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What is the best Christmas game?

Christmas NiGHTS

For the past couple days, I've been pretty much snowed in here in Seattle. And looking at all this white stuff has got me thinking about all the different incarnations of snow-themed levels that have been appearing in games for basically forever. The slippery snow levels in the original Mario on the NES. The icy dungeons in Zelda. The ice-themed levels in almost every RPG ever created. So are there any games that stand out as being particularly Christmassy or winter holiday appropriate?

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 6

This week's topics include:

  • Impressions/reviews of the Left 4 Dead and Street Fighter 2 HD Remix
  • The future of games distribution: Physical vs. Digital

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Please send mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

The Horror Geek Presents: Dante's Inferno Teaser Trailer

Awhile back I posted some stories about a Hollywood bidding war that broke out for the movie rights to an unannounced videogame from Electronic Arts based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Well, at the SpikeTV Videogame Awards show the other night, EA finally confirmed that the game is indeed coming (it’ll be titled Dante’s Inferno) and they unveiled a teaser promo for the game as well.

There’s not much gameplay on display in the trailer (or really any for that matter…) but it’s still nice to see the game officially confirmed. No release date has been set yet, but it appears that the game is tentatively scheduled for release in 2009.

Mighty Jill Off: Naughty fun for everyone

A cartoon woman clad in leather looks up at a castle high on a cliff. The castle has a red door, a heart-shaped window and smoke coming from the chimney.

Poor Jill. Her lover the queen has thrown her in the bottom floor of her tower. To get out, she'll have to beware of spikes, cross flaming pillars and dodge floating yellow spiders using only her wits and flea-like jumping skills. And that's just how she likes it.

Interview with Rise of the Argonauts developer, Liquid Entertainment

Rise of the Argonauts - Liquid Entertainment

At this year's Penny Arcade Expo, there were more games than ever to check out on the exhibition floor, but more than the others, one stood out as something to keep a close eye on: Rise of the Argonauts from Liquid Entertainment. After a dynamite walk-through and presentation from Liquid’s Andrew Rubino, I was absolutely convinced that this game was on the right track. Currently scheduled for a December 16th release, Andrew took time out of his extremely hectic pre-release schedule to answer a few questions.

Interview with NinjaBee

NinjaBee - A Kingdom for Keflings

Although the New Xbox Experience is slowly growing on me, the best thing about making the transition was being greeted with an instantly-addicting new Arcade game making use of Microsoft’s avatars: A Kingdom for Keflings. Developer NinjaBee's Steve Taylor (company owner) and Kevin Heap (lead programmer on A Kingdom for Keflings) were gracious enough to spend a few minutes talking to me about Keflings and their other titles.

Picking apart the Resident Evil 5 demo

Resident Evil 5

With Resident Evil 4 being one of my favorite games of all time, it probably goes without saying that I've been eagerly anticipating Resident Evil 5 ever since the first teaser images appeared in the summer of 2005. Now that I've had the chance to spend some time with the new RE5 demo, I thought I'd share some of my impressions, both positive and negative.

What happens when Mario fan forgets to take his meds?

A guy in a go-kart, on a highway, swerving through traffic, tossing banana peels in front of cars in adjacent lanes... You'd have be nuts to attempt this... or you could be none other than everyone's favorite French practical joker, Rémi Gaillard—I don't know who he is either, but he does a mean Mario impersonation.


The AudioGamer Presents: Mirror's Edge Time Trial Tutorial

Electronic Arts Mirror's Edge

Once you've beaten Mirror's Edge it's only natural to want to check out the Time Trials and Speedruns. While the skills you learned playing the game should get you through each Time Trial smoothly enough, obtaining a three-star rating can be quite a challenge for all but the most dedicated gamer!

That's where the audiogamer's Time Trial Tutorial comes in. Simply cue up this audio file, load up your copy of Mirror's Edge, and let me walk you through a smooth, easy-to-learn path that will ensure you a three star rating on 'Playground 1', the first of the game's Time Trials.

Impress your friends! Humiliate your nieghbours! Remind all that live who is the ruler of all that is, was, or ever shall be!

Just don't let anyone know you've got the Audiogamer to thank.

Wink.

Download the file by right clicking here and choosing to save the target! Or Just click on it and your browser will probably open a player or something like that.

Ode to joy(sticks)

You know what I miss? Joysticks.

Many years ago, a video game system snuck into my house disguised as a computer. While my Commodore Vic-20 had Gemsticka keyboard, many of its games—especially the "good" ones that came in cartridges you shoved into the back—used a Gemstik joystick. This joystick had one button and four directions, and I liked having something to grip as I snuck stolen gold bricks away from panthers or brought scorpion eggs to safety. Having to push and pull on something in order to move took more effort, made me feel like I was running for my life in ways my Nintendo Entertainment System's D-pad could not.

One could blame these feelings on simple nostalgia. The rose-colored glasses effect is probably part of it, but there's something else, too. Gripping the nunchuck attachment to my Wii remote reminds me that it's really nice to have tactile feedback in my weaker left hand; such feedback helps me be aware of where my hand is. Though I can play a lot of mainstream games with no or very minimal modifications, there's something particularly enjoyable—accessible, even—about the old-fashioned joystick.

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