[This feature originally appeared in Game Informer issue #291]
[This feature originally appeared in Game Informer issue #291]
Not every game can be perfect or even great. The vast majority of them aren't. However, there a lot of good games that have fantastic concepts or moments in them, even if whole experience might be rough around the edges. The following is a collection of such titles, each flawed in various ways but with something special about them that makes them worth dealing with the issues.
1979 Revolution: Black Friday
A gripping piece of interactive nonfiction, 1979 stuck to the rails a bit too much for our liking, but its well-told story and memorable characters ultimately made the experience worthwhile. Definitely check this one our if you're into narrative-driven experiences. You can read our review here. (Platforms: PC, iOS, Android)
The world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is majestic and immersive, but recently I ran into a hitch that took me out of the experience – a frustrating obstacle course for my horse. Minigames have been a staple of the series for decades; some are fun diversions that act as a breath of fresh air, and others…not so much. To find out what makes a good Zelda minigame, we looked at some of our favorite and least favorite minigames and found that they grouped nicely around five major themes. After analyzing what made certain games endearing and others frustrating, we put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts for future minigames in the franchise.
On Motion-Controlled Minigames
Do: Keep It SimpleExample: Clean Cut Challenge – Skyward Sword
The Fourth of July is here. Grills are being fired up, fireworks are in stock, and our annual backyard celebrations are in full swing. Space is limited, and only the best drinking buddies get an invite. With that in mind, here are some video game characters that would make our guest list.
KratosGod of War series
Drink of Choice: Guinness
You’d think Kratos would just murder everyone in a drunken rage, but I think if everyone limits conversation topics with him, it’ll be just fine. Don’t mention how he was ordered to be executed on the day of his birth, avoid bringing up his brother Demos at all, and whatever you do, definitely don’t talk about how he killed his own wife and daughter in a fit of blind rage. That is, unless you want him to kill you in a fit of blind rage. I’ve prepared some safe conversation topics. How does he avoid getting beer froth in his beard? How is his son, Atreus, doing in little league? Does Atreus get along with Calliope…and we’re back to the sore spot.
I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and despite enjoying my time with it, a lot of little things bothered me. Your weapons break too quickly. Your horse can’t fast-travel with you. Your stamina depletes too quickly when sprinting. These are issues that open-world RPGs solved years ago, and the fact that Breath of the Wild received universal praise despite such basic problems was baffling to me. I thought, “If this game weren’t called The Legend of Zelda, people would never be so forgiving.”
I hear that sentiment often when discussing games. I have even said it myself. You’ve probably said similar things when playing an entry in a series with a devoted following, like Final Fantasy or Call of Duty. You feel like you are the only person who sees through an illusion, and that fans are blind to failings that seem crystal clear. But even if you think an “If this game weren’t called…” observation is true, that doesn’t make it significant.
An exciting blue mascot, a stable of unrivaled licensed sports titles, and an edgy marketing campaign drove Sega from relative obscurity to challenge Nintendo for console supremacy in the early ‘90s. The Genesis went toe-to-toe with SNES to make Sega a household name.
With Sony’s first console looming and the Nintendo 64 just over a year away, the encore nearly five years later proved much more difficult. Following Genesis, fans had lofty expectations for Sega’s Saturn to continue the company’s momentum.
With a swell of hype elevating Sony’s PlayStation, Sega wanted to introduce its console to fans with a bang, but ended up with a whimper due to a surprise North American launch at E3.
One of the games conspicuously absent from EA's recent EA Play press conference at E3 was the next UFC game. While EA has not officially announced a successor to 2016's EA Sports UFC 2 (shown) in a financial report earlier this year, CEO Andrew Wilson talked about "a new chapter of our UFC franchise" for the fiscal year (ending in March 2018). Anticipating a full-fledged UFC 3 on the horizon (and that Wilson wasn't referring to a mobile title, for instance), my colleague Brian Shea has written up his wishlist for the next entry's career mode.
Brian also breaks down how UFC 2 has kept up with its promise of a living roster via updates to make sure gamers can play with the best fighters in the real-life sport.
“I like proving people wrong,” says Michael Begum, one of the best Street Fighter players in the world, unable to help flashing a cocky grin. I can’t blame him. Begum, a.k.a. BrolyLegs, has more than earned it, making a name for himself and rising to the top as the number-one ranked Chun-Li player in Ultra Street Fighter IV. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Begum achieved that ranking by only playing the game with his mouth.
Born with arthrogryposis, a condition that prevents muscle growth, Begum spent most of his gaming life learning how to play with controllers not built for people with physical disabilities. “My first game was Super Mario Brothers 3 for the NES,” he recalls. “I put my wrist on the d-pad and I could move my hand to use the directional pads and I could put my chin on the buttons. As long as the television was on the floor, I could see the screen and play.”
Begum’s not alone in his struggles with having to rig controllers or devise strategies to play video games. A recent study revealed that one in five Americans are physically disabled. How is the gaming industry accommodating this portion of the population? We chatted with players, developers, and advocates about progress in accessibility and video games to learn more.
The Heroes of Fitness are married couple Timothy Spencer (Senior RKC Kettlebell instructor) and Nicole Du Cane (COO at Dragon Door). Hailing from the fitness industry where they met in Minneapolis, MN, these streamers are combining two things they love, fitness and video games with an interactive exercise routine that’s tailored to the games they’re playing. Despite their focus on Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, their name actually comes from the old classic Heroes of Might & Magic II.
GI: How did this whole thing get started?
Nicole: A lot of gamers want to feel better, they want to look better, they want to get healthy, but there’s not necessarily a lot of approachable ways geared toward gamers.
Crash Bandicoot's orange flame is burning bright again in the newly released N. Sane Trilogy, a collection or remasters that are a great way for newcomers to experience the series for the first time. In this episode of Replay we take a look back at the game that ended the series, and showed a wildly different version of Crash doing his thing. Crash: Mind Over Mutant was released in 2008 by developer Radical Entertainment, and is the series' biggest departure, moving away from level-based progression in favor of missions.
This new attempt at revitalizing the series didn't quite hit the mark, despite having a cool cooperative mode – which we adeptly show off. We make our way through a good majority of the game's opening act, and discuss all things Crash in the process. After a strange interlude involving Ben Reeves, we move on to the season's first Stress Test, which again sees Crash at a low point in his career.
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