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

The Butterfly Effect: A World Without Nintendo

There has been a lot of discussion about Nintendo‘s next console launch, whether or not it will be successful, and what will happen if it’s not. This discussion is obviously brought about by the fact that their last console, the Wii U, was a tragic failure, and certainly affected Nintendo’s standing in the worldwide gaming market. This easily leads into imagining what that market would look like, should they just fold and resign from making consoles altogether. 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.

Continue reading

E3 2014 Day 0 Aftertaste

I finished watching the first day of this year’s E3 Expo several hours ago (then I went to sleep, since it was 6AM in Finland at the time it ended), through IGN‘s webstream. In total, I was left with a feeling of a fun, entertaining day, but lacking something that would’ve made it remarkable. To be entirely honest, I’m glad I wasn’t there in person – I would’ve been majorly disappointed in what the Day Zero presentations had to offer.

Continue reading