How often do you play games that are considered realistic? Does that word even apply to anything you regularly play, or is it something you merely see when people discuss games designed to capture one (or many) aspects of reality? I rarely see myself approaching games for any sort of realism, often leading to the suspension of disbelief. Sometimes it’s easy; after all, nobody plays Super Mario Bros. expecting anything even remotely resembling realism. Sometimes, however, stories being told in games resemble the reality which we inhabit, for better or worse. READ MORE
Gaining Kali’s trust (and her useful items) is only part one of gathering what I consider Spelunky’s perfect set of items. Unfortunately, the others you need to cross your fingers and hope for. The shopkeepers might stock some of these useful tools, but sometimes I run into stores and find nothing but bundles of ropes and maybe a small bag of bombs. Thanks for nothing, shopkeepers! READ MORE
The long-dormant Thief franchise is considered by many to be a pioneer of the stealth genre. Eidos Montreal, the team behind the successful revival of the Deus Ex series, is back with their take on this classic. This new game, simply titled Thief, brings the genre back to its roots by attempting to focus on what made the original games so compelling, while also making it more approachable for newcomers.
When I first heard about Kali, Spelunky’s resident goddess who loves human sacrifices, I wasn’t sure what to think. It was recommended to me that, after rescuing a damsel, I make sure to bring her to an altar to sacrifice immediately. “Why would I do that when I could get some extra health from rescuing her?” I asked foolishly, ignorant of Kali’s amazing power. I learned my lesson quickly. READ MORE
Capcom’s Strider series began its life as an arcade action-platformer before slowly making its way to home consoles. Soon enough, however, Strider simply disappeared, relegating its lead character, Hiryu, to guest appearances in crossover titles such as the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Rumors of the return of this iconic franchise circled for years before a new game, developed by Double Helix, was announced. While this new Strider may not be a perfect recreation of the earlier titles, it differentiates itself by adding a new twist to a well-worn formula.
Last week saw the release of Left Behind, the first (and only) story-related add-on content for The Last of Us. It both filled in a gap during the game’s main story and also focused heavily on Ellie’s life prior to her meeting Joel. I don’t often invest in downloadable content; once I finish a game and put it down, I rarely have a reason to pick it up again for extra content. Sometimes, however, you just need a little more. Left Behind delivered exactly what I was looking for, and also made me think a lot about story DLC and its impact on a game — especially if it comes out months after its initial release.
Spelunky’s level modifiers can be both a gift and a curse. I do spend most of my time in the mines running away from bats in terror, but these modifiers give me a reason to take my time. Some tend to pay off in ways you might not expect, like the dark levels being full of golden bugs which net you a ton of gold, but they often lead to unexpected deaths. I still find myself panicking around bats, but the modifier that terrifies me almost as much as those winged devils happens to involve many, many spiders. READ MORE
Successful comedy in games isn’t as rare as some make it out to be, but consistently-funny titles we almost never see. Jazzpunk, the new adventure from Necrophone Games, is a combination of the best Leslie Nielsen comedies and spoof films from a particular era jam-packed into one tiny game. Its brand of humor may not appeal to everyone, but it’s undeniably clever, charming and consistent in its approach to comedy, even when it seems nonsensical at times.
When I first approached indie darling Spelunky, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. My patience is lacking when it comes to games like it, yet I found myself able to give it another shot thanks to various people and a PlayStation Store sale. After a few more hours of excitement and frustration, it all suddenly made sense, and the wide world of Spelunky opened before me. READ MORE
Resident Evil and Silent Hill have a lot more in common than just genre. Both were popularized on the PS1 and expanded upon during the following console generation. They moved in opposite directions, with Silent Hill sticking close to its roots and Resident Evil attempting to evolve. That being said, both remained shining examples of the horror genre. It wasn’t until the following generation when both series began to move in unrecognizable directions, with new games in each franchise met with mixed reactions.
The mystery behind why this happened isn’t a difficult one to solve, but both have failed to recapture what made them so successful in the first place, leaving me to wonder exactly how these once-beloved franchises can be so easily mismanaged.