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

Choose Your Own Adventure: Player-Influenced Narratives

With the exponential evolution of narration and story development in video games since the turn of the millennium, the gaming community has grown more sophisticated and demanding in terms of storytelling. Arguably, the most severe criticism hits games where there’s more than one possible way the game can play out – in other words, games that feature some sort of choice available to the player. Continue reading

Les Enfants Obsolètes: Why Solid Snake is irrelevant

Since the late 90’s, anyone paying even the least bit of attention to the video game space must have been somewhat familiar with the title “Metal Gear Solid“, even if they hadn’t played it themselves. In the 17 years since that game’s release, those three words have become increasingly high profile, up to the point that today this series can be considered one of the biggest franchises in the video game industry. Gamers know Metal Gear, whether they want to or not. They also tend to know the classic main character, Solid Snake, by name if nothing else. I’m arguing, however, that as the series has progressed, Snake himself has become less and less important, and at the current state of the franchise, he is entirely expendable and not key at all. Continue reading

In with the Old: Sequels, Reboots & Spiritual Successors

Naughty Dog‘s The Last of Us was arguably the most notable game of the last generation of gaming consoles, and it will definitely be a game to be remembered for a long time. With such success, it’s fairly safe to assume there will be a sequel – rarely in entertainment, whether it’s film or games, has there been a case where a title is an amazing success and those who made it don’t give in to the temptation to create more. It’s not all just about sales – the fanbase often demands sequels, as they can’t get enough of the product. Continue reading

The Console Wars: A Brief History of the Video Game Industry

Peter Moore recently spoke about the benefits of competition between console developers. Around the same time, Shigeru Miyamoto said he felt Nintendo is a “genre of its own“, probably referring to not only the lighthearted spirit of a great majority of Nintendo games but also the Japanese giant’s deviation from the general market of video games. While both are correct in their respective statements, there is much more to pay attention to than just whether there is competition or not – history has taught us that much. While gaming technology progresses on a well-meditated track, there is a lot that could go wrong for any single one of the big developers, and it takes a lot of business savvy as well as a predictable market situation to keep things on that track. To get a better view of how balanced things actually are at the moment, let’s take a look back a few decades.

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