Like I was saying to the creators of Pocket Rumble, the minutia is what will make or break a fighting game. All the little moment-to-moment experiences in a given round of combat have to come together to create a vast psychological landscape. That big picture is easy to take for granted unless you take the time to pick it apart now and again.
For instance, winning or losing a fight doesn't have to be about how the game defines victory. The player can define victory on their own terms if they choose to. Using the old Dan/Servbot/Amingo team in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and knocking just one of the opponent's characters out of the match is the peak of competitive fighting game majesty for some. For others, taking on all comers with Pichu and surviving a three-minute battle in Super Smash Bros. Melee is the zenith of videogame achievement. Setting a goal and reaching it. That's what winning is all about, regardless of how the game or anyone else judges you.
Maybe the Wii Fit Trainer's unorthodox crawl animation in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U will become the next great disrespectful fighting game handicap. Doing a quick set of push-ups while in the middle of a super-powered combat scenario really sends a message. It's a message about priorities, about how seriously you take your opponent, and the importance of doing whatever the heck you want. It's beautiful. So beautiful that I had to write a song about it.
With regard to games shown at last weekend's PlayStation Experience, Sony had two noticeable strengths: its first-party mega-titles and the projects of its ever-growing stable of independent developers. While PlayStation fans finally got the chance to go hands-on with the publisher's biggest names like The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne, it was the indies along the length of the entire side wall where the true gems could be found.
In that sense, PlayStation Experience stepped right in line with all the year's other conventions; in relatively small crowds, players got to move from station to station, and fell in love with new games that they knew little-to-nothing about. Checking out the giant booths is all fine and fun, but ask anyone and they'll tell you that talking to passionate indie devs about their games and playing it at their small, humbling exhibits is the glue that holds community shows together.
These were Destructoid's favorite indie games at PlayStation Experience.
My, how time flies. Today, we're 21 years removed from the launch of one of the most influential videogames ever, Doom. It may not have been the original first-person shooter, but it was certainly the most important one in my life. Well, indirectly.
That prestige actually goes to Final Doom. Back in fourth grade, I made a new friend. We went to his house one day after school. The first thing he wanted to do was to boot up his computer and show me Final Doom. I remember being blown away by how awesome it was.
We weren't taking legit runs at Doom, mind you. IDDQD, IDKFA, and IDCLIP made sure that we could run wherever we wanted and kill whatever we wanted with absolutely no problem. Cyberdemons and Arch-viles fell by the hundreds. And, there was always a squeemish glee to watching a Cacodemon die in a messy pile of gloop.
I've been to a lot of videogame conventions this year. From the relatively small BitSummit to the monstrosity that is gamescom, I've pretty much seen them all. I didn't think this past weekend's trip to Las Vegas would result in me saying this, but for better and for worse, I think Sony's PlayStation Experience was my favorite convention of the year.
Part of what makes that so surprising is that the event itself was surprising. Nobody really knew what to expect from the PlayStation Experience. How big would it be? What would the booths look like? Would third-party publishers show up in force? Would it be a ghost town? No one knew.
The doors to the show floor opened up just as Saturday morning's keynote ended, and we finally got a glimpse at the mysterious PlayStation Experience. At first, it was bustling. Everyone coming off the high of the keynote, and they just wanted to play some games. Attendance was probably at its peak in those moments. It didn't feel packed, but there was certainly a steady flow of people at all times.
As Chris mentioned when the trailer debuted at PlayStation Experience, Uncharted 4 looks, "very Uncharted." There are Nolan North quips at everything you see. The dark and dingy cave gives way to a sun-washed, cinematic vista as three birds fly by right as your eyes adjust to the sun.
The climbing, too, looks same as it ever was, save for the addition of a centuries-old, apparently indestructible soft-rock-climbing dagger. And a grappling hook, which was at least used once.
But while the base mechanics are familiar, the layout, at least as it appears in this trailer, is different, and that's why I'm a bit more excited for A Thief's End after being less impressed with Uncharted 3.
You guys might recall (we sure as hell don't) a month or so ago, Devolver Digital sent me and Bill an early build of Titan Souls and a couple large bottles of some sort of ale made by wizards or monks or something. Bill and I...
Yeah, thanks asshole. I've already done this like two dozen times. You might have noticed I rode up to your mission marker ON a Caragor.
“WHEN UN' ORC IS DOWN, THA'S WHEN YOUR CARRRAGOR CAN POUNCE ON EM!”
DIE IN A FIRE.
I loved Shadow of Mordor. You know, unlike some people. I could ignore the generic revenge-driven plot, put up with Gollum's shenanigans, and embrace the hell out of the unique cast of orcs the game generated for me. Hell, I even loved the Arkham-style combat and the kill-crazy orc murder sprees it enabled. I'm not sick of that brand of carnage yet, not by a longshot.
But the game committed one unforgivable sin – It was still tutorializing basic mechanics well into the back half of the game. Every time it happened it was enough to make me want to pitch the game into Mount Doom's lava basement.
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]
Last week on Sup Holmes we welcomed Megan Fox of Glass Bottom Games to the studio. Megan is a powerhouse of imagination and business acumen. We chatted about her time working for Lego on Lego Universe, how your portfolio is more important than your degree when applying for work in the business, the right and wrong way to do Steam sales, the non-intrusive themes of race and sexuality in her upcoming game Hot Tin Roof and a lot more.
