Author Archives: Steve Murray
Has Haven been turned on its head? Well, did last week’s episode turn Haven on its head more than the fog wall, everyone in town getting Troubles, and Duke’s multinational adventure? Probably not. The good news is that this week’s episode might have an even more ridiculous Trouble but it’s starting us on the path to the series finale.
In the year since I reviewed Motorsport Manager on mobile, Christian West went from mobile game development star to management sim superstar. He’s now the founder of PlaySport Games which developed and released Motorsport Manager on PC and used that as the basis for the new Motorsport Manager 2.
After a fairly story-light outing in Enter Sandman and some fairly unimportant episodes in the overarching Season 5 narrative to start Season 5B, Haven made a hard turn back into the mythology of the show and the show-long story of curing the Troubles in Wild Card.
A little over 24 hours after its community team scored the worst received comment in Reddit history, EA and DICE have responded to the criticism of the cash-grabbing practices in Star Wars: Battlefront II by announcing changes to the pricing of the unlockable hero characters in the game.
Gamers have been vocally opposed to the industry’s move to introduce more microtransactions and loot boxes into games, especially when they can upset the balance of a competitive multiplayer experience.
This battle between the gamers opposed to constant and unbalanced microtransactions and publishers who are putting millions in their pockets through said microtransactions has come to a head in the run up to Star Wars: Battlefront II. EA’s defense of their progression through loot box acquisitions and the advantage of paying to progress was so bad that it is the most disliked comment in the history of Reddit.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm started in the same way that the original did in that it spent the first episode building a new (but familiar) world in Arcadia Bay. After its first episode, the original Life is Strange quickly blossomed into an amazing Game of the Year winning game thanks building onto the characters, relationships and world that Dontnod established in the first episode.
The real challenge for Deck Nine, who have created their own world inside the Life is Strange story, isn’t establishing the new story, characters and relationships. Their challenge is matching Dontnod’s ability to build that world. It’s as tough a task as any but Deck Nine certainly did a damn fine job of it in Episode Two.
So my return to Haven to finish the series and see more John Dunsworth didn’t get off to the best of starts. My Dunsworth mission actually went worse this week since he and Richard Donat weren’t in this week’s reviewed episode of Haven. Instead, Haven tightened its focus to Audrey and Charlotte in Haven and added another character to Duke’s adventures outside of Maine.
As many of you likely heard, John Dunsworth died earlier this week. While almost all of his obituaries and remembrances mention his stint on Trailer Park Boys, I haven’t actually watched it. I assume that makes me a bad Canadian and a bad citizen of my hometown where the TPB film Swearnet was filmed. However, I knew Dunsworth from his scene-stealing role as Dave Teagues in Haven.
And this brought me to the realization that I hadn’t finished watching (or reviewing) Haven. I just stopped watching back in 2015 with only 11 episodes left in the show’s run. So now is the time that I pick up where I left off and finish Haven.
As someone who has been playing sports games since the NES, I can tell you first-hand that sports games have gotten ridiculously complex over the last 25 years. From two buttons in Blades of Steel to using every button, bumper, trigger and thumbstick on modern EA Sports NHL games, hockey games have changed a lot over the decades.
What appealed to me about Old Time Hockey is that it billed itself as an arcade hockey game. As someone who has been gaming for as long as I have, I was hoping that would mean hard-hitting, high scoring hockey with simple controls. That was correct to an extent but the execution hides the intention.
Telltale Games is an interesting enigma in double-A gaming. They’re too big to be your standard indie studio but not quite at that triple-A developer level in terms of the scope or quality of their games. They’ve found themselves a niche by making episodic, story-driven games. Their adaptations of The Walking Dead and Fables (as The Wolf Among Us) launched them into a prestige class above many triple-A developers. Everyone was beating down their doors to get them to make a game of their properties.
After The Walking Dead, Telltale made games based on Borderlands, Game of Thrones, Minecraft, Batman and Guardians of the Galaxy. The only problem is that Telltale has stretched themselves thin on both the creative and technical sides of their business. The Telltale Tool engine is suffering from regular performance problems while the writing quality has been sliding as more is heaped onto their writers’ plates.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, the third “season” in Telltale’s TWD saga, might just be a microcosm of the decline of Telltale over the course of just five episodes.