June 13, 2016

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Category: Paradox, PC, Strategy

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Space Pew Pew

Paradox Studios has had a busy period, releasing Hearts of Iron IV in June and Stellaris just the month before.  They are both fantastic achievements – two high quality products in close succession.  Stellaris, specifically, represents a new direction for Paradox, which is known for its historically grounded games such as Crusader Kings, Victoria, and Europa Universalis.  This time someone in Paradox must have decided, “let’s make some stuff up and put it in space” – and it’s a good thing they did.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hagal/2617221273/in/photolist-4ZgWGH-njHN4P-nhEVcy-nhEXE9-nhZBTj-ghKS74-nhF3ui-nhXjmR-nhF1hT-jNyxct-cEYwnU-jHGaSk-9qoif4-ighaKi-9qrjKG-6gZ6qX-5BJuo-tT8Aj-gopfcx-igha86-ighaSx-gTujFa-hUPrvZ-ir1R8C-6gZ6ia-gopFNx-ighEQw-ftTmgn-jgfDc9-jge5x1-gtbfjd-ijR6KZ-h8T5rY-gN4C5E-gzc5nm-5BHBA-jQeTGe-gzgRpN-gGREWo-gTwUHd-6P3YRD-gw9mU5-jmDChA-ijQHSG-hU7VFQ-gzd5Dk-ijTY8D-iufkPH-kod1VJ-ghJREg

June 9, 2016

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Category: PC, Strategy, Uncategorized

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A Modern Major General

June 6 (D-day!) marked the release of Paradox Studios’ Hearts of Iron 4, the venerable World War II simulator.  I’ve had a long love-hate relationship with this strategy series going back a decade or so.  Love, in that in captures one of the most tumultuous periods of human history and lets you jump in wherever you please – feel like playing as the Dominican Republic?  Sure, go nuts.  Hate, in that, the game’s complexities, though adding strategic depth, make it nightmarish to approach at times.  It is a series not for the casual strategist, but more for the armchair Pattons and Eisenhowers.

Ways Assassins Creed is Fading out

Assassin’s Creed is a franchise that has been struggling to justify its own existence of late.  Despite its plethora of available material covering the entire breadth of human history – we have seen the Crusades, the Renaissance, the Golden Age of Piracy, and now, the height of Pax Britannica – the franchise seems at times to be stagnant and lacking originality.  Why is that?

The Open World Trend

Open world!  Go where you please!

This was the promise of the future.  What we wouldn’t have given back in the days of Donkey Kong Country to have been able to free roam across DK Island with the promise of new levels to be had… new loot (and bonus level barrels, of course).  Back in those days, theera of the 1990s when the video game hobby was really finding its feet and jumping into an obscure late-night tv commercial thing to a generational standard – oh what amazing machines our Super Nintendos and our Segas were – we were fixed on pre-determined path by our video game designer overlords.  Except for the occasional warp pipe, we progressed from level one, to two… to three.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sergesegal/9031907532/in/photolist-eL7TrE-9SwJDm-9Te7ZB-bWEo26-cDdMSb-89pJxR-2ouWi-9RMEn9-e42Sg-9DknJi-cXRt3d-9RzvM6-7CJ4tU-9RMEaA-6paaaf-8cD4Gr-6dnH4M-89psJe-9StRj6-9SwMoo-8cGnZ5-eL7ez3-eKVuyP-8fjDgR-daMw2f-6sWoKi-ccxxz1-5NBxNZ-9RMEk5-czXytm-bVhrCc-8h5GMG-9Tiafv-8bYrQP-67tmi9-4vq2P6-9RMEdE-9Te9pV-mdwLhZ-avaqaM-bUu5ip-9TgVAm-bUR8B6-cBBbbb-9TgYXd-9RzvP4-6ahAW4-9RJKk2-9RzvHa-9RzvKH

July 14, 2015

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Category: News, PC, PlayStation, Wii U, XBox

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E3 Thoughts

So another E3 has come and gone, and with it we are witness to whole slew of new and exciting things.  This year we certainly were not left wanting, with some of the biggest footage including titles like Fallout 4 and Uncharted 4 (those particular captured my interest the most).  But overall, what else did we learn?

Super-Soccer

What happens when a bunch of superheroes, video game characters, and even the odd Fantasy book character get together for a soccer match?

Check it out.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/goodrob13/2439800410/in/photolist-4HABEj-7VE7rD-8axuPD-abh4j6-et81dA-frwyY3-4dMyLv-c3xpD-33yijA-a1U5hT-9MNEAs-5xviQr-qHqRCH-4QWaEQ-5bypdv-4W1UWj-nKP7Jo-ztKpB-8HaM65-a8K4cL-a2u2Wa-9j17xH-7Ur451-4StQAb-2U2bAQ-8zDMje-8fobqs-Tttv3-mg5MR6-nR6Xb-o44wKY-dNeCqu-6sSBpq-pufUPN-cU5cJ-aEzZi6-ora6Gu-4HAwom-a8K4KJ-nAHD9X-5p4ZDu-4QuhCZ-7FDhqX-jJhpoQ-ARUyv-dwLvfJ-5nVt6a-guit1N-Q15d1-q2VB1P

June 4, 2015

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Category: Humour

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Realistic Mario

When put this way… Mario is just.. well, an awful guy.  After decades of goomba stomping, we have never stopped to consider just exactly what we were doing to Bowser’s stormtroopers – those waves of Koopa that swarmed the mushroom kingdom.  Top marks to the guy who created this gem of a series which points out how comical Mario would be in our world.

War Never Changes

It is no secret that Fallout 3 was one of my favourites.  Fallout: New Vegas appealed to many, and although I enjoyed it, it never quite struct the same resonant chord with me that Fallout 3 did.  However, the success of both made a sequel inevitable…

Life Is Strange

I took a shot in the dark on ‘Life is Strange’ on Steam – and was very impressed.  It is a five part interactive story set in a sleepy Oregon town, built along the same lines as Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead – however, it tells an original story set in a world that feels very nostalgic.  Definitely worth a go for the low price.

To Digital or not to Digital?

I remember the day, back in the wild times of the mid ’90s, when we were still amazed by Mario Kart 64’s whole eight character roster (Wario, playable?  Wow!).  Back then I’d rush home from the store as fast as the city bus would get me there (not very) – and pop my brand new shiny cartridge into the ’64.  Boom!  New game, product complete, fired up in all its early 64bit 3D glory.  Two years later, that game would be just as was then – awesome.  No patches required.

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