This Fan has Reimagined the Original 151 Pokémon as Hearthstone Cards [PC Gamer] “Thanks to a Redditor named Corpit, the original 151 Pokémon have been reimagined as Hearthstone cards. [Full Imgur Album]"I tried to capture the character of each species while trying to make them unique as cards too," Corpit said.”
PlayStation Vita: Is It Better to Burn Bright Than to Fade Away? [Playstation Lifestyle] “For PlayStation Vita, Sony hasn’t cut ties with its beloved handheld just yet. Third-party AAA support may be dwindling, but perhaps out of necessity the device has become more of a thriving hotspot for indie darlings, quirky Japanese titles and tactile platformers, and less a platform that boasts console gaming on the go. It’s been a funny old road for Sony’s handheld, though signs point to the PlayStation Vita motoring on for the foreseeable future, even if the Japanese platform holder’s attention, marketing and stage time will soon be occupied by PlayStation VR. The install base may have plateaued, but so long as the two-fold relationship between developers supporting the device and consumers picking up those ports — not matter how long they take to arrive — Vita will continue to exist as “the platform that could.” Let’s just hope we’ll be saying the same when its 5th birthday rolls around.” [more inside]
A History of Deus Ex's Racism Controversies [New Normative] “With futuristic, sci-fi sequel Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [YouTube], developer Eidos Montreal has once again found itself walking atop the fiery coals of controversy. The developer first landed itself in trouble by referring to the game’s poor treatment of augmented humans (‘augs’ are treated as second class citizens, forced to live in ghettos) as the ‘Mechanical Apartheid.’ Apartheid is the term used to describe the horrific, and very real, period of segregation and oppression faced by black South Africans during the 20th century (1948-94). Many have questioned whether it is appropriate for the term, which is based on the South African language of Afrikaans (which is itself based upon the Dutch language, introduced to the territory by Dutch settlers) to be adapted and used as a slogan in a video game. In subsequent marketing materials – concept art created to further depict this oppression – the movement in favour of better treatment of augmented people is referred to as ‘Aug Lives Matter. It’s an unmistakeable and questionable nod of the head to the real-world movement for the better treatment of black people, Black Lives Matter.” [more inside]
Owlboy Is A Masterful Tale of Transcending Disability [Kill Screen] “It is striking, to say the least, that a game which has the levity and freewheeling inventiveness of a Studio Ghibli film introduces its hero with a sequence of cold abuse. But this is the unlikely balance that Owlboy [YouTube] achieves. From its unforgettable opening sequence to its equally devastating conclusion, the game never lets us forget that its hero is an unusually vulnerable one. He can’t even defend himself when the local owl bullies—cheekily named Fib and Bonacci—tease him. Nor does Otus gain fabulous new powers as the story goes on to deal with all the strife; the most he can do is stun foes with a stylish twirl of his cloak and escape.” [more inside]
In an email to its users, Dropbox has announced that their Public folders would be made private. Problem is, there's a game that's exclusively hosted in such a way: the completely insane Mastaba Snoopy (previously). Fortunately, the Internet Archive (which recently made the news by being serious about moving to Canada, previously) has a copy, as it does of a ridiculous number of things. If right-clicked and downloaded, the formatting is slightly altered, but no biggie. You may also choose to download it from the original source while you can (everything past first space in filename including .html will be removed - easily fixed by hand). (Content warning: body horror, sorta-sexual-kinda reference.) (Official game thread - creator's last reply was just last October, wow) [more inside]
The Hi-Bit Era (D-Pad Studios) While these games may be paying homage to the 16-bit era that started with the Super Nintendo (1990) and Sega Mega Drive (1988, a.k.a. Genesis), they're working beyond the limitations of the tech in the 90s. It's got me thinking, that pixel art games have entered a new era.
Mass Effect: Andromeda [YouTube] The journey to Andromeda begins now. Navigate the uncharted reaches of the Andromeda Galaxy to unravel its mysteries, discover vivid alien worlds, and lead the charge to find a new home among the stars. How far will you go to become humanity’s hero? [more inside]
Our long Pokemon nightmare is over! The much talked around in-game tracker is now live in all of the continental United States and spreading to the UK, just in time for the eighth migration.
The True Story Of Nintendo's Most Coveted Game [ESPN] “The game calls out to collectors. It is seductive because of its rarity but also a testament to the darker side of a hobby reaching new heights of popularity. It isn't a good game. It's a boring game. Released in 1987 by the Japanese company Bandai, Stadium Events [wiki] was made for a piece of peripheral hardware called the Family Fun Fitness mat. Playing it required jumping on the mat's sensors to emulate running, the characters in the game sprinting, hurdling in accord with how fast the player could go. The graphics weren't anything special. The easiest way to play was to give up running and crouch in front of the pad and slap your hands on the sensors as fast as possible -- cheating.”
