Category: General

In the games of old, everything was simpler. You got one character, one weapon and a handful of abilities. Mario was Mario and a sword was a sword. As the years have come and gone, however, the idea of “loot” has become more and more prominent. Loot gives players a sense of progression, reward and personal accomplishment, and the birth of the “loot box” has transformed that even further. What used to be a neat little bonus has become an integral part of game progression. Will we ever reach a point where we say we’ve had enough? Continue reading

The early 2000s are home to some of my fondest childhood memories. Organized sports, slumber parties, the Cell Saga and, admittedly, Total Request Live. The turn of the century was a cultural apex to which many of my current tastes can be traced, including my obsession with video games. This era was dominated by the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, but at the time, I gravitated toward the familiar. The Nintendo Gamecube and the Sega Dreamcast were my childhood consoles of choice and I played just about everything on those bad boys, from Soul Caliber to Zelda and back. But of all the games I played in these very formative years, it was Sonic and his unlikely companions that have stuck with me the longest. And no, I’m not talking about Tails or Knuckles or Dr. Eggman. I’m talking, of course, about Chao. Continue reading

It’s amazing how much time we had as kids to play games. I could easily play eight hours of video games in a single night. Today is much different. We have jobs, lives and commitments that have reduced our free time to just a small fraction of what it once was. Time is sacred now, and we must choose how we spend it wisely. I’ve been a gamer for over 20 years and I’ve learned a lot about video games in that time. But the most important things I’ve learned are three simple ways to enjoy games without sacrificing everything else. Continue reading

“Clementine will remember that.”

The first time I read those words, a wave of dread instantly overcame me. It was like my decision had put me on a path down a forked road, unable to go back and retread my steps. My decision was final and the story pressed on, solidifying a future I had yet to discover. It wasn’t until Episode 3 of Telltale’s The Walking Dead did I realize that all my choices were inevitably leading to one, maybe two, endings. This “storytelling” genre of games is a growing one, and one I thoroughly enjoy, but for all the growth the genre has had over the years, there are still developers out there that have played it too safe and made their “stories” tired and predictable in the process. Continue reading

Need for Speed. It’s a name we have all known for decades. What began in the 90’s as a true-to-life simulation racing game quickly became the high-action arcade racer we know today. Throughout the years, Electronic Arts (EA) has had many wins and just as many misses with this franchise, but it continues to hold a special place in my heart for its ability to capture the thrill of driving for everyone. This franchise still has the potential to build something few others can; a thriving world with a need for speed. But the newly announced Payback isn’t the answer. So what is?

Continue reading

From the moment I started the first God of War in 2005, I knew I was playing something special. The introduction alone was one of the most intense, white knuckle experiences I had ever had playing video games. The combat was visceral, the story was mysterious and compelling, and Kratos, the game’s anti-hero, kept me wanting. A cursed Spartan warrior seeking to end his torment brought on by his sins and hubris? Count me in. You would think, then, that the newest God of War coming to the PS4 next year would have me frothing at the mouth. Well…not quite. Continue reading

I’m headed to the airport now. Billboards whizzing by, nerdy reminders of what brought me to Los Angeles. The promise of huge games, bright lights and awesome tech. I’m nearly 24 hours removed from my E3 experience and you know what? I can confidently say that it wasn’t great. No, this doesn’t mean I hated it or that it was all for naught, but what it does mean is that, holistically, it didn’t sit right with me. Believe me, I wish that weren’t the case. Last year’s conference was an absolute blast and I had high hopes that I’d find myself feeling the same this year. Not this time. Not even close.

Continue reading

E3’s developer conferences have all come and gone and the show floor is now open for business. I’ve had a bit of time to sit on the announcements of the last few days and am collectively both surprised and disappointed. I went into this year expecting a lot from certain folks and less from others but have found those realities to be completely flipped. Overall, this year’s conferences were “OK.” These are my thoughts.

Continue reading

It is 9 AM PST on a Friday here in beautiful Los Angeles, California and you can feel it in the air already.  It’s a very special feeling.  A nervous excitement with a hint of dread and, dare I say, arousal. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the biggest show in all of video games, a worldly event where anything can happen, and it is finally here. This year’s show is shaping up to one of the best ones yet made even better with the addition of two of my buddies alongside me on the show floor.  But the show floor isn’t even the best part of this week long event.  EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo will all be having individual press conferences leading up to the show itself. This is where the magic happens. These are the stages that brought us the Nintendo DS, the $299 Playstation, and, most recently, Breath of the Wild. This is where it counts. 24 hours separates us from the first of these wonderful conferences. I’d like to detail my expectations for them now. Continue reading

Stories are traditionally told in three parts: the setup, the confrontation and the resolution. Movies, TV shows and even video games follow this structure. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, however, does not. In fact, it tells no story at all. Instead, it tells its stories dynamically through the individual experiences of its players. No two stories are the same, making for rich experiences that you just have to share with others. I may have changed some names, but the stories I’m telling are true; these are my stories from the Battlegrounds. Continue reading

Scroll to top