Arma 3 “Tanks”: More Toys In The Sandbox

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Arma 3’s final expansion, “Tanks,” came out last week and I was able to check it out for a bit. I don’t think anyone else outside hardcore military simulation fans are talking about it so I thought I’d go into it a bit here. Despite my 450+ hours on the game, I definitely wouldn’t say I’m “in deep” with the MilSim crowd.

I remember seeing videos of some other hardcore tank simulator, but I have no idea how Arma 3’s “Tanks” compares to a single-purpose simulator like that. I imagine it’s not as in-depth since it’s a combined-arms game with a far broader spread of gameplay from on-foot to vehicles to aircraft. That being said, what’s in “Tanks” is still somewhat bewildering to someone like me. Continue reading

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Are We Ready To Talk About PS5?

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Some rumblings about a “PlayStation 5” have been going around lately. I either haven’t laid out what I think might happen with the next Sony console or just haven’t done so in at least a couple years. As the current console generation drags on almost two years after the release of upgraded consoles and going on five years since the initial launch of this generation, how much longer do we have to go? Continue reading

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Why A Cult Grew Around Far Cry 2

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It seems like every time a new Far Cry game comes up, somebody has to bring up Far Cry 2. I’m pretty sure I’ve done it more than once on this blog. Before Far Cry 5 came out, USGamer ran an analysis piece about what set Far Cry 2 apart for better or worse. More recently, a video comparing certain minor details between Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 5 has garnered a bit of discussion, and it slightly touches on what I don’t really like about all the Far Cry games that came after Far Cry 2.

To try to run through the main jist concisely, a lot of people didn’t like the 2008 game Far Cry 2 because its world was full of malaria and enemies who attacked players way too often. A lot of other people (like me) liked Far Cry 2 a lot because it tried to bring players into a very systemic and immersive world with lots of factors they were free to deal with however they wanted. The later games in the series stripped out many of Far Cry 2’s elements and in the experience of many became more fun for it. They certainly became more commercially successful. I think the reason some people keep bringing up Far Cry 2 is because it hasn’t gotten a definitive successor. It’s sort of a need that’s been left unfulfilled for a decade. Continue reading

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What’s Next For Splinter Cell?

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A new retail listing suggested we might be getting a new Splinter Cell game this year. Splinter Cell has in some ways been the biggest question mark in Ubisoft’s lineup. It’s the one major franchise Ubisoft hasn’t really talked about in regards to the current console generation. The publisher has gone through some huge changes since the last entry in 2013, and that’s gotta have an affect on what the next Splinter Cell game might be like. Continue reading

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Facebook and My Social Media Drugs

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The #DeleteFacebook trend seems like it might be some kind of turning point in people’s dissatisfaction with social media. After controversies like Cambridge Analytica and Facebook’s influence in Myanmar, It’s almost like many people are finally making a statement that social media has had a net negative affect on their lives. Getting rid of Facebook isn’t an option for me personally, but it’s also the one social network to which I’m the least attached.

Facebook to me right now is really just a tool for a couple very specific purposes: I check in on a particular Facebook group daily (so I have to stay logged in), and I have friends for whom Facebook is my only contact. I don’t really scroll the news feed or keep my timeline updated. I don’t even think I ever cracked 100 friends. That being said, this whole controversy did get me to look back at the permissions of my Facebook apps. Continue reading

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Toys R Us: Memories, Intentions, Causes

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You’ve probably heard by now that the death of Toys R Us is pretty much official now. After some time of news of bankruptcy and all that, it’s closing all its stores in the United States and United Kingdom. Maybe you’re reminiscing about the times you had in Toys R Us before you started buying everything online. Looking back and looking into the death of the retail giant however can reveal some interesting information.

Like a lot of people, Toys R Us used to be a staple of my childhood shopping and I have vivid memories of what it was like during the 90’s. It’s a Toy store but also a lot else — basically a Wal-Mart for “fun” stuff. I just now remembered Toys R Us is the first place where I started buying the Sonic the Hedgehog Archie comic I followed for about 20 years until its cancellation last year. But for many, Toys R Us was, for a time, a pillar of video games. Continue reading

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The Nintendo Switch Is Mostly Getting Ports. That’s OK. (Part Two)

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After the Nintendo Direct in January I said that the Nintendo Switch mostly receiving ports of games from other systems was fine. It still is after this week’s Direct. In fact I’m satisfied with this direct because Nintendo announced the Switch was getting some ports I’ve been waiting for (and there’s at least one other I hope gets announced later).

What we’re seeing now is really a shift in the purpose dedicated handheld gaming systems serve alongside a shift in how third party game developers operate. If you didn’t complain about all the ports for the PlayStation Vita, you can’t really complain about the ones on the Switch. Continue reading

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The Last Demon’s Souls (For Real This Time)

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Twice before, Sony Computer Entertainment said it was shutting down the servers for Demon’s Souls, but this time it actually happened. I managed to get a little bit more time with the game in before the online features at its core were shut down on February 28th. It’s still my favorite Souls game, and is still arguably my top PlayStation 3 game. Playing it this pats week just reinforced my feelings about why it’s unique, even apart from its sequels, the Dark Souls games. Continue reading

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“Games as a Service” In Itself Isn’t A Problem

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As the debate goes on over loot boxes, microtransactions, and the general strategy of “Games as a Service” that the gaming industry is employing, I’ve started to ask myself: “what is actually working?” This brought up an important distinction to make, that making games serviced-based in itself isn’t the real problem some are complaining about, it’s how those services are monetized. Continue reading

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On Duolingo (And Other Free Online Language Education Tools)

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For nearly a year now I’ve been using the popular language-learning program Duolingo, and since it technically treats itself as a game, I thought I should go ahead and put a few words about it down here. For anyone curious, I don’t think Duolingo on its own can replace entire language courses, but it still makes for a very good first step and individual part to a larger experience. It’s also not the only decent free online language-learning tool. Continue reading

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