“If there’s a bathroom, there should be a toilet. And if there’s a toilet, it should flush. It’s these little pieces of seemingly pointless interactivity that maintain the illusion of being inside a functional other place, not just a place-shaped box.” - What virtual toilets can teach us about the art of game design
There's a line of arcade video games, with names like Fish Hunter, Dragon Hunter and King of Treasures, that are increasingly being targeted by authorities as gambling devices. You may have one in a local game room (set to dispense tickets probably) under the name Harpoon Lagoon. [more inside]
There's a fairly well-established pattern of events that surround MMOs transitioning to a free-to-play model. First, the existing players freak out and try desperately to convince the game studio not to do it. Then the articles about the death of that MMO begin appearing in the gaming press. Then the studio insists that "no, no, everything's fine." Then the layoffs and server shutdowns begin. So why is it that when EVE Online developer CCP announced that they were going F2P, it was met by near-universal enthusiasm from the player base? Well, EVE has always been a little different. [more inside]
"my friends want not to be repulsed, to recognize their own tastes, and to find depth." In a reflection/manifesto Brie Code explores non-game-playing audiences and how to design games for them. [more inside]
SAG-AFTRA, an actors’ union, represents a number of voice actors in video games. And on October 21st, they went on strike against video game employers: Activision, Take 2, Electronic Arts, WB Games, and several talent agencies, including Blindlight, Disney, and VoiceWorks. They've been tweeting with #PerformanceMatters since before the strike started. [more inside]
Meridian 59 is one of the longest running original online role-playing games. Launched in 1996, the game was a commercial venture until 2009 and the game files were open sourced in 2012. The once massively multiplayer online game now is rarely hosting more than twenty people at a time, the last survivors of Meridian 59. [via]
Have you ever wondered what your graphics card is doing every time it displays one frame of a game? Turns out quite a lot. [more inside]
Video games, of course, are lousy with taverns, and in taverns you will invariably encounter bards. Some are kind of lousy, some are really quite good, some won't stop singing about you, and a few might even be trying to kill you. If there's no bard around, you can make some music yourself! Grab a guitar (or a lute I guess) and a few of your friends. Sure, a few murder ballads might be nice while you drain a pint, but don't forget you can also sing while you work!
Now is a great time to get into 2D fighting games, with major recent releases like Street Fighter V and The King of Fighters XIV. It's not immediately obvious that, at their heart, they're about controlling space, so it's easy for beginners to not even understand even the basic gameplan. This series of tutorial videos for Street Fighter will teach you the fundamentals of how the genre works. Feeling a little more ambitious? Want something a little faster, looser, and more exciting than Street Fighter? Why not check out DandyJ's Beginner's Incomplete Guide to KOF (and part 2) and learn the fundamentals of King of Fighters, a series that, by the video's own admission, you probably aren't familiar with if you're from an English-speaking country.
The State of PC Piracy in 2016 [PC Gamer] “Piracy seems like it should be so simple, right? Stealing games is wrong. The end. But piracy is one of the most charged, complex, and divisive debates in gaming. Follow a piracy discussion long enough and it will spiral through issues as complicated as international economic policy, the concept of 'ownership' for digital property, game preservation, and the principle of the PC as an unrestricted technology platform. Piracy in 2016, the age of digital distribution, indie gaming, and Steam’s dominance, is a different animal from the PC piracy of 1990 or 2000 or 2010. Unlicensed software distribution is just as illegal as it was when Don’t Copy That Floppy was a meaningful anti-piracy strategy, but our own understanding of the crime and its motivations haven’t kept pace with technology.” [more inside]
Jimmy Maher of The Digital Antiquarian tells the story of Sierra Entertainment's gamble on the MS-DOS/IMB platform shaped PC gaming as we know it: from creating the first game with a cinematic score (and later helping to make the Sound Blaster a standard feature of home PCs); to pioneering the genre of adventure games with rich storytelling; to a female-friendly marketing and design strategy that was decades ahead of its time.
NO BS, JUST SHOOTING - DOOM overview is a heartfelt game review from Life of Boris. Boris will inform you about many aspects of Slav life, including How to squat like slav and Why Slavs wear Adidas. Also Russian language. [more inside]
It's been a month since Pokemon GO was first unleashed in a few countries. Now with most of the world going outside, the servers somewhat stable, yet tracking eliminated and a bug that make the game harder, how's your Pokedex coming along?
Nintendo has shocked the gaming community by announcing the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, a "new" version of its legendary NES hardware which will cost $59.99 in the US. It connects to your TV via HDMI and comes with that classic NES pad, which can also be used with your Wii or Wii U. [more inside]
Skyrim Remastered [The Verge] Nearly five years after it first came out, Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues to have a very impressive fan base that keeps the game pretty through HD mods. Now it's Bethesda's turn: at its E3 press conference, the company has announced a remastered version of Skyrim coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. [more inside]
Did you ever realize that the word "Hallelujah" has the same syllable count and stress pattern as "Waluigi?"
