Thursday, February 25, 2016

Weekly Link Round Up

Spring is in the air...at least in Texas. Maybe where you live it's a little bit warmer then usual and not the crazy low temps we expect at this time of year. Hopefully there are no more left-field snow storms that shut down half the country.

What's with the random topic? It's the signal for the Weekly Link Round Up! Here are the best, and weirdest, gaming stories on the internet this week:

- Do you remember Leland Yee? The former California Senator was one of the writers behind the bill that would ban sales of violent video games to minors. After the bill was struck down by the Supreme Court, Yee became the focus on an investigation for bribery and wire fraud charges. This week he was sentenced to 5 years in prison after admitting to the charges against him, including political corruption. Why does it seem like the crusaders against video games always seem to have karma bite them in the butt? Jack Thompson, we're looking at you.

- Kidzworld, a very family-friendly website, has a list of video games that they would like to see rebooted. Now before you start making assumptions that this site is going to rag on game violence, and that they are a waste of time, this is one of the few family-oriented sites that approves of video games (in moderation, of course). Just a few months ago they released a kid-centered article on the history of gaming. And this list of reboots is something I would approve. Even though I'm sick of all of the movie reboots and remakes, with the plethora of games on the market that could make a fantastic comeback for this digital age, I'd be okay with it. On the list are Primal Rage, Pokémon Snap, and Power Stone, to name a few. Can you imagine an update to Snap with the Wii-U peripherals and the upcoming Go? It would be one of the most interactive games to date!

- The University of California has released a study about weight loss and motion control games. Their results are pretty straight forward: use a thinner avatar and you'll be more active while playing. It's all about our mind, and body, playing tricks on how we perceive the avatars. A larger avatar makes us feel sluggish and less likely to move, where as a thinner avatar allows us to believe that said avatar is active and fit. You could argue that this is a result of body dis-morphia and stigmas, less to do with the games themselves. The research, sadly, does not dive too deep into the "why."

- The Escapist has created a list of video games that need anime adaptations. Among them is Mass Effect (which has an anime titled 'Paragon Lost'), Legend of Zelda (which...also has an anime/cartoon)...I'm starting to think they didn't put much time into creating this list. I can't imagine seeing any of the games mentioned as anime. Particularly the likes of Skyrim where you can have multiple plots and story lines that would drive the average anime fan bonkers. And it's not bishi enough.

- Looking for a different way to kill time today? Games Radar has a quiz on video game quotes. Test your knowledge on who delivers the infamous "barrel roll" line from Star Fox. Okay that one is totally not on the quiz (how to do the roll is, though), but the quotes range a variety of games over the years, include action buttons (because those are quotes?) and who the lines were directed to. I only missed 2. One was Call of Duty related. No surprise there.

- ActionTrip has a list of 10 video game mechanics that need to disappear. I'm arguing against the multi-phase boss fights. I think those can add unique elements to the action, and teach patience. So much patience. But the unskippable cutscenes, random quick time events, and NPC guiding? Yeah. Those can go away. I hate babysitting NPC's. It's become a trope ever since Goldeneye and it's never really improved over the years. It's the one set of levequests I avoid in FF14.

- It took 24 years, but someone finally figured out the hidden menus in the original Mortal Kombat arcade, which also appears in MK2 and MK3. Honestly? It's not that exciting. It's coding that allows you to update the leader-board initials, run a diagnostics, and an option called coin bookkeeping (which probably relates to the arcade cabinet itself as there is no in-game money). But hey...it's been found. Rejoice!

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