Back when the Wii U and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were all announced, I took a serious look at each and decided that I just didn't need a new console. Oh sure each system may have had a few games that would pique my interest, but the bottom line was that as a PC gamer I had become totally happy with the (nearly never-ending) selection of games that were available to me there. Basically the whole idea of 'consoles' had become antiquated to me. It had been almost a decade since I even played games on a TV rather than a monitor. To me, sitting on a couch across the room from the TV wasn't nearly as comfortable as sitting at a desk in front of my (far better) gaming monitor. But something weird happened a few months ago: I bought an Xbox One. And what's even weirder is that it's turned out to be a pretty great addition to my PC.
I love FMV (Full Motion Video) games, even though I understand that most of them are not really good games, as much as interesting relics of gaming's past. However, there are exceptions and Under a Killing Moon is one of them. You play Tex Murphy, a PI modeled after Spade and Marlowe that lives and works in a future vision of San Francisco. In this adventure, you take on a dangerous cult striving for genetic purification. For me, the Tex Murphy games are the pinnacle of FMV adventure with a combination of good writing, decent acting and a good dose of (intentional) humour.
I have never considered myself to be primarily a PC gamer, but there was a time back in the late '90s and early 2000s when I did a considerable amount of gaming on the PC. During this time, I played such revered classics as Half-Life, Max Payne, and Deus Ex, all of which I would consider to be among my all-time favorites. Many excellent games were being released exclusively on PC, and when these titles were later ported to consoles, the results were often lackluster.
One such game from this era that I have always remembered fondly is Mafia. Releasing less than a year after the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto III, it may be easy to dismiss Mafia as a cheap knockoff. While Mafia may resemble the Grand Theft Auto series at first glance, I have always felt that it was the "anti-GTA" game. Although both games share similarities with their open-world environments, crime-based stories, and emphasis on driving and shooting gameplay mechanics, Mafia's more serious and less satirical tone, focus on realism, and larger emphasis on narrative rather than free roaming sandbox gameplay sets it apart from Rockstar's juggernaut.
Posted on Oct 31st 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (noiseredux) Posted under PC
As a hardcore fan of horror movies, there's something that I feel slightly embarrassed to admit. The truth is that I find many horror games actually scare me. Now you might be correct in telling me that that is exactly the point of those games. But it's still odd to me. It is extremely rare for a movie to scare me. I've even found that jump-scares in film have become less effective on me over time. And yet games that many of you play and have no problem with will often leave me totally stressed out.
So what is it about horror games that make me nervous while a movie may not? I've given that some thought and I think the best I can come up with is the way in which we interact (or don't) with media. Which is to say that watching a movie is a passive experience. Though I certainly may feel tense at times, I never really feel like I'm the one in the movie. But a game is an active experience. I'm the one controlling the character in the game. It's easier to put myself in the terror when my decisions matter. If I were to ever yell "don't go up those stairs!" at a movie, the actor wouldn't care less.
It's October, so it's time for spooky games. Phantasmagoria is a point and click horror adventure game by Sierra. It was controversial due to its depiction of graphic FMV gore and adult themes and became a best seller. But is it any good?
I remember seeing the box art for this game all the time when I was a kid. Though point and click adventure was a staple of my gaming history, I had never played this game before. I've always had a soft spot for FMV as well, though this wasn't quite what I was expecting.
Join RF Generation Playcast hosts, Rich (singlebanana) and Shawn (GrayGhost81), as they discuss the September playthrough of Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. In this episode, we discuss our history with Lego video games, our childhood love of Lego and Batman, the ins and outs of the gameplay, and the differences in the handheld and home console versions. How does this game differ from other games in the Lego franchise? Is this rather cheap title worth your time as a fan/non-fan of in-game collectables? You won't want to miss this episode of the RFG Playcast!
As always, we are happy to hear your thoughts on this games on our discussion page (linked below). We will respond to your comments and are always happy to discuss these games more. We hope you enjoy our show. Please be sure to rate and write a review of the show on iTunes to help us increase our listenership. Thanks for the listen!
Posted on Sep 25th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (noiseredux) Posted under PC
In recent years, I've gone from being a console gamer, to a mostly PC gamer, to a totally PC gamer. I could go on and on about why I finally decided to be a PC-only guy, but it doesn't really matter - at least not for this blog post. Instead, I thought we'd explore the many options that PC gamers have in the area of controllers. Truth be told, I probably end up using the mouse and keyboard for the majority of games I play anyway. And yet, I've got controllers scattered around this room everywhere I look.
Now this post can really only be as thorough as my own experience goes. I mean, ultimately the options are nearly limitless. Basically anything with a USB connection is fair game, right? And pretty much any Xbox 360 device is going to be plug-n-play on PC. Not to mention the fact that nearly every classic console controller has some kind of USB adapter you could use. However, for the purposes of this article, I'll just focus on the major controllers just to scratch the surface of the options available.
The Ys name, while notorious for its confusing pronunciation, carries a lot of weight in the JRPG world. Ys has been around since the 8-bit era, and new iterations are still being made today. Most games in the series are critically well-received, and the series as a whole has a large cult following. Despite all of this, I had never played a Ys game until very recently.
My first exposure to the series was the original Ys Books I & II. There are many different versions of the original Ys, sporting many ports and remakes across almost every console, but I played the TurboCD version, which is often considered the definitive release of the game. What I found was a unique "old-school" RPG adventure that I highly enjoyed despite being somewhat primitive and its sometimes awkward combat system. Ever since completing Ys Books I & II, I have wanted to dive into the rest of the series but have been confused about where to start next. Cue Ys: The Oath in Felghana.