SO!: It's a Cold and a Broken Waluigi - And here, with adjusted lyrics (but without the voice) [more inside]
SO!: It's a Cold and a Broken Waluigi - And here, with adjusted lyrics (but without the voice) [more inside]
Overwatch goes online May 24, 8AM KST. Releasing its first brand-new universe in almost two decades, Blizzard is launching a new game today. Borrowing and polishing gameplay and design elements from classic team shooters such as Team Fortress and Titanfall, Overwatch is one of the most eagerly anticipated games of 2016. [more inside]
While a technical analysis can show you why it looks so good, its storytelling ambitions are also innovative. It was strongly influenced by film, yet some feel that AAA games are already better than blockbuster films. Some find them so immersive, they don't want to finish. [more inside]
It's 1996 and you've been hired as a game tester by Sega's Test Department. How will you get acquainted with the corporate culture? Lucky for you, Sega has commissioned a "trainumentary": This is SEGA TEST
One of the most infamously bad NES licensed games ever released, Friday the 13th is known for its obtuseness and difficulty. Still, there's many who see an interesting design buried beneath Pack-In Software's incompetence, even inspiring an action figure based on its odd Jason Voorhees sprite, and it's for those people that YouTube filmmakers TripleZeroFilms created a 50-page, full-color, illustrated strategy guide (with its own trailer video!) for this unpolished gem in the extremely rough. [more inside]
Based originally on a description in a story by Andy Looney, the game of Icehouse was a board game without a board, played in real time without turns with a set of colored pyramids in three sizes. It still has its fans, and you can find some pretty detailed fan stuff out there on the internet regarding the game of Icehouse. Over the years, though, people found ways to use such enticingly generic game pieces for far, far more… [more inside]
Perhaps you've heard of the recent release of the 120-sided die, which is certainly impressive in its way but not really that… weird. If you're really looking to stand out, why not order yourself some 34-sided dice?
As if strategy gamers didn't have enough devouring their free time between Stellaris and XCOM 2, Firaxis have just announced Civilization 6. [more inside]
Steam's turned toxic, and Valve doesn't care. A tale of community vs. technological moderation. [more inside]
Not everyone has smiled benignly upon D&D. That is reflected in this offering from Retro Report, a series of video documentaries examining major news stories of the past
Big Play Films, the YouTube channel of PBF’s Nicholas Gurewitch (pre vi ous ly) has released a new video, “Mushroom Kingdom of Heaven.” [more inside]
Supper Mario Broth is a wonderfully obsessive blog devoted to all sorts of Super Mario Brothers minutia. Really, you are not prepared for this. Things like.... [more inside]
League of Legends has 67 million players and grossed an estimated US$1.25 billion in revenue last year. But it also has a reputation for toxic in-game behaviour, which its parent company, Riot Games in Los Angeles, California, sees as an obstacle to attracting and retaining players. So the company has hired a team of researchers to study the social — and antisocial — interactions between its users.
Turns out adopting a dog in Skyrim is the hardest quest in the game... [via Alas! A blog] [more inside]
Virtual Reality, a tech geek dream for decades, was long hobbled by high latency, clunky hardware, and perennially absurd reports on network news. That all changed in 2011, when Palmer Luckey, then 18, built the first Oculus Rift prototype in his parents' garage with iPhone repair money. Awed by its powerful sense of presence, developer John Carmack became a fan and demoed it at E3. The ensuing Kickstarter campaign shattered all fundraising goals, and Facebook controversially bought the rights for a whopping $2 billion -- alienating erstwhile partner Valve Software, the iconic creators of Half-Life/Portal/Steam. A Cambrian explosion of headsets followed: Morpheus, HoloLens, Google Cardboard, Gear VR. But perhaps most interesting is Valve's own counter-project: a breathtaking "room scale" VR set-up with Tron-like "Chaperone" and tracked motion controls called the HTC Vive. With this week's commercial launch of Rift and Vive bringing us to the threshold of a new interactive medium, look inside for guides, notes, and killer apps for this, the stunning arrival of consumer VR. [more inside]
Tabletop Gaming has a White Male Terrorism Problem (TW: nasty stuff)
Remember when Valve founder Gabe Newell called Windows 8 and its Windows Store a "catastophe" for the industry? Now another founder of a hugely important PC software company has come out against the Windows Store in a Guardian op-ed. [more inside]
Play ColonelQuest, the 8-bit, "historically accurate" video game based on Colonel Harlan Sanders' mythological life, that is part of its hipster makeover to improve flagging sales.
AD&DRP: Actually, this is your grandmother's AD&D.
The always-excellent Shmuplations has translated a 2011 interview about the creation of classic NES game Rockman, known in the US as Mega Man, and its sequel. It's a great depiction of the creative process relating to game development.
Colin Hanson, aka Active_ate, goes through the original (fan-translated) version of Final Fantasy V with only a single Time Mage character, and provides complete, exhaustive details of how this feat was achieved: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3. From retrogaming enthusiast site Skirmishfrogs. [more inside]