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10 Bizarre Video Game Spin-Offs You Had No Idea Existed

Published June 20, 2013 by gossipzoo

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When you’re sitting on a hot property that you know people will pay money for no matter what you create (think Sonic or Mario), it’s probably difficult to fight the temptation, to, you know, conjure up some half-assed concept and use it to make money super-quickly. And so we enter the bewildering realms of the video game spin-off – a sickly place where creativity goes to die and disappointment knows no bounds.

Sure, some video game spin-offs probably begin life with good intentions, but in most cases, that “great idea” you had to grant a secondary character their own game (or to switch gaming genres to reignite the creative fires) doesn’t work nearly so well in practice.

Here’s 10 bizarre video game spin-offs you probably didn’t know existed, on account of their being (for the most part) horribly mis-guided attempts to “cash in” on existing brands and characters for the sake of a quick buck.

10. Mega Man Soccer (1995) (SNES)

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All right, so nowadays just about every “cutesy” video game character has been given their own football or soccer-based spin-off, but ask yourself this: which Mega Man fans had been counting down the days ’til they released a sport variant of their favourite gaming franchise? Because Mega Man fans don’t like soccer – they like laser beams and Dr. Wily spouting his shit about the place. Still, Capcom presumably didn’t want to miss out on a potentially large audience haul, and deployed this little number as a result.

The worst thing, though, is that Mega Man Soccer is actually part of the official Mega Man canon (it takes place after Mega Man 4) which means that these events really did occur in the grand scheme of things. Which is to say, a story which involves a “televised soccer game being manipulated by Dr. Wily’s evil robots and Mega Man coming to save the day” – by playing soccer – is considered canon. To top it off, Capcom couldn’t even get the gameplay right, given that the control scheme is bordering on the hellish.

Oh, and the game also doesn’t have a proper ending, which is basically Capcom’s way of saying “thanks a lot for buying this crap, sucker!”

The post 10 Bizarre Video Game Spin-Offs You Had No Idea Existed appeared first on WhatCulture!.

5 Current-Gen Games That Should Be Made Into Movies

Published May 27, 2013 by gossipzoo

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Movies inspired by video games are well-known for their ability to disappoint their audience.

Movies like Mortal Kombat, Doom and Max Payne didn’t live up to their hype. People were expecting a movie that did justice to their respective games – what they got in return was Doom’s extremely dark screen, a close up of Mark Wahlberg’s face during what should have been Max Payne’s most intense shootout, and Mortal Kombat’s cheesey dialogue.

This doesn’t necessarily mean video games can’t be made into movies: Resident Evil, Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider turned out to be pretty successful.

Here is a list of 5 current-gen video games that should be made into movies. These were picked with regards to the potential of satisfying its audience based on story, visuals and originality…

5. Sleeping Dogs

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If you’ve played Sleeping Dogs (formerly True Crime: Hong Kong), then you know the potential this game has as a movie. If you watched the Sleeping Dogs live-action fight film, then you were probably one of the people who had that little voice in the back of their heads saying, “I want more!”

Not only did the game have a fantastic plot, but its emphasis on combat could make the next movie a box office hit. There aren’t many American martial arts films released in theatres nowadays as Jackie Chan and Jet Li have retired, but if this game is made into a movie; not only would it have little to no competition but it would attract its initial fanbase plus martial arts movie connoisseurs.

The post 5 Current-Gen Games That Should Be Made Into Movies appeared first on WhatCulture!.

10 Uncomfortable Truths Video Games Force You To Confront

Published May 20, 2013 by gossipzoo

Ah, gaming, that wonderful past-time that so many people view as “pointless”, yet one which those of us reared on it from birth can’t bring ourselves to stop obsessing over.

In recent years, video games have become a far more prevalent staple of pop culture, owing to both the steadily climbing budgets and production values – coming to rival that of Hollywood movies – and the fact that the Nintendo Wii helped gaming to break through the social glass ceiling; being a gamer is now (mostly) de-stigmatised.

