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Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Technically Impressive

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 has wrapped up. The event raised around 1.2 million during the week long charity stream where around 160 games and 200 players donated their time and expertise to give the gaming community an entertaining 24/7 display of gripping moments, glitched games and great commentary.

0104-AGDQ

I’ve compiled a list of the what I think were the highlights of the event, based on how entertaining the games were, how impressive the runners were, and how cool some of the spectacles were to watch.

This list, in particular, is for those that have dedicated their time to particularly difficult games, where the barrier to entry of even completing the game is high.  And there’s also a few that are just cool because of interesting techniques involved to compete at such a high level.

Continue reading “Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Technically Impressive”

Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Fun Ones

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 has wrapped up. The event raised around 1.2 million during the week long charity stream where around 160 games and 200 players donated their time and expertise to give the gaming community an entertaining 24/7 display of gripping moments, glitched games and great commentary.

 

0104-AGDQ

I’ve compiled a list of the what I think were the highlights of the event, based on how entertaining the games were, how impressive the runners were, and how cool some of the spectacles were to watch.

This list, in particular, is for the events that were fun to watch because of great commentary thanks to either the runner being keeping the viewers engaged, or the guest commentators being extremely informative to help keep what was going-on on-screen relatable. Continue reading “Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Fun Ones”

Bias in Gaming: Pre-Orders, DLC, Valuation and Pain of Paying 

Big Boss’s Dismembered Arm. Jacob’s Hidden Stabby Knife. Pipboy Wristband for a phone that won’t fit inside. A statue of a dragon that will never see the light of day. Another year goes by and more toys begin collecting dust, trying to match the shade of grey as the collectables next to them. A Street Fighter 4 duffle bag, with matching 4gb USB stick. Travel Chest housing a Nathan Drake Statue. A lie of reselling at mark-up that will never be true. Things that I’ll never use, nor had any intention of using.

Books filled with in-game pre-order bonuses that will never be redeemed. Enough digital bow and arrows to build a small log cabin. A digital black market of goods that will never be offloaded. Ships whose cargo never reaching their destined port.

Why do we fall for preorder bonuses every time when we know they are money sinkholes? Are these toys really that enticing? Do we feel like we’ll be missing out on some grand revelation by not getting the ultimate collector’s definitive edition boxset? (super turbo world champions)

Continue reading “Bias in Gaming: Pre-Orders, DLC, Valuation and Pain of Paying “

Bias in Gaming: Defaults and False Choice. 

Legend of Zelda has always had some interesting design choices; from its gameplay, to its level design, to its enemy creation and how it chose to inform the player of how to progress. Oversimplifying its weapons to make sure that they are intuitive to use and easily instinctual in recognizing when to use it. Enemies with only a single mechanic to perform makes them easy to deduce means of dispatching them; and the difficulty comes when mixing placement with variety with terrain forcing you to take into account more variables and manage more moving parts. It shows that they put at least some attention to how they create the experience in their games.

That doesn’t mean that the Legend of Zelda is a perfect fleet and even its best ships have a few holes in them. The one that comes up time and time again is how they handle dialog.

Paragraphs of dialogue being spit at you. Line after line, given 10 words at a time. You sit there hitting the “next” button for minutes at-a-time. At the end of it you’re asked “Did you get all that?”

zelda-owl-gif

And the default placement of the cursor is on the “No.”

You hit “next” and you scream and storm away from the TV, incredulous to wasting your time for twice the length.

A game actively keeping you away from the action by forcing you, the player, to slow down and pay attention. Why would the cursor be set to “No”?

Continue reading “Bias in Gaming: Defaults and False Choice. “

Let’s Talk About – Chunithm 

chunithm-banner

Chunithm – Site

Songlist

Traveling to Japan is always interesting, in particular Tokyo. The city is always busy from the waking hours till the trains shut down at midnight,, the neon lights and smell of food from a small ten-person restaurant can be sensed from blocks away, and there is always something new to find in the city, whether you’re visiting for a only a week or have lived there your entire life. It’s an intoxicating display and makes it impossible to not go exploring for something new, especially to International eyes.

Akihabara

And in Tokyo you can find a slew of Video Arcades, particularly in Akihabara, and in these arcades you can find a war for floor space between fighting games, the newly established virtual card games, and a new breed of music games fighting for audible space of each floor.

