It’s right before Christmas, and we’re soon tumbling headlong into 2015, in the Gregorian Calendar. Consoles matured, games came out, more games got delayed, and those that came out were often broken as all hell. I did manage to get through a few games, and am currently playing through a few more. I got a PS4 this year, but I haven’t beaten much on it. I find when I am at home, most of my time is spent on the PC, or with a handheld system. I have Shadows of Mordor, but frankly got stressed out by it a lot of the time. The game is incredible, and will probably be the game of the year for many, but it wasn’t for me. Frankly 2014 was the grand conclusion of what happened to me in 2013. Thanks to Persona 4 Golden, I got back into Japanese RPG’s in a big way. I found that I missed grinding, I still love the insane tropes, and I love the colorfulness and the often wacky nature Japanese RPG’s exhibit. So I played a bunch of those this year. As it turns out 2014 was a good year for those games, especially if you have a handheld system.
I am not gonna go into some huge list about my best games of 2014, because frankly I don’t have a huge list. I played a bunch of games, but not many of them came out in 2014. I played Tales of Xillia, and loved it. But that came out last year. I played like…half of Tales of Xillia 2. That came out this year, but it’s not that great. Or good at all. But yeah, I have 3 games that I want to talk about in numbered order, but first I want to give an honorable mention. Also before that, I want to talk about one game that I haven’t finished yet, but should be talked about. If I finished it, and it remained as good throughout, it would so be on my list. So without further ado, let’s get crackalackin. Continue Reading
Anyone remember the Lucasarts classic Maniac Mansion? I do. I played the hell out of it as a kid on the NES, and it was my introduction into the SCUMM point and click adventure games. However, while we did have an NES, we didn’t get a PC in my house until I was a teenager. So I really missed out on the huge load of these games available to people who had the money to pony up for these classic adventures.
It wasn’t until I got much older that I found out that Maniac Mansion had what was basically a sequel, called Day of the Tentacle, featuring much better graphics, and a somehow crazier logic-structure to it. Well it seems Double Fine’s Tim Schafer hasn’t forgotten about his old creation. The first video of him sitting down to play the Lucasarts classic is now up on YouTube. If you’re a fan of Tim Schafer, and/or his old adventure games, it is something you should definitely watch.
World of Warcraft has shown itself to be a resilient game. Once riding high on the subscriber numbers of the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion, the number of people paying their $15 a month has dropped off pretty steadily. After receiving an uptick of people paying up last year, it seems Blizzard’s title is back on the slow decline. Back in July, Blizzard said during an Activision earnings call that the game had lost some 600,000 subscribers, going from 8.3 million to 7.7 million. The earnings call today also reported a loss in subscribers, but nothing remotely as dire. World of Warcraft went from 7.7 million subscribers, to 7.6 million. While it sucks that 100,000 people are no longer paying their $15 a month (me being one of those people), that is still a lot of people paying for the privilege of snagging 15 moose pelts for a walrus man.
On the upside though, over 1 million people have pre-ordered the next WoW expansion, Warlords of Draenor. No doubt a lot of people did it for the Level 90 boost that comes with it, but that is exactly the kind of bonus that would get a lot of WoW fans buying early. If the pre-order number is any indication, it seems Blizzard will probably be reporting a good uptick in subscribers when Warlords of Draenor is eventually released.
Source: Game Informer
I did not like Diablo III. It was polished to all hell, in the way Blizzard always does with its products, and on the surface played like a Diablo game. But in the core design something was flawed. The whole game was built around this online Auction House, which just ruined the game inside and out. Blizzard took what had been a basically flawless loot treadmill in Diablo II and just threw it all into the trash. Forcing you to rely on the Auction House for level-appropriate gear due to enemies dropping under-powered crap, an extra layer was added to the gameplay loop that had no business being there.
However, in this age of digital delivery and patches, there have been companies out there willing to take their games that were misguided, miscalculated, or just bad in some of their features and tweak, or in some cases change aspects outright in order to bring the product more in line with consumer expectations. Blizzard has done this a lot over the years with their World of Warcraft product, remaking the game with every expansion in response to evolving design challenges and player expectations. This attitude has since been brought over to the Diablo product, with the Reaper of Souls expansion. Definitely a good choice. Continue Reading
Well it’s finally out in the wild. After months of beta testing, and really smooth game play, Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now officially released. While nothing big has been changed in the release patch, Blizzard has made a few changes that aims to make Hearthstone a game literally anyone in the world can play, against anyone in the world. Past that, WoW players who also play Hearthstone will get an easy mount, and there are new card backs to be earned. But really, what matters is that it is a truly free to play, great game that offers a near-endless amount of enjoyment. I plan on writing something longer about this game, but I have a simple message that overshadows the details of a review. I can say to anyone: Go try it.
Source: Hearthstone Website
I love the website Humble Bundle. Ever since I found out about it, I make sure I check it all the time for the new stuff going up for stupidly cheap prices. These games are never so old as to be irrelevant, and the fact parts of the proceeds help charity is always nice as well. While I have enthusiastically told anyone I speak to ever that plays games to check these bundles out, the newest Humble Indie Bundle may be the best deal I have ever seen on the site.
As of this writing, for the extremely cheap price of…well anything, you can get Guacamelee!: Gold Edition, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Gianna Sisters: Twisted Dreams and The Swapper. You could pay a penny and get these games, as well as their soundtracks. If you pay at least a dollar, you get Steam keys for them. Even better however, is if you beat the average donation, which at the time of this writing is $4.29. If you pay at least $4.30 (I paid $4.50), you get all the games previously mentioned, as well as Antichamber, Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine, as well as the soundtracks.
Making this already incredible deal more tempting is the fact that as the two week sale goes on, more games will be added, which you automatically get if you already beat the average. As with all of these bundles, you are able to decide how your money is distributed, between the charity, the developers and Humble Bundle itself. The default split seems very fair, but you can honestly do however here and really do no wrong. So far, close to 170,000 bundles have been sold, adding up to a little over $720,000. So come on folks, get some great games for cheap, and give to charity in the process. Here is the promotional video.
Source: Humble Bundle
What started as a closed beta has turned into a potential headache for anyone at Microsoft and EA working on keeping servers functional. After some unexpected downtime at the start of the Titanfall closed beta, the switch as been flipped to open beta mode, lasting until Feb. 19 at 9PM, EST. Anyone can go grab it for the XBox One right now under the “New Game Demos” section, and everyone who signed up for the PC closed beta by Feb. 15th at 4PM is currently in the process of getting access through Origin. To everyone who has wanted to finally give this game a real try, I wish you the best of luck, it honestly looks like a great game.