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Found 81 results

  1. Yasuhiro Wada, the designer behind the Harvest Moon franchise and Story of Seasons returns for a brand new title from TOYBOX Inc. Published by Aksys Games, Little Dragons Café has players managing the day to day affairs of a struggling café on the edge of civilization. Initially, players control one of two twin siblings, either a boy or a girl. Their working mom keeps them afloat by tending to their out of the way café, until one day she comes down with an illness that leaves her in a deep, unshakable sleep. Distraught, the children are visited by a quirky itinerant wizard. The strange old man presents the pair with a large egg and tells them that they must raise a dragon to adulthood to obtain the rare ingredient needed to wake their mother from her slumber. However, two kids can't really give a dragon the quality of life it needs to thrive without money! In order to support the business, the dragon, and themselves, the brother and sister have to take the reins of their little capitalist enterprise and turn it into a true tourist destination. To do that, they'll need all the help they can get between the abilities of their dragon, the wizard, a the motley crew of misfits who, for one reason or another, begin pitching in to make the café a success. While the other members of the team serve vital functions in the day-to-day running of the café, the dragon steals the show in terms of usefulness. Players can use the creature to discover new recipes in the wilds around their café as well as reach rare and delicious ingredients. Players will be responsible for raising their dragon. Feed it properly, nurture it with kindness and love, and it will grow larger. With each growth, the dragon gains new abilities, more stamina, and abilities - even flight. All of these a enable players to reach distant parts of the land to discover the rarest of ingredients and even long-lost legendary recipes that will bring more customers to the out-of-the-way little dragons café. With enough money, players can expand their cafe's facilities in a number of ways to better serve the ever increasing demands of the clientele. Every new recipe, if used correctly and made with the best ingredients, can help leave customers delighted and satisfied, helping to bring in more customers in the future. To get your hands on the freshest ingredients, players will have to grow produce themselves. Farm the land for fresh friends and veggies. Fish in the ocean to catch fish both common and rare. In these activities, it's really easy to spot the Harvest Moon influence. To get more clients, players have to ensure that not only their service is up to the task, but also that they show kindness and compassion for their neighbors. Little Dragons Café takes this quite literally by adding a popularity mechanic where if players help their neighbors, they (and by extension their cafe) becomes more popular. With enough money, effort, and time players will be able to unlock the secrets of their island home, cure their mother, and run the best gosh darn dragon café in all the lands! Little Dragons Cafe will release on August 24 for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. Yasuhiro Wada, the designer behind the Harvest Moon franchise and Story of Seasons returns for a brand new title from TOYBOX Inc. Published by Aksys Games, Little Dragons Café has players managing the day to day affairs of a struggling café on the edge of civilization. Initially, players control one of two twin siblings, either a boy or a girl. Their working mom keeps them afloat by tending to their out of the way café, until one day she comes down with an illness that leaves her in a deep, unshakable sleep. Distraught, the children are visited by a quirky itinerant wizard. The strange old man presents the pair with a large egg and tells them that they must raise a dragon to adulthood to obtain the rare ingredient needed to wake their mother from her slumber. However, two kids can't really give a dragon the quality of life it needs to thrive without money! In order to support the business, the dragon, and themselves, the brother and sister have to take the reins of their little capitalist enterprise and turn it into a true tourist destination. To do that, they'll need all the help they can get between the abilities of their dragon, the wizard, a the motley crew of misfits who, for one reason or another, begin pitching in to make the café a success. While the other members of the team serve vital functions in the day-to-day running of the café, the dragon steals the show in terms of usefulness. Players can use the creature to discover new recipes in the wilds around their café as well as reach rare and delicious ingredients. Players will be responsible for raising their dragon. Feed it properly, nurture it with kindness and love, and it will grow larger. With each growth, the dragon gains new abilities, more stamina, and abilities - even flight. All of these a enable players to reach distant parts of the land to discover the rarest of ingredients and even long-lost legendary recipes that will bring more customers to the out-of-the-way little dragons café. With enough money, players can expand their cafe's facilities in a number of ways to better serve the ever increasing demands of the clientele. Every new recipe, if used correctly and made with the best ingredients, can help leave customers delighted and satisfied, helping to bring in more customers in the future. To get your hands on the freshest ingredients, players will have to grow produce themselves. Farm the land for fresh friends and veggies. Fish in the ocean to catch fish both common and rare. In these activities, it's really easy to spot the Harvest Moon influence. To get more clients, players have to ensure that not only their service is up to the task, but also that they show kindness and compassion for their neighbors. Little Dragons Café takes this quite literally by adding a popularity mechanic where if players help their neighbors, they (and by extension their cafe) becomes more popular. With enough money, effort, and time players will be able to unlock the secrets of their island home, cure their mother, and run the best gosh darn dragon café in all the lands! Little Dragons Cafe will release on August 24 for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. Marcus Stewart

    Feature: Review: State of Mind

