Performance Enhancing Plugs – Which Sports Game Is Guilty Of Inflated Ratings?

about X hours ago from
Performance Enhancing Plugs – Which Sports Game Is Guilty Of Inflated Ratings?

Every year when I fire up the latest NHL game, I shake my head in disbelief at the questionable decision-making surrounding the player ratings. Old players way past their prime (Martin Havlat), young players who never amounted to anything (James Sheppard), and career fourth liners (Eric Nystrom) are perennially placed on the same level as hot up and comers like Flames rookie phenom Johnny Gaudreau. 

We’re not sure who in their right mind would give frequent healthy scratch Sean Bergenheim (who Florida just traded near the deadline) the same rating as a budding star like Nick Bjugstad (who Florida just signed to a lucrative six-year contract), but someone at EA Canada thinks that makes sense. Inconsistencies like this abound, and are made worse by EA Canada’s stubborn resistance to adjusting player ratings on a regular basis throughout the course of the season. 

Based on my experience playing other sports games, skewed ratings seem to be an isolated issue with the NHL series, but to make sure I decided to run the numbers. We tallied the ratings for each player on the professional rosters for NHL 15, NBA 2K15, Madden NFL 15, and the recently released MLB 15: The Show.

The Most Destructive Eggs In Video Games

about X hours ago from

Eggs are frail and offer evidence of new life, but not these eggs. These eggs only destroy. In honor of the Easter holiday, we consider eggs and their deadly application in the world of video games.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s IslandYoshi’s eggsYoshi’s cavalcade of kamikaze eggs that follow him everywhere he goes serve to destroy at every opportunity. Whether it’s to collapse question mark clouds from the sky, or hit that weak spot on a giant enemy, every egg that leaves Yoshi’s hands have a destructive goal in mind. With their limited life span, it’s fair to assume that all these eggs know is destruction.

Banjo-Kazooie
Kazooie’s eggs
Kazooie, the bird part of the bear and bird combo, has the curious skill of laying eggs from the normal bird avenues, but also from her mouth. She uses this as an attack, with the ability to violently eject eggs from her throat, but she can also fart them out from behind in a leisurely attack that can be just as brutal. By the time Banjo-Tooie rolled around, Kazooie had also learned to use her eggs like a sniper bullet, and fire them while flying.

The Story Of The Darth Maul Game That Never Came To Be

about X hours ago from

[This feature originally appeared in Game Informer issue #253. You can also find video and art from the canceled Darth Maul game by following the links]

Fear. Anger. Hate. Suffering. This is the transformative experience Austin-based developer Red Fly Studio was hoping to deliver when they were commissioned by LucasArts to create a game starring Darth Maul, the popular Sith Lord who debuted in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace.

The studio envisioned a dark coming-of-age tale, showing a young Maul forced against his will into the Sith hierarchy. “We wanted people to see him as a kid kidnapped by emperor Palpatine and tortured – physically, mentally, and emotionally – becoming this powerful Sith Lord,” says a developer who worked on the project but wishes to remain anonymous. “You got angry, you got frustrated, and you made the same mistakes he did. No one has ever seen Sith training up close. No one has ever seen how to construct a Sith from kid to adult. We’ve only seen the five-second turn: Anakin Skywalker cries a little bit, and then he’s evil.”

Top 25 Xbox 360 Games

about X hours ago from
Top 25 Xbox 360 Games

Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 in 2005, kicking off the last generation of gaming. This was the most successful period for the company to date; with its excellent Xbox Live service and deep support from third-party developers, the Xbox 360 in many ways became the defining console of the last generation. This success was driven by great games – the Xbox 360 was the destination for dozens of amazing titles, and the difficulty we had compiling this list of 25 speaks to the depth of its catalog.

For the sake of making a list with more variety, we decided that we would include only one game per franchise on this list – that’s why you see only one game from fantastic series like Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, and Grand Theft Auto on the list. Even after agreeing on this approach, narrowing down the list proved tough; many great games didn’t crack this list, and entire genres like fighting and sports failed to make the cut.

Here are our picks for the 25 best Xbox 360 games. Let the angry comments commence, and don't forget to check out our Top 25 Wii Games list as well.