Summer is a great time to get outside and play some sports. It's also a good time to stay inside and play some sports video games instead. For the past two years, I've taken the Summer as a queue to take a look at the landscape of sports games available on PC. In fact, I'm now going to call it a tradition around here. As a note, these outlines are not meant to be a thorough list of all sports games released in the year, but rather more of a guide to let you know about the best current options you can play for each sport. I've also intentionally left out the management sims like Out Of The Park Baseball, as those are really their own sort of sub-sub-genre. The 2016 edition of our survey actually has some pretty interesting entries that weren't around last year. But don't get your hopes up... there's still no Madden, and hockey and volleyball games are still nowhere to be found.
Recently, there has been a flood of games touting to be "Roguelikes" in both the Indie and AAA design spaces over the past few years. Even more perplexing, the titles claiming to be Roguelikes seemingly spanned all genres. With the new update of one of my favorite Roguelikes (more later), it seemed only fitting to really examine what a makes a game a Roguelike, and more importantly, what a "rogue" is.
For the full version, you could always Wikipedia it, but in brief, Rogue is a PC dungeon crawler with ASCII graphics. The premise is pretty simple: go from the top floor of a dungeon, get an item, and then escape. The game features turn based combat and movement; for every action you take, all the enemies get a turn, similar to a game of chess. Each level of the dungeon is semi-randomly generated, and populated with a myriad of enemies, items, and interactable objects to make each delve unique. Being simple in the graphics department, Rogue could also go much deeper in item interaction than most games, as not having to animate things saves considerable time. Other things that make Rogue different from most games is that items do not come identified, and the user usually needs to figure out what they have via trial and error. This generally leads to some hilarious situations, like drinking a potion of fire when you badly needed healing instead.
Many modern, first person adventure games are labelled as "walking simulators," particularly the ones with a narrative focus. This term refers to a game in which players walk throughout the in-game environment without doing much else like engaging in combat or finding collectibles. It's a label that, while superficially accurate, is often applied to a game because players can't decipher much more beyond the surface characters or stories. However, more often than not that couldn't be further from the truth of what these games offer. Take, for example, Dear Esther; it features the final fleeting thoughts of its narrator as his life fades away. It's true that the gameplay only involves walking from one set piece to the next, but what makes the game substantial is the emotions and memories the narrator presents. The walking simulator is the most effective at allowing players to really get into the head of a game's character.
Firewatch, the first game from Campo Santo, is the latest inclusion in the walking simulator category. The fact is that this game offers much depth of character, narrative interactivity, and even some role-playing which can only be achieved by utilizing this unconventional and divisive genre.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR FIREWATCH CONTINUE READING AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
The Count Lucanor, from Baroque Decay Games, is the result of blending The Legend of Zelda and survival horror. It's a combination that's intriguing enough to support the core gameplay, but its execution is only effective for a couple of hours.
Next month, we hope that some of you will join us in playing in the first episodic, adventure game of the RF Generation Community Playthrough. In March, we will tackle Life is Strange, a game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. Life is Strange features five episodes that chronicle the turbulent teenage years of Max Caulfield who has the mysterious ability to rewind time after witnessing an unexpected tornado. Guide Max through this modern, coming of age story and help her learn how to use her time-shifting powers to prevent this natural disaster from demolishing her town.
Life is Strange has been praised for its fantastic character development and effort to tackle certain subjects considered taboo for video games. It has won several awards including Develop Industry Excellence Awards (New Games IP - PC/console & Use of Narrative), Golden Joystick Award (Performance of the Year [Ashly Burch]), Global Game Awards (Best Adventure & Best Original Game), The Game Awards (Games for Change), Playstation Official Magazine (Best Episodic Adventure & Best Moment), New Statesman's (Best Game of 2015), and received countless other nominations and runner-ups awards. Life is Strange is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam/PC, and PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (both via download). We hope that this pick interests you and that you'll take the time to join us in March!
Posted on Jun 14th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (noiseredux) Posted under PC
Gamers who grew up with consoles have been lucky over the years as far as nostalgia goes. In the last decade or two, we've seen a rise in and have been stuffed-to-the-gills with compilations of old console games. We've seen celebrations of the Atari 2600 and it's been shouted out loud that "Intellivision Lives!" We've gotten collections of Genesis carts and plenty of various arcade era releases.
But what if you are nostalgic for early PC gaming? Certainly there's plenty out there to explore. Services like GOG and DotEmu do a great job of bringing old games to a newer generation of gamers. And heck, if you know your way around DOSBox or Windows compatability settings, there's usually very little stopping you from finding old CD-ROMs or even 3.5" floppy discs of your favorites titles of yesteryear. Yet having said all that, it's nice to see a publisher throwing a bunch of their classics together and offering them up in a nice bundle. And that's just what the 3D Realms Anthology is.
Dead Or Alive has long been my favorite 3-D fighting game series. While subsequent sequels constantly improved, for years the second game remained my favorite. That was until Dead Or Alive 5 was released and completely blew me away. It looked gorgeous, played fluidly, had an impressively huge roster and implemented a wonderfully ridiculous Story Mode that delivered so much fun and fan service for long time players. Yes, what made Dead Or Alive 5 so perfect to me was that it basically rendered its predecessors obsolete. Sure, I still loved Dead Or Alive II; I just couldn't think of any real reason to play it over this one.