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What’s This?

Have an opinion? Write something interesting that’s gaming-related, get posted on the site, have hundreds or thousands of gamers read your thoughts, and get rewarded with a free game. You don’t have to have written anything ever before, hell, you don’t even have to speak English to try. We’ll help.

What to Submit?

Simply post a draft or a summary of an idea for your piece. The subject can be anything: a list, a review, an observation, whatever, as long as it is informative, fun, and about video games. (exceptions are possible) 

How to Submit?

Paste your goods into the comment section of this very page. They will all be seen and read, and if there is potential, we will reply with some feedback.

Reward

A couple of days after your article goes up, assuming there are no complaints (like you stole it or your facts are completely wrong) you will receive a free Steam game. The game is selected randomly but it won’t be a game that’s already in your Steam library and it won’t be an obscure cheap title either.

Some previous rewards include: Witcher 2, Alan Wake, Batman: Arkham City, Just Cause, etc.

Considerations

Your work needs to be original. If your article is accepted, it becomes a part of AlienLion.com (your name will be displayed, of course), meaning that you cannot post it anywhere else, including your own blog. You are free to link and refer to the featured articles, of course. If your work is not posted, you are free to do whatever you want with it, no matter if we (or anyone else) have provided feedback or not.

66 comments on “

  1. BigWelshy says:

    Hi AlienLion,

    I wrote an opinion article regarding the nature of Video Games and their settings, listing some places I think have been neglected as valid backdrops in the Gaming industry. Any feedback would be welcome!

    Settings We Want To See!
    If you think about how many Video Games have been made in the history of the whole wide world, you’d expect a certain level of repetition regarding the backdrop of a game. Locations in time and space obviously have a huge impact on a game, and some genres obviously require certain check-boxes to be ticked. You certainly couldn’t place a first-person sci-fi shooter in Scunthorpe, for example, but I digress. There are some settings that are begging for attention, and whilst many have been used once or twice, it beggars belief that people aren’t making the most of what is out there. Now I’m not saying that if someone were to make these games that they would start flying off the shelf, but surely there’s something out there to inspire someone?
    1) The British Empire
    Now we all know that as recently as Assassins Creed III the British Empire has reared it’s head in the world of gaming, and in Empire Total War nothing was more fun than taking over the world with a band of Red Coats, finishing the job that the British tried so desperately to accomplish. But the sheer size of the British Empire and the history behind it is staggering, and the potential for gaming is vast. To think, at one point Britain owned nearly 1/4 of the world. Just take that in. ¼ of the world was owned by Britain, a small island that can’t even experience summer properly, let alone control over 450 million people worldwide. Some of the events of the rise and fall of the British Empire are ripe for the picking. The Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean, The War in Afghanistan where only 1 man survived out of a contingent of 16,500, The Opium Wars, The Scramble for Africa, any of these events were so incredible and ridiculous at the same time that the game play for ‘Call of Duty: Red Coats’ would surely be amazing. Sure, the reload time for the weapons would be infuriatingly slow, but experiencing the possibility of playing as a Scottish Highlander, Kilt and all, is something that I would pay to play. So all I am asking for is an FPS in the British Empire based on true events with the ability to play in every major battle that occurred. No biggie.

    2) The Vikings
    Again, Vikings have been used in previous games, but once again the potential here is huge. The Vikings were crazy bastards. I think we are all agreed about that. I know the whole rape-and-pillage stereotype is overused (and completely false for that matter) but the fact that they were certainly off their rocker is something that would surely appeal to all pre-pubescent boys everywhere. It was actually Viking law that every man had to have a weapon. That’s just too tempting not to take advantage of. It could be like Skyrim but with just the Nords, and EVERYONE is packing some serious heat. You’d just be walking around and there’s good old Olaf just taking his pet Halberd out for a walk. Some of the mythology surrounding the Vikings is equally ridiculous, and I’m not talking about Thor and the other mainstream tales. Valkyries and Dwarves were pretty standard, but so were Frost Giants, Hell hounds and a Serpent that is wrapped around the whole world, just waiting to fuck everyone up, not just on Earth, but in the Universe. Yes, most of the imagery surrounding the Vikings is complete bullshit (they never wore horned helmets-how’s that for mind blowing) but nobody can dispute their badassery. More needs to be made of this, as demanded by testosterone fuelled teens everywhere.
    3) The Crusades
    Again, Assassins Creed have been there, and yes they’ve milked it for all they’re worth, but apart from the historically-dubious version of events from the view of Altair, there is again so much that could be done here. Crusading is another case of Historical badassery, surrounded by mystery, religious clashes and epic battles. Hell, the Crusaders invented Siege warfare and pretty much revolutionised the way we fought against people hiding out behind giant castles. The whole timeline of the Crusades just reads like a ready-made plot line. Yes, there was a huge amount of politics and behind the scenes back-stabbing going on, and most people just want to get on with the fighting, but regardless of your opinions, the Crusades, although a horrible stain on humanity’s existence, was an incredibly diverse and interesting period. With lots of fighting. Lots.
    So yes, whilst it is true that pretty much every location and time period on earth has been in some way been involved in video games, there are some that are just begging for more attention. Running around fighting terrorists or opening chests is all good fun, but give it a new background, and it becomes something completely different.

    I realise this is only 3 locations, and this is by no means the finished product, but with exams coming up I just wanted to get this out there and if it is something you like the look of, I can add a lot more to the current sections, and add some other locations too.

    Thanks!

    • AlienLion says:

      Hey and welcome to you, BigWelshy

      Maximaz was actually kicking this idea around, at one point, talking about Russia and the Middle East, among other places. He has abandoned it but I think that this could be a reeeeeally fun read (and I don’t use extra ‘e’s lightly), if done right.

      Personally, I think you’re doing it right, here. In my humble opinion, the draft is funny and I love that you sprinkled in a bunch of cool info (would need links for the facts), especially into the British entry. Would also love if you could do the same for the other two. Perhaps, delve more into the Viking lore, just to explain more specifically how some of that stuff would add some fresh awesomeness to gaming. Same goes for the crusades (by the way, I agree because even the Assassin’s Creed version made it my personal favorite game in the series). Judging honestly, as a reader, I’d love to read this and really hope that you put in the work and put together something special here because we’d really love to have it.

      AL

    • OddCat says:

      Agreed. I feel like this could be one of those pieces that dont go for the hits but deliver some really quality stuff IF it’s well-researched and well put together. .

      • BigWelshy says:

        Thanks for the positive feedback! Like I said this draft is very rough indeed, but I am more than happy to delve deeper in to each section, and I’ll hopefully have an ironed out copy to give you within a couple of days. As I mentioned, I do have exams coming up but I can write this up when I’m not revising (which is quite a lot) so I’ll either post the next version on here, or could email you if needed
        BW

        • BigWelshy says:

          Also, how would you like it formatted? Especially regarding the sources and the links etc. And also pictures? Thanks
          BW

          • BigWelshy says:

            Sorry for another reply, but I have a finished copy of the article, with pictures and references and another section, ready for you to read if you’re ready!
            BW

        • AlienLion says:

          No rush. Tackle those exams, Welshy. This isn’t a time-sensitive topic and we won’t accept another pitch for it from anyone else for awhile (or unless you announce that you have abandoned it). You are welcome to work on it at your own pace. All we care about is that it’s an inspired piece that’s fun to read.

          Having said that, you can email your further drafts to alienlion@outlook.com. Regarding formatting and stuff, it doesn’t really matter because we will have to do the final formatting for the site anyway. Just make it as close to what you see in other posted articles as you comfortably can. Insert the pictures where you think they should go and include the links in parentheses after the lines that they reference (maybe underline the specific lines or make them a different color or something).

