Totally fresh comments, never canned. . . catch up on all of the community happenings here.
Other Site Blogs
GameSpot Versus Beat the Pros Edition is a way for GameSpot members to test their skills against super star pro gamers. From FPS to...
We hear it all of the time. Users getting hacked or experiencing identify theft. And there are some users who don't realize the Internet means one thing: Everything can be shared to the public--even private conversations and FTP servers. You might share one little story via instant messenger to one friend (even someone you know in person) who might share it with just one person, and that person shares it with people in a live chat room. Before you know it, the story about mooning the old janitor at football practice in the dark night with the moonlight shining on your derriere becomes everyone's business.
An oops like that isn't too serious, right? What gets me is the security problems many of you face every single day with the social interaction tools used on the Internet. You might read the news often enough to know what happens with Twitter, Facebook, and other Web site security problems (if you don't know, do some keyword searches in Google), but what I don't want is ANY of you having a hacked GameSpot account. It's not fair to your friends getting private messages from strangers; it's not fair for your account to get a rep for serious abuse worthy of a ban.
This is a little message for those of you who do not understand security problems on the Internet and how to overcome being easily hacked on the Internet.
1) Sharing pictures online for the entire world to see? Sure, maybe that's fine. Who cares if they know Uncle Bob's last name, but it would be unwise to share your mother's parent's last names in the captions or descriptions of your pictures. We all might have a habit of calling our grandma by the last name without realizing that it is our mother's maiden name. That info is a hacker's dream for messing with someone. If you are using any social Web sites that have real names, do not share the friends list with everyone. The hacker might contact the list members to ask questions about you, and there goes even more security questions if you aren't careful. Also, try to fiddle with the security questions with false answers instead of answers people might have. If your favorite color is blue, put greenbutreallyblue as the answer or something else that won't be easy to find on a wild guess.
2) Publicly sharing your e-mail should only happen if you don't have the e-mail attached to an account with your credit/debit cards. Ebay, Paypal, Amazon, Steam, and the like are easy to mess with once a hacker has breached your e-mail. With just a click, they can restore your password for that account. Sure, maybe it will be a prank where they spend $600 to purchase you something, but it's not always easy to return your goods without having some kind of "Return to Shelf" fee or other penalty. Some people who breach accounts also find ways to "download" content, like music and games as well. Be super cautious in this area and know every single registered account you have attached to your debit/credit cards. Also, there are a lot of articles on the Internet about this, so DO sign up for a bank or service that will alert you of suspicious transactions and add other alerts about certain amounts of money transaction alerts.
3) Keep every single password for each account different. You might not be able to remember all of them and have to do a couple of password recoveries, but this pretty much causes you to have one account hacked instead of all of the ones with same password. Always keep a long password here at GameSpot and include every character it might accept (don't just use numbers and letters--don't just use a word in the dictionary either). Instant messengers like MSN, AIM, and other accounts are also easy subjects for hacking, so make sure you also have a different password for those accounts. Don't add people you don't know on these instant messengers.
4) If possible, do make a habit of changing out your password every month or two on GameSpot.
5) Do NOT allow your e-mail to be public if it's associated with an important account, GS account(s), and the accounts associated to credit/debit cards.
6) Be aware if you have an account on a Web site that allows for easy account deletion (such as using one button to close the account). Be super mindful. GameSpot currently does not allow account deletions for each registrant, so we are one site that is not too easy for a hacker to completely destroy your account, although he or she might be able to remove all of the content you have.
7) The saying about the less you register, the more secure you are is correct. Know where you register and remember you have an account. When accounts were hacked in the early days, it had to do with users registering at a UBB (forum), which made it easy for an owner of the forum to check passwords and use them on other Web sites. That's why you need to monitor your registration activity as much as possible.
8) Consider a secure Firefox browser app that allow you to monitor Web sites that are not secure and alert you when something is suspicious. Avoid visiting unfamiliar Web sites as much as possible. Do some searches for tech news Web sites like CNET http://news.cnet.com/security/ to find other ways to overcome Internet security problems.
9) Do not click on links you are unfamiliar with in case the site ends up phishing your information. Check URLs as often as you can, even if the Web site looks similar to a site you visited. For instance, the site www.gamesp0t.com (zero instead of o) doesn't exist, but if it were a phishing site, the Web site design would be exactly the same as GameSpot. The only difference is that the login field will track your login and password to breach your account on GameSpot. By simply looking at the URL when you are linked, you could save your account from being breached on GameSpot.
10) NEVER EVER share your password with anyone, not even grandma or your dog. You never know when family, friends, or the dog will go rabid. You are responsible for what happens to your accounts, and the problems you encounter can easily be avoided if you play it smart. Keep it secret, keep it safe.
Now that you know these tips about discovering ways to keep your accounts secure throughout the Internet, here are some ways to find out what other people know about you on the Internet.
1) Consider doing a "search" in Google to see what places your e-mail comes up. If it's public, it's easy for an account breach on any of the accounts you have outside GS.
