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Tuesday, 02 June 2015 18:08

House of Wolves'

Streamlining Destiny' with minimal but good content

Bungie's 'Destiny' has had a contentious life. From the promise of a sweeping space epic from E3 a few years ago to the segmented and fairly small - albeit very polished - game we ended up getting last September, opinions are generally polarized. To Bungie's credit, they've been cutting down the amount of grinding and frustration necessary to make a decent character, but the real shame is in the lack of content. There just hasn't been a whole lot for the 'Destiny' faithful to do.

Published in Tekk
Monday, 18 May 2015 15:27

Tryhards

How the hardcore help the casual

The post-arcade world has had a gentrifying effect on the tenacity of the majority of gamers. Once the hardcore players started leaving the battlefield of blinking screens and started bringing home the games that they enjoyed, suddenly people forgot their roots steeped in pursuit of the leaderboard.

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 20:03

Project Madness

A cautionary tale of corporate involvement

It wasn't too long ago that Nintendo completely ignored not only the competitive Smash community, but pretty much the entire Smash community as a whole. Any events or tournaments that fans created were summarily dismissed; the Big N never mingled with the fan base they had created. The 'Smash Bros.' community would simply dive into the grassroots, powered only by their love for the game and the support of each other.

Published in Tekk

'Final Fantasy Record Keeper' might as well be called 'We Packaged A Bunch of Nostalgia Up For You.' Square Enix has taken the 'Final Fantasy' series, condensed it down into a lovely sprite form, and made a fair free-to-play system that doesn't feel pay-to-win, the end result being an excellent stop-and-pop mobile game that tugs on the heartstrings of fans old and new.

The (fairly light) story revolves around the keeper of a gallery of the 'Final Fantasy' stories getting thrust into all of the worlds he's been taking care of after an event throws all of history into chaos. The result is a game-hopping romp that collects your favorite characters and scenes from a myriad of 'Final Fantasy' games and mashes them together in glorious, turn-based combat. You set up your party, pick a game world to hop into and then fight your way through dungeons, leveling up and reliving the past glories of the SNES, PS1 and PS2 games, complete with fantastically made sprite art. Party customization is robust, and setting up your party for success with equipment and abilities is just as important as your character levels.

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 17:16

Bloodborne' review

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.

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 16:13

Deserving of Cabinetry

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:

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 13:08

The Gamecube, the Basement, and Jeff

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.

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 23:58

Bring it Back Around

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.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:39

Worth a Thousand Words

When fanart hits home

It's really just some silly fan art. It's a simple piece showing off the differences between two different iterations of the 'Zelda' franchises' Hero of Time: one serious and stoic, the other bright and cheerful. If you think of it in a literal sense, they're technically the same character. Both of them have seen their fair share of adventures, of troubles, of the burden of saving the world, and yet they've created two different people. Maybe it's just the differences in their age that shaped the way they viewed their experiences, or maybe one is just truly more cynical than the other, but it struck me as such a strangely familiar juxtaposition.

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 23:04

Review: Shovel Knight

The best kind of shovelware

Retro is pretty big right now. Whether it's a wave of genuine nostalgia or just developers smelling the cash of 27-37 year olds, I'm not sure, but there's been a good glut of gigantic pixels that have people reaching for the yesteryears of boxy controllers and Flock of Seagulls. Many of them get by with sly references to the play mechanics of yore, be it a quip about eating food on the ground or blowing on cartridges or something to the extent of winking extra-hard at the audience. Even as someone that absolutely adores the 8- and 16-bit eras, it's gotten slightly obnoxious and old hat, to be perfect honest.

Published in Tekk
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