Why Certain - Older Video Games Need a Make Over

Remakes have to walk a tightrope between pleasing purist fans of the original and finding new audiences (and the cash in those audiences’ pockets), and the game that pleases both camps entirely is rare.   From one perspective this is surprising. Games chosen for remakes are usually the best of the best, so how hard could it be to update the technology and fix a few small, universally acknowledged flaws from the original? On paper, not that hard. But updating ten- or twenty-year-old graphics, soundtracks, and gameplay mechanics aren’t as simple bringing a blurry camera lens into focus. You have to redraw new sprites and backgrounds, reorchestrate new musical arrangements, and determine how gameplay will work with new control schemes (and modern gameplay expectations and levels of patience). It’s unlikely that the people brought on to such projects will be the same A-teams who worked on the classic originals or even the...

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Let's Dive into XCOM’s Enemy Within Compelling Story

Video Game Story Xcom

            Partway through XCOM: Enemy Within (the expanded version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown), I realized that its video game story would never work in a movie.  It wasn’t that the premise wouldn’t work – alien invasions are hardly confined to video games—it was the way the story was being told. There was absolutely no attention being paid to characters’ personal lives.

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Don't Worry Video Games Can't Influence You, Can They?

Racist Video Games

In another post, I argued that video games (like all expressive media) influence the world but that, cumulatively, their influence is more likely to be positive than negative because games can show us new. 

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Why The Home Gaming Console is Still the King!

Every few months or so, I see another article about how the home gaming console is at death’s door. I don’t buy it. Most of my gaming happens on consoles, or handheld gaming console, and I expect to keep it that way for the foreseeable future. Here’s why.

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The 10 Best Mech Games of All Time – Part 1: Target Locked

Before we begin, let’s get something out of the way.

There’s literally no one on the planet who hasn’t dreamed of waking up one day, receiving a holographic phone call from a hot secretary who tells you “The world needs you.

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Metroid and The Last of Us - Has a strong Bond!

Spoiler warning: This post contains spoilers for The Last of Us (little ones), the Left Behind DLC for The Last of Us (big ones), and, well, 1987’s Metroid.

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 (A Quarter Century Ago) Video Games Taught Me.....

A couple of years back, while visiting with family over Thanksgiving, my cousins and siblings and I started playing the card game we call King Peasant (though it’s also called a lot of other things around the world). 

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Mobile Ports of Video Games: Carry Your Past in Your Pocket

The release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for iOS and Android last month got me thinking about the increasing number of Mobile Ports of Video Games  being ported to mobile platforms. Not all mobile ports of PC and consoles games are good, but with so many here already and more coming all the time, there’s an astounding amount of quality gaming experiences ready to download to your phone or tablet.

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In Game Advertising Does it Work or is it Just Annoying?

            Between 2005 and 2007, the U.S. game industry passed up first the movie and then the music industries in terms of overall revenue, clearly staking its claim as a major media player for anyone who was still unsure.

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Balancing the Old and the New in Video Game Sequels

I started playing Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for GBA yesterday, and while on the Fire Emblem Wiki I glanced over the summary of the game’s reception, which went something like this:

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When is it Time to Play Skillfully or Run Like Hell?

 A handful of hours into Final Fantasy XII your party emerges from the linear opening of the game and is able to explore and level up in the game’s first open world environment: the Dalmasca Estersand.

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Why I love gaming with Board Games

            A few weeks ago, E. Ortiz wrote an interesting article over at Big Blue Die (Which is no longer live) is about why board games aren’t going to be killed off by video games, noting the emphasis on in-room socialization and tactile engagement with the game.

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Why I bought a Playstation 4 & Not an Xbox

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been out for a year now, and I’m ready to jump in. I’ve been the happy owner of a Wii U since spring (even happier this month with the release of the first Mario Kart 8 DLC for a terrific price), but since the last generation, I’m of the opinion that I need a Nintendo console and one of the other two to really keep up with console gaming.

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5 Reasons: Shin Megami Tensei Persona Games Are so Damn Good

            One of the most pleasant surprises of the end of the PS2’s life cycle were Atlus’s Persona 3 (2007) and Persona 4 (2008), both released in North America long after the next generation of consoles had come out.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a PlayStation Vita

Buying a new gaming device is always exciting; until you get it home and find out that you don’t have everything you need to actually play it. So before you purchase that new PlayStation Vita, know your facts and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

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"Wickedly Honest Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About "Free"-to-Play Games"

Is this game free to play?

Yes. No.


It depends. Are you willing to give us your money while you play?

Yes. Oh yes.

Then we won’t make you pay, you’ll just choose to pay inside our free game.


Then we will fill the game with stupefying tasks, arbitrary delays, and joyless mismatches until navigating them is worse than whatever work you’re avoiding by playing online free-to-play games and essentially like a terrible minimum-wage job. But a job you get to do for free and that is unencumbered by productive outputs in the real world.

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Vintage Video Games & 5 Reasons Why People Are Playing Them

Playing vintage video games lets you relive those moments of nostalgia. They also let you catch up on what you missed or never managed to finish.

We all remember our first console and first retro gaming console. For many of us, it was Mortal Kombat, Mario Kart, GoldenEye, or Super Mario 64. Those of us old enough to remember playing Super Mario Bros, Tetris, Contra, Castlevania, and the first Legend of Zelda. How about those not so popular titles from obscure consoles like PopFul Mail from the Sega CD Library.

People still play them and go back to them for many reasons. They offer gripping stories and hours of replayability. They also hold some of gaming's most ground-breaking and cherished moments.

Finally, retro games offer a sense of soul that many in the modern video game industry lack. Read on for a breakdown of the five reasons people keep coming back to vintage games.

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Recipe for Creating the Best Selling Video Games of All Time

Video games are one of the most important cultural developments of our time. The early 20th century had film, radio, and TV. The late 20th and early 21st centuries have the internet, computers, and video games.

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Bioshock Infinite vs The Last of Us: A Look Back Part 1

 Bioshock Infinite & The Last of Us

Were easily my personal most anticipated games of the seventh generation of gaming, so why not revisit them in order to make them fight to the death for my long-term affections? In the tradition of the Old School, Game Vault blog’s earlier comparison of Bioshock Infinite to the original Bioshock. 

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Bioshock Infinite vs The Last of Us: A Look Back Part 2

As Part One [here] of this article explained in more depth, this is a showdown between Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us, two of my most anticipated and most satisfying games of the seventh generation of gaming. My comparison is based not on replay value or how the games have aged, but on how influentially they’ve stuck with me a year after my initial play through of each. 

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