Saturday, December 22, 2012


NOTE: This blog, like the other, is now using the superior Intense Debate commenting system instead of the blogger default model. Users can sign-in using Twitter and a few other services, or by getting a (free) Intense Debate ID.

ANYWAY! Here's a new "OverBytes" for y'all, addressing - perhaps innevitably - the reactivated "blame violent games" controversy. Please note, the episode was actually recorded and finished before the now-infamous NRA press conference, which is why there's no explicit mention of it or the organization itself here; though the overall theme and final point would not have changed either way. Enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

NRA Boss: Guns Don't Kill People, Video-Games Kill People!

Something I wish the media would remind people of more often: The National Rifle Association isn't a sportsmen's club anymore, or even a citizen's rights group for gun owners. They're a corporate lobbying group for the gun manufacturing industry. Understanding that is the key to understanding why they do things like insisting more guns - not fewer - are the key to safety, or spurring the stockpiling of weapons with the "gun-ban" boogeyman: They aren't looking to help gun owners, they're looking to increase sales. (See also: "Armed guards at schools are the answer! And we're MORE than willing to help set that up!")

But even understanding that couldn't have prepared me to see the NRA's hilariously faux-macho bossman Wayne LaPierre get in front of cameras today for what was ostensibly supposed to be their response to the Sandy Hook massacre and essentially declare, at the 8:25 mark of this video: Guns don't kill people, video games kill people!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Head's up! "The Game OverThinker" will have it's first independent panel at this year's MAGFest on January 5th at 10:00am. This is my first one of these, so it's going to be straight Q&A format. I'll be out and about at the con itself otherwise from about Friday to Sunday afternoon, in addition. Look forward to seeing any fans there!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

EPISODE 79: "In Praise of Clones"

Now showing on BLIP! The OverThinker asks if modern gaming has too narrow a definition of "originality."

ALSO: Learn the identity of the mysterious Red Guy, and witness a shocking surprise twist!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Took longer to get this second one up (on my end) than I wanted it to - that won't be the case going forward. Anyway, here's the episode:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Check Your WiiU

UPDATE: My WiiU is still not working, and Nintendo tech support doesn't open for several hours and I need to sleep. All information below is as up to date as I could gather as of 7:45am ET. All I can be sure of is that my WiiU is afflicted with some kind of malfunction that multiple other people's have been, and that said malfunction is not in evidence until you try to hook it up. I am NOT claiming that this is a "widespread" or even serious issue, but it's clearly effected a few people so it's probably a good idea for multiple people to check on consoles they might've bought to "hold" for gift-giving time.


So. I bought my WiiU (Basic model) on Launch Day yesterday. Didn't get a chance to try hooking it up until well after midnight, because of work and other engagements. System appeared to be in good working order, but would not connect to my TV in a way that was "recognized." Not via it's own included HDMI cable. Not in other ports. Not with other cables. Not even via the (compatible) Wii standard cables.

As you can imagine, I was not happy.

Since it's A.) a brand-new machine and B.) around 3am at the time, not much info was available. However, I did take notice that the system's blue "power-on" light was flashing on and off and that this wasn't typically how such lights work. Checking up on that yielding depressing information via an active thread over at GameFAQs: Apparently, other people are having the same problem and, evidently, the detail of "blue flashing light" leads Nintendo to immediate send them a shipping lable so they can send it out for repairs.

If this is true - if Nintendo now has it's own "Red Ring of Death" problem - it could stand to be a pretty dicey affair: Setting aside how annoyed I am right now, the family audience the Wii brand has such penetration with is not as "used to" dealing with issues like this as gamers tend to be from prior experience; and that would translate to a really bad situation for Nintendo this holiday.

Right now, though - if you bought a WiiU and are maybe saving it to give as a gift, you MIGHT maybe want to take it out and inspect it, just in case. If these things are rare now, they'll be really rare then. Either way, fingers crossed this isn't widespread.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EPISODE 78: "Press Played"

IT'S HERE! "The Adventures of The Game OverThinker" makes it's big debut on Blip, as The OverThinker takes on "Dorito-Gate," introduces new viewers to his world... and meets a mysterious new character!

Monday, November 12, 2012

TGO Blip Debut Trailer!

UPDATE: Video removed and re-uploaded to correct a glitch, should be visible shortly at THIS link:

And don't forget, we're also still very much a part of ScrewAttack with OVERBYTES!

Friday, November 9, 2012


The first episode of our new series for ScrewAttack, "OverBytes," is now available for all audiences. It's my understanding that after this, future episodes will go back to the familiar Advantage Users first, all-audiences about one week later schedule. Check it out!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


So... Blip said "yes" to hosting the "Adventures of The Game OverThinker," (aka "the old show with a new-ish name.") Obviously, there isn't a new episode YET, but when they do begin they'll be arriving at, so bookmark that link (or however people save links today.)

So far as I know, the plan is for "OverBytes" to occupy the same space at ScrewAttack TGO did, but I'll let you know if anything changes on that front (I don't expect it to.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EPISODE 77: "I'm Not A Gamer"

Now up on ScrewAttack, with a special message about The Future after the credits. FYI, I am aware of visual glitching during the scene with RetroThinker - not sure where that came from, also not 100% sure how/when it can be corrected as things are ever so slightly busy here as you'll soon understand:

Yup, this is happening. Hit the jump to learn more...

Stay Tuned

So... not to be too much of a Teasy McTeaserton, but big announcements about the future of The Game OverThinker are coming in the near future. I'm excited about them, I hope you will be too. Stay tuned to this blog and my Twitter for more details as I get them.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"I'm Not A Gamer"

Okay, so... apparently this caused a big shitstorm two weeks ago when it first happened, so call me "late" if you like but... here we are.