2) Change your e-mail to your GS account if it's known to the public. Why? As mentioned earlier, if someone hacks your e-mail, that person can restore passwords or change them on any Web site that you have attached to it. Keep it safe!
3) See what people know about you by doing a search for your real name at Web sites that do contact info searches. Is your real name unique? If people know your location and real name, you might be easy to look up via real name Web site searches that share your address and phone number. Figure out ways to remove your name from these places by not being in the phone book (these days, mobile phones make it easier) or you could always move away. ;)
4) Get in the habit of logging in to GameSpot with your secure e-mail. Users already know your username, and this will help staff immediately identity the intruder. Obviously, we have other ways to track your login history, too.
Member Spotlight Game History Activity!
We now have a little activity you all can participate in to be mentioned in next week’s report as our featured member spotlight. Check this page for further details on how you can participate.
Retro Box Art Hunt
Looks like we have created the most difficult box art hunt yet! Are these games just that retro? Take a chance at guessing at the games! On a related note, we have only a couple more weeks left for video game history month. Drop by to see if you can learn something you never knew.
Mario Galaxy 2 Gameplay!
Drop by at 4 p.m. PT to see the latest episode of Now Playing, dedicated to Mario Galaxy 2.
Red Dead Redemption Game Night
We have the replay of our live stream of Red Dead Redemption available for those who missed out on it. Don't forget that we have another game night next week, though there currently aren't any plans to have a live stream for it. You can find more details on the Game Night page.
With Red Dead Redemption being released this week, we sneaked around just about every user profile corner to consider who talked about this game. Interestingly enough, Esotericus tugged at our hearts with his poetic cowboy memories. While he has been selected the member spotlight already once this year, we just couldn't help but truly believe he needed to be recognized for this blog. Before heading over to read his blog, be sure to have a box of Kleenex nearby.
- Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll Garrison_Ford
- Bleach: The 3rd Phantom Domstercool
- Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker smm217
- Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis -SpikyBlueHero-
- Riddick: Dark Athena ZanarkandTidus
- Split/Second Asagea_888
- Darksiders AzelKosMos
- Vexx ebbderelict
- Super Street Fighter IV GeekyDad
- Quake III Revolution loopy_101
- Alan Wake wonderboy_46
- Rocket Knight kbaily
- Final Fantasy XIII xboxrulze
- Final Fantasy XIII smithbubbajones
- Lost: Via Domus Skylinepigeon
- Dungeon Keeper Gelugon_baat
- Uesugi-dono and gopulpfiction also have blogs about Red Dead Redemption.
- Scientist8 shares early E3 2010 thoughts.
- PSFreak1 has a hefty list of E3 predictions; you should check back with him during E3 2010 to see if he called any right.
- Haywired is somewhat alienated by the new obsession with motion controls.
- Pierst179 has two blogs about good and bad times in game franchises.
- MC_Bally_Who has a list of games worthy of being revived.
- just_nonplussed shares some tips about how he would explain game genres.
- mjemirzian has a blog about SRPG/TBS strategic complexity.
- Backlash24 shares eight witty things he hates about user reviews.
- payne6705 wonders if game characters should age.
- Same_Jeans_On shares his thoughts about the Lost Season Finale.
Tip of the Week
This week’s tip is about user review plagiarism on GameSpot and other sites. Plagiarism often leads to an account termination once the content is found. Check out these four tips to avoid having revoked permissions on the site.
This week’s tip is about user review plagiarism on GameSpot and other sites. Plagiarism often leads to an account termination once the content is found. We might make exceptions for veteran accounts, but even then, the account is likely to receive a long suspension duration. The following tips will help you avoid having revoked community privileges.
1. Mirroring user reviews. When you mirror your user review in another community and your username on that site is exactly the same as your GameSpot username, this will help your case if you have a flagged plagiarism abuse report against you. If you do not have the same username in another community, be sure to sign your name at the bottom of your user review on that site with that Web site's account name, and post your GameSpot username (example: -JR2010 aka JodyR). After doing this for your reviews on that end, also do the same on GameSpot. That way, if the other community gets a plagiarism abuse report about a GameSpot user review you stole (when it's yours mirrored on our end), the other Web site's moderators should notice that your username for their site is there too. They'll be happy to dismiss the plagiarism abuse report, and you should not be moderated on their end.
2. Avoid mirroring official site reviews. Once the content is posted as an official editor review on another Web site, the user review on GameSpot should be removed. The user review content you posted on GameSpot might get flagged as plagiarism. We have had accounts banned for having mirrored other sites' reviews content before, even if the time stamp of the official editor review was posted after the GameSpot user review. If you decide that you would like to have your user review as an official site review instead, there are a couple of ways around it.
Have the Web site review post your GameSpot username as an alias on the site (example: Jody 'JodyR' Robinson or Jody Robinson aka JodyR) and link to your GS profile.
