I don’t remember the exact situation I was in when I first saw the face, but I was surprised. I was playing Doom on a crappy Dell computer at the time. I was no older than 10. What was that? Why did the Doomguy look like he had just stepped on a LEGO brick with his barefoot?
I don’t even know if that was the first time I saw it or just the first time I was able to notice his small face change into something I didn’t know about. Years later, I found out what this face is, why it is so rare and how it works.
In the classic Doom games, the player can see their health, ammo and armor on a status bar located at the bottom of the screen. Also included on this bar is a small face which is a visual depiction of the Doomguy. As you take more damage, the Doomguy gets covered in blood. The face will also smile and look around as you play. It even changes if you activate the god mode cheat, gaining glowing yellow eyes.
Most players will see a lot of these different faces as they play through Doom. However, the ouch face is rare and when the game first was released, players weren’t sure what was happening. Many weren’t even seeing it. Some believed it was a totally random occurrence.
However, once Doom’s source code was released by id Software in the late 90s, players discovered what was going on. The ouch face is so rare because of a programming error.
Players found in the codethat the face should show up whenever a player takes more than 20 damage, which isn’t a very rare event in Doom. But the code controlling when the face appears was written incorrectly. Instead, the face only shows up when the player gains 20 health or more while at the same time taking damage. This is much rarer, usually only happening when a player picks up a large health item while getting attacked by more powerful enemies.
There are ways to easy see the face. One of the most reliable ways to see the ouch face is to stand on a floor that does damage and then enter the god mode cheat code, iddqd. After doing this, the player gains more than 20 health while taking damage and results in the ouch face popping up.
The ouch face has become a bit of meme in the years following Doom’s release. For example, it can be found in Doom 3 on an in-game magazine.
In various ports of Doom the ouch face has been made easier to see. In the Playstation 1 port of Doom, the ouch face commonly occurs when the player takes damage from behind. Some source ports like ZDoom have actually fixed the bug, making the face appear more often in gameplay.
The closed-but-not-if-you-preorder-the-game beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 gets going on Thursday, Feb. 7 (through Sunday, Feb. 10) and if you’re in, it sounds like it’ll serve a slice showing all the layers of the final game, including endgame stuff.
That means the three specializations, which unlock at level 30 in the full game, will be playable in the beta a day after it begins (on all platforms). On Friday, Feb. 8 beginning at 11 a.m. ET, players will be able to take on an “Invaded” mission, using a character at the level 30 cap. That will show them how The Division 2’s three specializations — survivalist (all-rounder), sharpshooter (sniper) and demolitionist (blow stuff up) — work.
The “invaded” mission sounds like what was explained to us as an “occupied” Dark Zone, during a media event back in December. Massive Entertainment and Red Storm Entertainment envision one of the three Dark Zones will get overrun in the endgame. In an occupied zone, there will be no normalization of weapon stats (among human players), friendly fire is on at all times, and there’s no way to tell who is a friendly agent and who has gone Rogue (hostile).
Otherwise, player progression in the rest of the beta will be capped at level 7 and will be limited to the eastern portion of The Division 2’s map. Players will be able to try out two main missions, playable at three difficulties; five side missions and other encounters in the open world; one of the Dark Zones; and PvP gameplay in the 4-on-4 Skirmish mode.
I’m always tired of people complaining about the zombie genre being overdone and unoriginal. Sure, there are many zombie movies and TV shows seemingly being all the time. The Walking Dead certainly made audiences very accustomed to its type of zombie drama, while Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland make every other zombie comedy, or “zom-com”, play catch-up. But every once in a while we get a zombie film that defies what we know of the genre and dares audiences to call the zombie movie dead. Last year we got Korean period piece Rampant, and Scottish Christmas musical comedy Anna and the Apocalypse. This year it is Australian filmmaker Abe Forsythe who shows us just how little we’ve actually done with the undead and injects the genre with his own mix of humor, heart, and Taylor Swift songs played on a ukulele.