So! Nintendo's new ad campaign for the 3DS is based around having celebrities tell you what they use the device for, capped off by the tagline "I'm not a gamer, I'm a ______." The first (so far) is Diana Agron using an art app ("I'm not a gamer, I'm an artist;") but the second has Gabrielle Douglas playing NSMB2: "I'm not a gamer, I'm a coin-collecting champ."

There's no implicit "but" there - the idea behind the campaign isn't "I'm not a gamer but even I like this game!;" but rather "I'm not a gamer" as an affirmative statement in and of itself: "I'm not a gamer" translating to "playing this doesn't MAKE me a gamer," which in turn is reassuring prospective consumers that "playing this won't make YOU a gamer, either."

Eyebrow-raising, to be sure. But thinking on it, I like this campaign and think that it's necessary.... I just HATE that it's necessary.

Friday, October 12, 2012

EPISODE 76: "Ask Ivan"

As a result of working out some bugs with the video, "Ask Ivan" is now live! Really, really proud of how this one came out (I think its the best mailbag to date, honestly) and I hope you'll check it out RIGHT HERE. (There's no embedding option for this blog just yet, working on that..)

And for those wondering, yes - that big action sequence at the end is the "nightmare" editing project that had been giving me so much trouble. So, just for my own edification... it'd be super-awesome if even people who don't "care" about the sketch-segments at least gave it a watch ;)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


UPDATE II: The issue with the earlier upload seems to have been resolved, and the episode is now viewable for ALL AUDIENCES at this new link: (full embed post soon.) Apologies for the issues.

UPDATE: I am aware that there is some kind of issue with the video which is causing it to display as "locked" even for Advantage users. While I have no direct control over that myself, the people who do have been made aware of it and I am informed that it's being worked on.

ORIGINAL POST: "Game OverThinker - Episode 76: Ask Ivan" will debut for all audiences on Wednesday, October 17th at 11:00pm CST. As ever, ScrewAttack Advantage members can get an early look right here right now.

Coolest Thing of The Week

Courtesy the Ohio State University Marching Band, the coolest video-game related thing you will see this week (also, ridiculously impressive technical achievement even if you, like me, don't know shit about how a Marching Band works...)

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Retro City Rampage" Looks Pretty Sweet

I admit, upfront, that I am a "mark" for so-called "retro-style" games. Yes, it's comfort in the familiar - this is gaming as I knew it when I loved it best and so forth - but it's also just a stylistic thing: I'm a fan of "handicapped art - i.e. art made under some kind of imposed technical restrictions - and as such I'm fascinated to see the way talented digital artists use the restricted medium of pixels to create visuals or the limited sound-range of "chiptunes" to create musical compositions.

But I'm also willing to admit that the "retro" aesthetic has also become an easy way for lackluster games to pitch themselves as a quick nostalgia fix or, more commonly, a medium awash in overly reference-heavy games that "work" as nostalgia-fixes but don't hold up as games in their own right. "Retro City Rampage," on the other hand, looks to be doing the genre right - mixing up the usual set of go-to visual cues with a solid gameplay hook (pre-III "Grand Theft Auto" with a gonzo aesthetic and an NES gloss) that looks like a lot of real fun even for folks who don't immediately get a laugh out of a Bionic Commando gag:

And This Week's Overblown Gamer Freakout Will Be...

After recieving complaints from "Call of Duty" players of Islamic backgrounds that they were offended by a bit of background decoration in the "Favelas" multiplayer map in "Modern Warfare 2" (the offending detail: A piece of wall art including the word "Allah" was hung above a toilet stall;) Activision and Infinity Ward temporarily removed the map from availability last night (presumably the offending image will be patched out of existance.)


After the jump, sarcasm:

Monday, October 1, 2012


ANNOUNCEMENT! As of Midnight this Wednesday (October 3rd) I'll no longer be taking questions for next episode's big "Ask Ivan!" event. If you still haven't asked yours, ask it here or ask it on ScrewAttack. Remember to leave a name or a handle, no anonymous queries will be answered.

The actual airdate(s) of the episode itself will follow, stay tuned for further details.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Video Hell

I am right now (in between other, more decisively-deadlined jobs) hard at work on the next episode of "The Game OverThinker." It MIGHT take a little longer than I wanted it to take, read below to learn why...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cloudberry Kingdom is a WiiU Launch Title

Not-bad writeup on Kotaku yesterday evening putting a spotlight on the WiiU's surprising strength as an indie-friendly console given the strong lineup of downloadable games among it's launch titles. One of the standouts looks like Pwnee Studios' "Cloudberry Kingdom," which resembles nothing so much as "New Super Mario Bros." with a sadistic difficulty curve:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mario Warfare

Have you see enough "What if ______ was crossed with _______??" gags on youtube, webcomics, etc. to last a lifetime? You probably have, but check out this video anyway because it looks pretty awesome regardless.

If nothing else, I'm glad to see "Equilibrium" popping back up as the fan-film point-of-reference du-jour...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mega Man Is Over

Double-meaning, y'see.

Ever since Keiji Inafune up and quit the company awhile back, Capcom has seemed bound and determined to turn his most well-known creation into mulch: Cancelling a slew of well-into-development Mega Man titles, making his appearance in "Street Fight X Tekken" a self-parody, etc.

The latest seeming insult: The Blue Bomber's promised 25th Anniversary game (keep in mind, we're talking about a Mario/Zelda/Kirby-level Golden Age icon here), billed as a crossover wherein a "new" MM battles a cosortium of foes from all the different subseries, has been revealed as... an iPhone social game; fittingly titled "Mega Man X Over."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

EPISODE 75: "Easy Does It"

Our newest episode is now showing for all audiences on ScrewAttack!

In this episode, we examine the modern controversy over "Easy Modes": do they really - as the lead designer of "Assassin's Creed III" recently claimed - "ruin games," or is there a vital place for them? In addition, we proudly announce that the next episode will be "Ask Ivan!" - wherein Ivan the Intern will answer questions to posted to the comments sections under the video itself or to this blog post (see episode for details, no anonymous questions please.)

