No Reprieve To Be Found – How Video Games Deal With Grief

about X hours ago from
No Reprieve To Be Found – How Video Games Deal With Grief

Heads up: This piece includes spoilers for the last episode of the Michonne miniseries, Max Payne 3, and That Dragon, Cancer.

There’s no moment quite like when you experience grief for the first time. I’ve had friends tell me it’s come upon them violently, heartrending outbursts of agony in grocery stores and theaters immediately after finding out who or what they’d lost: parents, jobs, relationships, pets. For me, it was a slow process, like mist creeping under a door and filling a room. I was in a new city a thousand miles away from home. I had sacrificed precious things for a job I wanted, given up one life for another, and news kept reaching me in texts and across social networks reminding me of that. Close friends were getting married. A grandfather I loved died and I couldn’t make it home to be with my family during the funeral. It all built up over a period of a few months before I finally unraveled in the hallway of my apartment complex, sobbing and chuckling and red-faced and unable to make myself stop for about an hour.

Star Fox Zero's Ending Sure Looks Familiar

about X hours ago from
Star Fox Zero's Ending Sure Looks Familiar

Let's get this out of the way first: Spoiler alert – below you will find the ending to Star Fox Zero, as well as some discussion about it. Here's a large picture of General Pepper looking rather pleased with himself as he stands by a picture of himself so you don't accidentally start reading the next paragraph if you've come here by accident.

Now that we're talking to the people who have completed Star Fox Zero, or the people who don't mind having the ending spoiled, it's weird, right? Nintendo has never been shy about the fact that Star Fox Zero is meant to be a reboot for the series. Miyamoto said at E3 2015 that it is not a remake or a sequel. Similar to the recent Star Wars culling that deleted all the expanded universe content, Star Fox Zero is meant to take the series back to zero and start over, hence the title. That's all well and good, but many aspects of the game, especially the ending, make it seem like Zero is a remake of Star Fox 64. Nintendo already remade Star Fox 64 on the 3DS, and it was great, so it makes it confusing when the ending is nearly shot-for-shot the same as Star Fox 64. In the video below, we placed the ending of Star Fox Zero and Star Fox 64 side-by-side with very little editing to point out the surprising number of direct overlaps.

Top 10 Alien Races

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LV-426 is the name of the moon that is reportedly home to the Xenomorphs. Logically, this means that April 26 is alien day, so in honor of this universal holiday, we thought we’d look at some of our other favorite alien races from games. We have a day for everything now; pretty soon we're going to have to expand the calendar so we can celebrate more things. [Editor’s Note: This list first appeared in issue 261 of Game Informer Magazine, and we’re not going to just add the Xenomorphs to it just because it’s their special day.]


1) Metroids - Metroid series
When it comes to strange, unfamiliar, and incredible, Metroid’s namesake species is truly alien. These parasitic energy vampires are a rare sight throughout Samus’ adventures, but when they finally appear they pose an immediate and real danger. Little is known about these enigmatic creatures other than the fact that they were bioengineered for combat by the ancient Chozo race. Unfortunately for Samus, they’re good at their job.

Final Fantasy XV Concept Art Reveals Deeper Design Decisions

about X hours ago from
Final Fantasy XV Concept Art Reveals Deeper Design Decisions

Pictured above: Lestallum concept art when the team thought it needed to look "enhanced."

The Final Fantasy series is known for its breathtaking visuals, and the team puts a lot of thought into its art. The concept art is no different, with fans often framing it or making it the background on their phones and computers. The gorgeous concept art often provides insight into a design's beginnings and learning more about it can often give you insight into the world you're about to discover.  While we visited Square Enix in Tokyo, we asked the team to share with us some Final Fantasy XV concept art and discuss the creative process behind each piece. The art they shared offers new insight into Final Fantasy XV's creation.

Note: Click on image for full size 

Chronicles – Watch Episode Seventeen Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

about X hours ago from
Chronicles – Watch Episode Seventeen Of Our Dark Souls III Death March

The Dark Souls franchise continues with a powerful third entry into the world of dark, demanding fantasy action. Join Daniel Tack, Andrew Reiner, Kyle Hilliard, and Javy Gwaltney in an epic game of "pass the sticks" as they attempt to conquer fantastic environments and towering bosses in From Software's latest ashen wasteland. Be aware that there may be spoilers as we move from episode to episode.

