Review: ‘Dead Island: Riptide’ is the same game with a new title – 4/28/2013

In theory; ‘Dead Island: Riptide’ should be a great horror game with an open world environment and RPG elements. Instead Techland found a way to make such a game incredibly boring, again!

To be fair, using the word “again” implies that Techland actually made the effort to make a new game or improve on the original. Instead gamers are given the same game only with a new title and maybe a few unnoticeable changes.

The game takes place immediately after the ending of the last game with the immune survivors landing on an aircraft carrier after escaping from Banoi. In no time the ship is overrun with zombies and so the survivors flee to the island of Palanai. Its discovered that the island has also a zombie outbreak and the military is planning to nuke the island. Oh and some private contractor wants to find a way to weaponize the zombie virus.

Dead Island: Riptide has an impressive game-play system that every gamer had hoped for. The game is played form a first-person perspective with the game-play focused around intense combat and a need for survival. All of this is set in an open world environment that is divided between large sections.

The game-play also includes elements of an RPG as gamer will pick from five unique character that have their own special traits. As the player progresses they will acquire new skills and enhance their special traits.

At this point one might be scratching their head wondering how could such an awesome sounding game be bad? Well just because you combine horror survival with RPG and set it in open world doesn’t mean its going to be a great game. When compared to games like Far Cry 3Fallout: New VegasSkyrim and BioShock: Infinite;Dead Island: Riptide dose feel like a game that was developed out of laziness.

The combat seems to be a watered down version of Dead Rising‘s only it is very repetitive and dose get boring very quick. For most the game you will be just be bashing zombies with blunt objects multiple times and dying. You will find a few guns but they are useless and ammo is very limited.

Adding to the frustration is how little the RPG elements adds to the game-play. The special traits and skills don’t really impact your gaming experience while trying to level up takes a ridiculous amount of time.

Also not helping is the poor acting and dialogue that tries to be serious but ends up hurting the games quality.

Sadly these are all the same content along with problems that plagued the first game. Hence this would have to make Dead Island: Riptide a crowning achievement for laziness. Sure they did add a new character, changed the island and fixed a few bugs. But at its core it’s still the same game that most of us thought would be awesome back until we started Act 2.

Finally it comes down to some unnecessary controversy. Deep Silver offered a “Zombie Bait Edition” of the game that came with a statuette of a mutilated bikini torso. To no surprise this gimmick caused a lot of unneeded controversy that John Walker of Rock, Paper, Shotgun could best described as:A text book example of the most extreme ends of misogynist fantasy, a woman reduced to nothing but her tits, her wounds hideously depicted in gore, jutting bones, and of course barely a mark covering her globular breasts.

Dead Island: Riptide may be a creative and original work of horror survival so long as a gamer never played Dead Island back in 2011. With an obvious lack of change would make this a game no one should bother with unless you never played Dead Island.

Final Score 1/5

Written for Digital Journal
Original Article: Review: ‘Dead Island: Riptide’ is the same game with a new title


Op-Ed: NSF fails to defend Federal funding for ‘Duck Penis’ study – 4/3/2013

Activists of fiscal responsibility have been outraged over the allocation of funds by the National Science Foundation to the study of “duck penis”.

Yes its true, the NSF has used money to study “duck penis”. For conservatives politicians and pundits, this has become an excellent example of government wasting tax payer money on a pointless research.

In response to this public outcry; Dr. Patricia Brennan, lead investigator in the Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia study, has penned an Op-Ed for defending her research.

Dr. Brennan starts her argument with:Whether the government should fund basic research in times of economic crisis is a valid question that deserves well-informed discourse comparing all governmental expenses. As a scientist, my view is that supporting basic and applied research is essential to keep the United States ahead in the global economy. The government cannot afford not to make that investment. In fact, I argue that research spending should increase dramatically for the United States to continue to lead the world in scientific discovery.

At first she makes an excellent case for why the US Government needs to fund scientific research, however she takes so long to get to the point of studying “duck penis” that the typical reader with an ADD attention spam has most likely returned to their Facebook page.

When she finally dose explain the purposes of her study, this is what she had to say:Male ducks force copulations on females, and males and females are engaged in a genital arms race with surprising consequences. Male ducks have elaborate corkscrew-shaped penises, the length of which correlates with the degree of forced copulation males impose on female ducks. Females are often unable to escape male coercion, but they have evolved vaginal morphology that makes it difficult for males to inseminate females close to the sites of fertilization and sperm storage.

Sadly all this research is not about something important like finding a cure for cancer.

To summarize; its not a study of duck penis but a study of duck rape. The end result has been what every Sociologist and Psychologist have known for years regarding rape. The difference is Sociologist and Psychologist used data collected on rapes across communities along with a verity of social experiments while Dr. Brennan has wasted tax payer money on watching ducks rape.

Wasting tax payer money on having scientists watch duck rape in an social behavior experiments would be the equivalent of the NSF funding Michael Vick’s dog fights in an attempt to understand the competitive nature with in physical combat.

Yes; rape is a serious issue that has traumatized many women and devastated communities but To fight this crime will require laws to be rewritten to take the issue more seriously, law enforcement properly trained to handle such a sensitive issue and for society needs to stop demonizing the victims. I just found the answer that this research group was seeking without wasting tax payer money to watch ducks rape.

Its true that the US Government needs to fund research to keep our edge in leading the world in scientific research. Yet it has to be a scientific pursuit that has a real purpose to society. Tax payer money wasted on frivolous science is really just a theft from research regarding the cure for AIDS or cancer.

In an attempt to defend her work all Dr. Brennan did was strength the case against her research. Her argument presented is the equivalent of a spoiled rich kid trying to defend his $30K a month cocaine expenditure to his father.

Written for Digital Journal
Original Article: Op-Ed: NSF fails to defend Federal funding for ‘Duck Penis’ study

Review: ‘Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel’ is battle gamers could ignore – 4/1/2013

Gamers hoping to take on another exciting mission for T.W.O. will only find ‘Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel’ to be a very mundane shooter.

For the third round, players take on the role of Alpha and Bravo, two operatives of Trans World Operations (T.W.O.), who are deployed to a war ravaged region of Mexico to protect an idealist politician. Obviously this is not going to be an easy job and in no time our heroes our fighting the La Guadana Cartel.

That is about all the details anyone would care for regarding the plot and unfortunately the game play is just as bare bones as it can get.

The Devil’s Cartel doesn’t follow the standards set by Army of Two: The 40th Day but instead chooses to be a mediocre shooter with a forgettable plot and lacking any real wow factors. Every aspect of gameplay that help make The 40th Day a better game is absent or has been become redundant. Instead gamers are presented a basic shooter that will get boring really quick unless they take advantage of the co-op feature.

However the co-op will only add an extra minute of fun to the experience. Given that co-op has been the hallmark of the Army of Two-series, this downgrade of its significance has instead robbed it of what its uniqueness.

The Army of Two-series was a great shooter to play with your best buddy; sadly Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel failed to live up to expectations. At best this game would be good for a weekend when your with a friend and have nothing better to do.

Final Score 3/5

Written for Digital Journal
Original Article: