To this day, I regard the Monster Hunter series as the norm when it comes to action role playing games that focus on killing massive monsters. Over the last ten years, these hunting games may have been few and far between, but I find they offer amazing experiences with their heavy emphasis on the heat of battle.
At one time, Monster Hunter was the king of its sub-genre. Any game with a similar concept was considered a clone – take Gods Eater Burst, Ragnarok Odyssey or Soul Sacrifice, for example. They’re all fun and unique, but they just don’t stand up against the Monster Hunter series.
Despite their position in my eyes as the best, I think Capcom and its Monster Hunter series could learn from other developers and maybe make the series even better.
Horror is an inherently mutable genre in media. In order to illicit “scares”, good horror movies, books and videogames adhere to a certain formula, only to change it up once that formula becomes predictable.
With strong signs in a resurgence of survival horror games on the horizon, heralded in by games such as Outlast and the highly anticipated The Evil Within, I think it’s about time the industry takes a look at itself in the mirror and switches the genre up.
We’re starting to see the zipper in the monster’s costume.
We are all taping up our fists in anticipation for the June release of Ultra Street Fighter IV, the final expansion in Capcom’s lauded Street Fighter IV series.
In addition to six new stages from Street Fighter X Tekken and the new fighting mechanics, Capcom has revealed four returning series vets: Poison, Hugo, Rolento and my person favorite: Street Fighter III’s Elena. On top of this roster a new challenger approaches: an as-of-yet unannounced female character.
But who could this mysterious warrior woman be? Series producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that this character “has never been in a fighting game before,” which hints at either an entirely new Capcom creation or someone from the vaults who has yet to make an appearance in a Capcom fighting game. After all, Jill and Felicia have already thrown down in Marvel vs. Capcom, along with a bunch of other Capcom starlets.
All we know is that whoever she is, they have been described as a “good fit” for the Street Fighter universe, ruling out such fan favorites as R. Mika and Karin, as well as NPCs like one of Bison’s Dolls.
I have decided to step into the ring and take a few jabs–some humorous, some based on informed speculation–at who our newest brawling beauty might be.
Judging a book by its cover is a foolhardy act, but for videogames, box art can serve as a doorway into the worlds they harbor.
Fantastic box art has been a staple of gaming since the early days of the NES. Modern artists the world over have even created imagery along the lines of cartridge displays and exhibitions for covers for games that don’t even exist.
Many of these covers are inspired by famous pieces of popular art. Some are even designed by the actual artist’s of those original works.
Presented here, and reflective only of my humble opinion, is a gallery of some of the most beautiful game boxes of all time.
I can’t recall the last time I read a game’s instruction manual out of necessity. It’s hard to remember that there once was an era of gaming where rules had to be learned and discussed before playing. Nowadays, titles usually either teach the player within the confines of the game or simply let them learn intuitively.
But there’s always another way to play a game. With strange, seemingly absurd, self-imposed rules, one can transform a well-known game into an entirely different experience.
Unlike modding, where players can physically create and/or modify a game, the action I describe is more metaphysical. Since there is no official word for playing a game with fan-made restrictions and rules, allow me to share some personal stories involving the craft. Below, I’ve listed the titles I’ve played in a unique way that I found challenging and fun.
For all of the bluster and fuss over “high brow” and “low brow” entertainment, books and videogames are not always so different from each other. Both can be vessels for detailed and highly engrossing narratives.
Many great games have drawn from a rich pool of literature, especially those of the East. The four great epics of China from which we have gotten Suikoden, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the various adaptations of Journey to the West, all owe their inspiration to their famous source material.
In contrast, the Western canon seems like a well left untapped. Often a movie adaptation beats a game to the punch and we get a game that seems more like an afterthought than an actual faithful working of the source material. With that said, it’s high time we look to books if we are to look forward to some better games.
Here are several works from both classical and modern literature that could easily make for some killer titles.
Much like the duality between good and evil itself, gameplay based on moral decisions can either take the light or dark path in terms of its execution.
Though morality choices within games are nothing new, the feature itself seems to be a more modern trope. Series like Fallout, Infamous, and Fable have all advertised their moral choice system as a selling point. At their worst, moral choice systems remain just that: a selling point adhering to a fad.
At its best, the feature meshes with gameplay and challenges the player’s impulses. The best and most interesting problems never have one right way to solve them.
Since the launch of the Compact Disc in 1982, jewel cases and all cases thereafter always had one constant variable: the inserts, including the cover and/or instruction manual would be situated on the left and the disc would sit comfortably on the right.
We’re all used to opening our cases like this. It’s like second nature to us at this point. But then Microsoft decides to throw us for a loop with the Xbox One and revels against this long-standing status-quo.
Open up an Xbox One game case and you will instantly feel alienated. The scene you’re used to seeing has been totally flipped around. The disc now lays on the left side while any instruction manuals, codes or other papers are on the right.
What the hell, Microsoft?
I don’t remember the launch of the Super Nintendo.
I was too young to recall what I’m sure was a very momentous and exciting time for my older brother. Technically my half brother, he lived between my house and his biological mother’s. On the days that he was around, I would attentively watch him try and beat Super Mario World, a launch title still hailed as one of the best videogames of all time. After no doubt bugging the patience out of him, he eventually relented and handed me the controller.
This is the exact moment when I became a gamer. A rattly SNES controller with a “space shuttle” skin from a Nintendo Power is my version of Proust’s madeline cookies.
When asked what you’ve been playing lately, you’re likely to reply with a myriad of titles such as Madden, Assassin’s Creed, Skyrim or a whole host of others.
Oftentimes, I’m just as likely to respond in kind; however, there’s a good chance I’ll also offer up Tecmo Bowl, Double Dragon II or Super Mario RPG.
I’m a gamer. Period. I own games and consoles across the spectrum and collect them indiscriminately. When I talk about these old school titles, whether I’m recounting recent play throughs or mention a gem I’ve found at a flea market or garage sale, many of my friends or co-workers respond with indifference or forced enthusiasm. Where’s the respect?
Not for me, of course, but for the classics.