ALSO! You'll see The OverThinker's favorite watering hole, discover the history of The OmegaThinker, witness the shocking origin of RoboThinker, learn something new about Ivan the Intern and watch ME gradually figure out how to properly use my new green-screen! (in all sincerity, I know some folks run hot or cold on the skits, but I'm pretty psyched with how the "ending" bookend for this one turned out tone, FX and timing-wise.)

Embedded episode and spoiler-y discussion after the jump!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

U Mad?

In case you hadn't heard, the WiiU has an unexpected third-party (second-party, actually - Nintendo published!) exclusive. Some people are... less than thrilled about this.

The poor darlings.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Off To Work

I'll be getting on an airplane for The Escapist Expo very soon, which means updates to this blog may be a bit on the sporadic/late side from now until Monday. Stay tuned.

Nintendo Being Nintendo

The WiiU's dates and prices have been announced for Japan, and will be announced for the U.S. later this morning. The main non-pricing/tech related news is that it looks like the flagship launch titles will be New Super Mario Bros. WiiU and Nintendo Land.

I haven't seen much of "Nintendo Land," but I dig the "symbolism" of its existance: It's a Wii Sports/Play/Resort installment, but this time set in a virtual Nintendo-themed amusement park. I like the optimisitc (on Nintendo's side) vision of what that represents: that the "Casual-core" Wii newcomers of seven years ago are now part of the broader Nintendo fan-culture (we'll find out if that's precisely TRUE soon enough.)

Moreover, though, much as I'm supposed to roll my eyes at the "regressiveness" of the New Super Mario Bros. juggernaut... and while, yes, I'd RATHER be playing a successor to Galaxy or something truly new... damn it, y'all KNOW me. The first console of the Eighth Generation is launching... with a 2D Super Mario Bros. side-scroller. That's kind of awesome.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Episode 75: "Easy Does It" will debut next Wednesday September 19th at 11:00pm CST right here on ScrewAttack. As ever, Advantage Members can watch it starting now.

ALSO: As announced in the episode-proper, Episode 76 will be our first ever "ASK IVAN" installment, wherein fan and viewer mail will be answered by Ivan the Intern. You can ask your question in the ScrewAttack comments page or the comments here (leave some form of name, anonymous questions will not be answered) concerning games, pop culture or anything else you'd want to Ask Ivan about.

Stay tuned for the episode for more details.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

EPISODE 74: "Rusty Pipes"

A few weeks ago, my colleague Jim Sterling did a video on what he so as the waning (or, at least, "water-treading") state of the Super Mario Bros. franchise which, along with a general sense of "I've gotta get to this at some point" regarding the matter, inspired me to undertake this episode... which is NOW SHOWING on ScrewAttack!

ALSO! The "wraparound" segmentsof this episode includes, among other things, a Golden Age enemy, my terrible impression of Sean Connery and the ultimate reveal of what The AntiThinker's return means for the continuing adventures of The OverThinker.

Embedded video (and SPOILER TALK) after the jump:

What Is Sony's "Console Wars" Movie?

Sony Pictures, you may have heard, has bought up a bunch of domain names relating to a movie project called "Console Wars." Yesterday, HitFix's Kris Tapley ambiguously tweeted that he'd heard of the project before and described it as "The Social Network" but for video-games.

So... a non-fiction drama about corporate-rivalry in the video game world? Interesting. But what would it be about - which "war" are we talking about?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Episode 74: "Rusty Pipes" - which will deal with whether or not the Super Mario Bros. series has overstayed it's welcome and that other thing that was revealed at the end of last episode - will make it's debut on Thursday 8/30. ScrewAttack Advantage members can get an early look on Monday 8/27.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Power Drain

It's been a long time coming, but now it's here: Nintendo Power Magazine is shutting down after 24 years. If nothing else, a lot of people's magazine collections are about to become really valuable.

I am feeling about as rotten about this as I did when Dr. Seuss and Jim Henson died. Yes, Nintendo Power was a nakedly commercial corporate thing - a singularly genius bit of marketing by Nintendo of America in realizing that there was going to be a "gamer culture" and getting in front of it with a big, glossy fan magazine of their own. (You can read the first issue in PDF format HERE.)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Will Apple Be The Game-Changer?

I've been saying this for years, and I'll keep saying it until I get either the satisfaction of history proving me right or the lesson of history proving me wrong: The end of dedicated gaming-consoles is coming soon, and it will be heralded by games becoming a regular feature of streaming-enabled TV devices. Whether it will be the Ouya, OnLive, or something else... it's coming, and it will change everything.

Lately, I've added a caveat to that, only half-joking: In the near future, there will not be ONE device for all of your movie/music/game/etc content - there'll be two: The one that holds a solid majority of your stuff... and the Apple one that holds all the Apple-exclusives. Okay, maybe an excessive "dig" at the late Mr. Jobs' "keep it in he family" approach to technology, but you get the idea.

According to the Wall Street Journal, though, my "joke" is inching closer to reality: Apple may be developing a "next gen" successor to it's thus-far modestly-recieved "Apple TV" set-top device that would allow it to stream cable TV and "other content." Presumably, "other content" mostly means movie/music delivery a'la iPads comes to TV... but the i-devices are ALSO a big part of gaming. It wouldn't be TOO difficult (just figuring out how to control it, really) to bring iOS gaming to TVs via such a device; and if Apple DID do that and it "clicked" with people... they could become to the streaming-age of home gaming what Nintendo was to the console age via the NES.

One way or another, this is the future.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Film Crit Hulk Hulks-Out on ME3 once more...

Well, this should be interesting...

