Today, I’d like to take a little time to talk about and mourn the closure of Epinions. For those somehow unfamiliar with the site, Epinions was one of the earliest user-submitted Internet sites preceding Yelp by around five years. For a couple of years, I was a Games Advisor.
Epinions specialized in consumer product reviews and gave a voice to the voiceless. It brought people together in a way that, until that point, was relegated to primitive message boards and the awful world of chat rooms.
Epinions, at least in the early days, was what represented the best of the Internet. People were on their best behavior, building a reputation with other members over time for the way they conducted themselves on the site. Reputations mattered and being in a coveted Web of Trust meant others would check you out. This sounds ridiculously archaic in the age of Twitter, but it was amazing for the common man back then.
Being the best wasn’t enough. Writing wasn’t enough. To truly reap the rewards, one had to interact with other writers. These interactions paid dividends, both literal and figurative, and helped guide the way people began to interact on the site.
Crude allegiances of like-minded people coalesced. Site-specific lingo, such as “revenge rating” and “rubber stamping” were coined in the early days of the site.Whereas the Internet as a whole runs like the Old West, Epinions ran like some Internet form of Utopia. It was the Internet with accountability rather than anonymity.
Unwritten rules formed, like an early set of netiquette, formed. Most people believed it was common courtesy to at least click on what they had written if they clicked on your article. Turnabout is fair play, after all. At the beginning of this Dot-com Boom era, those clicks quickly added up into real cash at three cents per member click.
There’s this Rob Gordon quote in High Fidelity, perhaps one of the most quotable movies for elitist nerds such as myself, that really sums up what made Epinions so special for so many people.
“What really matters is what you like, not what you are like. Books, records, films… these things matter.”
Epinions exemplified that notion, however shallow it may be.
Today’s Nintendo Direct kicked off with a punch. It was like a kick-punch, though.
Little Mac, the undersized underdog from the Punch-Out series, was announced as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U.
For people like me who grew up with 007 373 5963 deeply ingrained into our very being, this is terrific news. Seeing as my friends would only play Super Smash Bros. Brawl with Assist Trophies turned off, this makes him pretty much all new for me.
Crap. Whatever you do, don’t let Anita Sarkeesian see this screen.
For those of you keeping score at home, this brings the current playable character count to 23, still a far cry from Super Smash Bros. Brawl’s 35 selectable characters. More names will be announced, surely, but Mega Man versus Little Mac is kind of a dream come true for me.
“The size of the fight in the dog” was kind of my mantra growing up.
Likely inundated by his sudden rise from obscurity to the top of the App Charts and the subsequent fame that comes with it, Vietnamese Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen is doing the only thing he can to get his life back to normal.
Dong Nguyen stated on his Twitter account, @dongatory, that he’ll be removing it from the App Store in 22 hours. That was 19 hours ago. So by my math, that means you’ve got something like um… airspeed velocity… obviously Mario World… carry the remainder… Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop… one… two… three. Yes, you have three hours left. Thanks, Mister Owl!
When looking at Spell Quest – Grimm’s Journey, gamers will likely be divided into two primary groups: those who hate it because it’s basically Bookworm Adventures or those who love it because it’s basically Bookworm Adventures.
I’ve been sayingforyears that Bookworm Adventures would be a perfect fit for iPhone or iPad. That kind of gives away which grouping I fall into, doesn’t it?
PopCap had their chance. Now it’s time for the Bacon Bandits to shine.
Apple’s App Store is home to many terrific games, most of which make terrific use of touch controls. It’s also home to many ports across many different genres, be they mainstream or indie. There are a lot of great games, however, that have yet to be ported that probably should.
In my top ten list from 2012, three games made the cut in Final Fantasy IV, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, and Theatrhythm. Theatrhythm wasn’t even out when I made the call, but I’m glad it made it to the App Store, though Square-Enix definitely overcharged their mobile fans for the privilege.
Without further ado, I present to you the “Top Ten Games Missing from the App Store.”
Look at all those features. Marbles. Mazes. Stickers. What fun!
I mean, it can’t be that alcohol is so cheap that parents drink themselves into a stupor and children go to school three times as long as they sleep that is ruining this culture of socially underdeveloped young adults, right? No, it’s definitely the games that are out of control, you morally-conservative twits.
Do you like Street Fighter? Do you like art? Do you like Street Fighter art? Well, get ready for a highbrow Hadouken.
In recognition of 25 years of Street Fighter, Capcom is teaming up with Cook & Becker to release “limited-edition museum-grade Street Fighter ™ art prints” for the masses. You’ve seen the images in magazines, strategy guides, and instruction booklets. Now, let’s hang them on the walls!
Snarkiness aside, this is a beautiful collection that a very select few enthusiasts are going to get their grubby mitts on. I’ve got my eye on the pictured Guile & Chun-Li piece, and not just because of the gratuitous panties. Honestly, it’s just an excuse to play Guile’s theme as the soundtrack to my life. I don’t know if you know this or not, but it pretty much goes with everything.
Proving that Final Fantasy isn’t the only franchise they’re willing to bleed dry for nostalgic gamers in the mobile space, Square Enix has released “Tomb Raider I” into the Apple App Store.
Wonky cameras, shoddy jumping, and square boobs can all be yours for ninety-nine cents. That’s a surprisingly small price to pay for a trip down memory lane, isn’t it?
While Tomb Raider didn’t necessarily require a lot of precision, having been released on the original Playstation back in 1996 before the advent of the Dual Shock, touch controls are touch controls. That control overlay in the screen above is the kind of thing I see in my nerdiest nightmares. So, enter at your own peril, adventurers.
No word on what version of Tomb Raider is featured, but you’ve got to imagine it’s the original with the Tomb Raider Gold levels to be released as DLC some time down the road. This is Square Enix we’re talking about here.
With over 7 million sales of the original game, tons of people are about to donate a dollar towards nostalgia before remembering just how far 3D platform adventure games have come in the past 17 years. To them, I say, “Kudos!”