          Let me know or email us if you have any questions at any time, and in the meanwhile, take your time, polish it up, make sure that you are 100% happy and let’s get this baby up.

          • BigWelshy says:

            Thanks very much. I’ll hold on to it for a bit and polish it up a little more and get those references sorted and email you in the near future.
            BW

  2. HokutoNoRucas says:

    Hey there, I have a pitch with some rough section summaries

    It’s a list article, the title being something along the lines of “X Weirdest Video Game Cameos”

    Intro: Cameos are fun! Everyone loves crossovers; otherwise the comics industry wouldn’t have enough money to actually write good things every now and then. In video games, cameos usually take the form of small appearances of in-universe characters tossed in for a chuckle or two. However, sometimes magic happens. By magic, I mean nonsensical bullshit. Here are some cameos that are no doubt the product of nobody having the guts to tell some big shareholder’s awful kid their ideas are terrible.

    -Guybrush Threepkiller (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II) Here we see LucasArts (Rest In Pieces) committing the cardinal sin of license abuse. Suddenly remembering Monkey Island is a thing that exists and is liked by people with money, they shoehorned poor Guybrush Threepwood into one of their crappy Star Wars games in the form of a hideously deformed-looking character skin. Instead of doing the logical thing, you know, making a new god damn Monkey Island (shoutout to Telltale Games).
    http://www.pubarticles.com/member/user_img/966/1288592966.jpg

    -Mario, Luigi, Peach (NBA Street v 3) Mario and his cronies playing basketball isn’t new nor is it the problem at hand. The issue here is how stupidly out of place they look. Don’t get me wrong, the NBA Street series is known for its stylish approach to sports games, but when you have a roster full of normal human beings facing off against bizarre, dwarfish mascot people with enormous heads that are clearly defying the laws of physics you’re lying if you tell me you don’t feel a little uneasy. It’s like reverse Space Jam but without the cheesy 90′s pop music to help bolster your suspension of disbelief.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w60SA4vFxFs

    -Star Fox (F-Zero) You when a friend shows you a DeviantArt link and you’re like, “No way dude not this time,” and he says, “It’s fine just click it don’t be a wuss,” and then you click it and it’s a horrible fetishistic human version of lovable childrens’ cartoon characters? That’s what happened here. In an official game. By Nintendo. As if Fox McCloud wasn’t already an easy target for internet weirdos, they brought him into the futuristic racing series as a totally ripped, spikey-headed anime beefcake (with admittedly rad sunglasses). I don’t even want to know what the fan response to this was.
    http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/174/james2ti.jpg

    -Mario, again (Just Dance 3) Confident after the rousing success of DDR Mario Mix, Nintendo decided the world needed more overweight middle-aged plumber dancing. Ubisoft approached this Wii-exclusive addition to Just Dance 3 in the worst way possible, animating Mario as if he were a guy in a mascot suit with less mobility than Michael Keaton in the first Batman Movie. The wobbly pseudo-dancing of the character combined with its unblinking, lifeless face is something that now has a permanent slot in my nightmare schedule. The bland music remix doesn’t help much either.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39L-M5nhx6Y

    -Birdo (Captain Rainbow) So, Captain Rainbow is a super weird game that Nintendo kept in Japan out of fear of being accused of terrorism. In this game you encounter Birdo, the famous vaguely transgender creature from Mario 2 that shoots eggs from its face hole but in no way resembles a bird. When encountered, Birdo feverishly claims to be female but has been arrested for attempting to use a women’s restroom. Continuing to be a bastion of taste, the game burdens you with proving Birdo’s innocence, and does so by having you finding a… vibrating object in her house. Yeah. This of course is somehow all the evidence the police need and nobody really knows what happens next because nobody cares about the game other than being weirded out by that scene.

    I have five here but could probably find more if you like the idea. Alternatively, I could take out Threepkiller and find more Nintendo examples to reel it in a bit.

    If you’d like a sample of my previous work I have a piece over at Cracked:
    http://www.cracked.com/article_20111_the-6-most-brutal-murders-committed-by-batman.html

    • HokutoNoRucas says:

      forgot my citation for the birdo thing
      http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2008/08/captain-rainb-1/

    • AlienLion says:

      HokutoNoRucas,

      That is an excellent list and a great idea. We also love your sense of humor and really hope to feature your work here. This piece seems like one of those we’d display as an examples on alienlion.

      Your cracked piece was fantastic as well and we will be sure keep an eye on you there. Also if you’ve done that then you know what articles/lists we are going for here, so I don’t think we need to try and provide any pointers.

      The email is alienlion@outlook.com. Eagerly awaiting a revision so we can have this bad boy up.

      • HokutoNoRucas says:

        Didja get my e-mail? I’d normally wait a little longer to follow up but I’ve been having crap luck with e-mails lately

        • AlienLion says:

          Hey there,
          Thanks for following up because I would have missed it. Your email went to the Junk box, for some reason. I rarely check there as I get a ton of spam so it’s a good thing you let me know.
          Looking forward to reading it. I will get back to you soon.

  3. Isaacmo says:

    Always-on: Not Always Awful

    If you are any sort of gamer, you’ve probably heard about the “demonic” and “communist-esque” always-on products. Over the past years, this thought train has been drilled in many skulls, but is it honestly that bad? I mean sure it’s inconvenient to most gamers, but will it really mean the end of gaming as a whole and bring on an age where no internet means no games?

    The most recent and memorable game to have suffered from said issue is the now-infamous SimCity, which suffered tumultuous server issues on the day of its launch. This game was flooded by controversy, vastly overshadowing any positive news about its development just because of the always-on DRM. Nasty, unwashed internet nerds cried because big, bad EA had the nerve to make changes to an IP that belonged to them.

    And sure the opening week of SimCity was bad, but what did you expect from a game that had 12 million pre-orders in a span of six months? Who could possibly have predicted that so many people would order and play this in such a rapid succession? Even the monstrous Call of Duty does not get such a massive number of pre-orders. This game had some massive shoes to fill and unfortunately had a rocky beginning. Furthermore, the problems with the changes that were made to SimCity weren’t accepted by the hardcore community, but the main point of this franchise reboot was to streamline the experience enough that anyone could possibly understand the game.

    This is more of a problem with the changing industry rather then always-on, but it still had a huge impact on the game. Besides the point , always-on allowed for player interaction. The community craved co-op from the very beginning and this was the platform needed for such a thing to happen. Just because we are so used to games that don’t limit us at all, doesn’t mean we cant live with such games that make these requests.

    The main problem was that SimCity was aimed to the casual market. The always-on was a way for people with not so good computers to play a game that is typically for “core” gamers who own thousand dollar PCs. The gaming industry is not just geared to core gamers, but has opened up to the casual market. Some consider this bad and some consider it good, but its just too soon to really see the impact this will have on the those that consider themselves the core group and what will happen to the games we know and love as the industry evolves.

    • AlienLion says:

      Isaacmo,

      That’s good stuff. Around here, we tend to shame developers for pulling things like always-on but it’s an interesting and valid thought that it CAN be used for good, as is the case with SimCity, as you’ve demonstrated. I really hope you polish this up and have us feature it because you make a genuinely good point, which creates a really neat contrast to our general mood on this subject.