Little Monsters begins by convincing us that its protagonist, Dave (Alexander England), is not a good person. After a brutal breakup, this Aussie slacker and former frontman for death metal band God’s Sledgehammer ends up crashing on the couch at his sister Sara’s (Nadia Townsend) place, where he spends most of his time playing Left 4 Dead II, masturbating to virtual reality, and being a terrible influence to his 5-year-old nephew Felix (Diesel La Torraca). Dave soon finds a reason to get off the couch after he meets Felix’s kindergarten teacher, the delightful, ukulele-playing, singing-voice-of-an-angel Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o). One look is enough to make Dave sign up to chaperone the kindergarten field trip to a petting zoo/mini-golf course called Pleasant Valley Farm, in an effort to appear as a nice guy–but mostly to try and get into Miss Caroline’s pants. While at the Farm, they also run across Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad), an alcoholic, egocentric, sex-addicted TV host for a children’s show who is just a few pitches higher than Krusty the Clown.
Little do they know that their fun day of animal petting, tractor riding and mini-golf is going to be interrupted by a literal zombie attack. You see, Pleasant Valley Farm is next to a facility run by the US Army, where they have apparently let loose a few zombies in the past. Forsythe, who wrote and directed the film, wastes no time in following a long tradition of using zombies as a metaphor for humanity’s foolishness, in this case, the US military interfering with other countries in one way or another. Unfortunately, the commentary doesn’t go deeper than “military grunts are bad,” and the zombie make-up stops at “let’s make them look pale white.”
As soon as the zombies start killing the employees and visitors of the petting zoo, Forsythe reveals his plan to make Little Monsters one of the most special zombie movies in years. In a move that is both a love letter to the kindergarten teachers who inspired and nurtured us, and also reminds of Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful, most of the film involves Miss Caroline’s efforts to keep the children free from trauma and the knowledge that those are real human intestines being eaten. Indeed, she will stop at nothing to shield her kids, and will use every children’s game and song available to do her job, from avoiding getting eaten (by playing tag), or avoid seeing something awful (“one, two, three, eyes on me!”), to distract them by doing a conga line so they don’t get lost in the middle of a zombie-infected zoo, or playing Taylor Swift on the ukulele (good luck getting “Shake it Off” out of your head).
Little Monsters would not work if it wasn’t for Forsythe’s tight script and an excellent eye for emotion. Whether it’s the fear in the adults as they run out of options, the moments of levity as Dave does something stupid or foul-mouthed, or just the adorable Max (Charlie Whitley) getting anxious and angry over the lack of putt-putt golf he was promised, the camera always captures the raw emotion to the point where you are constantly laughing before feeling warm in your heart.
The entire cast is game for whatever new silly thing the movie does. La Torraca will warm your heart as often as he breaks it, and he has the best homage to Darth Vader in decades. Josh Gad does a great job returning to his roots and playing the arrogant self-absorbing jerk who doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and also is hilarious at it. Gad also makes for a perfect contrast foil to England’s Dave, who convincingly sells his journey from mean-spirited jerk to selfless hero. Without a doubt, the standout performance of the film goes to Nyong’o as Miss Caroline. Not only does she excel at playing Caroline’s sweet nature and love for her class, but she also doesn’t hide the fact that she is a complete badass. She is not afraid to get bloody and mercilessly decapitate zombies left and right, even if she does it with the care of a kindergarten teacher.
Zombie-comedies are nothing new, but Little Monsters stands out by not only providing great laughs but being infectiously adorable. Its slapstick humor will be enough to lure audiences in, but its goodwill and heart of gold will leave you with a huge grin on your face hours after you leave the theater.
This afternoon, I went to a concert in Fortnite. I don’t entirely know what I was just part of, but I think I loved it?
Earlier this week, dataminers found hints of a possible in-game set by electronic music DJ Marshmello, who is known for wearing a white suit and a white, marshmellow-like mask. The musician eventually announced the event, including putting Fortnite location Pleasant Park on his tour schedule.
Marshmello is no stranger to Fortnite, having played with Ninja at E3. While this event made sense for a game that embraces celebrities and in-game events, it made no sense to me, an old man whose last live concert was a reunion tour for 90s punk/emo band Jawbreaker that annoyed me for not starting until 9:30pm. I thought EDM musicians who wear funny masks was a joke invented for The Good Place. Fellow old man Luke Plunkett and I scratched our heads as our younger, cooler colleagues explained who Marshmello was to us over Slack, and even as I sighed at the whole idea and grimaced through a few of his videos on YouTube, I knew I had to check it out.
