Sea of Thieves: Style that severely lacks substance

It should be common knowledge for any aspiring game developers that an audience’s investment in your game is driven by a “reward system.”

Unfortunately the rallied developers at Rare (which has been resurrected as an empty shell of its former self) were more focused on spectacle than good game design.

Companies like EA Games and Ubisoft sabotage their own good games with imbalanced micro-transactions that are “pay-to-win.” Rare didn’t commit this cardinal sin. They did, however, commit the same sin as “No Man’s Sky.”

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The worthlessness of Top 10 lists

The Media 10 name originated from me wanting to create a website of Top 10s.

It was early on in the decade just before Buzzfeed hammered “list” articles into the ground which subsequently perpetuated clickbait content across the web.

More clicks, more ad revenue. This isn’t rocket science. It’s also a plague transmitted by the consolidation of corporate media.

Anyway, I’ll lower my pitchfork and step down from my soapbox… for now.

So yeah, lists were everywhere. Not only were they a mine for ad revenue, but they were easy to write and easily digestible for the reader.

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The heart of Stardew Valley

We’ve seen this game before in many variations. Harvest Moon helped streamline simulation-RPGs in the 90s. Animal Crossing helped popularize the genre as well.

Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One won’t be the first film about simulation gaming. However, it once again introduces the conversation about how we embrace alternate realities and what we can learn about ourselves from them

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EA: The company who took on the world

If you’ve been a gamer this past decade you’d know that the gaming community has been at war with micro-transactions for some time now.

There has been no worse perpetrator than Electronic Arts.

Voted multiple times as the worst company in America. Yes, below oil companies, lobbying firms, and all of America’s internet companies that have borderline monopolies. Isn’t that insane?

Let’s talk a bit about micro-transactions. I listened to an interview once that the profit that comes in from micro-transactions is substantial and often laps the initial profit of the video game. Here’s where there argument gets a little more valid: Continue reading

Video Game: My 8 picks for original XBOX backward compatibility

Video Game: My 8 picks for original XBOX backward compatibility

One of the more exciting moments of e3 2017 was Microsoft’s announcement to expand their backward compatibility program to original XBOX titles.

There are a lot of great titles we could see from “Fable” to franchises like “Splinter Cell” and “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” Those are some runner-ups, but here are 8 games I’d really like to see:

8. Mercenaries

This game was a ton of fun. I still distinctly remember the many tactics you could use to approach a level. Also blowing shit up was fun.

7. Freedom Fighters

“Freedom Fighters” was a real cheesy game and it was as imperfect as they get. It was also one of my favorite third-person shooters in my youth. I would love to raise that American flag again.

6. Halo CE/Halo 2

I know it’s unlikely that they’ll resurrect the servers for “Halo 2,” and I know we have the ever-broken “Master Chief Collection” to play some of these titles, but I want it all. All the maps, all the game types, etc.

5. Destroy All Humans

“Grand Theft Auto” with aliens! Few things are more satisfying in life than running around a 50s suburban town throwing cars and people around. This is destruction-porn at its best and one of the most satisfying experiences as a gamer.

4. Prince of Persia trilogy

If we just get “Sands of Time” it’s still a yuggge victory. This is one of the greatest story-driven franchises of all time. Modern parkour games including “Assassin’s Creed” pale in comparison.

3. XIII

If we’re talking games with good storylines, XIII is one of the best. This game works mechanically, stylistically, and has so many strong twists and turns in narrative. One of the few games I’ve gone back and beat multiple times.

2. Burnout 3: Takedown

Let’s go back to “satisfying experiences.” Can anyone name anything in any video game more satisfying than taking down a rival racer in “Burnout 3”? Still considered one of the greatest racing games of all time, I would love to revisit this masterpiece

1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

This has to happen. Before Bioware created the best trilogy in video game history with Mass Effect, they made this masterpiece. “KOTOR” is still widely considered the greatest “Star Wars” game ever made as well as one of the greatest games of its generation.

Video Game: BioShock (3/4)

Video Game: BioShock – 3/4

I’m a little late to this party. BioShock was huge in 2007 when it was released. Does it still hold up? Meh.

What 2K was able to create with the Unreal Engine was remarkable for its time. When franchises started dominating the medium, and Modern Warfare was being birthed, BioShock made an exclamation that single-player story driven games could still carry their weight.

The graphics don’t entirely hold up, but the atmosphere does and very well so. The story is minimal, but effective.

Single player games often take a “blank slate” approach to their lead protagonist to allow the player to project themselves unto them. We see bland characters like Link, Master Chief, Commander Shepard. From the get-go the ambitions and motivations of our character are fuzzy.

The story uses this skepticism to its advantage. The twist is partially predictable (Atlas being a villain), but the origins and manipulation of your character aren’t.

Also with the blank slate approach, we become obsessed with the upgrades and mods to our character. However in BioShock they are a bit excessive and exhaustive to maintain.

All in all it was a fond experience and the game deserves all the accolades it received upon release. BioShock ran on the Unreal Engine 2.5 and the mechanics were great for its time. Borderlands 2 runs on the version 3. BL2 runs with online co-op up to four players. I could see a game like BioShock running co-op multiplayer in today’s day and age.

Gallery: Sonic the Hedgehog

soniccartridgeGallery: Sonic the Hedgehog

You can’t tell the story of a company’s mascot without knowing the history of the company first. The story of Sega begins where most good stories begin – World War II.

During WWII the number of men stationed at military bases had increased. Businessmen Martin Bromley, Irving Bromberg, and James Humpert saw a potential market regarding how soldiers spent their spare time.

They formed a company called “Standard Games” in Honolulu, Hawaii. Their company provided military bases with coin-operated amusement machines most of which were slot machines.800px-Slot_machines_at_Wookey_Hole_CavesAfter the war the company changed their name to “Service Games” when they started seeing Japan (which was under Allied occupation) as a potential market. Well, in 1951 the government of the United States started outlawing slot machines. The company moved their base to Tokyo and changed their name again to “Service Games of Japan.”
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