Sunday Time Waster: Want to Buy Some Boots?

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Come on, who doesn’t like boots?

You may have noticed that the blog has been infiltrated by spam about buying some boots or jackets or other such nonsense. I have been diligent about deleting these posts and blocking the “users” which I assume are bots. Danielle is Queen Drupal so I’m going to put her on the case to try to fix this. We’re not going to stop allowing user comments regardless and I want to make posting comments as easy as possible. I despise those “type in the wavy letters you can’t read to log in” interfaces so I hope we don’t have to do that. I just don’t know enough about it to fix it myself so if anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears.

We do have a few other ideas peculating about the site, though…and I discovered Email!

The Google banner ads, I think, are about as non-intrusive as we can make them. I don’t even notice them, honestly, tucked down at the bottom of the pages as they are.

I want to thank everyone for sending in comments about ads, banners, and the like. It helped us a great deal. We are planning on creating a static “we recommended you buy this stuff” page which will be full of Amazon links. Brandon signed us up for the Amazon Affiliate Program. Of course you guys are free to shop wherever you want but we’ll try and pepper that page with items we all personally recommend and not random “buy some boots” links. Boardgames and PC games and console games of all stripes will be there and since it’s going to be a separate page, it shouldn’t get in the way of the front page content, which is very important to all of us. The front page of No High Scores will never be crammed with ads and buy it links. I hate that crap as much as you guys do.

We are discussing the idea of making a Cafe Press or Zazzle page, as well. If for no other reason than I’d like a No High Scores coffee mug.

Ah yes, my email discovery. Woo hoo!

For the longest time I have been checking my NHS email, thinking it was my own but instead it has been our Admin email. Upon discovering this I:

1) Felt stupid
2) Felt relieved that I may have more email than bounced back failed registration messages

Turns out that was the case. I’m going through the email this week and will reply to everyone that sent messages. Sorry about the delay — I wasn’t ignoring you.

Additionally, if you tried to register for the site and never got a password email in return it is likely in my admin Inbox. I helped one user this week fix this so if you are having issues send me an email and I’ll send you the needed password info. At last count I had about 10 of these.

Finally, we have another contest coming this week. I’m not sure how much you’ll LIKE this one, but it’s still free stuff so stop your complaining!

Finally for real this time, I want to thank everyone for sticking around these past 30 days. The site is proving more successful out of the gate than we ever expected, and while the outside referrals from sites like Penny Arcade, Dubious Quality, Flash of Steel and Quarter to Three have helped immeasurably, we have retained a lot of those users which is pretty rare in Internetland and I cannot express to each of you how much I personally appreciate that. We are steadily building a cool community here and that means a lot to each of us.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Choose Your Own Adventure Trailer

One of the best things about Deus Ex was the ability to accomplish your goals via stealth or violence or technical trickery. Other RPG’s have tried since, but it usually comes down to doing the mission with unspeakable violence with a sprinkling of hacking or sneaking around. This latest Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer, courtesy of GameSpot, shows a level being played three different ways, in line with their “multi-path, multi-solution gameplay.” Obviously it’s easy to build one level that shows well and isn’t exactly indicative of the final product, but at least there’s hope for an RPG experience that caters to people like me who choose to let the turrets and roaming DeathSentries do all of their dirty work for them.

Seen at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Darkspore Delayed; My Daughter Cries

So, yeah, my daughter is bummed. She’s a huge SPORE fan and the idea of Darkspore is right up her alley and she was all pumped to get skull cracking with her creation but now EA and Maxis have delayed the game until April per the Darkspore forums:

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the Darkspore beta! We’ve received really positive feedback about the game, as well as some suggestions of things you’d like to see. We’re really close, but in order to make the best game possible, the team has decided to take additional time to incorporate more of your feedback. Darkspore will now be available in NA April 26 and across EU/APAC beginning April 28. The beta will not be available this weekend, but we’re excited to announce that we’ll have more betas where you’ll have a chance to experience new game updates. We’re also planning an open beta for everyone in April, so you can invite any friends to play with you to check out the game and have the opportunity to provide further feedback. Thanks again for your support, and we’ll see you in the game!

Thanks Blue.

For more info check out the Darkspore home page:

Some cool videos on that site if you haven’t checked them out.

Duke Nukem Forever PAX Trailer

Sorry about the pre-trailer ads on this one.

Not going to lie, this does little for me. I was never a big time Duke fan regardless even back when he was relevant to gamers and today this just looks — tired. Definitely a “wait and see” game for me as I won’t be reviewing this one myself.

