Selective Game Installs Coming To Consoles. Finally.

DJozG7BXgAAZ85sIt looks like console gaming is finally starting to utilize compartmentalized game installations upon figuring out everybody can’t install or download 80-plus gigabyte games. Bethesda confirmed the newly-announced Nintendo Switch version of DOOM will come on a physical game card that will only contain the main campaign, with the multiplayer being an optional download that can’t fit on the card. Microsoft also just started talking about how future game installs on Xbox will let players be selective about what parts of a game they want to install — choosing between textures, game modes, and audio languages, in order to save hard drive space and internet data.

Frankly Microsoft should have been doing this long ago, and Bethesda should allow this for every version of DOOM. Some PC games have been doing something like this for a while (for decades actually if you wanna get really technical). For the most part though until now console games that install to the hard drive have just been installing everything. Continue reading

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20 Years Of GoldenEye and FPS Mission Design

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The 20th anniversary of GoldenEye 007 for the N64 completely passed me by last month. This week is the 20th anniversary of the North American release of Final Fantasy VII but I’ve still never actually played that game beyond the first few hours, so I’m just gonna finally write about GoldenEye.

I imagine everyone else who wrote about GoldenEye a couple weeks ago went on about how everyone around them played it in 1997, how it was the first major console first person shooter, and how its competitive multiplayer was a main pillar of gaming at the time. All that is true, but I also like pointing out how influential GoldenEye’s story campaign may have been for certain kinds of first person action games. Continue reading

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“Story Mode,” Action Games, And Interactive Fiction

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So Horizon Zero Dawn is the latest big budget game to include a “story mode” or what people are calling super-easy modes now. While some may argue against modes that significantly de-emphasize or nullify combat, they’re really part of a larger trend along with “walking simulators” and new adventure games. Continue reading

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More Games Are Using Compasses Instead of Minimaps

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I’ve started to notice that open-world games coming out in 2017 and 2018 are getting rid of the minimap in favor of a quest compass like the one Bethesda uses for Fallout and Elder Scrolls games. I think the compass is preferable to the minimap, but doesn’t solve a fundamental problem with pathfinding and quest design in these games. Continue reading

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Otakon 2017 Photoblog

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I spent last weekend at Otakon 2017, which moved to Washington DC this year after it outgrew the convention center in Baltimore.  Below are the pictures I took of some neat cosplay and some other cool things I saw and did there. Continue reading

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Suggestions For Starting Mobile Suit Gundam

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For the last few months I’ve been watching a ton of Mobile Suit Gundam anime, and I think I’ve reached a point where I can at least put down a small collection of tips for anyone else thinking about getting into it or just taking a glance at it.

Mainly I’ve been watching different parts of the “Universal Century” Gundam shows, which if you don’t know form the main timeline around which the franchise was originally started. There are other shows taking place in their own continuities. I think this guide from Anime News Network is a good glance at the entire franchise, but it’s slightly outdated since a few more UC properties have come out since it was published, and I want to go over those a little bit. Continue reading

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Chatter Part Two: Text vs Video Content

In another installment of “things I like or don’t like compared to what everybody else seems to like,” I think it’s time I talked about the pivot to video everybody seems to be making. I think a lot of websites, organizations, and other groups or individuals are rushing to video and abandoning text too quickly, or without really thinking about it. I’ll admit there’s some bias here: text is my whole skill set. I also however still prefer reading to text when consuming media, and there is both sound reasoning and data behind that preference. It’s not even that simple though, there are a few video-oriented publications I like, but only a few.

Everywhere I look people seem to be saying video is the future. All the major publications, including gaming-oriented ones, want more people who are skilled with video (they still want more writers too). I think VICE just let a lot of people go in a presumed pivot to video. Video-as-the-future is obviously a trend, but I think some of the trend is just hype. Continue reading

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Today’s Gaming Chatter

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Has anyone reading this ever gotten the feeling they’re becoming disconnected from the main conversations about video games online? I mean that in terms of the kinds of video games being talked about and how they’re being talked about on all kinds of gaming websites. Maybe it’s just that everyone writing about games is headed in one general direction that doesn’t exactly represent how everyone is playing games, maybe it’s just that I’m currently enjoying games in an unusual way.

The most talked-about games right now include hits like OverwatchPlayerunknown’s Battlegrounds, MOBAs, Rocket League, or Rainbow Six Siege, none of which I play. I’m not saying that to be smug, I’m just pointing out that most of the time what I’m playing is something no one is currently talking about. I see two main things happening when I look at the games everyone is tweeting or writing feature articles about: a move towards multiplayer games, and a move towards human interest stories. Both are completely understandable… just not something I’m extremely interested in. Continue reading

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RIP Archie Sonic Comic

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After several months of uncertainty, SEGA and Archie Comics finally confirmed they’re cancelling the Sonic the Hedgehog comics. I don’t know about you, but for me this is the end of an era.

I’m not gonna try to argue about how good the comics actually were for the 24 years Archie did them, but I am going to try to impart a sense of how and why they meant so much to me as well as other readers. In most news stories about Archie’s Sonic comics you’ll probably hear that the mainline Sonic the Hedgehog series was the longest-running comic based on a video game, but for readers it was really a story in itself, one that in many ways went above and beyond everything that happened with the games. Continue reading

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Your Dungeon-Looting Preference: Part Two

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Over the last several months I’ve been trying Tom Clancy’s: The Division on and off, and with Destiny 2 coming along I guess I can talk about loot-oriented action RPGs again. I might have use for a new one, but I think I’m conflicted about The Division. Continue reading

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