XBOX One is stronger than PS4?

xbox-one-vs-ps4Every week it seems there is a new graphical comparison between the XBOX One and the Playstation 4. Each time it is noticeably different to varying degrees between each system, with the PS4 typically coming away with the slightly better texture improvements and lighting differences. Most of the developers recently interviewed about the consoles have insisted they are both equally strong platforms that are fairly easy to develop for. So why does the PS4 keep getting the graphically stout games like No Man’s Sky and Horizon, while the XBOX One continues to struggle with increasing resolution and frame rate? The difference between the systems isn’t a matter of which is stronger, but where they are stronger. Continue reading

Battlefield Hardline First Impressions

Battlefield HardlineThe day has come Battlefield fans, Battlefield Hardline is here. I thoroughly enjoyed the smoothness and fun factor in the beta, and was sold on the new title for the franchise. My concerns in the beta had less to do with the game itself and more to do with how the scoring system incentivizes behavior and how the Battlefield community seems unable to consistently work together, communicate, and go for the objective. I’ve only played the multiplayer, and that will be most of my engagement with the game, so here are my initial thoughts. Continue reading

Dragon Age Inquisition Review

Dragon Age InquisitionAs someone who is slightly embarrassed by two unfinished false starts of Skyrim, I am thoroughly enjoying Dragon Age Inquisition. It wasn’t Skyrim’s fault, and it may not be Dragon Age’s fault either if I fail to land the plane of their monstrous release. I’m far enough in the game, however, to praise the praiseworthy and give criticism to a few shortcomings. Continue reading

Another beautiful indie title on the way: Clockwork

clockworkWith titles like Child of Light, Never Alone, and Ori and the Blind Forest, beautiful side scrolling games are becoming a well-established genre in the indie universe. The movement of a side scroller is subversively nostalgic with old school games beneath as a distant but powerful memory. And the trend of this classic genre is alive and kicking with another new and innovative title on the horizon. Continue reading

Stop Pre-Ordering Season Passes

Watch Dogs Season PassVideo games continue to increase and add to their worlds and titles with extra downloadable content after a game launches. It can be an easy way to provide extended experiences, add more to the story, and make some relatively easy profit. However, something strange and somewhat sinister has become more common with every big release. For a while games have been offering a season pass, which is a great way for someone to snag all the extra content at a slight discount. More recently though, games have been offering the discount along with other alluring incentives and day one content when you pre-order the season pass. Continue reading

Rise of the Tomb Raider Might Break Your Xbox

Rise of the Tomb RaiderThe debate about graphics in video games is an on-going and sometimes confusing discussion. With Microsoft claiming that more processing power is being given to developers and Sony boasting of the strongest and most sold console it can be difficult to parse what really matters. Recently I wrote that graphics aren’t that important if a game focuses on the right things. So I’m somewhat concerned with a recent announcement that Rise of the Tomb Raider will, “Push the Xbox One to its limit”. Continue reading

Game Companies, Stop Micromanaging Players

office space bossIf you have spent anytime playing video games, you might start to feel like a game can bully your sense of independence or freedom. Sometimes game developers can place too much focus on patches and updates that hinder player behavior to the point that it can frustrate the community. While some titles have legitimate issues post-launch, it seems that most balancing issues should be found during testing (I already wrote about internal testing, so maybe it doesn’t happen enough). Players can start to feel like we are testing the games for them in a strange experiment. Continue reading

Microtransactions, The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Micro-transactionsIf you aren’t paying attention then you may have missed that micro-transactions have jumped from mobile games to console games disguised as small pieces of DLC. Some say they are evil and ruin games, while other point out that when done properly can keep game cost down and provide gamers with variety and options. So, are there times where this controversial practice can be used in a good way? Or is it always bad and ugly? Continue reading

Why You Want the First Borderlands on Next-gen

BorderlandsIf you haven’t guessed it yet, Borderlands is my favorite game franchise. The games are jam packed with content, replayability, great graphics, top notch voice acting, and a narrative that strikes a brilliant balance between humorous and serious. I have already said that the Handsome Collection is great news for gamers, but now I turn to why you should buy it: because Randy Pitchford basically said good sales will probably bring the first Borderlands to next-gen as well.
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Why Borderlands Handsome Collection is Good News

borderlands handsome collectionGaming has been going through a bit of a rough patch lately. Everyone feels burned out by over-hyped titles, bad DLC practices, and buggy launches. With bigger marketing budgets and more pre-order incentives than ever before, games continue to prime the pump for disappointment and frustration. But the clouds are clearing and light is breaking through. Borderlands the Handsome Edition coming to next-gen consoles is good news for everyone, not just gamers who have the newer systems. Continue reading