Xfinity and their Gamer audience

This recent commercial from Xfinity sheds a little light on how out of touch they are with their consumers. With video games on consoles and computers making a large market of their subscribers, you would think they could put a little more effort into figuring out how their audience operates. Notice they ask if the gamers notice any “buffering” in their game. The “gamers'” answers are “no,” but that’s typical considering that most gamers wouldn’t notice any “buffering,” ever. Check it out for yourself.


A Dark Souls 2 Testimonial from Reddit user /u/winterlight_


The perfect description of what playing Dark Souls 2 feels like. Enjoy:

None of my friends understand why I love this game. They think I only like it because it’s hard, because I get some elitist kick from it, because it feeds some superiority complex. Of course, as any Dark Souls player who’s stuck to it long enough to break through the learning curve knows, that’s not the case at all. Dark Souls sucks you in. It’s such an emotional experience, unlike any game I’ve ever played. Not just terror at the possibility or death, or fear of what lies beyond the darkness, or sadness brought on by the rather hopeless world. It’s something more. It’s personal.

Never was this more evident to me than when I faced the Lost Sinner on NG+. I’d heard the horror stories. I’d faced her once before–and died as soon as the pyromancers spawned. I went in with absolutely no expectations of victory. This was a new character with a new build, I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it, what my strategy would be. I knew I’d figure it out after a few dozen defeats. No worries. I was pretty zen, only a little nervous that I’d have to fight those fucking undead mutants again after I lost. But they’d go extinct eventually.

As soon as I cross the fog gate, she stabs me in the face. I roll away before she lands a second hit, which would have killed me, and immediately regret not getting the Bastille key and lighting the room, or at least turning my brightness up before entering. I can’t lock on long enough to cast spells. I can hear the springs of my already-breaking R3 twanging as I keep spamming it over and over. Two Flame Swathes completely miss her, my sword barely does any damage when I manage to get a hit in, and the cast speed on my lightning spear is slower than the interim between her attacks. Every other attack she makes is pummeling me; I’m swigging estus left and right. But I’m not concerned with conserving estus, since I don’t expect to make it through the fight. I’m hitting her with a lightning spear from time to time, whittling down her health, trying to last long enough to at least see what spells the pyromancers cast.

And then they come. Shit starts exploding all over and I start rolling randomly, chucking spears when I have time, and somehow avoiding the sinner’s attacks with split-second iframes–half by luck, half by over a hundred hours of playing without a shield. It’s like we’re dancing. I’m in the rhythm of the game, completely separated from reality, from myself, as if I don’t exist. Zen as fuck.

I get one pyromancer to like 2 pixels of health, but he falls back behind the sinner and I can’t lock on. Fuck. I don’t let myself chase him, even though everything inside of me is screaming for me to do so. Don’t overcommit. Fortunately I’m low enough weight to roll out of the range of the various fireballs exploding fucking everywhere, and my agility is high enough that I have a fair share of iframes. Somehow–I honestly cannot remember how–I manage to kill one of the pyromancers, then roll under the sinner’s sword and stab the low health one. They’re both dead. Holy shit. The Sinner’s at half health. Holy shit. She’s alone. I can beat her. I’ve faced her dozens of times as a phantom on NG. It’s the same shit. It hits me–I might actually win this fight.

At which point my hands immediately become retarded. I’m switching to my chime without changing my spells, and an attempt at casting flame swathe ends with my character staring at his hand like a child with a rattle. I misjudge the range on the Sinner’s overhead attack and she punishes me for my mistake. I’m out of estus. All I have are lifegems. I’m popping them like candy in between dodging/eating sword blows. But for every attack she lands on me, I’m landing one on her. I’m brushing death each time, constantly being brought below 10% health every time she hits me, meaning I have to pop two lifegems and wait for them to heal me before I can attempt another attack, all while rolling through her slashes. But it’s working. Slowly but surely, it’s working.

Then it happens. She’s almost dead. My mind is racing with the classic “DON’T OVERCOMMIT DON’T OVERCOMMIT DON’T OVERCOMMIT.” I tell myself to stay calm but my hands are shaking like leaves in a hurricane. She jumps up and tries to do a plunging attack. I roll forward at the last second so that I end up behind her, and then I stab. I stab again. She picks up her sword and turns towards me, preparing to cut me down. I stab a third time, emptying my endurance, telling myself not to overcommit while overcommitting, knowing I can’t roll away if this last blow doesn’t kill her, risking a fucking rare opportunity for victory on a weak-ass sword thrust, all while screaming “EAT IT, EAT IT” at my screen. And she does. She eats it. She’s dead.

