The 2019 Year In RPGs

about X hours ago from
The 2019 Year In RPGs

First off, happy holidays! I want to personally thank you all for being the cool RPG fans you are and sharing your passion for this amazing genre with me – especially for taking the time to read this post amid the holiday craze.  As the year comes to a close, I always take delight in looking back and evaluating how it stacked up compared to others. This year was certainly unpredictable, with plenty of surprises and standout games. Whenever we approach a new console generation, things start to die down and the amount and quality of the releases often follow suit. However, this year still came out swinging and succeeds more than it disappoints. Fire Emblem: Three Houses, The Outer Worlds, Disco Elysium, and Kingdom Hearts III made sure this year wasn't going down in defeat. Let's dive deeper into the great games that defined 2019. 

How To Get Started In Path Of Exile

about X hours ago from
How To Get Started In Path Of Exile

Path of Exile has been around for quite some time, but with the release of another giant content chunk and a new league where you can build your own big baddies to beat for massive swathes of loot, it's a fantastic time to jump into the action. Path of Exile plays fantastically whether you want to go completely solo, with a friend network to share loot with, or in groups for bigger and better rewards. That said, getting into Path of Exile can seem like an incredibly intimidating prospect, with its giant passive skill tree, ascendancy choices, and the map-centric endgame atlas to navigate. While the systems can be complex, they don't have to be complicated to get into - so let's get started!

1) Download a loot filter

How To Get Started In Path Of Exile

about X hours ago from
How To Get Started In Path Of Exile

Path of Exile has been around for quite some time, but with the release of another giant content chunk and a new league where you can build your own big baddies to beat for massive swathes of loot, it's a fantastic time to jump into the action. Path of Exile plays fantastically whether you want to go completely solo, with a friend network to share loot with, or in groups for bigger and better rewards. That said, getting into Path of Exile can seem like an incredibly intimidating prospect, with its giant passive skill tree, ascendancy choices, and the map-centric endgame atlas to navigate. While the systems can be complex, they don't have to be complicated to get into - so let's get started!

1) Download a loot filter

Oh Yes, We're Still Doing That Gaming Haiku Thing

about X hours ago from
Oh Yes, We're Still Doing That Gaming Haiku Thing

You know what I like about the holidays? Great food? Sure! Presents? Absolutely! Family? Probably! I also enjoy taking the time to sit down and reflect on what's most important – namely, cramming my thoughts on some of the most recent games I've played into the constraints of a haiku poem. I'm nothing if not predicable reliable.

I've been doing this for a long time now, and you can read all of my previous masterworks (deep breath) herehereherehereherehereherehere, and here. Enjoy!

Wattam "What is this?" they ask.
"All these objects have faces."
"Did Rare make this game?"

Oh Yes, We're Still Doing That Gaming Haiku Thing

about X hours ago from
Oh Yes, We're Still Doing That Gaming Haiku Thing

You know what I like about the holidays? Great food? Sure! Presents? Absolutely! Family? Probably! I also enjoy taking the time to sit down and reflect on what's most important – namely, cramming my thoughts on some of the most recent games I've played into the constraints of a haiku poem. I'm nothing if not predicable reliable.

I've been doing this for a long time now, and you can read all of my previous masterworks (deep breath) herehereherehereherehereherehere, and here. Enjoy!

Wattam "What is this?" they ask.
"All these objects have faces."
"Did Rare make this game?"

Netflix’s Witcher Series Is More Captivating Than Flawed

about X hours ago from
Netflix’s Witcher Series Is More Captivating Than Flawed

Netflix’s Witcher series is surprisingly delightful. Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s popular novels, you have everything you’d expect from The Witcher: bloody, brutal fights, intimate looks at beloved characters like Yennefer and Geralt, and you have an unpredictable world where you never know if someone is a friend or foe. As a big Witcher fan, the show has tons of things I love about the characters, like Yennefer’s determination and menacing mind games, Jaskier (AKA Dandelion)’s catchy songs, and Geralt’s dry wit. Watching these characters and their world, which previously only existed in books and video games, come to life on screen in grandiose fashion is magical. Netflix’s Witcher series is worth it for those moments, but it’s not without some flaws and disappointments.

Netflix’s Witcher Series Is More Captivating Than Flawed

about X hours ago from
Netflix’s Witcher Series Is More Captivating Than Flawed

Netflix’s Witcher series is surprisingly delightful. Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s popular novels, you have everything you’d expect from The Witcher: bloody, brutal fights, intimate looks at beloved characters like Yennefer and Geralt, and you have an unpredictable world where you never know if someone is a friend or foe. As a big Witcher fan, the show has tons of things I love about the characters, like Yennefer’s determination and menacing mind games, Jaskier (AKA Dandelion)’s catchy songs, and Geralt’s dry wit. Watching these characters and their world, which previously only existed in books and video games, come to life on screen in grandiose fashion is magical. Netflix’s Witcher series is worth it for those moments, but it’s not without some flaws and disappointments.

Playing Fortnite With My Kid Is One Of My Favorite Things About 2019

about X hours ago from
Playing Fortnite With My Kid Is One Of My Favorite Things About 2019

As parents of 10- and 12-year-old boys, we’ve been easing into a strange transitional space. Our kids don’t cling to my wife and I the way they did when they were little guys. And that’s great! It’s important that they learn how to be independent and figure out how to navigate the world on their own, even though they’re only seeing a tiny slice of it right now. That’s not to say I don’t miss their enthusiastic appreciation for dad, though.

After Fortnite’s black-hole event, I had an urge to revisit the battle-royale ring. I’d dabbled a little bit, but it didn’t really click with me for whatever reason. My kids didn’t share that opinion, my youngest in particular. He’s been a die-hard player for a long while now, methodically rolling though his checklists of challenges and completing every season’s battle pass. Sometimes I’ll watch him play, though it’s clear that my hovering presence isn’t always appreciated. That’s why I was so surprised that he not only gave me more than a quick grunt when I said I was playing again, but he ran over to his PS4 and sent me a party invite. And away we went.

Playing Fortnite With My Kid Is One Of My Favorite Things About 2019

about X hours ago from
Playing Fortnite With My Kid Is One Of My Favorite Things About 2019

As parents of 10- and 12-year-old boys, we’ve been easing into a strange transitional space. Our kids don’t cling to my wife and I the way they did when they were little guys. And that’s great! It’s important that they learn how to be independent and figure out how to navigate the world on their own, even though they’re only seeing a tiny slice of it right now. That’s not to say I don’t miss their enthusiastic appreciation for dad, though.

After Fortnite’s black-hole event, I had an urge to revisit the battle-royale ring. I’d dabbled a little bit, but it didn’t really click with me for whatever reason. My kids didn’t share that opinion, my youngest in particular. He’s been a die-hard player for a long while now, methodically rolling though his checklists of challenges and completing every season’s battle pass. Sometimes I’ll watch him play, though it’s clear that my hovering presence isn’t always appreciated. That’s why I was so surprised that he not only gave me more than a quick grunt when I said I was playing again, but he ran over to his PS4 and sent me a party invite. And away we went.

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...