that $8,000 extra was amazing and quite unexpected! But there is one thing we want to get clear.

We don't believe that more money does a better game. Maybe you can pay for more assets, but we always love those games that already are great from the core. If we compare a good game with a diamond: you can put more and more things around this diamond, but it won't make it prettier. As gamers, we love finding a game that actually feels fun and meaningful to play. To be meaningful it doesn't have a super complex philosophy behind, but it can make you actually care for the characters and story, combined with the mechanics.

GS: What part have you had the most fun with while developing the game?

Isak: The most fun part is doing all the puzzles, since they are never the same, and adding tiny details to the world. Also, the mini games! It's always something new to code and that's very fun because I get to learn new stuff with every new room we make. 

Natalia: The most fun for me is to draw characters, animate them and give them something to say! I love writing the dialogues and all of Fran Bow's thoughts, she thinks so much! I also enjoy playing the game.
But because I have to be drawing and writing all the time I don't have the time to play the game!

GS: How is the feedback from the public so far?

Natalia and Isak: The feedback is always about how people like Fran and Mr. Midnight, they want to know what will happen with them! Generally it's all very positive and we are very thankful about the support we are getting. It makes us feel that there are people that really understand the process and nobody wants the game to be rushed and poorly done. So that always keeps us very strong and motivates us to work harder!

GS: Is there a certain part or aspect of the game that you're looking forward to sharing with your audience?

Natalia and Isak: The final trailer and the game itself of course! We are so afraid and happy and nervous and make poo poo in our pants!

(It's comments like that which make the pair both so crazily loveable!)

GS: When is the game expected to be released? 

Mr. Red: I'm Mister Red, we don't want to say nothing yet! We work, I make the coffee and keep Natalia and Isak with muscles in their fingers so that they work harder! :D

These crazy cats are certainly ones to look out for, with an obvious passion for gaming and a never-ending amount of self-motivation. I am certain that Fran Bow will be worth the wait. But if you're still left unsure then try the demo; I can say with certainty that you won't have experienced such a creepy, yet oddly adorable, game world before!

Make sure to follow Killmonday Games as well as both Natalia and Isak to stay up-to-date on the game's progress. They're constantly communicating and sharing with their audience, which is very refreshing to see!

International Game Developers Association Reaches Out To Harassed Game Devs dn45q/international-game-developers-association-reaches-out-to-harassed-game-devs Sun, 31 Aug 2014 12:13:53 -0400 Yasmin Curren With recent trolling, threats and even 'doxxing' that has occurred within the gaming industry the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has offered help to those on the receiving end of this harassment.

Over the last several weeks, game developers and affiliates have been the subject of harassment and 'doxxing' attacks, including threats and posting of home addresses. While we support diverse viewpoints and healthy debate on the issues within our industry, we condemn personal attacks such as these which are not only morally reprehensible, but also illegal in many countries. We call on the entire game community to stand together against this abhorrent behavior.

- IGDA Board of Directors

Above is the statement that was recently released, showing their opinion on the seriousness of the recent events and coercing game developers to work together to help each other overcome these personal online attacks.

As well as this statement IGDA recently told gamasutra that they are also working on resources for developers to overcome these situations.

With over 120 chapters worldwide, one of the most important things the IGDA can do is to continue to serve its key role as a spokesperson for the community. We are also working with IGDA members to provide developers with a specific means to seek support and counseling in the event of harassment or other issues. Additionally, we are in the process of developing content that will help developers respond to this issue for the Resource Center on the IGDA website.

- Kate Edwards, IGDA executive director 

They have also offered basic advice in the past which they are now reposting for the time being. These guidelines include:

  • Report threats immediately
  • Don't engage
  • Gather personal help through your support network
  • Don't internalize the threat

IGDA as a whole is serving 'as a key support mechanism and resource for game developers worldwide' which fits with its companies' overall goal of advancing the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers.

We encourage the community to reach out to us when they have a need.


The IGDA has stepped in with this statement, and is aiming to 'up the game' with regards to harassment information because of the 'recent escalation of events involving game developers'. These events include the hacking of the game developers behind Fez and Depression Quest, threats to the transportation of Sony Online Entertainment's President and general online abuse. This abuse has resulted in time-wasting for law enforcement and has even managed to scare people enough to drive them away from their homes.


Chief Angry Bird Steps Down. Does Anyone Even Care? 2n26i/chief-angry-bird-steps-down-does-anyone-even-care Sun, 31 Aug 2014 04:13:07 -0400 mchiu Recently, several news outlets have reported about Rovio CEO, Mikael Hed, stepping down as head of the Angry Birds. It must have been a slow news day or something, because after its 2009 debut, does anyone even care?

Angry Birds has had an incredible run under Hed, with 12 sequels made to the original game, and spawning its own cartoon series, not to mention its enormous merchandising empire. It’s amazing that this simple game has become such a global hit, however, I figure a lot of that has to do with this Finnish company’s stealing a page out of it’s Scandinavian neighbor, Ikea, in giving instructions with no words, and just pictures.

According to Business Insider, the company’s profits had fallen 52% in FY 2013, and revenues had onl gone up a mere 3%, while the headcount ballooned from 500 to 800 employees. (WTF??? Have they heard about outsourcing out there?)

It’s amazing that a single game could build an enormous company, and their subsequent attempts at making anything other than Angry Birds flopped almost immediately.

Personally, I really don’t care about this news, but it just seems to have popped up in a lot of places where I figured it wasn’t really news. The company can continue to make another 100 sequels, and I don’t think anyone would really notice.

