Top Digital Card Games of 2016

about X hours ago from
Top Digital Card Games of 2016

The world of digital trading card games sees plenty of entries each year, so there are many options to pick from. 2016 had many options to pick from – whether they were released in prior years, or in some form of alpha or beta, you have plenty of great games to pick from. Here are some of the best.

HearthstoneBlizzard’s entry into the card game world still has it, and with the recent Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion you can get into the mix with new strategies without having to track down old cards. With weekly tavern brawls and daily quests, getting your collection going is much easier than when the game initially launched. We’ll probably continue to see hearthstone imitators for years and years to come. Check out the review for the original game here.

Shadowverse
This stylized anime-infused brawl shares some similarities with Hearthstone, but featyures aspects that make it interesting and different as well. With an evolution system that makes timing your plays a critical part of the strategy and a wealth of classes each with unique cards and mechanics, Shadowverse has lots to offer. You can watch us play a few games in this episode of Test Chamber.

You Know You Play Too Much Overwatch When...

about X hours ago from
You Know You Play Too Much Overwatch When...

Can't stop playing Overwatch? I'm right there with you. The game dominated my spare time this year, with me often playing until the wee morning hours, all in the name of the next loot box or to extend my reign of terror in competitive play. In many ways, Overwatch has given me "one more match" syndrome in the way Civilization begs you to play "one more turn." Overwatch has been such a fun experience that I keep coming back to it, but I figured I could also have some fun with my latest gaming obsession. Therefore, I put together this list to let you know when you've passed a certain threshold, going beyond just someone who enjoys the game and into a fanatic that can't let go. So without further ado, you know you play too much Overwatch when...

You've prestiged more than three times and have an annoying, overcrowded portrait to show for it. Sadly, you know it's only going to get worse.

You've pulled countless all-nighters in the name of getting your competitive rank up. 

The Sports Desk – The Year To Come

about X hours ago from
The Sports Desk – The Year To Come

This year is going to be an interesting one for sports games. While it's no surprise that the yearly franchises will give us plenty to talk about this fall, I feel like the whole genre is at an important crossroads for a variety of reasons. Three years into the current console cycle we're no longer in the honeymoon phase, and franchises should be on the cusp of their prime period within the generation. Will we see a leap forward or a year of treading water? Here are just some of the questions I have regarding the sports games of 2017.

Falling Down the Peripheral Rabbit Hole

VR may be the future, but I don't think its install base is big enough yet to warrant developers dedicating hours and dollars to it at the expense of a good, solid non-VR experience. Notice how EA in particular hasn't jumped into VR as fast as they did with motion controls last generation? Perhaps this has made them more focused on delivering the fundamentals for their titles. If VR can solve some of its motion sickness issues and entry price, sports will be at the forefront of the experience, but I don't think we're there yet.

I Have Become An Annoying Video Game Dad Coach

about X hours ago from
I Have Become An Annoying Video Game Dad Coach

When my two kids started playing soccer, I braced for the worst. I'd heard horror stories about parents turning into freelance coaches, barking orders and yelling with officials about a game that was being played by five-year-old children. Would I turn into that guy? If those games and practices taught me anything, it's that I ultimately do not care about soccer. I enjoyed watching my kids work as a team with other kids, but if they got a goal – or more often than not, didn't – it really didn't matter. It's just a game, after all. Unfortunately, as I discovered to my horror, that attitude didn't transfer to other parts of our family entertainment.

Right now, our house is obsessed with Overwatch. When the kids aren't playing the game, they're talking about it, drawing pictures of its characters, and writing stories set in the game's world. I happen to adore the game as well, and it's an activity that we've been able to enjoy together. It's been great – or at least it is when I'm not turning into a freelance coach.

Looking Back At 25 Years Of Game Informer's GOTY Awards

about X hours ago from
Looking Back At 25 Years Of Game Informer's GOTY Awards

In 1992, Game Informer published its first annual video game awards. The one-page celebration of the year featured just a handful of categories, including Best Concept, Best Playability, and Best 8-Bit Game. While the format has changed over the decades, one game has always risen above the rest to become the standout experience of the year. Join us for a trip back through 25 years of G.I.'s Game of the Year awards.

