Author Archives: RedSwirl

My Own Guide To the Yakuza Series, I Guess (Since People Keep Asking)

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There are plenty of guides to SEGA’s Yakuza series that have popped up in the year since Yakuza 0 became the game to finally get the franchise some recognition in western territories after 10 years of longtime fans begging for localizations that then sold very little. The official English website for the franchise has a whole timeline and character spreadsheet. Even still, people keep asking where they should start. When I bought Yakuza 6 the cashier asked me where they should start after I told them I’d played all the previous games. I guess it couldn’t hurt for me to put down my own opinion on where to start based on what systems you own and whether you miss out by skipping any games. Continue reading

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Virtual Console, And The Two Ways Platform Holders Are Maintaining Classic Games

 

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Virtual Console, one of my main hopes for the Nintendo Switch, isn’t coming to the system. Oh classic games are being and will continue to be released for the system, but that wasn’t the point. Virtual Cosnole represented the prospect of something Nintendo seems to have left behind today. Today there seem to be two main ways in which companies are bringing back classic games. Continue reading

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Why Some Games Really Do Deserve Remakes

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I finally started catching up with the Yakuza series a few months ago. I’d played the games since the English version of the original came out in 2006 but fell off at some point after Yakuza 4. After recently finishing 5 and Zero I’ve just started Kiwami — the remake of the original. To me, it feels oddly like a PS2 game, for better or worse. Continue reading

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Taking Stock Of My Reliance On Algorithms (Or Lack Thereof)

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The recent controversies surrounding social networks and what they do to people’s perceptions of reality has gotten me to take a bit of a deeper look at the ones I use and, particularly, the extent to which I rely on algorithms in each one. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve let algorithms run my life that much at all. The battle over how to curate social media really comes down to one question though: do you trust users or the network to avoid getting users caught up in bubbles? Continue reading

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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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