Tank Tech: Impressions Of Overwatch’s Orisa

about X hours ago from
Tank Tech: Impressions Of Overwatch’s Orisa

While we still have a while to wait to see just how Orisa will be utilized in competitive play, I’ve been tinkering around with the new omnic character for a bit now in quickplay matches. Orisa is definitely a unique beast, quite different from the other heroes available in the tank lineup, and a true team player.

Orisa’s primary weapon is extremely satisfying. I play a lot of Bastion (I know, I’m the worst!) and I see some interesting parallels between the two gatling-barrage approaches. The fusion driver is a consistent, punishing source of damage and an excellent tool for a character that’s designed to lock down areas and take some enemy attention. Anything out in the open is an easy target for an almost limitless stream of ammo, but how the fusion driver combines with her other abilities is where you find the real value. With no damage fall-off, the fusion driver can keep the pressure on at long range with ease, something other tanks struggle with. If you’ve always wanted to play something a little meatier than most heroes and still want long range potential, Orisa brings that to the table.

Opinion – Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Is Amiibo Functionality Done Right

about X hours ago from
Opinion – Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Is Amiibo Functionality Done Right

Ever since the introduction of Amiibo figures in 2014, Nintendo has attempted to find the best way to implement them into gameplay. To this point, we've seen developers use them to add new costumes for Mii characters in Mario Kart 8, unlock new Nintendo-themed puzzles in Picross 3D, deliver new challenges in Splatoon, and more. However, each of these implementations feels either not interesting enough to warrant picking up new figures, or so important that it shouldn't be locked behind the paywall of the figures. With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo has found the sweet spot when it comes to Amiibo functionality.

In Breath of the Wild, you can use your various figures once per day to get new materials to cook with. While that's fine, the real allure is if you happen to own one of the many previously released figures from the Zelda series. Those figures not only funnel ingredients and materials, but they also provide you with one special item each time you scan it. These items range from highly sought after bomb arrows and ancient components to exclusive weapons and outfits that call back to the game the figure is from, such as Link's cap and tunic from The Wind Waker or even Epona, the horse from previous Zelda games.

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 23, 2017)

about X hours ago from
Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 23, 2017)

This week's Blog Herding contains excellent posts on two open-world juggernauts: Horizon Zero Dawn and Breath of the Wild. And that's just the beginning!

Community Blogs For March 16 – March 22:

The Essentials Challenge – Month One Update! Father Titan's blogging quest gives the blogging community a recap of his latest venture: Having the community write about some of the best video games. There's plenty more to come, so keep an eye on the blogosphere.

Mass Effect: Andromeda – Five Small Changes With Big Benefits

about X hours ago from
Mass Effect: Andromeda – Five Small Changes With Big Benefits

BioWare’s newest installment in the Mass Effect series is now available, leaving Commander Shepard behind and putting players in control of a new hero in a new galaxy. Response to Mass Effect: Andromeda has been mixed among fans and critics (read our full review), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. However, with a few tweaks, appreciating what the game does well would be a lot easier.

The point of this exercise isn’t to list everything we wish Andromeda did differently (like fewer glitches and a more compelling villain). Instead, the focus is on a handful of minor adjustments that could make the game more enjoyable without overhauling the core experience.

The Virtual Life – Making Hard Choices With The Mass Effect Trilogy

about X hours ago from
The Virtual Life – Making Hard Choices With The Mass Effect Trilogy

Hey gang, if you're worried about Andromeda spoilers, have no fear. I'm just talking about the original trilogy for this column.

Mass Effect 2 changed my life. I mean that in a very practical, defined way. I had been away from video games for a long time when my brother bought it for me. I was in college, a sophomore. I had switched my major to English and spent a lot of my nights writing bad fiction and reading lots of novels so I could sound smart in class and tell people how much I had read of Infinite Jest or War and Peace. I was, in more ways than I am now, a positively insufferable human being.