      Your writing is very nice and clear as well, so it doesn’t need much, just a couple of your own edits to include two or more sources (if you can find ANY sources for any points you make or info you provide, simply put a link in parentheses, should just take a minute of googling), and to elaborate a little on how always-on tends to be abused before explaining that there is also a place for it in gaming. Oh, and of course, we would need a couple of images to break up the text, like we do in all our articles. The whole thing shouldn’t take more than 20-30 mins or less, but I think it’s worth it, and hey, you get a freebie out of it too ;)

      BTW, you can email me your next draft/finished piece to alienlion@outlook.com

  4. Richie Green says:

    Next Gen Seriously ?

    Enjoy this gen while it’s here.

    So the next Gen race has started… well in a sense.

    Sony kicked it off with a display of eye candy in the form of “next gen” games which in my opinion looked like High quality FMV sequences. But where the hell was the actual hardware..?
    All that money spent on a glitzy piss up which in fairness didn’t really give all that much away other than the fact were getting a new Dual Shock with a touch screen which most of us that are ham fisted will end up touching a lot and end up doing something ridiculous whilst in game .
    As well a new “style conscious” controller there is Gaikai integration which means streaming games and demos which in fairness will rely on you having some super duper optical broadband that costs a fecking fortune to be of any benefit and to be fair we just manage to get decent broadband in the UK on a good day seeing as our Government is intent on saving as much money as possible and leaving many of us with phone lines that were still around when the Dinosaurs were roaming ..
    So all in all apart form the eye candy on show minus the hardware Sony didn’t really make a big a splash as many thought I think and not to mention judging by the price point that Sony had for the PS3 you had best get saving..like right now.
    Now Microsoft have yet to show anything and will be frantically putting the final touches to the big piss up, sorry announcement in April so as to steal Sony’s thunder but what the hell name will give this new console as Durango doesn’t sound very next gen does it …
    For me Im hoping Microsoft are getting rid of the god damn dashboard and replacing it with something a little more user friendly and so you are able to find stuff as well as getting rid of those adverts which when you mistakenly click onto and have a volume that is intent on bursting your eardrums and TVs’ speakers and inadvertently waking the entire household.
    There will be some eye candy and Kinect bollox and some overpaid exec spouting crap no doubt but seriously Microsoft show us the hardware so we can get accustomed to the look of the box of tricks that will be sat in our front rooms for the foreseeable future…
    I’m quite content with this Generation of Gaming seeing as I can just about manage to afford a game every other month. But on the grand scale of things it may well be a good time to start saving seeing as the price points for the new consoles will be ridiculously priced as they always are in the beginning although they are saying games will cost the same as this gen but I’m not holding my breath for now seeing as I’m still playing catch up…

    • Beek says:

      Don’t know about everyone else but I agree with some points Richie made, and think he should elaborate. I’m not sure what the general point is though, like what’s the main point?

    • AlienLion says:

      I agree. This could be an interesting article, depending on the main point.`

  5. Woman of Alien…

    Excellent get the job done you might have performed, this page is absolutely awesome with fantastic details. Time is God’s means of preserving every thing from occurring at once….

  6. Hey, just wanted to note that, when I click on my article on the site, I get a 404 error saying that I’ve either typed in the wrong address or that the page has been moved.

    • AlienLion says:

      Yep. It just mysteriously went down. We’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on. Contacting our host right now.

      OK, it’s back up. Had to change the address.

  7. aizengamer says:

    Hi, here is a post about the Pokemon series in general and a look at the name choices. I’d appreciate feedback.

    With Pokemon X and Y being announced, I figured I might as well write about the Pokemon series in general.

    First off, way back in 1996, Nintendo released a few Gameboy games called Poketto Monsuta Aka, Midori, and later Ao(red, green, and blue) in Japan. These games had rotated around the basic premise of catching creatures and having them fight for you. Your goal was to become the Pokemon Champion by defeating the previous one. These games got exported to the U.S. as Pokemon Red and Blue. Everyone loved the game and so everyone was happy.

    Since then, Nintendo has released several more Pokemon games with the exact same plot, except for with better graphics, more Pokemon, and different names. I can’t really complain about it, since its obviously worked out for Nintendo, but I dread the day when there are 10000 Pokemon and our player still can’t talk.

    According to Nintendo, Pokemon X and Y will be full 3D. It will be interesting to see how Nintendo deals with some of the aspects of the game in 3D. I’m really just waiting for my character to be able to talk. And it probably never will.

    In fact, all I really do now is look forward to the new games being released so I can make fun of their names. Nintendo makes it easy for me.

    First, there was Pokemon Red/Green/Blue (Red/Blue in U.S.) Nintendo decided to use color names since the game itself was black and white. For all we know, the whole game world could have been red.

    Nintendo releases Yellow as a sort of upgraded Red/Blue.

    Next, Nintendo decides that the color names worked out rather well, so for the second generation, they use Gold and Silver, and as the upgrade, Crystal (which is not really a color).

    Now, Nintendo is befuddled. How can they top colors like Gold and Silver? So they abandon colors and combine Gold and Silver (valuable rocks) and Red and Blue (colors) to get red and blue valuable rocks, which they call Ruby and Sapphire. Going with the gems idea, they release Emerald as the upgrade.

    Since valuable materials worked out so well, Nintendo releases Diamond, Pearl, and then Platinum.

    Just like with Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Nintendo realizes that it has reached the most valuable materials, so it goes back to colors with Black and White. However, just as Nintendo had breathed a sigh of relief, it realized it had nothing to do for the upgrade. So Nintendo got lazy and released Black 2 and White 2.

    Finally, Nintendo has announced Pokemon X and Y, which will most probable be followed by Pokemon Z. Since they started at the back of the alphabet, they’ll probably have to think of something new for the next generation.

    • AlienLion says:

      There is a concept there somewhere but this piece needs a tighter hook. You are mostly discussing the naming aspect of Pokemon. Do you want to delve deeper into that and whip out an informative piece? That could be interesting. Or are you aiming to evaluate how Nintendo has been handling Pokemon? Consider these points and think about the title first, perhaps.

  8. Hi there, I currently have a couple of ideas for articles for you.

    The first is drafted as ‘Press The Win Button’, and is essentially a critical look on simplified control methods in games. Here is a proposed extract:

    “Take Marvel vs Capcom 3 for example, there are two things in this game which really rattle my brain. First off, is the implementation of a button (in the standard configuration) which let’s you perform a Cross-over combination at the press of a single button. This unleashes absolute hell upon your opponent, as up to three screen filling blasts of eternal death are thrust upon your screen upon almost no notice. Yes, okay, you have to build up meter before you can do this, but used correctly, it can almost wipe out an entire characters health in one go. Sure, it’s great for those players who want to just jump in and play, but after I have just spent several hours perfecting my ‘jab, jab, crotch punch, shotgun-to-the-face, mega haduoken and mega skyscaper impalement of horror’ combo, it just feels…a bit cheap.

    Speaking of cheap, there is an entire button config. mode built around the idea. Pick ‘simple’ mode at the character select screen, and every button becomes a special (easily combo-able) move that can make a child mashing his face across two buttons look like an experienced player. What’s even worse is that this gives new players the opportunity to gloat at me because they are ‘pulling off cooler, and better combos than me’. I love a game being accessible, but this is just a joke. I felt bad enough about being pretty average at the game (even after hours and hours in practise mode), but when somebody can jump in and genuinely play better than me whilst using their controller as a potato peeler, I feel more than cheated.”

    The second I’d like to pitch is currently untitled, but it is a slightly more serious post about how I think Nintendo need to stop relying on their already existing IP’s. Again, here’s a proposed extract:

    “So the WiiU and the 3DS both have some intruiging titles coming out int he next year, however, when it comes down to it, hardly any of them are actually new IP’s sure, we get some games like Bayonetta 2 and Scribblenauts Unlimited, in which the franchises are still relatively young, and we do get an occasional game like The Wonderful 101, which looks like a fresh, creative title, but even that isn’t a new First Party IP.

