I’d actually reserved an Nvidia Shield last year, but cancelled at the last minute and put the money toward a PS4 instead. The device was getting middling reviews, and I didn’t have a PC powerful enough to use one of its main selling points: game streaming. Furthermore, gaming on Android, like iOS, is a mixed bag: lots of games, most of them not great. This is further complicated by the fact that while the Shield has a touch screen, it’s not particularly easy to use. There’s a controller in the way. My main motivation for picking up the Shield was playing retro games via emulation, and since I have a laptop I carry with me everywhere, I already have a decent emulation machine. My opinion changed when I got a bunch of cash for selling my old portables. I decided to take a chance and give the Shield a whirl.
Bravely Default sounds like a foolish debt-management strategy. Surprisingly, the title is quite fitting, though oddly obtuse until you understand the game’s main battle mechanic. Built upon the well-regarded battle system of older Final Fantasy games, Bravely Default adds a turn management strategy to the mix that allow players to breeze through simpler battles and hedge their bets on more challenging ones.
The release of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U have signaled the end of the seventh generation of consoles. With the excitement of new console launches now fading, I’d like to take a moment to look back at what the last generation brought gamers. Here are five of the biggest disappointment of the last generation.
I was perusing a popular online dating site the other day, and a woman caught my eye. Her profile was interesting, and she was pretty. The site said we were a good match, so I proceeded to check out her “Important to me” questions. The first question on her list made me quite trepidatious:
Have you ever spent more than 8 hours straight playing video games?
In a time when the majority of games had plots thinner than Subway’s bacon, Final Fantasy put an emphasis on story. Final Fantasy VI, released in 1994, remains my favorite game in the franchise nearly two decades later. This isn’t a trick of nostalgia. It wasn’t the first game I played in the series, nor was it the last. Technical limitations prevent it from having the most impressive visuals or beautiful music. Despite this, it remains to me the most memorable and engaging.
Many game developers have a style. Shigeru Miyamoto tends to gravitate toward the whimsical, whereas American McGee likes to twist children’s tales. David Cage pushes heavily toward the cinematic. Like Heavy Rain before it, Beyond: Two Souls is more readily described as an interactive narrative than a video game, but that isn’t a bad thing. The vast majority of video games use heavily recycled tropes ad nauseum, and although David Cage’s work is never as fun to play as peers, it is every bit as compelling.
Sweden-based Starbreeze Studios is probably still best known for 2004’s well-received Chronicles of Riddich: Escape from Butcher Bay, as well as The Darkness. Over the summer, they released a short game called Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Envisioned by Swedish director Josef Fares, it’s an original adventure that features unique gameplay that is best described as single-player co-op. It is is available for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
The control scheme for Brothers is intuitive: the player controls both brothers at the same time. The older brother is controlled by the left analog stick, the younger brother by the right. Each brother has a single action button, which is the trigger button(L2 or R2 on the PS3) on their side of the controller. In addition, the camera can be rotated by pressing the left and right bumpers (L1 and R1 on the PS3). Although this initially seems quite simple, the task of controlling both brothers at once requires a sort of concentration that most games rarely call upon.
View fullsize I went into Gone Home blind, and I’m incredibly glad I did. News about the game was blowing up for a while, and I had to avoid reading articles and listening to podcasts about it. It was a little maddening. I am the type to do all sorts of research into something thatContinue reading “Everyone Needs To Play Gone Home”
View fullsize Joel and Ellie make their way through the collapsed infrastructure of the US. Before The Last of Us, I would not call myself a fan of video game developer Naughty Dog. Obviously, they are very popular; their games sell in the millions, and they are Sony’s flagship developer. Uncharted is the best-selling PlaystationContinue reading “Do Yourself a Favor: Don’t Miss “The Last of Us””
Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead won a number of Best-Of awards last year. In addition to its many accolades, it also sold quite well. A number of things led to its success beyond the fact that it is a great game. The Walking Dead cost less than the average game, was available on damn nearContinue reading “Is Episodic Content the Future of Gaming?”