Bandersnatch Is Like An Old-School Adventure Game, And That's Not A Good Thing

about X hours ago from
Bandersnatch Is Like An Old-School Adventure Game, And That's Not A Good Thing

In late December, viewers were surprised to discover the new Netflix release of Bandersnatch, an interactive movie from the makers of the psychological series Black Mirror. Although Netflix has released interactive media such as Minecraft: Story Mode before, this is the first directed towards an adult audience and the first piece of interactive fiction from Black Mirror. It's fascinating to see Netflix take the plunge with interactivity, but so far, it doesn't work.

You play as Stefan (Fionn Whitehead), a young programmer producing a video game based on a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style novel written by a madman. He finds success after taking a job with a large video game company, but soon runs into unexplainable bugs with his masterpiece-in-progress. You, the viewer, make choices as the story unfolds. Sometimes they are as small as choosing which cereal to eat in the morning, and other times they're more significant, like whether Stefan should hop off a balcony during an intense acid trip. 

Bandersnatch Is Like An Old-School Adventure Game, And That's Not A Good Thing

about X hours ago from
Bandersnatch Is Like An Old-School Adventure Game, And That's Not A Good Thing

In late December, viewers were surprised to discover the new Netflix release of Bandersnatch, an interactive movie from the makers of the psychological series Black Mirror. Although Netflix has released interactive media such as Minecraft: Story Mode before, this is the first directed towards an adult audience and the first piece of interactive fiction from Black Mirror. It's fascinating to see Netflix take the plunge with interactivity, but so far, it doesn't work.

You play as Stefan (Fionn Whitehead), a young programmer producing a video game based on a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style novel written by a madman. He finds success after taking a job with a large video game company, but soon runs into unexplainable bugs with his masterpiece-in-progress. You, the viewer, make choices as the story unfolds. Sometimes they are as small as choosing which cereal to eat in the morning, and other times they're more significant, like whether Stefan should hop off a balcony during an intense acid trip. 

Every Kingdom Hearts Plot Thread We Expect To Tie Up In Kingdom Hearts III

about X hours ago from
Every Kingdom Hearts Plot Thread We Expect To Tie Up In Kingdom Hearts III

When you think of game franchises with complex storylines, Kingdom Hearts quickly comes to mind. Its lore now spans nearly a dozen entries in the series – from mainline console titles to multiplayer mobile games – each adding new wrinkles to an overarching story that was totally mapped out from the beginning and not off-the-cuff. Totally.

Kingdom Hearts III looks to tie up all these narrative threads, so you’ll want to freshen up on the series’ lore before you dive in. If only there was a guide for that. Oh wait – there is!

Here are each of the Kingdom Hearts saga’s lingering plot threads that we expect will finally reach their resolutions when the game launches this week. Fair warning, we’re about to spoil every game in the Kingdom Hearts series to date.

Every Kingdom Hearts Plot Thread We Expect To Tie Up In Kingdom Hearts III

about X hours ago from
Every Kingdom Hearts Plot Thread We Expect To Tie Up In Kingdom Hearts III

When you think of game franchises with complex storylines, Kingdom Hearts quickly comes to mind. Its lore now spans nearly a dozen entries in the series – from mainline console titles to multiplayer mobile games – each adding new wrinkles to an overarching story that was totally mapped out from the beginning and not off-the-cuff. Totally.

Kingdom Hearts III looks to tie up all these narrative threads, so you’ll want to freshen up on the series’ lore before you dive in. If only there was a guide for that. Oh wait – there is!

Here are each of the Kingdom Hearts saga’s lingering plot threads that we expect will finally reach their resolutions when the game launches this week. Fair warning, we’re about to spoil every game in the Kingdom Hearts series to date.

Replay – Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

about X hours ago from
Replay – Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

With Kingdom Hearts III just days away from release, we invited Kim Wallace on the show to catch us up on the series. Our goal was simple: We wanted Kim to convince us that it would be okay to jump into Kingdom Hearts III without playing any of the other games. She cautioned against that in her review saying "newcomers (and even old fans who have just missed a few entries) will probably have a hard time following many portions [of the story.]" She didn't budge from that stance, but we were able to ask her exactly what we would be missing out on, and she walked us through it.