If the Web site does not want to offer this option, you have a couple of other choices. Remove the GameSpot user review you posted as an official editor review to avoid having a suspension or possibly an account termination. Or you could ask the review site if you could create a new review for them from scratch. That way you can keep your personal user reviews on GameSpot and have official reviews written on the other site.
Most reputable gaming Web sites send you the retail game, schwag, or cash in return for your writing services. Consider finding these opportunities over free labor unless you are looking only for writing exposure. Before giving away your work for free in the hopes of getting exposure, think about how much exposure you are actually going to get on that site versus what you get on GameSpot. If you are interested in seeing what kind of traffic another Web site receives, drop by www.alexa.com to enter the URL.
3. Check on your user reviews! People who plagiarize content are likely to have problems writing their own content, but the intro and conclusions are often the easiest way to identify plagiarism. Do a Google search for a sentence or two from the first paragraph in your GameSpot user review. Then, search for a sentence or two from the middle part of your review. Lastly, search with a couple of sentences found in your conclusion. If you still don't find anything, that's a good sign!
4. Report plagiarism. If you end up finding that someone has taken your content on GameSpot or another Web site, most communities have a policy against plagiarism. Content on GameSpot should be flagged with the Report Abuse dropdown; click the Other field on the Report Abuse page and type the game name. Example: "Plagiarism of my Mass Effect 2 review." If the content was plagiarized from another site, contact the Web site's customer support, or register an account to report the content as plagiarism, along with linking your GS user review.
Remember, you are the person who took the time to play through a game. and you are the person who wrote about the good, bad, and ugly. User reviews help you all share your experiences. Not everyone experiences games the same way!
We plan to host two game nights dedicated to Red Dead Redemption this month. If you already purchased the game, you should drop by to mingle with GameSpot staff and other GameSpotters starting at 4 p.m. PT to get in some games on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. If you purchase or rent the game before May 26, you can also participate next Wednesday.
The current plan as of today? We'll host a live Game Night stream starting at 4 p.m. PT today on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms, which should last until 5 p.m. PT. The plan after 5 p.m. PT is to continue to play Red Dead Redemption without the live stream until 7 p.m. PT.
If you plan to participate in tonight's game night, we need your PlayStation Network ID and Xbox Live gamertags! Post your in-game names in the Red Dead Redemption game night sticky thread located in this forum before 3:30 p.m. PT today. Also, you are more than welcome to drop by the Game Night chat room early!
There will be no community report this week. I will catch up with your creative blogs, videos, and reviews in next Friday's report.
We do have a new box art activity in celebration of Video Game History Month. Keep in mind that this is a guessing-game activity, so not every possible game answer needs to be correct. Retro box art might be difficult for some of you, so I would like to share a hint! The games in the latest box hunt are on at least one of the following platforms: C64, Atari 2600, SMS, NES, Genesis, and CPC.
This week's tip can be shared by all in the comments. Considering the hint I have shared, explain how you would find older games and consoles on GameSpot. Post your suggestions in the comments. Happy box hunting!
GameSpot Fuse beta members can now share their in-game activities in the forums! To add your GameSpot Fuse beta signature, go to your options link located on the top right corner and click the forums tab. There you will find two types of Fuse beta image signatures. You can use the check mark to automatically add the image to your forum signature, or you can grab the .html or ubb code. Drop by to read the patch notes. If you encounter any problems, please post them in the Fuse signature bug and feedback thread.
GameSpot has teamed up with Ubisoft to give away a GameSpot-exclusive PC and Xbox multiplayer map for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction.
You must own Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction to receive this free content. Also, an Xbox Live Gold account is required for Xbox players. You should drop by http://www.gamespot.com/splintercell and share this link with your Splinter Cell: Conviction friends!
Upcoming Community Activities
Next week we’ll have a new edition of the box hunt activity, which takes place in the General Games Discussion forum. The next edition will be about retro games in celebration of Video Game History Month. Also, just a forewarning about an editorial writing contest in the coming weeks about your game history. You will want to check back for details on both community activities!
Video Game History Month!
Ricardo Torres shares why GameSpot has named the month of May Video Game History Month! For this month only, we’ll have video pieces that look back at some key games, people, events, and hardware from the history of games. There will also be a photo feature that shares some moments in game history. Drop by every Thursday and Friday to see the latest additions to the feature.
Most Anticipated E3 Game
If you drop by the E3 countdown page, it displays a link to the most anticipated game voting page. UPDATE: There was a problem with poll voting, which has been resolved. We also added 4 additional games and restarted the poll.
ModNation Racers Air Raid DLC
If you own a PlayStation 3, we are giving away ModNation Racers Air Raid downloadable content as of May 10. The offer is open to US GameSpot members 13 and older. This offer may be modified at any time without notice. Offer expires May 25, 2010, or until supplies last, whichever comes first.
