One of the biggest reasons I got into gaming are the well-crafted stories behind the cool graphics and fun gameplay. Stories with an emotional heartbeat and memorable moments that will remain with you even after the last credits have rolled. It’s a connection I seek out in much of the video games I play. So what do you do when you encounter a game that has a potentially mind blowing story, but to get there, you have to slog through gameplay that’s less than what you expected?
In the land of sequels, reboots, and remakes it’s beginning to be difficult to see anything having a definitive and decisive ending. We stretch out experiences for as long as we can. At times it can enhance a story to build upon what’s already there. Or it can be at the detriment of an already solid experience. Video games are the perfect entertainment medium to keep coming back to for new missions and boss fights to face at any time. Games like Destiny, Overwatch, and Fortnite are wildly successful because they’re games that don’t have an “ending” in any traditional sense of the word. Instead, they’re video games that are great for short bursts of gaming with the occasional new maps, characters, or events to participate in every few months or so. But as huge and popular these games are, does this mean we’re beginning to move away from video games that are mostly singular and conclusive experiences?
Concluding a video game can come with an array of emotions. There’s a sense of completion and satisfaction when you finally get to the point of seeing how the journey ends. You can be filled with a pang of longing and a bit of sorrow that there’s nothing more to do, except say goodbye. Or you can feel shock and anger over a conclusion you did not expect, a pay off that can feel like a colossal waste of time. Endings, especially in video games, can provoke a strong reaction from players. Far Cry 5’s two endings have made such an impression that I’m still unsure how I’m supposed to feel.
Making the jump to buy a Nintendo Switch last year has been one of the best decisions I ever made. The console is worth the hype and praise it has been getting since the time of its release, and I’m pleased with everything this light and small device is capable of. While I still have a ways to go before my collection of Switch games become an impressive display of the best titles to play on the console, I’m already in good company with the few I have. Among those cherished few is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Thanksgiving weekend has been the perfect time to catch up on video games or shop for new ones during the Black Friday sales. While the goal for most shoppers is to use the massive deals and markdowns to get a head start on those holiday shopping lists you have for family and friends, it can also be an irresistible excuse to use those discounts to purchase big money items you have been wanting for yourself. As I slowly recover from my turkey coma, I’ve had a mildly games related long weekend.
Thanksgiving is just a few days away for many Americans who celebrate it. It’s a time for family (or friends) to gather together once more to give thanks for what we have and to eat ourselves into a turkey induced coma. While I look forward to piling my plate high with turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, and all the traditional foods you would see at a Thanksgiving table, what I really enjoy the most is the quality time I get to spend with my family. Food and great company are a perfect pairing, and it makes me think about a scenario in which I’d be able to celebrate Thanksgiving, or Friendsgiving, with some of my favorite video game characters. In honor of Thanksgiving week, I have created a shortlist of a cast of video game characters I would most want to spend Friendsgiving with.
Video games are often a form of escapist entertainment. We play to have fun, lead lives that are different from our own, and forget our real world problems for a little while. But what happens when you combine fictional stories with today’s commentary about current events? Can we still view these games as pure fun and escapism when these messages, subtle or overt, become unabashed in their intention to drive a point home?
When Dontnod Entertainment released Life Is Strange back in 2015, it became the unexpected hit that invited gamers to get swept up in the friendship between Max Caulfield and Chloe Price, while helping them uncover the mystery behind popular girl Rachel Amber’s disappearance. However you choose to end Max and Chloe’s story, Life Is Strange is a complete game. But for developer Deck Nine, there’s still another story that hasn’t been told—the story of Chloe and Rachel.
Video games are memorable experiences and it’s often tied to the staff who have made these games possible for thousands of gamers to enjoy. But when a studio makes the decision to abruptly close and lay off their staff without warning, what settles in is shock, confusion, and uncertainty for those involved and the projects now in limbo. This is the situation Telltale Games has found itself in.
July is nearly over and by now most of my followers know to expect a video game challenge report at the end of each month. It’s my way of keeping track of my own personal progress while discussing impressions I have had on the game I chose to play from my hill of a backlog. Despite my dogged determination to play and experience every game I ever bought or received as a gift, going as far as turning it into a challenge, even fatigue and lack of motivation can sometimes strike the best and most ardent of gamers.