This weekend, the world’s best fighting-game players will gather in Las Vegas for Evo, the biggest tournament of the year. Here’s our in-depth viewer’s guide for Evo novices, breaking down—with the help of a few fighting-game experts—the eight games at the event, including the stories and players you can expect to see if you decide to tune in.
Showing 268 posts tagged gameological
The latest in Nick Wanserski’s illustrated essay series explores the significance of Link’s iconic cap.
"Just listening to the soundtrack, co-written in-part by original Mega Man composer Minami Matsumae, proves that Shovel Knight transcends homage. With a flow and tone all its own, it’s less like a collection of parts pulled from classics and more like a peer.”
"Humanity, technology, and our accretion of miscellaneous stuff are compared unfavorably to the emptiness of the natural world. In later levels, twisted transmission towers and power lines invade the fields, dragging nature’s serenity into darkness and scorching some of your flower petals if they come into contact with the structures. The only technologies the game doesn’t hold in contempt are those that coexist with their natural surroundings, like wind turbines. On the whole, though, humanity and our inventions are stifling and malignant."
"Axiom Verge stands apart from the retro revival crowd by looking beyond the design and aesthetic sensibilities of classic games. Happ and his creation have a reverence for the sense of the unknown that surrounded video games during their infancy. It was a time where a game’s every secret wasn’t immediately laid bare on the Internet, and we didn’t fully understand that a glitch was usually just a glitch rather than a carefully hidden secret. Axiom Verge would be promising even if it were nothing but a loving, detailed take on Metroid, but this additional layer channels a passion for some of video games’ long-lost mystery.”
"Sharing painfully earnest high-fives with strangers is a rarity on the impersonal confines of the E3 show floor. But in 25 short minutes, three other players and I, brought together by the hands of fate (or rather the hands of a game studio PR person), had just slain the mighty Kraken in a thrilling back-and-forth match of Evolve. I fought off the urge to buy my teammates a round of drinks over which we would tell stories about the Big Hunt while the polite bearded man who’d been controlling the creature put down his PlayStation 4 controller and slunk away in quiet defeat.”
"No matter how much fiddly control Tomodachi gives you in steering its characters’ lives, it always feels impossible to predict what the hell they’re going to do. Chaos is Tomodachi Life’s spice. It’s where all the heat from this pepper of a game lies. Figuring out how to cultivate and nurture that chaos is its greatest reward.”
"No Final Fantasy game has been so committed to loneliness as Final Fantasy VI, though, which is strange considering it has the largest cast of colorful world-saving heroes. Stranger still, they fail to save much of anything, and the world ends, at least for a while. But the World Of Ruin isn’t a place for nihilistic moping or stoic melodrama, though there are dollops of both here and there. Final Fantasy VI uses its gutted world to explore how people overcome failure and loss to build hope in new lives.”
"Because it often takes time to perceive the subtleties of a work, nostalgia can deepen rather than cheapen the past. Mario Kart 8 is informed by this more fulfilling sort of nostalgia: the kind that seeks to go deeper. The developers clearly studied their predecessors’ work to get a nuanced understanding of track design, competitive balance, and racing rhythm. The result is a sequel that refines Mario Kart with grace and attention to detail—a game that relies partly on fandom but nonetheless shines on its own merits.”
"The game is repressed—bland and familiar, taking few chances, as if it were made under the oppressive conditions that it depicts. It’s not a bad game at all, and that’s regrettable in a way, because at least a bad game might be a thought-provoking failure. Instead, Watch Dogs is a slightly above-average open-world quest whose defining trait is its utter normality.”