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Latest Topics

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Platformers: is it time for a revival?

Does the success of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy speak more about the power of nostalgia or the appetite for platformers in a market dominated by sports games, shooters and RPGs?

  • Definitely a mix of both. While platformers are interesting and fun when done well, the ultimate rise in technology has left the market thirsty for far more wild, innovative games, with exceptions like Cuphead and Celeste appealing to the old ones who grew up with those type of games. – TokyoExpress 5 days ago
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  • Platformers have seen a recent revival with Super Mario Odyssey, A Hat in Time, and many others. And the success of those games shows that there is still room for platformers in the industry. – ankit8697 2 days ago
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Have you got a grinding addiction?

You know you’ve done it, we all have, who hasn’t?
What I’m talking about is the act of "grinding" in games, meaning the repetition of crafting, farming, playing level one fights for bonuses – the simple act of repeating a step over and over and over again for seemingly inconsequential gains. Now in real life none of us would often willingly engage in this (generalisation I know), but really people seem to go out of their way to engage in innovative, unique, interesting jobs – no one wants to do the same task ad nauseam. So why do we choose to do this in our down time when gaming? What really is the appeal of grinding?

  • Personally I have been guilty of this when it comes to RPGs, especially in the Final Fantasy series. There is always the main objective of completing the story itself, but knowing that there are other potential sidequests, bonuses and easter eggs often leads to an uncontrollable urge to spend time grinding to levelling up characters. Another element that has added to this addiction is the use of achievements and trophies, and the need to have that sense of completion. On a side note I have also experienced this with some mobile games, only to delete them after months with the question "what was actually achieved by this?" – midado 2 weeks ago
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Fulfilling the Promise of Character Creation in RPG's

I’ve been playing Divinity: Original Sin 2 a lot recently and it made me realise what I really love about RPG’s; the way that they let you really create a character. But this doesn’t end at their appearance or race. Games like Original Sin 2 fulfill the promise of character creation by rewarding absolutely everything your character can attempt. Giving the player so many options based upon the character they built and how they play makes the world feel alive and causes the player to feel as though their character is charting a course based on who they are. So many RPG’s provide options but often you reach quests or situations where there is no alternative (due to narrative restrictions) or there is are blatant good, bad and worse options. There are so many other RPG’s that allow for this deep character creation and they always seem to become instant classics. I also think this approach is incredibly interesting as it’s rare that players notice just how much this level of reactivity influences their style of play.

  • I don't know the particular game you name, but I definitely share your interest in these sorts of games that allow for character development and player investment in the character. What you've written looks like a general topic. How could it be made more specific, for someone wanting to write an essay on the topic? Here are some related questions that come up for me: Does a legal/bounty system (in Skyrim, for example) or a karma system (in some of the Fallout games, for example) or a reputation system (in Baldur's Gate, for example) help with development and connection, or are those systems too mechanical? Are open world games better suited for development and connection? – JamesBKelley 2 months ago
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Persona 5: Forcing a 'Change of Heart' for the cost of 'Free Will'

Persona 5 takes realistic antagonists and uses an unorthodox means to force them…to change them. Heck, early in the game, it was said that this method risks killing the antagonist.

It is a topic that isn’t questioned too much deep in game and I thought it would be nice to get that discussion going. Do note the game just came out so the discussion of Persona 5 is limited if anyone wants to add spoilers…which I do think it isn’t necessary. In addition, I feel like this discussion could extend any other actions which ultimately is a means to ‘force change’.

The general reason the Phantom Thieves are generally accepted as a force of good is because they are mainly fighting back abusers. I would also mention Death Note and how it also had a similar tale of Light, his sense of Justice and his god complex. A bad end in Persona 5 suggests a similar god complex as well.

  • There's a lot going on here, I'd simplify the actual prompt (is it whether or not such an act is moral? justified?) and probably take out the Death Note comparison unless it's the major focus of the entire topic ("Compare Persona 5 and Death Note"); otherwise, it just feels like a semi-unrelated side note. – m-cubed 10 months ago
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  • I feel like such a topic can lead into 'whether forceful acts are moral' using Persona 5 and Death Note (and other stories) an overarching theme for discussion. – plumbunnies 10 months ago
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Will Virtual Reality Impact Tourism?

Visiting foreign countries can truly change peoples lives. Whether its rural folk seeing thriving metropolises or hot climate citizens witnessing snow for the first time, being in a new environment can take your breath away. The use of graphics in gaming has skyrocketed. From the revolution of Pong 40 years ago, blades of grass and drops of rain have become routine for triple AAA titles. If we can imagine the difference in graphics rendering in 40 years, will a $100-$200 VR headset rival the thousands we spend on flights and accomodation overseas? If we could graphically render a building twice as tall as the Eiffel Tower, why go see the Eiffel Tower? Could virtual reality be a substitute, or threat, to global tourism?

