It’s an Examined Life (of Gaming) awards show! Join Roland for an angry talk (or “rant”, if you’d prefer) about the best and worst games of 2013, including Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Grand Theft Auto V, Rogue Legacy, Resident Evil 6, Takedown: Red Sabre, and Rising Storm!
Video Show: The Examined Life (of Gaming)
This episode is about games that sold because of demos. Not because of their own demos, but because they had demos of other games packed in.
Just in time for Halloween (if you’re in the continental US, and watching literally in the next few hours), Roland takes a sidelong look at Cold Fear, another Resident Evil ripoff in the vein of Blue Stinger, Dino Crisis, or Deep Fear (two of which are exactly the same game as this), and realizes his irrational hatred of Ubisoft was pretty rational after all.
It’s the biggest, baddest, buggiest MechWarrior game of all time! Part 4 of the MechWarrior retrospective continues with the standalone expansion pack to MechWarrior 2 called Mercenaries.
Roland played Grand Theft Auto V for more than a hundred hours, a handful of which contained actual gameplay! It’s flawed, rough around the edges, and rough around the middle, with many of GTA 4’s best mechanics run through the strainer of Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3. By which we mean ruined.
The expansion pack to MechWarrior 2 was released in the same year, and adds a couple of things, most of which are broken. As you might be able to tell from this review, Roland’s not really a fan.
Part two of Roland’s MechWarrior retrospective covers 1995’s MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat, the real codifier of the series and one of the best remembered, with good reason.
We’re kicking off a multi-part retrospective about the MechWarrior series, one of the longest running game franchises, and definitely one of Roland’s favorites. Part 1 is MechWarrior, developed by Dynamix for DOS PCs in 1989. It’s the first game in the series, and the genesis of a genre.
The video game adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s debut film… is one of “those” games. It sucks (goddamn, does it suck), but Roland just can’t help but like it.
It’s time once again to roll out the barrel! The Budget Barrel, that is! Sci-fi tactical shooters are a rare beast, but every genre has a budget game or two if you look hard enough. In this episode, Roland reviews Alpha Black Zero, the first, last, and only game made by the Dutch (as far as anyone knows).
Roland takes a look back at the original cover-based shooters, and how they’ve evolved into the industry standard that’s used for so many games today. Then he lays out three of the big issues that seem to plague these games, using Spec Ops: The Line, Max Payne 3, and several older games as examples.
In this supplemental episode, Roland takes a closer look at Spec Ops: The Line, and analyzes the positive attention it’s been getting from game writers. Does The Line‘s story make up for its bad gameplay? Let’s find out!
UPDATED with Part 2: Codeknight’s Corner! 2012 was… a year in gaming. Just another year. But there was some cool stuff that happened, and this video is about all the games Roland played this year that he didn’t already get a chance to talk about, including Spec Ops: The Line, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Tribes: Ascend, MechWarrior Online, and more!
Roland looks at the game that started the tactical shooter trend. It didn’t exactly popularize it; that honor lies with Rainbow Six, but Spec Ops did come out first. What, you might ask, does the 1998 Spec Ops game have to do with the 2012 Spec Ops game? Nothing. Nothing at all.
We go back to the days of floppy disks with SEAL Team, a 1993 game for DOS that was the precursor to the tactical shooter genre. Watch as Roland assembles a SEAL team and dispatches it for missions in the Mekong Delta!
The Budget Barrel is back, baby, with an FPS where you hunt down terrorists in vaguely-defined missions. Most Wanted makes some changes to the engine and the formula used by In Harm’s Way and Shadow Force. How does it turn out? Badly. For everyone involved.
Secret Service: In Harm’s Way was pretty good. For a budget game, that is. But FUN Labs took the same game engine and most of the assets and made… another one.
Unfortunately, the Secret Service license passed to 4D Rulers software. And 4D Rulers made Secret Service: Security Breach, the worst game Roland’s ever played.
Roland reviews Borderlands 2, the loot grinding gun-fest from Gearbox. Is it an improvement over the first game in the series? Is it worth buying? You’ll just have to watch and find out!
Presented like a popcorn summer action flick where you’re a Delta Force operative searching for a nuclear device that’s fallen into the hands of terrorists, Shadow Ops: Red Mercury‘s presentation doesn’t quite excuse its spartan gameplay. But it is pretty darn hilarious.