Category Archives: Editorials

Handheld Games Are Still Important, Shut Up

I’m sitting in an extremely busy airport, assaulted with the scent of Cinnabon, three hours early for my two-and-a-half-hour flight. So what is there to do? I could play Terra Battle, that sounds good. Oh wait, my boarding pass is on my phone, and my battery is terrible. If I do that, I might not be able to even get on the plane in the first place. I can write this article, sure, but not everyone is willing to lug around a laptop like me. And this is a gaming laptop, so the battery life is for shit anyway; it’ll die just before boarding. If only there was something that I could play games on that I wouldn’t have to worry about if the battery ran out. Why aren’t things like that relevant anymore?  Continue reading Handheld Games Are Still Important, Shut Up

A Bit Of Opinion: Pokemon Shuffle

Choices for free-to-play games are slim on the 3DS. That may make sense considering phones are a much more ubiquitous device, but when Pokemon Shuffle was announced my interest was piqued. The concept of a free, match-three Candy Crush type of thing on a 3DS wasn’t something I’d considered before, and for whatever reason, I was pretty excited to try it out. Continue reading A Bit Of Opinion: Pokemon Shuffle

A Bit Of Opinion: Apotheon

The level of critical acclaim for what in my eyes is one of the worst games of 2015 so far is puzzling me like nothing in even The Talos Principle ever did. Apotheon is receiving virtually no serious negative press – Steam reviews are at 96% positive, it’s receiving ratings upwards of 7 across the board, and hell, Destructoid has declared it “apotheonestly great”.

Are they being hypnotized by some kind of swinging pendulum hidden in the game’s stylish pottery art design that only affects professional journalists? They must be, just as they are every time an indie with spunk comes bounding down the aisles of the digital store, and explodes all over every shelf in the vicinity.

This game is a hot fucking mess. A sometimes fine, sometimes knee-deep layer of baffling design and broken interactivity has seeped all the way through to the bottom of Apotheon. Next to no facets of the game are spared from the onslaught of unpolished gameplay.

Continue reading A Bit Of Opinion: Apotheon

China, the Ouya, and the Future of Console Games

Today, Ouya announced that it had received an investment from China’s Alibaba Group. Along with the investment comes an agreement for Ouya to port their software to Alibaba’s YunOS. These are the potential first steps towards the eventual goal of selling Ouyas in China, perhaps the first plan for console distribution in the country since it recently lifted its ban on video game consoles. This is perhaps the last chance for the Ouya to become as successful as it seemed it would be in its Kickstarter days. If it does, it may cause a major shift in the console market around the world.

Is that really a good thing?

Continue reading China, the Ouya, and the Future of Console Games

A Bit Of Opinion: Peggle 2

Playing Peggle 2 is a bit like listening to modern Maroon 5. Early Maroon 5 is something no one should be ashamed to admit they like. It’s great music. The same goes for the original Peggle, a humble little game with just the right amount of everything it’s possible to have too much of. It was just the right balance of challenging and relaxing, its humor didn’t come off as shitty video game humor and was instead merely charming, and it didn’t feel like a million dollars was poured into it.

Clearing levels in Peggle 2, however, is the equivalent of hearing Adam Levine’s vocals whine over Maroon 5’s latest electropop turd – it’s catchy, it works, but it leaves me wondering “Where’s the funk?”. Continue reading A Bit Of Opinion: Peggle 2

Brothers: Narratively Self-Satisfied, Narratively Bankrupt

Fifteen dollars for a gorgeous, varied, and engaging platformer may not seem like anything special in 2015 (you can look at Steam for five minutes and find a few games that check at least two of those boxes), but few of them are the same sort of thing as Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons. Brothers is more like a film than any platformer I’ve played, for better or for worse, and in more ways than one. It doesn’t seem to know what to do with its story ambitions however, and despite having an extremely solid footing when it comes to core gameplay, still reaches for that extra boost of narrative excellence that always evades its grasp.

Henceforth: Spoilers.

Continue reading Brothers: Narratively Self-Satisfied, Narratively Bankrupt