When the web-famous Film Crit Hulk took a break from movies to opine on the "Mass Effect 3" ending controversy, he was doing so as observer - he hadn't played/finished the game at the time, and (like me) wasn't critiquing the merits of the ending but the behavior of "Re-Take" - it didn't matter (and still doesn't matter) in this context what Hulk or anyone else "thought" of the ending itself, because good or bad it's a terrible precedent to try and make artists subserviant to the knee-jerk negative response of the audience.

Well, now he HAS finished the game, and offers up his critique of the ending(s) themselves; his main discovery and thesis being that three endings being essentially the SAME ending as-seen through the prism of different philosophies is the entire point that (in his opinion) people managed to miss. READ IT HERE. Money-quotes after the jump:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Episode 73: "The Return" (aka "Going Hollywood")

Update: I am informed that the ability to post comments at ScrewAttack should be restored sometime Saturday morning. Stay tuned.

The OverThinker finally gives in and offers up the obligatory "what's wrong with video-game movies" episode; along with a quick-and-easy "jumping on" point for new fans and longtime viewers alike. Full episode (and semi-spoilers) after the jump:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


UPDATE II: I've been made aware of a problem with the video re: a small chunk of video appears only as a green screen. Kind of embarassing for us, certainly, but a fix is being worked on as we speak. FWIW, there really isn't any "important" imagery there other than clips from the movie "Legend," but I apologize all the same. Everything will (hopefully) be fixed by the time this goes all-audiences on Saturday.

UPDATE I: The episode is now viewable for ScrewAttack Advantage members, and will become viewable by everyone else on Saturday. If you are an Advantage member, you may notice that commenting on the video on ScrewAttack is currently disabled - this is NOT permanent, nor is it an attempt to "avoid criticism;" my aim is only to prevent non-advantage members who click the link from any spoilers that might be posted before they have a chance to see it themselves. The comment fucnction should be restored when the episode gets "unlocked" on Saturday.

Friday, July 27, 2012

"Sonic Fan Film" New Trailer

You might remember Eddie LeBron and Blue Core Studios for their ambitious "Mega Man" fan-film a few years back. Shortly after that, they announced they were going to take a swing at "Sonic The Hedgehog;" and with the film's release date apparently approaching (last I'd heard it was going to be a short instead of a feature) there's a new trailer - and yes, that's actually Jaleel White returning to voice Sonic:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

SGC Kickstarter

SGC 2010 was the public debut of The Game OverThinker and my first con as a professional, so you'd better believe I'm psyched at the idea of it possibly coming back. ScrewAttack is aiming to make that happen via Kickstarter; because that's what the cool kids are doin' these days:

Check it out HERE.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

EPISODE 72 - "NecroThinker: The Last Stand"

Not totally sure what was up with viewable/not-viewable earlier in the week, but now it's Saturday so here it is: The OFFICIAL rollout of our second big mailbag show AND (for those who stick around after the main show) the climax of the NecroThinker story-arc. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It Lives

As part of moving into the new place, I've been looting my parents' house for old stuff I can still use. One discovery turned out to be my original NES and collection of games; which tonight underwent a thorough disassembling, cleaning with rubbing-alcohol (system and carts) and reassembling.

The entire process was tweeted game by game (sorry, people who don't like tweetspam, I was excited is all.) and this is my favorite photo I took of the process - you can't quite see it in this image, but the NES is on a shelf below the Wii and XBox; connected via the HDTV's inexplicable-yet-welcome coax input.

ALSO: You may or may not be able to watch the newest episode HERE.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Episode 72 Now Up... Kinda... Look, Read The Post...

EPISODE 72 is now up at ScrewAttack. It's supposed to be for Advantage members only until Saturday, but it looks like it's viewable by everyone right at the moment; so... watch away, I guess. I expect it'll snap back to proper "Advantage Preview Only" status sooner or later, but if so it should be viewable by all on Saturday either way...

OUYA Could Save Us... Maybe...

I've said for years now that an open-source console, properly funded, would be a godsend - in fact, it comes up several times in the next episode's mailbag questions - IF it was properly managed. The Kickstarter for such a machine, "OUYA," got a million dollars of hopeful crowdfunding within hours today; so apparently I'm not the only one hoping for something like this to happen. A console with the accessibility/maleability (on the development and consumer side) of a tablet or smartphone would really be something... if it works.

It's properly to be wary of any tech startup in this economy, especially in this industry, but I hope this works out. Fingers crossed.

Microsoft Has Made A Live-Action "Halo" Movie...

...and one of the stars of "Twilight" is Master Chief!

Well, okay, that's a little sensationalized: The actor is Daniel Cudmore, who played one of the Volturi (bad Euro-vampire leader guys) but you might recognize better as Colossus from the third "X-Men" movie. And no, none of this is a joke.

With an impressive amount of secrecy, Microsoft has apparently shot a live-action feature-length movie called "Halo 4: Forward Until Dawn," a prequel set during The Covenant's first attack. Master Chief will be a supporting character, with the main story focusing on a new recruit who will also appear in "Halo 4." It will first be released as a series of five webisodes on Machinma's YouTube channel starting in October, then released as a complete feature film with the Limited Edition of "Halo 4" in November.

Teaser trailer after the jump...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

COD: Black Ops II's Villain is... Occupy Wall Street?

Y'know, I don't really relish being the guy who keeps beating the "Call-of-Duty-As-Right-Wing-Propaganda" drum; but what else can you do when this stuff keeps cropping up?

Below, the new trailer for BLOPS2; which seems to reveal that the drone-army-hijacking bad guy(s) are (or are somehow tied-to) a "99 Percenter" movement called Cordis Die ("The Heart"); whose leader is suspected to actually be an aging Nicaraguan (hmmm...) narco-terrorist. The story comes from David Goyer, who also wrote "The Dark Knight Rises" which ALSO looks to potentially have an "income-inequality activists are tools-of/servants-of/opening-the-door-for destructive evil" story-element going on...


I'm back! And pretty soon, so is the show!