    State of Mind presents a vision of 2048 that feels equal parts neat and unsettling. Robots dominate society, acting as household servants and even make up a fully autonomous police force. Citizens have augmented reality implants that display basic information for every person they come into contact with. Virtual reality has evolved into fully immersive worlds that many people prefer to spend their entire lives within. Technology can be wonderful, but should it advance at the expense of our humanity? State of Mind presents meaningful transhumanistic questions, but the delivery leaves much to be desired. Daedalic Entertainment’s narrative adventure has much in common with Life is Strange in terms of its third-person design. The meat of the experience involves exploring compact hub areas and interacting with characters, with additional elements sprinkled on top. These include puzzle-solving, stealth sequences, and even light shooting segments. The plot centers on technophobic journalist Richard Nolan. His life gets flipped on its head when he’s involved in a near-fatal car accident. As he gradually picks up the pieces, he realizes his accident may have been anything but. Worse, his family has also gone missing. In his search for answers he uncovers a conspiracy revolving around a secret virtual world. Despite his reservations with tech, Nolan must cooperate with forces in both realities, including a digital copy of himself, to rescue his family and squash a grander scheme. Nolan’s overwhelming unlikability holds back the story in a big way. Granted, much of this is by design. He’s tangled in an affair despite being married with a kid. His paranoia, both tech-related and personal, causes him to regularly fly off the handle, often irrationally. Nolan’s glaring flaws play into one of the game’s themes: escapism. Many characters turn to the virtual world to escape real world pain or imperfection. Richard has every reason to do the same, but he detests the idea of an artificial existence. That’s fine, but Nolan’s sheer abrasiveness made it nigh impossible to get behind him as a sympathetic character–something State of Mind clearly tries to accomplish. Nolan and the most of the cast suffer from cheesy, wooden performances that often rob serious moments of their emotional weight. A character death, for instance, doesn’t hit nearly as hard because of the rough acting. The story periodically drops players into the shoes of other supporting characters. Some tales land better than others–the story of a robot gaining freewill feels uninspired. However, these scenarios do a solid job of providing backstory and tying together different plot threads. Experiencing the troubled life of Nolan’s mistress Lydia became my favorite tale. She has easily the most fascinating history as well as the most genuine performance. Even though it features player choice, State of Mind tells a largely linear plot. Most choices lead to minor changes in tone, like choosing to respond angrily or passively. The only decision of significance comes at the flat conclusion. Those hoping to see branching paths for everything they do will be disappointed, but I personally didn’t mind the more focused approach. What did bother me was how the hokey, somewhat pretentious writing got in the way of State of Mind’s otherwise intriguing themes of transhumanism. The game sometimes feels like it tries too hard to be profound and can get up its own butt with its philosophy. State of Mind clicks best when those themes simply prop up the relatable human drama; an estranged father attempting to rebuild his family, for example. Other scenes feel outright dumb. In one unintentionally hilarious moment, I met a character infiltrating the virtual world undercover. He reiterated his need for secrecy, then immediately denounced the beliefs of the society he’s supposed to blending in with by making a loud scene in public. Well-worn archetypes (e.g. the messiah with a god complex, the self-righteous hacktivist) could have been stronger if they were written with more subtly. They can be over-the-top to the point being cartoonish and are painfully one-dimensional. In terms of presentation, the sharp, polygonal art direction gives State of Mind a cool style. I especially love the slick camera framing that adds to the cinematic feel. Unfortunately, scenes that abruptly switch to the loading screen and occasionally wonky angles (such as from within a character model) mar the production values. State of Mind’s gameplay can be hit and miss, as well, but I admire its variety. More involved mechanics include using a drone to navigate a maze of ventilation shafts while avoiding rogue bots. Sifting through notes to find correlating intel offers cerebral fun akin to a classic adventure title. An interactive art exhibit allowed me to manipulate music and visual effects for no real purpose but was neat diversion nonetheless. Best of all, only a few mechanics repeat themselves. Recurring activities are simplistic but mostly inoffensive. For example, piecing together jumbled AR scenes like a virtual puzzle. Others, such as a hacking mini-game, feel too easy. Players must position the analog sticks in the right spot but exacts solutions worked repeatedly, sometimes even consecutively. Conclusion State of Mind presents interesting ideas wrapped around solid gameplay and a good look. However, the questionable writing and performances bring everything down. It has some bright spots, but State of Mind ultimately boils down to an ambitious yet average sci-fi thriller. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  4. Marcus Stewart

    Review: State of Mind

    State of Mind presents a vision of 2048 that feels equal parts neat and unsettling. Robots dominate society, acting as household servants and even make up a fully autonomous police force. Citizens have augmented reality implants that display basic information for every person they come into contact with. Virtual reality has evolved into fully immersive worlds that many people prefer to spend their entire lives within. Technology can be wonderful, but should it advance at the expense of our humanity? State of Mind presents meaningful transhumanistic questions, but the delivery leaves much to be desired. Daedalic Entertainment’s narrative adventure has much in common with Life is Strange in terms of its third-person design. The meat of the experience involves exploring compact hub areas and interacting with characters, with additional elements sprinkled on top. These include puzzle-solving, stealth sequences, and even light shooting segments. The plot centers on technophobic journalist Richard Nolan. His life gets flipped on its head when he’s involved in a near-fatal car accident. As he gradually picks up the pieces, he realizes his accident may have been anything but. Worse, his family has also gone missing. In his search for answers he uncovers a conspiracy revolving around a secret virtual world. Despite his reservations with tech, Nolan must cooperate with forces in both realities, including a