We all know that the mobile gaming space is way oversaturated by now, so the fact that a once mighty mobile game company is falling now really isn’t news. It started with Zynga’s one-hit wonder, Farmville, and their bloated egos into thinking that they were kings, only to be ironically taken over by a company called King, which is now well on its way into the shitter after it’s one-hit wonder, Candy Crush Saga.

Rovio has now announced that Pekka Rantala, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer who joined in June, will take over the reigns come January 2015, when the switch occurs. He comes from Nokia, where he was the SVP of Worldwide Marketing.

Maybe I’m being too pessimistic on Rovio and Angry Birds. What do you think? I don’t think bringing in this new CEO who seems to have very little background in the world of mobile games, and comes from a company that has pretty much lost its dominance in the mobile phone space will do much for bringing it back. Let me know what I’m missing in the comments below.


New Game Documentary "Pixel Poetry" Release m4jqf/new-game-documentary-pixel-poetry-release Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:08:30 -0400 GSA_GamingCulture In the growing pool of game documentaries available today, it's difficult to find one that isn't as broad and vague as the modern gaming industry itself. It bodes well in realizing how far we've come, that we now have our own individual stories and unique perspectives on gaming, and we can no longer consider a game's size to be a story in itself.

Pixel Poetry, a documentary film by Richard James Cook, tries to take on one of those unique perspectives. Instead of recounting the origins or the "golden days" of gaming, showing off expansive numbers and record profits, or presenting a polished presentation of how "cool" videogames are, Pixel Poetry takes a look at how games have evolved specifically as a creative and expressive medium. Along with this, the many controversies that have so much to do with that evolution get addressed by several notable personalities within the games industry:

  • Adam Sessler (former G4TV host)
  • Kellee Santiago (TED Talk alum and co-creator of Journey)
  • James Portnow (writer of the game development web series Extra Credits)
  • Warren Spector (30+ year game developer and creator of Deus Ex, System Shock, and many more classic games)

The film released on Aug. 27th as part of's new initiative to offer DRM free movies alongside their already impressive selection of DRM free games.

You can pick up the movie for only $5.99 now here.

You can also get more information about the film and check out the trailer by visiting their official website.

This Explanation of the 4th Dimension Will Blow Your Mind u738e/this-explanation-of-the-4th-dimension-will-blow-your-mind Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:07:54 -0400 TiquorSJ This video shows what moving in the 4th dimension might look like. Mind Blown.

Review: Hohokum (PS4, PS3, PSVita) wzchi/review-hohokum-ps4-ps3-psvita Sat, 30 Aug 2014 17:27:49 -0400 Anthony Schultz Hohokum was developed by Honeyslug Games (based out of the UK) in collaboration with Richard Hogg and was published by Sony Computer Entertainment.  Honeyslug is known primarily for their web-based flash games, but may also be familiar to PlayStation fans as the creators of the PSP game, Kahoots.  Richard Hogg is an artist and designer best known for Frobisher Says! (PSVita), and contributed largely to the colorful aesthetic of Hohokum. 


Hohokum is brilliantly colorful and surreal. Casually darting around stage-to-stage as a brightly-hued serpent looking for (well...) nothing is...exhilarating.  Hohokum breaks the shackles of pre-defined gaming troupes and conventions for a light-hearted, enjoyable adventure.  

Worlds are interconnected by circular wormholes that are spread throughout any given stage.  Usually there are two transit points to warp from one particular area to another, and it can take a little while to completely understand the layout of these worlds in order to purposefully travel to a respective one.  Each area is full of interesting characters and set pieces that can oftentimes be interacted with as long your serpent passes through creatures and/or objects.  

Cleverly designed ‘puzzles’ arise from this mechanic, because (like older gaming generations) there is no player direction or tutorial; the gameplay is all about imagination and creativity, and is always controlled by the pace of the user.  The standard ‘task-completed, reward-received’ nature of the game is removed, thus diminishing the frustration that can be accompanied by more-traditional games.  Honeyslug and Richard Hogg not only change the fundamental ways it means to play a game, they also provide the full aesthetic by pairing it with wonderful soundtrack. 


The music is catchy and poppy, but still manages to be quietly soothing.  It fits the abstract nature and artwork of the game, and draws players further in, entrancing them with its eye-catching colors and seamless gameplay.  More often than not, music in games is a generated playlist to fit an immense open world game, and is often pushed to the background until it isn't noticeable. Hohokum takes a different tactic and obviously took great care to score and write music specifically for the experience, and because the game and the music were developed in tandem,they fit together perfectly.

The Verdict

Personally, I loved the style and music of Hohokum.  It is incredibly soothing, and I greatly enjoyed the ‘figure it out yourself’ homage to classic gaming.  However, I could tell that this game is not meant for me.  To quote myself, I have become so engrained to the “task-complete, reward-received” style of video games that I found myself not captivated enough to return.  It didn’t grab me because I am an old school, nostalgic gamer.  I enjoy finding collectibles, running through arena challenges, and pondering over every little flying leaflet for lore and insight into an epic, series-spanning storyline.   

Because of this, I was unable to appreciate what Hohokum truly is.  That being said, I cannot honestly denounce the importance, careful craft, and beauty of Hohokum. It would be disingenuous to say otherwise.  It truly is a highlight of the year, and anyone even remotely interested in playing Hohokum should.

