In the last generation, many things have changed. Games have become more of an accepted past time, blockbuster games annually often make more money than blockbuster movies, Microsoft is a video game force to be reckoned with, Sony is no longer the industry leader in console sales, Nintendo's entire model of business has undergone a dramatic evolution, etc. But among all of these changes is the fact that the linear game has largely fallen out of fashion. Often times, reviews will criticize a game for being too linear, or gamers will prefer one game over another simply because the one game is non-linear compared to the other's linearity. This attitude is even reflected in the types of games that are pushed out from the AAA-game publishers. We're seeing more games like Elder Scrolls, Fallout, various Grand Theft Auto clones, Dead Island, and Battlefield. But does this mean that the linear game is obsolete?
Read on to find out!
Rayman Origins was one of the biggest surprises for me back in 2011. It was such a fun game that I almost beat it in under a week, but I wanted to give myself some time to really enjoy it and see everything that it had to offer. It had great 2D graphics, really creative level design, and some fun bosses. My only complaints were that the bosses only came in halfway through the game, and the final level is a little too timing-centric as far as when you needed to jump, run, or grab. However, that is just me, and I just played the heck out of it on my Xbox 360. Like everyone else, I was excited when they were going to make a sequel to the game and call it Rayman Legends . Of course, I was also upset like everyone else when they delayed the game and made it multi-platform instead of a Wii U exclusive. I thought it was a bad idea, and I know Ubisoft has tried to apologize multiple times for delaying the game, but some of their excuses were iffy at best. Luckily, the release of it a few months back didn’t hurt the quality of the game when I got it on my Wii U. It is easily one of my favorite games of 2013. The game still has some issues that linger in it, due to the multi-platform, but the versions with a touchpad or touchscreen are obviously the best versions to get.
Last Saturday, Spike aired the tenth Video Game Awards show, now dubbed the VGX. Producer Geoff Keighly was toting the show as something for gamers by gamers and a departure from the standards of past iterations. To no one’s dismay, except maybe the producers’, gamers were left unimpressed and embarrassed. Now many are touting that the industry deserves its own nationally broadcasted show with the same sophistication as the Oscars. Yet, with an industry as new as video games, and the ways in which video game information is digested, is it really necessary to have such an antiquated system act as the premiere awards program for the games industry?
Read my thoughts after the jump.
[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!]
This week's Throwback Thursday is doing a little something different. How different? Well, did you know that the Super Nintendo was capable of surround sound? Strange concept, right? Believe it or not, that little SPC700-powered powerhouse was capable of some amazing audio trickery, right down to Dolby Prologic 1.0. You may be familiar with Dolby Prologic II, as it was the common surround sound format used on Nintendo consoles from the Nintendo 64 through to the Wii, but it had a predecessor on the ol' Super that pulled off some amazing feats for the ears. In an era where 2D games ruled and games didn't have bullets whizzing past you, surround sound was used to create unique works of aural art. Here I've compiled a small list of my personal top five picks for best use of surround sound in a Super Nintendo game.
Hit the jump to check out the super-awesome super-surround Super Nintendo games!
On May 21 st, the Xbox One was announced, and with it came the severe policies that turned it into the laughing stock of a generation. When the policy reversals, shady business practice and questionable morality with corporate sponsorship arose, the laughing only became louder. And at the end of this odyssey, there was only one fact I could see; games are not ready to be art.
It’s not just Microsoft. While they may have been the proponents of a potential era of cynicism where games are just a service that we pay for and then discard with no afterthought, the competition is not bursting with artistic aspirations, either. Sony has offered me little respite, as the appearance of games I can truly consider to be art on the PlayStation 4 seems coincidental at best. The Wii U GamePad may be a fabulous machine for all I know, but when the biggest appeal of the platform lies in a Zelda remake and a Mario platformer, I see little reason to be euphoric – depicting Mona Lisa from various angles doesn’t make for new art.
Keep reading past the jump!
Along with the First-Person Shooter craze, the competitive online craze, the military shooter craze, and so on, one of the biggest current crazes among game developers is the open-world craze. More and more games are being designed with an open-world in order to satisfy this new expectation among many gamers that every AAA-game must have a large world to meddle in. Of course, this trend was made popular by the Grand Theft Auto series and its games having large cities that are open for the player's exploration. Because of this key aspect of Grand Theft Auto's design, the series is wildly popular and sells millions of copies with every release. With this in mind, it's not difficult to see why other developers and publishers would refit some of their games or create new ones with an open-world and why others with open-world games already would make their games more accessible for the mainstream audience. But is just being a big game enough?
Read on to find out!
At this point, I'd hope it's become fairly apparent to just about everyone that indie games have started to matter a bit. Nintendo and Sony in particular have caught on and have been opening up the doors to their digital store services, Nintendo eShop and PlayStation Store, but—let's be honest—Sony's been seeing quite a bit more success in the indie realm than Nintendo has. One part of that is certainly that Sony's had the more successful platform of the two—PlayStation 3's last year and now PlayStation 4—over the last year or two, the rough time period during which both companies began to double their efforts with indies, making Sony the more attractive business partner.
However, there is another factor which I think goes overlooked when people question why Sony's roster of indie titles is so much more impressive than Nintendo's. See, Sony actually, personally funds a fair number of the best indie titles available on their consoles—I doubt Resogun and Rime would be PlayStation 4 exclusives if Sony weren't the ones paying for and publishing their creation—and that's something I think is worth considering for Nintendo.
Read why after the jump.
This is a guest article written by Lord Pitaya of the Zelda Informer Forums. If you'd like to write your own guest article, we encourage you to send us your work here.
The annual Spike Video Game Awards – rebranded the “VGX” as of this year – aired the other night. While it’s an awards ceremony, many gamers only tune in for announcements made by big name companies. In fact, many might consider the actual awards largely irrelevant. Last year saw a huge reveal of Dark Souls 2 and “The Phantom Pain,” the latter of which being quickly decoded by fans to be Metal Gear Solid V. This year, the only thing that even created buzz was a playable character in a Wii U video game…and not the Wii U video game a lot of people were hoping to see talked about.
Naturally, there was wide disappointment on the net. With a lot of buzz revolving around Reggie Fils-Aime’s reveal, people were expecting big things. Something from the next Super Smash Bros. was the most common desire, but others were hoping for some information on the next Legend of Zelda title for the Wii U, as well. The fourth playable character – confirmed to be Cranky Kong – in Donkey Kong Country Returns would normally be exciting news for Nintendo Direct standards, but was quickly dismissed as an unfulfilled promise by fans across the net. Regardless of whether or not this disappointment is justified, one thing’s for sure: if it can be said Reggie hyped this reveal up, it can sure as hell be said that the Internet hyped it more.
Alright guys, I have a fantastic article lined up for you this week. As I have mentioned in the past that I am going to school for game design, I wanted you to see games from my peers as well as get an idea of what it's like to design games from a student's point of view. I have decided to showcase four games which are being worked on right now by my colleagues at DSU