It's been a rough few weeks here - one damn horror-story after another and moving into a new apartment on top of all of it, but things appear to have settled and I can now happily announce that EPISODE 72 - the Special ScrewAttack G1 Mailbag Show AND the finale of the NecroThinker story-arc - will debut for all audiences THIS SATURDAY JULY 14TH!

As is customary, ScrewAttack Advantage members will be able to get an early on WEDNESDAY.

I want to thank everyone who wrote in, G1's and all fans/viewers in general, and everyone else whose stuck with us through this bumpy recent period. I'm working hard on getting this show up to a much, much more regular, reliable schedule. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mailbag Deadline Incoming!

The deadline for ScrewAttack G1's to submit questions for the upcoming Game OverThinker Mailbag Episode will be Saturday night, June 30th. If you are (or plan to become) a G1 and haven't asked your question yet, you may do so in the comments on THIS video.

For more information, refer to said video below:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Carmen Sandiego" Heading To The Big Screen

Vintage PC Edutainment game fans (that surely must exist, yes?); you may finally be getting a Hollywood blockbuster to call your own: Walden Media (the folks behind the "Narnia" movies) has comissioned a screenplay for a feature film adaptation of "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?"

Jennifer Lopez is one of the project's producers, and has been developing it as a potential star-vehicle for herself - the title character is a master-thief of (presumably) Latin/Spanish descent who prefers to pilfer items of historical/geographic significance. In the games, players took on the role of Interpol experts who had to use their knowledge of geography to suss out clues and chase Carmen and her associates around the world.

Outside of "The Oregon Trail," WITWICS? is probably the most successful/well-known franchise in the "edutainment" genre; and in it's heyday inspired tie-in books, school materials, museum/zoo events, merchandise and even an animated Fox TV series - however, it's probably best remembered by Gen-Xers for the uniquely-bizzare kiddie game show that aired on PBS...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Special Announcement

A brief announcement about the immediate-future of "The Game OverThinker."

Remember, The Episode 72 "MAILBAG" show is only open to questions from ScrewAttack G1's posted to THIS VIDEO. Thank you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


A few hours ago, Evangeline Chipman - my last surviving grandparent and one of the strongest best people I'll ever know - passed away after having been in ill health for some time.

I'm not interested in getting into any more details than that. I share only because - while it's my intention to not interupt the workflow of my sites and projects (if anything, I really need the focusing-effect of work-to-be-done right now) - I can't say what sort of things arrangements and obligations will do to my schedules and output. So, if this blog or other venues seem to be either less active or less "upbeat" than usual, I ask your patience and understanding as to why that probably is.

This is going to be a very difficult period for me and for my family, and your support and understanding is deeply appreciated.

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Of This

With appologies for not covering this sooner, things have been a bit wiggy around here as of late.

Anita Sarkeesian, video-producer for FeministFrequency, has set up a Kickstarter for a proposed video project called "Tropes vs. Women In Video Games;" which sounds like exactly the kind of gaming commentary we need more of whether you agree with her conclusions or not. I encourage everyone to take a look and consider kicking in.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Bob Is Happy

Two new full-blown 2D Mario sidescrollers. In the same year. One on console. One portable.
Everything else in the universe seems to be determined to kick my ass lately, but at least I'll have this. Eventually. That's something.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Wreck It Ralph" = "Toy Story" for video-games

"Wreck-It Ralph" was already on my most-anticipated movies of the year list. At 2:47 of this trailer, it became #1. I won't be more psyched for a movie this year...

Final Fantasy: Modern Warfare

Y'know what would help the moribund Final Fantasy franchise out? Relocating the action to a generic gray/brown desert/shantytown/psuedo-favela with stereotypical Middle Eastern Terrorists as baddies...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Super Mario Bros. Wii U Revealed

Watch it HERE until I find an embeddable video. Standout reveals include a Flying Squirrel Suit, the return of Baby Yoshis and what looks like a new version of SMB3's Giant Land.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'd Buy It

Inspired by a Twitter exchange about whether or not the elephant-monster in the new "God of War" E3 trailer was supposed to be Ganesh, and the attendant prospect of Kratos engaging pantheon's of gods from still-active religions:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

This Is The WiiU's "Hardcore" Controller

The big new shiny thing of the WiiU is it's tablet-controller (now officially christened "The WiiU Gamepad"), which combines a traditional dual-analog button scheme with a touchscreen that can "swap out" the monitor feed if someone else want to use the TV (and probably other stuff, too.)

Beyond that, all we'd heard about the system's interface was that you can bring your old Wii Remotes and peripherals to the party, too... but now we know that's not the only option. To the surprise of... well, few who follow this sort of thing (given how open Nintendo has been about getting 3rd parties back onto the reservation being a primary goal this gen) but to the relief of many - including me - as part of their pre-E3 video tease Nintendo revealed "The WiiU Pro" - which moves the Gamepad's button-layout (sans touchscreen) onto the framework of a more standard controller:

EPISODE 71: "Eulogii"

The new episode is now available for view by all audiences exclusively at ScrewAttack - more updates coming, but watch all the way to the end for information on the next "Mailbag" episode.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Injustice" Is Probably Well Titled

I really, really liked NetherRealm's "Mortal Kombat" reboot, particularly on an aesthetic level - character animation wasn't so hot, but they NAILED the "dark-fantasy collage airbrushed on the side of some guy's van" art-style of oldschool MK games.

I have a feeling I'll be less enthused about their new DC Universe fighter, "Injustice: Gods Among Us," which appears to be ODing on awful 90s-style comic atmosphere and features character designs that suggest the art department was told: "Y'know how the New 52 looks have kind sucked for the most part? Well, we need them to suck MORE for this."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


UPDATE: Technical issue has been resolved, my apologies for any confusion that may have arisen.
Here we go: EPISODE 71: "Eulogii" will go live for all-audiences this Sunday 6/2. ScrewAttack Advantage members, however, can get their usual early look starting, er... right now HERE.

