My Anime of Old

I’ve been on a bit of an anime kick again lately but tinted of trying out all the new interesting  titles I’ve been meaning to I’ve instead hopped in the nostalgia train and began watching all my old favourite animes.

And doing that I thought I’d take the opportunity to write what those are and why I loved them so much.

Continue reading

Best Indie of 2015

A list that is a little bit late but still, I hope part of the Listmas thingy. This time I look at all the amazing indie games coming out in 2015; puzzlers, platformers and a wealth of interesting rpg’s. It’s going to be another great year for indie titles.

Continue reading

My Most Influential Games

There are a few people doing lists of their most influential games at the moment. To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to bother. My memory is bad at the best of times and trying to remember what games I enjoyed and that influenced me seemed like it would be rather hard and a frustrating endeavour.

Then of course Izlain of Me vs Myslef and I issued the challenge and, as it turns out, remembering such games was actually reasonably easy, The games that do influence you seem to warp your memory around them; the memory itself becomes held in place firmly within the emotional, environmental and personal context of the time. The physicality of it all comes back as well, as secondary to the memory of the game so you can vividly remember those blissful moments

These are the ones I’d be hard pressed to forget, a lot of these are even some of the clearest memories and feelings from the time. Anyway, here we go in no particular order.

Continue reading

Listmas 2013: Prettiest indie’s

I’ve been addicted to the AAA scene for some time now. The search for amazing graphical experiences has always been a part of my gaming interests, it something you just can’t help at times. However, while I’m still amazed by these big budget environments and experiences I’ve grown to love the aesthetic brilliance of the Indies out there as well.

The realistically portrayal of environments is at and all time high, showing us visions from the world and many fantasy landscapes You can’t beat that, but, many indie games don’t try to. Coming from the lack of resources is an astounding amount of creativity for mechanics, for story, and pure beauty. They constantly bring us charm, wit and artistic visions that are brought to life before us.

I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been paying more attention to the indie scene or whether there has just been an amazing collection of titles to come out this year but I’ve been captured by their brilliance. Most of all, I have fallen in love with some of the prettiest games out their, wonderful aesthetics in a variety of styles showing all manner of environments.

And here’s my top 5 prettiest, most amazingly beautiful Indies of the year

Shelter

Who knew a game about being a mother badger protecting their young can be one of the most engaging and emotional titles of the year. What made it more was a unique art style that I could only describe as some sort of scrapbook collage yet it created some amazing visuals. Painterly but oh so pretty.

shelter

Starbound

While I’m still not entirely convinced about the brilliance of its mechanics and its ability to succeed Terraria I would be remiss if I didn’t mention just how truly spectacular the visuals can be. It is procedural generated beauty at times with the combination of planets, biome, flora and fauna creating unique environments that truly captivate.

starbound

Wolf among us

From Telltale studios comes another amazing interactive story but this time I think they outdid themsleves with the amazing cell shaded style of characters and environments. Characters that are colourful with depth, backgrounds that seem to leap forwards due to the attention to detail and textures, and a wonderful colour palette that blends together to create a unique but beautiful world.

TheWolfAmongUs

Kentucky route zero

Drifting across the countryside in an eerie and haunting tale that confounds and yet breeds wonder at every step. It is something that really can’t be described but is more felt and the lovely style brings out this abstract expressionist nature. It somehow reminds me of the animation tools we used to use in high school that were a combination of paint and a flip book drawing yet, no matter how simple it seems it transcends its own boundaries becoming something more akin to art.

KentuckyRouteZero

Fez

What can I say about Fez that hasn’t already been said. It exudes the same charm and warmth of its predecessor while still creating an aesthetic that is unique to it. Interesting mechanics, wonderful world and a retro appeal you can’t resist

FEZ

But wait, there’s more. There are a huge amount of delightfully indulgent visual treats out there; and I couldn’t with all conscious miss out a few other titles on this list.

The disqualified for technically coming out last year award goes to Hotline Miami. A mix of chaos, colours and captivating beauty in a top down bit trip style. Bloody but brilliant.

The disqualified for not having played but planning to do so award goes to Ni No Kuni. How could something co created by the Studio Gibli not be the prettiest thing ever imagined. They created a genre that exudes cuteness and has an inherent warmth to its characters and world

And finally, the beautiful but Disqualified for being Ubisoft award goes to Rayman Legends. An absolutely perfect puzzler with a mix of interesting mechanics, an appeal to collective and competitive impulses and gorgeous environments.