Naughty Dog's Approach To Gender Diversity And Inclusion With Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

about X hours ago from
Naughty Dog's Approach To Gender Diversity And Inclusion With Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Back in 2012, creative director Neil Druckmann of Naughty Dog came forward saying that the team "flat-out refused" to move Ellie to the back of the cover for The Last of Us. It was a talking point that came up during the game's development: Could female leads sell in an industry that had a barrage of male protagonists? Druckmann debunked the myth, saying it was a misconception that female-led games couldn't sell, but women protagonists were nonetheless few and far between.

Much has changed since then. E3 2014 in particular saw a surge of female playable protagonists introduced in trailers. Demand for diversity is seen from the gaming audience, and developers are also taking more interest. Overwatch's game director Jeff Kaplan, for example, explained during a D.I.C.E. summit keynote this year that Blizzard's goal with the game's characters and world building wasn't just about diversity, but also strongly focused on "inclusivity and open mindedness."

Opinion – Xbox One’s Digital Game Errors Are Unacceptable

about X hours ago from
Opinion – Xbox One’s Digital Game Errors Are Unacceptable

When Microsoft announced Xbox One back in 2013, it boasted an interesting approach to sharing digital games with family members and friends. However, this proposed feature came at the expense of being able to play those games while not connected to the internet. While community uproar eventually forced Xbox to rescind these unpopular policies before the platform launched later that year, it's clear that remnants of the approach are still present, and Microsoft needs to do something about it.

Following the backlash it received in 2013, Microsoft stated that player feedback matters, and that both digital and disc-based games would be fully playable without relying on a player's online connectivity. "After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc-based game without ever connecting online again," an Xbox blog post reads. [http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/19/update/] Later, the post says, "If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today."

Science-Fiction Weekly – Mass Effect Andromeda, Star Wars, Mystery Science Theater 3000

about X hours ago from
Science-Fiction Weekly – Mass Effect Andromeda, Star Wars, Mystery Science Theater 3000

Mass Effect Andromeda has been criticized for its graphical mishaps, but don't let a strange walking animation hold you back from suiting up in the N7 armor again. While I can definitively say Andromeda is my least favorite chapter in the series, I still had a great time getting to know Ryder, her crew, and exploring the universe to find a new home. Andromeda is a huge game, offering the series' best combat, fascinating companion missions, and the strong hook of exploring the unknown. Each planet was fun to chart, and the secrets they contained made the effort worthwhile.

The main plot line disappoints in the end, largely due to the villain lurking in the shadows for too long and unleashing a confusing doomsday threat, but the story still delivers plenty of great moments, especially those centered around Jaal and Drack, two of Ryder's companions.

My biggest complaint in Andromeda is how familiar everything feels. The great expedition to a new galaxy is mostly seen through the eyes of the same species from Mass Effect 1-3. Many of them bring the baggage and topics we thoroughly explored with Commander Shepard.It feels like more of the same, just in a different location.

Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

about X hours ago from
Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

When I decided to turn the 12.31 Super Replay into an annual event, I knew the focus needed to be on bad games. People enjoyed watching us suffer; that was the hook that stood out. We used Overblood as the foundation for the type of game we were looking for each year. Blue Stinger, Illbleed, And Martian Gothic were all games that delivered a similar stench. They were perfect selections for the annual Super Replay.

When Tim Turi left Game Informer to work at Capcom, I realized this Super Replay event wouldn't be the same without him. He played through all of these bad games, and, well, I don't think it would have been fair to continue on without him. Out of respect to Tim, we are moving away from the survival-horror angle, and are falling back on my original pitch: it needs to be a bad game period.

As it turns out, there are many different flavors of terrible video games, and I think we found another example in Sonic the Hedgehog that is every bit as enjoyable, campy, and unbearably bad as the original Overblood. The game is simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog, but it's often referred to as Sonic '06. It's developed by Sonic Team for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and is another failed attempt to give the blue speedster new life.