Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 9, 2015)

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This week's collection of blogs leans heavily on Nintendo's latest announcements concerning new games and Super Smash Bros. DLC. Plus, we have some great reviews and blogs focused on our community writing challenge. I even got in on this week's challenge and wrote a post about the wonderful world of Monster Hunter.

Enjoy this roundup of blogs, and as always, I look forward to reading everyone's work!

Community Blogs For April 2 – April 8:

Faith In Rapture – Ken Levine Shares Thoughts On Creating Authentic Diversity

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In order to understand how this story came about and why I felt it important to write, I need to break a rule. I need to insert myself, just a bit, into the narrative.

I was raised in a Jewish home, and we worshiped at a Reformed synagogue. To understand what that means, know that during confirmation classes we ate meatball pizza. The Rabbi loved it. 

While we didn’t keep kosher, we did attend Shabbat and holiday services. There was a menorah to light at Hannukah, services to attend on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and Hebrew school to attend once a week after school and on the weekend.

Opinion – The Ruthless Reality Of Nintendo’s Friendly Face

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I love Nintendo. Like many who enjoy video games, I have fond memories of holding a Super NES controller and playing Super Mario World, or standing in awe of Ocarina of Time on Nintendo 64. Nintendo has created some special memories for a generation of gamers, but it has a darker side that gets overlooked.

Nintendo’s primary identity has been a colorful beacon of family friendliness, happiness, and positivity. The company has tried to appear as a friend to its customers; it wants to be the comforting entertainment we rush to when we’ve had a rough day at work, or the reliable pal with whom we can spend hours exploring. Nintendo holds a special place in our hearts, and its leadership knows that, which is why so many of its games attempt to strike unique nostalgic notes no other company can claim.

Five Reasons Why The PC Version Could Be The Best GTA V Edition

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After nineteen months, two console launches, and 45 million units shipped, the latest entry to Rockstar’s flagship franchise is finally coming to PC. When Grand Theft Auto V arrives on the largest platform April 14, it won’t be a half-baked port devoid of new features. Rockstar’s core team has spent the last several months making sure the game leverages the increased power and flexibility afforded by the ever-evolving platform. Here are five reasons why PC players should be excited for its arrival.

Best In Class GraphicsFor the privileged and the hardcore who have already built a power-sucking rig capable of displaying 4K images at a high framerate, GTA V is another destination game tailored to show off your luxury acquisition. Rockstar says the game supports 4K resolution “and beyond,” and the PC version is the only one that runs at 60 frames per second. This edition also has better draw distances than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offerings.

The high-end performance capabilities of the game haven’t hindered its ability to scale to older computers as well. The minimum system requirements should accommodate anyone with a modest 64-bit rig, and Rockstar says an average system should be able to achieve 1080p resolution. 

10 Game Worlds We Can't Wait To Explore

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10 Game Worlds We Can't Wait To Explore

Games can transport us to new worlds, letting us get lost in all they have to offer. Whether we are changing their course with our choices, seeing the tantalizing sights, or getting lost in the endless activities they provide, every world holds its own allure. Here are 10 worlds on the horizon that we think will provide exciting and unique opportunities for exploration.

The Witcher 3: Wild HuntThe world of Temeria is violent and full of surprises, and Wild Hunt lets us dig deeper into it than ever before. This is CD Projekt RED's first open-world adventure, and the team wants to create a map that exceeds Skyrim in size. Geralt will need to travel on horseback and sail to reach new lands, but even more exciting is bringing the choice-and-consequence gameplay to such a big setting. Shades of gray abound, and Geralt needs to make decisions that will alter the world around him. Certain locales could vanish or thrive based on your choices. The world is alive with distractions around every corner; townspeople shout for your help, thieves try to lure you to the dark side, and you never know when a wild animal might charge at you. You decide how much to get involved, and these encounters are rarely predictable. One minute you might think you're helping a man get medicine only to you learn he killed his comrade for treasure.

10 Under-The-Radar JRPGs On The Horizon

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Several highly anticipated Japanese role-playing games are releasing in 2015 and 2016. Titles like Persona 5, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Final Fantasy XV, are some of the highest profile JRPGs in years and are rightfully warranting a lot of attention. But beyond these bigger games sits a strong slate of JRPGs worth checking out that might slip past you if you aren’t following them closely, such as this week’s Etrian Mystery Dungeon – a crossover between Etrian Odyssey and Mystery Dungeon.  

Continue reading to learn more about 10 JRPGs that are worth following this year and the next.

Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 Record BreakerDeveloper: AtlusPlatform: 3DS
Release Date: May 5

8 Games Inspired By Twin Peaks' Weirdness

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David Lynch's celebrated TV series, Twin Peaks, is in the news right now - but for all the wrong reasons. Showtime announced it would be picking up a third season of the quirky murder-mystery series last year, complete with the original cast, which got Lynch's followers hopeful for a return to the titular town. Much to their dismay, this week Lynch officially announced he left the project due to budgetary concerns. The collective cry that Twin Peaks is not Twin Peaks without both original creators David Lynch and Mark Frost at the helm can be heard loud and clear. The creators' surreal vision for the absurd drama is so unique and alluring that its influence has naturally seeped its way into the minds of game developers for decades. Today it's uncertain whether Lynch will ever return to Twin Peaks (Showtime wants him back), but to celebrate the show's lasting legacy we examine its impact on a handful of games all about outsiders entering peculiar closed communities.

Test Chamber – Titan Souls

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Join Ben Reeves, Daniel Tack, and Wade Wojcik for a look at Acid Nerve's upcoming boss-battle extravaganza, Titan Souls.

With a single arrow and a dream, we take on larger than life bosses with our tiny protagonist, and get a quick peek at some of the cool designs behind the gauntlet of bosses that make up Titan Souls.

Will Ben Reeves emerge victorious against the legion of guardians?