It’s a pretty well known stereotype in the North American movie world – perhaps globally – that movies based on the stories told in video games generally aren’t that great. Of course, that’s a somewhat mixed opinion with the people who actually make them because, in spite of this, a great number of those movies turn a pretty nice profit, some of them even hitting blockbuster status. Among those that were panned critically, though, is a diamond in the rough that was often seen as a great standalone movie that suffered against a franchise name that was well-known for being incredibly high quality and was riding a huge wave of success and expectation at the time. The pressure of expectation was a big one and for a brand new studio created by a company that hadn’t ever made a feature-length film in the past – we have to remember their contributions to the Animatrix series of shorts and the various CGI work they’d done for other movies before The Spirits Within – and with that hype train riding faster and faster towards release, the movie was almost doomed to be panned, from the time that train got on the tracks… follow the jump for more!
15 years ago, long before the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises really took off and brought the music game genre to the gaming mainstream, when everyone thought of music games, people brought up games like Dance Dance Revolution and its ilk, such as Bust a Groove, one of my personal favorites, back then, and Parappa the Rapper. Harmonix’s Frequency gave us the same kind of game presented in a different way: you had a catalogue of American artists from across many genres, you were presented a kind of shoot-’em-up rail shooter approach to following along with music, you were given the ability to freestyle remix your song at certain points.What you saw were the foundations of what turned Guitar Hero into the hit franchise it still is, today. I was on the line with this series – with Frequency and Amplitude on the PlayStation 2 – for the unique approach and music selection. Most of the music games I went for, those days, were heavy with underground EDM and J-POP hits that I couldn’t always get into and Frequency hit a nerve with me because it had more of the kinds of artists I know I’d get into. It’s actually responsible, single-handedly, for my love for the band Fear Factory, if that gives you an idea of how much I liked the soundtrack.
Fast forward until 2014 where Harmonix starts a Kickstarter fundraiser for a new title and while it didn’t attract the attention some other Kickstarter video game projects get, these days, it still got some big name support from names like Greg Miller and others in the gaming press. Everybody, thanks to the approach of the project, who backed the project had a good idea of what to expect from the newest entry in the series, titled like the second entry: Amplitude. This game offered, more or less, the same game as others in the series but introducing some new gameplay elements, a new soundtrack, and some more straightforward approaches to the campaign. Follow the jump for more!
When I was younger, I had a thing for giving games a chance when they weren’t rated so well or they weren’t getting a lot of media attention. If I was at a local video store and I hadn’t seen a game before, I’d always get excited as though I was the first person in the entire world to play it and I’d found some kind of hidden gem. Back when I first started renting SNES and Genesis games on my own – before that, I needed parental or brotherly approval – the Internet wasn’t nearly as relevant as it is now and very little of it was dedicated to gaming and gaming press so having what you would call a gaming blog, back then, was kind of a brand new thing. My thing, back then, was just talking about games that I liked and trying to grow a community that knew no borders. It’s a weird thing, back then, really quite a bit more niche than it is now. When I wrote about Secret of Evermore, then, I remember saying that I got it because of its similarities to Secret of Mana, a game that stood as a beautiful and rich departure from the likes of Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, and Breath of Fire titles that were all the rage at the time. Delving into it now, I feel that I was able to appreciate it a little more than I did when I first tried it. Follow the jump to learn more about the game and my experiences with it!
In case you missed it or you’ve been living underneath a gaming rock for the last little while, Oculus announced a price and start date for shipping for its Rift VR Headset: 599$ USD and March 28th. As one can expect, the reaction was generally the same as it is with things that have been hyped a lot: “gaming company does a thing; the internet freaks out.” I could talk about the reasoning behind such pricing, why some people think it’s outrageous, why I think it’s perfectly reasonable and should have been expected, and why expectations were set differently by Oculus, but that’s not entirely what I came to write about, here… what I’m talking about is how, at least, as far as the gaming industry is concerned, the internet freaks out about damn near everything the mainstream and it seems that there’s always something to complain about, no matter how reasonable or logical it is.Read More
It’s about five or six days short of two months owning the game and I’ve still been playing it, off and on, to pass the time when I’m bored with other games. There’s always downtime with Final Fantasy XIV, too, as my server has some pretty well defined times when it’s better off you just log off if you don’t want to solo quest. I’ve found that in playing it for as long as I have, I’ve pretty much done all that I can do, short of starting again or waiting until Bethesda patches the multitude of issues the game has, so I really have to prioritize what I do with my first playthrough character if I don’t want to play the waiting game with Bethesda: I’ve turned my attention to the fact that I really am only 11 trophies away from getting my very first platinum trophy and that will be my next goal for this game before I can dedicate to a new playthrough when Bethesda decides to really fix this game.