    We’ve seen plenty of this over the past decade or so. Nintendo need to crack out some exclusive games, so they just throw some classic franchise at us. Now, I have no problem with this, Zelda is my favourite franchise in gaming, without it I would probably suffer a slow painful death, but I think this is exactly what Nintendo wants. Sure they have to give us an entry of our favourite games every now and then, but I want to see more Pikmins and Proffessor Laytons in the meantime. I’m in no way saying slow down the production of the established franchises, I think one or two a year is just about right. However, I’d love to see more of a balance between old and new, otherwise Nintendo will just become the old man of gaming, who sits in a corner regaling the same few stories to us on repeat.”

    I hope you liked these ideas, and if you want to see any more examples of my work, head over to http://theknightsofgaming.com/category/masterlinkace/. I look forward to hearing back from you guys.

    • AlienLion says:

      Hey, Masterlinkace,
      I like both of your pitches. Generally speaking, we prefer the articles to be more informative than funny (though both is better), so if something is on a serious side, that’s not a problem. You can always inject a couple of jokes or help add some humor with images if it comes out heavier than you intended.

      You got a pretty cool blog going too and we like your writing style. If you want to contribute, it’s entirely up to you which idea pitch to finish. They’re both good. Just bang one out (or both of them), include a couple of decent references/sources and have some pics like the other articles on the site and it definitely looks like the stuff.

      • Thanks, that sounds great, I’ll do my best to try and get them both written up for you today.

        How would you like me to format them and send them to you?

        • AlienLion says:

          Take your time. If your stuff is exceptionally good and does well, you’ll get some fans for your blog.

          • Don’t worry, I’m not rushing my work, I just work pretty quickly. I’ve finished writing up my ‘Press The Win Button’ article, but the other still needs some work. Let me know how to get them over to you and I’ll send it your way.

          • AlienLion says:

            Sorry, I forgot to mention. When you are close to the final thing, with the images and everything, you can simply email it to boysangur@gmail.com (in Word, if you want).

            Generally, when people get a couple of their articles posted and get a comfortable grasp on what we are looking for, they usually write things up fully and email it to us. One of us will let them know within a few days if it’s going on the site or if they should go ahead and post it on their blog (sometimes there is a conflict with other articles, it doesn’t always have something to do with quality). We used to do everything via email on the old site but now we want to streamline things, by only accepting final(ish) drafts via email or those from our frequent contributors that are now staff writers. It’s something you might wish to note if you plan to contribute in the future.

          • AlienLion says:

            Not sure if you changed your mind, but just in case, wanted to let you know that we haven’t received an email from you.

          • Hi, sorry, I thought I’d sent it to you, must have slipped through the net. Just sent it to you now.

          • AlienLion says:

            We talked about the finished post and felt like it needed more work to be featured. We agreed that it was well written and made good points but I felt like it was on the short side for a featured article while Alan and OC both thought that it didn’t really feel like an article but more like a quick personal opinion piece.

            If you wish, you could flesh it out a bit more, add a couple of sources and make it a bit more neutral, and we’d love to see it again. If you want to leave it as is, we can try posting it as Bonus Content and see if it picks up somewhere. Like I previously said, I like your writing style and we’d love to have it but you are also free to cancel at any time for any reason as well. It’s part of the deal here.

  9. Here’s the first draft of this “Is Dead or Alive Sexist?” article:

    [Under title appears the screenshot of Dead or Alive girl in a thong bent over in front of pole]

    Like many other people, I spent the final nights before International Mayan Apocalypse Day studying footage of the Dead or Alive girls on Youtube. And as I carefully analyzed said footage, this thought came to mind and just wouldn’t go away: “I’m not sure what it is, but I just can’t help but feel that there’s something sexist about these games.” Last month I wasn’t exactly an expert on this subject, sexism. But now, after nights of studying comments on Youtube, I am definitely on expert. And, with this knowledge, I concluded on the first of January that the Dead or Alive series is indeed one that’s fallen to sexism.

    Now, before you complain about this conclusion, keep reading, because I secured an interview with Tecmo’s Lead Legal Advisor, Mr. Bukkake Sushimi Chikinkatsu; I wanted to give the company a chance to argue a defense of their intellectual property. In accordance with international law, we had our conversation over Skype.

    KingHorseFondler69: Konichiwa, Bukkake-san. Again, thank you so much for taking time for this interview.

    SirTentacleRape: It is honor to speak with great horse fondrer.

    KingHorseFondler69: Well, let’s get to it. My staff at Stage Zero and I are concerned about the sexism in your games.

    SirTentacleRape: Sexism?

    KingHorseFondler69: ….Yes! We have carefully analyzed your fighting games and a couple of your vorreyball/mini-games games, and we’ve found many subtle but real examples of sexism in your products.

    SirTentacleRape: This is very serious charge you are making mister Fondrer. What evidence do you have to back this charge?

    KingHorseFondler69: We have a lot. For example, did you know that even your first entry in the series, the fighting game Dead or Alive from the late 90s, did you notice that even that game had massive breasts on its female characters, and that even they moved independently?

    SirTentacleRape: Oh yes!

    KingHorseFondler69: And what?

    SirTentacleRape: They were excerrent. Our programmers at Tecmo are very tarented, dedicated emproyees.

    KingHorseFondler69: Don’t you see the sexism in the giant breasts flopping around in a fighting game?

    SirTentacleRape: What is sexist about boobies?

    KingHorseFondler69: What?

    SirTentacleRape: What I mean is, what is sexist about having the beautifur boobies of our femare characters bounce around rike super happy fun time squeezy mirk pets? Are you saying that big breasted women in entertainment are inherentry sexist?

    KingHorseFondler69: Uh, yeah, I guess.

    SirTentacleRape: Are you propounding that women on street with amazing gazoombas are committing acts of sexism, just because theirs hop up and down, up and down, bouncy bouncy bouncy?

    KingHorseFondler69: No, of course not!

    SirTentacleRape: Then there is nothing sexist about our women’s chests. You are mistaken.

    KingHorseFondler69: Well, okay then. You got us on that one. But what do you say about all your female characters having stereotypically cute faces, voluptuous bodies, and revealing outfits? You have them like this and fighting each other. Your games are just a bunch of sexy catfights!

    SirTentacleRape: Most fighting games feature sexy girl characters fighting each other. And there is nothing sexist about this. Have you seen young, big-bosomed radies fighting each other with foot and fist, in rear world?

    KingHorseFondler69: No, not really. I’ve seen smaller-breasted women do that though.

    SirTentacleRape: And were they being sexist by fighting each other.

    KingHorseFondler69: Well, they did call each other very demeaning things.

    SirTentacleRape: Was that therefore sexist? Were they being feminist by fighting each other with smarr garbonzos?

    KingHorseFondler69: No, I guess not.

    SirTentacleRape: By the way horsefondrer, you seem to have faired to notice that our fighting games feature many mare characters, and we have baranced our games so that our femare characters have about fifty percent chance of defeating any other of their opponents in battre.

    [Insert picture of La Mariposa flying through the air, towards the camera. Under the photo it should read “La Mariposa, right before she clobbers three ugly men.”]

    KingHorseFondler69: So?

    SirTentacleRape: This means that our games are actuarry empowering to women.

    KingHorseFondler69: You’re kidding.

    SirTentacleRape: No, I am not.

