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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 85: Steam Box, Listener Mail

We are reaching into the listener mail bag again! We learn Brad's favorite food, and what game is like Amelie...if Amelie could fly! Also, Special guest Christopher Floyd stops by to talk in his Irish accent. Oh yeah, we also talk about what we've been playing and have a lively discussion about the Steam Box! With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard "Sexiest Thumbs Alive" Naik, Special Guest Christopher Floyd and Dylan Collins.

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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Gamecritics.com Podcast Special Team Fortress 2 Extravaganza

A few weeks ago I had a bunch of wine and thought to myself: "Self, what would it be like to get the podcast crew together to play TF2's Mann Vs Machine?" Sadly I couldn't get the whole crew on board, but I did manage to get 4 people who had barely played the game before, plus me being terrible at medic and great at healing spies. Unfortunately we weren't able to finish the round due to technical difficulties and the fact that it was getting so late, but fun was had by all (I think) and let it be known that I actually got Tim Spaeth interested in Team Fortress. Yay me. Enjoy the good times with myself, Chi "Heavy" Kong Lui, Tim "Welcome to the Jungle" Spaeth, Kristen "Self-destruct" Taylor, and Jeremy "Technical Difficulties" LaMont.

Screenames:
Dr. Penguin - Richard Naik
gamecritics - Chi Kong Lui
ColonelT - Tim Spaeth
Gelles - Kristen Taylor
Jeremy - Jeremy LaMont

Richard's Guide to Team Fortress 2, Part 6: The Engineer

Team Fortress 2 (Engineer) Screenshot

Montgomery Scott. Kaylee Frye. Lucca. All are capable of fashioning a soup can, a book of matches, and some rocks into a warp drive. From this line of quirky mechanical geniuses comes the Engineer, Team Fortress 2's resident miracle worker.

The Preacher Loop

Half-Life 2: Episode One Screenshot

In a recent commentary on Valve's Half-Life 2 Episodes, Marsh Davies criticizes much of Episode One for its "failure to make your navigation comprehensible, either spatially or narratively." He goes on to praise Episode Two for remembering to provide the player with an overview of its regions, so that the spaces allow the player to see the places he has been, or is going to. As I was reminded in my own recent replay of the original Half-Life and its companion games, this is not a recent improvement by Valve, but a return to form.

Video: Gordon Freeman meets with his agent

Recently released Half-Life concept art is rumored to belong to the very long-awaited Half-Life 2: Episode 3. The Internet briefly caught fire before the denials came down from Valve. Going by Dorkly's Half-Life spoof, whenever a sequel to the episodic games does come, Gordon Freeman is likely to remain a silent character.

Video: Gordon Freeman meets with his agent

Video: Aperture: Lab Ratt

This fan film is called Aperture: Lab Ratt and made by Synthetic PictureHaus. It is based on the Valve comic called Lab Rat. Lab Rat told the story of an Aperture scientist named Doug Rattman, who apparently was one of the only survivors after GLaDOS's take over. Rattman was responsible for placing Chell (heroine of Portal) at the top of the list of test subject candidates that GLaDOS was to use and he also provided clues and warnings "behind the walls" of the Test Chambers for Chell to follow. Truly an important man whose story had to be told.

Video: Aperture: Lab Ratt

GameCritics.com Game Night featuring games

Greetings all. We're trying out a bit of an experiment here, and no, it isn't "how many times can I fit the word 'game' into the headline?" It's the first ever GameCritics game night, which will hopefully give our wonderful community the chance to play, interact, and mercilessly embarrass each other all in the name of good-natured fun.

The first game that we're going to try is Team Fortress 2, for which we've set up our own server (details below). If you haven't played before/aren't experienced, don't worry! This is going to be about having fun above all else, and all skill levels are welcome.

The first date we're shooting for will be Thursday Feb. 23rd, at 7pm CST/8pm EST. I will also post an announcement in the Steam group around that time. Also, we'd like to know what games you would like to see for possible future game nights-post your suggestions in the comments.

Hope to see you there!

TF2 server address (add to favorites in the game): 8.6.75.26:27015

Steam group: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/gamecritics

Replica Portal Gun will make all of your friends jealous

Replica Portal Gun soon available

Ok, so it doesn't actually work—it only lights up—and it will be expensive even at the expected $120 price point. But, we all know that something like will only improve a bedroom or gameroom full of helmets from Halo 3 Legendary Edition and night-vision goggles from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition.

Portal 2 Third Opinion

There Better be Some Cheese at the End of this Maze

Portal 2 Screenshot

HIGH Sabotaging a turret assembly line for hilarious results.

LOW A series of giant test rooms where the challenge stems from spotting the portal-able wall.

WTF How do you "freshen up" carbon dioxide, GLaDOS?

Video: Portal: No Escape short film

The world of Portal seems to be as compelling a place for movie makers to lose themselves in as it is for gamers. This is the second Portal short film I've seen this year that could only be described as a jaw-dropping accomplishment. The other seems a bit more light-hearted, but both capture Portal superbly. This particular short film is even more extraordinary when you consider how it was made.

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