Gaming

Review: Broken Age – Act 1

Posted by: |

Review: Broken Age – Act 1

As a kid, the NES was my core gaming platform. Sadly, my parents really didn’t go for the 16-bit console era, but they did have this glorious tower that would become my new gaming platform, and cue the fabled green text of DOS on the PC.

I started with Flight Sims, but they were all LucasArts games, which of course led me to a genre still near and dear to my heart: Point and Click Adventures.

Fast forward about 20 years or so (frak, do I feel old) and the gaming world is experiencing a renaissance. Games are now funded through places like Kickstarter, and we’ve seen a revival of the point and click genre. Sadly though there was something missing from these point and click games, a sense of humor that’s not easily mimicked. I’m of course referring to Tim Schafer, who helped shape my odd style of humor.

That’s when a certain Kickstarter caught my attention, a game called Broken Age which not only promised an old school style Point and Click adventure, but came from Double Fine. Sold and sold, just like everyone else. The Kickstarter was funded almost instantaneously and went above the goal to a tune of 3million dollars.

Now part 1 has been released to the supporters of the Kickstarter. I was lucky enough to take this title for a spin this weekend. How does the game hold up? Is it like old times, does Broken Age break the mold? Or is it simply just a point and click?

Read On

“Final Fantasy Tactics” Creator Launches Kickstarter For New RPG

Posted by: |

“Final Fantasy Tactics” Creator Launches Kickstarter For New RPG

Yasumi Matsuno – creator of the classic video games Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre and Vagrant Story - has started a Kickstarter page with the company Playdek to fund a new RPG. Called Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, the game is described as a “spiritual successor in a storied line of epic tactical RPGs designed by Yasumi Matsuno.”

Unsung 3

Read On

Online Company Starts Kickstarter Campaign For 3D Printed Miniatures

Posted by: |

Online Company Starts Kickstarter Campaign For 3D Printed Miniatures

Nerd culture may be the current zeitgeist, but there is still one major pastime of nerds everywhere that’s gotten short shrift – tabletop gaming. Just the phrase conjures images of geeks with huge glasses sitting in a dark basement playing Dungeons & Dragons. This is, of course, inaccurate and unfair. Even less known than tabletop gaming is the potential hobby that accompanies it: painting the miniature heroes and monsters used to play the game. In years past players were required to purchase small predesigned minis – usually metal but occasionally plastic. Now, a new company called Hero Forge has started a Kickstarter campaign to produce custom 3D printed miniatures. You choose your race, gender, build, facial expressions, weapons, armor, equipment and hairstyle and Hero Forge will create that mini especially for you with a 3D printer. For imaginative tabletop fans, the possibilities are endless.

Read On

Grab nine great indie games in the Humble Indie Bundle X

Posted by: |

Grab nine great indie games in the Humble Indie Bundle X

Some people collect trading cards. Some people collect stamps. Some people (like this writer) collect video games and the latest Humble Bundle just added nine more to the collection.

If your wallet has recovered from the shock of the Steam sale (mine is still crying) then it may be time to head over to the fine folks at Humble Bundle and pick up the latest Humble Indie Bundle X.

Read On

Razer premieres high-concept modular computer at CES 2014

Posted by: |

Razer premieres high-concept modular computer at CES 2014

News of Razer’s ambitious Project Christine, a high-concept modular PC described as “a PC for everyone,” has been sweeping the web for the past few days.

It’s certainly a distinctive-looking chassis, less a tower than a rack with slots for components. The potential user doesn’t need to know anything about putting together a conventional system or even open up a case. Specially-designed modules allow the user to plug in a variety of PC components, from GPUs and CPUs to memory, hard drives, or power supply units.  Each component is contained within its sealed module, alongside active liquid cooling systems and noise cancellation. Razer’s official site boasts that this interchangeable design will allow on-the-fly swapping and automatic syncing between components.

It’s no surprise Project Christine earned “Best PC” from official CES awards partner Endgadget. Certainly a Lego-style swapping approach between standardized components offers a highly intuitive upgrade and construction model for average users. According to an enthusiastic but skeptical ExtremeTech article covering the subject in great detail, Razer hopes to have a finalized version ready for CES 2015.