digital copy of himself, to rescue his family and squash a grander scheme. Nolan’s overwhelming unlikability holds back the story in a big way. Granted, much of this is by design. He’s tangled in an affair despite being married with a kid. His paranoia, both tech-related and personal, causes him to regularly fly off the handle, often irrationally. Nolan’s glaring flaws play into one of the game’s themes: escapism. Many characters turn to the virtual world to escape real world pain or imperfection. Richard has every reason to do the same, but he detests the idea of an artificial existence. That’s fine, but Nolan’s sheer abrasiveness made it nigh impossible to get behind him as a sympathetic character–something State of Mind clearly tries to accomplish. Nolan and the most of the cast suffer from cheesy, wooden performances that often rob serious moments of their emotional weight. A character death, for instance, doesn’t hit nearly as hard because of the rough acting. The story periodically drops players into the shoes of other supporting characters. Some tales land better than others–the story of a robot gaining freewill feels uninspired. However, these scenarios do a solid job of providing backstory and tying together different plot threads. Experiencing the troubled life of Nolan’s mistress Lydia became my favorite tale. She has easily the most fascinating history as well as the most genuine performance. Even though it features player choice, State of Mind tells a largely linear plot. Most choices lead to minor changes in tone, like choosing to respond angrily or passively. The only decision of significance comes at the flat conclusion. Those hoping to see branching paths for everything they do will be disappointed, but I personally didn’t mind the more focused approach. What did bother me was how the hokey, somewhat pretentious writing got in the way of State of Mind’s otherwise intriguing themes of transhumanism. The game sometimes feels like it tries too hard to be profound and can get up its own butt with its philosophy. State of Mind clicks best when those themes simply prop up the relatable human drama; an estranged father attempting to rebuild his family, for example. Other scenes feel outright dumb. In one unintentionally hilarious moment, I met a character infiltrating the virtual world undercover. He reiterated his need for secrecy, then immediately denounced the beliefs of the society he’s supposed to blending in with by making a loud scene in public. Well-worn archetypes (e.g. the messiah with a god complex, the self-righteous hacktivist) could have been stronger if they were written with more subtly. They can be over-the-top to the point being cartoonish and are painfully one-dimensional. In terms of presentation, the sharp, polygonal art direction gives State of Mind a cool style. I especially love the slick camera framing that adds to the cinematic feel. Unfortunately, scenes that abruptly switch to the loading screen and occasionally wonky angles (such as from within a character model) mar the production values. State of Mind’s gameplay can be hit and miss, as well, but I admire its variety. More involved mechanics include using a drone to navigate a maze of ventilation shafts while avoiding rogue bots. Sifting through notes to find correlating intel offers cerebral fun akin to a classic adventure title. An interactive art exhibit allowed me to manipulate music and visual effects for no real purpose but was neat diversion nonetheless. Best of all, only a few mechanics repeat themselves. Recurring activities are simplistic but mostly inoffensive. For example, piecing together jumbled AR scenes like a virtual puzzle. Others, such as a hacking mini-game, feel too easy. Players must position the analog sticks in the right spot but exacts solutions worked repeatedly, sometimes even consecutively. Conclusion State of Mind presents interesting ideas wrapped around solid gameplay and a good look. However, the questionable writing and performances bring everything down. It has some bright spots, but State of Mind ultimately boils down to an ambitious yet average sci-fi thriller. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  5. Dontnod, the developers of Vampyr and Life Is Strange, released The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit for free just a few days ago. The narrative adventure follows Chris, a young boy who lives with his dad, throughout an afternoon of his life. It has a lot of heart, occasionally channeling the spirit of Calvin & Hobbes, and also quite a bit of darkness. It walks a thin line between the joyful attitudes of youth and the stark realities of adulthood, with all of the trauma and pain that entails. Sit down, kick back, and listen as we parse out the details of this interesting lead up to Life Is Strange 2. A correction: At the end of the episode, there's some mention of this free piece of content being the first episode of Life Is Strange 2 - that is not the case. It's a free prequel to the events of the five episodes that comprise the full game. The first episode of Life Is Strange 2 will release on September 27. Outro music: Kirby's Epic Yarn 'Blue Lava, Grass Landing' by The Hit Points (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03754) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  6. Dontnod, the developers of Vampyr and Life Is Strange, released The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit for free just a few days ago. The narrative adventure follows Chris, a young boy who lives with his dad, throughout an afternoon of his life. It has a lot of heart, occasionally channeling the spirit of Calvin & Hobbes, and also quite a bit of darkness. It walks a thin line between the joyful attitudes of youth and the stark realities of adulthood, with all of the trauma and pain that entails. Sit down, kick back, and listen as we parse out the details of this interesting lead up to Life Is Strange 2. A correction: At the end of the episode, there's some mention of this free piece of content being the first episode of Life Is Strange 2 - that is not the case. It's a free prequel to the events of the five episodes that comprise the full game. The first episode of Life Is Strange 2 will release on September 27. Outro music: Kirby's Epic Yarn 'Blue Lava, Grass Landing' by The Hit Points (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03754) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  7. It has been long requested and finally done: The Life Is Strange episode is here! Naomi and Jack dive into all things Life Is Strange, from the theories to the story and how meaningful it can be, warts and all. Dontnod, the creators of Remember Me and the recently released Vampyr, really did well with their sophomore effort - did they do well enough to make a game that transcends greatness to be considered one of the best games of all-time? Play it, listen to the show, and judge for yourself. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Undertale 'Glitterbomb' by LongBoxofChocolate and Philippe Delage (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03734) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  8. It has been long requested and finally done: The Life Is Strange episode is here! Naomi and Jack dive into all things Life Is Strange, from the theories to the story and how meaningful it can be, warts and all. Dontnod, the creators of Remember Me and the recently released Vampyr, really did well with their sophomore effort - did they do well enough to make a game that transcends greatness to be considered one of the best games of all-time? Play it, listen to the show, and judge for yourself. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Undertale 'Glitterbomb' by LongBoxofChocolate and Philippe Delage (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03734) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  9. EA has made a habit of including a few smaller scale indie projects in its E3 press events over the last few years. This year they highlighted both Unravel Two and a completely unknown game from Berlin-based studio Jo-Mei. The studio's creative director, Cornelia Geppart took to EA's stage to announce Sea of Solitude, or SoS for short. "When humans get lonely they turn into monsters - this is the core of everything you will see, hear, and feel in SoS," said Geppart as footage of Sea of Solitude rolled in the background. Alternating between cheery scenery of a flooded town and a world of shadow inhabited by horrifically mutated humanoids, SoS seems like a combination of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and I Am Alive (a gritty indie disaster game set after a natural apocalypse that released in 2012 - maybe this comparison wasn't great since not many people played it). The story focuses on Kay, a young woman who has begun turning into one of the monsters that surrounds her. Why is this happening to everyone? How can she reverse the process? Players will have to brave the open seas and scavenge for supplies among monster infested towns to uncover the answers. Expect to see Sea of Solitude ship out in early 2019 for PC and consoles.
  10. EA has made a habit of including a few smaller scale indie projects in its E3 press events over the last few years. This year they highlighted both Unravel Two and a completely unknown game from Berlin-based studio Jo-Mei. The studio's creative director, Cornelia Geppart took to EA's stage to announce Sea of Solitude, or SoS for short. "When humans get lonely they turn into monsters - this is the core of everything you will see, hear, and feel in SoS," said Geppart as footage of Sea of Solitude rolled in the background. Alternating between cheery scenery of a flooded town and a world of shadow inhabited by horrifically mutated humanoids, SoS seems like a combination of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and I Am Alive (a gritty indie disaster game set after a natural apocalypse that released in 2012 - maybe this comparison wasn't great since not many people played it). The story focuses on Kay, a young woman who has begun turning into one of the monsters that surrounds her. Why is this happening to everyone? How can she reverse the process? Players will have to brave the open seas and scavenge for supplies among monster infested towns to uncover the answers. Expect to see Sea of Solitude ship out in early 2019 for PC and consoles. View full article
  11. Frog Fractions will not teach you how to fraction. Developed in 2012 by Jim Crawford, Frog Fractions began its life as an in-joke between himself and his friends. That joke evolved into an indie release that has been hailed as a mix between the best and worst game ever made. It's highly recommended that you play the game before you listen. It should only take about an hour to complete depending on how quick you are at discovering its tricks. You can play it for free on Twinbeard's website. Can a free indie comedy game stand as one of the best games period based on its originality alone? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 'Epic Steps' by Tonalysis (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03699) You can follow Marcus on Twitter @MarcusStewart7 where you can find his thoughts on Dragon Ball Super, wrestling, and video games! He also writes at Marcus Writes About Games, Extra Life (hey, that's here!), and hosts Carving Gaming Rushmores. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  12. Frog Fractions will not teach you how to fraction. Developed in 2012 by Jim Crawford, Frog Fractions began its life as an in-joke between himself and his friends. That joke evolved into an indie release that has been hailed as a mix between the best and worst game ever made. It's highly recommended that you play the game before you listen. It should only take about an hour to complete depending on how quick you are at discovering its tricks. You can play it for free on Twinbeard's website. Can a free indie comedy game stand as one of the best games period based on its originality alone? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 'Epic Steps' by Tonalysis (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03699) You can follow Marcus on Twitter @MarcusStewart7 where you can find his thoughts on Dragon Ball Super, wrestling, and video games! He also writes at Marcus Writes About Games, Extra Life (hey, that's here!), and hosts Carving Gaming Rushmores. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  13. The Stanley Parable originated as a mod for Half-Life 2 made by Davey Wreden. The mod proved to be relatively popular for its unique sense of humor and the way it played with gaming interactivity in novel ways. As a result, it became a fully fledged title that released at the tail end of 2013 with revamped graphics and additional content. Falling into that adventure game sub-genre of games that are sometimes derisively called "walking simulators," The Stanley Parable focuses on exploring interactivity in a digital medium by posing an iconic choice to the player: If you enter a room with two doors and someone tells you to go through the door on the left, but you are fully capable of going through the door on the right, which do you choose? With humor, minimalist design, and some brilliant voice work by Kevan Brighting, is The Stanley Parable one of the best games period? Outro music: Lunar Pool 'Looser Tool' by Harmsing (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03704) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  14. The Stanley Parable originated as a mod for Half-Life 2 made by Davey Wreden. The mod proved to be relatively popular for its unique sense of humor and the way it played with gaming interactivity in novel ways. As a result, it became a fully fledged title that released at the tail end of 2013 with revamped graphics and additional content. Falling into that adventure game sub-genre of games that are sometimes derisively called "walking simulators," The Stanley Parable focuses on exploring interactivity in a digital medium by posing an iconic choice to the player: If you enter a room with two doors and someone tells you to go through the door on the left, but you are fully capable of going through the door on the right, which do you choose? With humor, minimalist design, and some brilliant voice work by Kevan Brighting, is The Stanley Parable one of the best games period? Outro music: Lunar Pool 'Looser Tool' by Harmsing (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03704) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  15. You might not remember much about Kursk, an adventure game announced two years ago. Jujubee, the studio developing it, has been largely silent about the project after the reveal generated a considerable amount of criticism for its focus on the tragic sinking of the titular submarine in 2000, which resulted in the loss of all 118 sailors. The studio responded to those criticizing Kursk with the following statement: We would like to clarify a few things about our upcoming game "KURSK", because we see that there are some concerns. We are fully aware that this tragedy was a very painful topic for the Russian society and we can assure you that the game will be made with all the respect. There are many movies and books about current, very often painful events and we feel that games are now also a form of art and that the time has come for our industry to talk about serious and real topics. "KURSK" will be a game for the mature audience that can appreciate a deep storyline and our main goal is to do it right, without offending anyone. We hope that the final game will put all concerns to rest and that players will realize how much bravery it takes to live and work on a submarine. Many critics remained unconvinced, however, which may explain why the studio has been silent for two years. But now they're back with more information on their secretive project. Their announcement dubs Kursk the first "adventure-documentary game" in the history of video games. The claim that Kursk will be the first game ever to focus on a historical event is inaccurate, but Jujubee does seem to be aiming for historical accuracy with some embellishments. The additional details about Kursk's storyline reveal that it focuses on a character who didn't exist. Kursk will put players into the shoes of a fictional spy tasked with obtaining information on the Shkval supercavitating torpedoes, real torpedoes that the governments of the world had taken a keen interest in around the time of the incident. Players will be able to explore the submarine, Moscow, and the town of Vidyayevo, all locations which played pivotal roles in the lead up to the tragedy. Jujubee has implemented a variety of mechanics throughout the game to help bolster its narrative and help it stand out from what it sees as more conventional, repetitive games. Kursk's expected length sits at about ten hours. Michał Stępień, CEO at Jujubee, expressed his belief that Kursk would be a complex, nuanced story that would leave people better educated about the event and honor those who lost their lives saying: We think that the time has come to tell true stories. It’s fascinating how much our industry has evolved over the last dozen or so years. Games are becoming more and more complex, they offer an incredible audiovisual experience and let us immerse ourselves in virtual reality, but we should expect something more from them. As developers, we realize how much time users spend with our products, but we often fail to remember the responsibility connected to it. We can make games something more than just exciting entertainment. Games can become a tool not unlike books or films. They can help us develop, educate us, broaden our horizons, and provoke discussions that go far beyond the world of video games. We believe that KURSK will be precisely that kind of creation. It’s a game that brings the Russian submarine crew’s tragic story to the fore while maintaining all the advantages of sandbox gameplay. We’d like players not only to feel an integral part of the world we’re creating, but also to be inspired by the facts of this fascinating, if not dramatic story. The game will look at the story of the Kursk in a very comprehensive way. We aim for realism and as much immersion as possible. The player will not only have the opportunity to feel like a member of a submarine crew, but they will also be able to influence the story through their choices, including moral ones. The decisions they make will have a significant impact on the ending of the game, and there’ll be several of them Following the release of Kursk later this year, Jujubee has announced two expansions for the game. The first will be titled Kengir and will detail the events of the Kengir labor camp uprising in 1954 and the escape of one of the prisoners held there. The choice of subject matter for the DLC shows that Jujubee will not be shying away from potentially touchy topics going forward. The second DLC brings VR support in 4K and beyond. Kursk has no set release date, but it will be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in 2018. View full article
  16. Jack Gardner

    Kursk Resurfaces for Release This Year

    You might not remember much about Kursk, an adventure game announced two years ago. Jujubee, the studio developing it, has been largely silent about the project after the reveal generated a considerable amount of criticism for its focus on the tragic sinking of the titular submarine in 2000, which resulted in the loss of all 118 sailors. The studio responded to those criticizing Kursk with the following statement: We would like to clarify a few things about our upcoming game "KURSK", because we see that there are some concerns. We are fully aware that this tragedy was a very painful topic for the Russian society and we can assure you that the game will be made with all the respect. There are many movies and books about current, very often painful events and we feel that games are now also a form of art and that the time has come for our industry to talk about serious and real topics. "KURSK" will be a game for the mature audience that can appreciate a deep storyline and our main goal is to do it right, without