Grand Theft Auto V Gets A Soundtrack Update For New Version p5r6n/grand-theft-auto-v-gets-a-soundtrack-update-for-new-version Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:10:18 -0400 Yasmin Curren When I was younger (Urm, I mean, over 18 of course...) one of the best things about Grand Theft Auto was racing around in different vehicles to some awesome music. With different radio stations which indulged all genres of music, it's no wonder why the GTA soundtracks sell so well and are an important factor of the game. 

Grand Theft Audio V is coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One. These new editions will come complete with more onscreen characters, better draw distances, updated visuals and, according to a voice actor for one of the game's fictional radio stations (Non Stop Pop FM),  an updated soundtrack!

Cara Delevingne recently tweeted an instagram picture of herself wearing her GTA V gear and bringing us the news for the updated radio station!

'Fall'; the last word to this tweet is 'fall', just so you know!

This was later retweeted by Rockstar Games' official twitter account, confirming that the information was true. 

The updated version of GTA V was announced for the above platforms at E3 2014, but no official release date has been given yet.

The Long Dark Coming to Steam Early Access in September ffo63/the-long-dark-coming-to-steam-early-access-in-september Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:50:45 -0400 Amanda Wallace Survival sandbox game The Long Dark is coming to Steam Early Access September 22, 2014. Set in a post-disaster world,  The Long Dark promises to be a thoughtful exploration game set in the Northern wilderness. 

The game appears to have the standard survival aspects -- you have to brave the elements, hunt for supplies, explore the world, and find out how far you you would go to survive. The game comes from an interesting pedigree, even though it is the first game from this studio, Hinterlands, whose developers worked previously on games like League of Legends, Company of Heroes and Saints Row

This game comes with a lot of indie charm, and though it promises to be dark, it looks absolutely stunning.

The Long Dark is from a first person perspective, and comes with two modes: Sandbox and Story. Sandbox is an open-world style survival game with no narrative, and you must fight to survive. The game will track a variety of vitals (calories, temperature, thirst and fatigue), and allows you to explore the Northern Canadian setting of the game and promises hours of gameplay. 

Story mode is episodic, telling the story of bush pilot Will Mackenzie after he crash lands in the wilderness in a post-disaster world. As Hinterlands puts it, "he has to survive long enough to understand the profound ways in which the world has just changed." 

When the game launches on Steam Early Access (which you can pre-order from the site) players will only have access to the survival sandbox to avoid spoilers for the story mode. Those episodes will begin release at the games proper launch. You can get The Long Dark September 22 on Steam Early Access.

The Difference Between LoL vs DotA 2: A Tale of Two MOBAs 0fe64/the-difference-between-lol-vs-dota-2-a-tale-of-two-mobas Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:58:02 -0400 Jay Ricciardi Gbay99 explains the differences between League of Legends and DotA 2 in this video which tackles the differnet histories and philosphies behind each game. 

Crazy Taxi: City Rush Review tq86f/crazy-taxi-city-rush-review Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:08:53 -0400 Amazon Eliza Steel A regular fixture in many an arcade, bowling alley or roller rink for decades, SEGA's Crazy Taxiturned the third-person driving game into a chaotic experience and taught you everything NOT to do while behind the wheel.

The concept was pretty straight forward, you drive a cab around town, pick up customers, then do whatever it takes to get them to their destination in the quickest time possible. The original arcade and later console versions focused on trying to have the longest run and highest score by successfully delivering your hapless passengers.

These people seemed delighted to throw you tip money for taking jumps, ramming things and causing general mayhem. The more runs you finished, the more you made and the farther you got into the city.

Now, SEGA ramps up the crazy and the taxi with their mobile app sequel game - Crazy Taxi: City Rush.

Reiger, You're in 844!

The original arcade games had a handful of drivers, each with their favorite cabs. One would be quicker, another stronger, another took tighter turns etc. City Rush has a number of drivers and over a dozen cars to choose from. And you can completely upgrade and customize your cars as you go.

And yes, I said CARS plural. You maintain a garage full of vehicles and hire them out to game NPCs or your Facebook friends to drive and make money for you. See that? You've just been promoted from Reverend Jim Ignatowski to Louis De Palma on the first day, congratz boss.

Playing City Rush is mostly reflex swiping and tapping the screen as your cab whizzes the streets. No wheel control, which I like actually. The Grand Theft Auto touch wheel control was a pain. Here, it's simply swipe left or swipe right, or press hold on the edges to take tight turns. The cab auto-accelerates and you only have to brake when queued to. Remember, this is an arcade style game, not a driving simulator.

But, who wants a simulator when you can hit the Boost and plow up traffic ahead of you, launch skyward off the numerous truck trailers with their loading ramps conveniently down or making hairpin turns that would leave your stomach in your spine?

The game breaks up the city into areas that you must complete to move forward. Each area has its own challenges, selection of cars, as well as regular customers.

Latka, These Cabs Won't Fix Themselves!

Once you start collecting cars, there's a lot you can do to make them more... you. The car's attributes can be improved with newer tires, body frame, bigger engines, and more Nitrous (NO2) Boost. 

A wide selection of colors, wheels and decals can be bought along with items you can mount on your car's hood or trunk. Customizing your cab increases it's Ride score which gives you bonus cash after each run. These add-ons range from the cool (like a big engine sticking out or a racing spoiler) to the completely ridiculous. 

Let me say it this way, you can make your cab look like a Brony's dream or a pirate ship. 

Hit the Road!

I admit I've pretty hooked after playing a week or so. I've got 8 cars so far, half of them completely upgraded and I'm waiting for the 4th area to open up. Hiring out cabs is something I can do quickly, at any time, without having to actually stop and drive a mission, so my drivers are always busy.

