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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SN: Video Game movies need to make money this year

Assassins-Creed-1SN: Video Game movies need to make money this year

I’m talking specifically about “Warcraft” and “Assassin’s Creed” to films coming out in 2016 that are based off of very successful games. Both of which are likely to make little money, especially given the history of Video Game movies.

“Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” was the most financially successful video game movie, and it was still considered a box office bomb. And after so many failed attempts can we really expect the film industry, which is about business first and art second, to invest more money into these adaptations?
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Essay: Making Radical Decisions in the Telltale Game Universe

f1b28ebcf70dd7a490f6c6be6662c55e2ac8aa3e-telltale-s-game-of-thrones-review-for-ps4-jpeg-186882Essay: Making Radical Decisions in the Telltale Game Universe

When I first played Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” I wasn’t fully immersed until I was forced to make a complicated decision at the end of episode two. I faced an atypical moral dilemma – kill this guy or don’t kill this guy?

Without spoiling too much, the guy who had put my group (the characters I was starting to love) through hell was finally pinned down by my character, Lee. The guy continued to call Lee weak, even as Lee held a pitchfork over him, but he wasn’t just calling Lee weak – he was calling me weak. I took it personally and killed that character.
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SN: The simplicity of Good vs. Evil

file_611766_Sicario-Trailer-Emily-Blunt-Clouds-320SN: The simplicity of Good vs. Evil

The idea of good vs. evil is as old as time. It’s reflected in countless religions, myths, and art dating back thousands of years. I’ve seen several films, television shows, and played several video games that demonstrated that Good vs. Evil is too simplistic of a concept.

I had the pleasure of screening Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario” a few days before its release, and it was tremendous. A beautiful film that reiterated the point that there is a fine line between good and evil. To say someone is inherently good or evil is to diminish what it is to be human. Humans are flawed, all of us with sporadic good and bad qualities.
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Essay: What happened to Rareware?

maxresdefaultEssay:  What happened to Rareware?

When I was a child we lived pretty far away from the nearest Blockbuster. We had just bought the Nintendo 64, with the courtesy “Star Wars: Pod Racing” cartridge and were looking to dive into some more games. So we were roaming the modest selection of rental games at our local Food Fair.

Many Nintendo 64 owners dove into the milestone of 3D gaming with “Super Mario 64” or “The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.” Well unfortunately, those games were always being rented every time we went to Food Fair. One day we decided that “Donkey Kong 64” looked pretty fun.

From the moment we powered up that cartridge, a whole new world of gaming possibilities were open to us. To this day people ask me why I loved “Donkey Kong 64” so much. It was a giant cluster of collectibles and repetitive gameplay. But to me, it will always be a nostalgic portal to the past. One of the best games of all time. Continue reading