The Daily Texan

All content by Allistair Pinsof

Ms. Splosion Man’ boasts superior level design, suffers second-half slump

July 20, 2011

Local game developer Twisted Pixel is a pretty big deal now. Big enough to double its office space, staff and number of projects since the release of “‘Splosion Man” two years ago. Now,...

‘F.E.A.R. 3’ fails to live up to series’ earlier games

July 13, 2011

Do game publishers know it’s not Halloween yet? Along with “Alice: Madness Returns,” “Dead Block” and “Shadows of the Damned,” “F.E.A.R. 3”...

‘Alice’ proves dullness can be maddening

July 6, 2011

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The biggest problem in “Alice: Madness Returns” is it doesn’t even...

‘Trenched’ puts tower defense genre on the move

June 29, 2011

“Trenched” is a game in which disabled World War I vets defend the world from hostile, tentacled TV-robots by firing upon them from “mobile trenches,” which are sort of like...

Duke Nukem (takes) Forever to hit shelves, misses mark

June 22, 2011

There was once a time when “Duke Nukem Forever” could have been the next big thing. That opportunity was 14 years ago. When the sequel to 1996 first-person shooter “Duke Nukem...

E3 offerings range from tired to groundbreaking

June 15, 2011

Last week, thousands of game developers and publishers gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center to show off what they have in store for the next 18 months. E3, or the Electronic Entertainment...

‘L.A. Noire’ packs style, lacks substance

June 8, 2011

    “L.A. Noire” Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed) Genre: Adventure Score: C- For Fans of: Heavy Rain, Shenmue, Film noir In an alternate...

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“Portal 2” shows that sequels get even better

April 28, 2011

In a medium where even a cult favorite puzzle game can become a franchise, it’s refreshing how “Portal 2” meets the high expectations set by the original without sticking to the same...

Gamers to host video game tournament

April 21, 2011

With $1,500 on the line, 128 competitive gamers from across Texas will gather on UT campus Saturday for the largest collegiate “StarCraft II” tournament yet. Last fall, UT organization...

Colleges plan 2013 launch of video game design classes

April 19, 2011

Austin, known as one of the primary hubs of the video game industry, may soon find the next generation of game artists, designers and programmers studying within the walls of UT this fall. Bruce...

Computer game developer joins dinosaurs with Nazis

April 15, 2011

“Dino D-Day,” released last Friday for PC, stands out for some good reasons and some bad. Its alternate reality where dinosaurs fight alongside Nazis refreshes the World War II backdrop...

Rehashes of older games make for nostalgic times

April 12, 2011

Video game franchises live on within the walls of publishers primarily for profit, but the pixilated heroes of fans’ youth continue to resonate because of nostalgia. Over the past decade,...

Japanese students from UT reflect on disaster, aftermath

March 23, 2011

After the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, sports management senior and Japanese native Itsuki Shibakiri wondered what would become of his home. Over the past two weeks, he has only seen...

Dining in the dark

March 7, 2011

Every week, Angela Frederick walks across UT’s West Mall, passing political activists who ignore her and evangelists who say they will pray for her blindness. Earlier this month, she was approached...

‘Slice’s’ fire dies down

February 28, 2011

  Starting today, UT students and faculty will have to walk further than the Drag for an authentic slice of New York pizza. On Sunday, owner and New York native Gene Meshbane closed Hot...

ESPN, UT discuss home for Longhorn network

February 18, 2011

Sports broadcasting giant ESPN may be taking over the entire second floor of the Jesse H. Jones Communications Center Building B to house studios for its $300 million Longhorn network, said College...

Panel will prove gaming jobs exist

November 17, 2010

Finding a job in the video game industry has long been thought to be an extremely difficult task with success limited to a few lucky computer science majors. A panel on finding a career in video games...

Video games’ multiplayer aspects vary in excellence

November 17, 2010

The latest annual update to America’s favorite murder simulator presents many enemies to the player: Tropas in Cuba, Vietcongs in Vietnam and Russians in the Arctic. But Treyarch, which previously...

Battles, graphics captivate players

November 10, 2010

Vanquish (PS3, Xbox 360) Western game design over the last five years owes more to Shinji Mikami than anyone on this continent. “Resident Evil 4” (2005) popularized the third-person...

Musicians, celebrities attend final taping of Austin City Limits on campus

November 9, 2010

It’s the end of an era for Austin City Limits. Music fans and country singer Lyle Lovett met for the final taping Monday at Studio 6A on campus, the home of the longest-running music show...

Titles appeal to diverse audiences

November 3, 2010

Super Meat Boy - Xbox 360, Wii, PC, Mac If “Super Meat Boy” doesn’t give you an aneurysm, at the very least it will give you post-traumatic stress disorder. In what has to be one...

Local game developer praises Disney’s creative ‘Epic Mickey’

November 1, 2010

In a Nintendo press bus, with Donkey Kong’s and Mario’s faces painted on the sides, Warren Spector waits patiently. You may have had him as a professor for a radio-television-film class,...

Detective scares for a cause

October 29, 2010

After drawing the blinds and turning off the lights, the bus became silent as it took passengers to “Zombie Wasteland.” The bus became surrounded by screams from outside and moans of distant...

Video games provide little enjoyment, lack of polishing

October 27, 2010

“Castlevania: Lords of Shadow” (Xbox 360, PS3) “Castlevania’s” legacy is barely present in “Lords of Shadow,” which has turned out to be a good thing given...

FX brings hilariously tense ‘Louie’ to cable TV

September 7, 2010

The best comedy serves to soften the blow of tragedy. It’s why comedians such as Louis C.K. are still relevant in the YouTube era. We long to drunkenly laugh over someone’s misfortune while,...

One beat ’em up stands out while other disappoints

September 1, 2010

Shank [PC, Xbox 360, PS3] Modern beat ’em ups seem to serve no purpose other than to milk our nostalgia and remind us how repetitive games once were. “Shank,” however, is something...

Bamboo popularity grows with return of festival

August 30, 2010

Erroneously thought of as an Asian-specific plant, bamboo can grow anywhere and in any climate — even in a hot, Texas summer. The 18th Annual Texas Bamboo Festival, organized by the Texas...

Right ambience, visual style save summer games

August 25, 2010

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of news and reviews in the video-game industry. Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days [PS3, Xbox 360, PC] As with so many games, “Kane and Lynch...

Gamers anticipate fall releases

August 23, 2010

Summer is always unkind to gamers. The releases are few, the news is slow and everyone you usually play with is on vacation. Maybe it’s because of competition from Hollywood or marketing research,...

‘Red Steel’ flails; ‘Just Cause’ fails to fulfill mission

April 21, 2010

Just Cause 2 (Xbox 360/PS3/PC) For a sequel that no one asked for, “Just Cause 2” stands out among free-roaming action games in a way that the original didn’t. As...