Here is a video playthrough of The Legend of Zelda without a sword. It is possible to get right up to the last boss without one, although it requires knowing a lot of tricks. That is exactly what mev1978 does in his playthrough, without dying. And then he does it again in the second quest. First quest (1:61:31) - Second quest (1:13:18) [more inside]
Here is Dungeon Squad! A simple, free role-playing game intended for younger players (but enjoyable by older ones), with lots of dice rolling and action. Here's a couple of adventures for it, here's an expansion, and here's a more complex version. Here's the expansion Adventure Squad, in three PDFs: Core - Abilities - D&D 3E Classes. Here's yet another expansion. [more inside]
Will Wright, of Sims and Simcity fame, now wants to have users use their personal data to shape the game playing experience in his new game, Hivemind.
Here is VASSAL, an open-source engine for playing board games online, by email, on forums or on a single machine. Which board games? These. (Requires Java.)
Toilet gaming. [bbc.co.uk] When men use a public urinal they are cruelly left in full view, with nothing to do as they answer nature's call. Until now. British company Captive Media thinks it has developed a product that fills a gap in the market - a urinal mounted, urine-controlled games console for men.
Rule no. 1: Catch the first Pokemon you encounter in each route/cave/whatever and nothing else. If you fail to catch it, too bad, continue onwards. Rule no. 2: If your Pokemon faints, consider it dead and release it. In 2010 a 4chan user posted these rules for making Pokemon more of a challenge, as well as a short comic on his exploits in a world where Pokemon can die. The "Nuzlocke" comic became wildly popular, spawning dozens of elaborate offshoots in comic and story form. [more inside]
id Software have released the source code to Doom 3 under the terms of the General Public License. [more inside]
"Imagine a world where casual and hardcore gamers can enjoy games together? So instead of hardcore gamers pretending to like wii sports just so they can spend xmas with their family they actually prefer it as opposed to just going off and playing the best hardcore games such as Skyrim or Fable3." From the often hilarious fake Twitter account for "Peter Molyneux 2" comes cascore. Finally, bowling and survival horror come together. [more inside]
What Games Are is the name of a blog and book by game designer and deep thinker Tadhg Kelly (G+ profile). While the book is planned for release next year, Kelly has been posting in his blog and getting feedback from notables such as MeFi fav Raph Koster. [more inside]
“I remember so much of your childhood," he says. "I remember running you around the leaves in the wheelbarrow. Or the time you were so sick we took you to the hospital. I remember walking in the fields.” I nod, because the moment’s not about me. “Yes Dad,” I say. “There were a lot of good times.” No, there weren't. Which is why we both escaped: He into the bottle; I into the nerd.
The Gadget Show has created a hyper-realistic FPS game simulator using tons of custom hardware and software, and recently released Battlefield 3.
Have you every wanted to try GLaDOS' chocolate cake or S’Jirra’s Famous Potato Bread with a Nirnroot Salad? We've got Starkos straight from the streets of Hillys, and steak skewers prepared in Inaba's finest lunch stops. If you're thirsty we've got some NukaCola Quantum or Lon-Lon Milk, and there's always FK in the coffee. All these recipes and more from your favourite virtual worlds can be found at Gourmet Gaming
A Game About Game Literacy (Flash, some strobe on later levels)
10 years since GTA 3 Grand Theft Auto 3 was released on 22nd October 2001 and everything we ever thought we understood about videogames changed. [more inside]
48 hours. 120 developers. One winning game. Take a peek inside the madness of a 48-hour game development contest, where ramen and caffeine rule the day.
The upcoming sandbox action game Saints Row: The Third has been getting attention for being a blast of anarchy and absurdity in a mostly staid gaming landscape. However, indie game developer and blogger Anna Anthropy argues that Saints Row 2 is has some exciting ideas about gender and gender presentation and allows for a much broader range of characters than the usual gruff action hero clones. A live action Saints Row 3 ad suggests it too will have this customization.
"The days when you could buy a videogame one day and get an expansion a year later are, sadly, lost in time. Instead, it seems there's a constant bombardment of DLC and microtransaction items all vying for our credit card numbers. They're in everything, from MMORPGs through to singleplayer shooters, and it's only getting worse as time goes on." - An investigation into microtransactions and gaming.
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King is at the top of the box office. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg. Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting, pulse-pounding, joyful tracks alongside the original video (part 2, 3, 4), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action. In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary on scenes like this; his work was later expanded into a full album, the Broadway stage show, and projects closer to his heart. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle (download guide), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups. Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
PAX Primer in The Morning News. MeFi's own Matthew Baldwin of Defective Yeti fame offers up a thoughtful review of the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in The Morning News.
An unauthorized Angry Birds theme park has opened in China. There is also a Blizzard-themed park called Joyland.
Red is a simple Flash game. Shoot the descending circles. Some are big and slow, some are small and quick. Shoot the power-ups to collect them. Soon you'll have a shield and some auto-turrets to help you clear the screen. But beware: it gets harder and more frantic as the wind increases. How long can you survive? A fun Missile Command/Asteroids hybrid. (Via reddit)
Ludum Dare is an annual video game development contest where the contestants have 48 hours to complete a game. This year's theme was Escape and 599 games were submitted. The winning solo and team created games have been announced. You can download all games and even view their source code. If you want to experience the awesomeness of real-time game development, check out the time-lapse videos. [more inside]
My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player. Jon Finkel's winnings topped $300,000 from 1997-2008, during his most active Magic: The Gathering years. These days, jonnymagic00 heads out on the professional poker circuit instead. But loyal Magic fans still have his back.
How many video games can you identify by their sound effects? How many can you guess from their music? (part 2, part 3) Can you name video game consoles by their start-up sounds?
Tired of the D&D Stereotypes of what constitutes armor for women? Tumblr is (of course) to the rescue! Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor.
Meet the Medic, the Heavy, and the Spy. All created by Shaylyn Hamm, who asked the question: Why are men allowed to have varied body types and personalities in video games, but women generally fit a narrow stereotype? [more inside]
How to Ruin Your PC Port in 5 Easy Steps by Ben Kuchera explains the lengths video game publishers will go to to ensure that the PC version of their game is worse than the console version. Blizzard demonstrates how to follow these guidelines for Diablo III even if you don't have a console version.
Learning from Doom: Latvian artist Viktor Timofeev explores the "digital ruin" of the classic 1993 shooter DOOM, taking dozens of annotated snapshots along the way. It might be the only time you'll see 16th-century Mannerism, El Lissitzky, and Arachnotrons mentioned in the same place.
The Weaponized Transhuman: Halo, Deus Ex, Crysis, Bioshock, Warhammer, and the Future of Wetware (Us). Related: New Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer.
The trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man reboot has been released. But does it rip off the 2008 videogame Mirrors Edge?
What would happen if you took a game like Braid and made it a first-person shooter? Something you'll have to watch at least twice (SLYT) [more inside]
Why developing the acclaimed video game L.A. Noire was a seven year nightmare for its 100+ (uncredited) developers that resulted in an investigation by the International Game Developers Association. [more inside]
Capcom will let you complete your purchased game. Once.
You know who doesn't like used video games? Game publishers. In a very sad twist, Capcom's fighting back against the second-hand game market with a game that can only support one save file — for life.
Twenty years ago today, the gaming world saw the launch of a truly landmark title: Sonic the Hedgehog. Developed as a vehicle for a new Sega mascot, the fluid, vibrant, cheery-tuned wonderland swiftly became the company's flagship product, inspiring over the ensuing decades an increasingly convoluted universe of TV shows, comic books, and dozens of games on a variety of systems (all documented in this frighteningly comprehensive TVTropes portal). And while in recent years the series has turned out more and more mediocre 3D and RPG efforts, the original games remain crown jewels of the 16-bit era. So why not kick off this anniversary by replaying the titles that started it all for free in your browser: Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994), Sonic & Knuckles (1994). Or click inside for music, remakes, and other fun stuff! [more inside]
Box Art showcases awesome and artistic videogame box art. Eastern Mind writes about obscure Japanese videogames, with a focus on adventures and music games.
Rockstar Games/Team Bondi's open world adventure game LA Noire was released last month to near-universal praise. However, several long-form essays have been written exploring it's problems. The Shadows Of LA Noire criticizes its lack of noir feel. Press X For Beer Bottle (some spoilers) uses the game's lack of freedom to explore the nature of gaming. Finally, Kill Screen Daily's review finds a metaphysical explanation for some of its most obvious issues.
MMOWGLI is an upcoming online wargame designed by the US Office of Naval Research to help find solutions to the problem of piracy. Players will either assume the role of an anti-piracy task-force or of pirates. Rather than being an action game MMOWGLI will relay on players providing short, Twitter-like solutions to tactical scenarios.
The Destruction of Economic Facts - "Renowned Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto argues that the financial crisis wasn't just about finance—it was about a staggering lack of knowledge" (via) [more inside]
"If you've never heard of this game, it is simply the best bear-driving simulator ever made. It's also the most accurate." Let's Play Enviro-Bear 2000: Operation: Hibernation [more inside]
Yes, we turned Office into a game! "Is this Microsoft tone genuinely corny-earnest, reflecting the kind of middle-school pep-rally sensibility that you can only imagine Apple hipsters sneering and snickering at (making you want to punch the hipsters) and Google engineers looking at in amazement? Or is it triple-backflip hipsterism itself, an Onionesque by-golly mockery of corniness? I suppose this is one of the enduring mysteries of life." [Previously] [Previously-er]
Friday Flash Fun: Realm of the Mad God is a co-op MMORPG shooter with cute 8-bit graphics. Death is permanent, play addictive. [more inside]
Meatcraft - Real World Minecraft