ALSO: The big announcement made at the end of this one is that Episode 72 will be another MAILBAG... but this one will be exclusive to ScrewAttack G1's (read: members) who ask their questions in the comments-section under this episode (on the screwattack page, NOT HERE.) No, G1 isn't Advantage (i.e. it doesn't cost anything) and yes, we will do another for all-audiences soon.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Big Tease

Apologies for the lack of updates recently - I've been dealing with a lot of stuff. Some of it business, some of it personal, some of it related to the absolute hell of real-estate shopping in Massachusetts, some of it good and some of it just plain old shitty and unpleasant.

In any case, EPISODE 71 has been recorded, edited and readied to go - though I don't have an exact date yet, I believe it will be in the near future and I'll specify when I know for sure. For now, here are three things I can tell you about this particular installment:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Episode 70 Coming 5/12

Head's up! Episode 70: "Fall of Duty" will be viewable by everyone starting this Saturday 5/12 at 11:30pm CST.

Subscribers to ScrewAttack Advantage can see it a few days early starting right how HERE.


As a rule, I try to let the comments section of these blogs run wild - people can post anonymously if they want, and the only things I tend to delete are abusive comments directed at other users. Unfortunately, owing to the continued bad behavior of some repeat-offenders I'm going to have to start getting more strict. I don't like it, but there it is.

From now on, the comments sections will be moderated by me on the following criteria: No abuse of others, no soliciting, no intentional derailing and try to stay on-topic to whatever degree possible. In other words, attempting to hijack any given conversation or spamming the recurrent "gotcha" lines into every damn post is a good way to get yourself consistently removed. Several recent posts will have their comment-sections culled in this manner once this message is posted.

I don't like it, but that's the way it has to be. Hopefully this will not overly impact the vast majority of commenters who don't make trouble.

Episode 70 Announcement!

I'm still working out some scheduling details, but I can now confirm that Episode 70 - which will cover the Oliver North/Call of Duty issue at length - should make it's debut later this week. Until then, do yourselves a favor and read this solid editorial on Kotaku that gets into some of the other more troubling aspects of the campaign and the general Fox News-style fear-selling vibe that has set in across the COD franchise in general.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oliver North is The Pitchman for "Call of Duty"

Every time I think the modern gaming industry cannot sink any lower, I am proven wrong. This is... inexcusable, even for this industry. This is disgusting, despicable. This is evil. Oliver North - a man who was convicted of what many feel amount to (but do not technically qualify as) war crimes - is doing commercials for "Call of Duty."

Hey, I've got an idea - Charles Manson isn't doing anything right now, maybe he'd like to lend a thumbs-up to the next "Manhunt?" Or maybe we can get some actual gangbangers to stump for GTAV?

Are you fucking SERIOUS, Activision??

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

BLOPS To The Future

With this emergence into general public knowledge of weaponized military drones over the last few years, it seemed innevitable that we were going to start getting schlocky technophobe-paranoia action movies reminding us how "Ya just can't trust those dang machines!!!" and that no matter how advanced our fancy-shmancy technobabble gets we're always gonna need "Real. Hard. Men. RARGH!" to bail us out.

What didn't seem innevitable - but, in retrospect, probably ought to have - was that Hollywood would get beaten to the punch on this new subgenre by a "Call of Duty" game: The trailer for "Black Ops 2" reveals that the game takes place in the near-future and finds you battling unmanned military machinery that's been hijacked by Al Qaeda/North Korea/Russia/Neo-Nazis/China/Does-It-Really-Matter. I like the Tank With Feet:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fan Art

Check out this nifty TGO fan art from elbubojr, imagining what the show's characters might look like if it were animated (or if I had a higher costume budget and/or more actors):

Love it.

He also did color versions of NecroThinker, PyroThinker, CryoThinker, RetroThinker and both forms of The Anti-Thinker, after the jump:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sony's "Smash Bros." Clone Looks Like a "Smash Bros." Clone

People have been referring to the rumored "Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale" as a Playstation-centric version of "Super Smash Bros" since it was first mentioned, but I doubt anyone was expecting it would be almost exactly the same game:

Monday, April 23, 2012

EPISODE 69: "AfterMass"

Sick of talking/hearing about "Mass Effect?" Me too. But newsworthy is newsworthy, and the next "big" gaming story (in terms of news or even a discussionworthy new release) has yet to rear it's head. So one more round - especially in light of how dramatically the Bioware/Re-Take thing evolved after the last episode. And even if that's not really your bag, this one also has zombies, gunfights, the return of The OverSword and a much bigger helping of Ivan the Intern:

Friday, April 20, 2012


There may come a day when Nintendo's monetization of nostalgia becomes so completely predictable that something as relatively simple as ressurecting power-ups from Super Mario Bros. 3 is no longer sufficient to settle anything that could be bothering me at any given moment, leaving me in a blissful near-stupor of psychological comfort.

Today is not that day:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Episode 69 Announcement!

"Episode 69: AfterMass" will be viewable by all audiences on Wednesday, April 25th. ScrewAttack Advantage members can get an early look at this link NOW.

Monday, April 16, 2012

COD Elite Has Pro-Hitler Staff Pick

Accident of internet-algorithims gone unchecked? Probably. Classic Kotaku sensationalism? Definitely. Darkly amusing, given the game(s) in question? You betcha.

