Tag Archives: PC Games

[Dreamcast Day] Late to the Party: Ikaruga (and Shmups)

After realizing Wednesday was Dreamcast Day, instead of doing my usual thing and playing one of my favorite Dreamcast games for a bit like Grandia II or Shenmue, I decided to look at the top Dremacast games I’d actually never played. That’s when I remembered I’d finally pulled the trigger on buying Ikaruga a while back (on PC of course). Trying it for the first time has left me with some thoughts on how ports of arcade games could be better tuned to the home console experience.

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Umurangi Generation Is One of the Most Interesting Games of the First Half of 2020

When the public demo for Umurangi Generation first showed up on Steam I did a little post here about it, and when the game came out I did a Q&A with the developers. I never formally wrote down how I felt about the final game though because I didn’t really have the time until now. You’ll be able to read a version of this on my Steam reviews page.

Umurangi Generation is pretty much the ultimate “lo-fi beats to relax/study to” game. There’s not really a whole lot to playing it. You just walk around taking pictures of things in environments that are totally static except for characters going through animation cycles. And yet its culmination of lo-fi graphics and music is still absorbing enough that I played through each level multiple times and got 100 percent completion.

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GOG Should Make Demos A Regular Thing, Even For Its Classics

With its 2020 summer sale, GOG.com has headlined seven free demos. This isn’t the first time the site has had demos, but I’m pretty sure it’s the most it’s premiered at once, and I wonder if it could become a trend. Why not host demos of classic games?

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Indie Game Radar: Umurangi Generation

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Been a while since I’ve done one of these. I still tend to see quite a few new indie games pretty much nobody talks about, with playable demos, but I guess I just haven’t had the time to try them out and write about them. This one has such a unique combination of art direction, setting, inspiration, and gameplay, along with an easily digestible public demo, that I was able to squeeze it in for this week.

I’m not sure if Umurangi Generation is actually being made by a Maori game developer, but it at least seems to pull from that heritage in its title and setting, in some kind of futuristic New Zealand that basically looks like Jet Set Radio. In fact, a lot of what I saw in the demo seemed inspired by the Dreamcast era: the graphics (low-poly but not all the way to the level of a PlayStation 1 game), art direction, rap music, even the arcade gameplay. Continue reading

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What is it About Classic Doom in 2020?

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Since playing the original Doom and Doom II for the first time in 2012 on the 20th anniversary of the former, I’ve actually spent way too much time playing those games and mods of those games. They’ve pretty much shot up through my overall favorite games list. Coming up on the release of Doom Eternal and the first ever official re-release of Doom 64, I thought it’d be worth going over why for a bit. Continue reading

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[Warcraft III] Should Developers Try to Monetize Their Mod Communities? How?

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The recent news about how Warcraft III: Reforged is just the most recent example of a game developer or publisher trying to find a way to get some kind of revenue out of the user-generated content made from one of its games. PC game developers have tried a few different ways over the years and most just result in blowback from mod communities. Continue reading

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How To Run Classic Doom With These Modern Ports

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People have been anticipating the big patch to the latest console ports of the classic Doom games for a while, and they’re here now, but the patch notes also out of nowhere announced the release of what are essentially new PC ports of these games. I started to ask myself why this was necessary, but now I think it might be a boon to people who are new to Doom but want to play it on PC.

It all has to do with simply getting the games up and running. Playing old school Doom on modern PCs can a somewhat complex process. The amount of freedom in what you can do with the game is like an ocean, but jumping in can be daunting. Bethesda’s latest move may or may not change that. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Mount & Blade. It’s Basically Elite And GTA With Horses, And There’s Nothing Else Like It

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For a while now it’s looked like the most anticipated game in PC gaming is Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. For years I’ve seen some pretty strong emotions flare up on forums and other online communities ranging the gamut between big hype and utter despair over the development of the game. Developer TaleWorlds Entertainment announced it in 2012 and only recently gave us an Early Access release date for March 2020. PC Gamers have gotten uniquely crazy over this game, and maybe it’s because its predecessor — Mount & Blade Warband remains a pretty unique game itself. That’s what I can gather after finally trying it out a bit.

Actually, what strikes me about Mount & Blade is how much it resembles certain other sandbox and simulation games while remaining as unique as it is. It’s essentially a medieval commander simulator that manages to depict medieval battles with a scale and level of detail quite unlike any other game. Looking at the community surrounding Mount & Blade, it’s kind if incredible how much it has inspired simulation gamers, modders, and historians. Continue reading

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How Nintendo Software Droughts Disappeared

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If you aren’t one of those people who only owned a Nintendo 64 or only owned a GameCube during their respective console generations, let me tell you, it was pretty tough. Thinking about the difference between back then and the situation with the Nintendo Switch today puts into perspective how good we have it these days when it comes to the number of good video games available. Continue reading

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Arma 3 Contact Refines Bohemia’s Campaign Design

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Over the last week or so I finally got to the new Arma 3 “Contact” expansion pack. From what I can tell it hasn’t garnered a lot of buzz outside of people already playing Arma 3. Maybe it wasn’t most Arma fans were expecting, but I rather liked the mini story campaign that came with Contact.

You may have heard that Contact is an expansion that adds a “what if” alien first contact scenario to Arma 3’s hardcore military simulator. Let me get this out of the way first: you don’t actually shoot at aliens or get shot at by aliens. It’s closer to that movie Arrival where you see the conflicts between different groups of people dealing with first contact while trying to figure out how to communicate with the aliens.

I think it resulted in an interesting mix of new gameplay mechanics in service to a story that’s downright odd for this kind of game. Following up a previous DLC pack about land mines and the different humanitarian angles of war, Contact makes me feel like developer Bohemia Interactive is really trying to branch out. For years modders themselves have used Arma as a base to build games in completely different genres — among them the mod that literally invented Battle Royale games, so it makes sense Bohemia would experiment more. But Contact also feels a bit more refined compared to previous Arma 3 official campaign stuff. Continue reading

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