Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants


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Review: Falling Skies: The Game

The skies are falling so I'd better point my gun upwards.

The skies are falling so I’d better point my gun upwards.

Generally, video game spinoffs of TV shows are not very good. Falling Skies is no exception. Falling Skies: The Game is a turn-based tactical shooter where you command members of the 2nd Mass in their fight against Espheni aliens across a grid-based map. In between missions, you also manage resources, train your soldiers and upgrade their weapons.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because this game is essentially a watered-down clone of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, with cheaper-looking graphics and shoddy animation. Frustrating camera angles also make it difficult to do simple tasks such as taking cover, so your minions are left standing next to cover and get attacked. Additionally, the voice acting is laughably bad: when attacked by enemies, one soldier astutely exclaims “Ow! That hurts!” in surprise. Next, he’ll be telling me that fire is hot. Continue reading


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The (Social) Justice League

ButtonsD&D

Amongst the hostility of current Gamergate debacle, there have been positive, creative and humorous responses. The Doubleclicks, for example, offered internet trolls their own love song. Nonadecimal developed asatirical battle game about arguing online. And this year, Sarah “Chip” Nixon brought 150 sets of social justice class buttons with her to GeekGirlCon. Continue reading


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This book should be required reading before you respond to someone on the internet

Ad hominem

Ad hominem

I’m going to try very hard to keep this general, but it should be almost immediately obvious how this relates to a very current and heated shitshow going on in the gaming world.

As a philosopher, it really makes me cringe when I see arguments comments like the following: “some particular person is not a real gamer. She is a horrible stupidhead and shouldn’t be saying anything about video games.”

Common sense would tell you that that’s just false. The fact that someone isn’t knowledgeable about a topic doesn’t mean they ought not to talk about it. Sure, they probably shouldn’t talk as if they are an authority on the issue, but that’s different. Interpreting this charitably, for instance, it might be that someone is trying to learn about a topic, and they can’t learn about it without talking about it. Think, for example, about how hard it would be to understand quantum mechanics if you couldn’t discuss quantum mechanics. Continue reading


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Review: Shelter

shelter2

Shelter is part parable about the cruelty of nature, and part parenting sim. You play a mother badger guiding her cubs across a vast wilderness fraught with danger. You cannot control the cubs, but they waddle alongside you, and it is up to you protect them from dangers such as wildfires, starvation, raging rivers and other predators. Continue reading


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The Sand Snakes: What’s with Nipples on Armor?

Snakes1As any good GoT fan knows, the Sand Snakes are the bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, who met his demise at the end of Season 4. After the death of their father at the hands of the Mountain, the oldest of the Sand Snakes, Obara, Nymeria and Tyene, take action to declare war in retribution.

A few days ago, Watchers on the Wall revealed the first images of the Sand Snakes on location in Seville. They have reportedly been filming a fight scene.

Two things immediately came to mind:Snake-Whip

1. Why do they all look the same?

2. Why are their nipples on their chest armor? Continue reading


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UPDATED: Marvel’s Avengers 2 Trailer is Here!

cap_shield_broken_ultron

Marvel planned to debut the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer during Agents of SHIELD next Tuesday, but it looks like the trailer has leaked online. It’s since been taken down, but not before it was posted elsewhere. The trailer can be found here, albeit in rather poor quality.

A few things to look out for in the trailer:

  • Iron Man in the Hulkbuster suit
  • Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver
  • Captain America’s broken shield
  • Thor picks Iron Man up by the throat… what? (Also, Hulk then fights with Iron Man… also what?)

Continue reading


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Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Come Mr. Talion, Tally Me Banana

Come Mr. Talion, Tally Me Banana

You know the old saying: One does not simply walk into Mordor.

…Unless your name is Talion and you’re a ranger on a revenge kick and have a powerful elf wraith by your side.

Click here for my review of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, written for Short Game Review.