The "Staff Picks" linked to a Call of Duty Elite user account - troublingly named "GhostOfTheReich," incidentally - include a YouTube video for a White Supremacist rock group called "Final War." Activision has yet to comment on the issue, which is at this point about three days old.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Badass Digest Out-Geeks "Re-Take," Again

Episode 69 is in the can and awaiting a release date (you'll find out right after I do), but it's not a spoiler to reveal that I'm going one more round with "Re-Take Mass Effect" in light of EA/BioWare's decision to attempt placating them* with "story-expanding" free DLC. I'm glad I finished it up last night, because I probably would've felt compelled to scrap my plans in a fit of "what else can I POSSIBLY add after this!?" envy and defeat after reading today's piece by Badass Digest's Devin Faraci. B.A.D. should be a daily stop for geeks and film buffs anyway, but this was a real (if SPOILER-Y!) treat.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Okay, this isn't necessarily scientific or going to amount to anything, but I thought I'd take an informal poll of viewers/readers/fans/whatever. The subject: Here's a list of ten characters who've appeared on the show between, er... since we started having characters other than me on the show - I'd like to see people "rank" them in order of favorite to least-favorite in order of 1-10, 10 being least-favorite and 1 being favorite:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Better Business Bureau Agrees "Mass Effect 3" Falsely-Advertised

Well, so much for THIS nonsense being over with.

The Escapist reports that a communications director at the Better Business Bureau has come out in public agreement with the position that Bioware's pre-release hype about ME3 was sufficiently different enough from the final product as to constitute wrongdoing.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I'll be starting my weekend-long stint at PAX East tomorrow afternoon. If you see me around the floor, feel free to say hi - in addition, I'll be featured at the following two panels on Friday night:

6:00 PM - "BLANKETY BLANK PANEL" (Manticore Theater)
A gamer/geek centric version of The Match Game. Should be a blast!

10:30 PM - "ESCAPIST MOVIE NIGHT" (Wyvern Theater)
Escapist editors, Shamus Young, the LoadingReadyRun crew, The Space Janitors, myself and others present select episodes of The Escapist's most popular shows (including some never-before-seen new stuff!) preceded by a live Q&A.

See you there!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Whatever the ultimate fate is of The RetroThinker (keep watching, his story is far from over) I'd like to think he'd be heartened by this pair of stories that broke today; giving renewed hope that The Golden Age of gaming still has yet to slip completely away:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Yes, More "Mass Effect"

WARNING! All links and everything after the jump carries a MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING!

"Bob, WHY do you keep talking about this??" Because it's still THE story in this particular realm, that's why.

In any case, Devin Faraci of BadassDigest is the latest web-personality to weigh in on the controversial finale of "Mass Effect" - apparently he didn't get the memo that movie critics' opinions on video games aren't to be taken seriously, either. He does, however, bring the thus-far rare perspective of someone who - whether he is officially a "true gamer" or not - has played through the entirety of "Mass Effect" and actually really likes the ending. It's an extremely thoughtful piece (I don't always see eye-to-eye with Devin, but he knows his shit) that gamers would do well to consider:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Frozen Synapse Mocks "Re-Take Mass-Effect"

Below, footage of the ending to "Frozen Synapse," which has (temporarily) been altered into a more "fan-friendly" one in an act of satire on the notion of Bioware potentially re-writing "Mass Effect 3's" finale due to unprecedented fan complaint. Funny.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Episode 68, which will deal with the ongoing nonsense surrounding "Mass Effect 3," will debut for ALL AUDIENCES on Monday, March 26th. ScrewAttack Advantage users, as ever, have the opportunity to view it early right now.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Will The Next XBox Use CARTRIDGES??

You may recall that I've been in favor of such a thing since last year; so obviously I'd support the HELL out of any company that actually tried what MCV claims Microsoft might by trying with the next XBox: Ditching disc-based games entirely in favor of "solid state" storage - aka the return of games on cartridges (or, more specifically, some kind of proprietary SD Card-esque format.) Wouldn't that be something.

It almost sounds crazy, but consider the difficult situation for Microsoft otherwise: Downloadable and/or "cloud" gaming is the wave of the future to a large degree (and whatever else the "NextBox" is, you can bet it'll be optimized for that), but physical media isn't going all the way away anytime soon; and the physical-media of choice for the forseeable future is Blu-Ray... a format owned by their competition, Sony. Given that, it's understandable how MS could at least be considering a potentially risky move like this.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Update Time!

Head's up! EPISODE 67 will be viewable by all audiences on 3/12 at 10:30 PST on ScrewAttack.

ADVANTAGE subscribers can get an early look starting tonight right here. Remember, if you sign up for Advantage and choose "The Game OverThinker" as your show-of-choice, a portion of your subscription goes to support the production of this series.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Episode 66: "Why Do You Love Video Games?"

Here it is, now live for ALL AUDIENCES at ScrewAttack. For a quick refresher, here is the FilmCritHulk article from BAD which the main premise of his episode is affectionately ripped-off from...

Is This, At Last, The Bottom?

If I was asked to sum-up the thing MOST wrong with "geek culture" in general and gamer culture specifically, it would be three simple words: BETA-MALE MISOGYNY - the general sense of angst-driven entitlement among a sizable chunk of geekdom's dominant white/hetero/male demographic that it's somehow "justified" for them to engage in the casual hatred/debasement of women (and minorities and gays while we're at it) because they were (or at least percieve themselves to have been) slighted by women in the past/present.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Head's up! Episode 66: "Why Do You Love Video Games?" - inspired by this article from friend-of-the-show-FilmCritHULK - will debut wide on ScrewAttack on Tuesday 2/28. ScrewAttack advantage members (remember: Advantage gets you an ad-free site and directly supports the shows of your choice) can get an early look NOW at this link.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Okay, so...

Things went a little dark-ish here, for a bit. Short version: Got a nasty sick-bug of some sort that played hell on my vocal chords and knocked-out one of my ears for awhile, so my productivity went to shit. Things are picking back up, so time for some updates:

Monday, January 30, 2012

EPISODE 65: "Open The Vault!"

New show! You go watch now! YOU GO WATCH NOW!