offending anyone. We hope that the final game will put all concerns to rest and that players will realize how much bravery it takes to live and work on a submarine. Many critics remained unconvinced, however, which may explain why the studio has been silent for two years. But now they're back with more information on their secretive project. Their announcement dubs Kursk the first "adventure-documentary game" in the history of video games. The claim that Kursk will be the first game ever to focus on a historical event is inaccurate, but Jujubee does seem to be aiming for historical accuracy with some embellishments. The additional details about Kursk's storyline reveal that it focuses on a character who didn't exist. Kursk will put players into the shoes of a fictional spy tasked with obtaining information on the Shkval supercavitating torpedoes, real torpedoes that the governments of the world had taken a keen interest in around the time of the incident. Players will be able to explore the submarine, Moscow, and the town of Vidyayevo, all locations which played pivotal roles in the lead up to the tragedy. Jujubee has implemented a variety of mechanics throughout the game to help bolster its narrative and help it stand out from what it sees as more conventional, repetitive games. Kursk's expected length sits at about ten hours. Michał Stępień, CEO at Jujubee, expressed his belief that Kursk would be a complex, nuanced story that would leave people better educated about the event and honor those who lost their lives saying: We think that the time has come to tell true stories. It’s fascinating how much our industry has evolved over the last dozen or so years. Games are becoming more and more complex, they offer an incredible audiovisual experience and let us immerse ourselves in virtual reality, but we should expect something more from them. As developers, we realize how much time users spend with our products, but we often fail to remember the responsibility connected to it. We can make games something more than just exciting entertainment. Games can become a tool not unlike books or films. They can help us develop, educate us, broaden our horizons, and provoke discussions that go far beyond the world of video games. We believe that KURSK will be precisely that kind of creation. It’s a game that brings the Russian submarine crew’s tragic story to the fore while maintaining all the advantages of sandbox gameplay. We’d like players not only to feel an integral part of the world we’re creating, but also to be inspired by the facts of this fascinating, if not dramatic story. The game will look at the story of the Kursk in a very comprehensive way. We aim for realism and as much immersion as possible. The player will not only have the opportunity to feel like a member of a submarine crew, but they will also be able to influence the story through their choices, including moral ones. The decisions they make will have a significant impact on the ending of the game, and there’ll be several of them Following the release of Kursk later this year, Jujubee has announced two expansions for the game. The first will be titled Kengir and will detail the events of the Kengir labor camp uprising in 1954 and the escape of one of the prisoners held there. The choice of subject matter for the DLC shows that Jujubee will not be shying away from potentially touchy topics going forward. The second DLC brings VR support in 4K and beyond. Kursk has no set release date, but it will be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in 2018.
  17. If you were watching the Wizards of the Coast Dungeons and Dragons livestream during Extra Life 2017 you might have noticed that they did a live on-shot of an adventure dubbed The Lost Kenku run by Shawn Wood. The adventure proved to be pretty popular, bringing in both donations and requests after the fact to publish the adventure notes. To that end, Wood went on to write and illustrate a full version of the flexible adventure to benefit Extra Life, much like The Tortle Package supplement that they released for the Tomb of Annihilation Adventure. The adventure sends players on a quest to find a Kenku thief (Kenku are strange, magpie-like bird people). It introduces the village of Weirding, a strange community nestled in the jungles of Chult. The village holds many secrets and perhaps one of those holds the key to finding that blasted Kenku. You can watch the adventure being played in one session by the Dungeons and Dragons team during their Extra Life stream saved on YouTube. The adventure opens with a note from the author that touches on balance and how it can be tweaked for higher or lower level characters, but it ends with the following, "A special thanks to the wonderful donors of the Extra Life Charity and the Dungeons and Dragons Team. Together we can manage to do a little bit of good in this mind-flayer-run world." If you're interested in spicing up your tabletop gaming, you can find The Lost Kenku on dmsguild.com. Unfortunately, it's not clear if it will make its way onto DnD Beyond, Wizards of the Coast's digital Dungeons and Dragons compendium and gameplay tool. View full article
  18. If you were watching the Wizards of the Coast Dungeons and Dragons livestream during Extra Life 2017 you might have noticed that they did a live on-shot of an adventure dubbed The Lost Kenku run by Shawn Wood. The adventure proved to be pretty popular, bringing in both donations and requests after the fact to publish the adventure notes. To that end, Wood went on to write and illustrate a full version of the flexible adventure to benefit Extra Life, much like The Tortle Package supplement that they released for the Tomb of Annihilation Adventure. The adventure sends players on a quest to find a Kenku thief (Kenku are strange, magpie-like bird people). It introduces the village of Weirding, a strange community nestled in the jungles of Chult. The village holds many secrets and perhaps one of those holds the key to finding that blasted Kenku. You can watch the adventure being played in one session by the Dungeons and Dragons team during their Extra Life stream saved on YouTube. The adventure opens with a note from the author that touches on balance and how it can be tweaked for higher or lower level characters, but it ends with the following, "A special thanks to the wonderful donors of the Extra Life Charity and the Dungeons and Dragons Team. Together we can manage to do a little bit of good in this mind-flayer-run world." If you're interested in spicing up your tabletop gaming, you can find The Lost Kenku on dmsguild.com. Unfortunately, it's not clear if it will make its way onto DnD Beyond, Wizards of the Coast's digital Dungeons and Dragons compendium and gameplay tool.