Red Dead Redemption Game Night
We plan to host two game nights dedicated to this highly anticipated game. If you purchase the game the day it's released, you'll get a chance to play the multiplayer with us the following night. If you purchase or rent the game before May 26, you can also participate!
MLG Pro Circuit
In other areas of the game industry, MLG has announced the Columbus Pro Circuit. Check out what MLG Deimos has to say!
Staff Fingerprints & User Reviews
We’ll catch up on staff fingerprints and user reviews in next week’s report. Thanks for noticing!
We had a variety of awesome GameSpotter editorials this week, but only one member spotlight could be featured [eek, that kind of echoed Tyra from America's Top Model, sorry!] This week's member spotlight goes to darth_trevhat for his guidance to first-person shooter newbies in the world of gaming! He explores a variety of ways to get better at the games and much more.
Featured User Videos
- GameSpot Users RPG Battle matastig
- Undergraduated – Pilot SS2Dante
Featured user video contributors receive the "As Seen on GameSpot" emblem and their videos are displayed on the forums directory page.
- RedWave247 wonders why people argue over critic review ratings.
- nintendo-naut remembers Outlaws, a shooter by LucasArts.
- TechnologoDoom shares his thoughts about an independent game called Dwarf Fortress.
- evrdayblues is looking for other Monster Hunter Tri online players.
- EtherAngel makes sure we never forget Sarah Kerrigan.
- spazzx625 talks about the end of the Game Crazy store.
- Perihelion779 believes games should be for everyone.
- ShootumUP26 shares his thoughts about an anatomy of the gamer's brain.
- Sandpiper121PP says farewell to her Microsoft mouse and hello to?
I’d like to give a big shout-out to three site moderators! We have the May moderator of the month, musicalmac, who was voted for by his peers. Also, there are two new moderators that came aboard, and they have completed their probation phase as initiate moderators. Welcome aboard our two new general moderators: Travo_basic and pianist!
Tip of the Week
This week’s tip is about interacting with GameSpotters and staff through the private message feature. Learn how to identify if GameSpot users have read your messages, about strategic subject titles, and more!
This week’s tip is about understating how to interact with GameSpot’s private message feature.
Read Private Messages: Have you wondered why someone has not responded to your latest private message? Did you check to see if that person even read it? There is a nifty little indicator in your inbox that displays when you have read your private message. The same indicator is displayed in other outboxes, even if you read the messages in your outbox! If a person you sent a message to has read your private message, the subject title font will become un-bolded. If the private message has not been read, it will display the subject title in bold text.
Don’t read a PM unless you have time to respond! There are times when we’ll read a PM and we don’t have a moment to respond. Consider the fact that others might already know that you read their PMs. What if they know you read it two days ago and think you are ignoring them? It’s best to only read a PM when you have at least 10 minutes to respond.
Strategic Subject Titles. Start by considering who you are contacting and avoid having really long subject titles (try using a maximum of four words).
- GS Staff or GS Site Moderators: Be concise and upfront in the subject title. Add terms like: moderation concern, game history article feedback, gs review error, preview typo, forums bug, broken download link, how do I….. Descriptive subject titles help staff and mods a great deal and will likely expedite a response compared to vague subject titles like "hi, hello, read me, check here, which might cause a delayed response. Vague subject titles tells us that you might want to chit-chat, which is fine, but we might set aside a PM response to finish a project we are working on that is much more time sensitive. Share the problem or concern upfront in the subject title to bring immediate awareness.
- GameSpot Friend: As much as your buddies on here may like you, there are ways to help them know what you plan to discuss. You can pretty much do what you’d like here, but know that there are a lot of GS users who would like to know what you are asking them ahead of time. Consider the topic you are asking them and put that in the subject title so they have a forewarning. If you are just saying "Hi" and catching up, it doesn’t matter what subject title it is, really. But, let’s say you are excited about the latest DSi games; put that in the subject title to provide a forewarning or teaser about what you are sharing. For example, instead of “guess what” in the subject title, put "New DSi games!"
- GameSpot Stranger: Be polite in your responses to them and check your spelling. Avoid having vague subject titles, if possible. Private messaging needs a good first impression. Presentation is important if you want to have a potential new GS friend. Avoid using l33t terms and other related lingo when you are getting to know other GS users via PM. Some people are likely to respond if you contact them with this approach. Also, if you approach GameSpot strangers to dispute what they said in the forums or comments, you might want to read this article to avoid having other users flag you for trolling or flaming them.
Follow-up! One last note: Don’t forget to follow up with other GameSpotters if they haven’t responded to you in three days. Sometimes, they read a PM and forget to respond, so following up with them in a couple of days might get you the response you have been waiting patiently for.
That’s all for this week’s tip!
Splinter Cell: Conviction DLC Update
We have a new item we’re giving away for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction! This week's featured item is a FAMAS G2 Assault Rifle. Drop by each week to find a new featured item! Also, if you stop by on May 13 we’ll be handing out an exclusive multiplayer map (PC and Xbox 360) available only to GameSpot members!
