In Defense of Assassin’s Creed III (And Its Remaster)

about X hours ago from
In Defense of Assassin’s Creed III (And Its Remaster)

Assassin’s Creed III has always carried a dubious reputation with fans, and for many it’s an easy target for derision. I’m a firm believer in the subjectivity of gaming experiences, and it’s clear Assassin’s Creed III simply didn’t hit the mark for many players. But I’ve always really loved the game, from an original glowing review, to my current replay of the new remaster, which just released today. This was a project rich in ambition, bravely trying out an array of new gameplay and systems and setting the stage for the franchise’s future. I believe it’s one of the most consequential entries in the long-running series. Not without missteps, Assassin’s Creed III is nonetheless a game that deserves a second look these many years later.

In Defense of Assassin’s Creed III (And Its Remaster)

about X hours ago from
In Defense of Assassin’s Creed III (And Its Remaster)

Assassin’s Creed III has always carried a dubious reputation with fans, and for many it’s an easy target for derision. I’m a firm believer in the subjectivity of gaming experiences, and it’s clear Assassin’s Creed III simply didn’t hit the mark for many players. But I’ve always really loved the game, from an original glowing review, to my current replay of the new remaster, which just released today. This was a project rich in ambition, bravely trying out an array of new gameplay and systems and setting the stage for the franchise’s future. I believe it’s one of the most consequential entries in the long-running series. Not without missteps, Assassin’s Creed III is nonetheless a game that deserves a second look these many years later.

Final Fantasy XV Deserves More Credit

about X hours ago from
Final Fantasy XV Deserves More Credit

With the launch of the Episode Ardyn DLC this week, Final Fantasy XV finally reached the last stop of its long road trip. The game originally released in November 2016 (read our review), and over the last two-plus years, it received a variety of new features, events, and content. That kind of prolonged attention is something we expect from service games like Overwatch and Fortnite – not from single-player JRPGs. These improvements made a great game even better over time, and I don’t think Final Fantasy XV gets enough credit for everything it ultimately accomplished.

Final Fantasy XV was my favorite game of 2016, but I know it isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t align with what many fans love about Final Fantasy’s glory days on SNES and PlayStation. It has real-time combat, a bizarre mix of linear and open-world structures, and only four main characters. But that’s also the brilliance of it; Square Enix took risks with Final Fantasy XV, and the experience is better for its willingness to defy expectations.

Final Fantasy XV Deserves More Credit

about X hours ago from
Final Fantasy XV Deserves More Credit

With the launch of the Episode Ardyn DLC this week, Final Fantasy XV finally reached the last stop of its long road trip. The game originally released in November 2016 (read our review), and over the last two-plus years, it received a variety of new features, events, and content. That kind of prolonged attention is something we expect from service games like Overwatch and Fortnite – not from single-player JRPGs. These improvements made a great game even better over time, and I don’t think Final Fantasy XV gets enough credit for everything it ultimately accomplished.

Final Fantasy XV was my favorite game of 2016, but I know it isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t align with what many fans love about Final Fantasy’s glory days on SNES and PlayStation. It has real-time combat, a bizarre mix of linear and open-world structures, and only four main characters. But that’s also the brilliance of it; Square Enix took risks with Final Fantasy XV, and the experience is better for its willingness to defy expectations.

The Dreaded Question: Vol. III

about X hours ago from
The Dreaded Question: Vol. III

Video games: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without them – or in my case, can’t aptly describe them when my wife asks what they’re about. If this intro doesn’t win me a Pulitzer, I QUIT.

Look, by now you probably know the drill. Whenever I start playing a game at home, my wife eventually takes notices and asks the same simple question: What’s it about? Little does she know that her innocuous question kicks off another round of profound internal reflection about my the video game industry’s frequent inability to follow convey a story.

I already shared my attempted story summaries of The Division 2 and Anthem in longer columns about those games, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this timeless dance my wife and I do. Here are my best synopses for the other games I’ve played recently.