Naturally, gaming’s greater presence in our lives also means that there’s a keener eye trained on it, what with the countless studies that have been conducted into the effects of gaming on the brain. Through less academic though no less thorough means, it’s time to look at the other, lesser-known side effects of being a gamer, those unfortunate truths about yourself that picking up a controller reveals.

Here are 10 uncomfortable truths video games force you to confront…

10. The More We Become Connected, The More We Become Disconnected

There’s an irony in the fact that video game developers are trying to make gaming a more sociable activity, hewing away from the closed-off single player worlds towards Xbox Live accounts, voice chat, online multiplayer, and giant, sprawling universes you can spend endless time in with your mates.

While the attempt to open gaming up and stave off the stereotype that gamers are all loner nerds with no lives is mostly a positive thing, there is a troubling side effect to this movement.

So, gaming is now more socially acceptable, and given that we can chat with our friends via microphone, we’re probably spending more time wired into our consoles or PCs. However, that also means we’re probably getting less real life face time with our friends, and isn’t that, well, a bit sad?

If we place a greater esteem and emphasis on the virtual world, it is at the expense of the simplicity of meeting a mate for a pint, or even, you know, gaming together in person. Not to play scaremonger, but as consoles become even more immersive (not to mention awesome), this is probably only going to get worse.

The post 10 Uncomfortable Truths Video Games Force You To Confront appeared first on WhatCulture!.

5 Video Games The Media Always Get Wrong (And 5 That Could Change Their Minds)

Published May 20, 2013 by gossipzoo

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When tragedy strikes, the media goes into a feeding frenzy and always come to the conclusion that video games are the cause. Of course, our gaming culture knows better than that, but whoever really listens to us?

Who is going to listen when we say the Grand Theft Auto series has some of the best storytelling out there, when one report tells our parents that we play it to get points for killing civilians (that’s right, points! Good research CNN!). Who is going to listen to us when California senator Leland Yee says us gamers “have no credibility” in the violent media argument?

I would have to disagree: millions of us game and the culture is worldwide. If all of us are the crazed lunatics the media would like to think we are, I’m pretty sure the world would be nearing that post-apocalyptic state we virtually visit so often.

The argument is always geared at kids, yet they fail to realize these games are mainly aimed at adults. Oh, that’s right, no adults play video games, right? This is strictly a kids medium, am I right? They always say we need to take action to keep these out of kid’s hands. I believe the action has been taken. I must present my I.D. to purchase any game with that big fat M rating on the cover – some retailers even scan my driver’s license.

If a parent wants to scan their I.D. to buy the game for their kid all the power to them (my parents sure did till I reached that ripe old age of 17). It all comes down to parenting which is a whole new tender subject. They obviously trust their kid enough to separate fantasy from reality – if they made a poor judgment that does not mean an entire industry needs to be scrutinized for one person’s actions.

The worst part about these reports on games is how completely wrong the facts that they present about these so-called “murder-simulators” are. It is as if they have seen no hands-on preview, no gameplay footage – and they definitely haven’t seen a damn story trailer. Instead, they see the violence ensue in the montage the team has put together and pull horrible things out of thin air that make society question our sanity.

So without further ado, let’s look at 5 games that have been wrongly accused in news reports for years (and 5 games that could change the media’s minds about video games).

The post 5 Video Games The Media Always Get Wrong (And 5 That Could Change Their Minds) appeared first on WhatCulture!.

7 Awesome Film Franchises That Deserve A Great Next-Gen Game

Published April 6, 2013 by gossipzoo

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The power of branding has become mightily important in video gaming. While new franchises launch successfully every now and again, there are more failures than successes when launching a new IP. Despite this, it’s rare and unfortunate that a video game adaption of a film, television show or book is any good.

