Category Archives: Games

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst And Quality VS Quantity In AAA Games

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I finally finished Mirror’s Edge Catalyst — I figured I needed to go ahead and clear the space from my SSD. It’s been out for like half a year but I think the game’s strengths and weaknesses are still pretty relevant in discussions about more recent and soon-to-come games. Specifically, it’s another example of what can help or hurt the design of an open-world game, or really any game positioned to be a blockbuster. Continue reading

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Nintendo Switch: Non-Gaming Software Isn’t Detrimental To Games

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When it came to light that the Nintendo Switch won’t have a web browser on day one I imagine some people probably started asking if it even really needs one. It’s an issue that neatly separates more hardcore gamers from general users.

I’ll go ahead and admit I’ve very seldom used the web browsers on my game consoles, but I have used them. I have a phone with a web browser and I have a full-blown Windows PC hooked up to my television, so I have very little use for web browsers in say, my PlayStation or my Nintendo machine. That said, I can’t agree with people who complain about too much non-gaming software on game consoles. Continue reading

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For Anyone Still Curious About Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered (The Campaign)

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DISCLAIMER: Not caring that much about multiplayer shooters these days, I’m just talking about the campaign right now. Plus, I played this game on PC, and the PC multiplayer base for Call of Duty has been vanishing for years now, probably due to much more competition for multiplayer shooters existing on PC compared to consoles (Counter-Strike for instance).

I imagine since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is still as of this writing only available as part of the $80 USD Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition a lot of people possibly interested in playing it haven’t hopped on yet. I got it as a gift some time ago and finally found the time to go through the campaign after also taking another run through the original 2007 version (in 4K, modern PCs can do that for games that old). Despite the visual overhaul Infinity Ward and Raven Software (and a few other teams I think) put into this remaster already having been apparent in pre-release videos, it was still surprising and dramatic enough to draw me back into the campaign just as much as I had been almost 10 years ago.

Modern Warfare Remastered is dope both because the original Call of Duty 4 is still dope and because it took the right balance between an extensive visual enhancement and faithfulness to the original game. Continue reading

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The Only 5 Good Reasons To Choose Console Gaming Over PC

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A few interesting announcements have come about in PC gaming this week. Namco announced two of its upcoming games which previously bolstered the PS4’s library of exclusives in my view — Ni No Kuni II and Ace Combat 7, are now headed to PC. A smaller announcement of interest is that MSI at CES announced an upgraded version of its Trident PC-in-a-console-box. I think this is as good a time as any to try to sort through the reasons a lot of people still pick console gaming over PC gaming despite how much the differences between the two sides of gaming have shifted in recent years.

I’m not really writing this to say console gamers are wrong or that PC is objectively better. What I want to lay out is that there are legitimate reasons to choose a console as your primary platform over PC, and then there are outright myths made of a combination of outdated information and a bit of undue fear. I want to at least begin to separate the two. Continue reading

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On Nioh: Nobody Ever Make RPGs About Feudal Japan

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I didn’t get a PlayStation 4 until after the original alpha demo for Team Ninja’s Nioh had expired, and also couldn’t get in on the beta demo in time, so this “Last Chance Trial” was the first time I got to check the game out. Aside from the quality of the game itself, I just need to say I’m glad somebody based a deep role playing game on feudal Japan. Continue reading

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What’s Dishonored 2 Really About?

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I finally just finished up Dishonored 2, and while I’m not going to “review” it, I have a couple fairly broad things to write about my experience with the game overall. Its later parts certainly live up to what I’d played at the time I put it in my 2016 game of the year list. What stands out to me coming off it though is that while Bethesda and Arkane billed it a stealth game about eliminating targets, I spent a whole lot of time doing nothing related to eliminating targets.

There was a point in the final level where I was about to enter the area where the final boss resided and I remembered I’d forgotten to figure out some extra objective way back at the beginning of the level, so I spent a few hours backtracking. This was supposed to be the climax of the game and I just put it on hold because I wanted to find more generally useless crap. Continue reading

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An Important Announcement

I tacked this on the end of my Friday post but I wanted to give it a slot of its own in case anybody missed it:

I’m no longer going to maintain my thrice-weekly update schedule. Instead it’s just going to be at least once a week, probably usually on Fridays. I might still post on other days if I feel like it, but I think it’s time I made some more space in my life and redirected some brainpower.

I’ve managed to keep up the Monday-Wednesday-Friday for easily over a decade including my years posting on 1up.com, but life has finally gotten in the way of that. It felt nice keeping up a schedule in a semi-professional way, but the truth is this blog doesn’t make me a dime. I do it in order to keep myself writing, because I like sharing my thoughts, and to have a base from which to advertise to anyone thinking about offering me paying gigs.

Have a nice day. Continue reading

Nintendo Switch: Not A Change But A Consolidation

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Following Nintendo’s Thursday night presentation on the Switch, I don’t see its upcoming console as a really significant change for the company. What I see is a consolidation of just about everything Nintendo has been doing over roughly the past decade. I see aspects of the Wii, the Wii U, and the 3DS, but all refined. I’m not sure how successful Nintendo actually expects this strategy to be, whether it’s actually looking to blow up again, or just survive. Continue reading

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Nintendo Switch Launch Period Speculation

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So the time has come. Everybody even remotely interested in Nintendo is probably gonna be up Thursday night (North American time) for Nintendo’s full reveal of its launch plans for its next major hardware platform, the Switch. That’s less than two months out and only just now getting answers on crucial details like price and launch lineup. Rumors and predictions are all over the place.

I don’t think I have any predictions on the system itself that will significantly differ from what all the major publications are probably already saying: the most likely price is $250 USD, the likely date is the weekend of March 18th, and it’s looking increasingly likely that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will make it to launch in Japan and North America. My previous posts on the Switch have also pretty much laid out what I think may happen to the platform long-term. That still leaves a lot of questions to consider for the launch period games though. Continue reading

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Final Fantasy XV and Modern Japanese RPGs

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I was able to take a bit of time out to play the first few hours of Final Fantasy XV, and I’m a bit surprised at how much tries to feel like modern big-budget role playing games while preserving many of the common tenets of traditional Japanese RPGs. I don’t know if this game has had a polarized reception, but overall I like the direction of what I’ve seen so far. I just don’t really know how it lands the execution of its ideas compared to similar games. Continue reading

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