The main thrust of this episode - the need for the license-holders to classic games to get that material back out there for the good of the medium, the fans and themselves - is one I expect to see become a BIG discussion-point as digital-distribution tech becomes as prominent for gaming as it is for music and movies. Golden-age games are going to get out there (much moreso than NOW, I mean) one way or another... so the industry might as well get out in front of it. The all-but innevitable spectacle of Nintendo (and you KNOW it'll be Nintendo) morphing into Metallica to downloadable-classics' Napster would be a pathetic sight I'd rather we avoid.

ALSO! This is the first of the new episodes to "fully" embrace the new presentation-format for the story-segments - i.e. a brief "teaser" before the opening credits followed by a (sometimes) lengthier chunk of it at the conclusion of the main episode. This particular "chunk" involves a MAJOR development for the "RetroThinker" character that I can't wait to hear what people think of. Embedded episode and SPOILERS after the jump:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Everybody Do The "Big Nintendo Announcement" Dance!!!

Nintendo has announced that The Wii-U and (presumably sooner) 3DS will support "The Nintendo Network" - an online service for digital-distribution, DLC and (presumably) superior online-multiplayer.

Oh, goody! It's dance time!

Capcom Uses PS3 Exclusives to Flip Off Mega Man Fans

Hat-tip: ScrewAttack

Capcom does NOT have a good relationship with "Mega Man" fans these days. Series creator Keiji Inafune left the company last year, and the lack of (good) new projects in the series coupled with the cancellation of "Mega Man Legends 3" and "Mega Man Universe" has turned fans heavily negative on the company.

Capcom's irritation at the situation, along with irritating at the constant drumbeat for the character to pop up as a guest-star in the company's numerous crossover titles, HAS to have just a tiny bit to do with the content this trailer for PS3-exclusive characters in "Street Fighter vs. Tekken;" in which Mega Man is featured in a somewhat unexpected form...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Episode 65 Update (UPDATED!)

UPDATE! I am informed that "Episode 65's" technical issues have been resolved, and the episode should be back up for Advantage-member viewing later this evening. As set before, the episode will be viewable by all audiences Tuesday, January 31st.

Okay, so... "Episode 65" was supposed to go up for early-viewing by Advantage members today and briefly did a few hours ag;, but there were some technical issues and the video has been temporarily taken down. I can't offer any more details than that, but the problem being worked on and should be back up soon.

I apologize to any Advantage viewers who may have been inconvenienced by this delay. In addition, at this time the issue is not expected to impact the scheduled all-audiences debut of the episode this coming Tuesday, January 31st.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Seeking Musicians

Are you or do you know a musician who works in the "chiptune" (aka "old-school video-game style music") medium? Looking for a potential opportunity for work and exposure? Read on!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

EPISODE 64: "Beyond SOPA"

SOPA and PIPA are dead for now, and even the ESA has dropped it's support. This episode isn't about that... this is about what happens next...

ALSO! The "RetroThinker" story takes a surprising turn, and a bit of "tweaking" to the show-format is announced. Spoiler-ish discussion of all that and more after the jump.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Resident Evil 6 is Looking a Little Brown

Yeah, so... I'm just gonna be the guy who says it: This trailer for "Resident Evil 6" makes it look suspiciously like Capcom's zombie franchise has caught the Call of Duty virus. Maybe that's just a marketing thing, but it doesn't fill me with confidence.

New Episode Announcement

Head's up: EPISODE 64, which deals with SOPA and piracy, will debut this Saturday at 10pm CST... and because of the timely and important nature of the subject, there will be NO Advantage delay - it will be viewable by all audiences right off the bat.

ALSO: Episode 60 has made it's way to YouTube, so if you wanted to see it again now's your chance.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

STAND TOGETHER - The Gaming Community vs SOPA and PIPA

Short version: In solidarity with and other websites, I will not be attending or directly-posting any news coverage of this year's E3 unless the ESA (which runs E3) rescinds it's support for the SOPA bill. Longer version:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lollipop Chainsaw Villain Reveal

The latest trailer for Suda51 and James Gunn's action/horror spoof "Lollipop Chainsaw" reveals the game's bad guy, "Swan," who has one of the most appropriate "goth kid" voices I've heard in something like this - he's not credited, but people are telling me it's probably Michael Rooker. (And, yes, that's Tara "Twilight Sparkle" Strong as the main character.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

"Indoor Kids" and HULK Plug TGO

Many, many big thanks to the great Film Crit Hulk for the nice plug for the show on the most-recent "Indoor Kids" podcast during a revisitation of the "Arkham City" kerfluffle. Have a listen HERE.

Three More To The Tubes

The older-eps-to-YouTube-migration is now as up to date as it can be, with the additons of #57: Supreme Responsibility, #58: Heavens to Metroid Revisited and #59: Bat-Slap.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sonic the Hedgehog meets Progressive Flo; Squicky Fan-Art to Follow

via Kotaku

Sega has lent out their maybe-not-"over"-anymore mascot to appear in commercials for Progressive Insurance opposite the company's own memetic spokesperson, Flo...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Here's Where The Game OverThinker Will Be at ARISIA 2012

Hey all!

As mentioned before, I'm scheduled to be at the Boston Area scifi convention ARISIA 2012 the weekend of January 13 - 16 at the Westin Boston Waterfront. Here's a quick rundown of panels/events (preliminary) where I'm schedule to appear (whole schedule available HERE)

Vox To Launch Gaming Site

Big news from the world of games journalism today, as Vox Media (the folks behind The Verge) have announced the launch of a gaming news site. To start with, they've hired up a murderer's-row of established industry talent: Chris Grant (formerly of Joystiq), Justin McElroy (Joystiq), Brian Crecente (Kotaku), Russ Pitts (The Escapist), Chris Plante, Russ Frushtick, Arthur Gies and Griffin McElroy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

EPISODE 63: "The Rose-Colored Reality"

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The brand-new episode is now LIVE a full day early! Hear The OverThinker consider whether our affection for the Golden Age has been overblown... and learn what became of The RetroThinker in the modern world!