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We Review: Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros is the fifth installment of the Mario & Luigi series of games, which started with Superstar Saga in back in 2003. The series, for those who have not experienced it yet, is essentially a JPRG starring the eponymous, infamous plumbing brothers (who, in retrospect, haven’t actually done any real plumbing in…years). I grab my markers, my glue, and my construction paper and head for the hills of the Mushroom Kingdom to see what this game is all about.

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Fun Factoids

Did you know that giraffes can clean their ears with their tongues? Or that in the 1800s, opium was marketed as a way to pacify fussy babies? If you like that, then you may enjoy the other fun factoids cutely drawn by children’s book illustrator Mike Lowery.

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Happy Holidays (A Play)

[Scene: Prawn HQ. HIGH LORD PRAWN sits upon his magnificent throne as thralls scurry about, hanging bunting, lights, and assorted Christmas-themed decorations. A fussy-looking prawn stands in the center, yelling orders.]

FUSSY-LOOKING PRAWN: You there! Move that snowflake slightly to the left!
[Enter a large, officious, white duck dressed in military regalia.]

HIGH LORD PRAWN: Ah, Tyrannical Duc! What news from our loving subjects?

TYRANNICAL DUCK: It’s “duck”, lord, not “duc”.

HIGH LORD PRAWN: How on earth did you spot that typo?

TYRANNICAL DUCK: We ducks have very good hearing. And vision. And good sledgehammers for breaking down fourth walls. [TYRANNICAL DUCK looks pointed out of the narrative directly at you and winks, before turning back to face HIGH LORD PRAWN] Your subjects say that we should thank our loyal readers and supporters, and announce the Time of the Christmas Holidays.

HIGH LORD PRAWN: Goodness! Is it that time already? Well then! [Takes TYRANNICAL DUCK’S fourth-wall breaking hammer] To all our loyal readers, supporters, followers, and other assorted personages of varying importance! Happy holidays to you all and thank you for all your support! May the new year…

TYRANNICAL DUCK (leaning in and whispering): That’s “New Year”, lord. With capital letters.

HIGH LORD PRAWN (adjusting crown): Ahem…may the NEW YEAR usher in a new age of grace, wonder, and prosperity…

TYRANNICAL DUCK (whispering): And video game reviews…

HIGH LORD PRAWN: And video game reviews to you all! (Gets in sleigh): On Dasher, on Dander, on Comet and Vomit, on Pluto, on Venus, on Dandruff, and Pe…

TYRANNICAL DUCK (interjecting): Happy holidays, everyone!

We Review: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is the film that everyone everywhere has been excited for, and yet fearful that it was going to be another Phantom Menace. I’m not going to do any clever preambles or intros here. Let’s get straight into this review of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. It’s what we’re here for, right? So, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

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“Uncanny Valley” Blurs the Line Between Virtual and Reality

Virtual reality is set to take off next year. The Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR are all set to debut in 2016. While there’s a certain amount of excitement about it, this beautifully-shot short film from 3dar takes a look at when VR is so prevalent that it has becoming habit-forming.

In Uncanny Valley, VR addicts (much like drug addicts) live in dens, closed off from others, and find more connection to their VR experiences than they do to their real lives. One such addict starts to notice an anomaly in digital sanctuary and decides to explore further…

[via Digg]

We Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X

Back in April, we reviewed Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, a portable remake of the Wii game of the same name, and we rated it quite favourably. Following that, we now have Xenoblade Chronicles X (pronounced as “Xenoblade Chronicles Cross”) for the Wii U, a spiritual sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. If you enjoy massive games with a huge emphasis on exploration, pay attention. Oh, and transforming mechs. It has transforming mechs. Who doesn’t love a good, transforming mech?

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MS-DOS Games Now Streaming to Your Browser

I’m sure many of you have visited the Internet Archive at one point or another, or taken advantage of the massive library of free music, books, or film. In fact, many of you are probably aware of the Archive’s Arcade Emulation section, allowing to you to play many arcade games from years of yore. But we’re not interested in yorish arcade games right now. We’re after a different species of nostalgia: MS-DOS games. If you’re an old fogey like me, you’ll likely have misspent much of your youth playing games in CGA and EGA, and longing for a VGA. Or listening to the blips on PC speaker and wishing for a SoundBlaster for christmas. Or, hell, tapping away happily on your 8086 connected to a 20MB hard drive and a 360kb floppy drive, and hearing about the wonders of the 286 and the 720kb “stiffy” drive. Ahh….memories…

Gauntlet for MS-DOSIn any event, it was with much glee that I was pointed at the Archive.org’s insanely exhaustive repository of MS-DOS games, available to be streamed in your browser to you (like Gauntlet in the image above). No mucking about with DOSBox or fiddling settings; it’s all ready to play. And for someone like me, it’s pure nostalgic gloriousness. Oh, and a word to the uninitiated: most MS-DOS games are far far harder than the pansy stuff you kids play today.

I’m not sure how long this particular archive has been active, but I’ve had to tear myself away from it long enough to write a post about it—after this, you’re on your own again until I’ve sated my nostalgia-gland.

Check it out: https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos_games

The Most Delicious Imperial Star Destroyers You Ever Did See

Artist Roland Tamayo combines Star Wars and food to create the most delicious Star Destroyers you ever did see.

Tamayo takes keeps bridge part of the iconic class of warship intact but replaces the familiar triangular-shaped wedge with treats like pizza, birthday cake, cherry pie, strawberry cheesecake, and a quesadilla. It’s a combination that looks good enough to eat. Check them out below.

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David Tennant Explains Einstein’s 100-Year Old Theory of Relativity

A century ago yesterday, Albert Einstein published his greatest work, the theory of relativity. His mind-bending idea forever changed how we think about the cosmos. It has stood up to intense scrutiny all this time.

If you’ve wanted to know what the theory of relativity is about but were thrown off by the oft complex science-y jargon, you might like this succinct 3-minute explanation. The cutesy animation features the talents of David Tennant, a sock, and two rather seedy characters, messieurs Dark Energy and Dark Matter to explain the relationship between space and time and mass.

The short film was created by Eoin Duffy.

[via SA Techie]

We Review: Star Wars: Battlefront

Ahead of the new Star Wars film coming up, we have Star Wars: Battlefront, the hotly-anticipated multiplayer phenomenon that’s been going since 2004. And this is, surprisingly, not another annual game like so many others, and this iteration is only its third entry in the series. This is the review you were looking for.

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