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I finally added the new Recommended Titles page to the top of the site. I am pretty much opposed to ‘Top 10′ lists and trying to create a ‘Best Games of All Time’ list would prove to be quite difficult with the extensive list of games I have played. I find this to be a great compromise as it lists games that succeed fantastically in what they do. These games may not be great, and some might not really be fun, but I would recommend any gamer to play them. This list will be updated over time and some games may even be removed as they lack the relevancy that they once did. You can find the new page next to the “About Us” and “Subliminal Extremities” links at the top of the site.

Some of you might remember, a few months ago, when I started a column called Video Game Archive and started by looking at the WW2 Call of Duty titles. I wrote a post about CoD1 and never wrote another. In actuality I did finish the United Offensive expansion pack, Call of Duty 2, and Call of Duty World at War. I simply never got around to writing about them. To be honest, there isn’t much to write about these games past the ideas of “macho American military men that do manly things.” Well, that and the ideas of American’s always being right and how awesome being in the military is(disclaimer: I’m not saying armed forces are a bad thing in any way, simply that the portrayal of them in games is always shown through ruby lenses). And these topics have been written about in great detail by many other people. I did take some notes while playing and I figured it would be a waste to not share them. I might do more of these posts as my time for playing and keeping this site updated dwindles ever more so. Read More »

Crouched, leaning with my back against the low wall, I ejected my magazine and put a fresh one in. Brick crumbled away next to me as a sniper bullet pierced through the wall. I take a quick glance at my wrist, a full diagnostics readout displayed graphs and various information. I found the data that was important at that time. Cloaking engine: 1 second. Before it read zero I had already push the button and I watched as light began to bend around my body leaving behind a faint glimmer of my silhouette. A bead of sweat dripped off of my brow as I took a deep breath and ran faster than I ever had before. A 3 story office building was my destination. The gap closed quickly but the sniper must have caught on. Bullets flew by me and dust danced around my feet leaving behind holes where the large caliber bullets met the ground. I jumped towards an open window on the second floor. With the press of a button I was launched higher into the air with the aid of my standard issue jetpack. I misjudged the timing though, soaring above the open window. My training kicked in and I immediately, subconsciously, began running alongside the wall of the building. I braced my legs and pushed off of the wall, my stomach sank with the though of mistiming this jump as well. Leaning towards the wall I pressed the button for the jetpack once more, praying it actually went off. The quick change in direction jerked me towards the open window as the jetpack pulled my body to safety. I may have missed my target but I still made it into the building, just a floor higher than intended. Read More »

walkingdead

I was obviously quite late in my decision to begin playing The Walking Dead Season 1 by Telltale Games. After all, the game has been out almost two years and has won several awards, many of which where game of the year. I have had both friends and family attempt to convince me to play this game and yet I continued to put it on the backburner. The reason I dodged this game was because it was extremely popular. Popular games and I usually don’t mesh too well and it is usually because the popular games are the ones that don’t push the genre forward and are instead in favor of appealing to a wider audience. After having finished the first episode of The Walking Dead I had discovered that it indeed did not improve the formula for the adventure genre. In fact, in many ways, it had regressed. Gone were the days of searching screens for an item that you would need to combine with an item you obtain in the future in order to solve a puzzle. Instead, The Walking Dead focuses on the dialogue. There is actually very little in the ways of item collection or puzzles in The Walking Dead. But that is forgivable. The adventure genre was pretty much dead, save for Telltale making the Sam and Max and Monkey Island titles, and revitalizing it required a new approach that would appeal to “core” gamers. What I found to be interesting was the lack of meaningful player choice in a game that touts how every decision will make your playthrough of the game unique. Read More »

Titanfall

 

Titanfall is one of those games that cannot be played within its own merits. As soon as gameplay footage was shown it was called “Call of Duty meets mechs.” Like many before it, it is instantly judged by what it looks like, what it might play like, and what it ripped off from another game. Much akin to all of the “WoW killers” in the last decade, many have looked to Titanfall hoping it can be the “CoD killer”, the game that finally dethrones CoD from the most played FPS. After having played the beta, I can honestly say this: Titanfall has a good chance of being the first CoD-like that actually takes off. Read More »