Fall Of The Empire: How Inner Turmoil Brought Down LucasArts

about X hours ago from

[This feature originally appeared in Game Informer issue #250]

Like a farm boy looking contemplatively upon two suns, in 2004 LucasArts was searching for answers and ways to right a video game business in disarray. Although Star Wars fans were pleased with several of the studio’s latest endeavors with the license – namely BioWare’s Knights of the Old Republic and Raven Software’s Jedi Academy – George Lucas felt that his beloved galaxy was tapped for far too many mediocre games. Even the popular titles weren’t generating the revenue needed to sustain a healthy business model.

Lucas entrusted the future of the company to newly appointed president Jim Ward, who previously held the position of Lucasfilm’s senior vice president of marketing, global distributions, and online for seven years. During his tenure at Lucasfilm, Ward was a key player in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’s media blitz, which raked in over $400 million in the box office despite its poor critical reception. He also helped guide Star Wars: Attack of the Clones to a successful run on the silver screen.

Replay – Mega Man Spectacular!

about X hours ago from

The Blue Bomber has been MIA for some time now, but that doesn't mean Capcom's beloved mascot is any farther from our hearts. The Game Informer editors routinely profess their love for classics like Mega Man X, Mega Man 2, Mega Man Legends, or any number of the other classics in the series. However, today is all about paying respects to the title that started them all, along with a few other homages mixed in.

We kick things off by diving into the 1987 hit that kickstarted a phenomenon and set a new bar for game design in the action-platformer genre. Mega Man blazed new pixelated trails with open-ended level progression, infectious level tunes, and innovative boss battles that allowed players to acquire the abilities of bested foes. Join Andrew Reiner, Brian Shea, Dan Tack, and myself as we travel back in Capcom's history to a pivotal moment for the company and video games in general. Stick around for some fun surprises after we finish up with Mega Man.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

10 Characters We’re Voting For As Super Smash Bros. DLC

about X hours ago from
10 Characters We’re Voting For As Super Smash Bros. DLC

With the latest Nintendo Direct, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata revealed the release date for the previously announced Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros., as well as a surprise announcement that Earthbound’s Lucas is returning to the series. Perhaps even more surprising, Iwata also revealed that the Super Smash Bros. team is now taking requests for future downloadable characters through a new ballot on the Super Smash Bros. website.

While we’ve given you some Super Smash Bros. roster wishlists in the past, they’ve always been filled with more outlandish picks or focused on crossover characters. This time, we want to take a look at some of the characters that would have a more realistic shot of appearing in Super Smash Bros. if they received strong enough support in the new Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot. Check out our picks and let us know the characters you’d like to see yourself.

Opinion – What Is The PS4 Going To Do This Christmas?

about X hours ago from
Opinion – What Is The PS4 Going To Do This Christmas?

The PlayStation 4 is doing well as the console continues to fortify its foothold this generation, and with exclusive hit Bloodborne just released. But trouble is on the horizon. The are currently no first-party titles officially scheduled for the system during the all-important holiday season. This will surely change, but the company could be in for a rough Christmas.

There certainly will be games to play for the PS4 this holiday season, and there are some first-party games that will come out in the holiday season. But they aren't going to be the tent-pole titles like the PS4 lost when Uncharted 4 was delayed into 2016.

PS4 titles like Kill Strain, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Tomorrow's Children, Alienation, or the numerous indie games Sony has signed could come out by the end of the year (although they currently do not have concrete release dates), but even if they do they're not of the caliber of Uncharted 4, nor do they have the retail bonafides to go up against Microsoft's Halo 5. Horror title Until Dawn should be out near Halloween and there may also be the inevitable remasters/remakes of old titles, but I don't believe any of these could go toe-to-toe with the Halo franchise, either.

Test Chamber – Dungeon Fighter Online

about X hours ago from

Dungeon Fighter Online is currently in open beta, and it's an interesting mix of MMORPG and fighter/brawling mechanics. From the screen-clicking Creator to the explosive Launcher, there are a large variety of classes to pick from for playstyles of all kinds.

Join Daniel Tack, Brian "Amiibo" Shea, and Wade Wojcik for a look at this side-scrolling dungeon-crawl featuring lots of action, screens full of titanic enemies, and spectacular abilities.

(Please visit the site to view this media)