Can Romance Be Portrayed Well In Games?

about X hours ago from
Can Romance Be Portrayed Well In Games?

Ah, romance. We all know love and heartbreak to some degree, so we shouldn't be surprised when video games attempt to represent more complex relationships. Some video game love affairs stand out because they’re natural and believable, such as Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher. Others are memorable for giving us choice, such as Dragon Age, The Witcher, and Persona.

Romances can be difficult to pull off in a video game. Unlike a movie or book, video games have to allow players to directly participate in the experience, which takes some of the narrative control out of creators' hands. Jeff Cork and I have both been thinking about this topic a lot lately, and wanted to chat about whether or not games can tell compelling, realistic romantic tales.  

Funny To A Point – It's Time To Lighten Up

about X hours ago from
Funny To A Point – It's Time To Lighten Up

Congratulations! If you're reading this, it means you've accidentally clicked on the inaugural edition of Funny To A Point, a new bi-weekly humor column about video games. I promise it's the best mistake you'll make all day. I'm the author of Funny To A Point, Jeff Marchiafava. You might know me as the guy who is super good at playing games the way they're supposed to be played, or as the jerk who makes fun of Pokémon, JRPGs, and all the other games you cherish so dearly (sorry about that!).

I've done more humor-oriented features over the years than I can (or care to) remember. To me, there's a natural intersection between comedy and video games. Not just because games are funny (intentionally or otherwise), but because they both play tricks on us for our own benefit and delight. As comedic genius Dane Cook once said, "Comedy is all a giant illusion; if I can get you to believe one thing, and then surprise you with the other, that surprise will get inside you and make you laugh until you don't even know anymore." That quote doesn't even make sense – but if you thought I was serious when I called Dane Cook a comedic genius, and you now realize that I was totally joking, you probably find that pretty funny. (Also, I made up the quote, so I tricked you again – see how much fun we're already having?)

Readers Show Off Their Best Uncharted 4 Screenshots

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Readers Show Off Their Best Uncharted 4 Screenshots

Last month, we asked our readers to use the game's built-in photo mode to capture the most breathtaking moments of their Uncharted 4 playthrough. We received hundreds, if not thousands, of screenshots. Nearly all of them were gorgeous and impressive, but we had to narrow it down. We wanted to share some of our favorites that we received.

Warning: Though we tried to avoid including major spoilers in this post, some minor spoilers are present.

All screenshots are the work of the credited reader. Header image by DJ Klose.

Why 1979 Revolution: Black Friday Is Worth Your Time

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Why 1979 Revolution: Black Friday Is Worth Your Time

I recently played through 1979 Revolution: Black Friday and found it to be an intriguing adventure that borrows heavily from the Telltale gameplay model, where players determine how a story plays out by participating in dialogue scenes and making difficult choices. Situated in the 1979 revolution in Iran, the game lets you live out this scenario to see how it affects the protagonist and the lives of others. 1979 Revolution takes place during the few days leading up to the infamous Black Friday, an event that saw nearly a hundred protesters killed by the Iranian army on the streets of Iran's capital, Tehran.

Creator Navid Khonsari lived through the revolution when he was young, and 1979 Revolution is based on several interviews, eye witness accounts, and real people, tapping into the lesser known genre of video game documentaries. In Iran, the game has since been branded as pro-Western propaganda by the media, and Khonsari fears he may not be able to return to his home country. You can read my review here, but fellow editor Elise Favis and I wanted to do a bit of a deeper dive and talk about what’s so interesting about this interactive adventure.

Javy Gwaltney (J): So Elise, you just finished 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, right? What did you think about it?

Test Chamber – The Many Improvements Of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

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A beautiful gem of the PS2 era gets a second chance with Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, an action/RPG from developer Vanillaware. The studio's signature visual style looks even better than ever with this remaster, but don't just expect a prettier version of the original. With many new tweaks and additions, the changes are more substantial than you might expect.

Join me and Matt Miller as we take a quick look at the original mechanics in Leifthrasir's included "classic mode" before jumping into the "refined mode" where all of the improvements are on display.  From excited combat to streamlined inventory management, we hit on points big and small that help Odin Sphere Leifthrasir go above and beyond.

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The Giant E3 2016 Games List

about X hours ago from
 The Giant E3 2016 Games List

There's no shortage of gaming conventions throughout the year, but the Electronic Entertainment Expo is still the show where you're likely to see the biggest reveals and newest demos. That's why we've compiled a handy list of all the games we're expecting to see, which we will be updating as more announcements are made.

Below you will find the full (so far) list of all the games that have been either confirmed to appear at the show, or we strongly suspect will make an appearance when E3 kicks off in 10 days.

Kyle Hilliard, Matt Bertz, and interns Blake Hester, Haley MacLean, and AJ Moser all contributed to this article.

Super Replay – Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon (Part Three)

about X hours ago from
Super Replay – Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon (Part Three)

A few months ago I emerged as the victor of Game Informer's most recent Super Replay Showdown. My prize? Subjecting my fellow editors and our viewers to the strange and maddening FMV adventure game that is Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon. Starring a bumbling private eye who spends his weeks trying to make rent and ends up going on a quest to prevent the end of the world, Under A Killing Moon is a peculiar mishmash of genres, the kind of game that could have only been birthed in the early '90s.

It's pure, undistilled zaniness that has to been seen to be believed. So sit back in your chair and push the Maltese falcon on your desk out of the way of the screen so you can join me, Andrew Reiner, Dan Tack, and Kyle Hilliard as we navigate this twisted, futuristic vision of San Francisco, putting our flimsy detective skills to use while being constantly berated by James Earl Jones.

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Vivendi’s Hostile Takeover Of Gameloft And Ubisoft Explained

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Vivendi’s Hostile Takeover Of Gameloft And Ubisoft Explained

Over the past seven months, Vivendi has been rekindling its on again/off again relationship with the video game industry. Rather than build a publishing business, Vivendi has opted to buy its way back in. With no one selling, the company has resorted to less overt methods to get back in the game.

Vivendi’s current targets are a pair of company’s founded by the Guillemot family. Gameloft, a mobile company, is now under Vivendi control after shareholders backed a takeover bid. That leaves Ubisoft in the crosshairs.

What is a hostile takeover?

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (June 2, 2016)

about X hours ago from
Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (June 2, 2016)

Not only do we have a lot of great blogs for you to absorb this week, but possibly a fun and creative writing challenge to sink your teeth into. Now enjoy this week's edition of Blog Herding!

Community Blogs For May 26 – June 1:

The Girls of Summer: Intro Blogger Haley is cranking up her blog count, and she will continue to do so with this new series on gender analysis. It's inspiring, and some day I'd love to write a series about minorities – particularly Mexican Americans – in gaming.