The Best of Polynauts, the Polygon community: November '11 - October '12 (22/10)


106017+ Daily PC comments - them's a lot of words folks!

Since June 28th, otherwise known as the day the majority of you lot turned up here at Polygon on The Verge, we've grown from a group of disaffected individuals into a community of Polynauts.

As the Polygon editorial team have gone dark in preparation for the upcoming launch they've left me a little bit of a pickle - I've no content to link!!! Therefore I'd like to take today and have a look through the Polygon Community archives, and let you see how far we've come together in that time; but first lets go back to a time before Polygon, before Vox Games.

In the beginning, there was just one man, Ross Miller; Senior Editor for The Verge. To break in the Gaming forum here on The Verge, he made several posts including this one about the Phoenix Wright movie (why was he facing left?); and this post about a custom Bioshock Monopoly board. Whilst they didn't have hundreds of comments, it set the gamer friendly forum into motion.

And we were off.

Here are some of the highlights you'd expect, and some you probably missed, from the past eleven months, ever since The Verge launched its own dedicated gaming forum.

November 4, 2011 - Games that defined your childhood by Hoggs Bison

Those games that send you back in time when you hear a little snippet of the soundtrack. The ones that make you wish you had flood insurance when they send a tidal wave of nostalgia your way. I'll choose a more obscure title from my early days.

I've never posted on anything SBNation/Vox owned before so I have no idea what you folks' policy is about language. So might as well let you know there is some in the title of an embedded Youtube video.

November 15, 2011 - EDITORIAL: "Video Games Can Never Be Art" by brock2621

I wanted to take the opportunity to write about something that has effected me personally, on a very real level. And being in a visual profession, I would even go as far as to say that in some ways, has helped shape the way I think and work. That "thing" to which I am referring is video games. Yes, the passion and hobby of Cheeto-popping, shower-skipping, 30 year old basement dwelling "momma’s boys."

Roger Ebert opened a can of sour worms with thousands and thousands of responses on his blog for stating that, "video games can never be art." It saddens me really, that someone with such voice and pull in the critic industry would state something so senile. He doesn't elaborate at all, and readily admits to never playing them, so I struggle to understand his absolute confidence in his own opinion with such (admittedly) little knowledge he has on the subject.

And without getting into a deep philosophical rant here, what really defines something as being art?

December 27, 2011 - The Verge is getting a gaming sister site by mariokarter (he might have been onto something)

Apparently Joystiq (an AOL company) is having a staff exodus similair to that of Engadget and Techcrunch, and the departing employees will be starting a gaming site with Vox Media, The Verge's parent company.

January 2nd - Favourite Videogame Boxarts by ThrownTariq

February 21 - Welcome to the Vox Games Alpha by Christopher Grant

People have been asking us, "What is Vox Games going to be?"

The real answer? We don't know yet. Vox Games is the temporary name we've gathered under while we work, in parallel, on the much larger task of building an entirely new site. The only guidance we're offering on when you'll be able to enjoy the results of those efforts is "2012." We're not in a rush.

So what are you looking at right now? We had no plans to hide in the background while working on The Site so, as I've been saying, we're crashing on The Verge's couch while we build a new house. Being a temporary home, we're taking the opportunity to experiment and we're treating this launch as an "alpha" ... meaning not-yet-beta. For those of you unfamiliar with software release jargon, that's early. We haven't even shared our name yet!

June 18 - Perfect 10/10 Video Games by _illness

In the vein of the Perfect Gadgets thread, let's name our 10/10 Video Games of all-time.

Same rules apply:

  • Games you've owned (or at least played thoroughly)
  • No speculation
  • Could be a 10 at any point in its life so be nice.

My 10/10 games are: Starcraft, Half-Life, Counter-Strike 1.6, Portal, Unreal Tournament, Super Mario Bros. 3, Tetris, Arkanoid

This, as with the perfect gadgets thread, is really all about personal taste. These games are perfect 10s to me.

June 29 - Welcoming former Kotaku readers to Polygon by Shaun McIlroy

Hey guys, welcome to the Polygon on The Verge community. No, I don't work for Polygon, or The Verge for that matter but I have been here for a long while (January) waiting for the comments sections to fill up with meaningful discourse so thank you for coming over. Just to note - I was formerly known as shaunomacx or OglopKing on Kotaku and now I use my real name because I want to be accountable for my comments. I guess that stems from wanting to belong to a reasonable community, not the trollfest the comments section became abroad on less favourable shores.

So, welcome to the community folks. Lets talk and play

June 29 - The Turn-Based JRPG is a Genre - It Doesn't Need to Change by GunFlame

One of the major complaints though seems to be the stagnation of the JRPG. The 'dated' mechanics being one complaint, and then a number of issues with things like stories and characters. Let's look at the character and story aspects first. Now, JRPG's are often criticized with how they tend to have a number of tropes. The stories follow suit here too. I can understand the criticism, but the thing is, that criticism can actually carry over to pretty much all game genres. Characterization and story quality is pretty darn low in all games, there really are very, very few exceptions. So why is the JRPG so ridiculed because of this?

