Sunday, December 25, 2011


If you're here (in The Video Game Tome) you best know about "Portal" and its concept. Here is a fan's celebration of that gem of a game and this dear of a season. Cheers and enjoy yours.

Game on. Live on.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Do you seriously consider yourself a gamer and have not purchased any of the Humble Indie Bundles?

If you answered "Yes." to the above question, allow me to ask another question. What is wrong with you?

Perhaps you are heartless and want nothing to do with helping any charities whatsoever. Perhaps you believe in being charged more money for less games. Perhaps, dare I suggest it, you do not care for the video game industry. Or, perhaps, you do not even know about the Humble Indie Bundles, in which case you best keep on reading.

Dear reader, I am not hear to mock you to scorn, rather, I am hear to tell you about one of the greatest things under the sun, the Humble Indie Bundles!

I was fortunate enough to hear about these terrific treasure troves from the start with the first Humble Indie Bundle (May 2010), wherein I got the likes of "World of Goo" and "Lugaru HD" too. I am still grateful to my 
cousin for pointing me in its direction. It has been the best deal in gaming ever since then.

Check out this advertisement for the current Humble Indie Bundle #4. This one is absolutely ridiculous (in the best way possible) with 12 games (including the contemporary classic that is "Super Meat Boy")! An over $100 value for whatever value you deem fit. As the catchy theme song tells you, "Pay what you want, DRM free, cross platform, and it helps charity."

Indie games ought not be thought of as lesser games. While they don't cost near as much as the blockbuster titles do nor do they require the latest and greatest software, these are unique experiences that always keep things fun. From my experience indie games are among the more innovative video games out there. Limitations can increase creativity. Furthermore, art has no limits and some of these games beg to be labeled as such.

Also, don't argue that your computer can't handle these titles. I'm sure it can. I have no such "gaming computer" and can still play 90% of the titles included in the bundles.

You can be a cheap bastard or a generous fellow, pay the price you want and even choose how it is distributed among the developers, charities, and Humble Indie Bundle itself.

At the end of the day, it is all about the games and if Humble Indie Bundle did not shine in this department I would not be raving about it the way I am. From modern masterpieces like "Braid" to obscure experiences like "Osmos." These games are fun and rewarding. Last bundle featured "The Binding of Isaac," which I am still playing and loving every disturbing minute of.

Last question: What are you waiting for? This might be one of the best bundles yet (it is hard to say because they are all worth getting). There has never been a better time to join the party. Wait, back at the beginning was the best time to join, but now is good too! The folks at Humble Indie Bundle live and die by their mantra, "Pay what you want for awesome games and help charity," and so should every gamer!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Gamer Shoppe, where we look at gamer merchandise that are not games.

Zelda is the Girl T-Shirt

Yeah, poor Link has often been called Zelda (back in my oblivious days I too thought he was the title character). Here's a shirt to hopefully set the rest of the world on the right track. Or maybe this shirt is just proclaiming that "Zelda is the girl"? Either way, would you wear it? Guys? Especially with the "is the" so freakin' small so that most people would only read "Zelda Girl."


DLC Quest
Released: 11.2.11
Platform: XBLIG

Developer & Publisher: Going Loud Studios

This indie darling is a sassy commentary on our times while being a unique platformer of its very own. It is short and sweet and ultimately one big joke of a game, on purpose of course.

"DLC Quest" is a satirical platfomer based on the popular trend of downloadable content in games today. Sometimes games are released practically unfinished and rely on patched to be downloaded later to fix the experience. And nearly every game has some type of DLC where you can add costumes, weapons, maps, etc. While the latter type of downloads typically cost a pretty penny, you will only have to spend the in-game coins you collect (a la "Mario") on the DLC herein. It is a meta-game in this regard. Some NPCs even refer to themselves as such.

When you begin "DLC Quest" you feel like you are playing an unfinished game and that is highly on purpose. You talk to the in-game merchant from whom you must purchase animation upgrades, sound effects, the ability to access a menu and so on. Thus, the quest for DLC is the point of the game all in order to, you guessed it, save the princess from an evil adversary. Perhaps the best reference in the game is the horse armor that you can buy. Bethesda took a lot of crap for having that be the first DLC available for "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion." The best part, the asking price in "DLC Quest" is 250 coins, the same amount of Microsoft Points (if I'm not mistook) that people had to shell out to give their horse some clothes.

This is a short game. You probably wouldn't spend more than half an hour on it and that's really it needs to be. It reminded of one aspect I loathe in games (particularly platformers), treading and re-treading the same place, scouring it for collectibles. Seriously, such a meaningless aspect of many games that we could all do without. I suppose "DLC Quest" is kind of critic-proof in a way because all of its faults could be taken as intentional parody. At $1 it is a good enough deal and an experience you probably won't forget. It made me laugh at the absurdness, but truthfulness of our current state of games.

 7 / 10 

CONTENT: violence, rude humor, some sensuality (in low pixels mind you)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


274182 Papel de Parede Mapa Mundi do Mario 1920x1200 Super Mario Real World Map

Familiar with "Super Mario World"? Familiar with our world? Then you should be smiling by now.

(Confession: While I am of course familiar with "Super Mario World" I haven't played it much...)


Sunday, December 4, 2011


To the Moon
Released: 11.1.11
Platform: PC
Developer: Freebird Games
Publisher: Freebird Games

Watch this trailer and you will discover a reason why I love video games. They can be unapologetic in their style and presentation (here's a game done in the SNES style, especially reminiscent of "Final Fantasy VI" I'm told, I really wouldn't know), but yet so heartfelt in an attempt to create a unique and meaningful experience.

Not all games are created equal. Some strive to be nothing more than an amusing pastime. But like 2009's "Braid," this title looks to be a game that has forgone the latest and greatest graphics and engines and is more interested in telling a deep story through a more classical toolbox. That said, there is no deny in the beauty and detail in this overhead-view experience. I understand that this typical RPG-flair might not appeal to all gamers, but I think if given a chance it could prove to anyone how it can stand its own ground very well. While it may be done in that "classic"-style, I'd argue it has never looked so crisp and clean and colorful.

The story of "To the Moon" is quite appealing. A man, nearing the end of his life, is given a chance to live again (through technology that allows artificial yet permanent memories). Those on their death beds are given this choice. Johnny Wiles is in such a situation and, for a mysterious reason, wants to go to the moon. In an "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"-esque manner, the technicians must go into the memories of their patient. In an "Inception"-esque manner that plant a desire in mind of Johnny as a child. What if you were given this chance? What if you've already taken it and didn't even know?

I tend to think this is "The Artist" (yet another filmic reference) of video games for 2011. That film released earlier this year and is a black-and-white silent film set in Hollywood during the late 1920s when the advent of sound was changing lives on and off the screen. Like that film (or at least the trailer I have seen for that film) here is a new game made to look classic and the result is beautiful. Both trailers are greatly aided by their use of music.

Earlier today "Complex" posted that it could be coming to Mac next year (it is currently only available on Windows) based on Tweets from the game's creator, Kan "Rieves" Gao. That would mean I'd be able to play it, so I'm hoping for such an undertaking.

I found this trailer to be stunning (aesthetically and in concept). Johnny wants to go the moon and so do I.