But, it's a game you can learn quick, pick up anytime, run a fast mission or two and put back down if you must. It's a very casual experience, but you can easily spend a lot of time behind the crazy wheel.

Gotta' run, it's my shift.

Game Industry Misbehaving Series: 1080p 60FPS Native for Consoles 2oz01/game-industry-misbehaving-series-1080p-60fps-native-for-consoles Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:42:43 -0400 SpazldNinja 1080p 60FPS on Consoles Should be Standard (NOT Because Better Graphics)

All the games on the current generation of consoles (PS4, Xbox One WiiU) need to be running at 1080p native and at 60FPS. The N64 had more games running at 60FPS than all of last generation of consoles (Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii) did. And for those consoles I can only name one game off the top of my head. Vanquish, which was a great game! It did not run at 1080p, which was the trade-off to get it running at a pretty solid 60FPS, with anti-aliasing (2xMSAA). This is on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game.

 Vanqiush is pretty, and plays great! 

I’m Sure You’re Wondering, If You Say It’s Not Because Graphics, Why Are You Complaining About Graphics?

I love games, and will play them at 720p 30FPS, I don't mind that much. It's the game, not the resolution or frame rate which interest me (as long as it runs at a minimum of 30FPS otherwise it hurts my eyes). However as this is now a new generation, and a much older system could run at 60FPS, then the new gen needs to beat that right? Stepping from the N64/PS2 to Xbox 360/PS3 to drop the frame rate was acceptable, as we got HD which is the jump for that gen. But what jump are we getting from last generation to this generation? Sure the first few months of games for that generation will be running a bit behind, that’s fine. Developers need to get used to the hardware, and learn coding for optimisation. But a year down the line... something is fundamentally wrong with the hardware if all games cannot run at 1080p 60FPS native. I mean it’s only now we are getting games which can run like that.

Mario 64 ran at 60FPS 

This Is Not About Something Versus Something, This Is About a Generation Technological Jump

Just to put something out there, and to emphasise a point. I don't care what I game on, for the most part, except handhelds (they don’t interest me, but that’s preference). I don't care what resolution a game runs at, or how it looks. Pretty graphics are great to have, but not necessary for the core game to be good. I care about you, I care that you are not being ripped off with lies, and deceit. I care that consumers/customers (that’s you) are going to get what you pay for. And honestly, with the current generation of consoles, you simply are not getting that. You are being lied to, and looked down upon on. Deceived over and over again. That is why I am angry at the consoles not running at 1080p 60FPS as standard, not because graphics. But because that is the next jump for the generations step. A step across generations needs to bring some sort of jump, no matter what it is. Be it in the animations, or AI (doesn’t need to be graphics). This generation’s jump is believed to be, and marketed as, running at 1080p 60FPS native. However is this the case? No. If you look at the standout exclusives for the consoles (which we know how they are running), on the PS4 side we have The Order: 1886.

I'm sure it will be a fun game, but all the bull surrounding it puts me off.

Showcase Games

The Order: 1886 is a showcase game, to show off what they PS4 can do in terms of gameplay, graphics, frame rates etc. So what exactly is it showing? That the PS4 can render 4xMSAA in sub 1080p resolution (at 1920x800)? Chief Technology Officer Andrea Pessino quoted the reason for this, “…we do run 4xMSAA which looks spectacular! x800 with AA looks MUCH better than x1080 without : )” and later “To be clear, x800 with 4xMSAA needs more bandwidth than x1080 would, so 1080 no MS would be cheaper.” By cheaper I assume he means less resource intensive, so less taxing on the system. This means they have openly admitted that the PS4 cannot run this game with the extra 280 pixels with 4xMSAA. Why not just use FXAA? That is much less taxing, and still looks great. The Order is also only running at 30FPS, ReadyAtDawn have said the reason is something to this effect. “Running the game at 60FPS makes it looks to sci-fi/fantasy, so running the game at 30FPS hit the movie look we want”. I have a massive issue with these statements, the first is that it just sounds like an excuse for poor hardware, the second is that they are openly admitting that the very expensive hardware is not very graphically powerful. Now looking at the showcase for the Xbox One, Ryse: Son of Rome, exactly the same issue can be found here. The game runs at 1920x900 and at 30FPS. So what does that showcase? Exactly the same as the PS4. Lack of graphical hardware to be able to run the games. So no one console is better than the other.

All the effort went into making it look nice, and they failed at making it play well.

I have nothing wrong with a showcase of something, they just simply show the item in question in the best light. But when that best light is only a small amount (resolution wise) more than the last generation, for me it begs the questions. Where the consoles poorly designed? Where they released too early? Are they too hard to develop for? Or do they simply have weak hardware?

 In The End It Is Just About The Games

I do just love games, and want to play them. So when there are games, I deem (for me) worthy for the purchase of a console, then I will get that console. Even if I am playing at 720p 30FPS. If the game is amazing, or at the very least amazing fun, it doesn't matter how it runs. I have enjoyed it and that, for me, is exactly what I want.

I have enjoyed plenty of games running lower frame rates, or resolutions. The Last of Us, running at 720p 30FPS, did that take away from the gameplay? Or the story? No, not at all. It is one of the best games ever made. Halo 3, Reach and 4, running at 720p/1080p and 30FPS, did it detract from the immense fun, and amount of hours I have put into those games? Not in the slightest.


Such an amazing game, does not need 1080p but 60FPS will not hurt (will look smoother)

Generation Steps Need a Technology Jump To Go With It

That is the root of the issue I have, from the 4th generation to the 5th brought disks (PS1).