Rayman Legends

Thanks all and leave a comment below on your own favourite indie beauty below.. do it.. now…

Don’t make me bite you in hard to reach places!

The Year of MMO Development and Rebirth

2013 has pretty much been the year of MMO development and marketing. There have been constant teasers of videos, screenshots, concept art, and mechanics being unveiled throughout the year that make me drool with excitement at times. Some great titles are out there like Archeage, Black Desert, Wildstar, The Elder Scrolls, Everquest Next, World of Darkness and a couple more but they are all in development and now that Wildstar has put out a 2014 release date it looks like the year is pretty much over for interesting new releases.

In terms of play time it seems the biggest winner of the year is Guild Wars 2 which has run for the entire year pretty much uncontested by anything resembling a popular product… well beside you know, the giant shadow in the corner. GW2 released in 2012 though so it is kind of disqualified here I guess. Anywho I thought I’d do A recap on the year now that in terms of mmo releases it’s pretty much over

  • Firefall

This is of course my pick of the year as I’m honestly hard pressed picking out a product I had more fun in then it. I just like the shooty gameplay, the non forced progression, and the focus on crafting and economy which no mmo has done this in-depth for years. It’s an mmo I have written about a lot lately that has a strong vision and one that I am interested to see more of.
Firefall Purple Sunset

  • Final Fantasy 14

A recent release that I’m kind of impressed with so far but rather reserved with certain mechanics and how it ends up. It offers a lot of that old school mmo feeling with the long cast, tab target combat, the extensive questing and just the general mechanics. This could be a good or a bad thing.. haven’t decided yet but it’s one of the better mmo’s of the year  which if you think about it is a rather depressing thought.

    ffxiv

  • Neverwinter

It started out as a game with a certain amount of promise but ended up extremely dissatisfying. The combat was ok but forgettable, the dungeons meh, balance issues of the trinity a big complaint, and the instanced nature felt entirely restrictive. Oh and that micro-transaction system, wow is it intrusive.

  • Defiance

Trion’s Frankenstein experiment melding a mmofps with a T.V show. I don’t think anyone was expecting the T.V show would be the better of the two but there you go. It started out ok except for the rather linear feel but lacked the extensive content you might expect. Then troubles with the studio occurred, jobs were gutted, the game went extremely cheap and we are only just getting it’s first DLC Pack now. It was kind of fun while it lasted even if that excitement was relatively short but unfortunately I don’t give this experiment much more time to live

    Defiance 2013-03-24 17-22-22-09

  • Darkfall

The game that is trying to provide what most PvP players have been searching for all these years, an alternative to Eve that offers a brutal but interesting open world experience. Unfortunately it fell extremely short of that mark by having sub standard combat, some of the worst graphics an animations I think we’ve seen in a decade, and sandbox features that were lacking, broken, or half-baked ideas at best. It is slowing improving although not enough that it’s every going to gather more than the extremely niche and hardcore audience it has now.

    DFUW swamp

  • Age of Wushu

This could be good although I wouldn’t know. I had issues with a couple of its time based mechanics which completely screw over anyone not in America, I could play on an Asian server but then you have to deal with the extreme language barrier. Seems extremely complex with some with a decent amount of skill customisation and a few interesting open world PvP based mechanics.

  • Warframe

I’ve played this on and off over the year and its a decent ftp dungeon crawling shooter. There are certain crafting elements to it, the level design is interesting (if repetitive) and the general gameplay is fun in short bursts. Not a very nice cash shop though.

The Others

Then there are a plethora of titles that haven’t really garnered much attention and I really have no interest in trying

  • Dragons Prophet
  • World of Warplanes
  • City of Steam
  • Runescape 3
  • Ragnorak Online

Best of the year are pretty much those that went free to play in this period like Rift, Tera, The Secret World, and SW:ToR  if you count a relaunch the same as a release, it certainly helps them gain attention comparable to a release. It has been a rather disappointing year for many mmo gamers and those of use to having a glut of titles to pick and choose from.

Everything seemed piled into the year before and this year only had a filler of second-rate titles; they certainly entertained for a time but nothing comparable to those big releases. The single player titles have been great though- just wow, and I still have a backlog and there’s more coming. Well while I’m traveling Eaorzea, shooting bugs in New Eden, and occasionally dropping into the mists of GW2  I’ll be looking forward to the new year with a certain eager hunger bordering on insanity.