  19. Sharpwood isn't a particularly welcoming place for a newcomer. The temperatures routinely fall below freezing, the people are hard, and opportunities seem hard to come by. People are friendly to those they know and suspicious or dismissive of those they don't. Sharpwood is also a place of tradition - and not all of those traditions are good ones, especially not when economic pressures are slowly twisting people into untenable positions. Into this place walks Lilly Reed, Sharpwood's new sheriff. She's tasked with maintaining the peace in a town that doesn't trust her with officers under her command who don't respect her. Reed has a job to do cleaning up the various smugglers and gangs while contending with populists who don't take too kindly to outsiders. As if all of that wasn't enough, a stranger named Warren Nash appears around the same time as Reed that could prove to be the savior of the town or its downfall. Players will step into Lilly Reed's shoes to deal with the various problems plaguing Sharpwood. One part adventure game with an emphasis on tough decisions and one part management sim, Reed will have to balance the officers she sends out on calls with their prejudices, personalities, skills, and equipment. Each case will have pivotal moments for Reed and the player and those moments will have consequences down the line, sometimes consequences of the life or death variety. This Is the Police 2 will be released later this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. View full article
  20. Sharpwood isn't a particularly welcoming place for a newcomer. The temperatures routinely fall below freezing, the people are hard, and opportunities seem hard to come by. People are friendly to those they know and suspicious or dismissive of those they don't. Sharpwood is also a place of tradition - and not all of those traditions are good ones, especially not when economic pressures are slowly twisting people into untenable positions. Into this place walks Lilly Reed, Sharpwood's new sheriff. She's tasked with maintaining the peace in a town that doesn't trust her with officers under her command who don't respect her. Reed has a job to do cleaning up the various smugglers and gangs while contending with populists who don't take too kindly to outsiders. As if all of that wasn't enough, a stranger named Warren Nash appears around the same time as Reed that could prove to be the savior of the town or its downfall. Players will step into Lilly Reed's shoes to deal with the various problems plaguing Sharpwood. One part adventure game with an emphasis on tough decisions and one part management sim, Reed will have to balance the officers she sends out on calls with their prejudices, personalities, skills, and equipment. Each case will have pivotal moments for Reed and the player and those moments will have consequences down the line, sometimes consequences of the life or death variety. This Is the Police 2 will be released later this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
  21. King Art Games released an episodic adventure series back in 2013 called The Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief. This year, King Art returns to its mystery to remaster it for modern consoles and give it a new coat of paint for the PC crowd. This new version will simply be called The Raven Remastered. The Raven focuses on unraveling the mystery behind the theft of a ruby from the British Museum in 1964. In its place was found a raven feather, the calling card of a master thief who disappeared without a trace years earlier. The ruby is one of a pair - the second is sent to Cairo for exhibition under the watchful eye of the player character, the bumbling constable Anton Jakob Zellner. Zellner quickly finds himself embroiled in a mystery that he had only ever encountered in his beloved mystery novels, complete with a debonair sleuthing rival in the form of Nicolas Legrand. When The Raven released five years ago, it received praise for its voice acting and narrative, as well as some criticism for its reliance on outdated adventure game mechanics. Perhaps those mechanics have improved with age? The remaster offers improved animations, a revamped lighting system, and new hair rendering all in HD. It also adds French, Spanish and Simplified Chinese support for the first time, which comes in addition to the already available German, Russian, Polish and Italian localizations. The trailer released to announce the upcoming remaster seems to oscillate between appropriately moody lighting showing off the improvements made and some... less visually appealing moments as seen in the thumbnail for the trailer. Can you keep the Eye of the Sphinx safe on its long journey to Cairo when The Raven Remastered releases on March 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC? View full article
  22. King Art Games released an episodic adventure series back in 2013 called The Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief. This year, King Art returns to its mystery to remaster it for modern consoles and give it a new coat of paint for the PC crowd. This new version will simply be called The Raven Remastered. The Raven focuses on unraveling the mystery behind the theft of a ruby from the British Museum in 1964. In its place was found a raven feather, the calling card of a master thief who disappeared without a trace years earlier. The ruby is one of a pair - the second is sent to Cairo for exhibition under the watchful eye of the player character, the bumbling constable Anton Jakob Zellner. Zellner quickly finds himself embroiled in a mystery that he had only ever encountered in his beloved mystery novels, complete with a debonair sleuthing rival in the form of Nicolas Legrand. When The Raven released five years ago, it received praise for its voice acting and narrative, as well as some criticism for its reliance on outdated adventure game mechanics. Perhaps those mechanics have improved with age? The remaster offers improved animations, a revamped lighting system, and new hair rendering all in HD. It also adds French, Spanish and Simplified Chinese support for the first time, which comes in addition to the already available German, Russian, Polish and Italian localizations. The trailer released to announce the upcoming remaster seems to oscillate between appropriately moody lighting showing off the improvements made and some... less visually appealing moments as seen in the thumbnail for the trailer. Can you keep the Eye of the Sphinx safe on its long journey to Cairo when The Raven Remastered releases on March 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC?
