You Know Ubisoft’s Tetris Game Just Came Out Right?

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In my Tetris 30th anniversary post I think I noted that Ubisoft was working on a new edition of the game to celebrate the occasion called Tetris Ultimate. Well, that game came out on 3DS a little while ago and I decided to take it for a spin since basically no major game website seems interested in it right now. Continue reading

Is Retail Holding Back Modern Game Development?

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If you look around gaming websites right about now, a hot topic is the prevalence of big AAA games launching with significant problems. One of the more underlooked websites — Gamesindustry.biz, seems to pin the problem almost entirely on retail. I think at the very least we might be headed for a major conflict between the retail model and how video games are made these days, if we aren’t already in one.

PC games have more or less always been like this, but console games have gone through a transition in terms of how they develop and evolve. Before, most console gamers probably thought of each game as sort of like a movie or a book — it has a release date, comes out, and that’s it. That’s thinking of games as essentially pieces of media. Video games today with launch issues, patches, and long-tail communities, are revealing what they really always were — software. And modern software doesn’t neatly fit into a retail-focused model. Continue reading

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Video Games Are Still Trying To Find Their Ways of Telling Stories

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A little over a year ago I already did my “big post” laying out my opinions on cut scenes, gameplay, and video game narrative mechanics. The subject seems to have come up again after a double whammy of controversy in this industry.

I might be a little late commenting on the whole “Press F to Pay Respects” business in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but right after that came Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto’s dismissal of the pursuit of “cinematic” video games. I just about completely agree with him. Continue reading

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Far Cry 2 vs Far Cry 3: A Retrospective

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A while ago I decided to give Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3 another run before Far Cry 4 came out. I probably won’t be playing FC4 for a while, but I still think the comparison is interesting, if only for all the arguments that persist over which is the superior Far Cry game.

FC2 and 3 are opposites in some ways when you examine the philosophy of each game’s design. FC2 is popularly cited as a flawed gem that didn’t get the recognition it deserved, while FC3 is popular and better executed but also much more conventional in its design. A lot of people who love one hate the other. Everything I’ve heard about FC4 suggests it’s very much the sequel to FC3, but I still like to look back and hope Ubisoft remembers what was actually good about FC2. Continue reading

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Indie Game Radar: Starshock

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This latest indie alpha I stumbled across has actually been in the wild for around 18 months. PC Gamer did a blurb about it in March last year, but there hasn’t been much word on the game since. After finishing the alpha and reading up about the developer’s intentions with the finished product, Starshock could be right up my alley. Continue reading

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The Most Plausible PC Ports I Want From Capcom

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SEGA is pleased with the opening performance of the PC version of Valkyria Chronicles which should hopefully continue the company’s long trend of bringing its classics to PC. Different Japanese publishers have recently put games on the platform at different rates, and one I want to talk about right now is Capcom.

The PC versions of Capcom’s games over the last several years have been excellent in terms of optimization, but the company hasn’t done much at all in terms of reaching back in time and bringing its classics to the platform… unless it’s also bringing them back for today’s consoles. When I thought about this I started thinking about the Capcom games that would make the most sense to bring to PC. Most of the games that came to my mind are either relatively recent games or games with recently released editions. Continue reading

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Mobile Microsoft Office And The Need For PCs

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I finally got around to trying out the newly updated iOS version of Microsoft Word where editing documents no longer requires a subscription, and whoa. It might bring me a baby step closer to being able to do real work on a tablet or phone, but I’m still don’t think I’ll ever be rid of a PC for that purpose. Continue reading

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Do We Have To Have The DRM Talk Again?!

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Basically every argument I could give on DRM for PC games has already been repeated many times, and this crap persists. Admittedly we’re probably a long way from big corporations getting past this, but I think it’s still worth lamenting. Continue reading

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Nintendo Direct: IP Parading And IP Neglect

Nintendo’s November 2014 Direct told me one thing above all else: it’s trying to prop up the value its franchises as much as possible. All of them. I can understand why, I just wish it would translate into more full games for certain franchises. Continue reading

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Is It Me Or Are Demos Rarer Recently?

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So my Halloween “activity” was pretty much just playing the Evil Within demo that Capcom released on Steam in a surprisingly timely manner. More than anything else this brought to my attention how few demos we’ve had for AAA games on the new consoles or PC in the last year or so. Continue reading

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