Subscribe to the latest updates from the Columns category

Columns Archives

PAX East 2014 enjoyed the expo’s largest turnout of indie developers to date, and marked the year where, in my mind, indies definitively trumped the AAA publishers. While many of the better known games had lines far longer than I could wait (I’m looking at you, Below), some of the show’s smaller titles left me the most excited.

Head inside to have a look at some of the titles that I found the most exciting!

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is one of the most popular JRPGs of our generation, and with good reason. Even with the incredible Vita exclusive HD enhancement, Persona 4: Golden, Atlus confirmed that the original PlayStation 2 version of the game will be coming to the PlayStation Store on April 8th for only a mere $10! This could possibly be an attempt to hype up gamers for Persona 5, which is set to release in 2015. Either way, this gives me the perfect excuse to play the game again.

If you're unfamiliar with what Persona 4 is, head inside for more information!

The story's been making headlines everywhere, from gaming sites to the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and for very good reason: Facebook has bought Oculus VR for a whopping two billion dollars.

For those in the dark, Oculus VR is the company behind Oculus Rift, the virtual reality helmet that makes a reality out of every '80s kid's wildest dreams. It's certainly not the first virtual reality device, but thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and a few super-powered brains, Oculus VR aims to introduce sleek and affordable virtual reality to the wider public.

Oculus Rift, and later Oculus VR, was originally conceived as a project by gamers and for gaming. But when news broke that Facebook had bought the company, gamers saw nothing but a red ring. Kickstarter backers began demanding refunds. Notch cancelled the Oculus version of Minecraft. People were painting pictures in their mind of Facebook, the unfeeling corporate powerhouse, sweeping up its prey in a misguided and doomed attempt to absorb Oculus' progress, destroy the Rift we gamers wanted, and repurpose the company to suit their own abstract goal of some weirdly convoluted kind of world domination.

But that's (probably) not true. Head inside to keep reading.

[Throwback Thursday is a series where we look back on games from the past in reviews, retrospectives, and more. We will have something every week for your retro enjoyment. You may even discover something new to love!]

I bet not a whole lot of you know about this Xbox game known as Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse. It was originally released on the original Xbox back in 2003, and was the first game made by the developer Wideload Games. Even though this game got positive reviews, it got limited marketing because of some needless controversy that made some people think that this game promoted cannibalism. If you can look past that stupidity, you’ve got one of the most creative games on the original Xbox. Heck, this game was made by the same people who made Guilty Party , a hidden gem for the Wii that we can talk about at a later date. So, here we are with a game that had a wildly creative idea, a good sense of humor, and even a soundtrack that included bands like Death Cab for Cutie. So, how does this game hold up today? Well, you should read on to find out. Grab your best zombified pair of clothes and get a taste for brains, this is Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse.

It was a little over a year ago—I'd finally given Demon's Souls a fair shake and ended up loving it—when I received the renowned Dark Souls, Christmas 2012. It is now March 2014, Dark Souls II has just been released, and I began writing within an hour of finally seeing the credits roll on its 2011 predecessor (or, begin to at least; they're skippable). No, Dark Souls isn't so enormously gargantuan it took me a harrowing year to complete; this was actually my third attempt, and I started it only nine days ago. Up until this point I thought Dark Souls just wasn't for me, that it was too unfair for someone such as myself—even though I loved Demon's Souls—to get into. Goddamn was I wrong. I've still got my complaints, but I stand before you today largely to profess my love for the intelligently challenging, surprisingly beautiful, unfortunately anticlimactic, and wonderfully against-the-grain Dark Souls.

If you've heard one thing about Dark Souls, it's probably the difficulty. Dark Souls is sort of renowned for being this infuriatingly difficult yet still fair beast of a game. That's basically the selling point if you ask the fanbase. But I think that's really underselling this game. At least in my case, I think the difficulty and triumphant victory feeling were only one part of a much larger feat of design.

In a recent Tweet by Watch Dogs Creative Director Jonathan Morin, he states that "[The] average player which does free roam a bit tend to reach the end within 35-40 [hours]," and he goes on to state that "doing everything is close 100 [hours]."

Many gamers took to forums like NeoGAF to voice their concerns about the game's length and content, as many believe that without the free roam time, the main game may actually only be 10-20 hours long. Some users even went so far as to claim "ugh, another Ubi collect-o-thon!" referencing the high number of of collectibles, town renovations, or ship upgrades in newer Assassin's Creed games. Could we see those game features in Watch Dogs as well?

For more on this, to see the Tweet itself, and to comment, jump on inside!

"Sorry bro, but we're dropping science to prove this, bro. Bro. Bro." Jim Sterling

Bro. Sorry bro. But on this episode of Jimquisiton on The Escapist, Jim Sterling is using some serious science, bro, to school you. Bro.

On today's episode, aptly titled "Why The PS4 Is Kicking Xbox One's Arse," Jim Sterling discusses... well, just that. The PlayStation 4 has been dominating the 8th generation console sales since it's North American launch in November 2013, with over 6 million worldwide sales reported this far, and over 9.2 million software sales. Jim Sterling contributes this massive success of the Sony PlayStation 4 over Nintendo's Wii U and Microsoft's Xbox One, who sit at 5.86 million units and 3.9 million* units sold respectively, to Sony's steller list of launch titles, massive indie game library, and superior online features and support with PlayStation Plus. All of these things together, along with the $399 price tag, combine to form a recipe of success that is sure to benefit Sony for the foreseeable future. Heck, even the PlayStation Vita is starting to look up.

For more on this, and to see the Jimquisition in question, jump on inside!

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros, the first part of Metal Gear Solid V, is set to come out in less than a week's time, with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain hopefully coming out holiday 2015. However, I wouldn't be surprised if it gets delayed until 2016. The last main entry into the Metal Gear Solid series was Peace Walker back in 2010 (technically Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance came out in February 2013, but that game is considered non-canon). Ground Zeros is set to pick up right where Peace Walker left off with Big Boss, Kaz, Paz, and Chico, and will lead directly into the events of The Phantom Pain.

To commemorate the release of the next Metal Gear Solid game on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014, we have a retro review of Big Boss' first game, and the first game chronologically in the Metal Gear Solid series: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. This is the game that started it all: the events that lead to the creation of The Patriots La Li Lu Le Lo, the invention of Metal Gear, and the initial actions that would cause Naked Snake to leave the U.S. and form Outer Heaven. The entirety of the Metal Gear Solid series chronologically begins with Snake Eater, and is considered by many to be the best Metal Gear Solid game.

Now that I have your attention, jump inside for our Throwback Thursday review of PlayStation 2 classic, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Kensuke Tanabe's name should be pretty familiar with the majority of gamers who play games from Nintendo. He has worked on games like the American Super Mario Bros. 2, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Kirby's Dream Course, and the library of Nintendo games made by Retro Studios. Tanabe and the CEO of Retro Studios, Micahel Kelbaugh were recently interviewed by about Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze's design philosphy

Jump to read the quotation!

Recently, GameStop received some new Batman banners in their stores. Some say that they might be advertisements for Arkham Origins DLC, but there's a list of reasons why it could be something more than that. As a result, rumors are starting to fly, stating that Rocksteady Studios, the original developers of the Batman Arkham franchise, are working on a new entry for the series.

Jump to read the rumors!