In 2013, Hopoo Games released upon the world a peculiar action game called Risk of Rain. The premise was that you were the lone survivor (or one of four survivors should you decide to opt into the multiplayer function of the game) of a crashed delivery vessel trying to make your way through a series of alien worlds. You could choose from a variety of classes unlocked through challenges completed through your various runs, each set up with unique abilities and weapons to fight against the ever-coming swarm of blob monsters, crab-beasts and magical space jellyfish. Throughout all of this, the more enemies you killed, the more money they dropped, and you’d be able to purchase and unlock new items that added buffs and unique passive abilities to your arsenal. Continue reading
Everything matters. Likewise, Everything matters. From the tiniest drop of dew on a morning leaf, to the churning gasses of Jupiter’s everlasting storms, Everything seeks to educate its players by instilling in them an appreciation for everything around them. With the assistance of recorded speeches of renowned philosopher Alan Watts, Everything is an interactive piece of brilliance that draws its players out of their defensive, myopic shells to explore and play with the vast world around them. To roam the deserts as a camel, to float about in an infinite void as a formless abstracted shape, to contemplate one’s joys and sorrows as a wad of chewed up bubble gum, Everything is truly a game about one’s place in the universe, and what that really means. Continue reading
The quality of a game and the enjoyment that one may gain from playing it are not directly connected. A poorly made game, a janky game, even, can become a cult classic through a devout fandom. Shoddy controls, broken animations, unbelievable characters, poor mechanics…these things sometimes add character to the game to the point where the enjoyment is derived from our personal journeys as opposed to the gameplay itself. This is normal. Guilty pleasures exist in every medium. And then we have the opposite. Sometimes a game is perfectly competent with only minor faults that don’t detract from the experience as a whole, and there may even be some genuinely impressive moments and yet the game is not enjoyable. Final Fantasy X is the one of these competent games that isn’t fun to play. Continue reading
Games are inherently a means of entertainment, so what does it mean when a game is, by design, not entertaining? This is the question that has been gnawing at me since I finished my time with The Tomorrow Children.
The Tomorrow Children is, at its core, a multi-player survival game, requiring people to go out into The Void, an empty abyss in which the entirety of the world resides, and bring back mined rocks and crystals, felled lumber, and hidden Continue reading
The entirety of my Fire Emblem experience before this game was six hours of playing Fire Emblem: Awakening on a flight from San Francisco to Cleveland. I died a lot, I restarted a lot, and I got frustrated more than a lot. I’m almost certain my body is still processing that ulcer. That being said, I was admittedly excited to jump into the second foray of smart phone gaming by Nintendo, Fire Emblem: Heroes. I knew that I would be going into a game whose cousin had whooped me but good a couple of years before, but I booted up Fire Emblem: Heroes with open eyes, a clear mind, an a few antacids. And you know what I found? A surprise.
While I enjoy the big budget spectacle as much as anybody else, my true love comes in the form of weirdness and oddity. From The Adventures of Dizzy to Deadly Premonition, I have played and loved weird games, so when I saw 2015’s Tap My Katamari, an offshoot of the often quirky, always adorable Katamari Damacy series, on my phone’s app store, I figured that I could feel that same love of the weird while being out and about. I was wrong. Continue reading
Agent 47 is the MacGyver of murder. Drop him into any locale with nothing but his bare hands, bald head and bountiful wits, and he will find a way to kill everybody in a quarter-mile radius. On that premise, IO Interactive’s newest foray into the much beloved, but sometimes maligned, Hitman franchise has fully released its first season of content, and it’s time to see whether or not it is worth the wait, and if a second season is necessary, or even wanted. Continue reading
When I pick locks in real life, it’s not a fun little endeavour; the cops are usually after me, and I definitely need to be anywhere else in a hurry. In video games, however, it would seem that when I need to pick a lock the developers have decided that time will freeze, enemies won’t care, and playing a mini-game is the best means of immersing me in their world. By adding throwaway, gimmicky segues to these tasks the developers are effectively saying Continue reading