The Value of Achievements in Video Games

Since the seventh generation of video game consoles, Trophies and Achievements have become a notable part of how a segment of people play games. That doesn’t apply to everyone, and a lot of gamers would tell you that they’re absolutely meaningless and deserve no attention whatsoever. It’s obvious, however, that they’ve made enough of an impression on the video game scene to prompt discussions about the lack of an Achievement system on Nintendo‘s most recent console, the Nintendo Switch, being one of a number of missteps the Japanese hardware developer took with the launch of the console/handheld hybrid. Continue reading

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The Buried Story: The Art of Supplemental Storytelling

Ever since the days of Resident Evil on the original PlayStation, I’ve been a sucker for a video game’s ability to tell stories beyond the narrative right in front of you. Many mediums, such as movies, comics or even traditional literature, have the theoretical ability to sneak in tales about people or locations that aren’t relevant to the main narrative, but video games have a decisive advantage in the extent to which this can be done. Continue reading

Backlog Project: Spider-Man – Shattered Dimensions

Thanks to superhero games traditionally being garbage (and Spider-Man being a prime example in most cases), I don’t think I ever really even noticed the existence of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Thanks to numerous fellow gamers online recommending it, however, I went back to play it. I might have had a different experience due to how late I was and how much I heard about it in advance, but I feel I managed to form an authentic opinion on it in the end.

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Backlog Project: Oddworld – Stranger’s Wrath

Thanks to the current trend of remastering and re-releasing older games for current-generation consoles, I’ve had the opportunity to go back even further than the PlayStation 3 generation for some of my backlog games. I’ve been a fan of the Oddworld series from the bat, loving both Abe’s Oddysee and especially Abe’s Exoddus, but I wasn’t impressed by Munch’s Oddysee and for a number of reasons (like not having an Xbox), I never got around to playing Stranger’s Wrath. Happily, I managed to rectify that on the PlayStation Vita.

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Backlog Project: Middle-Earth – Shadow of Mordor

Don’t you just love the feeling of having your expectations blown out of the water? When you experience something that completely blindsides you, and surprises you with how enjoyable it is? It makes something that’s just “good” feel so much better, and that essentially increases the entertainment value of the product. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor surprised me with how fun it was, and I know I wasn’t the only one – this game was certainly what I’d call a “sleeper hit”.

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Backlog Project: Rayman Origins

Sidescrollers and 2D platformers are a genre I feel I know rather well, and I might even say it’s one of my favorite game types out there – particularly if you exclude the countless subpar shoestring-budget games that tried to capitalize on the genre’s nostalgic surge of popularity. I’m usually pretty good at determining very quickly whether or not a sidescroller is going to be good, based on its platforming mechanics, its visual design, and the level layout. Sometimes, however, I run into a curveball that isn’t quite so simple to judge.

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