Super Street Fighter IV Game Night
Drop by this Wednesday, May 5, at 5 p.m. Pacific time for game night with Brendan Sinclair, Ryan Mac Donald, and Lark Anderson in Super Street Fighter IV! We plan to get some action in this newly released Xbox 360 version a week after it's on the shelves, and we’d love to see your in-game fighting skills in action. Check the Game Night features page for further details
Now Playing: Halo: Reach!
In the latest episode of Now Playing, Shaun McInnis and Giancarlo Varanini get together with Ryan Mac Donald and Chris Watters to take on the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta. There are also some early beta keys given away!
This week's member spotlight goes to MC_Bally_Who for his top five list of gaming snacks and accessories! These suggestions might be better for a LAN party but should not be considered on a daily basis. Don’t forget to eat healthy snacks and take breaks as often as you can while playing games!
- PS3: Super Street Fighter IV Asagea_888
- PC: Crysis Gelugon_baat
- PC: Monkey Island: Special Platyphyllum
- X360: Wanted: Weapons of Fate JustPlainLucas
- X360: Mass Effect 2 Garrison_Ford
- DS: The Incredible Hulk GeekyDad
- MLGDeimos shares some highlights and pictures of MLG’s 2010 Pro Circuit held in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
- 2k_fish has posted an editorial about something he calls genre blending and has also been added to the Soapbox feature.
- ShootumUP26 has some first impressions about Super Street Fighter IV.
- kbaily had a work project that had her take the Wii to work.
- J_Knolling talks about some overused plot devices.
- uas-2001 has some interesting points about why MMO games should not exist.
- LordJSparrow has a thorough biography about his history with the Pokemon series.
- aerobie thinks that some games give the perception of making improvements.
- BessenStock wishes us a May full of awesome games!
- Kellymae is looking for some help with puppy names!
- mjcowley shares how much he is not Mr. Fix it.
Tip of the Week
This week's tip is about following up with your forum contributions. If you don't know how to track former discussion threads or blogs you have commented in, check here.
How often have you forgotten where you last posted or gone on a hunt to figure out where that discussion thread went in your favorite forum? We have had a forum posting history for each of you for a year now, and some of you don't realize that your contributions page helps you know whether someone posted in a thread after you.
Let's start by sharing how you can find where you last posted. The easiest way is through your forum contributions, and the more complicated way is via the Track This Thread dropdown menu located on all discussion threads on the site (even UCB and Union boards).
Easy Route: This route is easy because you can bookmark it, and there are a variety of ways to get to your posting history.
1. You can get to your posting history by clicking on the forums page on any of the GameSpot pages. Once you are on this page, there is a link below My Summary Profile that will take you to your posting history. Example in green.
2. You can also get here by going to your profile and clicking on My Posting History.
3. You can get to the contributions page found on your profile navigation menu and click on the sub navigation, titled Forum Posts.
Complicated Route: This route is good for those of you who enjoy managing discussion posts or if you'd like to track a blog's comments or discussion threads. I consider it a bit more complicated because it requires management and deletion of topics or blogs you no longer want to track. If you notice that the threads haven't been updated in a while, you can remove all of them and start over.
You can get to Track Discussions by going to the forums page and clicking on the My Watched Topics link below the My Profile Summary. [Example in red] Here, you can edit the notification style you want such as PM. [Example]
To track a blog or discussion, use the dropdown menu in the top right corner on forum discussions and the lower right corner dropdown for blogs. If you have reported abuse in the forums or blogs, you probably have seen this in the dropdown menu.
Posting History Page: Once you are on the Posting History page, it's quite easy to notice if someone has posted in a discussion. There are two columns with a number that will help you determine how many people have posted in the thread since you posted in it. One column displays the posts in the discussion thread, and the other displays how many posts have appeared there since you read the topic. Once you go to the discussion thread to read through the other responses, the discussion thread will display no number until other posts are added to the discussion.
By following these tips, you'll no longer be out of the loop or feel lost while finding a former post. However, please note that there are some forums that do not allow threads older than seven days to be bumped. If you notice that the thread is older than seven days, consider whether it's in the Off-Topic forum or System Wars board and do not bump the thread. These forums have a high load of discussion threads that get discussed hourly. If you want to resurface an old topic in these forums, consider creating a new one and refer to the old discussion thread.
That's all for this week. Happy forum contributing!
Splinter Cell: Conviction Downloadable Content
We teamed up with Ubisoft to give away Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction downloadable content. Each week we’ll be giving away some items in the game, and on May 13, we’ll be handing out an exclusive map.
Super Street Fighter IV Game Night
Check back next week for our Super Street Fighter IV game night. The staff roster will include Brendan Sinclair, Lark Anderson, and Ryan Mac Donald!
New Fuse + Friends = New Emblem!
If you have more than 10 friends using Fuse, you will notice a new emblem called "I'll form the head" on your profile for it. If you don’t have any friends, start tracking people with the hope that they track you back, which will establish the status of friends.
Our latest member spotlight goes to Esotericus for his creative way of learning language through playing games! Aside from the game he tried, are there any other games with multiple languages? Drop by his blog to let him know!
Featured User Videos
- PS3: White Knight Chronicles SemiMaster
- PS2: Beyond Good & Evil asian_pride69
- PS2: God of War calvinsora
- X360: After Burner Climax Asagea_888
- X360: Sonic & Sega All-StarsElk
- X360: 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand celtic1962
- Wii: Geometry Wars: Galaxiesloopy_101
- Azghouls relived Deus Ex and made me jealous because I never finished the game!
- MC_Bally_Who has posted a top-10 list of underappreciated games.
- smm217 wrote an unofficial guide to buying games, platforms, and handhelds.
- jazzfan4 plans to share 25 bargain bin games.
- Daavpuke has an open letter to Sid Meier about Civilization V.
- Mankar_Camoran believes that storytelling and plots can be simple but not horrible.
- nicktarist shares some awesome art work about game mechanics.
- doc18 posted a blog a while back about why Aladdin’s character and story is better than Mario. Since I just stumbled upon it, it's definitely worth a read.
Tip of the Week
This week's tip is about the After the Fact emblem. As of last year, the editorial staff wanted to update reviews after they were posted to recognize bug fixes and improvements that are made in patches. Here is an excerpt from Justin Calvert:
"After the Fact" updates aren't used to detail every single patch and piece of DLC for every single game, but we think they're a great way for us to let you know when, as a result of a patch, the information in our original review is no longer entirely accurate. For example, when Castle Crashers was released on XBLA, there were some problems with the game's online play and these were noted in the review. Now that said problems have been addressed, we've posted an After the Fact update on the review page acknowledging this.
Many of our After the Fact updates are posted after readers take the time to let us know about patches and such that we might otherwise have overlooked by e-mailing email@example.com. When we receive those e-mails, we verify the information as soon as possible and, if it all checks out, we post the update and award an emblem to the reader or readers who told us about it."
I’d like to give a belated shout out to our April "Moderator of the Month," rragnaar. He hasn’t been a moderator for that long and he’s already getting voted among his peers. Thanks again for helping out, rragnaar.
GameSpot has teamed up with Ubisoft to give away Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction downloadable content (DLC). The exclusive multiplayer map will only be available to GameSpot members on May 13 (available for both PC and Xbox). How's that for being a member on the site?
But you can still get additional items in-game. Ubisoft will feature new in-game items each week leading up to the exclusive release. Players should drop by each week to find a new featured item they can get in the game. This week's featured item is an Proximity Mine!
The PC version scheduled to launch on April 27 will also include featured items each week. (The exclusive multiplayer map will also be available for the PC on 5/13/10). At this time, US GameSpot members aged 13 and up are eligible for this offer.
Please note: You must own Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction to receive this free content. An internet connection and an Xbox 360 gamertag is required. Select “EXTRAS” from the game’s main menu to download free content each week.
Drop by the giveaway page for further details.
GameSpot Fuse Beta
GameSpot Fuse beta is our latest enhancement on the GameSpot profiles and game pages. Drop by here for details and a demonstration from Lark Anderson. Additionally, if you’d like to join a union dedicated to both Raptr and GameSpot Fuse, click here.
Splinter Cell: Conviction Game Night:
The next game night will be quite interesting because it will be set in a two-player co-op mode on the Xbox 360. A variety of editorial staff don’t want to miss out on it.
Star Wars Box Art Activity
We’ll be giving away some rewards so get your box art guesses in before April 26. All participants will receive the Box Art Hunt emblem.
This week’s member spotlight has been deserved much sooner, but we have been waiting for a game-released film review to showcase biggest_loser! If you go through majority of his previous blogs, you will find that he has written numerous films reviews. Check out his latest film review about Kick-Ass. biggest_loser is definitely someone to track!
Featured User Videos
- WarioWare D.I.Y. Pierst179
- Pokemon SoulSilver Version AK_the_Twilight
- Barnyard Blast: Swine of the Night kbaily
- Moon Azghouls
- Tatsunoko vs. Capcom GeekyDad
- WWF Royal Rumble Garrison_Ford
- Crazy Taxi ehsan8888
1. OT: Do you smuggle food and drinks in the movie theaters?
2. Hardware: Computer Building and Hardware Installation Picture Walk-through(56K)
3. System Wars: Best Free games
4. Legacy Platforms: What is your favorite Nintendo console?
5. GameSpot Fuse Beta: Share your need for trophy tracking as a PlayStation 3 owner!
- ChiliDragon shares ideas on how to make PC gaming easier.
- Elk shares the benefits to gaming.
- david_lck posted his top female leads in games.
- Waldkrieger posted a review of Mass Effect 2: Kasumi downloadable content.
- SuperfastSonic wants to know if Pokemon originals are going away.
