The Nintendo Switch Is Mostly Getting Ports. That’s Ok.

This week’s slyly teased Nintendo Direct tells us 2018, like last year, will see the Switch’s software library bolstered by ports of already-released games from the Wii U and other systems. Normally this is a sign that a platform isn’t getting the latest games or any exclusive third party developer support, but these ports are being welcomed on the Switch which says a lot about the platform itself. Continue reading

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Video Game Anniversaries That Will Occur in 2018

2018 is going to be a pretty big year for anniversaries in video games because it’s the 20th anniversary of 1998, often considered the greatest year of video games sever.

Unlike other years people may point out (like 2001 or 2007), 1998 saw the release of a lot of genre-defining games as well as the first entries in major franchises people still play today. It was arguably the most influential year in terms of what people are playing right now.

It’s hard to say what any of the publishers of these games will do to commemorate the anniversaries. Capcom is already giving us multiple impressive anthologies of its classic games this year. Maybe some anniversaries will be observed with “anniversary packs” of items for modern service-driven games. Continue reading

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Why I Couldn’t Make A Game Of The Year List This Year (It’s Really Just Zelda)

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The simple truth is, I finished way too few games that came out in 2017.

As of writing this I just finished Resident Evil 7 and never even touched YakuzaNierGravity RushNiohCuphead, and probably a lot else I can’t think of right now. I played a few hours of Persona 5 and Horizon: Zero Dawn, and might get started on Evil Within 2 right after I finish typing.

I did play through some good games in 2017. Overall I think this year was another good one to follow up 2015 and 2016. Games — particularly big-budget games and console games, are in the middle of a stride right now after what I saw as a sort of slump between 2012 and 2014. Very notable has been the comeback of Japanese third party console games — the ones I just said I hadn’t played, after people had been wondering where they’d gone since around 2005. That many of these games are only for PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 and PC, has also brought upon nostalgia for the era when people bought the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2 for all their Japanese exclusives.

Nintendo’s first party output for the Switch in 2017 was a whirlwind. Putting such strong first party support into the Wii U which few people even bought allowed it to pump the Switch’s first year with ports from the Wii U which to most people were effectively new games. Really though, despite how great the games I played this year were (which I’ll get to further down), nothing came close to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for me.

I didn’t want to bother with ranking everything I played this year because when I thought about my favorite games of 2017, I asked myself “What 2017 game would I play right now, ignoring everything else like my backlog?” Zelda is pretty much the only answer I have. Continue reading

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The Nintendo Switch And The Future Of The Handheld Market

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Many people are positioning the Nintendo Switch as the big winner in gaming this year. I think it’s already passed or is nearing the Wii U’s lifetime sales with less than a year on the market, and it already has a thick lineup of games. On my last post though I linked an article from Gamesindustry.biz taking a slightly alternate look at the Switch’s success. Basically, it asks if the Switch can ever live up to the 3DS. Continue reading

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The PlayStation Games I’d Re-Buy On Xbox, If They Were Added To Backwards Compatibility

On the week’s events: A lot happened this week, especially on Thursday. I got nothin’ personally, just more links you’ll see at the bottom of this blog post to articles I think you should read. Meanwhile, this post is something I’ve had in the tank for a while.

Also: I posted a review of AER: Memories of Old on Steam. http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197983276232/recommended/331870

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Microsoft’s recent shifts towards a policy of backwards compatibility — emulating Xbox 360 and original Xbox games on the Xbox One, letting you use original discs, and even improving those games for free, are setting a precedent in my view against Sony’s treatment of legacy software on PlayStation. This has reached the point where there are games I bought on PlayStation which I’ve thought about re-buying for Xbox because of Microsoft’s policies if they ever become backwards compatible. Continue reading

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The Window To 2018 Gaming

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Namco announced Soulcalibur VI, nothing else matters.

Okay for real, as I usually do I just watched the trailers from the 2017 Game Awards. For me it’s pretty much the first major hint at what games we’ll be playing in 2018, particularly beyond the first quarter. Continue reading

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How Do You Sell An Immersive Sim?

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Don’t treat this blog post by itself as an iron-clad source on the sales of these games, but the general feeling I’ve gotten from reports on Steamspy numbers, NPD data, and other sales reports is that the singleplayer games Bethesda published in the last couple years haven’t met expectations. Mainly right now I’m talking about PreyDishonored 2, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Coming on top of news about lootboxes and multiplayer taking over AAA games along with uncertainty about the future of Deus Ex, this just paints more bad news about singleplayer-only AAA games that aren’t open-world. In particular it seems to be mad news for immersive sims. Continue reading

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How Was Your Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping?

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I probably did spend a good amount of money on stuff this Thanksgiving weekend, but I don’t feel all that enthusiastic about it. It might be because all the purchases I made were pretty predictable, and it might be because throughout this year I’ve felt such a big disconnect between the act of buying games and the act of playing them.

Last year a bunch of steep PC gaming discounts caught me totally off-guard, and I ended up spending those weeks playing great games I hadn’t expected to so soon like Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4. That’s what this season should be all about. It effectively brought back the feeling of being surprised for Christmas or something. This year I bought a bunch of games I’d been waiting to see go on sale beforehand and I don’t know when I’ll actually get around to playing them. Continue reading

Crysis After 10 Years: The Future Of Shooters That Never Was

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The original Crysis turned 10 this week and every article I’ve seen observing this event has been a return to the “Can it run Crysis?” meme, perpetuating the myth that the game was only ever about its graphics. Crysis remains one of my favorite modern first person shooters for a very important reason, and this week I went back through it (or at least the good parts) one more time, trying the highest difficulty setting for the first time. Continue reading

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Late To The Party: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, And Why GTA Online Took Over

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I’m coming up towards the end of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas now but I’m going to go ahead and write this LTTP blog about it because I don’t know if I’m going to finish the game.

I have made blog posts in the past about my struggles with GTA games, but I wanted to take one last crack at San Andreas before actually starting the copy of Grand Theft Auto V I bought years ago. I ran into some of the same problems as before and overall I don’t think San Andreas stands the test of time, but from it I also learned some important things about sandbox games which may point to why GTA is so beloved, why Grand Theft Auto Online has taken over its destiny, and what’s wrong with other sandbox games. Continue reading

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