What a terrible night to have a curse!
It’s all very familiar. My character is awakened in a dark, dingy place with nothing but my bare hands and a few scraps of clothing. There’s a beast up ahead that I have little to no chance of defeating in my current situation, and the gigantic werewolf-ish thing is taking up my only route of escape. I’m probably about to die, but I will absolutely go down swinging and flailing wildly rather than let death take me gently by dismemberment.
It’s definitely a “Souls” game. Make no mistake about it, “Bloodborne,” despite its new locale and the gothic, Van Helsing vibe that runs through it, hearkens back to its predecessors and finds all new ways to make you love the fact that you want to break your controller.
The grassroots fighting game scene right here in Maine
I’m not sure if I put too much stock in it, or if I actually put any stock in at all. I’m in a gazebo surrounded by a bunch of other men and women, most of them sharing the same steely-eyed gaze toward the myriad screens showing a mix of “Street Fighter,” various iterations of “Super Smash Bros.” and the occasional oddball game of “Killer Instinct” or “Guilty Gear Xrd.” My next match is about to be called, and while I’m not necessarily nervous, I don’t feel particularly warmed up, either. I haven’t played the current iteration of “Street Fighter” consistently for close to six months, and my first tournament match of the night just showed that. It’s double elimination, so I have a chance to redeem myself here or watch myself dip out of the brackets with zero dignity or grace.
Modern games that should be arcade classics
There was once a time when gaming was done inside of arcades, and multiplayer meant getting face-to-face with both your compatriots and enemies alike, dumping pounds of quarters into machines in a bid to put your initials at the top of the leaderboards. Even though arcades have died and taken their place in our memories, the spirit of those games carries on today and inspires an entirely new generation of developers. Here are a few games that could easily have had cabinets in a Dave & Buster’s in the ’80s and ’90s:
Game soundtracks that tied games together
I was recently stuck in a Tim Horton’s, with naught but my phone and some delicious buffalo chicken mac ‘n’ cheese to keep my ADD mind from exploding out of boredom. However, I knew I had a bit of saving grace encased in my Otterbox, the Squaresoft (now Square Enix) classic “Chrono Trigger.” Just as I was about to enter back into that world that held a more wibbly-wobbly timeline than the good Doctor Who himself, I had a thought: I had no headphones. Now, “Chrono Trigger” is one of those timeless games, an RPG that truly transcends gaming trends to earn its place amongst the classics, but being a decent human being that doesn’t take incredible joy in bothering the strangers closest to him by using his cell phone as a boom box, I couldn’t partake in the music that brings it all together in one glorious package. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t force every customer in that Timmy’s to listen to Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu’s incredible soundtrack, and without that music, I couldn’t bring myself to play an incomplete version of a game I loved.
Where the love of a gaming began
It started when you first invited me over to your house and placed your fresh copy of “Final Fantasy VIII” into your PS1. From the very first moment of that CGI opening, my mouth was agape and my eyes were insatiable for those pre-rendered backgrounds and pixelated polygons mixed in the holiest of matrimonies. Watching Squall and his party walking in synchronous step through the gorgeous scenery of Balamb Garden set my mind on fire. As someone that had an NES and SNES for the greater part of his childhood, seeing graphics like this was completely unexpected. I wanted more. I needed more.
I’m slowly but surely starting to believe in karma as a balance to the more selfish things we do. Sometimes, our ambitions can outweigh our ability to keep friends’ feelings in mind.
Basically, I’m gonna tell a story about how much of a jerk I am.
The State of “Halo”
As longtime readers of my articles may know, I’m something of a “Halo” nut. A fanatic. A diehard. So naturally, when 343 Industries announced “The Master Chief Collection” encompassing all four of the numbered entries in the series, including an Anniversary treatment of my personal favorite, “Halo 2,” I just about flipped my lid. However, upon launch, it immediately became apparent that the “MCC” had been rushed past any and all bug-checking process. It almost killed any momentum the series had for a complete resurgence. A month and a half later, the collection still doesn’t work as intended, and even with the reassurance of a free month of Xbox Live and a reworked “Halo: ODST,” there’s still a sense of betrayal and legitimate sadness that “Halo” is in such disarray. Here’s a few things that 343i and Microsoft could do to bring the brand up to speed, for its current products and the next ones.
Can Bungie’s opus live up to the hype?
It’s been four months since Bungie launched their newest series “Destiny,” and with it, the hype that preceded it has faded and promises were seemingly unfulfilled. Now that some time has passed, how does “Destiny” fare? Has the house that “Halo” built made a proper effort at rectifying their launch mistakes?
Nintendo’s finest at their finest
The premise behind every “Super Smash Bros.” game has been incredibly simple, yet alluring: grab a bunch of characters from Nintendo’s all-star cast, place them on a stage together, and have them beat the snot out of each other. Each game has been one of the greatest collections of gaming history put onto one cartridge/disc/media device, and the newest iteration “Super Smash Bros for Wii U” does not disappoint this fantastic heritage.
Competing on life’s terms
Ten years. Ten years and I’m finally back at Battle Creek. Beep, beep, boop goes the spawn, and the customary rush out of the bases commences, a mad scramble for power weapons, overshield and active camo, a dance that has its roots deep in interconnected Xboxes in basements in days of yore. “Halo” is back, I’m back, and there’s nothing between me and FPS nirva-
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