Dragon Quest Builders Demo, Japanese RPGs, And Free-Form Gameplay

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I am one of those people who still hasn’t played Minecraft. When I realized Dragon Quest Builders was getting a demo for PS4 I saw this as a chance to see what one of these survival crafting games was all about. Plus this is supposed to be a somewhat unique take on the genre from a Japanese developer. Continue reading

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Ico After 15 Years, Last Guardian Expectations

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As we head into fall 2016 we head into the 15th anniversary of fall 2001, which was a pretty major year in video gaming. Two console launches, and the absolutely monster lineup of exclusives for the PlayStation 2. One console will probably never again get so many major exclusives in such a short amount of time. One of the first of these anniversaries seems to be Ico. Continue reading

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Five Years Later, Does Anyone Really “Get” Dark Souls?

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The first Dark Souls is five years old, director Hidetaka Miyazaki has said some things about his future projects, the first piece of downloadable content for Dark Souls III is coming up, and I just realized I’ve talked almost not at all about Dark Souls III here since before I started playing it.

I think I’ve said enough in previous posts about why I like Dark Souls or the “real” reasons why it’s good beyond just its unusual difficulty. I think this post and the last part of this one are the best summations. The only thing I can really say about Dark Souls III in particular is that it is a consummate video game. That may sound like a bland thing to say, but I think that actually makes it unique among the big releases we get these days. When I say “consummate,”I mean it in the most classical way possible for traditional Japanese console action games. Continue reading

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Until Dawn, Adventure Games, and Console vs PC Graphics

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Another game I checked out to catch up on the PlayStation 4 is what will probably be my only run through Until Dawn. Word-of-mouth gave me the notion it was basically “what if a David Cage game had better writing?” Its grasp of the kind of story it tries to tell in an interactive way does it a great service and makes it something unique even among adventure games, though it could still learn a few things from adventure games. Until Dawn is also possibly one of the best showcases of what consoles are still capable of, but not in the way you might think. Continue reading

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Are PC Game Discs In North America Really Dead?

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I’ve made a couple posts in the past year or so complaining about the state of physical PC games in North America. Most people seem assume it completely died out years ago, or are on the opposite end of the spectrum and get surprised by recent revelations like Titanfall 2 on PC no longer being shipped on a physical disc. I think I can at least clarify most of the current status of North American physical PC game distribution for anyone still trying to shop for PC games at a store. I’ve been paying fairly close attention to it for the last several years. Continue reading

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Did Multiplatform Releases Hurt Handhelds?

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Photo credit nintendolife.com

Whenever the conversation about traditional handheld game systems comes up these days you seem to either have a lifestyle that suits handhelds or you don’t. It’s driven a rift between people who miss the days of the Game Boy Advance or the original DS and those who could care less about them and would always rather play on a console or PC. The funny thing with me is, I’m probably in the latter camp right now but used to spend much more time with handheld games. Just what is it that makes (or made) traditional handhelds appealing anyway?

The easy answer is portability, and for a lot of people it’s probably the best answer. Some people might commute a lot (in vehicles they themselves don’t drive) or spend a lot of free time away from a console or PC. However, looking back makes me think games that were exclusive to handhelds were just as important as their defining portability. Continue reading

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The Gamecube Turns 15

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The Gamecube turns 15 in Japan this week and will turn 15 in North America in November. I don’t think I’ve ever gone in-depth about my experiences with the system: why I bought it, what it was like owning one as my only console during that time, and how that formed my opinion on why it couldn’t wrest any market share back from Sony (and in fact lost some to Microsoft).

In the years prior to the Gamecube’s release I only owned an N64 during its life cycle. I spent a lot of time looking from the outside in at all the neat third party games that made the original PlayStation as appealing as it was. People back then (and today) complained about Nintendo not making enough “mature” games, but the real problem was always a lack of support from the third party developers who would make those kinds of games for a more varied library. It’s why N64 owners ate up C-tier stuff like Quest 64 — there were basically no other RPGs on the system. I followed up the N64 years with a brief but unforgettable time with the Dreamcast. When it became clear the Dreamcast was on its way out in 2001, it was time to decide what would be the one console I would be able to afford that generation. Continue reading

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Demo Smorgasbord

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I’ve had a bunch of demos backed up on various devices over the last few months so I figured I take this time in-between full games to check them out. People think demos are dead but that’s really only the case for western blockbuster games. Indie developers and Japanese developers still do them pretty regularly. I’m just gonna talk about a handful of the ones I did get out of the way. You could call it sort of a demo backlog. Continue reading

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Assault On Saint-George Airstrip: An ArmA 3 Story

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The mission I just completed in ArmA 3’s Dynamic Recon Ops mod should make a nice send-off as I put the game down for a while. I haven’t gotten bored with ArmA 3. Far from it — it’s starting to suck my time away from other games. After probably more than 250 hours I need to rip myself away from it. Continue reading

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How Consumers Should Approach The Upgraded Console Future

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So now we know what Sony is offering with the PlayStation 4 Pro and it’s… the same console with UHD streaming and better performance for the same games. On twitter I’m seeing mixed reactions but whether or not the upgrade is worth it depends heavily on what each consumer’s situation is. From the beginning I’ve been saying that these upgraded consoles won’t be for everyone just like everyone doesn’t upgrade to every new iPhone model. People get what’s best for them, and what’s best is different for everyone. Continue reading

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