Will the crew finish? Will they smash controllers in frustration? Or will the team find new strength and resolve to persevere in the face of relentless and uncaring foes? Will the team go the extra mile and complete the game or go hollow as they bash against the endless tides of freakish minions? Find out on Chronicles: Dark Souls III edition.

Check out our review of Dark Souls III here.

No Reprieve To Be Found – How Video Games Deal With Grief

about X hours ago from
No Reprieve To Be Found – How Video Games Deal With Grief

Heads up: This piece includes spoilers for the last episode of the Michonne miniseries, Max Payne 3, and That Dragon, Cancer.

There’s no moment quite like when you experience grief for the first time. I’ve had friends tell me it’s come upon them violently, heartrending outbursts of agony in grocery stores and theaters immediately after finding out who or what they’d lost: parents, jobs, relationships, pets. For me, it was a slow process, like mist creeping under a door and filling a room. I was in a new city a thousand miles away from home. I had sacrificed precious things for a job I wanted, given up one life for another, and news kept reaching me in texts and across social networks reminding me of that. Close friends were getting married. A grandfather I loved died and I couldn’t make it home to be with my family during the funeral. It all built up over a period of a few months before I finally unraveled in the hallway of my apartment complex, sobbing and chuckling and red-faced and unable to make myself stop for about an hour.

Test Chamber – Metroid Prime: Federation Force

about X hours ago from

Now that Metroid Prime: Federation Force finally has a release date, we're starting to see and hear more about the game. The cooperative shooter allows you to team up with three other friends and shoot baddies as a marine of the Galactic Federation.

We recently saw the game in action, and this episode of Test Chamber features one of the early missions. Watch the video below to see editor Brian Shea and I discuss this different direction for the series, the various missions you take on, and if shooting baddies using the gyroscope to aim is all that fun. This is your chance to get an early look and see what you think. 

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Test Chamber – See Kirby's Robotic Future In Action

about X hours ago from

Kirby is back for another fun and dangerous adventure in Kirby: Planet Robobot. This time our favorite pink puff has some more power, thanks to his robobot armor that functions like a mech. We discussed how he's more powerful in our latest preview, but now you can see some of the experience for yourself.

On this episode of Test Chamber, editor Brian Shea joined me to watch some of my playthrough and discuss what's in store for Kirby this time around. We show off Kirby's new doctor power, some cool levels, and the Amiibo functionality. Of course, we also get behind the mech. You really don't want to mess with Kirby when he's in it. See for yourself in the video below. 

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An Inside Look At Modernizing The Art Of Final Fantasy

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With our trip to Square Enix in Tokyo for our extensive cover story on Final Fantasy XV, we were lucky enough to speak with several long-time developers that have worked on the beloved series. Yusuke Naora has been an artist on the team since Final Fantasy VI, going on to contribute background art for things like Midgar and the Northern Crater in Final Fantasy VII. Naora is one of three art directors on Final Fantasy XV, and one of his early tasks on the project was to update the look of the characters from their incarnation in Final Fantasy Versus XIII. We spoke with Naora about what it was like to be amongst the team developing classics like Final Fantasy VI and the three guiding themes for updating the characters in Final Fantasy XV.

Watch the video below to learn more about Yusuke Naora's work on the art of Final Fantasy.

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Test Chamber – Exploring Valve's Premiere VR Experience: The Lab

about X hours ago from
Test Chamber – Exploring Valve's Premiere VR Experience: The Lab

After weeks familiarizing ourselves with the new technology, we rolled out a bevy of VR reviews last Friday, including hardware evaluations of both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Among our reviews is a look at The Lab, a collection of VR experiences built to showcase the potential of the HTC Vive. Andrew Reiner had yet to try out the magic of room-scale VR, so he and I entered the virtual world to take a tour through Valve’s charming simulation.

In our first-ever Vive Test Chamber video, we take a look at everything from shooting a bow and arrow to visiting DotA’s Secrets Shop (we were unable to capture the Robot Repair mini game, much to our dismay). Within the video, you’ll be able to see both the visuals from the game, along with a filmed view of Reiner’s movements. Enjoy!

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