With the amount of role-playing adventures I’ve journeyed through in my life that culminate in apocalyptic showdowns, I’m a little tired. Save the world, rinse, and repeat. It’s so rare that a Japanese RPG d...
Bullfrog's 1997 strategy game Dungeon Keeper is a bona fide classic. It took the typical simulation conventions of the time and added some attitude, some horns, and a whole lot of charm to warp it into something truly special.
Leave it to EA then to come in and take a demonic dump on the franchise by creating a freemium "re-imagining" with timers and microtransactions.
An interesting exercise in game design is to identify assumptions about the genre or medium in general, then question those assumptions. One such assumption that most make is that control should feel natural and unobtrusive as the player's interface with the game. Octodad: Dadliest Catch challenges that idea, making awkward control central to the gameplay.
While the tasks in Octodad would be mundane in almost any other setting with a typical control scheme, they can be challenging or thought-provoking to an octopus dressed up as a human. By requiring a certain amount of care and effort, things like mowing the lawn or visiting the grocery store are made fun, though they can dip into the realm of frustration at times.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is one of the most disappointing games in the series' history. Although I didn't dislike it as much as Jim did, there's certainly something missing that made past games in the franchise appealing, and it's not just because the formula is getting stale.
The campaign was a bore, multiplayer didn't really bring much to the table, and worst of all, the highly anticipated "Extinction" mode was grossly underutilized. While the new map pack doesn't fundamentally fix the core problems of Ghosts, it does make it a little more interesting as a whole.
I'm not sure when it happened, but we've now fully moved away from the type of Japanese role-playing game we loved for three or four console generations.
What happened? Did we change? Did we stop liking this kind of game? Maybe we can blame that stretch of nearly-constant complaints of tired tropes and linear storylines there toward the end of it all. Maybe game makers just got tired of making these kinds of games.
Now we have RPGs that seem to go out of their way to avoid anything that would remind us of these games we used to love. But what's funny to me is that the more they seem to try to innovate, the less gamers seem to like them.
Me? I never became tired of what we would call an old-school RPG. In fact, I've been waiting for someone to make another.
Bravely Default is exactly that: an old-school RPG.
Ouya users have not had a lot to be excited about for a while now. Excepting a few titles like Towerfall, there is not much worth owning on the microconsole, and especially few games that are not available elsewhere. As one of the more hyped titles, Airtight Games' Soul Fjord was looking like it could be a good reason to own an Ouya.
The elevator pitch is great. Soul Fjord is a rhythm-based, hack-and-slash roguelike with a truly unique setting that crosses 1970s funk and 13th Century Norse mythology. Protagonist Magnus Jones has to fight for his right to party after being denied access to Valhalla. Unfortunately, unlike Jones's expertly coiffed afro, Soul Fjord falls flat in its execution.
Dead Rising 3 was a very welcome surprise. It was not only my favorite launch game between the Xbox One and PS4, but it was a killer co-op experience, and had a lot more personality than I thought it would based on early trailers.
Leave it to DLC to not only take out multiplayer, but jettison some of that personality as well.
The game formerly known as "Double Fine Adventure" has finally made its debut -- or should I say, half-debut. Broken Age: Act 1 is the culmination of almost 100,000 backers, over 3.5 million dollars, and nearly two years of waiting. The project, once asking for a mere $400,000, broke Kickstarter history and subsequently forged high expectations for Tim Schafer and his team.
Broken Age follows the lives of Shay and Vella, two young teenagers yearning to escape from their predestined paths. Although the description sounds coming-of-age generic, the stories and puzzles are anything but. Broken Age follows its point-and-click adventure predecessors while forging its own path -- and what a compelling path it is.
I was always a fan of skateboarding games. From Skate or Die to the Tony Hawk series, and most everything in between, I've played and enjoyed my fair share, some more than others. And while the heyday has passed, I still occasionally break out the old titles just to see if I can still rack up the high scores and complete sick lines in a single run.
If you're like me, OlliOlli is just the game you've been waiting for.
I have no idea how to accurately describe Continue?9876543210 so I’ll just copy and paste this quote from the developer in here:
“Continue? is for the type of person that appreciates odd, poetic word play, interpretation of the abstract, and existential philosophy…Continue? is meant to be played when a person is quiet and alone and sitting in bed late at night with a glass of wine or some weed, staring at the ceiling, thinking about their life. “
In Two Brothers, game over isn't the end. Not even close.
Designed to look and play like a Game Boy title, this is an adventure in the vein of classics like Link's Awakening but with a truly bizarre world to call its own. It tells the story of scientist Roy Guarder, who dies alongside his wife in the opening moments only to be brought into what he believes is the afterlife. It's here that he sees wondrous new colors, the likes of which are indescribable to a scientific community he so desperately wants to convince.
Roy is mysteriously able to return from the heavens to his monochromatic world. The only problem is that no one -- well, almost no one -- will believe him. Not without proof. With the help of his brother, Roy sets out to find answers, collect evidence of color, and possibly bring back his beloved wife in a journey that will take him to faraway lands and beyond.
I don't have the best history with sound bars. I had this bigger JBL one that sounded nice, but it stopped working. Kaput. I tried to replace it with one of Sony's budget models, but that one sounded so bad that I laughed at it. And I returned it.
I ended up with a discounted Samsung model that you'd probably find on the shelves of any electronics store right now. I hate it. It sounds like someone popped one of my eardrums. The wireless subwoofer is neat, but it sounds like someone mumbling loudly in the next room. It's unplugged and now in one of my closets. Do you want it? You can have it.
Polk sent along one for us to test out. The Polk N1 Surroundbar is a gaming-focused product, and one of the first officially licensed Xbox One products. I wasn't sure about how a gaming-focused soundbar would hold up, but I was pleasantly surprised after spending some time with it.
Muramasa Rebirth is a fine upgrade to the original game, but there was one thing that didn't sit right with me. For whatever reason, someone decided to take the only new content that was created for the game (four new characters with original stories), and sell it as DLC rather than an extra.
It's a shame, because with a bit of extra content, Rebirth would have been an absolute must-buy for pretty much everyone -- even if you played the original Wii version to death. Having said that, if all of the DLC is as good as the first entry, it'll be worth picking up regardless.
The art of the Souls series blows me away. It truly is an adventurous experience, because although the style is consistent, you literally never know what you're going to walk into next. Whether it's a series of decadent libraries or a murky, poisonous swamp, every single area in a Souls game looks uniquely haunting.
Dark Souls: Design Works is an art book that collects most of that beautiful madness in one place, and although it's lacking in many areas, it is pretty much a must-have for fans of the series.
Connecting your PC (or game console) to your television isn't necessarily difficult, but the cabling can be a bit of a hassle. The HDMI outputs on better laptops and most GPUs make it easier by sending both video and audio over one cable, but an optimal setup would still require Ethernet cabling as well. And if your PC is far away from your television, the situation gets a bit messier.
What if you could just leave your PC in its room and send the audio and video signals wirelessly? Nyrius' Aries Pro lets you do exactly that. I spent a week with the set in my home, trying it out on console gaming, PC gaming, and a bit of web surfing. Read on for our full review
Nidhogg has always been a mysterious turbo-indie game that only the cool kids could play at secret underground events in the 13th hour (NO, I WASN’T JEALOUS). Anyway, we plebeians finally have a chance to own and play the game whenever we want! Even online!
It’s easy to see why Nidhogg has always been regarded as a game that you simply must play if given the chance, but that isn’t to say that it’s official release isn’t without some rough edges.