PS1 disks some where black... for some reason.

The jump from the 5th to the 6th brought a lot more power (Dreamcast), games running from DVDs (PS2, Dreamcast, Xbox Original, Gamecube) and built in hard drives (Xbox Original).

Probally the best generation, in terms of singleplayer games of course.

Then the biggest jump in gaming, the 6th generation to the 7th generation (Xbox 360, PS3) brought high definition gaming to our homes, but not only that stable and fully fledged online systems (Xbox Live, PSN), which just grew as the generation went along.

The most impressive (so far) console generation graphically.

So what has the jump from the 7th generation to the 8th given us? Very expensive hardware, which can’t run game much better than the previous generation? We are starting to see where other little jumps are happening, with the cloud services, game streaming. But is this enough for a generations step? I don’t think it is, we need a small graphical, and frame rate jump as well.

The general gaming community is also looking at it from a graphical perspective, “OH LOOK IT’S NOT MUCH MORE SHINY.” I hear them cry. Where I am looking at it from a technological perspective.

Have I succeeded? Let me know in the comment bellow. And of course, thank you for reading.

Incredible Gnar Fan Art For League of Legend's Newest Champion rw8rq/incredible-gnar-fan-art-for-league-of-legends-newest-champion Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:38:18 -0400 Kate Reynolds So there you have it, eleven great renderings of our new favorite champion, and hopefully even more to come in the future.


If this hasn't satisfied your urge for awesome images of League of Legends, might I humble suggest you try looking at 20 Incredible League of Legends Cosplays?


I really enjoy this sketch done by lewrenn on Tumblr. Most Gnar art tends to focus on one of his aspects or the other, but it's nice to see both in this portrait. You can't have big scary Gnar without the little cute guy, 


I've never understood the point of Poro's on ARAM....until now. Imagine if every Poro was just a mini-Gnar biding its time until it gets big and devours you.


I initially thought Poro's were just cute little creatures to feed for no reason, now I'm convinced that they're ARAM enforcers...just waiting for you to get out of line so they can demonstrate their true power. Unless you happen to have a treat on you?


Source: thedirtytomato deviantArt


People often wonder how League of Legends creators come up with new characters. After all, there are over one hundred and twenty champions currently in the game, and the number keeps growing! 


In this image, we can see how one person imagined Gnar's conception. While this is probably not what happened (and it's just a mash-up of other people's art) it's still fun to think about! 


Source: League Meme


As fierce as Gnar looks in this piece by deviantArt's Celopius, he keeps reminding me of Ludo from Labyrinth. Like, at any moment I'm excepting young Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie to make an appearance. 


As ferocious as Gnar looks in this picture, his passing resemblance to Ludo just makes me want to hug him. I should never listen to these instincts. 


See what I mean about not always being cute and cuddly? While most fan art I found focused on the less menacing aspect of Gnar, his monster version needs some love too. I've also now decided that Tibbers wouldn't stand a chance. 


Does anyone else out there want to yell \"Digivolve!\" when Gnar transforms? No, that's just me? Gosh. Kids these days don't watch enough late '90s television. 


Source: Hanjidile deviantArt


Let's face it: all the ladies want a piece of Gnar. Right now I'm fighting the urge to visit my local pet store and see if they've got any large-eared orange cats laying around. 


Unlike Annie, Lulu might actually be able to handle Gnar when he gets...bigger. Her transmogrifying powers could teach him some impulse control, and her little fairy companion might make a good babysitter. This pair has my seal of approval!


Source: Yraell deviantArt


In this picture from deviantArt's holyelfgirl, we get a League of Legends/Lilo and Sitch mash-up. This is the first time I've seen a champion paired with a disney character, and now I want to see more. 


Stitch could take Gnar's place in the League for a little while, right? Except then we wouldn't be able to play with Gnar. So, ultimately this scenario is a no-go for me. 


All the League of Legends cuties are pretty into the champ. There are several other champions drawn from animals, but none as cute and cuddly as Gnar. For Gnar's sake, I hope that Tibber's doesn't get jealous. 


For Annie's sake, I hope that Gnar doesn't get angry. After all, he's a bit like a mogwai (from Gremlins, yeh I went there). He can get big and dangerous if not taken care of properly. 


Who do you think would win in a fight: Gnar or Tibbers?


Source: NoemiSparkle deviantArt


Here's a minimalist portrait of Gnar, complete with earbuds and iPod. He might be the missing link, but Gnar can still enjoy modern technology. He's not a caveman!


Source: Quiet-Lamp devianArt


Gnar is so hip, no only can he pull off a dino costume, but he also knows how to maximize his cuteness with selfies and Lulu.


The purple of her hair and his suit make the picture pop with color, which just leaves me wonder, what does purpose taste like? 


Source: G21MM deviantArt


For the purpose of this slideshow cosplay counts as fan art, and this girl is good! Illisia, from Illisia Cosplay and Photography has dressed as other champions from League of Legends in the past, but I love that this image gives her a chance to let down her hair and get goofy. 


There are more pictures from this photo shoot on her facebook page, you might want to check out the link below. 


Cosplay by: Illisia Cosplay and Photography


Photography by: Vrael Cosplay


Gnar may be one of the most difficult champions to learn how to play in League of Legends, but that hasn't stopped people from loving him. In fact, many ignore Gnar as a playable champion, and simply focus on his adorable features and cuddly exterior. It's hard not to love the little guy. 