The majority of summer blockbusters (last summers Battleship and The Amazing Spider-Man for example) usually have a video game tie-in and the odd television show (Prison Break, CSI, Game of Thrones) has had video game tie-ins released in the past. With the focus on brands that apparently equal good sales (which can definitely be said of original video game franchises like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto), it has not been as successful for film/TV tie-ins.

When you look at the long list of films/television shows/books that have been transferred to our gaming screens over the years and have been so poorly received, it is really disappointing to see such a long list of failures and near misses. However, with it only getting more expensive to produce new games, big name franchise tie-ins will surely become a big part of the future of gaming. Already being an established name brand, the success is already there, the only thing needed is to build a game world that should do the original media justice (it has been done before occasionally, the most recent and obvious being the the episodic The Walking Dead game).

Here are seven media franchises that are screaming out for a next-generation game and that could actually be good and worth your hard earned cash…

The post 7 Awesome Film Franchises That Deserve A Great Next-Gen Game appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Skyrim: Dragonborn: 5 Reasons It’s Awesome, 5 Reasons It Sucks

Published February 21, 2013 by gossipzoo

Many of you are probably wondering, “Wait a minute, hasn’t Dragonborn been out for ages?”, and yes, if you’re referring to the Xbox 360 version of the third DLC package for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, then you’re correct.

However, due to those pesky exclusivity deals that Microsoft loves to shell out for, PC owners haven’t been able to play the long-awaited DLC until this week, while PlayStation 3 owners have to wait a further six days to get their hands on it.

Still, it’s as good a time as any to examine the various hits and misses of Bethesda’s latest entry into their ludicrously addictive video game franchise. Even if not everything in Dragonborn worked, and it didn’t add quite as much mainstream content as I was hoping for – greedy as I am to soak in as much of this world as possible – it’s still a largely successful jaunt that’s well worth your money.

Here are 5 reasons Dragonborn is awesome, and 5 reasons it sucks…

5 Reasons It’s Awesome

5. Solstheim

Dragonborn takes place on Solstheim, an island North of Morrowind, which is funnily enough the last Elder Scrolls iteration in which this location appeared (the stellar Morrowind expansion Bloodmoon, to be precise). Much like Skyrim, much of Solstheim is covered in ice, but to keep things fresh, a portion of it is also charred by ash as a result of the famed Red Mountain disaster that occurred there.

Bethesda has done a great job in creating a locale that feels consistent with what we’ve seen before in the series, but is also distinguished as a fresh new place; the architecture and design is punchy, with the various cultures all being represented in their own unique and artful way.

Even though the graphics might not have moved on at all since the original game was released (but we’ll get to that in a bit), this new island breathes plenty of fresh life into Skyrim.

The post Skyrim: Dragonborn: 5 Reasons It’s Awesome, 5 Reasons It Sucks appeared first on WhatCulture!.

10 Wicked Video Game Assassins That Couldn’t Be Stopped

Published November 26, 2012 by gossipzoo

Now that gamers have finally had a chance to experience Assassin’s Creed 3 in all its glory and the climax of Desmond Miles’ story, it is now truly time to reflect upon his ancestors. No, not his direct ancestors but rather we can commemorate Desmond and the series as a whole by taking a look back 10 of the most bad ass assassins from games gone by.

10. Corvo Attano

The latest addition to these ranks of assassins, Corvo is the playable character in Arkane Studios’ Dishonored. He wields what might be the coolest set of skills on this list too, including but not limited to the ability – teleport short distance, possess animals & humans, slow & stop time and turn dead bodies to ash. The combination of those incredibly effective powers and that bad ass steam punk look means he had to be included on the list.

9. Assassin

From one of the newest to one of the oldest. Assassin was a Commodore Amiga game that came out 20 years ago and starred a character known as, you guessed it, Assassin.

Assassin is a side scrolling platform & shoot ‘em up in the style of Contra. The original edition featured one of the most unlikely of assassination weapons – a boomerang! The Special Edition, bizarrely, made the change to replace the boomerang with a laser gun. Either way, the protagonist paved the way for many that came after him.

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