Read On

Sony Reveals PlayStation Now Streaming Service

Posted by: |

Sony Reveals PlayStation Now Streaming Service

Today Sony has finally revealed their plans for streaming video games.

At CES, Sony announced a new subscription service called PlayStation Now (PS Now). PS Now will offer subscribers the ability to stream “classic” playstation games to their Playstation 4, PS Vita, and other devices like phones, tablets, and televisions. At CES they have already shown The Last Of Us streamed through a PS Vita, demonstrating the capabilities of their streaming service that came from the purchase of Gaikai late last summer.

Read On

Giving Violence Weight

Posted by: |

Giving Violence Weight

If I was so pretentious as to try and ascribe themes to my random musings – and believe me, I am– then I’d have to say a growing theme in 2013 for me has been giving game violence weight.

No, wait! Come back! I’m not going to go all Jack Thompson on you!

Let’s be clear: this isn’t some moral objection to violent content. For the storyteller – and any game designer is a storyteller, whether or not plot becomes a strong element of the game – violence is a tool like any other. (Fictional) violence can be thrilling, harrowing, righteous, cruel, vicious, traumatic, self-destructive or futile, and all of these are well and good.

The one thing it shouldn’t be is filler.

And yet in many cases, that’s precisely what it is: rote, something included for the sake of genre or market appeal, detached from the story being told. Violence should engage the player with the narrative, but all too often all it does is occupy them between significant intervals.

Read On

J.Bear’s Top 10 Video Games of 2013

Posted by: |

J.Bear’s Top 10 Video Games of 2013

The end of the year is finally upon us. It feels like just yesterday we were booting up copies of Telltale’s “The Walking Dead”, “Far Cry 3”, “Borderlands 2”, and “Mass Effect 3”. But here we are, 2013 is coming to a close.

This year has been one of the best year’s in gaming, not only were we treated to some of the best titles to ever come out for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. We also took our first steps into the next generation of consoles with the PS4 and Xbox One. Though technically, the WiiU is a part of the next generation of consoles, it, unfortunately, is still struggling.

But nevermind all of that! This is about 2013, and the games that came out during this amazing year. But before we get into the meat and potatoes, here’s a quick disclaimer:

Note: The games that appear on this list solely reflect my experiences with said games. This list is completely based on the games I’ve played this year. Games that I did not play, will not show up on this list. So if your personal favorite games don’t show up on here, thems’ the breaks.

Now, on with the list!

Read On

Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones teaser trailer

Posted by: |

Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones teaser trailer

Well, I’m surprised it took Telltale Games this long to announce a Game of Thrones property.

Details on the ground are scarce so far, little more than a single twitter post:

It’s TRUE! We’re working with @HBO to create an all-new episodic game series based on GAME OF THRONES in 2014! #VGX pic.twitter.com/d5GkhS2MOw

It’s an understandable choice to adapt HBO’s dark-fantasy juggernaut, but one does wonder how they’ll be treading new ground. Will this be a narrative in the gray spaces of the map, or a retread of the series’ Big Events? It’s a peculiar choice to adapt the most-familiar Game of Thrones era when the Dunk and Egg prequels lie untapped.

Nonetheless, this is definitely one property to watch, especially after the much-acclaimed success of The Walking Dead. If anyone can pull off the bleak, cut-throat atmosphere of Westeros, Telltale can.

Read On

Battlefield 4 is the best shooter of the next gen consoles so far

Posted by: |

Battlefield 4 is the best shooter of the next gen consoles so far

It seems like just yesterday that we were booting up our consoles and PCs and loading them up with “Battlefield 3”. But, alas, that was two long years ago. The good news, however, is that we have a brand new “Battlefield” game to sink tens of thousands of hours into. Now normally, there was a good stretch of years between “Battlefield” games. But in the case of “Battlefield 4”, it only took developer DICE two years to make it. So let’s see how they did.

Read On