Why Doesn’t Content Bloat In Witcher 3 And Metal Gear Solid V Annoy Me?

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Right now I’m trying to juggle two massive games: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and The Witcher 3. While trying to reconfigure my wake/sleep schedule I’m also realizing both of these games do exactly what I’ve hated about open-world games for some time now… but I’m thoroughly enjoying them.

You know those games, usually coming from Ubisoft, that just put icons all over the map for treasure chests and side missions to the point where it all ends up feeling like busywork? Or they throw in a lot of extraneous features like crafting materials and team management simulations? I think MGSV and Witcher 3 figured out how to do those kinds of games properly. Continue reading

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Yet Again We Anticipate An Apple TV App Store

Here we are once more, talking about the possibility of Apple unveiling an Apple TV that finally incorporates an app store. I’ve blogged about this and other people have talked about it like some kind of doomsday scenario for TV entertainment since iOS and the Apple TV have been around.

This new recent story out of 9to5Mac suggests gaming will be a big focus of the new Apple TV. That in itself suggests a lot of different possibilities. People have doubted Apple’s potential success with TV gaming for a long time but at the same time I think this article may be overestimating what may or may not happen. Continue reading

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Digital Distribution And PR Lessons From Metal Gear On Steam

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After all that hype for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain I talked about, actually getting the game has been an informational and emotional whirlwind for those who chose to pre-order it on PC. Whatever happens, or did happen, let this stand as an example of what publishers and public relations shouldn’t do for highly anticipated digital releases. Continue reading

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MGSV And The Changing Hype For Japanese Blockbusters

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This may or may not be my last blog post before Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain lands so I guess I should finally put words to how unusual the hype for this game has felt for me. It’s one of my most anticipated games of 2015, but my anticipation doesn’t seem to be the same as everyone else’s. I think it’s because as Hideo Kojima ends his involvement with the series it’s starting to become something that’s not quite for the same people who were enamored with the original Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2.

What I feel in anticipation for Phantom Pain isn’t what I felt in anticipation for MGS2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, or Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The kind of hype I felt back then — akin to the kind of hype people felt in anticipation of Final Fantasy VIII or Final Fantasy X, honestly feels like it’s part of a different era now. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel that same communal mega hype for a boxed Japanese product again. Maybe Zelda, maybe Soul Calibur, but that’s it. Continue reading

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Dying Light Indicates The State Of Demos Today

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So a demo just came out for Dying Light and I think that’s kind of a big deal given the current landscape of demos. It’s also the one game I had recently wished had a demo. The way Techland and Warner Bros. handled this, and the way other companies do demos, is indicating a change in how and why companies release them.

Last year I noted how demos had become very rare for big-budget console games in this new PS4 and Xbox One era. Today not much has changed. It wouldn’t be absurd to say in that capacity pre-release demos are dying. When you look at the landscape of who does and doesn’t do demos anymore it’s probably more accurate to say not all developers need them anymore, or need them for the same reasons. Continue reading

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Indie Game Radar: Banned Memories

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On this blog I’ve repeatedly talked about my affinity for a certain era of 3D graphics, specifically the flat-shaded textureless kind you might see in SEGA Model 1 games like the original Virtua Fighter and are being revived in games like Sky Rogue. There seems to at least be a nascent movement of low-polygon video game art emerging and it may be moving through certain phases so to speak.

Following the popularity of the “Minecraft look” and other low-poly art, I’ve started to see some projects show up that are intentionally trying to look like games made for the original PlayStation. The idea is similar to how Shovel Knight and Oniken specifically want to look like NES games rather than simply “8-bit.” I think the project Back in 1995 is fairly well-known, but I only just heard about Banned Memories and decided to check out the currently public alpha demo. So far I’ve only seen it mentioned by destructoid, Kill Screen, and a bunch of YouTubers. Continue reading

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Just How Can You Predict Which Games Will Get PC Versions Today?

The announcement of a PC version of Azure Striker Gunvolt has me surprised and a little bit mad when it really shouldn’t have. The increasing publisher support of the PC, mostly through Steam, hasn’t quite reached the point where it’s ubiquitous and you can expect every third party game to end up on Steam. It is however reaching a point where you have to seriously think about the possibility with each individual game. The only discernible pattern of probability I can see is the publisher of each game. Continue reading

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Modern Tactical RPG Musings Part Two: The Possibilities For Japanese Strategy Games On PC

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Last time I gave a quick impression of Lord of Magna for the 3DS while briefly talking about other Japanese tactical RPGs and how they’ve been handled in the western market as of late. These observations along with some interesting solid information I’ve come across has made me start to wonder about the future possibilities for Japanese strategy games in western markets.

I’m starting to wonder if more western PC releases for Japanese strategy games like Valkyria Chronicles and soon Nobunaga’s Ambition might bring those games to more accepting markets. Would the traditional CRPG audience lap up a game like Tactics Ogre? Continue reading

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Modern Tactical RPG Musings Part One: Lord of Magna

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I managed to cut a couple of hours out of my time with The Witcher 3 to look at Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven which came out for the 3DS back in June. I obviously can’t give anything close to a definitive opinion on the game itself but it’s got me thinking about recent trends in Japanese RPGs in general, kinda like my experience with Lost Dimension. Continue reading

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Indie Game Radar: Snakebird

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I was holding off on talking about Noumenon Games’ Snakebird because I’d hoped I could finish it in some kind of timely manner and pitch someone to publish my review of it, but at this point the game has pretty much beaten me. I may return to it at some point, but all I can do in the near term is talk about this criminally underplayed game and warn you that it may crush your spirit.

Snakebird is one of those rare examples of a truly unique idea for a puzzle game serviced with good level design and wrapped in an attractive graphical style — pretty much all the ingredients for a great puzzle game. This is one of the better recent Steam releases that almost no one is talking about. Continue reading

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