Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

The Independent

Review: “Bioshock Remastered” on steam

Review: “Bioshock Remastered” on steam

October 11, 2016

“So far away from your family, from your friends, from everything you ever loved. But, for some reaso...

Review: Madden 2015

Review: Madden 2015

September 9, 2014

  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars Over the past few years, the Madden franchise has been stale. Being the only NFL football game on the m...

Review: Dark Souls IIFrom The Ashes

Luis Badillo

June 3, 2014

Filed under Game & App Reviews

  For an aging population of video game players, sentiments like "They don't make them like they used to," or "what happened to games that let you figure things out instead of holding your hand," are increasingly more common. Those gamers, however, simply need to pick up sword and shield in the world of “Dark Souls...

NetherRealm does Justice to Injustice

NetherRealm does Justice to Injustice

April 23, 2013

  4.5 out of 5 Stars Last week NetherRealm, the creators of Mortal Kombat, released their new game Injustice: Gods Among Us...

Review: Bioshock Infinite: Soaring above the rest

Review: Bioshock Infinite: Soaring above the rest

April 11, 2013

(5/5)   Bioshock Infinite's finest elements can be distilled into three moments: Seeing the flying city of Columbia for the first time, seeing the emotive s...

Resuming from the Save Point: Video Game Preview Part 2.

Resuming from the Save Point: Video Game Preview Part 2.

March 6, 2013

  Professors and parents alike are often happy to know that game systems in the past severa...

Karma Points – Gamers Scoring Through Charity.

Luis Badillo, Staff Writer

October 3, 2012

Filed under Game & App Reviews

  It’s no surprise that gamers have faced a bum rap by having a hobby labeled as a useless pastime, but Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins are two gamers that have found a way to use the dedication of the gamer fanbase to create a tangible positive influence in the world. Krahulik and Holkins (respectively called "Gabe" and "Tycho" by their fans) are the founders and creators of Penny-Arcade, which has given them popularity, fame and a huge voice in the video game community. They currently have a fanbase of around 3.5 million and often use the comic to express their (often humorous) responses to criticism aimed at the gaming culture and industry. One of these criticisms, penned by columnist Bill France, warned parents of the dangers of video games on young minds. In his article he says that "Video games laced with human atrocities" and "help young, impressionable people practice killing without care." France also goes on to say that "Every time a youngster plays one of these games...They practice laughing at others' pain and justifying murder." As a response to this article and the many like it, Gabe wrote in his blog post for Nov. 23, 2003 "The media seems intent on perpetuating the myth that gamers are ticking time bombs just waiting to go off. I know for a fact that gamers are good people."  Soon after, Gabe and Tycho announced Child's Play, their new charity. Teamed up with Amazon.com, gamers would be able to donate toys and video games to the patients of the local pediatric hospital. After about a month, word of Child's Play circulated among blogs, forums, and magazines. The quick mobilization of gamers led to an impressive $250,000 raised for Child’s Play in just under a month. Since then Child's Play has raised more than $12.5 million and recruited some of the biggest names in the game industry to help out in the noble effort. Companies like Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony now help support the worldwide network of over 70 hospitals. The effort started by Gabe and Tycho has inspired gamers everywhere to find ways to raise money. Sketch comedy group LoadingReadyRun, hosts an event called "Desert Bus for Hope" which has raised more than $380,000. Various independent game developers gather on occasion and sell their games in what is called the "Humble Indie Bundle" where they sell five games at a time. A portion of the profits go to Child's play, as well as other organizations such as the Red Cross, or Charity: water. Gaming blog and community, Sarcasticgamer.com founded Extra-Life in 2008, which allows independent gamers host their own 24-hour video game marathons. Some Northeastern students have been known to participate in this annual test of endurance. Participants are tasked to seek sponsors which raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, a collection of pediatric hospitals throughout the United States. After seeing the work done by Gabe and Tycho with Child's Play and gamer organizations like theirs, France wrote another article. In it he describes the gamers’ efforts as wanting to do something good and that they "demonstrated that they have big hearts and generous instincts." It just goes to show that a little bit of good can go a long way to change somebody's mind.  So the next time you see a gamer obsessing over saving the princess, you may want to take a second look. There might just be a little more at stake than a digital princess....

This Means Guild Wars 2

Christos Liardakis, Assistant Opinions Editor

September 6, 2012

Filed under Game & App Reviews

  As we begin our new semester ArenaNet has officially launched Guild Wars 2 on August 28, 2012. An MMORPG (Mostly Multi-player Online RPG) based of the original guild wars game, there are lots of expectations and after participating in the Beta, it is safe to say this game will not disappoint. Guild Wars 2still takes place in the fantasy world of Tyria, 250 years after the original Guild Wars game. After the defeat of the Great Destroyer in the original game, the awakening of five elder dragons wreak havoc on mankind and all the other races featured in Guild Wars Prophecies, and in its expansion Eye of the North. Guild Wars 2 also features a new race, the Sylvari, which has emerged 25 years after the elder dragons started to awaken. With 250 years gone by since the original game, even when you are in familiar places, they all look vastly different, with improved technology, new apparel and all the races using a global language; the Guild Wars 2 setting is almost unrecognizable from the original. Along with a new setting, ArenaNet has vastly modified the game. The gaming engine has been updated with advanced real-time 3D environments, enhanced graphics and animation and the new Havok physics system allowing for more realistic interactions between players and the environment. The uniquely low level cap of 20 isn’t there anymore either, replaced with a level 80 level cap ArenaNet has made sure there is much more to do than ever before. When playing, you can gain experience from crafting, quests and even something as simple as exploring the area where you are located so suddenly a level 80 cap does not seem so unreasonable. All these changes come with a highly simplified combat system where gamers will only rely on their weapon for their first 5 combat abilities, with the six key being reserved for healing, 7- 9 reserved for skills that are unlocked as you progress in the game, and 0 being reserved for elite skills that you can unlock after level 30, the complex and overabundant skill system of the original Guild Wars has now been replaced with a simplified development system that emphasizes quality over quantity. As simplified as it sounds there is also a “combination” system added into the game adding much more complexity than previously experienced in other games. Also, there is no “kill stealing” famously found in other MMOs. As a matter of fact in most cases, random helpers are welcome. Everyone is going to get their fair share of experience or reward if some random hulking behemoth spawns in the middle of a map. No one gets a “bonus” for finding it first. As a matter of fact, with the new combination system it is almost expected of large groups to come together to take down such challenges. With new graphics, a new combat system, and a new story; Guild Wars 2 is definitely a game to consider for all the gamers out there looking for something to distract them as school starts when they need some rest and relaxation. A lot of people will also find Guild Wars 2 to be very friendly to new gamers as well. There is no need for macros and even the well-known tedious experience of crafting is smoothed out into a more fun and enjoyable experience. There were a lot of expectations of Guild Wars 2 and it has delivered in every aspect. Best of all, even with all the improvements and changes to the old system, it is still free to play once you buy it....

That’s (M)iPhone!

Nicole Lela, Staff Writer

April 28, 2012

Filed under Game & App Reviews

  With thefts taking place on campus all the time, it is important to never leave your valuables unattended. There have been reports of stolen laptops, phones and textbooks. In most cases, the owner never gets them back. My iPhone was stolen from campus and under normal circumstances I never would have gotten it back. However, because of an amazing app called “Find My iPhone,” I was able to track down my phone. In Fall 2011, I was at school late for an event. I went to the bathroom and forgot my iPhone by the sink. When I realized that my phone was missing, I checked the bathroom and didn’t find it. I remembered the “Find My iPhone” app that uses GPS to find your iPhone. But there’s one catch: the phone needs to be turned on. When I signed in with my Apple ID on MobileMe.com, the phone could not be located. However, it gave me the option to lock my phone, erase my data, and/or display a message on the screen once the phone was turned back on. I locked my phone and left a message for the person who had it, and started refreshing the page literally every minute to see if they had turned the phone on yet. The phone was turned on at around 1 a.m., and I located it at a home not too far from campus. I got a hold of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) because I didn’t want to go to a random person’s house in the middle of the night by myself. I went to the station to fill out a theft report, but the police didn’t seem too interested in helping me. They thought I was nuts to be up this late searching for my phone. But to me, it was worth it for a $600 phone that was a gift from my boyfriend. Two cops finally agreed to escort me to the home. Whoever had answered the door claimed that only old people lived there, and to try across the street. The cops were fed up with me at this point, so they just called it a night. The person who had my phone had shut my phone back off because the next day I couldn’t locate it again. Everyone was telling me to give up on getting it back, but I didn’t want to since I knew where my iPhone was located. That night, the phone was turned on and pointed to the same location as before. I called my friend and asked her and her brother to go to the house to see what they can do. That was the best decision I could have made because if I had gone to the house myself, I would have been so angry with the person that they probably would have felt attacked and denied having my phone. My friends went to the house and asked if anyone from the house had found an iPhone, because the GPS tracked it to this address. The girl who answered the door denied having the phone and said she would ask her family when they got home. My friend asked her to call if it turned up. Ten minutes after my friends left the house the phone rang. The girl said that her mom had found an iPhone in the girl’s bathroom at school and was planning to return it. I’m not sure how true that story is; what I do know is that having “Find My iPhone” helped me more than the campus police and the Chicago Police. The next day I went back to their house with my friend and got the iPhone back. My advice to anyone with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, is to download the "FindMyiPhone" app. It is free and the best chance you have to find an Apple device that was stolen or misplaced....