Telltale’s Epitaph

Real Talk By: Brian DK

Nearly a month ago the game developer Telltale Games announced that it would be closing its doors. Roughly 90% of its staff was let go immediately after the announcement, with the majority of its remaining skeleton crew laid off early this month. With these departures came the inevitable news that all upcoming projects were canceled. This included anticipated sequels such as The Wolf Among Us: Season Two, Game of Thrones: Season Two, and an untitled Stranger Things project. All that remains of this once beloved company is lawsuits and disappointment. What happened? Continue reading “Telltale’s Epitaph”

Gaming’s Slice of Life

Real Talk By: Brian DK

You are the chosen one. Only you can save the world from complete destruction using only your wits, will, and an inexplicably giant sword. It all comes down to this final battle.

You reload your weapon. You glance back and forth between your teammates.  You slow your breathing to steady your nerves. It all comes down to this final match.  The next five minutes would mean the difference between an upsetting comeback and a crushing defeat.

The door slams shut and locks as you enter the chamber for the fifteenth time today. Standing before you is a massive armored figure.  It draws its weapon as an intimidatingly long health bar fills on the bottom of your screen. Hopefully this attempt will be different.

You wake up at the crack of dawn. You step outside to water your turnips. You greet your animals, Clucky’s eggs are looking great today. You stroll through town, greeting each of your neighbors as you go.  You think it might rain today. Continue reading “Gaming’s Slice of Life”

The Mummy Demastered: A Welcome Suprise

The Mummy: Demastered is so much better than it deserves to be. The game is a tie-in to Universal’s The Mummy and given the film’s poor reviews I didn’t expect much from anything associated with it. But the moment the chiptune title music and pixelated Universal logo appeared I knew something didn’t quite fit with my expectations.

Developed by WayForward (The same company known for the Shantae series), The Mummy: Demastered takes a bold step and immediately throws the player into a Metroidvania map filled with locations from the film. You’ll also recognize the title villain Ahmanet and Russel Crowe’s pixelated likeness, but that’s where the film similarities end. Instead of playing Tom Cruise’s character you play a disposable grunt sent to clean up the undead menace plaguing London.

pickle Continue reading “The Mummy Demastered: A Welcome Suprise”

Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review: An Artsy Experience

Real Talk By: Brian DK

Battle Chasers: Nightwar continues the story of a short comic series from the late 90’s. The comics went through a turbulent publishing period (including several company shifts, cancellation, and a defunct movie deal) before the creator launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring the series back through another medium.

The game throws you right into the Battle Chasers world which follows Gully and her father’s mysterious gauntlets. Gully, and her impressive group of bodyguards, are on the run when their airship is shot down over an unknown land.  The group is separated by the crash and it’s up to Gully to reunite them and help the locals with their typical fantasy world issues. Continue reading “Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review: An Artsy Experience”

Story Gating: Hiding Content Behind Difficulty

Real Talk By: Brian DK

Art is subjective. Each viewer’s feelings, opinions, and individual taste can drastically alter how they experience a piece of art. But what if an individual’s skill also played a part in how they experienced that same piece of art? Imagine watching the Star Wars: A New Hope but at the end Luke’s torpedoes miss the exhaust port because you, the viewer, hadn’t watched Rogue One yet.  Or not being able to finish a Sherlock Holmes novel because you personally hadn’t solved the titular mystery. Video games have been using similar mechanics for decades, but is it okay to hide portions of a story behind barriers that might be insurmountable to some players? Continue reading “Story Gating: Hiding Content Behind Difficulty”

Tactical Memoriam: Nintendo Wars

Real Talk By: Brian DK

Several strategy and tactics series have seen a revival in the recent years. Fire Emblem: Awakening brought its franchise back from the brink of death. XCOM: Enemy Unknown revived a celebrated series and brought it into the modern era. And Microsoft just announced a new Age of Empires in development. The industry is ready for another installment in the Nintendo Wars saga. Continue reading “Tactical Memoriam: Nintendo Wars”