DigitalDame / GameSpot Community Lead

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DigitalDame Blog

New 3DS. I NEED IT!!

Nintendo saved a nice surprise for the end of its Nintendo Direct briefing today, revealing a special-edition New 3DS XL system focused on the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D... Except there's one small problem. THEY'RE SOLD OUT EVERYWHERE!

Okay, so I get that this is one of those instances of "First World Problems" but still... I WANT IT SO BAD. And what's worse, we're not getting the custom plate option (at least not anytime soon).

And why exactly are we not getting the smaller 3DS option?

"Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing," Nintendo of America said in a statement. "We think New Nintendo 3DS XL makes the most sense for our market. Nintendo makes different systems at different price points for a whole range of consumers, and New Nintendo 3DS XL simply expands those choices even further."

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Digital Dame EXP: The Wolf Among Us

THE GOOD

  • Respectful of the source material
  • Strong writing and characterization
  • Stunning noir setting and soundtrack
  • Moderate to high replay value

THE BAD

  • Can have an “autopilot” feel.
  • Interactive novel feel might not be appealing to everyone.

Like the TellTale games before it, many of the choices you make during each chapter have an impact on your overall game experience. I also found it curious that they would notify you regularly of these influences but as I reflect on my total game experience I’m unsure of what actual effect it had on my relationships with the Fables.

There are 5 chapters, each take about an hour and change to finish. I'm unsure how I would have felt about the episode progression if I had to wait for the next one, but I think I would have been okay with most of the chapter conclusions (except chapter 4, because reasons).

The way that TellTale depicted the worlds characters was top notch. Even if you have no connections to the graphic novel. You care about the characters you want to sympathize with while feeling comfortable with vilifying those who you feel are likely to be nefarious. When things happened to the characters that I cared about, or was in some way invested in, I was struck with this overwhelming desire to make sure a resolution happened (sometimes, for better or for worse).

That being said, after the dust settled, and seeing how my choices matched up with the rest of the community, I found myself almost fevered to find out how my friends responded to the same situations (apparently, I have been often in the majority percent). This makes me want to play the game again, and likely even a third time.

Going into The Wolf Among Us, I knew about some of the "core" characters, along with some various canon points (glamor, "The Farm," etc.) That being said, it feels like they were very respectful of the source material, despite taking liberties with certain variables for the sake of the story.

Here are a few “quirks” that I wish they would have made note of:

1. So, what’s Bigby’s Deal?

Basically, he is a werewolf and can change between wolf form, human form and an intermediate "wolfman" stage at will (in "The Great Fables Crossover", it is revealed that Bigby's nature as one of the North Wind's sons allows him to change forms at will though he favors the wolf and wolfman forms.

2. How do glamours work exactly?

This is where things get a little… fuzzy. They never really fully explained how this worked in the comics (to my knowledge anyway) but as I understand it, The more people that want to look human, the more expensive glamour spells get (and the less powerful the spell becomes, not sure about the details) to preserve their magical energies. The witches of Fable (the ones on the 13th floor) don't have the ability to make unlimited glamours/transformations, so that's why they ask money for it. Though I’m still not sure how or what makes a glamour “black market” in terms of quality. But despite a ton of hours of attempted research regarding Fables glamour spell, I found no documented reference of necessary components or procedure for creating or administering a glamour to a person.

3. Where was Prince Charming?

Okay, so this one is super minor, but I feel of all the sleazy, skumbag characters they could have introduced you to, this guy takes the cake. They briefly mention this character during a few of the chapters, and when it happens, it almost seems as though it’s a concept rather than a person. However, Prince Charming is in fact a Fable. Prince Charming is a pathological womanizer, a liar and an all-around rogue. His (known) previous wives in chronological order were Snow White, Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) and Cinderella.

I feel that my largest criticism stems from the feeling that there is no form of punishment, no imminent threat should you fail, and no noticeable consequence for your actions. But this minor stumble should not reflect poorly on the games overall appeal. The fantastic dialog and mapping of events is superb and managed to keep me dialed in for hours.

All in all, I highly recommend The Wolf Among Us (especially since as I'm writing this, it's 50% of Steam). Is it "essential" perhaps not, but it's for sure an experience that I would highly encourage among all of my friends.

**Note: My opinion does not reflect that of GameSpot’s official stance or alter that of the professional review. This simply my experience.

DigitalDame's Top 5 Games of 2014

Okay, so I'm not an Editor. But as the Community Manager I thought I should throw down and share my Top 5 games for 2014. So in no particular order:

Five Nights at Freddies

Nothing feels quite like a well placed jump scare. And if there’s one thing this game does perfectly, it’s that.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS

I’m not what one would consider particularly great at fighting games, and normally, that is a barrier to my enjoyment of them. But I’ve never felt that way with the Smash series.Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS continues this tradition with beautiful graphics and enhanced mechanics.

South Park: Stick of Truth

I’ve watched South Park since before I should have been allowed to do so (thanks, Mom!), and as a fan of the series I feel that this game was the ultimate fan service.

Hearthstone

Some might call it “dumbed down Magic,” those people are wrong. The only thing these two games have in common are the fact that they are both card games. That being said, the tactics involved in a game of Hearthstone are fun and easy to pick up, while at the same time, being complicated enough to make competitive play a very real thing.

And my overall game of the year goes to...

