You know what time it is, Monkey Lovers? It’s time for the MITC crew to light up To-Ag Studios with as much nonsensical craziness that can be packed into a one hour show! That’s right, were going uncaged this week to talk about… well… pretty much everything! Grab yourself a hunk of marsupial meat, hold off on entering that Ryan Seacrest look-alike contest, and get ready for some snakes in the face as you join us for a brand new episode of Monkey in the Cage!
Are you exhausted? Because we sure are! 2012 turned out be a geek’s best friend and it didn’t matter what your nerdgasm of choice was, either! Be it movies, gaming, television, comics, or whatever else, 2012 surely did deliver… and there are absolutely no signs that 2013 is going to do any less. Hell, it’s probably going to do more! Join us this week as we gather around the mics and discuss what “got our geek” the most in the past year. Prioritize your superheroes, stock up on convention passes, and be sure to try out a bit of the meatloaf as you settle in for a brand new episode of Monkey in the Cage!
Tabletop roleplaying games are all about stepping outside of yourself and wreaking havoc…er… having fun with your friends in fantastic and action packed ways. But what happens when the geek by day / PC by night saddles up to the gaming table brimming with real-world knowledge and challenges the game, or worse, the other players? Join us this week as we discuss the oft controversial and absolutely annoying facet of metagaming know as player vs. character knowledge. Butch up those acting skills, leave the day job in the car, and just live in the (Player Character) moment as you enjoy a brand new* episode of Monkey in the Cage!
*Now with super-awesome better sound quality! Yay for figuring out technology!
One of the best parts of a new year, besides failing miserably at your resolutions by the second week of January, is the start of a whole new convention season. Whether you are rabidly anticipating the “Geek Mecca” that is San Diego Comic-Con or like to keep it low-key and hit up your local favorites, we here at the Podcast love conventions, large and small. From awesome (to awesomely bad) cosplay to getting mad-dogged by The Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, hitting the convention circuit and reporting back to our listeners is definitely a top priority for the podcast monkeys this year.
Join us this week as we welcome our most seasoned Con-goer and close personal friend, The David from the Greenlandic Powerpop band The Maxies, as we recollect some highlights from convention trips past. Grab your daily passes and stack up your swag while we dive into this week’s look at the convention experience. It’s both chaotic and fun, just like the convention floor!
It’s that time of year again, where everyone and their cat posts a top ten list, and I being the respected podcaster that I am will not lower myself to such a simple way to create a content post. Oh, who am I kidding … It’s time to jump on the bandwagon with yet another top ten list of video games ( I have played ) from 2011.
#10 – Brink
Brink had a whole lot of promise that it never was able to fulfill. During launch Brink was plagued with technical glitches including players being unable to join any multiplayer matches. After the first patch things started to look better, but by then most players had moved on to other games. Brink can be a great squad based shooter when you get to play with and against human players and can even be fun when running around destroying bots. Most gamers missed out on the fun that can be had due to the problems at launch.
#9 – Dead Space 2
I’m not one for cheap “jump out at you” scares whether it be in games or movies, so I initially didn’t think I would enjoy Dead Space 2 much, but I was wrong. The visuals and atmosphere are top notch and the monsters look great. All that said, Dead Space 2 can get repetitive even with all the different weapons and upgrades. I enjoyed Dead Space 2, but by the end of the game I was hoping the next hallway would lead to the final boss.
I love me some cyberpunk, so I was all in when I saw the first screen shots of Deus Ex: HR and read about the skill trees and hacking. I was mildly disappointed. While all of the things I was excited for didn’t really pan out the way I wanted, the game was still fun. There is nothing quite so enjoyable for me as to sneak around an entire compound picking off enemies one or two at a time by sneaking up behind them and bashing their heads together or snapping their necks. Sometimes it’s fun to get the heavy machine gun with explosive rounds and just mow down everyone in your way. Dues Ex: HR allows for multiple play styles which keeps it from getting too repetitive.
