Tag: Video Games

Mass Effect: Andromeda – First Impressions

Bioware’s controversial Mass Effect sequel released a few months ago. They got a serious – and possibly well-deserved – slating from critics and gamers alike for releasing an “unfinished” game, full of bugs and animation problems. I actually cancelled my pre-order as a result of the media sh*t-storm, which is something that I never thought I would do with a Bioware game!

But now, four months on, someone got me the game as a present and have finally decided to give it a chance. So, now they’ve had time to actually finish the game properly, is it any good?

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In Defence of Next-Gen Graphics

Quite a lot of people are attacking the next-gen gaming consoles because ‘the only tangible improvements that they will make to games is to the graphics’. I have said before that the launch of these new consoles is badly timed and I do not own either because I don’t feel it is a justified expense, but I also think that people are being a bit harsh about how little improvements in graphics (and processing power) will matter…

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Fix your Audio Settings!

This is a rant about something that has been getting on my nerves a lot recently; the fact that that developers (and not just indies, but big ‘triple-A’ studios too) seem to be happy to release a game without seemingly any effort going into the game’s sound design and/or without proper audio settings. Good sound design can tell you a lot about the game world and improve immersion for the player, but not everyone gets this right.

The thing that really bothers me is that it is not only easy to avoid the problem in the first place, but that its simple to provide an adequate solution and yet many studios fail to do so.

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Worms Retrospective

I used to really enjoy playing the Worms games when I was younger, but I feel that the franchise has become somewhat stale in recent years. Last year they brought out a new instalment: Worms Revolution, that finally tried out some new ideas, but it didn’t quite manage to renew my enthusiasm. I thought I would look back the series and see what it was that I liked and didn’t like, and perhaps suggest where there series could go from here…

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Mass Effect Retrospective

The games of Mass Effect Trilogy have become some of my favourite games of all time, but (apart from my discussion about the Mass Effect 3 Ending) I haven’t actually reviewed any of them so far. So this week I thought I would take a quick look these games and discuss what made great, as well as some of the issues that have plagued the series.

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MICRO-transactions – The clue is in the title, people!

As I’ve already discussed, I am quite happy with the Free-to-Play game concept – where you can create an account, download and play a game for free, but you can buy extra stuff via in-game purchases. The best free-to-play games give unrestricted access to all features, with the upgrades being mostly cosmetic or for convenience. But this week I want to look, not at the concept itself, but at how developers should be handling these so-called micro-transactions and how much they should be charging for these extra services.  (more…)

Do we really want or need a new console generation?

This week marks E3 2013, one of the year’s biggest gaming conferences, which included more information about what we can expect to see from the industry in the next year-or-so. With all of this going on, I thought I would sound off about some of these announcements and ask quite an important question: do we really want or need a new console generation?

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The XBOX ONE Reveal

Well, Microsoft has finally unveiled their next games console: the XBOX ONE (which has already earned various nicknames, perhaps the most flattering of which is the X-Bone). The pretentiously named console, which resembles the monolith from the movie 2001, was revealed at a Microsoft press conference yesterday. I thought I’d throw my opinions into the ring and comment on the general reaction of the internet so far.

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Open-World Games

Lots of video games these days feature some sort of open world, or at least places that you can explore for hidden rewards and the occasional side story. Only a few games, however, seem to integrate these mechanisms properly into the wider game. So, I thought that for my latest rant I would talk about these often arbitrary and pointless features and about one of the few games I can think of that makes good use of them.

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