Sunset Overdrive

This game felt like a love letter from the world of games, to me. It was like Jet Grind Radio and Lollipop Chainsaw had a fabulous baby. It was crazy, and random, and reminded me of why I love weird video games.

This game felt like a love letter from the world of games, to me. It was like Jet Grind Radio and Lollipop Chainsaw had a fabulous baby. It was crazy, and random, and reminded me of why I love weird video games.

So there you have it. My humble list of my personal top 5 games for 2015. What were some of your favorites?

The Quest for Better Box Art

A few months ago, I was at a Magic the Gathering event in Portland. I was working check in for VIP which meant that I got to meet a LOT of cool people. Among those people was a guy named Peter Lapp. He made a comment about the awesomeness of my laptop and it started a conversation about what I did for a living. But enough about me, this post is about Peter.

You see, Peter appreciated the awesomeness of my laptop because he himself is in the industry, well sort of. He is a part of a Kickstarter for Better Box Art. Here are a few of the pieces:

So what is Better Box Art exactly? Here's their mission statement:

Simply put it's alternate video game cover art by talented artists from around the US.

Better Box Art is a group of long-time video game lovers and entrepreneurs out of Portland, OR who, alongside a talented team of artists from across the country, believe that video game box art should be as unique and creative as the games they represent. Too often, video game covers are designed by marketing teams whose goal is to find the design which will sell best on store shelves. As a result, video game covers are too often generic, festooned with obnoxious marketing, or simply not a fair representation of the game.

The goal of Better Box Art is to provide cover art which captures every drop of creative vision that went into the game itself. Our covers are unique, personal, and are designed to look good on display.

The games we’ve chosen are among the most popular and beloved in recent years; games which inspire us and others creatively and, we think, deserve to have cover art which celebrates their aesthetic style.

TLDNR: These guys are awesome and you should consider Kickstarting them.

I've personally kicked into them because, well I think they're awesome and I enjoy the idea of sharing awesome art (I'm kind of a sucker for cool video game art).

What games would you like to see alternate art covers for?

GameSpot is Hiring - Social Media Producer

We're looking for a new Social Media Producer. If you have experience and are interested apply here!

Here's a bit about what we are looking for:

  • Build and maintain strong GameSpot presences on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social channels
  • Establish and perform to meet or exceed KPIs for audience acquisition, social following, effectiveness of social media efforts
  • Drive growth of our social and distribution channels and provide analytics, measurement, insight and reporting to determine focus and direction
  • Manage day-to-day relationship with GameSpot community
  • Moderate community communication channels including forums and live chat
  • Development and manage community features, programs, and tools
  • Assist in overseeing team of GameSpot.com volunteer moderators
  • Accountable for community growth and satisfaction goals as well as reporting on community driven trends and feedback

Mega Man Battle Network Now on Nintendo eShop

I saw this on Twitter today:

Nintendo goes on to call it "A futuristic cyber adventure starring Mega Man! In a future where everyone owns a personal exploration terminal--PET for short--convenience is at your fingertips. With PETs, humankind is connected to a network that allows instant communication and handling of every day needs. But with the latest upgrades, network viruses have also flourished."

Now, I can't help but look at this and be slightly bothered by this... When I think of getting a new Mega Man I think of getting something like this:

But instead I get this?

Have any of you played this style of Mega Man? Am I over reacting? Let me know what you think.

GameSpot Game Day

This idea has been kicked around by both moderators and volunteers for the past couple of days, but I figured I would extend the reach just a bit further into the spere of followers that happen to still read blogs (if they're still out there).

So how does a "GameSpot Game Day" sound to you? Would you be interested in playing? If so, which games should we do? Should we focus on one game or should a Game Day be a celebration of different games and types to help be more inclusive Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Game on!

The Creators of Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, and Penny Arcade are making Magic Cards

During this years PAX East, Wizards of the coast announced that there would be a few new celebrity designers helping out with this years core set (called M15).

Here is the full list of designers, creators, and all around awesome folks who will be making cards for the latest set:

  • George Fan: designer of Plants vs Zombies
  • Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins: Gabe and Tycho, creators of Penny Arcade
  • Markus Persson: "Notch," creator of Minecraft and founder of Mojang
  • Richard Garriot: "Lord British," creator of the Ultima series
  • David Sirlin: designer on Super Street Figher II Turbo HD Remix, Yomi
  • Rob Pardo: chief creative officer at Blizzard, lead designer of World of Warcraft
  • Isaiah Cartwright: lead game designer for Guild Wars 2
  • Justin Gary: designer of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer and Solforge
  • Stone Librande: lead designer at Riot Games, designer of Diablo 3, creative director of SimCity
  • Brian Fargo: founder and CEO of inXile Entertainment, director of Bard’s Tale, Wasteland, executive producer of Fallout
  • Mike Neumann: Gearbox Software, creative director on Borderlands
  • James Ernest: owner and lead designer for Cheapass Games, designer of Kill Doctor Lucky
  • Edmund McMillen: indie designer of Super Meat Boy, featured in Indie Game: The Movie
  • Brad Muir: game designer at Double Fine Productions leading Massive Chalice, project lead on Iron Brigade

So far, only George Fans' card has been revealed and it seems pretty awesome:

There's no telling what kinds of cards these fine folks will be creating, but I have high hopes that they'll be awesome additions to the next set rotation. I'm personally hoping that at least one of them designs a Planeswalker.

The Magic 2015 Core Set will feature 269 cards and releases on July 18th with prerelease events starting July 12th at a local game store near you.