#7 – L.A. Noire
It is hard to categorize L.A. Noire as a game in modern terms. L.A. Noire is part point and click adventure, part driving simulator, and part body language reading simulator. That may not sound fun and it may not actually be, but L.A. Noire is really enjoyable to play. It’s strange how entertaining finding clues and trying to determine whether someone is lying can be.
#6 – Infinity Blade 2
I never thought I would put a mobile phone game on a list like this, but Infinity Blade 2 is worth it. Epic did something amazing by putting such a good looking 3D game on such a hardware limited platform and it is fun. While Infinity Blade 2 may not stay in the normal gaming rotation as long as a console game, it is well worth the money to time investment.
#5 – Portal 2
Portal 2 brings more of the same as the first game, but that is not a bad thing. Wonderfully unique puzzles and a great story help make Portal 2 one of the better games this year. Portal 2 added a bit more love to the levels and created a couple new side characters to help create a stronger narrative. The new levels also included more obstacles that gave Portal 2 a greater variety of puzzles.
#4 – Dungeon Defenders
Tower defense games were all the rage a few years back when flash gaming was taking off and they were all essentially the same thing with slight twists. Dungeon Defenders takes that old tower defense gameplay and adds an RPG element to it. You play as one of 4 character types who each have their own unique “towers” and weapons. As one of these characters you can build your “towers” and fight the flood of monsters using your own skills and magic. Dungeon Defenders is an enjoyable retooling of an old classic that hits all the right buttons.
#3 – Battlefield 3
As much as I want to hate Battlefield 3 due to it’s horrible single player campaign, the multiplayer more than makes up for it. Battlefield 3 is all about the multiplayer and unlike some other first person shooters, Battlefield almost forces teamwork on you. While you can win maps with everyone going lone wolf, it is amazing what happens when you hit that magic server where everyone is just gelling together, it becomes a whole different animal at that point and you are unable to put it down. Battlefield 3 is one of the best first person shooters on the market today.
Saints Row started as a Grand Theft Auto clone that eventually went so crazy it is now it’s own legitimate franchise. Saints Row: The Third is so over the top in every aspect that’s impossible to not giggle at it, hell one of the main plot points is that you are trying to track down a luchador and shame him by taking his mask. It seems the makers of Saints Row (Volition) just said “screw it” allowed the player to create the most powerful character possible. Once you level up enough you can become invincible while also duel-wielding pistols that have explosive ammo. You would think this would make the game less fun, but for some reason I never got tired of going on massive city wide rampages.
#1 – Batman: Arkham City
The part of both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City that moves them from a cool Batman game to a great game is the combat. Never have I felt so in control of all the abilities of the character I am playing. While some may say it is just a rhythm game dressed up as fight mechanics, it doesn’t change the fact that it is damned fun. Arkham City has wonderful atmosphere and story. The voice acting is top notch (using voice actors from Batman: The Animated Series) and everything about it makes you feel like you part of the story. I wasn’t running around doing “quests” because I wanted to clear out my log, I was doing them because I was interested in the outcome and wanted to continue playing in that world. It’s a rarity that I will go back and play a game a second time just to finish off the trophies, but Arkham City was just as fun the second time around.
So, 2011 is finally winding down and coming to an end. Another year come and gone with most of us having nothing to show for it but wracked up Christmas debt and extra pounds courtesy of the holiday season. While this reality gets most people down as the new year turns the corner, we here at Monkey in the Cage couldn’t be more excited! This year has proven to be a great one for all of the Monkeys, especially since it brought us all closer together and saw the start of our podcast! Woohoo (or boo, if you’re Robert)!
This week, in our end of the year episode, we look back on all the great things we were able to geek out on this past year (or, from September on…). From movies and games to babies and houses, join us as we close out 2011 with some great memories and get ready for a geek-filled 2012. From all of us Monkeys to all of you Internet-ians, have a drunkenly safe and happy New Year and in 2012 always “Nerd out with your Wookie out!”