Developer Epic Games seems to have done some good planning for the event, announcing policies for streamers and disabling weapons during the concert to prevent players from killing each other. A little before 2pm Eastern, I jumped into the only available mode besides Creative, which is called Showtime, and followed my squad to the flashing lights of Pleasant Park. The Showtime mode is a team-based mode with respawn where teams have to beat each other to 200 eliminations. But when I arrived at the arena, which has been being built in Fortnite all week, all I could do was watch the show.
When the pre-show countdown ended, a glowing yellow light appeared on the stage, and eventually Marshmello blipped in behind his turntables. This was anti-climactic: Fortnite has released a Marshmello skin that mimics the musician’s trademark look, and a lot of players were wearing it. When the star of the show arrived, he was met by a horde of clones of himself. But there was something cool about it too, like he was just another player, or like every player could be him. Pre-recorded cheering played, and Marshmello shouted, “Let me see everybody moving!” The set began, the screen behind Marshmello exploding with light and colors as electronic music played.
The most awkward but also most endearing part, for me, was Marshmello’s efforts to interact with the crowd. He encouraged players to dance, clap, and find their squads. He called us “Pleasant” the way a musician would shout out a real-world location, and I felt an unexpected sense of hometown pride, even though I have no strong feelings about Fortnite’s world besides the places least likely to get me killed. When Marshmello encouraged us to jump, the gravity in Pleasant Park swapped, catapulting me toward the stage in a trippy moment that would be impossible in the real world. “I want to see everyone doing their favorite emote right now!” Marshmello shouted later, not sounding at all awkward, and I found myself playing along so I didn’t look like a spoilsport.
As far as I could tell players couldn’t get behind Marshmello’s virtual set-up, but there was a still a crowd of identical Marshmellos crammed as close as they could get to his avatar, dancing away. As the show went on, giant smiley face balls filled the arena for us to bounce with our pickaxes. Holographic Cuddle Team Leaders and Marshmellos danced atop the stage and morphed around the arena. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, whether because there was nothing else to do or because they were actually enjoying it.
Reader, I’m shocked and thrilled to say I enjoyed it too. The show was so hilarious, so strange and joyful in the way that Fortnite is, with goofily-dressed people doing their goofy moves and building towers into the sky. The music, God help me, was catchy as hell, and I even emote-danced along of my own volition. Marshmello referred repeatedly to “making history,” which could refer to either the size of the audience on their servers around the world or the idea of a concert in a video game. And it did feel special. From the crowd to the choice of star, the show felt like something that would only happen in Fortnite, but it wasn’t locked behind a paywall, level cap, or the need to own a certain brand of hardware. The fact that so many people of all ages and gaming skills could share in the moment together made it feel, paradoxically, precious.
When the set ended, I was catapulted into the sky, where I fell back into the Showtime match. I landed near one of Fortnite’s giant pianos, which I’ve been needing to find to complete a challenge. As I puzzled over the music notes I needed to tap out, another player landed behind me and shotgunned me. I respawned, and Fortnite went on being Fortnite. I got back to the business of eliminating the other team, with the beats from the show still ringing in my head.
Update: 4:31pm—According to an in-game loading screen (and now a tweet by Marshmello), there will be an encore performance at 2am Eastern.
The world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is large. Though after you spend enough time running around the deserts and swamps of RDR2, you might want to take a vacation. Maybe go visit a new exotic land? Some crafty players have figured out how to do just that and all it takes is a canoe and some patience.
If you haven’t beaten RDR2 yet, the location players are visiting might be a spoiler.
So you want to leave The West behind for a bit and go somewhere a little more tropical? Basment Gamer Bros has a simple and short video showing players how to escape the world in just a small boat.
You will first need to trick the game into thinking you even deserve your little tropical vacation. To do this, you’ll have to use a different glitch to leave the playable map of RDR2. Nobody said this trip was going to be easy.
Once you’ve activated this first glitch, you’ll have to head south for a bit until you get a notification that you have entered Guarma. However, if you look around you will notice you are not on a fictional Cuban island, but still very much in The Wild West. That’s okay, this is all part of the process!
The next step is to turn around and head north towards the Lannahechee River.