June 29 - Suggest a New Name for TAY? by AmazingSpiderham

I was thinking it would be a good idea to create a separate thread where we could bandy around name suggestions for an ongoing TAY thread.

Let's have at!

June 30 - Talk Amongst Yourselves by Shaun McIlroy

(The previous one might have been GunFlames, but this is the oldest available TAY)

Chris Plante suggested due to the length of the previous TAY thread that we should create another post. Therefore I suggest we talk about how in theory we would change a popular franchise to keep it fresh, relevant and most of all - fun.

Todays genre is FPS and the series is Call of Duty. I'm know it's a polarising franchise with some loving it for the multiplayer and some hating it for the very same reasons. I'm not referring in any way to Activision when I say things you would change; purely the aspects of the series such as themes, gameplay, multiplayer, physics and so on. What new direction could YOU give to the Call of Duty franchise?

July 2 - Favorite game soundtracks of the current generation by Blobbeh

So, everyone, what are your favorite game soundtracks from this generation of games?

My Top 5, in no particular order are

  • Ace Combat 6
  • Favorite Tracks:
  • Liberation of Gracemaria
  • Ace Combat 6 Main Theme
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction

July 4 - Your favorite game world? by Breadknight

Any world, could be due to back story, explorable area,atmosphere,animals,magic or whatever!

Mine? Cyrodiil

July 5 - Scripted Sequences and Removal of Player Control by mintycrys

I'm starting to think that scripted easy-climbing from foothold to foothold or jumping from collapsing platform to collapsing platform is quickly becoming the new QTE. It has worn out its welcome, and is becoming so ubiquitous in gaming that it no longer adds to a sense of excitement nor immersion. I actively try to find ways to goof around in those scripted sequences. Most of the time, I'm greeted with the inability to grab onto anything that isn't a developer-sanctioned ledge or foothold.

July 6 - EVO 2012! Let's discuss! by LazyAlchemist

Here's the side streams, including games like Virtua Fighter 5, Blazblue, Guilty Gear, and more.

Here's the main streams, showing the games presented at EVO and the panels that'll be played tomorrow (Saturday).

Get hype and share it here, people!

July 7 - Anime Suggestions please!! by Black Knight Rebel

I haven't seriously watched Anime ever since Code Geass finished back in like 2006. I'm now bored and want to get back into it! What are some great ones to look into?

Some stand out shows I either already saw or am already considering watching are below. It's pretty eclectic in my opinion so hopefully it should make recommending me something easy

July 24 - How To Computer: Everything You Should Know about PC Gaming by Docseuss

It sounds like we need a 'one size fits all' post--something to describe why PC gaming is great, how to get into it, and basic info you should know.

August 1 - Rantings of a Fanboy: Nintendo Provides the Best Gaming Experience this Generation by Chaosbirdomaid

Anybody else miss that magical time when games weren’t all these uncanny valley super glossy HD corridor simulators? I do too. Today I wonder if it’s the need to make these "polished" HD AAA blockbuster films, er, games that appeal to the masses that’s to blame for my recent disinterest in the medium. Do you find yourself asking for games that aren’t trying to be flashy instead of fun? Yes, we still have indies, but they can only do so much with what little they have. What I’m talking about is that kind of magic we’ve had in the last few gens, that magic that’s seemingly disappeared. Well, folks, it still exists.

August 2 - Your Biggest Gaming Disappointment by GunFlame

I'm sure we've all been there, waiting for the release of a highly anticipated game, or the next game in the series for your favourite franchise. You've read a little about the game (maybe you've read a lot), and regardless of how much you try to minimize your expectations, they are there. You are hopeful of something, you are expecting something. You don't know what, but you are excited even though you have no real idea on how the experience is actually going to be.

August 10 - Polynauts Assemble! Issue #1: The Official Polynauts Comic/Manga/Anime/Cartoons Discussion Thread by Chaosbirdomaid

So, True Believers! Today embarks on the brand new rebooted Polynauts starting from a new issue #1 for collector's everywhere! Marvel! DC! Others! All in one place! Talk about what you're reading, what you want to read, old favorites, adaptations (Comics, Films, etc.), and more! And due to popular demand, we talk about manga here too!

August 12 - ZombiU: Why I Await The Multiplayer by Foxmcloud555

A surprise cult hit of 2009 was one of the biggest shake ups in online play for a long time.

The ability to write in-game notes to either help or hinder other players, to summon, be summoned or invade in real-time, all while actually on the main quest of the story. Demon's Souls offered a totally optional multiplayer mode, that was absolutely seamlessly integrated with the main game. It was unquestionably brilliant. I absolutely adore both games, and I'm sure many of you guys do too, so It's no surprise that many titles surfacing today cite direct influence from them.

ZombiU is such a game.

