There is a constant struggle I face whenever I sit down to play a game. It gnaws at me, and sometimes even paralyzes me into a mental state in which I’m unable to play anything. I constantly fight the battle in my head: do I want to play something from my current backlog of games or spend more time in a persistent game world? The current games battling for my attention are Final Fantasy XIV and Hearthstone, but with a recent upswing in my time playing Heroes of the Storm (recently released into open beta), my problem just keeps getting worse. READ MORE
One of the biggest mistakes a console maker can make is putting a technological gimmick before the hardware itself. The dawn of optical media was a perilous point in games hardware history, with several platform creators rushing to take advantage of the new technology before the big players – Nintendo and Sega – could do it first. One such competitor, Pioneer, attempted to leverage an obscure medium while piggybacking on its more successful competitors to secure victory, but never obtained any compelling software. I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face: Software trumps hardware every time. The Pioneer LaserActive learned this the hard way. READ MORE
It promised a revolution. It promised a common consumer’s upheaval to the traditional console market: taking down the last stronghold against democratizing the creation and sale of video games, the home console market. It promised that the future wars of gaming would be fought with ideas, not hardware specifications. Ouya promised a lot when it first showed itself to the world. READ MORE
What were the most surprising, most disappointing and just plain best games of 2015 so far? The crew gathers to discuss those topics in this video edition of Progress Report. Topics include Monster Hunter, Toad Amiibo, Cities: Skylines, webinars, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., RAPs and more! Watch to see our picks.
The end of the year is a great time to reflect, so we’ll be doing just that. From now until January, we’ll be sharing what we think, both individually and as a group, are the best that 2014 had to offer. If you do need something to pick up, rest assured: we’ll put you on the right path!
Also, in this holiday season of peace and joy, maybe play some fun games with friends? Or settle down at the table with a good unplugged title? Maybe even use our Amazon page to order some things, and give us the gift of being able to pay our hosting bills.
Mostly, though: have a happy holiday! We’ll be back to our normal schedule in January.
It’s Thanksgiving, and we’re taking this opportunity to share what each of us are thankful for in the world of games this year.
Graham Russell: Even in a year with so many great original releases, I find myself being most thankful for those who are working to give old gems a second chance on new platforms. Whether it’s North American debuts like Vib-Ribbon and The Mysterious Murasame Castle, overlooked titles like Valkyria Chronicles and The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky or simply great oldies that are tough to find today like Mega Man Battle Network and Pokemon Trading Card Game GB, this is such a fruitful time for those who love old properties and want to experience them again. READ MORE
It may come as no surprise to anyone that we love being excited about games and this year’s E3 had plenty of those and then some. Here are the handful of titles we saw at the show that made us excited for this year and beyond.
One of the biggest headline Xbox One exclusives shown off by Microsoft this week was Sunset Overdrive. The main reasons the game has been getting attention are its bright color palette and energetic gameplay. Also, it’s being developed by Insomniac Games, whose work up until this point has been almost entirely exclusive to PlayStation platforms. That’s all well and good, but there was something about the teaser trailer shown at Microsoft’s briefing this year that struck me in a very unexpected way. Not anything specifically about the game, but instead a line spoken by its protagonist:
“Can you survive the many dangers? Can you help others survive? Can you save Sunset City? Can you? For the love of God, can you? Of course you can – it’s a f–– video game.” READ MORE
If we expect gaming to grow into its own as a medium to stand among literature, film and music in terms of cultural relevance, we can’t dismiss any work’s artistic merits. If we don’t take our medium seriously, then who will? To that end, I have a hypothesis that some would call downright mad: that Goat Simulator is the most important interactive experience of the year. No, I’m not kidding (no pun intended). READ MORE
Being too far ahead of its time is a common way for a product to fail, especially in the technology business. This is often the most tragic kind of failure, because it is not the result of apathy or cynicism, but just a great idea that the rest of the tech world couldn’t quite support yet. This was the undoing of Nokia’s N-Gage phone. It is a concept that we take as commonplace and even expected in today’s mobile space, but nevertheless garners a great deal of ridicule in retrospect: that a cell phone can run games as well as its handheld competitors. While much of that ridicule was valid due to some baffling hardware design decisions, the N-Gage was a capable handheld that deserves a second look. READ MORE