Top Stories guest editorial
- 10 Things I Learnt Acting Out XCOM In Real Life
- How To Beat 400 Games In 4.5 Years
- What It's Like To Play Games When You're Colourblind
- The Tropical Island Dilemma: Challenging Video Games' Stereotypes
- A Brief @!#?ing History Of Swearing In Video Games
- How To Buy A Lot Of Video Games With Very Little Money
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This Week In Games
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The new XCOM board game sounds phenomenal, but last month I played a different kind of XCOM board game. Watch the Skies was a day-long game run by the UK Society of Megagame Makers. “Megagame” is a name that doesn’t disappoint — each one features dozens of players controlling small parts of a massive story.
Why is game balance important in a singleplayer game? It’s a question many players often ask rhetorically, but there are many important reasons why balance should be a strong focus, even in RPGs that focus on singleplayer experiences. Balance isn’t necessarily about seeing what character builds are more powerful when put head to head, but about understanding the different types of challenges those characters will face when going through the game.
When Hyperdimension Neptunia first made its way West from Japan in 2011, folks weren’t too happy with it. “Worthless” and “sexist” and “stereotypical” were the sentiments thrown around, because we were seeing cute anime girls being silly and wearing short skirts. But the stated purpose of the series is to make fun of the games industry, and when I look deeper it seems evident that Neptunia is also lampooning the very pervasive sexist culture and tropes it’s been accused of perpetuating. This so-called “sexist” franchise is actually, ahem, anti-sexist.
The first time I realised my colour blindness was affecting how I played games was back in 2004. EA was fresh off of MVP Baseball 2004 and was looking to improve on a game that I still hold as one of the best sports titles of all time. Their big addition for MVP Baseball 2005 was the Hitter’s Eye, a mechanic designed to simulate how hitters pick up different pitches coming out of a pitcher’s hand. The ball would stay white for a fastball, or flash red or green for a breaking ball or changeup respectively.
We’re coming up on Evo, the biggest fighting game tournament in America. It will run Friday to Sunday from Las Vegas and be streamed online for the world to see. It will be the biggest Evo yet. But maybe you aren’t prepared — there are eight completely different games at this one event, after all, and what makes them exciting are beautiful and particular nuances that even the best commentators tend not to take the time to explain.
In December of 1999, at the tender age of 11, I received Donkey Kong 64. It was a birthday gift from my parents and even came with a shiny yellow controller, although sadly not the limited edition banana one. Regardless, I popped it in my N64 (after inserting the expansion pack, of course) and snapped the power button on.