August 15 - The Games that Introduced you to a new Genre by Cobaltios

We've most certainly have been there; been playing our favorite games, usually sticking a some key game types for a while due to comfort and familiarity. Then, out of nowhere, a game comes in that actually looks rather appealing, so we jump in and decide, "hey, this is actually pretty fun!".

It's those unique games that are of a known genre, but have enough sub-genres to them, that it makes getting into the primary one that much more appealing.

August 15 - Polynauts Play: Super Amazing Wagon Adventure! by PaddyStardust

Polynauts! Today, your friend Shaun McIlroy (otherwise known as Shaun McIlroy) and myself (otherwise known as PaddyStardust) played us some Super Amazing Wagon Adventure! We decided to find out who could get the furthest East, to the glorious lands of plenty.

August 27 - "So You're A Girl, Right? U hot?" by Kovitlac

So this morning (08-27) I posted a comment to the daily thread concerning a game commentary I had posted on youtube titled, "Gaming as a Girl, and Why You Shouldn't Ask Stupid Questions."

Anyway, I received a lot of cool, supportive comments back. I also received a lot of weird, disturbing comments detailing men who were mistaken for being women. Someone suggested making this a thread unto itself, and so here I am :)

Post your stories of being mistaken for the wrong gender, spammed, harassed (only if you're comfortable, of course), etc through 360, PSN, PC, whatever. I talk a little about my own experiences in the video, but you guys are so much more interesting to hear from ;) Plus, everyone mistakes girls online for guys, simply because men are more prevalent in that environment. But usually men aren't mistaken for women (note: USUALLY)!

August 29 - Polynauts Play Revelations 2012! by PaddyStardust

Hello again! Once more, Shaun and I have been playing something for your entertainment. This time, thanks in part to our own NuclearPrinny, we got to play Revelations 2012, a Mayan first person shooter! It's a pretty awesome game, and I think you guys will enjoy watching the exciting developments!

Can I stop with the lies about this awful, awful game yet? Please?

September 4 - Oh no why isn't my PC booting?!? by Chris Plante

Hello helpful forum folks helping me through my PC build. I'd hoped you wouldn't hear from me until later this week when I posted my initial thoughts on building a PC. That, sadly, is not the case.

As of this morning, my PC isn't booting. I could really use your help.

September 14 - Polynauts LIVE on Saturday: Talk about gaming with Paddy, Shaun and Paul by Polynauts

This Saturday, as stated a few days ago, we're attempting our first podcast which has the temporary title of Polynauts LIVE. We have a couple of ideas on that but we'll see how this trial goes first. It might be awesome, it could very well be a disaster but who knows! Let's find out!

This weeks hosts will be myself Shaun McIlroy, PaddyStardust and xMP44x. We might add to that across the show so if you're interested in a specific segment - email me.

September 16 - The Verge Vs. Polygon: Minecraft war has been declared by Shaun McIlroy

My fellow Polynauts.

War has been declared on the Polygon community by the rival nation of The Verge, within the world of Vergecraft: Factions. I have prepared words to bolster your spirits ahead of the great war.

Join me in defending our soon to be established capital, Polygon City as we take on these aggressors and show them that we will NOT go quietly into the night.

September 17 - Polygon Community Feature: The games which beat your personal 'Hype Train' by Polygon Community

A few weeks ago, if you recall we asked the Polygon community a simple question:


Since then we had a number of great responses from our fellow Polynauts, all of which are listed below. The hype train is coming folks, and it's stopping at Kingdom Hearts, Castlevania, Skyrim, LBP2, Fallout 3 and Red Dead Redemption. - feel free to add more stops in the comments section below about the games you feel are hype-tastic.

September 17 - So, You Want to Make Games? by GunFlame

Some of you folks around here are gunning for the chance to make games for a living. Being able to make money while doing something you are passionate about is always going to be a smart move. Right now, gaming is booming, many people want to give it a whirl, many people are going to school and doing what they think they need to do to get the job that have worked hard to get.

This is not industry specific stuff of course, grab any sector and it’s the same. So why is there still such a lack of information regarding game industry jobs?

September 24 - 999 Vs Xenosaga, the fine line between RPGs and Visual Novels by Lynith

Traditionally speaking, a Visual Novel is a video game that is comprised of about 95% reading, usually with a few Choose Your Own Adventure-style decisions. In what experience I've had with Visual Novels, this results in multiple potential endings. 999 takes these Visual Novel staples a little step further and adds some puzzles to the mix... but there weren't all that many of them. Perhaps more like 98% of the time was simply spent reading the dialogue. But the dialogue was good... fantastic even. (For those who are interested... I've heard it described as "Saw" meets "Battle Royale.") Having finished all endings in my massive marathon, I can see why this game gets the praise that it does for breaking the mold.

And that brings us up to this month, October 2012. Share your memories of other amazing threads in the comments section below - tomorrow Salias will bring you some more memories of the past few months here on Polynauts Central, the off-topic home of the Polygon community.