So if you love Gnar as much as we do, here's some excellent fan art of the \"missing-link.\" From explaining his origins or just showing Gnar in his free time, this fan art and cosplay will give you all the warm fuzzies you need from your friendly neighborhood Gnar. 

Xenoblade's Shulk Confirmed For New Super Smash Bros. tyvnr/xenoblades-shulk-confirmed-for-new-super-smash-bros Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:00:31 -0400 Angelina Bonilla Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles has finally made his appearance in Super Smash Bros as a playable character. Xenoblade Chronicles was one of those game that was a part of the fan petition for Operation Rainfall, which brought Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower overseas. The most beloved of all three of these games is Xenoblade Chronicles for the Nintendo Wii and despite being a new IP, its massive popularity was enough for Nintendo to recognize its' potential and add Shulk into the game.

Shulk is the first character in the series that hails from a traditional JRPG (Fire Emblem is Strategy RPG and Mario was from a platformer first) so it's quite interesting to see the huge variety of attacks he has at his disposal. This might mean that Shulk has a steeper learning curve than some of the other characters in the game due to the fact that he has different styles of play depending on the different emblem that's on his sword. Shulk might be a character best used with someone who prefers Zelda/Shiek in Brawl or Melee.

Some fans worry that Shulk may end up being fairly overpowered because of his diverse moveset and range of options. In fighting games or competitive games in general, a lot of options can easily mean a playable character is often better than other characters in every way because there are more ways to adapt to the meta game and other play-styles. Hopefully Nintendo won't give us another Meta Knight to ban from every Smash tournament.

For any updates on Super Smash Bros, keep reading here on GameSkinny.

New Nintendo 3DS and 3DSXL Announced ca9ge/new-nintendo-3ds-and-3dsxl-announced Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:30:12 -0400 Angelina Bonilla The latest Nintendo Direct announced that two new models of the 3DS is on the way and there will be a few changes coming with them. The new models are going to make 3D viewing easier a widened view in stereoscopic 3D possibly reducing the strain that 3D often has on players' eyes. 

The update will also have a more powerful CPU, which hopefully translates into smoother gameplay. Other than a few aesthetic changes like a few buttons being slightly shifted around, there is also a new analog stick, similar to the GameCube’s C-Stick. The new models will also be compatible with Nintendo’s upcoming Amiibo system and the new tech will allow users to synchronize 3DS data with their PCs.

The upgraded version of the 3DS has interchangeable faceplate adding a whole new level of customization to your 3DS finally licensed by Nintendo. It still probably won’t be as cheap as DIY customization, but it is nice that Nintendo is trying to add an official layer of user customization.

The system will be released in Japan for 16,000 yen for the 3DS and 18,000 yen for the 3DS XL, which translates to $160 and $180 USD respectively.

The Creatures Swatting Caught on Camera During Livestream ksaxw/the-creatures-swatting-caught-on-camera-during-livestream Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:21:07 -0400 TiquorSJ Swatting is scary dangerous stuff, but here is the creature swatting for your entertainment.

Top 5 Best Video Game Controller Mods - Enhancing Gameplay autbj/top-5-best-video-game-controller-mods-enhancing-gameplay Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:46:42 -0400 PencilPusha 1) The Nintendo DS Guitar Hero Guitar


Who says playing Guitar Hero on the Nintendo DS is boring?! This guy must have thought the same thing because he came up with a way to connect a full-size Guitar Hero Guitar Controller with a Nintendo DS. He replaced the strum with the Nintendo DS, since the touchpad is the strum. He also included a way to channel the game's audio into his home theater system! Now if that isn't a cool way to enhance gameplay between the console, the controller and the player, then what is?


2) Nintendo Entertainment System Controller Coffee Table


Are you a Nintendo fan? Do you miss the times you played the Nintendo Entertainment System when you were a kid (for those '80s and '90s babies)? Well here's something to make you jealous: a giant Nintendo Controller that doubles as a coffee table and a real game controller! Playing with friends using only one controller was taboo...until now.


3) The Ghostbusters Nintendo Wii Remote


It's a custom-designed Wii remote that's ideal for any die-hard Ghostbusters fan. And the best part is that it's fully-functional! At first glance, it appears to be quite useless. But in the video, you can see that it's clearly designed to match a pair of goggles and a replica Ghostbusters Proton Pack to make the Wii experience so much better.


4) The One-Handed Xbox 360 Controller


This is a great idea and all, but the joystick down on the bottom of the controller looks too strenuous for the average gamer. However, this is an innovative approach to providing the joy of gaming to those with disabilities. This idea can potentially revolutionize the video game console industry as a whole. Disabled gamers need gaming love, too.


5) The Hemp Wii Remote


Whatever you do, don't get this controller near flames or your gaming capabilities might be temporarily impaired. This Wii Remote and Nunchuk are wrapped in hemp, a very useful, versatile (and sometimes controversial) plant. Donkey Kong would definitely use this controller if he were a gamer! It screams environmentally-friendly. This controller would be great for environment-conscious gamers. Too bad gaming requires electricity.


Every gamer loves a great game console. But without a controller, gamers can't play their favorite games on their beloved consoles! Controllers are just as important as the console itself. The buttons, the joysticks, the all contributes to an incredible gaming experience. So what happens when controllers are modified? The gaming experience is enhanced tenfold because the connection between the controller, the console, and the player have been tightened. Check out these amazing controller mods.

Getting Swatted Captured on Twitch xsinh/getting-swatted-captured-on-twitch Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:16:15 -0400 mchiu It’s been a while since I last heard about anyone getting swatted, which is a prank call (if you can even call it that) placed to the police about an extremely (fictitious) dire situation that SWAT is dispatched to the location.