At the river you should find some canoes. “Borrow” one of these small boats and start paddling north up the river. This is going to take some time, so maybe grab a drink or a snack.
Today saw bizarre new ground broken in the world of live concert spectacles. Marshmello, known D.J. and EDM artist, hosted a live concert within the confines of a video game. Fortnite was of course the venue, specifically Fortnite’s Pleasant Park.
The concert lasted about 10 minutes, and featured a small handful of Marshmello’s most well-known songs, including “Happier” and “Alone.” The songs were blasted through the in-game audio, removing all player sound for a cleaner experience.
Throughout the concert, Marshmello was represented by an in-game avatar (dressed as Marshmello, of course), that was synced with his actual movements. The artist performed the short set in a full motion-capture studio, so that every fist bump and clap could be represented in game.
Adding to the spectacle, there were various in-game events that occurred throughout the concert, sending players into zero gravity or causing massive yellow balls to appear from the sky.
Once it was all over, the concert-goers were teleported into the air and proceeded to kill one another upon landing.
How many bowling games do you think have been made? I looked around and via the Giant Bomb wiki it seems like there have been almost 100 bowling games or games that include bowling mini games. Which seems like a lot. How many different versions of bowling games does the world need?
It seems like the first bowling video game released was simply called Bowling. It was released in 1977 and was a built in-game playable on the RCA Studio II. The visuals could be described as simple.
The 80s saw an explosion of bowling video games. Maybe this is because video games didn’t exist and suddenly they did exist and big companies wanted games. Bowling probably seemed easy to make. I can see a older CEO who doesn’t know much about video games, probably smoking a big cigar, yelling out to some developers to make bowling games. “They only got some pins, some balls and one person. I want it made by tomorrow.”
PBA Bowling in 1982 wasn’t for amateurs. This was professional bowling. This was one of the first bowling games to use the PBA, Professional Bowlers Association, license. This is like the Madden of bowling games.
3-D Bowling isn’t really 3D at all. Instead this bowling game uses similar visuals to PBA Bowling, but now players can see both the pins and the player at the same time. This doesn’t seem like a big deal today and I imagine it wasn’t a big deal back then. 3-D Bowling was released on the Emerson Arcadia 2001 which was a console that only lasted 18 months and only had 35 games released for it.
The 80s was filled with a lot of boring looking bowling games. The 90s changed this trend and we started getting some more exciting bowling games. Like League Bowling from SNK, which was released in 1991. This bowling game allowed two players to bowl at the same time and featured colorful and fun visuals.
Here’s something odd: There were two bowling games released for Nintendo’s failed handheld Virtual Boy console. In total the Virtual Boy only had 22 games ever released for it, which means bowling games make up 9% of the entire library. On an unrelated note, the Virtual Boy was a massive failure and was quickly discontinued. That probably wasn’t because 9% of games released for it were bowling related. Probably.
One of the earliest attempts at making a truly polygonal 3D bowling game was released in 1998. AMF Pro Bowl 3D doesn’t seem to have been a popular game. On all of YouTube I can only find one gameplay video of the game, recorded off a screen. It doesn’t look very good, the game I mean. The video is fine and honestly I’m thankful that at least one person on Earth decided to record some footage of AMF Pro Bowl 3D. Thanks, Oshy.
Released the same year as AMF Pro Bowl 3D, Milo’s Astro Lanes was an N64 game that took bowling into the 22nd century. Finally, bowling in space. The game featured aliens, exotic planets and let you bowl near a volcano. Though bowling purists might not like the power-ups placed on the lane. Or the fact that you don’t seem to be using a regulation ball, but instead a sphere of electrical energy. The future is weird.
The 2000’s also saw the rise of a bowling juggernaut. A franchise that spans 8 games. The Elf Bowling franchise started in 1998, though its many sequels would mostly be released between 1999 and 2006. The list of the entire franchise:
Of course the Wii saw a lot of bowling games released on the console. After how successful Wii Sports was, many tried to bring bowling to the motion controlled console. It makes sense, bowling is like the perfect sport for the Wii.
I remember my grandparents bought a Wii just so they could play Wii Sports and the game they played the most was easily bowling. You don’t really have to teach people how to play it. Can your throw a bowling ball? Congratulations. You already know everything you need to know to play bowling in Wii Sports.