Its almost impossible to find a game criticism site that doesn’t have an article about Nintendo’s current state of affairs. Whether to state outright that Nintendo is failing or to give ideas on how Nintendo could improve, several outlets have given their opinion about Nintendo, especially given their recent back and forth in regards to the mobile platform. I’ve grazed over a few of them but they are all ultimately the same article. Every one gives details and facts about the WiiU being a financial failure and how, in their opinion, Nintendo can get back on top. Leigh Alexander made a post at Gamasutra about why people are so invested in Nintendo. In it, she ends with, “I hope the company will keep surprising us, keep triumphing, like a tiny hero running sideways along a line in an eternity of pits and its platforms. Like a speck of our childhood adventuring onward, sword in hand.” This is when I realized that the “impending doom” for Nintendo seems to be a regional opinion as Nintendo always surprises gamers, just not always on a global scope. Read More »

twine-jam

 

Last Monday, Merritt Kopas instigated a Game Jam revolving around using the Twine game engine without any extra modifications. This includes CSS styling and Javascript. What these restrictions create are a very basic, vanilla, atmosphere of Twine to work with. This makes it easier for a first time programmer to write a twine game since there isn’t any complicated exterior coding to create or other languages to learn. The jam ran from Monday to Saturday and 46 games were entered. Merrit has written a little bit about the jam as well as posted links to the submission on her blog. I created my first game as part of this jam and would like to congratulate the rest of the entrants. I plan on making more games, both with Twine and graphic engines, so if you enjoyed my first game stay tuned for more.

LootHero

 

Loot Hero is the perfect example of a game that has been stripped of its core mechanics, left only with its secondary mechanics to stand on. Final Fantasy and Diablo are both franchises that have large fan bases and are widely regarded as the basis for their respective genres of RPG(turn based and action). Both of these games present back tracking and grinding as “features” that power the heroine or hero up. This is represented by a combination of in game mechanics, such as experience and money. Money purchases new equipment while experience “purchases” new stats and skills/spells. An external form of experience occurs as well as the player learns tactics to aid in quicker dispersal of the enemies. This can lend itself to pattern recognition or finding out elemental weaknesses. A player usually begins to feel that a game gets “grindy” if they, as a player, aren’t experiencing, or learning, anything new. Once the weakness has been found, the combat simply becomes repetitive motions. Watch for the enemy’s tell, dodge the attack, hit the enemy with fire weapon, repeat. Turn based games are even worse off as most do not have reactionary mechanics for defense(though there are a few such as the Mario RPG titles) and combat boils down to: wait for your turn, use attacks that deal the most damage, wait for your turn, etc. The real meat to these types of RPGs are the external learning of the combat systems. Read More »

The last few of years of gaming has brought about some great triumphs. We have seen some truly amazing games come to life, massive advancements in story telling, the surge of the indie scene, and the advent of an F2P model that works for both consumer and producer. Unfortunately, for every step forward we have taken it seems the industry, and the vocal gamers alike, have decided to take a gigantic leap backwards and to the side. Every time a game company has shied away from an artistic decision because of societal pressure, every outrageous response to a shift in gaming direction, every death threat. Every focus tested, masculine driven, adult-child pandering, unimaginative, derivative, and hackneyed game that has been created in the efforts to be the best selling($), most talked about($), highest scoring($) yearly iteration of rehashed garbage has stunted our growth as a medium of art. I know that a lot of gamers simply play games. The closest they get to reading about gaming is probably an IGN review. I understand that the gaming community, both the corporate end and the vocal gamers, aren’t something that a lot of people hear about. As this year comes to a close I thought about what we have accomplished these last few years, but more importantly, where we as a community went wrong. Read More »

shield

 

For those of you who follow my Twitter, you are already aware of my Black Friday purchases. For those who aren’t, I finally was able to pick myself up an nVidia Shield and nVidia’s 3D Vision 2 Kit. I’m still playing around with both of them but will definitely advise anyone with a mid-high range PC to grab them. After having played as many games in 3D on PS3 as I could I was expecting a similar experience. The only difference was going to be higher compatibility. I was wrong. This is what 3D is supposed to be like. As for the Shield, it can definitely be summed up as a 5″ tablet with a X360 controller attached to it, and on the surface that is quite true. It handles Android titles amazing well and the Tegra 4 is a beast of a chip. Dead Trigger 2 at max settings rivals Killzone Vita in terms of graphics. But it is all of the other features that boosts Shield beyond a simple tablet. GameStreaming, emulation compatibility, Console Mode, and Miracast. I will be going further in depth with these two items in future posts sometime next week.