Thanks again to Megan for hanging out with us, and tune in today at 4pm EST when we welcome the developers of Rocket Rumble to the program.
This week on Hardline, Bill, Steven, and I used the PlayStation's 20th anniversary as an excuse to bring up a bunch of old games for better (Bushido Blade, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) and for worse (Blasto, some fighting game with a praying mantis).
There's also last-minute talk of dog testicle physics in Ashen Rift, which easily would've been the highlight of the episode except Steven's attire happened and, well, you'll see.
The holidays are fast approaching, and that means quality time with all the family you haven't seen since last year. Unfortunately, "quality time" can quickly devolve into awkward small talk and watching It's a Wonderful Life if you aren't careful.
I wouldn't want to see that happen to anyone, so I've compiled a list of games you can use to keep the entire family entertained, even if they haven't touched a joystick since Pac-Man. I've also included a few amazing couch multiplayer games you can play with your friends who are a little more game savvy. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy these games the way they are meant to be enjoyed, so don't miss out!
The reality of Amiibo is kinda cool, but the dream of Amiibo is infectious. The Russian Instagram video of someone trying (and apparently failing) to use a Samus Amiibo to get on the subway is at over 100K views on my Youtube channel. That's a lot of passion for the potential of Amiibo. It's the kind of thing that myths and legends are made of.
Case in point, I was at my local GameStop yesterday and the clerk behind the counter mentioned to me that his "buddy confirmed" that "only the Samus Amiibo would get you a free ride on the Boston area subway system." Without name dropping too hard, I told him I worked for a videogame blog that reported on that story, but that it was the Moscow subway and that it didn't actually work. He was polite but insistent, stating that his "buddy was never wrong about this kind of stuff."
Being the consumed truth seeker that I am, I dashed right off to the subway with my four Amiibos in my pocket, determined to get to the bottom of this breaking videogame news story. The results speak for themselves, as seen above. Only one question remains -- would you want to see an ongoing series of videos focused on busting Amiibo-related myths? I'm already hearing stories of Amiibos being used to open locked doors, tricking food stamp card readers into thinking you're rich, and to making mean, bad children become good, nice children with just a quick scan of their brains, all thanks to Amiibo's power. A team of "Amiibyth Busters" could take on these alleged truths if that's something you'd want to see. Let us know in the comments.
Ubisoft recently notified the press that it wasn't going to send out early copies of The Crew. Instead, critics would have to experience everything at launch and beyond, meaning there would be no reviews for the game at release. That's a bummer for anyone who pre-ordered and has no idea of what to expect.
But fear not, as Brittany Vincent and I have obtained copies of The Crew, and while she's hard at work giving you the full rundown in the future, I'm here to give a few quick thoughts for all of you who haven't picked up your pre-orders yet.
When I was a young warthog, I didn't know diddly about the games I was buying. I simply made a beeline for the nearest video game section, be it PC or otherwise, and browsed until there was a title that immediately leapt out at me. I kept up with magazines and the like, but I remained mostly oblivious to the development cycles surrounding the titles I wished to procure, the personalities behind them, and in many cases, the content within them.
Sure, I'd check out Seaman in the back of an Electronics Boutique or lust after Monster Rancher Card Battle GB for Game Boy, opting to trade in half of my cartridges for a meager discount off the new title. But there was none of the "announcement trailer, character trailer, preorder trailer, launch trailer, trailer trailer, trailer trailer trailer" nonsense back then. There wasn't much of an opportunity for me to learn unless I truly went digging. And honestly, I liked it that way.
Don't mistake my nostalgia for bitterness. It's fantastic that we have so many opportunities to survey upcoming titles and appraise their quality before spending the $60 (and sometimes more) and ultimately being disappointed. It's only when these opportunities are used to trick consumers that I get heated. There are several ways that companies are marketing video games to this end, and while I can admit to falling victim to one or more of these marketing fads in the past, it's about time that we see them all put out to pasture. I'll be talking about a different stomach-turning technique each week.
First up -- Emotionally manipulative trailers with accompanying musical covers and/or deceptive footage!
Radio Destructoid is our official community-focused podcast! Join Aaron "Mxy" Yost (Forums Admin), ConorElsea.com (US Community Manager), Beccy Caine (EU Community Manager), Kyle MacGregor (Contributor), and Mr Andy Dixon as ...
A little while ago, Max and I were bribed with booze by Devolver Digital to play Titan Souls, an upcoming monster-slaying action game. We got so drunk during our stream of the game, that I'm not even going to link the video here. Luckily, I managed to trick Dtoid community member, Dimmujed, into doing some videos for us, and made him play Titan Souls. He did a lot better at it than we did. We plan on having this milky sex boy do more videos for us, so let us know what you think of him in the comments.
Physical violence is one of the most commonly used game mechanics. There are a few good reasons for that. Violence is an instinctual and direct method to interact with objects, virtual or otherwise. It's something that involves visual, auditory, and tactile feedback to suspend belief around in-game actions, making them feel real despite our conscious awareness that they are not. When done right, violence feels good and it feels real. That's a near-universal truth.
There are a lot of other things that are just as widely enjoyable. A good nap, hugs, and eating a delicious snack are a few. Sadly, we've had a lot harder time translating those experiences into satisfying game mechanics. We've probably come closest with food. While there is only one first-person eating/drinking game currently on the market, there are plenty of titles that contemplate eating and show the pros and/or cons of chowing down.