Pokémon Go captured the world when it launched in summer 2016. Beyond the excitement of traveling to new locations to catch monsters and meet like-minded trainers, one of the things that made Niantic's collaboration with The Pokémon Company so interesting was the mystery that surrounded nearly every element about the game.
The mystery was thrilling at first, but after a while, being in the dark wore on users of the app, and they decided to do something about it. Players scoured their local areas, data-mined the app, and started crowd-sourced sites on where to find the best monsters and how to be the most efficient trainers they could be.
Each time a new major update hits, the sense of mystery in Pokémon Go is reinvigorated. However, thanks to the methods discovered and created by players in the original release, light is shed on each successive update quicker than ever before.
The latest entry in the Fable universe is a departure from past games, even for a series that has dabbled in pub games and not-quite-rail-shooters. Fable Fortune is a collectible-card game set within Fable's iconic world, and resident card expert Dan Tack walked Leo and me through the basics.
Take a look at our latest NGT episode to see a couple of matches, which highlight the game's unique twist on the genre. For one, players can embark on quests, which can have far-reaching consequences, depending on an added layer of morality. Good or bad, it doesn't really matter when Dan's on the case. Enemies crumble before his skills. At least one opponent did, a couple of times.
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When Pokémon hit in the late '90s, I was all in. I still remember my friend telling me about it in homeroom in middle school. By the time lunch rolled around, he had convinced me to watch the anime when I got home. It was pretty goofy, so I played it off like I didn't like it at first, saying, "It was okay. I'll give it another shot tomorrow," but I liked it from the first minutes. The seeds of obsession were planted. I didn't have a Game Boy to play the games, so I began devising ways I could engage with these characters in the meantime, typically spending my evenings at home logging onto America Online to research about these creatures and read about the games I didn't have. Since I didn't have much money at that age, I resorted to making Pokémon cards out of the index cards my parents sent me to school with until I could buy real ones. Months later, I convinced my parents to get me a Game Boy Color with Pokémon Blue for Christmas. The hooks were deep.
This week sees the number of blogs drop. I can only assume everyone is now in love with Monster Hunter: World and too busy hunting elder dragons to write!
Community Blogs For February 15 – February 21:
Monster Hunter World Tips and Tricks Jenniferttookewi is here to offer some Monster Hunter tips. Unfortunately, her first tip is essential. Simply beating the game will help open up a lot of monsters and quests, but the fact that the "story" and what I consider the main game of Monster Hunter are so tied together is annoying. Basically, ask questions if you're unsure about something, take in the game world, and don't always jump into battle after battle. I have the luxury of knowing the game series inside and out, so it's fun to mentor friends who have never played Monster Hunter before, but this blog is a nice reminder of things newcomers might not know
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a unique game. This history RPG is filled with oodles of ambition and eye-raising design decisions, like its controversial save system. You can check back later for our review to find out what works (and what doesn't work) for Warhorse Studios' debut release, but I wanted to put down some words about what I find to be the game's most captivating quality: its protagonist. Minor spoilers ahead but only for the opening hours.
What's there to say about Henry? Well, um, he's .... oh geez .... he's kind of dumb, isn't he? Maybe that's not fair. Sure, he can't read or write and has the persuasive abilities of a rock, but Henry isn't dumber than anyone else in his social standing during the medieval ages. And he's a sweet, well-meaning dude who just wants to settle down and avenge his loved ones' death. This combination of ignorance but genuine nobility makes him one of them most fascinating protagonists I've played in a few years.
Over the past few years, Luca Redwood has carved out a niche with his puzzle games 10000000 and You Must Build a Boat. His latest game weaves more of a narrative between the puzzling and, as Kyle, Leo, and I learned, it's also a colossal bummer – in a good way. Check out our latest NGT episode for a lengthy look at Photographs.
Photographs tells several encapsulated stories, and each one has its own unique gameplay mechanics. In today's episode, Kyle walks us through the story of an elderly alchemist and his granddaughter. Suffice it to say, it doesn't end well for anyone.
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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the games made me into the diehard RPG fan I am today. After going down memory lane, I realized how entertaining and refreshing it was to look at my RPG history, so I decided this column would reflect that. I challenged myself to come up with the RPG that was most formative and memorable for me from each console and handheld generation. Now for a caveat: these may not be the games I consider the best of each generation, just the ones that had the biggest impact on me as a gamer. I started with the SNES era because that’s when my love for RPGs began. I hope you’ll share your picks too and reasoning in the comments.
Fourth Generation (SNES/Genesis era): Secret of ManaIf you’ve been reading my work, this probably isn’t a big surprise, but I know some of you will gasp at me selecting it over Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy VI. These may be stronger games, but Secret of Mana is what made me truly fall in love with the genre. It was the first time I really cared about a story, and I reveled in its challenging boss battles. Secret of Mana impressed me for its creativity, especially the vibrant world full of unique (and sometimes adorable) baddies. The music constantly replays in my mind, and few memories burn brighter than finally watching the credits roll.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance has been garnering a lot of buzz since its release last week, and with good reason. Unlike other open-world RPG series like The Elder Scrolls and The Witcher, Kingdom Come is grounded in historical accuracy. The game takes place in 15th century Bohemia, and features real cities, characters, and conflicts. The gameplay is equally focused on realism, with weighty combat and dedicated systems for everything from potion brewing to reading. I'm a whopping 60 hours into my review of the game, and I still feel like I've got a long ways to go in the story, and plenty left to discover and learn.
Unfortunately, not all of the buzz around Kingdom Come has been positive. At the top of the list of player complaints right now is the restrictive save system, which requires you to either drink a limited and expensive potion or track down a bed you own (or rent) and sleep to save your progress. The game will also autosave at certain times during missions, but these can be few and far between. Modders added a save-anywhere system to the PC version in record time, but the developer is taking a more modest approach.
Though this may have slipped under many players' radars, both Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light had a morality system that held players accountable for their choices they made in each game. It's fair if you're among those who didn't notice, because there is no grand, ceremonious event that happens during these moments, no notification ping that lets you know you've made a good or evil choice. Instead, a quick (and subtle) flash of light hits the screen whenever you've made the choice.
In this way, Metro has always had one of the most interesting morality systems because it takes a stance on situations that other games would treat as morally complex. For example, in 2033 you come come across a Nosalis, a sort of mutant rat thing, in its nest, guarding what appears to be several valuable supplies you can use, like health kits and a new visor to protect you from the toxic air when you're roaming radioactive Moscow.