Next-Gen Speculation Begins


So we’ve had a few days to digest what Sony showed Wired when it revealed some specifications for what we all think it will call the PlayStation 5. There’s a lot that it tells us and a lot that it doesn’t. We can now begin to speculate some of the impact these specs might have on game design and even on the games we’re playing right now. Continue reading

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Why I’m Still Playing Generation Zero


A few weeks ago I reviewed Generation Zero for Indie Game Website, and while everybody has mostly written it off as a disappointment, I’m actually coming up on hour-60 as I write this. While the game definitely feels like it needed more time, the handful of things it does very well are enough to appeal to me personally. Continue reading

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Different Kinds of Game Difficulty


I haven’t been playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice yet but I’ve heard the conversations surrounding its notorious difficulty (even compared to From Software’s Dark Souls games) and the subject of easy modes in games. What I did do was review Mechstermination Force for Indie Game Website — and that’s also a pretty tough game. I think that, pertaining to this conversation, there are generally two kinds of “hard game”. Continue reading

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Apple Arcade: How Can Subscription Services Change Games?


Announcement: I reviewed Generation Zero for Indie Game Website. Check it out:

Main Post: Apple announced another video game subscription service, being the latest company to jump on the idea after Google, Microsoft, and really every other platform holder depending on how you look at it. Personally I have yet to lean one way or the other on subscription services, and in regards to Apple Arcade specifically, mobile games as well. I guess my main question is: will Apple Arcade’s exclusives be able to hold my attention longer than the usual time-wasters?

I haven’t spent significant time on a mobile game in a long time, and books are actually the main reason. I don’t know if other people don’t read books on smart phones as opposed to tablets or dedicated e-readers, but a phone has always had enough screen real estate for me. When I’m out somewhere with my phone and some time to kill, books have been doing a better job at holding my attention than mobile games. Continue reading

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Google Stadia: An Alternative to Console Wars


So Google’s recently-announced Stadia is a video game streaming service, as we all expected. There isn’t even a box involved, Google wants you to play video games over streaming through all kinds of computers and mobile devices. The obstacles previous attempts like OnLive and Gaikai faced haven’t really changed, but Google’s decidedly hardware-agnostic approach addresses issues that, really, have defined video games since the beginning.

I think the features Google touts with Stadia sound cool — basically being able to google search a game or watch it on YouTube, then immediately start playing that game on whatever device you already own. If it ever actually works, maybe it could be a way to end console wars, or at least offer people an alternate path around them. Continue reading

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The Potential of a Google Console


I feel like I’ve written this exact post before — about a tech giant potentially getting into traditoinal console gaming. In any case, I think the idea of Google stepping into the same ring as Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo has some potential that many might not initially see, mostly regarding the nature of Android.

Based on the current changing winds of the video game industry and Google’s recent announcements, I think we can be fairly certain that at the very least Google is doing something with playing video games over streaming. But other rumors suggest something more — that Google will go for a “traditional” console that will run games locally. Google doing that is where I see the real interesting possibilities. Continue reading

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The Manga Industry’s Newest Attempt To Compete With Piracy


This happened a little while ago but I wanted to write a bit about the manga industry’s recent attempts to catch up with digital distribution, particularly on mobile devices.

If you don’t know, searching “manga” on the iOS App Store will bring up a bunch of apps for reading manga, but most of them are for reading straight-up pirated chapters online. Companies like Shueisha in Japan and Viz in the west started a new initiative a few weeks ago to try to catch up, with some pretty aggressive pricing and leniency. It looks like a serious first step in competing with piracy, but I honestly don’t know how far the industry can go here. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Devil May Cry (2001)


Attention: About a month ago Indie Game Website ran my preview of Project Wingman. It’s come a long way since I first did the blog post on the original release of the alpha.

I don’t actually know when I’ll buy Devil May Cry V, but I thought the run-up to its release would be a good time to finally investigate the original Devil May Cry for the first time. I’d been worried it would feel too obsolete compared to the rest of the “Character Action” genre it created, but a lot about the game surprised me that makes sense considering its place in its own lineage. Continue reading

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Why I Played Resident Evil 2 For Almost 100 Hours


I logged almost 100 hours on Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil 2 in the month since it came out, so I have to write something about it.

In today’s world where companies like BioWare which were known for linear role-playing games like Baldur’s Gate are now shipping online loot-fests like Anthem, the game I drop 100 hours on is the one where you can actually get to the credits in around eight hours. I’m still wondering how Capcom can devote hefty production values to games like Resident Evil and Devil May Cry V when they don’t really have recurring revenue streams but do have definitive “endings” that players can reach quickly. The last couple Resident Evil games — this remake and 2017’s Resident Evil 7, prove in my experience at least that design around replayability can count for a lot. Continue reading

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[Nintendo Direct February 2019] Nintendo’s Usual Strategy Is Finally Working


Nintendo is dropping a lot of first party games for its Switch console-handheld hybrid this year. That’s pretty much the plan this week’s Nintendo Direct confirmed, which is probably what the plan for the Switch was all along. People like to think of the Switch is a big turnaround for Nintendo, but really it’s the same strategy Nintendo has been following for arguably 20-plus years. It just happens to be working better than ever now. Continue reading

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