Opinion – That Fleeting Feeling: Falling In Love With A Game

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Opinion – That Fleeting Feeling: Falling In Love With A Game

I've fallen in love with so many games through the years, and yet it always feels like the first time. There's that moment when a title clicks and you understand its potential and start to dream of the places it will take you. But as you play on, the quests mount and your pattern of play becomes familiar and routine. The feverish feeling dims. But whether you actually do all the things you initially thought you would almost doesn't matter – the power of that initial promise is the kind of memory you'll fondly recall forever.

I recently had this feeling while playing Fallout 4. When I opened up the ability to begin customizing the Sanctuary settlement, my mind filled with endless possibilities – how I was going to design everything, where I was going to put the food crops, and what the interiors would look like. My mind was ignited and excited, despite all the time and effort it was going to take. I was pretty stoked about the settlements when they were first announced, but this was a moment of joyful revelation. This is it. This is why I'm playing this game, and why it's going to be so freaking cool.

Is Soma One Of The Top 50 Games Of 2015?

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Frictional Games made a name for itself as the studio behind the 2010 horror hit Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Soma is the developer’s latest first-person foray into the strange and terrifying, but with a more philosophical angle. Despite never playing Amnesia, I decided to play Soma based on Tim’s review, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I Soma flew under the radar for a lot of gamers, and I think it could use more support in our yearly fight for the Top 50. I challenged Andrew Reiner to spend some time exploring PATHOS-II, and now we can discuss whether Soma deserves a place among the best games of the year.

Joe: Before we dive in, I’m curious: How much did you know about Soma’s story before you started? I feel like it’s one of those “the less you know, the better” experiences.

Reiner: I knew hardly anything at all. Given Frictional’s pedigree, I thought it would be more horror than science fiction. I was pleasantly surprised by the unique setting and tone, which show the developer’s range.

Replay – Daikatana

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Replay – Daikatana

When Doom was still the talk of the town, and most publishers were trying to get into the first-person shooter game, Ion Storm's Daikatana was hyped up to be the next big thing for the genre. Although Daikatana was originally slated to hit store shelves in 1997, development lingered for years, and players didn't get their hands on it until July 31, 2000. The game didn't live up to the hype established by famed creator John Romero. To this day, Daikatana is considered one of the biggest flops in gaming.

We have a special gift for tracking down games that permeate a certain stench, and decided to give Daikatana a spin. We check out the game's opening moments, and also bounce around to different levels to see just how crazy this adventure gets.

The show's second segment takes a look back at this year's Extra Life marathon (which raised over $38,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare). The show's final segment is another bloody Versus battle. Four editors enter. One dies. Those are the rules.

Is Box Boy! One Of The Top 50 Games Of 2015?

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Box Boy! might be one of the most overlooked games of the year. A simple black and white aesthetic belies the game's more complicated puzzles. Developed by HAL Laboratory – the same studio that has brought us games like Kirby and Super Smash Bros., Box Boy! is a puzzle game about a young box who can create Tetris-like shapes above his head and then use them to navigate the environment and solve puzzles.

Every year we assess which games will make our Top 50, and Box Boy! is highly underrated and underplayed. Mike Futter seems like the kind of guy who likes to play a lot of different things, and I think that Box Boy!’s overall charm and creative puzzle design will win him over. Find out if he’s a supporter in our conversation below.

Ben: Box Boy! came out of the middle of nowhere for me. I didn’t even know that HAL Laboratory was working on the game, but when Nintendo showed off the game during one of its Directs earlier in the year, it immediately caught my eye. I can’t even tell you why – the game isn’t that visually impressive, and it’s hard to convey its puzzles in a video. However, something about it stuck with me, and I immediately knew I was going to love HAL Laboratory’s little 3DS game. Were you as immediately charmed by Box Boy! as I was, Mike?

Is Cities: Skylines One Of The Top 50 Games Of 2015?

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It’s hard to believe that 2015 is rapidly approaching its end. With the holiday shopping season kicking off in prudent this weekend, we’re looking at some of games of 2015 and debating whether or not they belong in our year-end list of the top 50 games. This time, we’re putting Colossal Order’s Cities: Skylines. When I reviewed the game earlier this year, I felt it was a pretty good representation of what fans wanted with EA and Maxis’ lackluster 2013 SimCity. To see what others think, I challenged fellow editor Matt Bertz to play several hours of Cities: Skylines and report back with his thoughts.

Brian: What was your interest level and history with city building sims going in?