1992: Street Fighter IIIssue #8
Capcom's genre-defining Street Fighter II was the winner of G.I.'s first ever game of the year award, with the staff lauding the SNES port as a "perfect translation" of the arcade sensation. Street Fighter II also won the Best Playability award, while Sonic The Hedgehog 2 won the award for Best Graphics.

1993: Mortal Kombat
Issue #15
In an NBA Jam-themed issue featuring a very young Andy McNamara slam-dunking on the cover, Acclaim's Mortal Kombat K.O.'d its chief competitor for the top slot. That said, Street Fighter II Turbo still got the nod for Best Playability, while Shadowrun won Best RPG, Star Fox won Best Shooter, and Aladdin won Best Translation From The Big Screen.

The Games Brian Shea Finished In 2016

about X hours ago from
The Games Brian Shea Finished In 2016

I love playing through as many games as possible each year. Though I know I'll never get through every big or worthy release in any given year, I feel like it's part of my responsibility as a game critic to play through as many games in my wheelhouse (and some that aren't) as I can. This year, I went in wanting to keep pace with my fellow editor Andrew Reiner in his yearly quest to complete as many games as possible, but I got somewhat sidetracked.

I'm usually a single-player console/handheld gamer. In fact, I'd say that holds true for me 90 percent of the time. Occasionally, I'll get sucked into a multiplayer game for a few weeks, but it's not the norm. 2016 not only saw a dramatic shift in how much time I spent online competing against other players, but also a huge jump in how much time I spent gaming on my phone.

Developers From Naughty Dog, id, Square Enix, And More Share Their Top Games Of 2016

about X hours ago from
Developers From Naughty Dog, id, Square Enix, And More Share Their Top Games Of 2016

This may come as a surprise, but the people who make video games? They play and like them us much as us regular ol' non-developers. As we wave goodbye to 2016, we decided to reach out to developers and find out what their favorite five games of 2016 were. We asked for an ordered list with a sentence or two explaining each choice, with the qualifier that rules are made to be broken. This is why some lists might read more like 'games I played this year,' as opposed to 'games that came out this year,' feature extra honorable mention entries, or be just a list with no explanations. You can find the lists, presented in alphabetical order by last name, below.

You can look out for Game Informer's favorite games of the year lists in the January issue which will be in the wild soon.

Ian Dallas (Giant Sparrow / The Unfinished Swan)

Extended Intervew: Nathan Fillion Talks Destiny, Halo, And His Passion For Gaming

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Extended Intervew: Nathan Fillion Talks Destiny, Halo, And His Passion For Gaming

Nathan Fillion is best known for his work on beloved TV shows such as Castle and Firefly, but he's also voiced some memorable characters in gaming, such as Halo's Buck and Destiny's Cayde-6. Fillion is an avid fan of video games, especially the FPS genre. We recently chatted with him about how he got into games, if he'd ever want to play Nathan Drake, and his favorite games of all time.

[Editor's Note: This is an extended version of an interview that ran in issue #283]

What's your history with video games?

Five Narrative Directions For The Last Of Us Part II

about X hours ago from
Five Narrative Directions For The Last Of Us Part II

Warning: Major spoilers for The Last of Us and the Left Behind DLC.

The Last of Us is a well-crafted adventure that many believe doesn’t need a sequel. Could a continuation of this narrative diminish the impact of the original’s tense ending? Will revisiting these beloved characters, in a drastically different tone than the last game, be satisfying? It’s hard to say, but if anyone is equipped to deliver a promising storyline, it’s Naughty Dog.

At PlayStation Experience 2016, we were treated to The Last of Us Part II’s two-minute reveal. Ellie takes center stage as the protagonist, and a foreboding sense invades the teaser as piles of bodies lie in her wake. Joel stands in the doorway, but the emotional connection between the two seems to stutter. It’s clear that much is different this time around.

The Games Andrew Reiner Finished In 2016

about X hours ago from
The Games Andrew Reiner Finished In 2016

Something remarkable happened in 2016: My four-year-old daughter became engrossed in console games. Thanks to her growing interesting in my favorite entertainment medium, I saw a number games through to the end that I normally wouldn't have, but I'm glad I did. The two good games she had me play were Unravel, the yarn-based platformer, and Lumo, an isometic puzzle-platformer that she ended up calling "Witch Game" since the protagonist looks like an adorable little magic caster. She also made me play one terrible game: Snoopy's Grand Adventure, which may be one of the most uninspired things to ever use Charles Schulz's character.