These questions were volleyed to the backdrop of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, a loved 3DS side installment that is a part of a PlayStation 4 collection. We took a look at the console version, and Ben Reeves did his best to make progress within it. Former Game Informer editor Bryan Vore gave the 3DS version an 8.25 out of 10 review score, and had this to say about it:

Replay – Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

about X hours ago from
Replay – Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

With Kingdom Hearts III just days away from release, we invited Kim Wallace on the show to catch us up on the series. Our goal was simple: We wanted Kim to convince us that it would be okay to jump into Kingdom Hearts III without playing any of the other games. She cautioned against that in her review saying "newcomers (and even old fans who have just missed a few entries) will probably have a hard time following many portions [of the story.]" She didn't budge from that stance, but we were able to ask her exactly what we would be missing out on, and she walked us through it.

These questions were volleyed to the backdrop of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, a loved 3DS side installment that is a part of a PlayStation 4 collection. We took a look at the console version, and Ben Reeves did his best to make progress within it. Former Game Informer editor Bryan Vore gave the 3DS version an 8.25 out of 10 review score, and had this to say about it:

How To Survive The Night In Resident Evil 2

about X hours ago from
How To Survive The Night In Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 is a traditional survival-horror game, which means ammo and healing items are a limited resource. If you’re struggling to survive your march through Racoon City’s infested streets, here are some spoiler-free tips and tricks that you might not be using.

Aim High – Everyone knows that you need to shoot zombies in the head to take them out. However, this is extra challenging in Resident Evil 2 because the undead stumble around. If your headshots aren’t producing the juicy head splatters you expect, that might be because you’re not aiming for the brainpan. You do the most damage if you hit a zombie in the brain, so shots to the nose, mouth, and neck aren’t really going to cut it. Ammo is precious, and you don’t want to waste it by shooting zombies where it doesn’t count.

How To Survive The Night In Resident Evil 2

about X hours ago from
How To Survive The Night In Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 is a traditional survival-horror game, which means ammo and healing items are a limited resource. If you’re struggling to survive your march through Racoon City’s infested streets, here are some spoiler-free tips and tricks that you might not be using.

Aim High – Everyone knows that you need to shoot zombies in the head to take them out. However, this is extra challenging in Resident Evil 2 because the undead stumble around. If your headshots aren’t producing the juicy head splatters you expect, that might be because you’re not aiming for the brainpan. You do the most damage if you hit a zombie in the brain, so shots to the nose, mouth, and neck aren’t really going to cut it. Ammo is precious, and you don’t want to waste it by shooting zombies where it doesn’t count.

Top Of The Table – Azul

about X hours ago from
Top Of The Table – Azul

Longtime readers of this column know I’m particularly fond of games with unique themes, settings, and narrative conceits. While I’ll always enjoy giant fantasy war games or treks across outer space, there’s something refreshing about finding a great game hidden away in an unusual setup. Azul casts players as tile-laying artists in the late 15th or early 16th centuries, employed by the king of Portugal to create art for the palace walls.

Laying tiles on a wall certainly isn’t the stuff of legend, but the concept opens the door to some gorgeous game components and a fascinating gameplay loop of abstract strategy; once you wrap your mind around the structure of play, I promise you’ll warm to the theme in turn.

Azul melds a tile-drafting mechanic with collecting particular configurations or sets of those same tiles as you lay them out on a personal board. At its highest level, the sophistication emerges because there are so many paths to success, and on every turn, your choices are meaningful. Gameplay moves quickly, whether you’re playing with two, three, or four players, so it’s easy to enjoy several games in a row in a given sitting. Moreover, the game is simple enough to teach that players should grasp the fundamentals almost immediately; understanding the many paths to a win is much harder.

Top Of The Table – Azul

about X hours ago from
Top Of The Table – Azul

Longtime readers of this column know I’m particularly fond of games with unique themes, settings, and narrative conceits. While I’ll always enjoy giant fantasy war games or treks across outer space, there’s something refreshing about finding a great game hidden away in an unusual setup. Azul casts players as tile-laying artists in the late 15th or early 16th centuries, employed by the king of Portugal to create art for the palace walls.

Laying tiles on a wall certainly isn’t the stuff of legend, but the concept opens the door to some gorgeous game components and a fascinating gameplay loop of abstract strategy; once you wrap your mind around the structure of play, I promise you’ll warm to the theme in turn.

Azul melds a tile-drafting mechanic with collecting particular configurations or sets of those same tiles as you lay them out on a personal board. At its highest level, the sophistication emerges because there are so many paths to success, and on every turn, your choices are meaningful. Gameplay moves quickly, whether you’re playing with two, three, or four players, so it’s easy to enjoy several games in a row in a given sitting. Moreover, the game is simple enough to teach that players should grasp the fundamentals almost immediately; understanding the many paths to a win is much harder.