You have to understand, though, that wanting to go platinum for a game is kind of an unusual thing for me: I play for the fun of it and trophies, to me, are just a way to show off. I’m not interested in showing off my accomplishments in that way and if I want to show you how good I am, what I have in-game, or how far I’ve gotten, I’d rather just stream and show everyone, first-hand. Getting a platinum trophy, to me, in this game, would be like getting all the items in the game, bringing them to life, and showing them on a shelf – it’s not a point of arrogance but rather a kind of collector’s pride; a measure of how much I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the game. I love playing Fallout 4 but there’s been some serious thorns in my side and they’ll continue to be so long as I’m playing with this one character.Read More
As we’re closing in on the end of one year and getting ready to start the next, a lot of people are reflecting on the year that’s past and others are looking at the year to come. I’m one of those looking to the future and I’ll tell you why: 2016 and the coming years after are going to be an extremely exciting time for games. While gaming has always been a longtime passion of mine, I do have to admit that it has felt like, in the last couple generations, innovation and creativity had been been steadily decreasing while market saturation has been steadily increasing. It wasn’t looking good as the market was looking stale and things weren’t change. Sure, there were gimmicks that came and went but nothing really stuck. There were few real surprises and the things that jumped aboard the hype train were mostly games we’d been anticipating and asking for, for years. There was a lot of vaporware, a lot of E3s that came and went that left us wanting more and spending more time laughing at the flaws than celebrating the wonders. In my honest opinion, the fifth generation was the last generation that truly brought us wonders we never thought we’d see possible and all the last couple generations did was expand on that. We never saw anything truly groundbreaking and that’s part of why 2016 is going to be an exciting year: we are going to see a lot of broken ground and whether or not it will be truly successful, we finally see companies going out and taking risks and those are the kinds of moves that change gaming for the better. Follow the jump for our preview of the year to come and what to watch for!
Seems only fitting that this article be titled with an older movie reference to Tim Burton’s Batman, honestly, as it seems Hideo Kojima and Konami have had the same kind of symbiotic and rather tumultuous relationship in the past as Konami was the one company that would give Kojima a chance back in the 80’s and, now, with the post-Metal Gear Solid V dramatics, they will be the ones to finally see him go and make something of himself elsewhere. While there’s word that Kojima is under an NDA about his departure from Konami, there is plenty of speculation as to why he is not longer with the company, most of that speculation following the line of thought that Konami is the new video game company that’s easy to hate and point fingers at, somewhat relieving Electronic Arts of that position. While there’s a lot of truth to what’s being spouted among the common gaming community, I think that things are quite a bit more simpler than people give the situation credit for and I find that Kojima may have had just as much a hand in how things ended up as Konami did.
Hey there, everyone! It’s that time of the year and while the offerings for free games are a little half and half, it’s still a good time to be a PlayStation Plus member! Follow the jump to see what I think about this month’s free games!
If you know me well at all, you should know that there’s one thing other than gaming that’s near and dear to my heart: hockey and the Detroit Red Wings, equally. I’ve been a fan nearly as long as I’ve been alive and when you give me the chance to mix hockey and video games, I am more than happy to participate. Now, I liked it a little more during the 16-bit and 32-bit generations when there was a great deal more competition when it came to hockey video games, but things have gotten so refined now that it would be hard to do things so differently without being radically different and we all know how people react to that kind of change. NHL 16 is another step in a long history of hockey games from Electronic Arts that stretches all the way back to 1994 and even further back, depending on who you ask. While you have a game that feels extremely refined and awesome, you also have a game franchise that feels like it’s bordering on stagnancy.
Oh, buddy, I’ve seen some things. I’ve finally gotten through the story content and a majority of the side content that’s presently available and reachable that has been found. I’ve seen references to Cthulu mythology, I’ve battled giants by the handful, I’ve established enough settlements to say I hold command over a small army, I’ve mastered enough of the game to finally understand is actually bugged and what is intended without needing to be told, I’m one of those that now feels confident enough to walk around in aesthetic armor – the Silver Shroud outfit, if you’re wondering – and I think I’ve finally got Fallout 4 underneath my heel.
