Opinion: More Games Should Have Great Difficulty Options

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One of the cornerstones of the roguelike genre is harshly punishing the player for their failures. Games likes The Binding of Isaac, FTL, and Spelunky can often have you raging at the screen as a simple miscalculation can result in your untimely demise and hours of lost progress, but such losses make those moments of victory, where you triumph over the mighty Olmec or take down the rebel flagship, that much sweeter. However, the trade-off for these sorts of risk/reward systems is that they often end up pushing casual players away from them simply because they find the payoff for the time investment simply isn't worth it. To call this issue a design flaw would be unfair toward those games given that a lot of their appeal ostensibly rests on the player understanding the depths of loss so they can experiences heights of success. 

That said, I've often wondered over the past few years if there was a way that developers could make allowances toward players who want to play these difficult games on their own terms without necessarily corrupting the core experiences. Several recently released games have attempted to do just that and have been, for the most part, rather successful.

We Take Grifball For A Spin In Halo 5: Guardians

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Grifball has been a favorite of the Halo community ever since its invention by Rooster Teeth back in the days of Halo 3.

Now 343 Industries has brought back the fast-paced mayhem starting today in Halo 5: Guardians, and Kyle Hilliard and Wade Wojcik wanted to see how the mode holds up with the inclusion of Spartan abilities. Check out the carnage below! (Spoiler alert, we're crazy rusty. Cue the Rocky training montage.)

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Breaking Down Uncharted 4's Story Trailer

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Breaking Down Uncharted 4's Story Trailer

We've seen brief snippets of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End for over two years now, but Naughty Dog has kept the story close to its chest, revealing very little about Nathan Drake's current state of being or the expedition he's embarking on. We know he and his brother Sam are looking for Captain Henry Avery's treasure – the largest reported pirate treasure of all. Rival treasure hunters are in pursuit.

Today's two-minute story trailer gives us a wider look at the locations and characters in this chapter of Drake's life. While it once again doesn't offer much in terms of narrative clarity, it does reveal that we will see a lot of Nathan and Sam together, both in the present and the past.

We combed every second of the trailer for hints and secrets, and pinpointed a few things worth noting. If you see anything else we should discuss, let us know and we'll add it to the story.

Cracking Lego’s Best Recurring Jokes

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Cracking Lego’s Best Recurring Jokes

Play enough of TT Games’ Lego titles, and you’re bound to notice a few things that keep popping up. No, we’re not talking about gameplay elements like piles of bricks that shatter into showers of Lego studs, hidden minikits, or the almighty stud magnet. Have you ever wondered why Lego games have all those hidden discos? Is there a story behind the pigs? What’s up with the carrots? We spoke with TT Games about several of these recurring gags during our visit for Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and are back with some of the stories behind them.

Disco PartiesLego minifigures can’t seem to resist the disco call, whether Batman’s shaking his groove thang on the floor or Frodo brings the power of dance to the Shire with his disco phial. TT Games’ interest in booty-shaking action goes back to the first Lego Star Wars game, which was based on the prequel trilogy.

Five Far Cry Primal Tips To Keep You Alive In The Stone Age

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Five Far Cry Primal Tips To Keep You Alive In The Stone Age

Far Cry Primal is out today, giving players a chance to explore the vast world of Oros. The game marks a departure from previous entries, in that it’s set more than 12,000 years ago. While the tools of destruction are primitive compared to recent Far Cry games, it’s still similar overall to its predecessors. Primal has some key distinctions, however, and knowing those can mean the difference between being an alpha caveman versus being something’s (or someone’s) lunch. Here are a few tips to make life in Oros easier.

Spears Are The Stone Age’s RPGWhen you start Primal, you don’t have many tools at your disposal. Your arsenal increases as you progress through the game, but the bulk of your offensive output comes from bows, clubs, and spears. Bows are self-explanatory; you use them to fire arrows, which can take out enemies at a distance. You can certainly toss clubs, but they’re most useful as melee bludgeons. That leaves us with spears. 

