PAX Swag Giveaway!

September 6: This giveaway is now closed and codes have been sent out! Thanks for entering. :)

You (probably) want swag! I want to feel more ephemerally loved on social media! LET’S WORK TOGETHER.

I have the following goodies:

  1. A PAX-exclusive Kali skin for Smite
  2. League of Legends code for Arcade Hecarim skin
  3. League of Legends code for Riot Blitzcrank skin
  4. 5 invites to the Dawngate closed beta (a new MOBA)
  5. A code for 50% off the awesome indie game Beatbuddy on Steam
  6. A full copy of Escape Goat 2 once it releases later this month
  7. 2 invites to the Card Hunter closed beta (PS: this game is super fun!)
  8. A code for a Crystalline Chaos Dragon in Dragon’s Prophet

Here’s how to get a piece of the action: Follow Cat Context on Twitter or Like us on Facebook, then tweet/post which item(s) you’d like. I’ll randomly draw names on Friday morning and send out codes!

(Sorry to be all shill-y, but apparently that is how the magic happens.)

Post-PAX, Part One

Hello!

I have returned from PAX and even caught up on my sleep a bit. This morning must be dedicated to non-PAX life things, and I will take the time later to write more about what I saw. For now, though, here is what I’ve written already about the convention over on the newly released Junkies Nation:

PAX Prime Experts on the Future of MMORPGs – I attended a panel with a bunch of important MMO dudes talking about the future of the genre. This is a relatively straight forward retelling of the panel.

WildStar Shows Off Player Housing – Player housing was the hot topic at both the WildStar panel and their party, and to be honest in theory it all looks pretty cool.

Hands On With the Oculus Rift – It’s not just a gimmick! The Rift is technically impressive and I think something we’ll be seeing more of in a few years.

Indie Game Highlights from PAX Prime – One of the coolest things about PAX is all the indies, and they were out in full force this year. I wrote about a few of my favorites.

Okay, I have to go dig out from under a pile of laundry. More PAX talk soon!

[Editor's Note: I arrived home last night to discover that Gabe from Penny Arcade was saying stupid things again yesterday. I want to talk about this more in-depth, but suffice to say that I totally respect anyone's decision to not attend or support PAX because Gabe is a hurtful person who says bad things.]

 

Cat Context 33: WildStar has a payment model, FFXIV launches, Saints Row blows everything up
Aug28

Cat Context 33: WildStar has a payment model, FFXIV launches, Saints Row blows everything up

Hey, did you know that I’m going to be at PAX Prime this weekend? Well you do now! If you are gonna be at PAX too tweet me @Liores and we can meet up and, like, high five and stuff.

Or watch the LIVE Cat Context from PAX, Sunday September 1st at 5pm PST on Twitch. We’ve got stuff to give away, and you should come get it!

cat context vertical Cat Context 33: WildStar has a payment model, FFXIV launches, Saints Row blows everything up

WildStar announced their payment model last week, joining the unexpected movement back towards subscription MMOs. This episode we’re talking about whether subscriptions are a good idea for WildStar, if the $60 box price is in fact a little steep, and overall if the announcement affected our excitement for the game. (And really, do we have unrealistic value expectations from our game dollars?)

It’s also been a good time for new games with the arrivals of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Saints Row IV. Liore has been playing the former, and reports on catgirls and catastrophic launch server failures. Meanwhile special guest Mangle has joined the Saints Row franchise by jumping into IV, and he is understandably a little confused.

Also, Liore whines about not being in the Hearthstone beta! Mangle gets berated into buying Gone Home! Elly tries to become the Magic: The Gathering King of Oakland!

Like to watch? This podcast was also a Hangout on Air:

It would be downright awesome if you gave us a vote on iTunes. :)

* Jimquisition talks about Saints Row IV and inclusion.
* Jesse Cox plays Hearthstone.
* Forbes on what Gone Home could do better.
* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

3 Game Songs to Take to the Gym

I started running three weeks ago, and in that time I’ve already gone from stopping every 15 seconds before I die to running a full kilometre, or about 10 minutes. Hey, it’s a start!

