"But while it cut back on some rules, it hasn’t skimped on the flavor. There are new spells and abilities that give characters a fun, goofy, mystical feel without having any real effects on the game. Clerics can cause claps of thunder and make their voice boom like Moses passing judgment. Some creepy warlocks can read minds without casting a spell. Sorcerers using unpredictable wild magic can accidentally turn themselves into a potted plant or summon bizarre monsters like flumphs and modrons."
Showing 291 posts tagged gameological
"At its thematic best, Murasaki Baby demonstrates its teachable lessons to Baby through spectacularly discomfiting images. In the hair-obsessed lady’s realm, you have to switch between backgrounds that turn Baby’s heart to stone so she isn’t carried away by the wind, another that freezes everything around her, and another that’s just a giant eyeball that makes her small and light enough for the balloon to carry away. These create interesting navigational puzzles—how do I get Baby over to that cliff when it’s high and surrounded by stabby spiders?—but they also reflect, in this case, the dangers of vanity. With the heart of stone, the cold world, and the all-swallowing eye making you feel tiny, the chapter takes on the shape of the hairdo woman and demonstrates to Baby precisely how not to live as an adult.”
"Once I settled into The Sims 4, I discovered that I didn’t want to go back to The Sims 3. This is definitely an upgrade, but with the small towns, loading screens, and all the missing content, it doesn’t feel quite finished—it’s like moving into a fixer-upper. After a bit of construction you might actually have your perfect house, but it’s going to take some time and will likely be quite expensive.”
"Eventually, however, the spontaneity and moment-to-moment thrills grew thin, and a realization began to sink in. There’s little to Destiny that calls for this massively multiplayer experience. It offers lots of distractions—various modes and missions, a large armory of guns and armor to earn, and several factions to ally with—but everything flows from a single repetitive activity: flexing your trigger finger. It’s possible to carve out a worthwhile existence in Bungie’s new solar system, but that requires a deep, abiding, passionate, unquenchable love for shooting aliens and robots with massive guns.”
"All media have their share of silly or awkwardly titled works. Just look at the upcoming movie/Supreme Court case Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Video games are no different. But lately, for every wonderfully nonsensical Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance or Bravely Default: Flying Fairy, there are a dozen Medal Of Honor: Warfighters and Battleborns, bringing dull, focus-tested titles to store shelves. Fortunately, with their artistic freedom, developers outside the major publishing system are keeping hope alive for weird video games names.”
"Recently, games like the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and The Last Of Us: Left Behind have adopted the Final Girl trope, positioning level-headed female characters as the protagonists in realms where they’re surrounded by horror. Both Lara Croft in Tomb Raider and Ellie in Left Behind—an expansion to The Last Of Us—embody the characteristics of the Final Girl, the one person who can outwit and outmuscle her (mostly male) aggressors.”
"Focusing on high scores and flawless fast runs through levels is a perfectly valid way to build a game. In fact, it’s a smart recognition of how people today play old Mega Man games, emphasizing speedrunning and tricks rather than standard playthroughs. Gunvolt’s world and characters don’t reflect that kind of thoughtful focus, though.”
The Gameological staff discussed some of its favorite songs from games’ quiet moments—save points, pause screens, and safe havens. What’s yours?
"The SA-X and the other X imitations are series-revival anxiety made flesh, the specter of Super Metroid following the player around. It’s a coy decision, forcing players to wade through and run from flimsy forms of Metroid nostalgia. It allows the developers to have it both ways, capitalizing on the strong memories attached to the series while also suggesting that simply evoking nostalgia would have been transparent and dull. A game that simply tried to copy Super Metroid’s successes after so much time had passed would have been as obvious an impostor as SA-X. By populating the game with pale imitations and simulated memories, the developers force the player to feel the weight of Samus’s legacy bear down on them.”
This week’s Gameological Q&A comes from reader Christopher Arp:
I was recently bragging to some friends that I had never been truly frightened by a game. Sure, any game can make me jump with a loud noise or sudden visual. But deep, creeping fear? That’s less likely. Not even Dead Space—a game that creates suspense more than anything approaching terror—gets to me. But then I remembered an ancient, excellent PC game called The Dark Eye. Eyeless clay-looking characters? Playable Edgar Allan Poe stories? Bone-chilling voice acting? My bowels, they tremble at the memory. What games, if any, have terrified you?
Our writers weighed in, and now we want to hear from you.