  23. The Harbinger comes. In Omensight, players take on the role of a powerful martial entity that exists outside of time. In a final act of desperation to save their world, the denizens of Urralia have summoned the player, Harbinger, to alter the course of events that led to the planet's destruction. Armed with time manipulation powers and an array of sword abilities, players must judge the leaders of Urralia and discern how best to shape its future. Players will navigate the past of Urralia as seen by the characters who brought it to ruin, choosing whether to aid them or fight against them. By making those choices, Urralia might just have a second chance at life. “When we released Stories: The Path of Destinies in 2016, we were thrilled with the response to its narrative structure,” says Malik Boukhira, Spearhead Game's Creative Director on Omensight. “Players told us how they enjoyed manipulating time to collect all the different endings in the game. With Omensight, our new original title set in a fresh universe, we’re taking this idea one step further. What we like to call the ‘narrative puzzle’ will extend to a range of diverse characters in Omensight, and we can’t wait to see how players navigate the intricacies of these characters’ actions and reactions to solve the mystery of Urralia’s demise.” Omensight has an awful lot of talent flowing into it behind the scenes. Vocal talent from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and We Happy Few will help bring life into the fictional world Spearhead Games aims to forge. That fictional world and the narrative bringing everything together will be crafted by Nadim Boukhira (Stories: The Path of Destinies) and Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion) with creative input from Chris Avellone, the writer of Fallout: New Vegas, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and Prey (2017). PAX South this coming weekend will present an opportunity for players to get their hands on the first public build of Omensight that will highlight the overarching story and combat system. View full article
  24. The Harbinger comes. In Omensight, players take on the role of a powerful martial entity that exists outside of time. In a final act of desperation to save their world, the denizens of Urralia have summoned the player, Harbinger, to alter the course of events that led to the planet's destruction. Armed with time manipulation powers and an array of sword abilities, players must judge the leaders of Urralia and discern how best to shape its future. Players will navigate the past of Urralia as seen by the characters who brought it to ruin, choosing whether to aid them or fight against them. By making those choices, Urralia might just have a second chance at life. “When we released Stories: The Path of Destinies in 2016, we were thrilled with the response to its narrative structure,” says Malik Boukhira, Spearhead Game's Creative Director on Omensight. “Players told us how they enjoyed manipulating time to collect all the different endings in the game. With Omensight, our new original title set in a fresh universe, we’re taking this idea one step further. What we like to call the ‘narrative puzzle’ will extend to a range of diverse characters in Omensight, and we can’t wait to see how players navigate the intricacies of these characters’ actions and reactions to solve the mystery of Urralia’s demise.” Omensight has an awful lot of talent flowing into it behind the scenes. Vocal talent from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and We Happy Few will help bring life into the fictional world Spearhead Games aims to forge. That fictional world and the narrative bringing everything together will be crafted by Nadim Boukhira (Stories: The Path of Destinies) and Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion) with creative input from Chris Avellone, the writer of Fallout: New Vegas, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and Prey (2017). PAX South this coming weekend will present an opportunity for players to get their hands on the first public build of Omensight that will highlight the overarching story and combat system.
  25. Though Good Old Games has certainly become a contender in the area of digital sales with a focus shifting toward new titles, the team behind the online storefront's curation of older PC games has been quietly chugging along. To that end, the 1996 adventure game Titanic: Adventure Out of Time has released once again! One might be forgiven for thinking of Titanic: Adventure Out of Time as a cheap cash grab that follows the events of James Cameron's Titanic, which released in 1997. Instead of weaving a tale of love and loss on the high seas, Adventure Out of Time focuses on the exploits of a British secret agent on the trail of a mystery that will decide the fate of entire countries, a mystery that turns into a race against time as the ship nears its tragic end. The game reconstructs the interior of the Titanic in intricate, 1996 PC-levels of detail. Players are able to interact with over 25 characters from differing segments of society who respond dynamically to choices made throughout your time aboard the Titanic. There's also an option to simply tour the 3D reconstruction of the vessel to learn more about the actual history of the doomed voyage. Titanic: Adventure Out of Time has long been a sought after gem among adventure game enthusiasts, so having it readily available and updated to run on current platforms is a real boon for the retro community as well as those curious about gaming history itself.
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