Blog Archives

Microsoft Is Late with Payments to Indie Devs

xbox-live-indie-games-headerMicrosoft doesn’t have the best reputation in the indie gaming community. They didn’t have many fans before eliminating self-publishing on the Xbox One at the console’s announcement and subsequent reversal. They aren’t going to win any more with the latest scandal.

A number of developers on the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace have come out to say that Microsoft is late with their third quarter payments by over two weeks.

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Microsoft Introducing Digital Purchases at Retail Stores

xbox-one-moneyMicrosoft is looking to put an emphasis on digital distribution and downloadable games by bringing them to the brick-and-mortar game shop near you. The green brand is launching a pilot program in the US and UK to allow gamers to buy codes for select Xbox 360 and One games.

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Critics Corner: Dark Souls II

dark-souls-ii-headerWhat happens when the most hyped game of the generation (so far) is beaten out on critical acclaim by the sequel to a mercilessly difficult cult hit? Well, I doubt it’ll lead it to being a sales blockbuster like the most triple of triple-As but I’d imagine that the critical acclaim of Dark Souls and Dark Souls II along with the praise from gamers would result in more copies of DS2 ending up in consoles than DS1.

While there was some talk about making Dark Souls 2 friendlier for new players, that doesn’t mean that the game is easier than its predecessor. There is more clear language in what various weapons and abilities do but that doesn’t make the game a cakewalk. Other than that and a little work on exposition, if you loved the first Dark Souls, chances are you’re coming right back for more.

But enough of what I have to say. Here’s what the critics think of Dark Souls II.

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Critics Corner: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

lightning-returns-final-fantasy-xiii-headerThe saga of Lightning and Final Fantasy XIII comes together in the third installment of the FF13 trilogy. Square Enix billed it as a story that needed three games to be told in its entirety. When I dropped $70 on the first Final Fantasy XIII back in 2010, it seemed so dull and generic with combat that only required you to hold down X until the battle was over that I made about an hour before I put it at the bottom of a drawer and haven’t touched it for the last four years. I spent hundreds of hours playing the FFX games. I even loved X-2 and I’m pretty sure that everyone hates that game and the J-pop therein.

Somehow, the game managed to get a franchise-record two sequels. If the critics scores are to be believed, the games have been getting worse as the FFXIII trilogy has gone along with Lightning Returns hitting the bottom. Oddly enough, that’s how I feel about the franchise  now too. I’ll be quite happy to get back into the series with Final Fantasy XV but, for now, good riddance to FF13.

Anyway, enough of what I think. Here’s what the critics think about Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Grand Theft Auto V

grand-theft-auto-v-headerI don’t think that I could do a list of the seven best games of the seventh console generation without including one game from this year. While a lot of our attention this year has been on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, 2013 has been a spectacular year for games. Any one of a few games are more than worthy of inclusion on this list.

From the class of 2013, the best swansong for the now last generation of consoles has to be Grand Theft Auto V.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Mass Effect Trilogy

mass-effect-trilogy-headerLast week, when talking about Skyrim, I mentioned that a number of games outside the RPG genre incorporated elements of RPGs into their games. These included things like skill points, customization, inventory systems, questing, deep stories, dialogue tree and more of the classic RPG tricks.

This week’s entry into the 7 Best may have started life as being a bit more of an RPG than a third-person shooter but evolved into a third-person shooter that retained the strong influence of RPGs. Of course, if I boiled down the Mass Effect Trilogy to a series of gameplay mechanics and the evolution of the mechanics, I’d be missing the whole point of the franchise. Mass Effect’s strong suit and its claim to fame is the story.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-headerIf there’s one genre of games that seemed to take of the last generation of consoles, it was the role-playing game. The RPG genre has been around for almost as long as video games thanks to the popularity of the pen-and-paper RPGs, like Dungeons and Dragons. It was really this generation that saw the proliferation of RPGs and the incorporation of RPG elements into a number of games in other genres.

At the top of the class in this generation is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The fifth entry into Bethesda’s hit action RPG series re-set the bar for Western RPGs thanks to gorgeous graphics, a spectacular soundtrack and seemingly limitless gameplay throughout the open world of Skyrim.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Rock Band

rock-band-headerWhen people think up games for lists such as out 7 best games of the 7th generation (or 7 For 7 for short), they think of game of the year winners or critically acclaimed blockbusters. But how many of these lists include games that were just wildly popular and genre redefining?

Rock Band was probably never really in contention for a major game of the year award but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a big game for the current console generation. The mark of a game being among the best isn’t just what the critics think but what the gamers think. I’m hard pressed to think of anyone who didn’t love playing Rock Band.

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There’s Still Time to Nominate Your Favourite Current-Gen Games

Yes, we’re still going to be making our list of the seven best games of the seventh generation of video game consoles. The first article is just going through final edits now before being posted on Friday while the next two are most of the way through the first draft.

Seeing as the list hasn’t been finalized (though I have five or six games that I’d call locked in), there’s still time to nominate one or more of your favourite games from the current generation for the list. A couple of games from the first round of nominations are in the 7 For 7 list so your voices are being heard.

You can nominate a game (or games) by leaving a comment below, firing us an email to etgeekera [at] gmail.com or filling in the submission form below.

The first game will be named on November 15th with a new entry every Friday until the end of the year.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: Call of Duty: Ghosts (PS3 / 360)

call-of-duty-ghosts-xbox-360-box-artIf there’s a franchise that’s used as a metaphor for everything that people see as wrong with gaming today, it’s Call of Duty. People are using racial, ethnic, homophobic and misogynistic slurs online? Damn CoD kids. Effectively recycling last year’s game for a big profit this year? Old CoD trick. The death of the single-player campaign at the expense of getting everyone into and spending money on multiplayer? You better believe that’s a CoD’ing.

So with the release of the transitional Call of Duty: Ghosts on current generation consoles yesterday, one had to wonder if the reviews would be a referendum on the franchise as a whole.

The answer is that I’m not entirely sure. I’ve never played a CoD game so I won’t be able to tell you how Ghosts this stacks up. (Sorry, I’m just not a big FPS fan.) Many reviewers noted that this was remarkably similar to Infinity Ward’s last effort, CoD: Modern Warfare 3, and marked it down as a result. Others noted that but gave it a high mark because it was still fun. So if you loved MW3, there’s nothing to turn you off here.

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