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    Yearly-Release Games: How Much Do We Still Care?

    Gaming companies like Ubisoft and EA have essentially built their reputations upon their franchises that promise annual releases. Ubisoft took an unexpected break between Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (2015) and Assassin’s Creed: Origins (2017) to reexamine the franchise, to "evolve the game mechanics," and to ensure that they were delivering the promised "gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground."

    In other rumored news, EA may forego the annual releases of their sports games, like FIFA and Madden NFL, in exchange for an online "subscription" service that requires an annual fee to update rosters and stats ((link)

    The writer should examine if Ubisoft delivered on its promise with AC: Origins by investigating Ubisoft’s reported sales in comparison to its other AC games, critic reviews, and notable bugs or technical issues. Did Ubisoft indeed improve the newest game by taking a short break, or has anything really changed?

    The writer should also assess how, or if, EA’s rumored subscription service will benefit players. Contingent upon price, how would a subscription service be better (or possibly worse) than re-purchasing a slightly updated version of the same game year after year?

    Lastly, the writer should examine the bigger issue at hand: Do we still care about annual release games? What do they offer that non-annual release games do not, and vice-versa? Can the methods employed above by EA and Ubisoft work in their favor and possibly revive their franchises, or are the franchises past the point of revival?

    • Annual release games should definitely be broken down into the genres of games they are referring to. For sporting games, like FIFA and Madden, the premise of an annual release is simply to update the rosters for each respective team. The game of football has not fundamentally changed in that one-year time span, and besides any minor control updates, the game-play mechanics are relatively absolute for each edition. More story-driven franchises are a different case however, as many of those releases not only have improved or altered game mechanics and controls, but another installment into the story for the franchise. The standard of quality for those kinds of games should be higher than that of sporting games, which may influence any arguments regarding the relevance of annual releases. – Gliese436B 1 month ago
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    • It might be useful for the writer to consider what triple A companies employ annual releases outside of sports titles, and what those annual releases are. A number of such developers, such as FromSoftware and Sucker Punch, release their flagship series at a much slower rate -- writer should compare these nonannual franchises to annual ones, and compare their respective costs and benefits. – PersistentCrane 1 month ago
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    Will Always-Online Games Detriment Gamers?

    Modern console’s use of the internet in gaming has allowed some games to only be allowed to be played online. One example, is the incredibly popular For Honor, a hack and slash phenomenom. As popular as this game is, what is to stop Ubisoft from shutting off the servers if a sequel is announced, to force gamers to purchase the sequel? Many classic games suffer from eventual server closing, EA’s underrated Lord of the Rings: Conquest is an example. Are gaming developers giving themselves too much power over consumers by forcing games to be mandatorily online?

    • This is definitely worth exploring. I, for one, do not play multiplayer games (at all), so I never have to worry about the always-online nonsense. I can simply pop in my disc of Uncharted 4 and go for it without a care in the world. It certainly seems like a bully move for a company to require a constant internet connection to play their game, even the single-player campaign (as is the case with "For Honor"). It also runs the risk of alienating fans who don't want, or even can't have, a constant online connection to their console. There's also the chance of servers going down and internet connections timing out. I guess you just can't play your SP campaign in the meantime while you wait for the Ubisoft servers or Comcast to get their stuff together, which is highly frustrating. – Christina Legler 2 months ago
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    Games as Multimedia Storytelling

    Approached from the perspective of being an interactive story, what is unique to games like MMORPGs (esp. sandboxes), metroidvania, war games or survival games, as stories? What are some of the ways that gaming has innovated new ways of telling stories (think non-linear, interactive etc). Games can pull together disparate storytelling techniques like visual, auditory and interactive in a way that books, comics or film alone can’t. Has the gaming industry harnessed this potential?

    If you want to narrow it down to a specific category i’d recommend visual novels and RPGs, as they feel a lot closer to the question.

    • It would be very helpful to mention Final Fantasy XV, which one could argue spread itself too thin with the multimedia storytelling. It was a double-edged sword: People could access the series through the anime, the feature length movie or even the retro style gaming experience of A King's Tale. For someone like me, who was heavily invested in the series already, it was wonderful and got me excited for the game in the lead up; but for a casual gamer who just wanted to play the game, or a movie-goer just wanting to watch the film, it would make it difficult for them to grasp the entire story without turning to the internet to fill in the blanks. – AGMacdonald 7 months ago
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    Taken by BMartin43 (PM) 1 month ago.