The Dreaded Question: Vol. III

about X hours ago from
The Dreaded Question: Vol. III

Video games: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without them – or in my case, can’t aptly describe them when my wife asks what they’re about. If this intro doesn’t win me a Pulitzer, I QUIT.

Look, by now you probably know the drill. Whenever I start playing a game at home, my wife eventually takes notices and asks the same simple question: What’s it about? Little does she know that her innocuous question kicks off another round of profound internal reflection about my the video game industry’s frequent inability to follow convey a story.

I already shared my attempted story summaries of The Division 2 and Anthem in longer columns about those games, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this timeless dance my wife and I do. Here are my best synopses for the other games I’ve played recently.

Hands-On With Tactical RPG Mistover

about X hours ago from
Hands-On With Tactical RPG Mistover

At PAX East 2019, I went hands on with the roguelike tactical RPG Mistover. In a nutshell, it's like what would happen if Darkest Dungeon and Etrian Odyssey had a baby. An anime baby. Featuring a cool cast of characters including witches and grim reapers, the stylized combat loaded with tough choices is the highlight of the experience, but moving around the map from encounter to encounter comes with its own set of interesting foibles as well.

You can hide in bushes, eat food, discover keys and treasure, and basically plot your course through the unknown in search of the dungeon exit. There's a tough decision to be made even after you find it - should you stick around and hunt down more loot, or get out as soon as possible? Death is permanent, and the monsters don't mess around. One wrong turn could very well be your last. Don't worry too much though, as you can always recruit more adventurers to tweak and perfect your team.

Hands-On With Tactical RPG Mistover

about X hours ago from
Hands-On With Tactical RPG Mistover

At PAX East 2019, I went hands on with the roguelike tactical RPG Mistover. In a nutshell, it's like what would happen if Darkest Dungeon and Etrian Odyssey had a baby. An anime baby. Featuring a cool cast of characters including witches and grim reapers, the stylized combat loaded with tough choices is the highlight of the experience, but moving around the map from encounter to encounter comes with its own set of interesting foibles as well.

You can hide in bushes, eat food, discover keys and treasure, and basically plot your course through the unknown in search of the dungeon exit. There's a tough decision to be made even after you find it - should you stick around and hunt down more loot, or get out as soon as possible? Death is permanent, and the monsters don't mess around. One wrong turn could very well be your last. Don't worry too much though, as you can always recruit more adventurers to tweak and perfect your team.

Does Clementine Die In The Walking Dead's Finale?

about X hours ago from
Does Clementine Die In The Walking Dead's Finale?

We've been following Clementine for seven years now with one thing in mind: Keep her alive at costs. We started protecting her as Lee and then stepped into her shoes to ensure she learned  to survive in this violent, zombie-infested world. This week, the final episode of The Walking Dead released (you can read our review here for more info). The burning question is whether Clementine survived or met a similar fate to Lee in season one? 

While on the podcast this week, I discussed my thoughts on the final season, but for those who wanted to know, I shared what happened in my ending in a short post-feature segment.

So, is she still not bitten? You can watch the video above to find out the answer if you desperately need to know.  You've been warned, though: This is the ultimate spoiler. 

Does Clementine Die In The Walking Dead's Finale?

about X hours ago from
Does Clementine Die In The Walking Dead's Finale?

We've been following Clementine for seven years now with one thing in mind: Keep her alive at costs. We started protecting her as Lee and then stepped into her shoes to ensure she learned  to survive in this violent, zombie-infested world. This week, the final episode of The Walking Dead released (you can read our review here for more info). The burning question is whether Clementine survived or met a similar fate to Lee in season one? 

While on the podcast this week, I discussed my thoughts on the final season, but for those who wanted to know, I shared what happened in my ending in a short post-feature segment.

So, is she still not bitten? You can watch the video above to find out the answer if you desperately need to know.  You've been warned, though: This is the ultimate spoiler.