You all know the feeling that follows. Like you’d just sprinted up the stairs of a ten story building. All your muscles are tense, your hands are shaking, you’re out of breath, your heart is pounding in your chest, mom’s spaghetti. I realize there are tears in my eyes. I have to choke them back. They’re not tears brought on by the constant death or difficulty, I’m not tearing up because “Dark Souls is hard lol”. I’m tearing up because holy shit, that feeling. They’re tears of pure joy. I’ve never felt so happy in my life. It’s absolute euphoria. It feels like I’ve transcended reality, like I’ve been elevated one step closer to heaven. It’s catharsis. It’s Dark Souls.

That’s why I love this game. That feeling of fucking doing it. Not for anyone else but yourself. It’s not a feeling of smugness or elitism, it’s completely personal. It’s pure and uncorrupted by the pretenses people hold for the game. Is Dark Souls hard? Fuck yes. But the difficulty isn’t arbitrary. It tests you. Not just your ability to push buttons on a controller, but you personally. No matter how good you are, no matter how many hours you’ve logged, no matter how many invasions you’ve won, you’re always in danger of losing. I’m convinced that the only reason I was able to win that fight (in addition to luck) was because I had no expectations of victory for the majority of the fight. And also because Sunlight Spear is kinda OP.

Anyway, that’s my story. Hope you enjoyed it. If you haven’t played NG+, or you’re nervous to, I highly recommend you try it. I’ve beaten NG a handful of times now and I thought the game was losing that constant anxiety that made the first playthrough so intense… but NG+ brings that back. And then some.

tl;dr – Hooked up with a girl at a party, two years later ran into her at a family reunion. Turns out I slept with my cousin (by marriage).

ps fuck the flexible sentry I DON’T EVEN CARE

Killing Ria: An in-game glitch turned into short-story, from the world of Skyrim

An old adventurer sat alone in the Winking Skeever.  I had heard rumors that he was the famed Dragonborn from the stories my father would tell me about.  I figured he got enough questions about the battle, or Ulfric Stormcloak, or his supposed ties with the Dark Brotherhood.  As I sat there watching him eat by himself in a dark corner of the room, I only had one question for him.  I approached his table, and he barely glanced up at me from under his black hood.  After I asked him my question, he irritatingly pushed his plate away from him and began.


“You want to know why I always travel alone, huh?  Unfortunately, it is not my choice anymore.  Be seated, and allow me to tell you why it is I can never take another companion into battle with me.”

He continued, “Ancano lay at my feet, surrounded by the historic pillars that lined the Hall of the Elements.  You don’t know Ancano?  He was a bastard High Elf, and that’s all you need to know.”

“Although the Eye of Magnus had been transported from the room, there was still an ominous feel to the stones that lined the floor.  You don’t know the Eye of Magnus?  The source of mysterious power that nearly destroyed Skyrim, and perhaps Tamriel itself?” he sighed, “ Well, that’s what it was. Anyway.

“I could hear the voice of Tolfdir, the eccentric old mage that had let me into the college, despite the fact I could barely cast a Lesser Ward during the entrance exam.  His words were difficult to make out.  I couldn’t tell if it was because of the metal mask I wore around my face to enable me to breathe underwater and carry more load, or the remnants of magical energy coursing through my eardrums.  Despite this, there seemed to be a voice missing from the room; one that had often made obvious suggestions upon entering a giant hall of undead Draugr, or a cave covered in spiderwebs.” Continue reading

Deep Down: The coolest looking game you’ve never heard of



Before we get started, I’d just like to point out the classic/overused orange on blue design that we see in so many other games and movie posters. For those that are unaware, scientists (artists) have determined that orange and blue is the most  pleasing color combination to the human eye. Now, back to the topic at hand. 