Flying Frog Announces Fortune and Glory, Barnes Heckles

Ok, so this is hardly an impartial product announcement because I’m not a big Flying Frog Production fan. Last Night on Earth was accessible and fun for a couple of sessions but it was also shallow and I hate “cheesy” horror movie spoofs presented by folks who have no clue what horror movies are actually like. A Touch of Evil had a cool, Colonial horror theme and derivative gameplay, but it wasn’t terrible. Then they released some circus clowns versus aliens game, and I was done with them. I abhor their “hey, here’s my family and friends duded up in costumes we got at Party City” schtick, and the above cover should be a source of embarssment for all involved. It’s stuff like this that makes board games look silly and off-putting.

If you’re going to do this, at least do it right. And don’t put some guy that works at the comic shop that looks like a baby-faced nephew of Slayer’s Kerry King front-and-center as (I presume) “Dr. Zhukov”.

Anyway, following is their press release in case you’re interested. I’m not. But hey, any press is good press, right?

It is the late 1930′s and the world is in turmoil. Humanity is on the brink of war as imperialist nations in the Far East and Europe work aggressively to expand their domination. The Nazis have taken control of Germany and now spread darkness across the globe in their hunt for powerful occult artifacts that can give them the upper hand in the days to come. But the spirit of adventure and freedom won’t be stamped out so easily.

Heroicadventurers from around the world answer the call, racing against time to hunt down ancient artifacts, explore deadly temples, and fight back the powers of darkness from engulfing the world in flames. It is a race of good versus evil and only a cunning and agile explorer can claim the ultimateprize of… Fortune and Glory!

Fortune and Glory, The Cliffhanger Game is a fast-paced game of high adventure, vile villains, edge-of-your-seat danger, and cliffhanger pulp movie action. Players take on the role of a treasure hunter, traveling the globe in search of ancient artifacts and fending off danger and villains at every turn in a quest for the ultimate reward of fortune and glory!

Featuring a beautifully rendered adventure map of the world as the game board, eight pulp adventure heroes to choose from (such as Jake Zane the Flying Ace, Li Mei Chen the Night Club Singer and Martial Artist, or Dr. Zhukov Master of Science), an army of ruthless villains and thugs (including the Chicago Mob and the dreaded occult-hunting Nazis), ancient Mayan temples to explore with a zeppelin hovering overhead, a wealth of coins to horde as heroes collect fortune and glory throughout the game, and a unique mechanism of dangers to overcome and the classic cliffhanger moments of suspense that can result. Fortune and Glory is designed to create a pulp serial cinematic feel as the story and game unfolds.

So strap on your adventure boots and goggles, fire up the engines on the seaplane, and grab some extra ammo for your revolver…the Nazis already have a head start and in this race for fortune and glory, there’s no prize for second place!

Crysis 2 Trailer and Interview

That’s a PC trailer, by the way. Looks rather slick.

In addition, we have an interview posted today at the Mothership with Producer Nathan Camarillo who turns out wasn’t all to thrilled with that build leak a while back. DRM might be in Crysis’ future?

Looks like it.

More Stacking Coming: The Lost Hobo King Announced

Danielle is our resident Stacking lover so she’ll be pumped over this news from THQ as the company is planning the ‘early April’ release of The Lost Hobo King expansion.

PR Details from the ancient hobo mystics:

In The Lost Hobo King, Charlie Blackmore travels to the kingdom of Camelfoot to help his hobo friend Levi with an important family matter. Levi’s uncle Rufus, heir to the throne of Hobo, may only take his rightful place if the lost crown can be found. To recover the fragmented crown, Charlie must use his talents to overcome several tests of valor left by the ancient hobo mystics. It is only then that the ancient crown can be re-forged, Rufus crowned, and the fractured hobo people united under one sardine.

The Lost Hobo King downloadable pack extends the Stacking experience with features that include:

· An all-new storyline sprinkled with(written by the people at Double Fine) signature charm
· A fully realized (new) environment to explore – the lost hobo kingdom of Camelfoot;
· Several new challenges, each with multiple solutions;
· More than 15 new unique dolls, each with new abilities;
· New achievements and trophies to earn.

Final Mass Effect 2 DLC on 3/29

No High Scores

Remember when BioWare said that DLC for Mass Effect 2 would set the stage for Mass Effect 3? Turns out they were right! The Arrival, the final piece of the Mass Effect 2 DLC puzzle drops on March 29th and has Commander Shepard heading out to the edge of the galaxy to find an undercover agent that may have evidence of a Reaper invasion. You know, the invasion we already know about because they showed it to us at the end of Mass Effect 2. Hrm.

