"Journey to the West" inspired artwork _ cover

The Journey to the West Narrative in Video Games

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Let me tell you a story, one that you are almost definitely familiar with in some fashion. It comes from 16th century China, and goes by the name of Journey to the West. The story tells the fictitiously augmented story of Xuanzang and his three companions with troubled pasts as they make their way across western China atop a white dragon to obtain sacred texts and return them home. These three companions may begin to ring a bell to you. (more…)

Showdown: Craig Counsell

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MLB Showdown is the first game I got into on a competitive basis. Showdown is a collectible card game where players play baseball using a 20-sided die and a deck of strategy cards. This was in the height of the collectible card game (CCG) craze and at the time Pokémon was popular and you could find a CCG with just about any theme you wanted. The one I chose, MLB Showdown, made perfect sense for me, being the baseball lover that I am. (more…)

Hands-On With Splatoon

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The very idea that Nintendo is working on a third person shooter seems novel enough, but the fact that it involves squids in the guise of street kids shooting ink at one another for territory dominance is something that only could have come from the company famous for a kingdom full of talking mushrooms intermittently saved by a plumber. I had a chance to play Splatoon at PAX East last week, and I have a few thoughts about the experience. Well, that and I need to justify the fact that I waited an hour and a half to just get a few rounds in. (more…)

My brief foray into Scrabble tournament play

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I grew up on a steady diet of classic American games. I loved Life, Monopoly, Pictionary, and Scrabble. Especially Scrabble. I have a love affair with words, and Scrabble drew out my love of the English language. I love taking letter tiles and finding the best ways to combine them into words, artfully placing them on the board, calculating my best move. (more…)

2013: A Year in Gaming

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The number 13 has always been a lucky number for me (in true contrarian fashion). In gaming, we all try to narrow the amount of luck involved with our skill and strategy. My year in gaming has been no exception. Not only did we (TheGamerNerd.com) hit our first year anniversary, but we’ve amassed a nice group of contributors who themselves have built our library of reviews to over 70 to date. We’ve started to gain some notice on the inter-webs through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, and BoardGameGeek. Game developers and publishers have even heard a whisper or two about The Gamer Nerd around the water-cooler, sending us review copies of games and accessories. Most importantly this site has continued to be an added source of fun for me and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my gaming 2¢ with the world and engaging in some nerdy conversations. (more…)

2013: The Year of the Nintendo 3DS

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Aside from the few major hits like The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto 5, Bioshock Infinite, and Call of Duty: Ghosts, the Sony and Microsoft systems had a more paltry showing in 2013, and all those titles fit into the games-in-which-you-shoot-things-with-guns category, which looks to dominate the industry for perpetuity. The Wii U had a handful of titles worth talking about, but Nintendo’s trickle of software for the first year of the system has even the hardcore base worried and, more importantly, not spending money. What took the main stage this year was the 3DS as a handheld. (more…)

2013: My best gaming year ever!

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2013 was a great year for me. I went from being single to being engaged and  unemployed to employed. I really sank my teeth into a new hobby, birdwatching, where I have seen almost 200 different species. Throughout the year, my love of gaming, specifically tabletop gaming, has given me hours of enjoyment and it even gave me a way to propose to my wife-to-be, Lynne. (more…)