Ranking The Star Wars Films After The Rise Of Skywalker

about X hours ago from
Ranking The Star Wars Films After The Rise Of Skywalker

Before I dive into the ranking that you are about to tear to shreds, I want to point out that this is my personal list and it doesn't represent Game Informer as a whole. I would also like to say I appreciate elements of each of these films. They all strengthen the core Star Wars story in their own unique ways. The Phantom Menace is a movie most people mock for Jar Jar Binks, but without it we wouldn’t have gotten Darth Maul or that awesome scene where Qui-Gon Jinn melts a metal door with his lightsaber. Return of the Jedi delivers one of the coolest space battles in all of cinema, but also a fight in which the Empire is trounced (handily even) by tiny bears.
Additionally, film technology evolves at a rapid rate, and each Star Wars film embraces it for good and bad. Rogue One’s visual effects are top tier, with the exception of a couple of CGi characters who may look worse than anything in Attack of the Clones. Some of us may even prefer crude puppets over detailed CGi models.

All of these things come into play in my ranking, but I’m mostly weighing my picks on the impact they had on me, both when I originally viewed them and today. As always, I appreciate your feedback in the comments section below, but above all else, would love to see your ranking of the films.

With all of that said, it's on to the list...

Ranking The Star Wars Films After The Rise Of Skywalker

about X hours ago from
Ranking The Star Wars Films After The Rise Of Skywalker

Before I dive into the ranking that you are about to tear to shreds, I want to point out that this is my personal list and it doesn't represent Game Informer as a whole. I would also like to say I appreciate elements of each of these films. They all strengthen the core Star Wars story in their own unique ways. The Phantom Menace is a movie most people mock for Jar Jar Binks, but without it we wouldn’t have gotten Darth Maul or that awesome scene where Qui-Gon Jinn melts a metal door with his lightsaber. Return of the Jedi delivers one of the coolest space battles in all of cinema, but also a fight in which the Empire is trounced (handily even) by tiny bears.
Additionally, film technology evolves at a rapid rate, and each Star Wars film embraces it for good and bad. Rogue One’s visual effects are top tier, with the exception of a couple of CGi characters who may look worse than anything in Attack of the Clones. Some of us may even prefer crude puppets over detailed CGi models.

All of these things come into play in my ranking, but I’m mostly weighing my picks on the impact they had on me, both when I originally viewed them and today. As always, I appreciate your feedback in the comments section below, but above all else, would love to see your ranking of the films.

With all of that said, it's on to the list...

Top 10 Pokémon Gym Leaders

about X hours ago from
Top 10 Pokémon Gym Leaders

For more than two decades, potential Pokémon Masters have been traveling through regions of the ever-expanding world to test their skills against powerful trainers atop various themed gyms. Whether you cut your teeth on Red & Blue or you just leapt into the world of Pokémon with Sword & Shield, you likely have a favorite gym leader. While it was difficult to whittle the list of memorable leaders down to 10, these are our favorite gym leaders from across the entire series.

Top 10 Pokémon Gym Leaders

about X hours ago from
Top 10 Pokémon Gym Leaders

For more than two decades, potential Pokémon Masters have been traveling through regions of the ever-expanding world to test their skills against powerful trainers atop various themed gyms. Whether you cut your teeth on Red & Blue or you just leapt into the world of Pokémon with Sword & Shield, you likely have a favorite gym leader. While it was difficult to whittle the list of memorable leaders down to 10, these are our favorite gym leaders from across the entire series.

The Race To Create Half-Life 3

about X hours ago from
The Race To Create Half-Life 3

Half-Life is one of the most revered franchises in the world. Not only did it establish Valve as a premier developer, it redefined player expectations for first-person storytelling, world building, and enemy A.I. Half-Life 2 and its episodic follow-ups continued to push the FPS genre into bold new directions until Half-Life 2: Episode Two released in 2007. After Episode 2’s cliffhanger ending, fans couldn’t wait to experience the climax of Gordon Freeman’s epic struggle against the totalitarian, multidimensional aliens known as the Combine.

They’re still waiting. (Sort of.)

As Valve’s focus has shifted toward maintaining its digital Steam store and the online game-as-service Dota 2, the Half-Life brand seems to have been abandoned by its creators. Many fans wonder if we’ll ever see another Half-Life game. Others feel that it is time to take matters into their own hands. If Valve isn’t going to make another Half-Life, its fans will.

The Race To Create Half-Life 3

about X hours ago from
The Race To Create Half-Life 3

Half-Life is one of the most revered franchises in the world. Not only did it establish Valve as a premier developer, it redefined player expectations for first-person storytelling, world building, and enemy A.I. Half-Life 2 and its episodic follow-ups continued to push the FPS genre into bold new directions until Half-Life 2: Episode Two released in 2007. After Episode 2’s cliffhanger ending, fans couldn’t wait to experience the climax of Gordon Freeman’s epic struggle against the totalitarian, multidimensional aliens known as the Combine.