Aaaaaaany way, the final pack features the return of Lance Henrikson, which is always a good thing. We could all use a little Lance Henrikson in our lives. The pack will cost you 560 Microsoft space bucks, 560 BioWare Ferelden bucks or $6.99 in normal, Earth currency.

BattleBlock Theater Opening Movie

The opening cinematic for BattleBlock Theater is absolutely awesome. BattleBlock Theater is from The Behemoth, they of Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers fame. The game is a crazy mix of 4 player co-op, shooting, platforming and general mayhem as prisoners are forced to navigate crazy levels for the enjoyment of giant cats. Giant cats in equally giant top hats.

Don't Shoot the Food – Homefront Edition

No High Scores

Welcome to Don’t Shoot the Food, a semi-regular series where I combine my love of gaming with my love of cooking and eating.

With Homefront out this week, I thought I was going to do a tasty Korean barbecue recipe. Then my dumbass squad mate used the phrase to describe a KPA soldier that was burning to death. After that, the idea of Korean barbecue didn’t sound so good. Jerk. Luckily I still had something in my bag of tricks, although I’m not sure it sounds much better. On to the food!

So I have all of these cookbooks that I picked up just for one or two recipes. Hardly cost effective, but usually the one or two recipes are really, really good. The side benefit is that I have a metric ton of recipes ideas for when I have to come up off the wall ideas like something that ties together Korean food and American culture. Enter the Korean burger! It takes the American staple, the hamburger, and invades it with the salty-sweet notes of good Korean barbecue. I bet that if the KPA gave all of the citizens of occupied Montrose, Colorado a tasty Korean burger rather than making them subside on White Castle, the occupation would have gone a lot smoother. I’m just sayin’.

For our vegetarian friends, here’s a recipe for Korean Style Broiled Tofu. Stick it on a bun and no one will know the difference.

Korean Burgers from Barbecue Nation: 350 Hot-Off-The-Grill, Tried-And-True Recipes from America’s Backyard

1. 1 lb ground beef – When I make burgers, I usually go with the 80/20 mix (can’t remember if that’s ground chuck or ground sirloin or whatever) as most of the fat renders out of the burgers during cooking leaving a very moist burger with not a lot of fat. As always, do whatever makes you happiest.
2. 3/4 cup grated onion – Grating onions sucks. Sorry about that.
3. 1 Tbl + 1 tsp sugar
4. 3 Tbl soy sauce
5. 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
6. 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
7. 1 Tbl + 2 tsp dry sherry
8. 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided – I buy big jars of the pre-minced stuff, but again, if you want to bust out your fancy garlic press, go crazy.
9. Burger buns
10. 2 scallions (white and green parts) thinly sliced

Cooking Steps
1. In a bowl mix together the meat, 1/2 cup onion, 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbl soy sauce, pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbl sherry and 1 clove garlic. Work it all together well and then form into four equal patties. Put the patties on a plate and stick in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook, but at least 20 minutes. If your burgers always end up looking more like balls than patties, here’s a pro-tip. Take a spoon and make an indentation in the center of the patty with the back of the spoon. As the meat cooks, the center will swell up, making a patty you can be proud of. Don’t skimp on the fridge time for the patties as the heat from your hands when mixing will make it harder for the meat to hold together while cooking.

2. In another bowl mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of onion, 1 Tbl sugar, 2 Tbl soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp sherry and 1 clove garlic.

3. Get your grill fired up and cook the patties to your desired degree of doneness, 4 – 5 minutes per side on medium to med-high heat.

4. Serve the patties on the buns with a healthy dollop of the soy sauce onion mixture.

What’s a burger without fries you say? Well, I don’t know about any Korean fries, but here’s a recipe for Gamja Jorim which are potato chunks in a delightful glaze of soy sauce and corn syrup. Oh hells yes.

Gamja Jorim

1. 2 medium potatoes
2. vegetable oil
3. 4 tablespoons soy sauce
4. 2 Tbl light corn syrup
5. 1/2 cup water

Cooking Steps

1. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Do your best to make them all the same size.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat and saute the potato chunks in the oil until slightly browned.

3. Add the soy sauce, corn syrup and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer the potatoes in the liquid until the liquid is completely evaporated, about ten minutes. Be sure to stir the potatoes frequently so that every piece is covered in the glaze. Keep an eye on the skillet so that the mixture doesn’t burn.

That’s it! Enjoy your Korean-American feast.

Still hungry? Check out the Don’t Shoot the Food Archive.