Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 21, 2016)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 21, 2016)

This week of blogs covers everything from gaming woes to Destiny to Kingdom Hearts. It's odd to write Kingdom Hearts and actually have a new game out for the series. Anyway, enjoy this week's blogs! 

Community Blogs For April 14 – April 20:  

3 Gaming Trends That Need To Stop  Edwinjoe450 writes that greed has changed the gaming landscape. His list of things that need to change follows that theme, including DLC, sequels, and season passes. I can't remember the last time I bought a season pass or full-priced DLC. And don't get me started on pre-order bonuses that happen to be digital.  

Rethinking Video Game Novels With Boss Fight Books

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Boss Fight Books is a small press with a large sense of scale. Series Editor Gabe Durham Kickstarted a line of books that encapsulates classic video games. Each book is filled with an individual author’s thoughts on a game, relationship to it now, and experiences surrounding their time with it.

The small press has published 11 full-length books including Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Shadow of the Colossus, and more. Each game is covered by a separate author, ranging from writers completely outside of gaming to people deep in the trenches of the industry. This includes Derek Yu, who recently released his autobiographical reflection on his indie hit, Spelunky. We talked with Durham to find out how Boss Fight Books touches on the personal side of gaming, stays on people’s radar, and what the future of the small press looks like.

Boss Fight Books sits in a unique position, as a small press, for homing in on the more personal stories attached to games. I feel like some video game books come off as too clinical. What kind of personal stories can readers expect to come across in the series?I think you're right that the personal side can often be highlighted because that's not always what we see in games culture. So, my take is that there are so many ways to approach games, and that we can benefit from all of them.

Two Dark Souls III Amateurs Discuss Their Early (Mis)Adventures

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Two Dark Souls III Amateurs Discuss Their Early (Mis)Adventures

From Software's Dark Souls series has garnered a dedicated cult following over the years, but not everyone is a true believer. Jeff Marchiafava and Jeff Cork discuss their early adventures in Dark Souls III, along with what they love about the game, and what they would chuck into the nearest bonfire.

Jeff M: So Cork, we both have kind of been caught up in the communal excitement for Dark Souls III, at least enough to try out the game. Before we dig into our main thoughts, what is your past experience with From Software's previous games?

Jeff C: If we're talking specifically about the Souls games, I've played a bit of all of them to varying degrees. It's a series that I'd like to like more, since the various components that it's assembled from are things I generally love. I'm a huge fan of exploration and discovery. I like dark-fantasy settings and themes. I like cryptic, minimal storytelling. I'm up for a good (but fair) challenge. I like dinking around with stats. But for some reason, the franchise hasn't clicked completely for me. That could very well change with Dark Souls III, though.

10 Classic Games That Deserve Modern Makeovers

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Remakes and reboots are all the rage these days, and it seems like a new one is always around the corner. Publishers are more eager than ever to bring their classic titles to a modern audience while tugging at the nostalgia of old fans at the same time. The recent Ratchet & Clank reboot is a great example of this, as well as the upcoming Doom reboot and the Final Fantasy VII remake. But there are plenty of other games that deserve to shine again, and we’ve compiled a list of some of the most deserving ones.

There are countless games we’d love to see return to the spotlight, but we’ve tried to keep this list fairly realistic. If you’re desperately craving a remake of The Adventures of Bayou Billy, don’t expect to find it here. These are 10 titles that could make at least some business sense today, and might stand a chance of actually happening at some point.

How Final Fantasy XV Is Redesigning Your Favorite Monsters

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The Final Fantasy series has had its share of iconic monsters. From the adorable Cactuar and Moogle to the vicious Malboro and Behemoth, these classic creatures have made multiple appearances, often redesigned to fit into each entry’s universe. Stumbling upon one in a new game is part of the fun, since not only do these famous fiends spark a feeling of nostalgia, but seeing them take new designs and forms is exciting in its own right. The Final Fantasy XV team put a lot of thought into creating monsters to fit its universe, and this extends to some of its most popular beasts. While at Square Enix’s Tokyo offices, we chatted with the art team about recreating monsters for Final Fantasy XV’s more open world, while they walked us through redesigning the Catoblepas.

Note: Click on images for full size versions

Right Out Of National Geographic

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

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Chronicles – Watch Episode Thirteen 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.

7 Strange Games Released After Their Consoles' Death

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Your favorite consoles aren’t going to be around forever. Rumors of Nintendo halting the Wii U’s production and murmurings of an upgraded PlayStation 4 on the horizon have people talking about shortened console life cycles. This conversation doesn’t even include consoles like The Ouya, which was dead on arrival. After a console is long gone, and becomes a regular on pawn shop shelves, what strange games inhabit a dead system’s ecosystem? We explore a few of the strangest games to release on a console long after its console's expiration date.

Creating The Colorful Cast Of Overwatch

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Creating The Colorful Cast Of Overwatch

With Overwatch, Blizzard Interactive will introduce its first new IP in nearly two decades. For the studio that produced such beloved worlds as Azeroth and Sanctuary, that’s a big deal. Bringing the world of Overwatch to life takes more than just interesting character designs and appealing map layouts; it’s about making characters that players care about. Overwatch is filled with a cast of playable heroes and villains, each with their own motivations and desires. Supplemental media products, like animated shorts and comics, help to flesh out the stars of the game. We spoke with Blizzard’s director of story and creative development James Waugh and senior game designer Michael Chu on where and how story and gameplay intersect in Overwatch.

What role do you feel plot and narrative play in multiplayer games like this?Chu: At Blizzard, we're storytellers. What we do is tell stories in any medium we approach, whether it's in game, out of the game, in animated shorts, or in comics. So when we were approaching making Overwatch, it was definitely something we were focused on. We knew we didn't want to just make a multiplayer shooter. We also wanted to introduce a new Blizzard IP, the first one in 17 or 18 years. 

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

about X hours ago from
Chronicles – Watch Episode Twelve 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.