Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (January 19, 2017)

about X hours ago from
 Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (January 19, 2017)

The Nintendo Switch and Valkyria Chronicles were the hot topics this week, which is A-okay in my book.

Community Blogs For January 12 – January 18:

Tackling the Backlog: Valkyria Chronicles General Mills44 quickly establishes street cred by admitting to beating this beloved series three times (and hoisting it high with praise alongside Metroid Prime and Twilight Princess). If you have not played this series, this blog is the one to read to figure out if you should. From the game's world, to its characters and gameplay, everything is well crafted – even if Mills thinks the story can be messy.

Our 10 Most Anticipated Action Games Of 2017

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Our 10 Most Anticipated Action Games Of 2017

2016 was a phenomenal year for gaming, but now that all of our awards have been handed out, it's time to stop living in the past and look to the year ahead. Through the rest of this week and beyond, we'll be taking a look at our picks for the most anticipated games of 2017, as voted on by the Game Informer staff. We're starting the festivities with a look at the top 10 action games that we can't wait to play this year.

10. BelowRelease: 2017
Platform: Xbox One, PC
We've been looking forward to Capy's striking roguelike ever since its reveal at E3 2013, but the numerous delays since have taken a toll; Below has dropped four slots compared to last year's most anticipated list, and the developer has gone dark while it works to complete the project. Even so, our hands-on demos have continued to impress, thanks to Below's enticing mix of demanding combat, randomly generated environments, and a unique twist on permadeath. Whenever Capy finishes Below, we'll be more than ready to play it.

RPG Grind Time – Exclusive Video And In-Depth Impressions Of Tales Of Berseria

about X hours ago from
 RPG Grind Time – Exclusive Video And In-Depth Impressions Of Tales Of Berseria

It's important to discuss interesting news and trends in the role-playing game genre, but it's just as essential to give you a glimpse of upcoming releases when I can. Therefore, in this week's RPG Grind Time, I wanted to show off some footage of Tales of Berseria and discuss my impressions. Note: I can only talk about the first 10 hours, and I cannot show any skits or story content, but this should at least give you an idea of the battle system and what's clicking with me. The game launches on Tuesday, and a demo (different from what I played) is currently available on PSN if you want to get an idea of the combat for yourself. 

I've been a fan of the Tales series for a long time now. Tales made its biggest impression on me during the PS2/GameCube era with Symphonia and Abyss, and my love only grew from there with entries such as Vesperia and Graces f. I just love how the series approaches characters, showcasing their bonds and how they grow together. The games may not have big-budget graphics or make sweeping changes to the main formula, but they still have their charm, and I get excited every time I hear about a new entry.

The Geek's Guide To Movies In 2017

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The Geek's Guide To Movies In 2017

After a stellar slate of games launching in 2016, we're all excited to see what 2017 holds. However, our entertainment needs are not completely satisfied by gaming alone. Luckily, 2017 looks like it's going to sate our appetite for nerdy blockbusters, as nearly each month is lined with theatrical releases from familiar franchises.

Check out the nerdy movies of 2017 below and join us in figuring out which ones are worth braving the crowds at your local theater.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage - January 20

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.

The Sports Desk – How Ubisoft Plans To Improve Steep

about X hours ago from
The Sports Desk – How Ubisoft Plans To Improve Steep

Ubisoft's snow sports/exploration title Steep drops players in a European mountain range and tasks them with conquering the large map in a variety of ways. Whether you want to post all the best event times and scores or simply pair up with fellow travelers and see the sights, the world is yours to enjoy the way you see fit. I quite liked it, and feel it successfully straddles the line between offering freedom, but with a video game breadcrumb trail in the form of its unlock progression and drop zones that keeps me coming back for more. And the adrenaline rush of the wingsuits is always fun.

I recently talked to Steep creative director Igor Manceau at developer Ubisoft Annecy about the game, how players approach it, what could have been better, and what can be fixed for the future.

What We Know About Nintendo Switch

about X hours ago from
What We Know About Nintendo Switch

This week signals the real introduction to the Nintendo Switch, the latest platform from the legendary gaming company. We expect to learn more about the Switch's launch, including game lineup, price, and release date. Before that happens, though, we wanted to take the opportunity to run down everything we know from its initial tease as codename "NX" to its eventual reveal as the Nintendo Switch.

The Initial TeaseOn March 17, 2015, Nintendo announced a partnership with DeNA to produce various mobile games. As a part of that announcement, Nintendo outlined its strategy to develop for multiple platforms. Included in that strategy was a previously unknown system codenamed "NX." While nobody knew what it was at the time, many dissected the name "NX" to speculate that it was a crossover platform that blended characteristics from home consoles and handhelds.

The next generation of #Nintendo is coming March 2017! #NX pic.twitter.com/u4KFIRJedw

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.

How Developers Are Creatively Building Silent Interactive Stories

about X hours ago from
How Developers Are Creatively Building Silent Interactive Stories

Mindless humanoids march in single file, shoulders hunched forward and heads bowed down. A young boy sneaks into this systemic traffic of beings, mimicking the others’ movements while an overhead spotlight watches his every move. Without dialogue or text to contextualize the situation, you begin to wonder: What brought him here? Why is he being hunted? Is he running away from something, or towards it?

Playdead’s Inside tells an ambiguous story about an oppressive, Orwellian world. Speaking volumes without a single word, the narrative creates an emotional connection through its nightmarish atmosphere and leaves the rest up for interpretation. A loneliness creeps over you as you move from one rundown environment to the next; and it’s especially effective because of its perpetual silence.

Inside is far from alone in this feat. Several game developers are creatively ditching words, giving their games a more ambiguous story, or one that isn’t spoon-fed to the player. It can increase the player’s engagement as they try to piece together a story, or it can create a more atmospheric experience. Games such as Inside, Hyper Light Drifter, and Virginia are turning heads by leaving words behind altogether, and use creative approaches such as distinct character body language and minimalist stories to build sophisticated and engaging words.