The last few years has seen a bunch of games include bowling as a mini-game, like GTA IV’s infamous bowling mini-game. Yakuza 0 also has bowling in it, though their bowling alley will award you a chicken if you do well enough, which is honestly a great innovation in bowling game history.
Sadly, while bowling has appeared in newer games we haven’t received many dedicated bowling games for PS4 or Xbox One. These days, bowling games are popular on mobile devices and maybe that is where all the bowling games will live for now on.
Bowling and golf games occupy similar parts of my brain. I don’t really enjoy playing either in real life, but I’m always down for some digital pins and balls.
A new Titanfall spinoff is in the works, and it’ll be out sooner than anyone could possibly guess. In fact, internet rumors (and word from our own sources) suggests that it’ll be out this Monday.
The game isn’t officially announced just yet, but word leaked out this morning thanks to esports journalist Rod Breslau. As Breslau reported today, it’s called Apex Legends and will be out on Monday for PC, Xbox, and PS4. It’s a free-to-play battle royale that, interestingly, won’t let you use the Titan mech suits that make Titanfall so iconic. You’ll have supernatural MOBA-like hero abilities and play either solo or in a team of three as you battle other players for delicious chicken dinners.
We’ve heard all of those same details. A tipster sent me some info about Apex Legends early last month—“It plays like Titanfall mixed with Overwatch and Blackout from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” they told me at the time—and from what we’ve heard, publisher EA held an event for streamers and YouTubers this week to show off the game, which is likely how the news leaked.
Here’s another interesting tidbit: As I was reporting on EA’s purchase of Titanfall developer Respawn in the fall of 2017—a move that was forced by a Nexon bid for the studio and may have been directly connected to the closure of Visceral—I heard from a Respawn source that Titanfall 3 was well into development and that the studio had been looking to release it by the end of 2018. The rationale, that source said, was that the game’s underlying technology was starting to feel dated and that Titanfall 3 might not feel or look as good if it came out too much later. (Like the previous two Titanfall games, Titanfall 3 used a modified version of Valve’s Source engine.)
Perhaps the studio decided to switch engines for Titanfall 3, releasing Apex Legends (which is also reportedly on Source) as a stopgap as it pushed back the release of a proper third Titanfall game. Or perhaps the work Respawn had done for Titanfall 3 wound up evolving into this spinoff game. No matter what, the third Titanfall appears to be way down the road.
Expect Apex Legends to be announced very soon, perhaps tomorrow at the Super Bowl or on Monday as a not-so-much-of-a-surprise reveal. This will be the first of two games Respawn has planned for this year, in addition to Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, which is slated to come out in the fall.
The Final Fantasy 14 Fan Festival is in full swing in Paris, and producer Naoki Yoshida held a keynote giving players tons of details about the upcoming expansion, Shadowbringers.
A lot was announced during Yoshida’s keynote, including talks of a new job, a look at the upcoming Viera race, and more. Here’s a round-up of the most important parts.
A new extended trailer dropped
At the North American Fan Festival in Las Vegas back in November, we got to see the first trailer for Shadowbringers, but this extended version shows off some of our favorite characters and what they’ve been up to, as well as new outfits for the crew.
Gunbreaker is the new tank job
Gunbreaker is the name of one of the new jobs coming to Shadowbringers and it’s a gunblade-welding tank class. The job should start at level 60 in Gridinia, but Yoshida notes that this might change before release.
The new alliance raid will be a collaboration with NieR: Automata
Alliance raids aren’t shy about shouting out to other Final Fantasy games, but the next one coming in Shadowbringers will bring NieR: Automata to the game. Not too many details about the raid content were revealed, but here’s hoping it drops us cool 2B-like armor.
The expansion releases July 2, 2019
Players will be able to pre-order the game on Feb. 6. Players who pre-order will be allowed to participate in early access on June 28. Pre-ordered copies also come with a special Baby Gremlin minion and an earring that gives you 30 percent bonus experiences up to level 70.
The Viera race was revealed
We all knew Viera was going to be the race hinted at during the 2019 Las Vegas Fan Fest. Fran, of Final Fantasy 12, was added a NPC in game. However, this is the first look at what the customizable rabbit folk will look like, in their signature outfits. No male Viera have been shown, however.