Italian Side-Quest: Milan

(ed. note: Intrepid contributor ViciousPjuraHead is spending the summer in Italy and will be filing dispatches of a gaming or comic related nature, when he gets around to it.

Taking a break form the chaos of Rome I decided to head up to Milan for a few days.  Arriving in Milan you get the feeling of organization that is usually (read: always) lacking in Rome.  The trains run on time, the streets are clean, and it’s a much more classier set of people.  Granted some shops still close on Wednesday for no reason but am I really upset that the  Prada, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Feragamo, Alexander McQueen, and two, count ’em, TWO Dolce and Gabana stores are closed whilst window shopping?  The city center is much smaller than Rome’s and I found three days to be absolutely perfect. While traveling I met two brothers who have lived in Milan their entire lives but had spent time in Reno, Chicago, and Fort Lauderdale.  I also found a self cleaning toilet and an Italian book store that had a comics section.  And by comic section I mean an issue of Rat-Man all by its lonesome and a shelf of Dylan Dog comics. YO WHAT UP RAT-MAN!!

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What the Mugen? Homer Simpson vs. Peter Griffin – Rounds 1 & 2

Round 1:

Round 2:

What is Mugen? The simplest explanation is that it’s a fighting game system that allows users to create and tweak both settings & characters.  The real explanation, of course, is a little more involved than that.  But that’s why I provided a link! Check it out, as it’s really quite fascinating.

Modern Borefare: We Provide.

Video Games Genre Improvements You Want to See Made…

Choose...or perish!

I often wonder whether video game makers (if we can call them that at this point) have anything other than the bottom line in mind when they’re busy churning out the next Grand Theft Auto XI / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare VI / Civilization XIV? Are they considering the gaming public at all? For what it’s worth, I think the answer is a qualified “yes” but If I had the ear of a developer working in one of the following genres, here’s what I’d ask them for:

(1) Role Playing: As I mentioned earlier, I hate MMORPGS; I hate them with the fire of a thousand suns. That being said, I LOVE RPGs generally. Favorites include Baldur’s Gate and its sequels, Skyrim of course, and Knights Of The Old Republic (KOTOR!!!). What I really want to see, however, is an open-world RPG, similar to Skyrim, in the Star Wars universe. Now you may say, “But thegreekdog! We have The Old Republic now!” To that I reply, simply, “See above.” Make a free-world Star Wars single player RPG and watch the money flow in. Hell, keep adding DLC and watch the money keep flowing in. Do this now!

(2) Strategy / War Game: Yes, I play strategy games. I’ll play any strategy game that involves something slightly more engrossing than a real-time strategy game. You can have an RTS element, so long as you have the non-RTS element as well (see, e.g. Star Wars: Empire at War which is about as perfect a game as you can get). Hearts of Iron? Great. Civilization? Fantabulous. Medieval: Total War 2? Outstanding (download the Stainless Steel mod and be even happier). The publishers of Total War recently made some 17th and 18th century-type games with grand armies shooting muskets. Okay, the next logical step has to be Civil War: Total War. This is another game that needs to happen… and soon.

(3) Sports: I’m a pretty fanatical sports game player, especially when it comes to two franchises: Madden and MLB2K#. Most people do not like MLB2K#,  mostly because of the gameplay and graphics. Guess what? Graphics never really interested me, so that’s a non-issue. As long as the guys do what they’re supposed to do, I don’t care if Johnny Damon has a beard or not (ed. note: Isn’t that the source of his power?). For those that complain that the gameplay interface is difficult? Well, yeah, it is. But it isn’t broken. Madden, while complex, is enjoyable for me as well. I mostly enjoy the franchise modes in both those games. All that being said, Madden needs competition. MLB2K# has MLB: The Show to compete with (albeit on a different platform). Madden has no competition since the NFL gave EA the sole license to print games. Since then, I’m think that EA’s gotten lazy and not really made any improvements to the franchise.The answer? Madden needs competition!  And competition will breed improvement in Madden (says thegreekdog, Libertarian). For Madden to evolve, we need a competing NFL-licensed football game for all platforms.

(4) First Person Shooter: I generally don’t play shooters, simply because I don’t have the twitchiness for them. I’ve played Star Wars FPS’, I’ve played Halo and others of their ilk. And last year I purchased a Call of Duty box set (starting with II through Modern Warfare II). It was a great investment and I thoroughly enjoyed them. That being said, I think we really need Call of Duty: World War II again. Bring it back. Update the graphics (This is where I  care about graphics). Put us in Africa. Hell, let us fight every major World War II battle.

I sincerely hope some intrepid game designer is reading this and takes these words to heart. Add what improvements in which genres you’re looking in the comments below.

Stripped Down Icons

Kerrith Johnson has turned heroes and the ideals that they embody into minimalist motivational posters that are really quite clever. Check out more of Kerrith Johnson’s art on his deviantART page. (all via Comics Alliance)