Did you like Skyrim? Did you feverishly hate/love Dark Souls? Well it looks as if Capcom and Sony are getting ready to launch a new title that looks to combine the two as a console exclusive for their new system. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Deep Down. Although it’s just the working title, Deep Down looks to be a dark monster-hunting RPG/action-adventure game. In the two videos below you’ll see some visuals that are representative of both Skyrim and Dark Souls, in nature. Which the game will lean more heavily too is anyone’s guess, but I’m hoping for the latter. Check out the videos below and let me know what you think:

This video definitely has the feel of Skyrim at the beginning. The hints of Dark Souls tend to lean in more towards the end, but you have to remember that this isn’t a gameplay trailer. This is the “pitch,” so-to-speak. The bit near the end with the prolonged shield block is a well done visual. However, there seems to be some new tech there at the end? Do we have an Assassin’s Creed/Animus type of situation going on here? Perhaps the next video, which is a gameplay video, will clear things up a bit:

Yep, definitely feeling some AC here. From what else I can see it looks as if there is a slight seek-and-destroy build; requiring you to traverse some old caves, castles, and other environments in order to track down your prey (predator). I like how the magic looks to be used here, and the practical looking armor (as practical as “fire-proof” can get given the time period) is a welcome addition back to functionality over grandiose. 

Thanks to /r/Games for turning me onto this, as I hadn’t heard or seen much of anything in regards to this outside of a list of exclusives for each system. 

A Letter About Lost, From a Bad Robot Employee

Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend a spectacular wedding at a venue that me, and a couple other of the more imaginative (and inebriated) guests surmised was the inspiration for Wayne Manor. After having searched for everyone secret switch in the bookshelves, and hitting every key on the piano, we eventually decided that we couldn’t find the switch because the house was definitely hiding a Batcave.

One of these fellow Bat-thusiasts works for ABC, and we began discussing Lost. If you’re a reader of the site you know that I was crushed by the ending, and the seemingly unapologetic stance the creators took. I’ve even gone so far as to outline the nebulous plot from Prometheus, penned by Lost writer Damon Lindeloff. The employee mentioned that he and a few coworkers had received an email from an employee at Bad Robot regarding the ending. I still have yet to verify who the specific person was, or at what level they developed the show on, but I thought it would be an interesting read, nonetheless.

Having read it, I can’t say that it removes my frustrations with the series, but it definitely provides a sense of enthusiasm and positivity that I don’t normally encounter with the subject. Without further ado, here is the response about the ending of Lost, from an as-yet unnamed member of the Bad Robot staff:


I can finally throw in my two cents! I’ve had to bite my tongue for far too long. Also, hopefully I can answer some of John’s questions about Dharma and the “pointless breadcrumbs” that really, weren’t so pointless …

First …
The Island:
Continue reading

Metal Gear Solid: Violence you can Masturbate to

Metal Gear Solid reemerged as the watershed of good story-telling and stealth game play back when it premiered on the original Playstation. It redefined a genre that combined clever writing with creative character design that immersed the player into a military industrial complex-dominated world of intrigue and interest.

Sons of Liberty, the second installment in the contemporary MGS franchise, was met with mixed reactions, but I personally found it to still be enjoyable and thought-provoking. “Snake Eater” had the characterization part about it, but it was a bit too over-dramatic for my tastes, and seemed to rely less on the stealth aspect; able to be beaten by simply running and gunning your way through each level. Four was … well … a lot.

And is single handedly responsible for making mustaches popular again.

Now we await the fifth installment of the canonical MGS franchise which premiered at E3 this year to a fairly decent reaction from the fans and the press. However, even Kojima himself stated that there could still be room for improvement, especially after seeing what Tom Clancy’s “The Division” showcased at the event.

So, what is Kojima planning on doing in order to improve his game, and make it more marketable and enjoyable to those who have any interest in picking it up?


Pardon my crass description, but Kojima is looking to entice more boners out of the gamers that play his games. If you watched the trailer you were able to catch a glimpse of a female sniper named “Quiet,” who has lost the ability to speak. Her body barely fits into this gear that she is wearing (for what reason is completely beyond me).

IGN recently covered the story about how Kojima wanted to make her outfit more “erotic.” That’s right, Kojima wants to improve upon his game — after seeing what The Division showcased — by making Quiet more erotic.

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What you are looking at is a picture that he tweeted about the direction he is going with her character design. He even went as far to make comments about how it might be too skimpy for anyone to cosplay. As if that’s ever stopped anyone at a convention of any kind from being two steps away from tassels.

Is this his strategy? The Division, which Kojima was so impressed with, showcased a dynamic system of MMO combat, as well as open-world environments in a Ghost Recon type design, that also enabled players to interact with their mobile devices in real time. That’s pretty substantial.

Kojima then follows up with more butt and boobs.