- nicklech16 talks about old-fashioned shooters.
- scatterbrain007 would like to see more space combat simulation games.
- pikaby shares the problem with the naming of Pokemon Black/White
Tip of the WeekThis week’s tip is about how you can use GameSpot Fuse to meet more friends.
1. Were you the first GameSpot user to receive that in-game achievement?
If you don’t know how to find this, it’s quite simple. While on the "My Achievements" page located on your profile, there is as section entitled, “Rarest Achievements.” Click on any of the eight achievement images listed there, and you will be taken to an achievements page that shares the first person who received this achievement. You can also see other GameSpot members who received this rare in-game achievement.
2. If you know that you have completed all of the achievements for a particular game, see if your name is listed on the 100 percent club page!
To find out if you are listed as a 100 percent club list, drop by the gamespace and click achievements. The 100 percent club is located on the right side.
3. Want to make new friends? Take the two steps above and check other
GameSpotter profiles. If they have updated blogs, user reviews, or forum contributions, why not track them?
This week’s report will be quite short. We have been working behind the scenes on a project in hopes of rolling out some changes next week. If all goes as planned, you should check back early next week for the scoop!
Next Wednesday, April 14, marks the day we’ll be playing Borderlands on the X360 and PC. We’ll be looking for leadership GameSpotters to host co-op matches. Drop by the discussion thread in the Game Night Union board to share which level and class you plan to play.
This week’s member spotlight goes to StraiN-ShifTeD for his image collection of the former GameSpot.com Web site designs. Check out his latest blog to discuss further!
Top 5 Forum Topics
1. GGD: Which game ending gave you the most satisfaction?
2. OT: Don't you hate when you've created a topic and nobody answers?
3. iPhone & Mobile Gaming: The Android recommendation thread is outbeating the iPhone thread.
4. PC: Cloud Gaming Services
5. Union Board: You can get the latest discussions about emblems in the Emblem Union board.
I’ll catch up on the videos, blogs, staff fingerprints, user reviews, and a tip next week. Until next week!
Wii Game Night Alert!
Next Wednesday’s game is back by popular demand! We’ll be playing Mario Kart on the Wii. Drop by the game night features page for details and for the upcoming game night schedule.
New Box Art Hunt
Test your knowledge of Star Wars video game box art for a chance to earn an exclusive emblem and more!
System Wars Monthly
The April edition of System Wars Monthly has been released. It even has a fancy PDF file for those of you who like scrolling through a file instead of a forum post!
April Fools' Hashclown Emblem?!
Introducing: TOTS’ April Fools’ Hashclown emblem! If you were caught posting comments in the April 1st episode of TOTS, you will be granted this fancy emblem from April 1 through Saturday, April 3 at 4 p.m. PT. Be sure to post a comment before then!
MLG Orlando Pro Circuit Update
If you're interested in competition for prizes, MLG's Deimos has let us know about the MLG Pro Circuit happening in Orlando, Florida on April 16th-18th. The Halo 3, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Tekken 6 tournaments are open to the public. The competition is also open to spectators.
This week’s member spotlight goes to N-REAL for his music compositions in PlayStation Home. The music he made in the game was so good that we'd love to have him over as the DJ for a GameSpot party!
Featured User Videos
- DS: Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story kbaily
- PC: Total Overdose 64316431
- PS3: Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard loopy_101
- PS3: Darksiders celtic1962
- PSOne: Driver onco59
- Xbox 360: Fight Night Round 4 buft
Top Five Forum Discussions
1. GGD: The death of old generation shooters
2. OT: April Fools' prank by admins/mods
3. PSP: Is Resistance Retribution portable Resident Evil 4 or 5?
4. DS: Why the 3DS will coexist with DSi / DSi XL
5. Mod UCB: Meet a Mod returns!
- Sophia Tong has a variety of name that tune videos.
- Tom McShea can’t believe he works with so many indecisive colleagues and posted his favorite games of all time.
- Kevin VanOrd answers question about why the reviews are released at different times for games on multiple platforms.
- Brendan Sinclair and Kevin VanOrd share what kind of game they would develop if they were given the opportunity.
- Chris Watters has highlights of Bad Company 2 game night.
- TechnologoDoom played all of the experimental games of 2009.
- JustPlainLucas changed to level 64 Easter egg right near Easter weekend.
- matastig gets into ancient territory with his blog about the evolution of video games.
- Carolynmichelle has high hopes for the Game Room and explains why.
Tip of the Week
This week’s tip highlights the latest changes to the GameSpot directory. If you have been wondering about how to do things on the site for years, you might receive answers about numerous topics, including emblems. Check out what happened behind scenes by reading michaelP4’s latest blog.
Game Night Alert!
A variety of editorial staff members plan to spend a couple hours with you in Battlefield Bad Company 2 on Wednesday, March 31. There will be staff across a variety of platforms! The game night features page has also been updated with the upcoming game night schedule.
