Replay – Crimson Skies: High Road To Revenge

about X hours ago from
Replay – Crimson Skies: High Road To Revenge

The Xbox One X is finally here, and we decided to put the new system through its paces by playing an original Xbox title with some explosions in it. Andrew Reiner, Jeff Cork, Kyle Hilliard and I are here to put Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge through the ringer with SEVERAL explosions, a devastating betrayal, and a list of the Top Ten Pool Hunks in Cinema History.

Then, we take a look back at Black, the original Xbox FPS from Criterion Games. The Burnout developers' take on a gritty, over-the-top shooter still holds up today as the most realistic, beautiful, and viscerally satisfying shooter ever released. That's my opinion and you can't tell me it's wrong.

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Playing Super Mario Odyssey With My Daughter Makes Me Happy

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Playing Super Mario Odyssey With My Daughter Makes Me Happy

I have been playing Super Mario Odyssey a lot, and it’s a great game. You can read Reiner’s Super Mario Odyssey review right here, which echoes many of my own thoughts, but for a more personal perspective I wanted to share why its more than just a great game. To put it simply, it makes me happy.

When ranking Mario games, I still place Super Mario Galaxy at the top. That game took its genre’s namesake – the platform – and reimagined it, placing Mario on planets with questionable gravity. It was insane and still is 10 years later. I had a good time with the follow-up, Super Mario 3D World, but it lacked the personality of Marios prior. It felt familiar to a fault, despite having some fantastic platforming challenges. Super Mario Sunshine remains, to this day, the only 3D Mario game I did not complete to the 100-percent mark. It reimagined Mario’s core mechanic, jumping, in a radical way, but I was happy to put it down after completing the final Bowser confrontation.

Funny To A Point – The Great Breath Of The Wild Debate

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Funny To A Point – The Great Breath Of The Wild Debate

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is easily one of 2017's biggest games, and you'll find no shortage of fans who consider it winning Game of the Year a foregone conclusion. But the fact that Zelda fans love the new Zelda game isn't exactly a revelation, and they aren't the only ones with opinions about Link's new adventure.

I started playing Breath of the Wild a few weeks ago, and as my previous column may have intimated, I've got some beefs with the game. Sure, seeing Hyrule rendered as a big open world and hearing all the familiar musical cues again is great, but some fundamental design choices are so baffling that they make me wonder how anyone can ignore them – even diehard Nintendo fans, who are used to putting up with ridiculous crap. As my faithful readers know, I consider it my duty to expose these kinds of truths to the hard light of day, even when it involves a beloved franchise. Zelda is no exception.

I knew the debate format would be the best option for airing my Breath of the Wild grievances and drilling down to some real answers – the only question was who to berate debate. Sure, Kyle "Perfect 10" Hilliard seemed like the obvious choice, but H.R. tends to frown on us yelling at our fellow coworkers for their stupid and wrong opinions.

Watch Us Fight The Mighty Barroth In Monster Hunter: World

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Watch Us Fight The Mighty Barroth In Monster Hunter: World

One of the first big fights you encounter in Monster Hunter: World's Wildspire Waste map is against the giant Barroth. In today's video, to go alongside our cover story on the game, we show off a lot of new gameplay surrounding that fight. Watch Capcom's Yuri, myself, and Jeff Cork work together to take down this mud-covered, steam-whistling beast.

Check out the video below to see more gameplay from Monster Hunter: World.

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Opinion – Life is Strange: Before the Storm Is The Queer Love Story I’ve Always Wanted In A Game

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Opinion – Life is Strange: Before the Storm Is The Queer Love Story I’ve Always Wanted In A Game

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the first Life is Strange and for The Last of Us' DLC Left Behind.

Life is Strange dug its hooks in me with a genuine and heartfelt tale. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between its two teenage protagonists Max and Chloe blossom. Their connection is magnetic, and I often felt a spark between them. In one scene, I had the choice to let Max kiss Chloe. In another, they swam in an indoor pool at night time, speaking earnestly about the positive influence they have on one another. While I enjoyed these moments, I kept waiting and hoping for this intimacy to progress – but it never did in a satisfying way.

Life is Strange insinuated that there was something more than friendship between its main characters. Some choices allowed you to superficially explore that intimacy, but it was never addressed narratively. As a gay woman, I find this frustrating, because I would love to see more canonically queer ladies in video games.

Nier’s Yoko Taro On Success, Drinking, And Death

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Nier’s Yoko Taro On Success, Drinking, And Death

Photo credit: Andrew Faulk

Best known for directing the Nier and Drakengard series, Yoko Taro reached a new level of success after teaming up with Platinum Games for Nier: Automata, which sold over two million copies. We chatted with Taro about his newfound success and what's next. Just like his esoteric games, our talk was anything but ordinary.

Editor's Note: A portion of this interview appeared in issue #296. This is an extended version.

Digital Intimacy: How Recent Video Games Tackle Sexuality

about X hours ago from
Digital Intimacy: How Recent Video Games Tackle Sexuality

This feature was first published in Game Informer Magazine issue 286, and includes major spoilers for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Telltale’s Batman, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

In 2005, controversy erupted when the PC version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas released. The GTA series is no stranger to negative media attention, often looked down upon for its crude and juvenile themes. This time, the public was taken aback by sexual minigames hidden in the game’s code. These minigames depicted protagonist Carl “CJ” Johnson performing sexual acts with his chosen in-game girlfriend, with each move and action in the bedroom under the player’s control. Though inaccessible to the average player, some were skilled enough with game code to reveal its contents, creating a mod called Hot Coffee that enabled these hidden scenes.

Take A Look At Hot Toys' Amazing The Last Jedi Praetorian Guards

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Take A Look At Hot Toys' Amazing The Last Jedi Praetorian Guards

None of the trailers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi have given us a look at Supreme Leader Snoke's crimson protectors, the praetorian guards, yet toy manufacturers can't stop pumping them out. Hot Toys has gone all in on these mysterious warriors, offering fans enough parts and helmets to create the entire lineup that will supposedly be lining the walls of Snoke's throne room.

These figures retail for $205 each, and are scheduled to ship between July and September 2018. Although you'll want six guards to create the scenes shown, the praetorian guard only ship in two versions. Each of these figures ships with multiple helmets, hands, and weapons, allowing for the entire lineup to be created.

The praetorian guards' weapons are different than we've seen in Star Wars, favoring old-school blades and whips over anything suitable for long-range affairs. You can pre-order the figures now, but I would hold off on buying them until you watch the movie in December. They look cool and deadly, but how much screen time will they actually get? Here's hoping they serve more of a purpose than Emperor Palpatine's royal guards did in the original and prequel trilogies.

10 Under 10: The Best Short Games Of 2017

about X hours ago from
10 Under 10: The Best Short Games Of 2017

This year has delivered an abundance of excellent, massive gaming experiences. You can easily lose yourself for days in titles like Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But if you don’t have dozens of hours to sink into a digital world, 2017 also has a fantastic selection of quality games with less daunting commitments. 

We’ve singled out 10 of the best games of 2017 that clock in at 10 hours or less. These are still complete and engrossing titles – they just require a smaller time investment.

What Remains of Edith Finch Estimated time to finish: 3 hours
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC (review)
This narrative-focused experience from developer Giant Sparrow follows a young woman named Edith as she explores her eccentric family’s house. With novel gameplay moments and storytelling techniques, players see the world through the eyes of different Finches through the years – and witness the bizarre fate that awaits them all.