I don’t want to make this an issue about sexual identifications between male and female gamers and how they are treated/perceived on one of the largest money-making industries in the world, but there really isn’t much room to say otherwise. Kojima wants people (males it would seem) to buy his game to look at female bodies while sneaking around and killing people. The female incentive is to find a good outfit to cosplay with enough to garner attention at conventions or Halloween parties.

Being a female in a male dominated nerd-culture is difficult enough in some cases, but to continue to prescribe to this notion that women are best when busty seems a bit regressive. Especially when the MGS series has showcased some very strong female characters in the past, that didn’t need to slide down a metaphoric stripper pole in order to make themselves interesting.

Personally, I would rather see Kojima focus on making the gameplay better, as opposed to giving me more reasons to forget that I’m playing an action game in favor of a sex-simulator.

How You Should Respond to Affleck as Batman

Ben Affleck is Batman? Noooo! How could this happen? How could the world be so unfair? First Bradley Manning says he wants to be a woman, and now Affleck wants to be Batman! Thanks Obama!


First thing is first, no one has seen the movie that hasn’t been made yet. There is no way you can predict how he will be as either Bruce Wayne, or Batman. Yes, we all remember 2003’s Daredevil, but you can’t argue that he was the sole thing wrong with that film. It’s not as if the movie was a brilliant transition from page to screen, and it was Affleck’s performance that was the one catalyst that brought down this masterpiece into misery.

Yes, Affleck did a lot of movies for money. Yes, a lot of them were really, really bad. But, so were the films of a certain actor that played opposite the caped-crusader in 2007’s The Dark Knight.

Many people are already bringing up that the world freaked out when Heath Ledger was announced as the Joker. It seemed like such an odd and unthinkable path to take for a role that was made famous by the legendary Jack Nicholson. There isn’t a person, now, who can say that Ledger’s performance wasn’t extremely memorable.

Need another example? How about when Daniel Craig was announced as James Bond before Casino Royale came out?

Now imagine him with a Bawtsahn accent instead.

Regardless, Affleck has also had an extremely impressive rebuilding of his career; showcasing his talents as a director, in addition to some strong performances in The Town, as well as Argo. Had he not had the reputation for making bad films during the Bennifer Affpez (that was it, right?) then he would be remembered for Good Will Hunting, and his roles in the Kevin Smith films.

Here’s why I think he might be a good Batman.

Affleck is probably still painfully aware of how things went wrong with the previous movies he did. He is a talented writer and director, and will probably have a fair say in the development and portrayal of the character while working with Snyder. There also isn’t an actor out there who knows what it’s like to be under the public spotlight more than he is. He knows how important public opinion is to a career and reputation, and he has taken some major steps to regain his credibility. He could have easily walked away wit his millions and done the has-been path. Instead, he chose to fight a long, uphill battle to be taken seriously again. This deserves some respect, not just for him, but for the gravity of the role he’s agreeing to take.

Affleck definitely has the looks to pull off a Batman/Bruce Wayne character. My only concern would be the voice. Nolan’s version, although well thought out and visually appealing, lacked in a few key areas. One of which was Batman’s ridiculous growl. As much of a die-hard batfan as I am, I had a really hard time getting over that.

There are even people who are talking about how they should have brought Bale back, and they wish that Nolan was still directing the next one. Or that Joseph Gordon-Levitt should be brought in to continue the world. My response to that would be, “Are you kidding me?!”

“But girls like me.”

Don’t get me wrong, Nolan’s Batman films were good, but they had a LOT of problems if you were to go back and look at them. There are plot holes riddling (pun) every single installment of the trilogy. Most people never took the time to go back and watch them objectively; instead choosing to focus on how well thought out the villains portrayals were, instead of if the story actually made sense at all (hint: a lot of it didn’t).

The main point here is don’t be cynical. Why so serious? Let’s put a smile — ok, forget that line of thought. There’s absolutely zero reason to bash on the guy for a film that none of us have seen yet. Ledger and Craig have proven that the wildcard can succeed, and Affleck is someone who has worked very hard to earn the right to be taken seriously again. So, before you start hoisting up rage signs about how his Robin should be Matt Damon, or he should fight Bluntman and Chronic, or that Lois Lane should be recast with J-Lo, or that someone should dub over scenes of Batman with his lines from Good Will Hunting and that accent he carried (someone please do that), just take a step back and relax. He might end up being great.

However, I could be wrong.