Upcoming Box Hunt
We’re going to have Star Wars games this time around. Why? Because we have a Star Wars retail game to give away. More details to follow.
The latest member spotlight goes to buft for his Xbox Live Game Room impressions. Buft outlines the ins and outs, along with screenshots of what he’s done to his game room. You can also see buft’s game room in last Thursday's episode of Today on the Spot.
- Ricardo Torres will be speaking at an Activision panel during WonderCon next week.
- Giancarlo Varanini shares his thoughts about GameSpot’s Nintendo DS 3D Gut Reactions feature.
- Brendan Sinclair buys arcade compilations
Featured User Videos
- Mar044 shares how to get the kamikaze trophy in Heavy Rain.
- david_lck thinks about cel-shaded games.
- Weltanschauung1 did a dynamic art study of BioShock.
- subyman demonstrates his thoughts about the Nintendo DS.
Top 5 Forum Topics
GGD: God of War 3 dedicated discussion thread won’t stop growing.
OT: Which villain below got a bad rap unfairly?
PC and Mac: How healthy are PC gamers?
PS3: Go chill out in the Laid Back Lounge!
X360: Will the Game Room night get any better?
Tip of the Week
This week's tip shares how you can increase your chances of winning the prize of your choice.
1. DID YOU WIN?: We won’t leave you in the rain on this one. You actually receive an e-mail notifying you that you have won something. If we have a moment to announce the winners to the world, we also display your real name in the Producer’s Note blog and/or you might get a mention in an episode of Today on the Spot.
2. WHY ENTER YOUR MAILING ADDRESS?: Make sure you are filling out the trivia form with the mailing address. If you do not use the trivia form but prefer the TOTS e-mail address, include your real name and mailing address. I would have to believe that 90 percent of the users who contact us through the TOTS e-mail are ineligible for a prize because they forget about this tiny little detail. If you are curious about why we don’t select winners and then contact each of them for their mailing address, this is a time-consuming process and there can be a variety of answers to this question. First, let me share why we have you enter your mailing address in the trivia submission form ahead of time.
Reason 1 - If you are a long-time registrant you might not have updated your mailing address in years. We have had packages returned in the past and we’d prefer being completely certain this prize will not get returned to us.
Reason 2 - New GameSpot registrants no longer have to enter their mailing address, which means many new accounts won’t have a mailing address for us to send the prize to.
The other question I receive is about why we don't randomly select users and then contact each of them about their mailing address rather than randomly select users based on them filling out their mailing address.
Reason 3 - Some countries have limitations on what can be won or mailed. Each country has rules and regulations. We have to consider the item and the value of the item, and then we gather a list of users who are eligible to be randomly selected.
Reason 4 - We also deal with three days' worth of prizes. The volume of prize mailouts has increased to three times what it was before and there is no staff member dedicated to prize mailouts. We take shifts out of our own work schedules to mail out these prizes, and fewer e-mails back and forth saves us time and effort.
3. DO YOU HAVE A GAME LIST?: There have been occasions when we give away different platform accessories for the DS, Wii, PS3, or Xbox 360. If you don’t tell us what you’d like, we might take a peek at your GameSpot game library. If you don’t have a game library (collection or tracked list) filled out, we won’t know which accessory to send you. We rarely e-mail winners with a selection of items because there are too many of you to contact for the day (once again, a time-consuming back-and-forth effort and how unfair would it be that we contacted you and not all of you with a selection of items?). When we e-mail you we might be delaying the entire shipment of other GameSpotter prizes, and we'd like to avoid that if possible. If you don't have your game library filled out, you might end up with what was left over if other users told us what they wanted or we took a peek at other GameSpotters' game lists. Check tip 4 if you’d like to also save us even more time by allowing us to skip a peek at your game lists in your profile.
4. WHICH ITEM?: When answering the trivia, don’t forget to share what you want if you see numerous items available for a specific trivia question. Tell us the T-shirt size you prefer, the platform for an accessory, item (wristband, hat, etc.), and games that you are interested in. Some users have sent us their order of preference, which helps if the item you originally wanted has been given to another winner. There have been occasions when we have a variety of items and if you don’t share what you want we will make a judgment call for you. Why not increase your chances of getting what you actually wanted?
5. BE SELECTIVE: Remember, when you win one item you will not win the second, third, or fourth trivia item for the day even if you are randomly selected for all of them. If you don’t mind winning one item over another, then you are welcome to answer all of the questions for the trivia session of the day. However, if you really want to win a certain item, answer only that trivia question. That item you really wanted might be overlooked if you already won another trivia item for the day. For an example: User1994 answers trivia question 1 for a T-shirt he doesn’t care about. He also answers trivia question 2 for a platform accessory he really wants, and then he answers trivia question 3 for a stuffed animal he doesn’t care for--all in the same e-mail. If he is randomly selected for the T-shirt and already wins that item, he won’t be eligible for the other two trivia questions even if he is randomly selected for all three items.