    KingHorseFondler69: Okay, I’ll assume the Dead or Alive fighting games are balanced. But why aren’t there physically strong women in the game? You didn’t answer that. And why aren’t there mildly attractive women in the game?

    SirTentacleRape: We concruded that our fanbase preferred to see beautifur, non-muscurar women instead of other types.

    KingHorseFondler69: You see?! There it is! Sexism! You’re saying that the voluptuous women, who in no shape to be expected fighting epic ninja wrestling whatever tournaments, are the “beautiful” ones.

    SirTentacleRape: This is common trope. When we say “beautifur” we are in this context referring to “sexy.” For example, our African American character Risa Hamirton is not just wrestrer, but also scientist. This means she has PhD and very smart. Do you not agree that physically, super sexuarry attractive woman who is super smart is even more beautifur, both sexuarrary and in other way, than super sexuarry attractive dumb woman?

    [Insert picture of La Mariposa in front of dinosaurs]

    KingHorseFondler69: Uuuh.

    SirTentacleRape: And what if she is arso very nice person? She is super smart, has super sexy body, and is very nice to peopre and animars.

    KingHorseFondler69: …Yeah. I guess. Yeah, sounds pretty hot, yeah.

    SirTentacleRape: We at Tecmo are very proud of our African American character. We are so proud of her we nicknamed her “Ra Mariposa,” which is Spanish for “nober-prize winner.”

    KingHorseFondler69: I thought “mariposa” meant “butterfly.”

    SirTentacleRape: It also means “butterfry.” Butterfries are marverous animars.

    KingHorseFondler69: Wait a second. Now you’re making it sound like women with a certain type of face, and a large cleavage and butt are the most physically, sexually attractive women!

    SirTentacleRape: We at Tecmo do not craim to know that this is true for arr those attracted to femare humans, but our market research shows that this is what most of our audience finds most attractive. Specificarry, they even asked us to make the titties bigger in Dead or Arive 5, when they saw we had made them smarrer in the demo. We design according to what our prayers want as much as we can.

    KingHorseFondler69: ….

    SirTentacleRape: Are we finished?

    KingHorseFondler69: No! You have one more thing to answer. What defense do you have of the game Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball? Or no, what do you have to say about its sequel? Dead or Alive Xtreme 2? Those games were not just not fun to play but also a blatant excuse to watch naked women bend over and pole dance and spread their legs and stuff.

    SirTentacleRape: Never have we put nude women into any of our games.

    KingHorseFondler69: Really? Well then what do you say about this?

    [Screenshot of Tina sun bathing]

    SirTentacleRape: She is not naked.

    KingHorseFondler69: Uh, yes she is!

    SirTentacleRape: No she is not. She is wearing golden bathing suit.

    KingHorseFondler69: Golden bathing suit. Right. So what’s she doing by herself there with this camera over her?

    SirTentacleRape: Thinking.

    KingHorseFondler69: Oh, she’s thinking, eh? Well what’s this girl doing then?

    [Insert picture of DoA girl faking orgasm while pole dancing in jewel string bikini]

    SirTentacleRape: Okay, risten mister king horse fondrer. You are craiming that we use women in our games as sex objects first. And….you are correct.

    KingHorseFondler69: Yay!

    SirTentacleRape: But you must see, we do this because that’s what our audience wants. Most core gamer rike seeing women rike this because our average prayer rike rooking at women with big boobies and schoolgirl faces.

    KingHorseFondler69: No, I’m pretty sure this is just a typical Japanese, sexist thing.

    SirTentacleRape: You dispray intorerance. Racism! You so-carred, ‘enrightened,’ “feminist” westerners are no better.

    KingHorseFondler69: Yes we are.

    SirTentacleRape: No you are not. If you were, then how do you exprain this?

    [Insert screenshot of Poison Ivy from Batman Arkham Asylum]

    KingHorseFondler69: Um. There’s very good context for that.

    SirTentacleRape: Yes, I bet there is.

    KingHorseFondler69: No seriously there is! Like she’s a seductress and she’s wearing that ‘cause she’s a prisoner.

    SirTentacleRape: Sayonara.

    • AlienLion says:

      There are actually some good points hidden in there and the fake interview angle helps distance yourself from ones that are arguably controversial but still thought provoking. Great potential.

      To get something like that featured, there needs to be a title that makes the intentions and the point clear, especially the fact that it isn’t an actual interview (you’d be surprised how easy it is to confuse some people). Something akin to ‘A hypothetical conversation on sexism with the makers of Dead or Alive’ or ‘Dead or Alive: Another Argument on Sexism’ (‘another’ because we have featured an article on sexism not too long ago). Something like that and a few careful revisions to polish it up and engage the reader could really make it something fantastic.

      On another note, considering the shitstorm generated by that video about a white guy doing an indian accent, I would advise against using the ‘asian accent’ in writing, as it could potentially offend someone. I don’t see why it should but the fact is that it could, unfortunately.

  10. Dany says:

    Hello there folks!… I am going to present you Devil May Cry ( the reboot). The game will appear on the 25th of January this year for PC and for PS3 and X360 on the 15th of January. This time you will play as Dante (again). This time he is attacked by a demon hunter and funds out that he is in Limbo City, a city that at the first look seemed a normal town but then demons appear and try to kill everyone in sight. After he confornts a demon Dante will meet a girl named Kat. Kat will send him to the leader of “The Order”, organisation that is labeled by the press as a organisation of terrorists. The Order is fighting against Limbo’s demons and its leader Vergil expects that Dante will join them in this fight. While fighting demons you will learn that Dante is actually Nephilim, the offspring of a demon and an angel. During the game, you will be stalked and taunted by Mundus, a demon that wants you dead. The game was first announced in late 2010(Sptember) during the Tokyo Game Show. Dante’s original desing was meant first to be like the other ones, but later they made it westerner. The desing was finally inspired by Cristopher Nolan’s film: The Dark Knight. The gameplay will not suffer many changes, in fact it will be similar to the gameplay from the other DmC games. The most happy day of my life was…i don’t remember the exact day… but it was during November 2011 when a extended trailer and some art works appeared. During May 2012 Capcom announced that the new DmC game will sell about 2 million copies( i bet that they will sell about 3 mil.) before the exact release date. The demo for the game was released on November 20, 2012. Initial reception to the new design of Dante and change in direction of the series was negative but in the time people started liking the new Dante. Many game sites situated DmC 5 or reboot as one of the most anticipated games in 2012/2013. OH and i forgot…. In September 2012 Capcom US producer Alex Jones stated that some of the negative response has turned positive. Thank you for reading this, and see you later, Dany:P.

    • AlienLion says:

      Do you have sources for that information, such as the claim that the Dark Knight was an inspiration? Have you already played the game? I’m trying to understand the angle. Also, please proofread.

  11. Dany says:

    I don’t know about you….but i really love the devil may cry series…not only that i like animes with a white haired guy..with a overpwered weapon….even longer then him…but anyways…i always liked this stuff and i find the game that is the best game for me…or…my fetishes…oh and this is a review about all of them in one almost all…not seen/played the 5th one but i can handle that. I really like Dante….I like that he does not try to be funny *cough cough Bulletstorm cough cough* but sometimes it does. Even with that i still love that character…i would vote him the character of the year every year there is a game out with him. First….i heard about Dante in the game Dante’s Inferno( good game also) and…at one point i was borried and i searched for fun another game that has Dante as a main character…that is the moment…when i met my love: Devil May Cry…Okey…let’s talk( i mean let me have a monologue) about this Dante…Dante is the protagonist of Devil May Cry 1,2,3 and the Antagonist of Devil May Cry 4…at the begining ant about…Mission 11 he becomes the protagonist that saves Nero(we will talk about him later).Dante is the son of Sparda( demon) and Eva(human)…..that means that YES…he is half-demon….but his mother is killed and he is going for his revenge by killing all the demons that are in his way…..he uses a blade bigger than him…the Rebellion and many other swords/guns/other weapons…i am not sure what type of weapons..like: Sword of Sparda(used in:DmC1,DmC2(by Trish),the Animated series and DmC 4), Yamato(key of the Hell Gate..one big gate..powerfull), Alastor, Ifrit, Cerberus, Agni & Rudra, Nevan, Beowulf, Gilgamesh and Lucifer. Now let’s talk about his firearms…he has tons of them i am only gonna tell you the important/good ones, Ebony & Ivory, Summoned Swords, Shotgun, Needlegun, Nightmare-β, Coyote-A, Pandora. Now that we discussed his weapons..We should get back to the DmC series…Devil May Cry 1 was released on October 17, 2001, DmC2 on March 28, 2003(for ps2…this year..on April 3, 2012 the version for PS3 and XBOX360 were realeased), DmC 3 was released on October 16, 2006 for PC,April 5, 2012 for PS3 and XBOX360 DmC 4 released on February 8, 2008(PS3/XBOX360) and July 24, 2008(PC) and the last one…the reboot of the first DmC(DmC5..i think) will be realeased this year on January 17, 2013(PS3/X360) and January 25, 2013(PC).Devil May Cry 4 is very special for me because there is a new character at the begining: Nero. Nero is not that different from Dante…both white hair, long red coat, sons of Sparda, they both ave swords longer than their bodies…both sarcastic….even that at the begining Nero hunts Dante because he is hired by His Holiness….he is becoming the hearth of the Savior(a god made of stone…i think wich has it’s core in his hearth…where Nero united with his love Kyrie). After about 2 missions you will love him really. When you play with Dante in the game(spoiler) you can see how different they are because he has different fireguns and main weapons. Okey…the ones that played the game may say that Nero has his Devil Bringer…but it is not that awesome as the Pandora…666 forms…awesome!!!….what i wait now is DmC 5 or reboot….main character is..again Dante but this time..with different hair and weapons…and of course enemies…..hope i did it good….See ya,Dany

    • AlienLion says:

      Dany,
      Some good ideas there and a Devil May Cry retrospective, before the release of DMC, could be interesting. However, the draft could use a few revisions to make it easier to read and to narrow down the focus. At this time, it’s not clear whether your main point is Dante or the games. Sometimes, it helps to think of a title first and go from there. Hope to see more from you.

  12. Hi, I’ve got a few examples of my writing on my blog: http://thegeekscanner.wordpress.com/ Which i’ve not updated for a long while! So I figured I might as well write for an established site and get my name out there a bit. Appreciated two of the reviews are for films but they give you an Idea of my writing style, I’ve been gaming now for upwards of 15 years so it’s become a bit more than a hobby hah

    Regards,

    Lowthizzle

    • AlienLion says:

      Hey Matthew,
      Your blog seems to fit right in. Definitely loving the writing style there. Would love to have you pitch an article. We should have probably mentioned that we will gladly link to your personal blogs, in form of a little ad, when your article is posted.

      • Lowthizzle says:

        Hey, I’ve just written a review of Far Cry 3 if you’d be interested in that, be more than happy to feature that on the site?

        • AlienLion says:

          Let’s see it.

          • Lowthizzle says:

            Far Cry 3 is without a doubt one of my favourite games of 2012… There, now you know this review is going to be biased… but let me explain WHY.

            First and foremost this game is well built, well paced and the perfect example of what a Sandbox FPS should aspire to be. The game opens with a rather off putting montage of our main man Jason Brody (voiced by Gianpaolo Venuta) and his brah’s having the time of their lives on the Rook Isles before they finally go sky-diving and landing at different points on the island. It is here where we are first introduced to our antagonist Vaas Montenegro (superbly voiced by Michael Mando) who has captured Jason and his friends in order to extort money and then sell you into slavery… Grim times indeed! After a brief tutorial mission you awake in a shanty hut being tattooed by the mysterious Dennis Rodgers. After this you are pretty much left to your own devices, should that be hunting (both people and animals) clearing out enemy outposts, racing or just taking in the scenery. This is where the game really shines, you are given a plot mission (should you choose to accept it) but it is entirely up to you whether or not you do this… You can simply wander around gathering animal skins if you so choose, the variety on show is what makes the game so solid, despite having such a long leash you are never short of fun activities to take part in.

            The core system of Far Cry 3 is the Tattoo skill system, essentially every time you level up you can choose from three skill trees; The Spider, The Heron and The Shark. Each has a different speciality and every skill learned adds to Jason’s fancy new Ink. When I first heard about the tribal tattoo I was gutted but the artwork is well done and it does a fantastic job of giving the player a visual reminder of their progress. The tattoo also shows Jason’s metamorphosis from an atypical douche bag into a hardened Rakyat warrior. Similar to the Tattoo system is the Hunting/Crafting system, in which collected animal skins can be crafted into useful items such as ammo packs or weapon slings. The draw of hunting comes from the more dangerous prey, stalking creatures such as Komodo Dragons and Tigers through the jungle is no easy feat and I am not ashamed to say I died more than once in my pursuit of elusive skins.

            Graphically the game looks fantastic, even on consoles. The hud is very light to allow a better view of the surroundings and the enemy ‘tagging’ returns from the previous games which is always handy when conducting recon on an enemy outpost. You can explore the islands by a number of methods; Boat, Car, Quad bike and even the hang-glider returns for when you want an aerial view of things but more often than not you’ll approach enemy camps on foot. A particular stand out moment for me was noticing a bear trapped in a cage in the centre of one of the outposts… one silenced sniper round and the beast is loose tearing through Vaas’ pirates like meat confetti leaving you to easily mop up the stragglers. A mention also has to be given for the Fire tech which first appeared in Far Cry 2 it is genuinely good fun to lob a Molotov into a group of enemies and watch them flee from the fire as it spreads to every tree and bush in the area, simply put it’s stunning.

            Should you have a friend (yeah right) you can hop into the CO-OP campaign which has an entirely different plot and a set of four different characters to choose from. Where CO-OP shines is the mid-level challenges, Me and my buddy especially liked the impromptu Sniper contest on the second level. These challenges act as a perfect change in pace from the usual run and gun game play and really add to the experience on the whole.As for the competitive multiplayer, despite a lack of imagination it is still very solid and definitely worth a shot… that is if you can drag yourself away from the campaign.

            In conclusion, I’ve sunk hours into Far Cry 3 and I’m still loving every minute of it if you don’t already have it get it, you will not be disappointed.

            -Lowth

          • AlienLion says:

            A good, clear review. I’d say that in order to get it featured though (as in showcase it as something that will attract a good number of readers) there needs to be a spin to it of some kind, one that would make it interesting for someone reading it at this point, after there’s been some time since the game was released and most of the major reviews have come in. It’s something I’ve mentioned to the Minecraft reviewer here before (I think the post is still up). Basically, maybe the review could be making an additional point about free roaming shooters, or making a comparison with another game, or it could still be a review that somehow benefits from coming late in some way. It’s just something to consider as to the stuff that gets featured.