They’re still waiting. (Sort of.)

As Valve’s focus has shifted toward maintaining its digital Steam store and the online game-as-service Dota 2, the Half-Life brand seems to have been abandoned by its creators. Many fans wonder if we’ll ever see another Half-Life game. Others feel that it is time to take matters into their own hands. If Valve isn’t going to make another Half-Life, its fans will.

Forward Facing

about X hours ago from
Forward Facing

As the calendar turns to 2020, both PlayStation and Xbox are looking toward the future as they ready their next consoles. While details are just now being released for the next Xbox system, the team at Microsoft’s gaming branch is clearly thinking beyond consoles. Several pivotal members of the Xbox team spoke with us about how key philosophies on display today guide and position them for the future.

After a rough start that saw Xbox One outperformed and outsold by PlayStation 4, Xbox listened more to its player base, and in the process created an ecosystem that catered to its audience that stands in stark contrast to the reveal of the console.

The team took player feedback into account with initiatives like adding backward compatibility for past Xbox consoles, and Xbox Play Anywhere, which gives players a PC copy of an Xbox game they purchased at no additional cost. “Those come from listening to the customers,” Head of Xbox Phil Spencer says. “We’re not the first console to do back compat. I think, as a team, we embraced it as well as any other console manufacturer has and really said we want to make it part of the value proposition. That was listening to customers and what they said they wanted to do.”

Forward Facing

about X hours ago from
Forward Facing

As the calendar turns to 2020, both PlayStation and Xbox are looking toward the future as they ready their next consoles. While details are just now being released for the next Xbox system, the team at Microsoft’s gaming branch is clearly thinking beyond consoles. Several pivotal members of the Xbox team spoke with us about how key philosophies on display today guide and position them for the future.

After a rough start that saw Xbox One outperformed and outsold by PlayStation 4, Xbox listened more to its player base, and in the process created an ecosystem that catered to its audience that stands in stark contrast to the reveal of the console.

The team took player feedback into account with initiatives like adding backward compatibility for past Xbox consoles, and Xbox Play Anywhere, which gives players a PC copy of an Xbox game they purchased at no additional cost. “Those come from listening to the customers,” Head of Xbox Phil Spencer says. “We’re not the first console to do back compat. I think, as a team, we embraced it as well as any other console manufacturer has and really said we want to make it part of the value proposition. That was listening to customers and what they said they wanted to do.”

Tackling A New Stage

about X hours ago from
Tackling A New Stage

Developer Kylotonn hasn’t always had the greatest record with the WRC rally series, so I was surprised when I first got a look at WRC 8 earlier this year. What was once a relatively by-the-numbers racing series that wasn’t even that exciting by rally racing standards (if your heart isn’t going a mile a minute while racing, then something’s wrong), had transformed itself on and off the track. The developer took a year off from the annual release schedule, and the hiatus appears to have paid off: The game features a more comprehensive career mode and the racing is more dangerous than ever.

Although the fact that WRC 8 has a fleshed-out career mode (more on that later) is certainly a big new aspect for the series, arguably the most effective feature is the tracks themselves. They give the game a tense difficulty that it didn’t have before, especially when combined with the increasing HP of the cars. Traveling around the globe the challenges never stop coming, whether it’s narrow asphalt in Germany (with a retaining wall looming on the side) or the dangerous rocks of Corsica, all the tracks test your abilities and keep you on your toes. Even when your spotter isn't telling you, “Don’t cut” or “stay in,” there's still plenty to be wary of.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

Tackling A New Stage

about X hours ago from
Tackling A New Stage

Developer Kylotonn hasn’t always had the greatest record with the WRC rally series, so I was surprised when I first got a look at WRC 8 earlier this year. What was once a relatively by-the-numbers racing series that wasn’t even that exciting by rally racing standards (if your heart isn’t going a mile a minute while racing, then something’s wrong), had transformed itself on and off the track. The developer took a year off from the annual release schedule, and the hiatus appears to have paid off: The game features a more comprehensive career mode and the racing is more dangerous than ever.

Although the fact that WRC 8 has a fleshed-out career mode (more on that later) is certainly a big new aspect for the series, arguably the most effective feature is the tracks themselves. They give the game a tense difficulty that it didn’t have before, especially when combined with the increasing HP of the cars. Traveling around the globe the challenges never stop coming, whether it’s narrow asphalt in Germany (with a retaining wall looming on the side) or the dangerous rocks of Corsica, all the tracks test your abilities and keep you on your toes. Even when your spotter isn't telling you, “Don’t cut” or “stay in,” there's still plenty to be wary of.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version