Back before Eidos was purchased by Square Enix, it was doing a lot of interesting things. I say interesting, but I actually mean strange. During the PS2 era, it published a lot of bizarre, poorly-received games such as 25 to Life, Rogue Trooper, Total Overdose and Reservoir Dogs. The company had a few good titles under its belt as well, but this was an era when Eidos wasn’t afraid to make some weird choices, for better or worse. One of those decisions was establishing the Fresh Games label in 2002, a short-lived subsection of games that Eidos localized from Japan. It represented the kind of off-brand strategies you rarely (if ever) see from big publishers these days, and it’s something that I miss.
Every year, the team at Stone Blade Entertainment has expanded their award-winning Ascension deckbuilding game with a new base set meant to be both a complete standalone experience as well as a supplement to existing sets. Last year’s large set, Storm of Souls, introduced the concepts of trophy monsters and events to the base Ascension experience. Trophy monsters are still around for this year’s set, Rise of Vigil, but events have been supplanted by another type of card that exists in the deck without actually taking up slots in the center row: treasure. READ MORE
Tower defense is a difficult genre in which to innovate. Stray too far from paths and towers and you’re no longer making tower defense, but stay too close and there is nothing to separate you from all of the other TD games out there. 11 bit found a great way to stand out with the original Anomaly: Warzone Earth in which, instead of placing towers as a disembodied defender, you controlled the squad of attackers. Anomaly 2 iterates on that concept, and it’s a great alternative to the other, more traditional TD games in my library. READ MORE
In From Pixels to Polygons, we examine classic game franchises that have survived the long transition from the 8- or 16-bit era to the current console generation.
When Street Fighter II was released in 1991, the game took the world by storm. This would be Capcom’s most successful title ever, sparking many other companies to create rival games throughout the years, and leaving Capcom with the unenviable task of following up on an instant classic.
Shades of Darkness, the new standalone expansion for Might & Magic Heroes VI, adds a new faction (Dungeon) and two campaigns. Still, it doesn’t really feel like there is much content here, at least not compared to its price tag. It adds a lot of hours of gameplay, but not much has changed from the first game. It feels less like an expansion, and more like standalone DLC. READ MORE
4X games are something of a weakness for me. It almost doesn’t matter what the content is; I’ll dig in for at least a couple of days, as long as it’s playable. That said, it takes something interesting to keep me coming back. StarDrive has what it takes, but it can be tough to get into it. READ MORE
I recently read that there are no more nerds anymore. It’s an antiquated description. The stereotypical male, age 18-to-35, who lives in his parents’ basement reading comic books, plays Dungeons & Dragons, wears beat-up glasses and can’t function in a normal social setting still exists. But it’s becoming derogatory and ignorant to label anybody who enjoys video games or surfs the internet or doesn’t enjoy sports as a nerd, living in a basement somewhere, as a social reject.
Go back to ’80s sex-crazed comedies and all you’ll find are jocks and nerds. Jocks enjoy sports, drinking beer and having sex, whereas nerds will never get laid, enjoy electronics and speak in a nasally twang that nobody could possibly find attractive. That image is dead and buried deep. The concept of judging somebody based on their hobbies and interests has changed dramatically; the richest man in the world is a self-described nerd. Not as many would think to make fun of a quiet, shy boy or girl who happens to excel in computers. It’s a beautiful skill to have. READ MORE
Myst is a great game.
That used to be the consensus, but it’s a controversial opinion to hold now. One of the bestselling games of all time. It was the software that sold us the compact disc, the game that broke all kinds of critical records and the game that made The New York Times realize games could be art. But newer voices haven’t been so kind. READ MORE
Far Cry 3 was an utterly ridiculous game, filled to the brim with plenty of opportunities to cause chaos. It felt like the perfect direction to take the series, and a great culmination of everything that worked about the previous two games. After finding success with it, Ubisoft decided to do something a bit different. Instead of new DLC, it wanted to release a standalone spinoff to give people a chance to experience Far Cry 3 in a completely different setting.
Embracing everything that was ludicrous about the main game and making it even more so, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is one of the craziest examples of how to create something new with something old while wearing your inspirations plainly on your sleeves. READ MORE
The Wii, more than any system before it, was designed to be a party system. With its easy-to-pick-up style and focus on local play over online capabilities, it became the home for a whole host of new and experimental multiplayer titles. (Of course, it had some normal ones too, and those are also good!) Let’s take a look at the best local multiplayer games the system has to offer. READ MORE