            Having said that, if you’d rather keep it a review and would just like to have it posted, we’ve also been talking about launching a separate section for articles that are not featured for various reasons other than quality (timing, conflict with other articles, etc.) where folks could contribute a little easier, just for the sake of being posted as part of the site, if they wish. Even our frequent “staff” contributors get into these situations and we often regret not being able to get their awesome work out there sometimes. In a day or two, as soon as we settle on the looser/easier rules that do not turn it into a regular user content hub, we will be starting it up. The idea is that it will still be quality content that the writers will be able to link to as examples of their work but it won’t be advertised or rewarded (unless it actually kicks up some dust regardless). You will certainly be welcome to contribute this review, if you wish. Stand by for an update.

          • Lowthizzle says:

            I’ve thought about a new article, Not exactly the best but thought I’d run it by you, basically its an alternate top 10 games of 2012, I plan on including indie games along with some other lesser known franchises etc, basically an opinion based top ten

          • AlienLion says:

            Sounds like the stuff we feature.

          • Lowthizzle says:

            Hey, where do we send our first drafts? do you have an email or do we just post them on here?

          • AlienLion says:

            You can post your first draft here.

          • Lowthizzle says:

            10. Sniper Elite V2 (multi platform)

            My First game of the year may come as a surprise to some people, due to the lacklustre storytelling and played out WWII setting but what really makes Sniper Elite shine is the satisfaction that comes from taking that PERFECT shot… The slow motion X-Ray close up of your well placed round penetrating any foolish Nazi who should stray into your line of sight was definitely one of the highlights of the gaming year for me. Solid Shooting Mechanics and solid game play cements this as my number ten… That and the DLC mission where you get to assassinate Hitler… Who could ask for more?

            9. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (multi platform)

            What made Kingdoms of Amalur stand out for me was it’s sheer scale! This game is HUGE… In an age where AAA titles can get away with having 5 hour long campaigns it was a nice breath of fresh air to actually get some value for money. Despite being a new franchise Kingdoms shone due to it’s interesting ‘card’ based levelling system which switched up the usual warrior, mage, rogue archetypes. Kingdoms asked the question why not have a Warrior Mage instead! Another element that stands out is the God of War style “take downs” which reward the player with a gruesome animation and a hefty XP boost! Very nice…

            8. Torchlight II (PC)

            Torchlight is the first (but definitely not the last) indie game on my list, continuing from their success with the first game Runic’s second helping did not disappoint, all the staples of the first game return: a heavy emphasis on loot, dungeon crawling and killing everything that moves but this time on a much grander scale. The game’s unique art style helps it to stand out by combining fantasy and steam-punk elements with a slightly cartoonish gloss on top of this varied monster designs help to create a distinct look and feel to the whole experience. Simply put the game is a joy to play, extremely simple but almost frustratingly difficult at times Torchlight II is a time-sink that you will enjoy pouring hours into!

            7. Max Payne 3 (multi platform)

            Max Payne 3 was the series’ controversial return, transplanting everybody’s favourite anti-hero from the gritty streets of Noir York to the colourful and brightly lit favelas of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Max has aged considerably since the events of the first two games but is still on top form; slow motion diving through the air with the series trademark bullet time. What made this game stand out for me was the depth of the narrative, what at first glance could be written off as a typical third person shooter was actually a rather serious peek into the drug and alcohol addicted mind of Max Payne, graphically the game was stunning and despite a few shortfalls Mr Payne lands comfortably at number seven.

            6. FTL (PC)

            Faster than Light is an indie game developed by Subset Games in which you take up the important task of delivering some highly important documents across the galaxy, seems simple enough? That’s where you’re wrong… What FTL lacks in graphics it more than makes up for in variety and originality, never before has managing a spaceship been so hands on and engaging; from managing the power distribution, oxygen levels and even which systems are manned. The fact that every time you start a new game the galaxy is randomly created means no two games are alike and so FTL has unlimited re-playability and all this for less than a fiver! Absolute bargain!

            5. X-Com: Enemy Unknown (multi platform)

            X-Com raised a stir when it was first announced, old school fans of the series were horrified at the announcement of the revival of their beloved franchise (and still one of the greatest tactical games of all time) like many people I watched with a cautious optimism… Which paid off in full, X-Com is fantastic, the evolution of what every turn based strategy game should be. In X-Com almost every decision you make can have fatal consequences, move a space too far and one of your hard earned Alien killing grunts can be snuffed out, Permanently. Even decisions like where to build certain facilities in your base seem extremely important and not to be rushed. What this game has in spades is immersion, you really start to feel like you’re a lone commander standing against a wave of larger and more technologically advanced enemies, there is this overbearing sense of dread but this is offset by the sense of accomplishment you get when successfully leading your team through a particularly dangerous encounter, you start to get attached to your team and I’m not ashamed to admit that many a Rage Quit have been caused by their deaths.

            4. Far Cry 3 (multi platform)

            Far Cry 3 is the story of Jason Brody and his brah’s and is essentially what all other sandbox FPS’s should aim to be, it has a good storyline, solid game play and enough distractions to keep even the most hardcore of gamers busy. What makes this game stand out is the polish, it looks fantastic and every feature is fully realised, from the unique Tattoo levelling system to the hunting and crafting mechanics, everything just feels… well.. right! Whether you spend your time in the game following the campaign missions or just exploring the jungle hunting for that elusive pelt everything runs smoothly and effectively, Far Cry 3 is a AAA budget put to good use. On top of the top quality single player campaign there is an equally engaging Co-Op campaign with an entirely different plot and characters and a equally polished (if a little dull) online multiplayer. Everything about this game screams big budget, big pay-off and this is reflected in the game’s amazing review scores. What makes the game so effective is Ubisoft giving you an island and saying “go nuts” and I for one certainly did…

            03.Hotline Miami (PC)

            Where to begin, Hotline Miami is the Drive of the videgame world, a game in which style becomes the substance. For those of you who haven’t played Hotline Miami yet (why on earth not!?) it is divided into several chapters, each of which is further broken down into several stages. At the start of each chapter, you are asked to select an animal mask to wear, each of which provides unique advantages or handicaps. In each stage, you navigate a building from a top-down perspective, and your goal is almost always to kill every opponent you come across. You have access to a number of melee, thrown, and ranged weapons to lay waste to your enemies. Your character dies as easily as the enemies so any mistake is usually fatal. The game ranks your performance at the end of each stage, giving you more points and thus unlocking masks and weapons for use in the game. What makes this game stand out so much is its 1980′s art style and Thumping Electronic Soundtrack, everything about this game screams PLAY ME. It’s fast, frantic and fun with a surprisingly deep and varied storyline, once again an indie game that can be picked up for £7.00 on steam an absolute steal.

            02. Borderlands 2 (multi platform)

            The game of a trillion guns, borderlands 2 takes what made the original a surprise hit and improves upon it tenfold, some of the mass appeal of this game comes simply from collecting the many weird and wonderful variations of weaponry available. The slick cel-shaded graphics and stylized characters really give life to the mysterious planet of Pandora Handsome Jack is a stand out as he antagonises you with his smarmy voice and a special mention has to go to the psychotic Tiny Tina and her rambling dialogue. One of my favourite parts of Borderlands was collecting a mission reward in the form of a talking gun which actively encourages you to Kill people. Although Borderlands 2 is an enjoyable experience solo it is considerably better with a friend, the enemies in the game scale to how many people are playing and the loot gets better which gives you a real incentive to get sociable. What drives you to keep playing is not the story in particular but more a drive to get better and more loot, because let’s face it there’s not much a gamer likes more than loot!

            1. Spec Ops – The Line (multi platform)

            Spec Ops can easily be written off as a typical third person shooter and understandably so, it doesn’t have any ground breaking game-play mechanics and graphically it’s not the best… so why is it at the top of the list?