Jordan Mathewson, who goes by the handle of “Kootra”, just got swatted yesterday, while playing Counter-Strike. His ordeal was captured on video, as he was streaming live to Twitch while it was going on.

At about 15 second mark in the video, we see Kootra look behind him as there is some commotion going on. He later guesses he is getting swatted, but somehow does not take it too seriously. The rest of the video is him getting interrogated by the SWAT, who is obviously still on high alert.

On Twitter, someone under the name of @ScrewPain is taking credit for this stunt, who explains himself in a DM chat with ABC correspondent Eric Kahnert. He claims to have done this simply because he could.  According to the police, a 911 call was made claiming that two co-workers have been shot, with several others taken in as hostages. It also stated that the shooter would start shooting officers if they entered.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in all of this, and Mathewson was eventually released without charge.

I’m not sure what people get from calling the SWAT on someone. If @ScrewPain is for real, he had no real reason to do this, and just wasted a lot of people’s time and police resources. What do you think? Am I just being too conservative in thinking this way?

Square Enix Shows Off New Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix Content owodk/square-enix-shows-off-new-kingdom-hearts-hd-25-remix-content Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:07:39 -0400 zoLo567 This December we get to relive Kingdom Hearts 2, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded through the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix. Now Square Enix has released a new trailer showcasing some of the new content that we will experience in the new collection.

Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix will add a wealth of new content. This includes bonus boss battles, such as fights against Roxas and Lingering Will.  The game will feature a remastered soundtrack, with over 90 remastered tracks. The game will have new items, including keyblades, new gummi ship missions, and a secret movie that ties the game to Birth by Sleep. There will also be new playable episodes.,2817,2459933,00.asp

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep will also feature new bosses, cut scenes, items and playable episodes. Birth by Sleep will also add new action and support abilities, new deck commands, and a new command style. Re:coded will feature a theatre mode, and cinematic cut scenes based off of some of the series' favorite battles, including Data Sora vs. Data Riku.

I am glad to see all of this new content. I have been waiting to get my hands on the Final Mix versions of these games for a long time. It has been awhile since I have played these games, and I am sure it will be a pleasure to play the remixed versions. Hopefully it will help tide me over until we learn more about Kingdom Hearts 3.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix will contain Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. The collection comes out on December 2 on the PlayStation 3. Anyone who preorders the collection will receive an upgrade to the limited edition for free.

Oculus Rift + Leap Motion: VR Perfection? 140mi/oculus-rift-leap-motion-vr-perfection Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:15:01 -0400 mchiu If you have ever put on an Oculus Rift headset, you know how awesome it is to be completely immersed in a virtual environment. Until you realize that you can only see what’s in front of you through moving your head back and forth.

I remember putting it on for the first time a few weeks ago, and my friend was showing me a game called “Faceball”, where baseballs would come flying at my face, and I had to position a bat in front of me by moving around my head. It was fun, but as we progressed to other demos and games, if I wanted to actually move around in the world, I had to use a keyboard and mouse. There is also the option of using a gamepad or joystick. The problem is that the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset, and not an augmented reality headset, so my vision to anything around me in the real world is completely blocked off by the VR headset.

 For example, trying to play Half-Life 2 with the VR headset is a bit awkward, since I naturally want to stand up while playing, but the keyboard and mouse in on the desk, so I have to sit down to actually move around.

Leap Motion, a company that makes a device for PC/MAC for gesture controls, has now introduced a clip that physically attaches itself to the front of the Oculus Rift headset, so you can have total freedom to interact with objects in the virtual environment. I am guessing that gestures can also be used to control movement in the virtual world.

The video illustrates how accurate the Leap Motion is in identifying movement with the hands, including the points where the fingers bend.

Now that the Oculus Rift DK2 has forward facing cameras, I think it would be awesome to put a small form factor PC such as an Intel NUC or Xi3 Z3RO into a backpack with a battery, and be able to roam around a virtual world with interactive objects based on what the camera sees in front of you!

Minecraft Villager Nose Mod Showcase 8ftpx/minecraft-villager-nose-mod-showcase Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:26:39 -0400 TiquorSJ Who knew that Mincecraft villager noses could be so much fun!

League of Legends Season 4 Rewards Announced 8n9k2/league-of-legends-season-4-rewards-announced Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:49:27 -0400 Travis McGee With Hallo-Thanks-Mas just around the corner the end of the year is quickly approaching, and any competitive League of Legends player can tell you that that means the end of another season and the beginning of a new one. So now the rewards for this past season have been officially announced.

For those of us less competitive League of Legends players, a bit of explanation may be needed:

Each January, League of Legends begins a season for competitive play - that is ranked games - that works much like the ladder seasons found in other games like World of Warcraft, Path of Exile, and Starcraft II to name a few. These seasons are ways to track your progress and skill while also offering rewards for milestone achievements.

The "League of Legends" Competitive Seasons are similar to the Championship Series, but these matches can be played by anyone with high enough ELO and do not offer prize money. Many Championship teams use the laddering seasons to practice for League's ever-evolving metagame.

League of Legends' rewards primarily come in the form of unique champion skins, summoner icons, banners, and other aesthetic items. A comprehensive list of the Season 4 rewards can be found on Riot's official site.

 This season's victorious skin is for Morgana, who is featured in the header art above as well as splash art here.

Master tier is a new ladder within the competitive season that players can reach between Challenger tier and Diamond Tier. The new tier was actually added out of concern at the end of Season 3 over how to determine one's standings within Challenger and Diamond, and Riot has said that Master tier is intended to make a clearer, more obvious path for players attempting to reach Diamond.

Riot still has not announced the exact date for when Season 4 will end - telling us only that it will be in November - but with the close of the season fast approaching players will definitely see the competition heating up in ranked matches.

Now is the perfect time for Season 5 hopefuls to start spectating.

TotalBiscuit Donates $1000 to ALS Research, Nominates Phil Fish ffhmg/totalbiscuit-donates-1000-to-als-research-nominates-phil-fish Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:16:03 -0400 Travis McGee The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been rolling through the games industry faster (and with more *Steam*) than in the film industry. Recently, game commentator and gaming personality TotalBiscuit (John Bain) accepted the challenge from fellow Polaris persona WoWcrendor.

But instead of pouring ice water over his head, TotalBiscuit upped the ante by donating $1000 to ALS Research.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a very simple - and effective - charity drive where celebrities, famous personalities, game developers and producers, and everyday people are challenged to either donate $100 to ALS Research or post a video of themselves to YouTube being doused with a bucket of ice water. Any participant who accepts the challenge and makes a donation or gets doused then gets to challenge whoever they want.

Phil Fish is one of the developers behind "Fez" (seen above), but lately he's become controversial in the industry for his views on game streaming.

In a bold move, TotalBiscuit decided to challenge Indie Game Developer Phil Fish - of Fez fame and Fez 2 infamy - after donating ten times what was required. TotalBiscuit's choice is very interesting after considering Phil Fish's stance on YouTubers and streamers making money off streaming gameplay and walkthroughs.

Fish believes that game developers are entitled to a portion of that revenue by virtue of having made the games being streamed, but the real question is will the Fez developer do the Ice Bucket Challenge despite his objections to streaming in the gaming community or will he decline to help the charity out instead.

TotalBiscuit also challenged members of Axiom eSports with the statement that "it shouldn't be too much of a problem" for them. This is a bit of a contrast for his call-out of Phil Fish, which he claims to have done "just for funsies."

Nothing About Xbox One Justifies the Endless Flak it Receives wgw2f/nothing-about-xbox-one-justifies-the-endless-flak-it-receives Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:21:47 -0400 Fathoms_4209 It's all about balance.

I'm a PlayStation fan and always have been, but I've also owned both the Xbox and Xbox 360. I don't own an Xbox One but that's simply because it doesn't yet have any games that tempt me. I buy video game consoles for the games; I don't care about extra and - in my eyes, irrelevant - features. I got the PlayStation 4 because being a big inFamous fan, I knew I'd love Second SonTitanfall isn't my bag but Sunset Overdrive could be.

See? Simple. I have nothing against the Xbox brand, even though Microsoft has given me cause to despise their business practices. I'm all about comparing systems objectively and that being the case, I'm not sure I'm seeing such a huge gap between the PS4 and Xbox One. So, why all the hate for the latter?

Game-wise, there isn't much difference right now

Neither system has a AAA "killer app" at this point in time, although I know the Xbox fans will point toward Titanfall. Sorry, I just see it as another shooter. The aforementioned inFamous was great but it doesn't fit my view of "next-gen," and neither did Killzone: Shadow Fall or Ryse: Son of Rome. We just haven't seen the stuff that makes us all go, "wow, now that's next-gen!" It's not like the PlayStation 4 is blowing the Xbox One out of the water on the exclusive software front (at least, not yet; next year's Uncharted 4: A Thief's EndBloodborne and The Order: 1886 might change that).

On the multiplatform front, it's pretty similar. Granted, we've seen a lot of headlines pointing out the resolution and frames-per-second differences between several high-profile multiplatform titles. It's true that PS4 versions seem to outperform their Xbox One counterparts on a frequent basis. However, is that really swaying purchase decisions one way or the other? 1080p vs. 980p is a deal-breaker? I'm not sure that's true.

So, what is it? Reliability issues? PSN vs. Live?

If this were last generation, I'd understand the popularity gap between PlayStation and Xbox right now. The Xbox 360 was catastrophically bad; with defective rights soaring over 30 percent and the Red Ring of Death fiasco lasting over four years (during which time, I believe Microsoft pretended they couldn't fix it to artificially inflate hardware sales). Ironically, that's when the 360 was crushing the PS3 in the US. Isn't that bizarre? And in looking at the PS4 and Xbox One, consumers have been lucky enough to see two very reliable systems thus far.

The PlayStation Network vs. Xbox Live argument still rages, and while I - and many others - will maintain that PlayStation Plus is about ten million times better than anything on Live, there are plenty of gamers who claim otherwise. Hence, this can't be the cause of the popularity gap between the two consoles. The PSN isn't free anymore, either, and a $10 difference isn't that big of a deal.

Aside from bad word-of-mouth due to the PR disaster in 2013, Xbox One seems...fine

This is what I mean: Objectively speaking, I'm not sure Xbox One deserves a fraction of the flak it has received from the gaming community. I think this just proves that a gamer's memory isn't quite as short as Microsoft hoped it'd be. They haven't forgotten the Xbox One announcement and the explosion of negativity that created due to several controversial policies. Microsoft was forced to rescind such policies (and acted all gamer-friendly when they did, as if they hadn't already tipped their hand with the initial announcement), but it wasn't enough.

The bottom line is that the PR nightmare of 2013 has chased Xbox One into 2014, and I wonder how long it will last. Eventually, consumers will start to forget and they'll be more objective in their comparisons. Until then, though, I think PlayStation will continue to benefit from Microsoft's mistakes.