And then I came across this machine.

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Chunithm.

I didn’t think much of it at first. There were a few new music games to try that aren’t really seen in the US. Groove Coaster, REV, and the few other music games that I found in the arcade are rare to see, so I wanted to get my hands on them at least once.

What a silly name, Chunithm.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About – Chunithm “

Let’s Talk About: When does a game truly die? Or Games that need to inspire.

We’re well within the lifetime of the Eighth generation of consoles. That means seven generations of game consoles have come and gone. Libraries of games within each generation and only a handful of them are ever talked about, reminisced on, and dissected with scrutiny. Thousands of games long forgotten with just as much potential as the game next to it when they sat on the store shelves, but rarely purchased and less likely to be remembered once the next gaming generation has spawned a fresh slate of shelf-space to remember.

But do these games ever really die?

The mortality of a game and its ideas is one thing, but its legacy is something to not be taken likely. Passing on the seeds of what a game has explored to future generations.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About: When does a game truly die? Or Games that need to inspire.”

Impressions: Ultimate Chicken Horse – PAX Prime 2015

Ultimate Chicken Horse

Original Kickstarter

There’s a lot of ways to ruin friendships when playing a game. Games like Mario Party and Nintendoland have you building temporary alliances and never-forgotten rivalries from past betrayals. Others like Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros relying solely on yourself for victory with the randomness of items to keep things interesting and forcing you to be globally aware but you still feel the anguist when victory is snatched from your grasps by a well-timed red-shell or a lucky pokeball grab.

It’s weird to find a party game that doesn’t have you building a hatred for the people that you’re with over time, but Ultimate Chicken Horse was definitely on its way there.

ultimate-chicken-horse

Continue reading “Impressions: Ultimate Chicken Horse – PAX Prime 2015”

Let’s Talk About: Genres and Better Describing Games

When does a thing stop being that thing.

A Genre is a broad term to try and classify. You start to create titles and classifiers and begin to find that many of those classifiers that you use to try and segregate can still be used in conjunction with another to classify something new. Look at games for example. There are very few games that have distinct classifiers that segregate themselves from other games.

Call of Duty: First Person Shooter, Online Multiplayer. Ok, not that hard. Does it have a story? It has a single player mode with a story, yes. Call of Duty: First Person Shooter, Online Multiplayer, Story-Based. Does it have Cooperative modes? Sometimes. Call of Duty: First Person Shooter, Online Multiplayer, Story-Based, Cooperative. What time era is this? This is largely fiction or non-fiction? Are all First Person Shooters like this? Are all Story-Based games First Person Shooters? Do all First Person Shooters have Cooperative play? We can actually keep adding onto the genre listing for a quite a bit.

And we have to keep making more and more qualifiers to describe a game because we can’t make assumptions about genres anymore, nor was it ever a good idea to start. It’s like trying to classify movies as either drama or comedy. For there to be tension, there needs to be drama and struggle, choice and impact. Action movies have drama. Sports movies have drama. Documentaries have drama. If a comedy didn’t have drama then it would literally be a movie with only stand-up. No, that’s not fair either because good stand-up, storytelling or joke telling, still builds tension and releases it conveying the drama of the situation. The only clear lines you can draw are ones like Animated or not, and even those have movies that blend the genres together like Heavy Metal (1981).

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About: Genres and Better Describing Games”

Pre-Impressions: PAX Prime 2015 Indie MegaBooth Part 1

This isn’t a post about what I hit during PAX, since at the time of writing this PAX Prime 2015 hasn’t even happened yet. This is a preview of games that has piqued my interested and am hoping to get my hands on it for a playthrough.

For those that don’t know, Indie MegaBooth is a section of PAX specifically carved out for the Indie developers with something innovative, stylish or fun to get some exposure and hands on the controllers.

There are a lot of great looking games on the list, and while I’m only going to talk about a handful of them I still encourage others to take a look at the indie megabooth site and give a few of them a try or to find me and the indie megabooth developers at the booth during PAX and spend a few minutes finding hidden gems waiting in smaller lines than the over publicized 2 hour linecon that you’ll find in the rest of the showroom floor. Some of these games are already available on Steam and other systems so you can even check them out now.

Continue reading “Pre-Impressions: PAX Prime 2015 Indie MegaBooth Part 1”

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