I’m not the kind of player who longs for “the good old days” when games seemed to hate you and want you to die. My attempt to replay Paperboy and recapture the glory of my NES days was short-lived as I realized how needlessly, unrewardingly cruel that game is—I just didn’t know any better as a kid.
In another article, I discuss awesome moments or levels in otherwise mediocre (or merely good) games. Here, I’ll consider the other side of the coin: good or great games dragged down by terrible moments or terrible design decisions.
Over the past couple of months, I sunk over 120 hours into a playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition. That comes out to an average of 2-3 hours a day. I’m a married man with graduate degrees and a lot of things to do, but for the last couple of months, most of my free time went into fighting dragons in Thedas in a single-player game (I only spent a few hours in DA:I’s multiplayer mode).
In another article, I discuss post-credits scenes played for comedy or as cliffhangers—scenes that don’t massively change the game you’ve played. This article is about games that save such a shock for after the credits that you can’t fairly say that a player who doesn’t see it knows how the game ends.
Whether it's the influence of the recent Avengers series of Marvel movies or just that video game storytelling is continuing to develop, post-credits scenes seem to be getting more and more common in games these days. The tradition of hiding some sort of Easter egg after the credits has been around in movies at least since the post-credits tagline “James Bond will return . . . “ was first used in 1963’s From Russia With Love (though post-credit scenes weren’t popularized until 1979’s The Muppet Movie).
In a recent article, I discuss different kinds of retro games being made today—those with a major contemporary twist and those that expand and deepen what the old games did. Our case study will be To The Moon which was released back in 2011’s.
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.
A new King’s Quest? Remastered Day of the Tentacle joining Grim Fandango as LucasArts games I can finally play again? And…an UNupdated Final Fantasy VII on PS4? One of these things is not like the other.
A lot of role-playing games (RPGs) new and old let you pick the sex of your character (male or female) before you start. Which is awesome. I’ve played Mass Effect with both Maleshep and Femshep characters and got two games’ worth of quality voice acting for the price of one.
Spoiler note: This post contains plot spoilers about Borderlands and Borderlands 2 and, by default, spoilers about the characters in the upcoming Pre-Sequel who also appear in Borderlands 2. Spoiling Borderlands 1 for you might actually be doing you a favor, though. That ending’s terrible.
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.
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.
As I discuss in a related post [here], escort missions are usually terrible, bringing otherwise fun games to a screeching halt with shoddy mechanics, annoying characters, and terrible AI.