Bertz: SimCity 2000 was one of my favorite games as a kid. I spent countless hours building up gorgeous cityscapes, only to inevitably unleash tornadoes and monster attacks on my populace. But over time my interests drifted elsewhere. I skipped SimCity 3000, SimCity 4, Societies, and the troubled 2013 reboot. Given my time away from the genre, I’m curious to see how much it has evolved. What makes you think this game is a good Top 50 candidate?

Taking Cues From Other Shooters To Craft A Better Star Wars Battlefront

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Star Wars Battlefront wows fans with an unparalleled presentation that immerses players in George Lucas’ space opera like no other title. When you look beyond the amazing audio and faithful visuals, however, the game comes up short. To help chart a course of improvement, here are some of Battlefront's core weaknesses and how to improve them by incorporating features from similar titles.  

Customization/Progression – Call of Duty: Battlefront’s progression is a shallow affair, with unlocks that don’t change much in terms of playstyle. One remedy would be implementing a system similar to Call of Duty’s Pick 10, which allows players to construct varied character loadouts based on a set number of different elements, like secondary weapons, perks, and gadgets. Doing this would add depth and excitement to unlocking new items and abilities and immerse players in the strategy of sculpting Rebels and Imperials that better fit their play-styles.

Is Puzzle & Dragons Z / Super Mario Bros. Edition One Of The Top Games Of 2015?

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Is Puzzle & Dragons Z / Super Mario Bros. Edition One Of The Top Games Of 2015?

Every year, Game Informer breaks down the best releases with its annual Top 50 list. It’s a group effort, which includes long meetings, heated discussions, and possibly the best homework assignments you could possibly ask for. There’s only so much time to go around, however, and sometimes smaller releases need people to advocate for or against their inclusion. Such is the case with the game I’m championing this year, a little match-three game (with a big name) called Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition. Dan Tack is my guinea pig.

Jeff C: Dan, I know you’re one of the few people in the office who plays Puzzle & Dragons, which will henceforth be referred to as what we cool kids call it, Puzz & D. Why didn’t you play it on 3DS? It’s two freaking Puzz & D games in one!

Dan: Alright Cork I’m going to level with you. I never thought I’d say this. I thought that the packaged all-in-one experience of a retail version of Puzz & D would be superior to what can be considered a “pay to win” in some respects free-to-play mobile version. After playing this though, I found myself yearning to go back to the core mobile version that I began my dragon-matching goodness on. For real, Toad is an annoying little **** and I never want to hear him in a game again.

Remedy Reflects On The Disappointing 2008 Max Payne Film

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Seven years after the release of the original Max Payne in 2001, 20th Century Fox released a film based on the property. It starred Mark Wahlburg as the titular Max Payne as well as Mila Kunis as Mona Sax, as well as Beau Bridges, Ludacris, and Chris O'Donnell among other well-known actors. The film was commercially successful, but critically panned. It currently holds an abysmal 16% on the film review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. During our trip to Finland to see Remedy’s latest game, Quantum Break, Sam Lake (writer and creative director on Remedy's assorted projects) jokingly apologized for the film when running down the history of the studio. Despite the critical backlash on the film, Remedy does have some fondness for its existence. It was a big deal for a Hollywood film to be made based on a Finnish video game making it a point of pride for Remedy, even if it’s not very good.

Is Her Story One Of The Top 50 Games Of 2015?

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Her Story is one of the biggest indie surprises to hit this year. Those who reveled in other popular media, such as True Detective and Serial, found something in this interactive experience that scratched a similar itch. The game is delightfully simplistic: you type keywords into a crime database to find videos that tell a truly demented tale. While that may seem easy enough, the real excitement comes from piecing the tale together yourself and coming to your own conclusions about it. 

As with every year, we assess which games make our Top 50. I didn’t want Her Story to be forgotten, because it’s one of those games that stayed with me long after I played it. Matthew Kato is a big fan of the first season of True Detective, so I wanted him to try out Her Story and hear his thoughts. Find out if he’s a supporter in our conversation below.  

Kim: I had been following Her Story before it released because I liked Sam Barlow’s work on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I played it right away, so I didn’t have any hype going into it. From the onset, I loved how simple and different it was. What made you interested in trying Her Story? How much did you know about it going in?

Is Evolve One Of The Top 50 Games Of 2015?

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Back in February of 2011, 2K and Turtle Rock Studios released the five-player co-op/competitive monster-hunting game Evolve. It was a great idea that didn’t exactly take the world by storm. After a full year of amazing game releases, we wanted to look back at Evolve and see if it deserves a spot on our shelf of the top 50 games of 2015.

Ben Hanson: Hi Ben Reeves! I’ve gathered you here to today to talk about Evolve. Remember Evolve?

Reeves: Oh, hi! I do, I played it a bit when it first came out back in 1998. It seems like people lost interest pretty quick.