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What a Year!
2013
A Year In Review

By Jorge Figueiredo - December 31st, 2013

tlou-1
The images in this article are 100% recycled from other articles. We care about the environment.

It has been quite a year here around the offices of Toronto Thumbs. Honestly, this has probably been our busiest year yet! 2013 was a year full of firsts for us, and we hope that you have enjoyed the ride! It has been pretty damned busy as of late, and a few things have contributed to some delays in the review schedule – so the beginning of 2014 is going to bring a slew of Xbox One and Playstation 4 game reviews. In the mean time, it’s party night! So let’s take a peek and see what kind of craziness happened over the last 365 days…

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From the Archives
Assassin’s Creed III: UbiWorkshop Edition

By Jorge Figueiredo - February 5th, 2013

AC3 UbiWorkshop Edition
Click the pic to open up the Assassin’s Creed III: UbiWorkshop Edition gallery.

Last year, when I found out that UbiWorkshop was going to have its own edition for Assassin’s Creed III, I took a deep breath and then shouted my approval to the sky. My neighbours thought I was crazy – but let me tell you: the excitement was justified. I played Assassin’s Creed III all the way through and only then I allowed myself to check out the set in its entirety. I’m not sure if there are many left; but if you are an Assassin’s Creed fan, you would do well to grab this edition. The second edition of the Assassin’s Creed encyclopedia alone is well worth the price of admission. Click the pic above to check out the unboxing.


FanExpo 2010
V for Five-detta – The People

By Jorge Figueiredo - September 2nd, 2010

FX5-0

I have been to a Star Trek convention before (Shaddap! I can hear you laughing), and I can say without hesitation that one of the best parts of any convention with rabid fans would be the costumes. The amount of work people put into these outfits is incredible, as is their ability to remain in character all day.

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Syd-Tacular!
Mr. Bolton Goes To FanExpo

By Jorge Figueiredo - August 11th, 2010

FanExpoSyd

Syd Bolton, curator of Brantford’s Personal Computer Museum, will take the mic with Victor Lucas and Scott Jones to talk about the history of video games! The panel will discuss where video games have been, where they are, and where they are going, and promises to be full of knowledge and good times!

If you can make it out to FanExpo at the end of August (specifically, August 29th at 11 AM), then don’t miss out!


Pushin’ It Old Skool

By Jorge Figueiredo - September 19th, 2009

Force Mod III

If I was to list my all-time favourite online gaming experiences, it is a solid guarantee that Force Mod III with Shaun and the guys would be close to (if not at) the top of the list. Force Mod III is an add-on to Lucasarts’ Jedi Academy (Based on the Quake III arena engine). This game used to be one of our go-to games for online play. It runs smoothly on modern PCs and has a robust internet multiplayer set-up.

The single-player mode of Jedi Academy was somewhat laughable and boring due to the sketchy AI of the NPCs. However, the nice thing about the campaign was that you started out with your lightsaber right away. Jedi Academy was also great because Raven had their own SDK extension added to the Quake III Arena code. The engine produced the Star Wars atmosphere quite accurately.

Even though I didn’t like the single-player mode very much, the multi-player mode was worth the price of admission. Allowing you to use your saber and Force powers, the game redefined the death match, allowing you Force-push your enemies off cliffs, causing them to rethink their approaches. This iteration of the series also allowed you to use two blades, or a double-ended blade (à la Darth Maul), which was another welcomed feature. On top of this, there were a variety of Force powers available to the player, allowing you to tailor your character a little. You could add levels to various alignment-based Force powers and such. Very exciting stuff.

Force Mod III took all of the good from Jedi Academy and made it better. It added multiple classes of Jedi and Sith, extended Force powers, different light saber styles and many other playable classes (Wookiee, anyone?). Some characters like bounty hunters could use grappling hooks, while others could use rocket packs. It is one of the best mods you can get for Jedi Academy.

Why did I start thinking about this game again, after several years of inactivity? Well, Steam is offering Jedi Academy for $9.99. I would highly recommend that you get a copy from steam and download Force Mod. I have encouraged some friends to get this game so that we can resurrect some of our awesome battles (these usually involving me pushing Aggies off of a cliff). If there’s enough interest (let me know in the forums), maybe we can set something up soon!


E3 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled

By Shaun Hatton - June 2nd, 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled

With every gaming site going out of its way to cover E3, I figure that many of you are probably checking out those bigger networks for information. Therefore instead of mildly re-capping what we have all seen in the press conferences today and yesterday, I thought I might spend some time to write about a game that hasn’t gotten attention in the press conferences but is one I’m looking forward to.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled
will be made available over Xbox LIVE Arcade on July 22, with a PlayStation Network version dropping later in the year.

You might remember the previous home console version of this game on the Super Nintendo. In fact, it’s a game I still sometimes lament not owning. In the days of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, I rented Turtles in Time no less than three, but no more than eight times. The exact number is something I have no recollection of, but I do distinctly recall finishing the game in one sitting every time I rented it.

What kept me coming back to it? Mostly, it was the fact that I really loved TMNT. I loved it to the point that it was detrimental to my social development as a teenager. While classmates were busy checking out each other, I was busy fantasizing about being an actual ninja. I even had outfits that I would wear and practice my Tae Kwon-Do in. I still remember every lyric to the song “Turtle Power” by the somewhat pansy rap crew Partners in Kryme.

I’ve grown up since those early days of Turtle Fandom, and I’ve fallen out of touch with where the franchise was headed in its many incarnations since the 1980s cartoon. But I still hold a fond emotional attachment to them, if only on a superficial level. When news of this XBLA re-vamp of the game first surfaced on the Ninja Pizza blog, the blurry shots of gameplay were enough to make me extremely excited about the possibility of this game actually existing. Now that Ubisoft has confirmed it, I’m ecstatic.

It’s been years since I last played Turtles in Time, and since I never did play its arcade equivalent, I’m looking forward to shelling out the ninja action with three friends crammed into my living room. The game was Konami’s best-selling arcade title when it debuted in 1991, and I’m curious to see how well it does when it hits the download services this year.

In the meantime, the game is touring via the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party Bus national tour, which so far is only hitting ten cities in the US. If anyone needs me for the rest of the day, I’ll be playing the existing TMNT game on XBLA. Cowabunga!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled gallery »


PRINCE OF PERSIA
PoP Art!

By Shaun Hatton - December 5th, 2008

PoP Art

I put this image together after seeing 4 Color Rebellion’s Jody Anthony refer to the art of Prince of Persia as “PoP Art.”