paxsouth

This was a weird expo. This was first PAX South, so I was expecting some bumps, but there were things that just didn’t add up. For one, Gearbox was one of the big sponsors, but they didn’t have a presence on the floor. They had some panels, but no booth. Likewise, Bioware was also there but was relegated to a small room where they ran a bunch of panels. Read the rest of this entry »

 

darksouls2-traveler

I’ve now played the opening few hours of Dark Souls II three times. I rented the game on PS3, played the opening area twice, decided I wanted to wait for the PC version and have now played up through all that content again on the PC. Now having a decent bit of familiarity with that opening area, I’d like to share some impressions. Read the rest of this entry »

chronotrigger-banner

I’m playing Chrono Trigger for the first time and it’s making me think about how RPGs deal with damage. In a lot of RPGs, you pick a weapon type, continue to get better and better weapons, and increase stats that make you better at using those weapons. All of this is done in order to increase your base damage.

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lastofus

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darksouls

I am playing Dark Souls for the third time and I’m making this playthrough much harder than it needs to be. Dark Souls is a notoriously difficult action RPG. It finds all sorts of creative ways to hurt the player. It’s full of traps, ambushes and rooms of deadly enemies. It’s a game that’s tough but rarely unfair. It’s a game that requires a sort of slow, methodical approach. You must be wary at all times. Let your guard down for a second, and you’ll probably end up dead.

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notjames

This was the year where I was going to quit video games. And I did about  four or five times. But every time, I’d hear about some game that I knew I had to play or get an itch to return to a title I left unfinished and I’d come back to it. That, and I had a 8 month gap between finishing school and getting a full-time job. My love/hate relationship with the medium reached its zenith this year. The volatile game culture, the rampant misogyny, and growing corporate greed continue to make me sick. I attended PAX and that made me even sicker of gaming culture.

But these titles, and a few others, remind me that with each year the medium is maturing. People are creating new experiences and refining old ones into profound and rewarding titles. They’re still a bit off the beaten track, only one of these titles came from a AAA game developer. However, these titles are becoming easier to find and becoming louder voices in the conversation.

NOTE: All of these are based on PC release date because that’s the only platform I own.

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Arcanum-logo

It took me four characters to get me through Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. It’s a testament to the compelling nature of the game that I put up with several lengthy forays into the game that ended with me having to restart the entire game. It’s also a testament to the broken nature of the game that I had to build four characters until I found one that could actually get me through the content. Read the rest of this entry »