Opinion – It's Time To Leave The Console War Mentality In The Past

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Opinion – It's Time To Leave The Console War Mentality In The Past

In the '90s, Sega launched an all-out assault on video game industry frontrunner Nintendo in a now-iconic advertising campaign. The flagship television ad directly called out Sega's direct competition with the slogan "Genesis Does What Nintendon't." In addition to boosting the awareness of Sega's underdog hardware, this approach effectively launched the console wars of the 1990s. The aggressive ads stood in stark contrast to Nintendo's safe, sterile approach and drew attention to the less-known company.

In the time since then, most companies have generally evolved in the ways they interact with competitors, often taking more diplomatic and congratulatory approaches. However, when companies do publicly bash their competitors – such as during Sony's E3 2013 press conference when the company capitalized on the backlash of Microsoft's Xbox One DRM policies – it stokes the fire for tribalistic fan communities that are just waiting for an excuse to attack the other side of the fence.

4 Ways Dragon Quest Heroes II Falls Short Of The Original

about X hours ago from
4 Ways Dragon Quest Heroes II Falls Short Of The Original

Dragon Quest Heroes II releases tomorrow, and while it is a solid action game, the original game is the better of the two.

You can find our full review here, but in the video below you will find four highlights that outline why I think the original is the better of the two.

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Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First 22 Hours

about X hours ago from
Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First 22 Hours

Last year, over the course of four months, we played through Shenmue for the Dreamcast in its entirety. It was an experimental video series, with an undefined schedule that allowed us to take in all the feedback for each episode by reading and responding to comments in (almost) real time. The experiment was a success! So we immediately decided (after playing through Dark Souls III, Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon, Shadow of the Colossus, and Resident Evil 4) that there was no time like the present to return to Yu Suzuki's masterpiece. For the sequel, we're playing the Xbox version that was published by Microsoft in 2002.

Watch What Remains Of Edith Finch's Imaginative Opening

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Watch What Remains Of Edith Finch's Imaginative Opening

What Remains of Edith Finch is a game about stories. You explore a bizarre house as young Edith, learning about the unfortunate deaths of various members of the Finch family. Developer Giant Sparrow (the studio that previously made The Unfinished Swan) has devised clever ways to weave these tales – and the opening sequence of the game gives you a taste of what to expect. 

Join Andrew Reiner, Elise Favis, and I as we play through the first 25 minutes of What Remains of Edith Finch, talking about what makes this game interesting and how it sets itself apart from other story-focused titles. I don't want to spoil too much here, but if you've ever wanted to know what it's like to roll down a hill as a shark, you should check it out.

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Memory Card Archeology – Who Owned This Mad Catz Mess?

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Memory Card Archeology – Who Owned This Mad Catz Mess?

Months ago, Jeff Cork and I bought a used PlayStation 1 memory card and learned a shocking amount about its original owner by booting up their old saves. It went so well that we decided to roll the dice again and popped in another random memory card for the PlayStation 2. We hope you're ready for another adventure as we attempt to figure out the crucial question: Would we get along with this gamer from 2002?

Watch us get the bottom of this confounding case below or check it out on YouTube.

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Join Us Tomorrow For Our Livestream Of Outlast 2

about X hours ago from
Join Us Tomorrow For Our Livestream Of Outlast 2

We'll be hosting a two-hour livestream of Red Barrels' Outlast 2 tomorrow starting at 2pm CT.

Game Informer's Javy Gwaltney will be on the sticks for the suspenseful early hours of the game, and Elise Favis will be fielding questions from the chat. For more info on the game make sure to check out our review. See you tomorrow!

You can watch the stream on Twitch or Youtube, or just tune in here using the embedded video below.

How Six Predictable Series Can Surprise Us Again

about X hours ago from
How Six Predictable Series Can Surprise Us Again

Mario Party. Assassin’s Creed. Telltale’s The Walking Dead. When we hear these names, mental images of zany minigames, open worlds, and difficult decisions instantly spring to mind. In this way, many long-running game series tend to create a gameplay formula and stick to it to give fans more of what they like, simply changing the characters and setting to keep things new. Unfortunately, this pattern can become all-too familiar, causing games to feel repetitive and series to grow stale.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard are both recent entries in well-established franchises that broke from the conventions of their predecessors, bringing new life to the gameplay. This list picks other series that we think could use a fresh take on what makes them great by breaking the mold and trying something different. 

The Sports Desk – Getting The Most From Your Franchise Mode

about X hours ago from
The Sports Desk – Getting The Most From Your Franchise Mode

Sports games' franchise modes are often seen as a grind, with one season blurring into the next. But it doesn't have to be that way. Have you finished the season with your beloved franchise and wondering what to do next? Here are some fun ways you can change things up, introduce some challenge, and get excited about next season.

Financial Fair PlayIn sports or situations where money is not an issue for your team, you can add a wrinkle to your new season by imposing limitations on the players you sign in free agency. I'm a Manchester City fan, so in FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, money isn't a barrier to signing virtually anybody in the world to my team. But when I restrict myself to younger/little-known prospects, English players, those from the youth academy, or my own imaginary salary cap, suddenly I have to be more careful and thoughtful about my squad for the upcoming season. That feeling of satisfaction is much greater when a young player I've given an opportunity to legitimately earns a spot on the squad versus just buying Messi for the lineup. You could even institute a signing freeze every other year to challenge you to make the most of what you have.

Five Terrible Games Based On TV Shows… And Five That Don’t Totally Suck

about X hours ago from
Five Terrible Games Based On TV Shows… And Five That Don’t Totally Suck

This article was originally published on April 21.

Licensed games have a well-deserved reputation for being awful– cheap cash-grabs that trick fans of the source material into playing sub-par games with little to no redeeming value on their own. Sure, the occasional outlier like GoldenEye 007 or Arkham Asylum comes around and shows potential in great licenses, but by and large, most gamers can have more fun by throwing their money into a raging grease fire than playing, say, Kinect Star Wars.

Games based on TV shows often lure us in with the promise of some sort of “untold tale,” with additional story content, voice actors from the original, or a script written (or vaguely “overseen”) by the show’s creative staff. All too frequently, however, these games fail to provide any kind of remotely interesting gameplay or production values to back up their ambition to honor the source material.

The Virtual Life – The Unsettling Humanity Of Nina Freeman's Kimmy

about X hours ago from
The Virtual Life – The Unsettling Humanity Of Nina Freeman's Kimmy

This column was originally published April 20, 2017.

Kimmy is a different kind of game from the rest of developer Nina Freeman’s works. Freeman, who now works at Fullbright as a designer on Tacoma, has released a number of personal vignette-like games throughout her career. Her early projects are notable for being games that explore sexuality in interesting, thought-provoking ways. How Do You Do It?, for example, humorously focuses on a small girl mashing her toys together in a vaguely sexual way as much as she can before her mother gets home, while Cibele is a narrative-driven experience that focuses on a relationship that blooms over an MMO.

Freeman, who was an English undergrad, says she owes a lot of her development and games-writing to her interest in poetry. “I wrote a lot of personal work when I was writing poetry, and I tended to write about stuff like sex and sexuality. In games, sex and sexuality are usually presentational, while in poetry you’ll have a lot of famous work about it,” she says, before listing examples like Allen Ginsberg and Elizabeth Bishop.