(Here is where I give mad props to the Zombies Run version of Couch to 5k. The app is well designed, interesting, and makes it simple to train via sprints.)

I originally tried listening to podcasts while I run because part of my problem with exercise is that I’m really easily bored and I HATE being bored. But while the podcasts give my brain something to chew on, they also don’t really help pump me up for that next step. The fact is that I run faster and further with a little music.

So, I tried game soundtracks. No, not the sweeping orchestral sounds of most MMOs, although those are fine in their place. (And if you enjoy them, check out the Battle Bards podcast!) What I need are upbeat tunes with a slow but steady beat.

Below are 3 of my favorite tracks. Hopefully they help keep you moving through whatever you’re doing, and have a great weekend!

Jet Grind Radio / Jet Set Radio – That’s Enough

If you don’t start grooving to this, you may have no soul.

WipEout – Cold Comfort

WipEout (the 1997 original) was one of the first games ever to have an electronica soundtrack. It has some great tracks by established artists like Chemical Brothers, but most of the soundtrack including this track was created by a lesser known dude named Cold Storage. It’s awesome.

The Binding of Isaac – Sacrificial

Every track of Danny Baranowsky’s Binding of Isaac soundtrack is amazing, and overall this is the album I listen to the most while running. The official 8-bit version of Sacrificial is super fun, as is The Clubbing of Isaac, the offical dance remix of the game’s main theme. The classic Sacrificial wins out for me though because what it might lack in speed or thump it makes up in drama. When you are out being grimly determined and running off a bad day in the rain, this is absolutely the track to listen to.

Inna Gadda da PS Vita: first impressions
Aug21

Inna Gadda da PS Vita: first impressions

Over the mere five days that I’ve owned a PlayStation Vita it has already incorporated itself into my daily routine.

That is high praise from me! A few years back I was gifted a tablet, and while it was a very fun gadget I never used it after the first couple of days. I have an e-reader that I ignore because it turns out I really love the visceral experience of paper pages. There’s a now very old “gaming laptop” that sits in a cupboard.

The Vita feels good in my hands. It has two little thumbsticks, a d-pad, and the usual four shape buttons. There are left and right top buttons, which for some reason are made from clear plastic and look a little funky. The screen is quite big and bright, and the OS is really intuitive if a little relentlessly cheerful. (Stop jiggling, app buttons!)

ps vita system 500x287 Inna Gadda da PS Vita: first impressions

Shiiiiiiiiiny (from playstation.com)

The last time I bought a handheld console was so long ago that digital distribution didn’t exist, so I was legitimately excited to browse the PS Store and it did not disappoint. Of particular relevance to old people like me is the vast selection of PS One and old PSP titles. WipEout, Parasite Eve, Parappa the Rappa, every classic JRPG — it’s like my college years all over again.

The prices for these old titles is $6-$10 each, which is entirely reasonable. I’m not so interested in new titles (at least not yet), but the PS Store also has a whole big indie section also with reasonable prices that I’m looking forward to exploring.

Lying in bed playing Chrono Trigger is a real treat, and if you’re a fan of the PS library from over the years you’ll find a ton of games. However, and I feel dirty saying this, the Vita is also a solid media device.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos — at the gym, while going to sleep, while stirring things on the stove — and the Vita makes for a pretty sweet video machine. The screen is bigger than my phone, and for whatever reason the YouTube app has many more features and is much easier to use for browsing. Battery life is vastly superior over playing videos on my phone, which makes sense as I assume the Vita was designed to have the screen lit for extended periods of time. (It also doesn’t get hot when in use.)

The big negative for the Vita that I can see is the proprietary SD card slot. You need the storage to hold game files, saved games, downloaded videos, etc., but the official Sony cards are vastly overpriced compared to other more generic micro-SD options.

I honestly got this thing as a bit of retail therapy, but it’s turned into a legit daily gadget. If you’re considering a new handheld gaming device and miss the glory days of the PS One, thus far I would definitely recommend a Vita.

PS: My PSN name is ShoppingWeevil, and we should be friends.

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