Gimme Mo' Moga

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I'm an impulse shopper. It is a simple fact of my life that if something is really cool and I have money in my pocket, I will soon have a cool thing and no money. Such was the case earlier this week when I was at Gamestop and noticed a cool little device titled "Moga: Console Quality Gaming on Android Phone or Tablet". It did not hurt my inclination to be intrigued that there was a large sticker saying "free Sonic CD download with purchase" on the box.

With a sticker price of only $17.99, the fact that I knew literally nothing about what the hell a Moga controller was even supposed to be didn't even make me think twice before slapping money on the counter and scurrying off to examine my new toy.

Dueling Distilled: Nidhogg

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Perfect ambiance. Complete with swinging chandelier.

For two years I have been following the progress and aching to play a little indie game called Nidhogg. It's won several awards and was a finalist for the Grand Prize IGF award at GDC in 2011. It's a simple concept executed perfectly. Two swordsmen compete to gain ground and the first to reach the opponents goal line gets eaten by a dragon thing. The graphics are very simple, made to mimic the look of an old Atari 2600 or NES. It doesn't take long to learn and not only supports, but recommends local play. Through the magic of the Steam Summer Sale, I grabbed a copy on the cheap. It was the best purchase I've made this year.

Blockstorm: Full Voxel Jacket

Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's been a long time since I gave any serious time to an FPS on my PC. I've played a few here and there. Red Orchestra, Team Fortress 2. Honestly, I've nearly exclusively played FPS games on console for a decade or more. Before that, the last PC shooter I played with any frequency was Quake III. I've been trying to slowly reacquaint myself with shooters on PC, so when the opportunity to try Blockstorm came up, I jumped. What followed was an evening of voxel fueled frags and destruction aplenty.

No Split-Screen for Destiny

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The thing about modern gaming that has frustrated me most is the loss of couch co-op. Fewer and fewer games have included split-screen or local multiplayer, opting instead for online multiplayer only. I'm not sure if this stems from some antiquated idea that gamers are solitary creatures, or a half blind attempt to "connect" players. Regardless of the reason, it's excluding millions of players out there who enjoy games most when playing alongside friends and family.

The few holdouts that I've regularly been able to count on for split-screen play dwindle a little every year, and now I've had to cross off a dear old friend from the list. In an interview with Gamespot Bungie has confirmed that Destiny will not support split-screen play at all.

Sims4 at E3 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

With all the gaming news released at E3 this week, I was most looking forward to the release date and a look at the game play of Sims4. EA has been stringing their followers along for months with screen caps and a few videos about the create a sim (CAS) and build mode. What I had been allowed to glimpse had me eagerly awaiting my chance to toss them my $60 for the game. One thing stopped me from preordering though and that was I needed to see the game mechanics.

E3 2014: Sony and Microsoft Are Two Sides of The Same Coin

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This year's E3 didn't have a ton of earth shattering news (EXCEPT A REMAKE OF GRIM FANDANGO WOOOOO), but it did showcase some interesting games. Among all the hubbub of games we already knew about being re-debuted, Sony an Microsoft talked a bit about the "future" of their consoles. Microsoft took a page from Sony and talked "all about the games." Sony took a page from Microsoft and introduced PlayStation TV (even though it launched in Japan last year). Why fewer outlets are commenting on the hilarious switcheroo they pulled off this year, I'll never know. But that isn't my subject today.

Reroll Vs. Respawn, Part 2: Danger at Every Door

Thursday, June 5, 2014
It's been ages since I've had a direct encounter with another player in DayZ. I love outmaneuvering them.

We've talked about the meaning of character death in a tabletop setting. It's time we look at the same kind of loss in video game. Let's be frank about this. There are very few games that approach death similarly or with anything approaching the same finality. Don't believe for a second though, that it is without reason.

Every new game is a product of those that came before, and their chief duty is to entertain. The widely held belief is that players will grow frustrated by frequent deaths, and being forced to restart the game in the event of their character's demise will seriously limit the game's audience. Is this still true of the market, or are things changing?

ReRoll Vs Respawn, Part I: Reemis the Braised

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Our Reign of Winter Campaign suffered it's first player character loss in a recent session. While helping the grieving player roll a new character, a thought occurred to me. Most video games offer death as a means of encumbering the player, and hence, those deaths carry little weight. Tabletop games like Pathfinder and D&D approach death from a very different perspective. Sure, resurrections are possible, but they can be hard to come by. They are notoriously expensive to buy and the spell level puts them out of reach for low to mid level characters. Death is a more serious fear to a tabletop player. Let's examine these two perspectives, shall we?