I can’t even start this Life is Strange review without worrying about how it’ll sound. That’s how this game has me: in a fluster of emotion, insecurity, and anger. This game perfectly embodies the high school experience – perhaps a little too well. While I am on in my years I remember my years in high school with a kind of clarity that set me on the path I took for college and, by proxy, the rest of my life. I don’t look back on those years fondly. When I purchased the game via the PlayStation Store I thought I was going to get a kind of Lean on Me experience that told a story that happened to kids that were in school and not highlight the school part of their lives so vividly; not only was I wrong but it felt as if part of the purpose of this game was to expose the player to a side of high school social life that the developers felt wasn’t talked about enough. However, this isn’t said to say that Life is Strange isn’t a good game or a good story: no, it’s just the opposite. What I’ll be talking about here is how you can use a good game as a vehicle to tell a compelling story that purposely goes out of its way to rub you the wrong way.
It’s starting to happen and I can slowly feel it: even though I know there’s better games out there, much less in my PlayStation 4 collection, alone, I find myself coming back to Fallout 4 every single time. There are days where, in spite of the fact that there is an autosave and dedicated saving features, I simply refuse to turn the game off. These are all signs that this game has its hooks in me, hardcore: kind of like McDonald’s, you know there’s better food out there and you’d enjoy it much, much more, you find yourself hankering for their food every so often in spite of that. This game’s like a drug. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, or not, because I’m still scared of doing certain things due to glitches that haven’t been addressed, but I keep going anyway.
“This Gun is the Best Gun Ever.”
So, I have to admit that building settlements and modifying weapons and armor are probably two of the best parts of this game, mostly because the materials, weapons, and armor you find out on your own are… how to put this… crap. However, though, in being rather obsessive about collecting legendary weapons and armor, I’ve been able to find and modify my daily drivers: a legendary shotgun whose bullets explode on impact, doing 15 points of AOE damage, modified to the point where it’s doing 139 base damage, has a fire rate of 181, a range of 53, and accuracy of 42, meaning this bad boy can tear up a close range battle in no time, flat; a legendary sniper rifle that boosts base damage by 25%, with a base damage of 102, a fire rate of 3, a range of 197, and an accuracy of 98, meaning unprotected and unwary enemies may be dead before they even see me; and, finally, almost a full set – I’m only missing the right arm piece – of Heavy Combat Armor modified to be deep pocketed and have the BOS paint for added radiation protection. I’ve gotten rather crazy about my modifications and, as perks allow, things will only get better. I mean, I can even use this shotgun in long range situations as each bearing in the shotgun shell explodes on impact, meaning that even if you miss by a fairly large margin, you would still do some nice damage, especially if there’s explosive barrels in the vicinity. I am blowing through the game now and taking names now that I’ve modded that shotgun.
If you’re having trouble making it in the Commonwealth of Fallout 4…
…you’re far from alone on that one. There’s a lot of people out there who are already kind of burned out on the game with the sheer amount of things you can do. It’s kind of overwhelming. I totally agree with you! That’s why I came up with a rather handy-dandy guide so you can get a leg up on the terrible atrocities of the Commonwealth so that way you can get the most out of your Fallout 4 experience. Read More
So, here we are: I’ve had this game for a full week and even the acquisition of NHL 16 hasn’t slowed progress any… that’s saying a lot because I’m a humongous hockey fan. It’s been a long time and the path through the Commonwealth has been fraught with small victories and huge losses and while Fallout 4‘s improvements made themselves apparent right away, a lot of the franchise staples have made themselves apparent as I, finally, start to embrace the main quest line that the game has set out in front of me.
In case you haven’t heard of Ronda Rousey for some reason, I’ll give you a little bit of a catch up as to who she is: she’s currently undefeated in the UFC and carries the Bantamweight Women’s Championship. She is extremely cocky but she backs every word she says up with knowledge and confidence. She gained a lot of support in the geek community for stating her love for things such as Pokémon, World of Warcraft, and Dragonball Z – while it’s cool she’s into those things, that’s pretty entry level stuff – and her otherwise attractiveness, likability, and trash talk have gained her quite the reputation among fighters in an otherwise low key division of the hugely popular UFC genre of fighting.
If that’s a bit much for you, a great example of why she’s on the cover is because most of her fights go down like this: