gameological

Showing 294 posts tagged gameological

"By using the familiar locations, characters, and items of the Zelda games, along with the attention to detail that has become Nintendo’s signature, Hyrule Warriors is by far the most accessible entry in the Dynasty Warriors family. It feels more refined, with clarity of scope and a greater sense of agency in combat. At the same time, this is the least accessible Zelda game thanks to its truncated story and reliance on series history.”

Review: Hyrule Warriors is an odd but loving tribute to Zelda fans 

"In popular fiction, when zombies, plagues, or GMOs lay waste to the planet, humanity tends to huddle around barrels of burning trash and sometimes band together to fend off the feral coyote-wolf hybrids hounding them at every turn. Well, Megaton is like an enormous flaming trash barrel, and it has more than a few unshaven hobos shivering around its central, yet to be ignited, atomic flame. Yet while they lack many of the obvious protections enjoyed by those living inside the vault, as well as any semblance of personal hygiene, the citizens of Megaton have learned to depend on the person next to them to get along. In many ways, it’s the ideal post-apocalyptic neighborhood."

Special Topics In Gameology: Fallout 3’s Megaton is one of the better crappy post-apocalypse communities

"Double Fine’s Hack ’N’ Slash is all about giving you the coveted power of perception, peeling back the game’s symbols to reveal the mathematical viscera underneath. In its opening moments, your Link-like adventurer gets a sword, which promptly breaks, revealing what looks suspiciously like a USB connector. When you swing the sword against a nearby door, a pop-up menu appears, letting you edit the state of the door. You flip its “closed” value from [true] to [false], leave the menu, and the door slides open. From here, the game begins gleefully showing its inner workings, turning its internal logic into puzzles. Hacking the game around you makes for a fascinating time, but Hack ’N’ Slash too often gets lost in its own guts.”

Review: Hack ’N’ Slash’s inventive puzzling can be too smart for its own good

"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."

The new Dungeons & Dragons is more streamlined but no less of a challenge

"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.”

Review: Murasaki Baby taps the well of joy, anxiety, and fear in a child’s world view

"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.”

Review: The Sims 4 asks fans to move into a fixer-upper

"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.”

Review: The “shared-world” thrills of Destiny wear thin over time

"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.”

For Our Consideration: Entering the thought processes behind the weirdest video games titles around


"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.”

—For Our Consideration: What women in ’70s slasher films tell us about women in games today High-res

"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.”

For Our Consideration: What women in ’70s slasher films tell us about women in games today

"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.” 

Review: Azure Striker Gunvolt riffs on Mega Man but misses what made it a classic