Super Replay – Beyond Good & Evil (Part Twelve)

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One of the most criminally overlooked games from yesteryear, Beyond Good & Evil is a story-driven adventure that follows a photojournalist named Jade and her mechanic friend Pey'j. We won't spoil where this journey goes, but fans of Zelda, Pokémon Snap, and fun science fiction stories should either watch our playthrough or pick up the game and play it. This is an exceptional game from developer Ubisoft Montpellier and legendary creator Michel Ancel.

Beyond Good & Evil was originally released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and PC on November 11, 2003, but to make it look better on your massive displays, we're playing the HD re-release from 2011, which we downloaded through Xbox One's snazzy, new backwards compatibility.

Unlike other Super Replays, we're airing these episodes as soon as we finish them, and we won't record more until you've watched and commented on the newest chapter. We want you the viewer to be a part of this journey as well. We plan to read as many comments as we can during the next episode. If you have any questions for us about Beyond Good & Evil, Replay, or video games in general, list them in the comments section below, or on YouTube. If all goes as planned, we'll finish this Super Replay in December, and will roll into our annual 12.31 Super Replay next. Thanks again for the support!

The Top 10 PC Exclusive Games

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In the last few weeks, we’ve been highlighting our choices for some of the best games to play on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U. In many cases, those lists saw crossover between consoles, with games like Fallout 4 appearing on multiple lists. We’ve opted for a different approach with PC, where many of the platform’s most striking games can only be played if you own a gaming computer. As such, our PC list includes only current PC exclusives.

A huge number of games deserve praise for their excellent PC releases, but if the game came to mobile or console, we’ve opted to leave it off the selections below. Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Diablo III, FTL: Faster Than Light, and Hearthstone would all be strong contenders, but those and many others can be played in some form on other platforms, so they are not included here. 

We’ve also tried to account for the fact that many PC games have long lives that stretch far past their initial release.  As such, we’ve opted to consider any game with an active and engaged community of players over the last five years, even if the original release predated that time period. Great older PC exclusives, like Wasteland or EverQuest, didn’t make the cut, as those communities simply aren’t as active as they once were. 

Watch Us Play Devil’s Advocate In Fast-Paced Shooter Devil Daggers

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Watch Us Play Devil’s Advocate In Fast-Paced Shooter Devil Daggers

Devil Daggers is an arena-based FPS that clawed its way onto PC on February 18. The frenetically-paced shooter has a dark atmosphere with an aesthetic that harkens back to PC FPS games from the 90s.

Join Dan Tack, Wade Wojcik, Andrew Reiner, and myself as we battle through a vicious ring of hell – competing to see who can last the longest. We also see how our skills stack up against the number one player in the world. You can check the video out below.

Devil Daggers is out now on Steam and costs $4.99.

MMORPGs To Watch In 2016

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MMORPGs To Watch In 2016

While the influx of new MMORPGs has slowed to a trickle in comparison to the market of years ago, continual support, new content, expansions, and renovations continue to make the genre one of the most compelling offerings on PC. 

While some of today’s best offerings are also available on console, the roster of titles available on PC is deeper than ever and allows players to pick a title that syncs up perfectly with their own personal playstyles and interests. While this list is by no means an attempt to track every single MMORPG out there – there are so many right now – we’re looking at titles that we think are worth watching this year. Titles are listed in no particular order or ranking.

World of Warcraft

Todd Howard Discusses Fallout 4 DLC, Mods, & Survival Mode

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Todd Howard Discusses Fallout 4 DLC, Mods, & Survival Mode

Just a few hours before Todd Howard and several members of Bethesda Game Studios' team walked onto the D.I.C.E. Awards stage to accept Fallout 4's Game of the Year honors, I sat down with Howard to discuss what comes next for the game – primarily the forthcoming DLC plans.

Howard also opened up a little more on the studio's plans for Survival mode, and the release time frame for mods on console and PC. He also provided a little more clarity on Bethesda Game Studios working on three projects simultaneously.