            One answer: Plot, Pacing and Moral conflict.

            The plot appears to be fairly simple; Six months prior to the game the worst series of dust storms in recorded history began across Dubai in the United Arab Emirates(UAE). Dubai’s politicians and wealthy elite downplayed the situation before evacuating in secret, leaving countless Emiratis behind. Lieutenant Colonel John Konrad (Bruce Boxleitner), the decorated but post-traumatic stress disorder troubled commander of the fictional 33rd Battalion,United States Army, was returning home with his unit from Afghanistan when the storms struck. Konrad volunteered the 33rd Battalion to help the relief efforts, then deserted with the entire unit when ordered to abandon the city and its refugees by the U.S. government. As the storms intensified, a massive storm wall engulfed Dubai for miles, disrupting any satellite surveillance and communication, air travel, and all but the strongest radio broadcasts. The 33rd declared martial law, and struggled to maintain order amid 80 mph winds, riots, and dwindling resources. The last communication from Dubai stated that the 33rd was attempting to lead a caravan of more than a thousand civilians out of the city. The caravan never arrived, and soon afterwards the UAE declared Dubai a no-man’s-land. All travel to the city was barred, the 33rd was publicly disavowed for treason, and no further news left the city.
            Two weeks before the beginning of the game, a looped radio signal penetrated the wall. Its message was brief; “This is Colonel John Konrad, United States Army. Attempted evacuation of Dubai ended in complete failure. Death toll: too many.” The United States military decides to covertly send in a three-man Delta Force team to carry out reconnaissance. The team, consisting of Captain Martin Walker (Nolan North), Lieutenant Alphonse Adams (Christopher Reid), and Staff Sergeant John Lugo (Omid Abtahi), are told to confirm the statuses of Konrad and any survivors, then radio for extraction.
            Things really start to get interesting when we actually get into Dubai, something has clearly gone very wrong… The setting itself is a major draw, the extravagant Dubai ravaged by Sand is now being slowly reclaimed by nature. At no point is it clear exactly what has happened so you as a player are as clueless as the three delta force operatives which really helps you to empathize with the characters. What makes this game stand out is that despite it being a war game the general feeling is that it exposes the horrors of the battlefield, you’re driven down certain paths which leave you with dire unforeseeable consequences despite your good intentions. Unsurprisingly the writers of the game took a great deal of inspiration from Heart of Darkness a novella by Joseph Conrad. In an age where a number of the biggest selling games franchises are war based (COD, GOW, Battlefield 3 and so on…) Spec Ops asked the question is it really right to be glamorising War without showing the horrors and effects it can have on a person? Spec Ops is an emotional roller-coaster and is well deserving of being my game of the year 2012.

          • AlienLion says:

            Alternate top 10 is a good concept and sounds like a good piece to feature. The list is good and the writing is to the point. I’d say a couple of more jokes, a couple of sources and of course some good images, and it seems like the stuff.

          • Lowthizzle says:

            I’ve got images already, what do you mean by sources? Jokes are not a problem I’ll go through it and make it a bit funnier…

          • AlienLion says:

            A couple of bits of sourced information for the readers. If there are some claims or statements that could be supported with linked sources, include those. The more the better but a couple will do since its mostly an opinion piece.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hey sorry I don’t see my draft here so Im just posting to let you know that I finally emailed the final draft of the Joker article as you requested. Please let me know. I think I’ll post it on my blog if you don’t want it because I’m pretty happy with it at this point (thanks to your feedback and help). Really hoping you like it though.

    • AlienLion says:

      Hey, Zeck. I got your email. I deleted your original draft from the site because it was definitely going to get featured, even without the revisions that I asked for. Thanks for doing them regardless, it’s a great read, a little on a serious side but the info makes up for that. Give me a few days to check some sources and format it for the site (busy week) but you can email me your steam ID now so I can get you a free game. Thanks again and I hope you contribute again. I’m sure we’ll get your stuff up quickly from now on.

  14. Andrew Beams says:

    Hello, I have an idea for an article about the upcoming Dead or Alive 5 Plus for Vita’s planned touch screen mode, where you can “touch, pinch, and flick the screen to attack your opponent.”. the article will look at the fanservice from the console game also.

  15. aiex72 says:

    I have to different ideas. One is for an Indie game called Castleminers Z. My intentions for the article are to inform people of and let them know what features are on it and what is the point of the game. I have already actually typed a rough draft for it.
    The other article is one for Black Ops 2. Many people have it and many of them got it for the zombie game modes on it. I intend to write an article explaining the different game modes aqnd giveing tips an tricks for them to use.

  16. Hi Alienlion.com. My name’s KingHorseFondler69, and I have a few ideas for what-I-think-are-humor articles. If you like any of them I’d like to write these articles for your readers, for my amusement.

    1) The first is titled “Why Left 4 Dead 2 is the Best Game Ever Made,” and it will be written by a psychopath who loves shooting and killing people. The first sentence will read something like, “Left 4 Dead 2 is the best game ever made because in it you get to shoot thousands of people.” I’m thinking that this article would be like 1-2 pages long.

    2) The second article pitch comes in the form of a discussion, words written from a talking-heads, “newsroom” roundtable. The subject? Which MMORPG is better? World of Warcraft (with all its expansions), or Guildwars 2? The people debating this will be: Vice President Joe Biden (we’ll use his The Onion personality), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader and Man Turtle Mitch McConnell. I will try to make this discussion as short and stupid as possible. In the end, the reader will know why nothing ever gets done in Washington.

    3) The last one tonight is an article and an instant message interview, entitled: “Is Dead or Alive Sexist?” The hardest thing about this one is that we’ll need a legal screenshot of one of the virtual bikini girls — i.e. I don’t know how to do this, and I don’t have a copy of the game so I can’t take my own screenshots :(. Anyway, I will assume the role of serious inquiry man, and interview a non-existent lead games designer from Team Ninja, who will give the best/stupidest our-games-aren’t-sexist-at-all! defense ever.

    • AlienLion says:

      Definitely the most creative ideas I’ve ever read. Whether or not they would be something that gamers could have a blast reading all depends on the execution though. It’s usually the case regardless, that’s why we prefer to see a few paragraphs to decide.

      1) Very intriguing title. Could be funny too but would it be informative for gamers as well?

      2) This one I’d love to read and it sounds quite ambitious but again, it depends on the execution and how interesting it would be from a gamers perspective.

      3) For most of the types of articles that we post, the use of screenshots falls under Fair Use. If you don’t have the game, you can usually find official screens or official videos where you can screencap an image.

  17. S. says:

    Hey, here is the intro to the Minecraft Review. Sorry about the delay, got pretty busy this week. Anyways, here you go! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lkRElGeB1dmX8adR7iAtjzQIfQ9MRWOBgYE0mDNN6Fc/edit

    • AlienLion says:

      No worries, you can just submit a summary/excerpt for your idea whenever you feel like it and we’ll check it out. Even if you are just thinking what the hell, no bad can come of it.

      Regarding this one, good stuff and good information already. A few things though:

      As the game has been out for awhile now, maybe you could add an up-to-date spin to the review, to highlight how it is more relevant because it’s being written today (for example, if it has only now become evident how updates are handled, or what the community developed into, if those elements are generally important to Minecraft).

      Also, Alan has been writing a somewhat more serious Fallout retrospective but we generally prefer to make things as entertaining as they are informative with the help of humor and images. This way, it’s not just another article/review site but it combines the good (encouraging creative writing) with the awesome (video games) with the enjoyable (humor) for the ultimate epicness.

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