Saturday, March 29, 2014

Acquisitions: Oculus, Facebook, and the future

Facebook delving into the hardware industry.

Checking his Facebook page and playing a game will soon look the same

I've read a lot of comments and memes lately about the acquisition of Oculus by Facebook. Many of those things bad, since there were so many companies and people that personally invested in the Oculus Kickstarter campaign. I understand the position that the community is in, however I can also see that this can be a good thing in the bigger picture.

First off, I want to make it clear that I understand the bad blood between some of the community and Oculus. The idea of Kickstarter was to give good ideas a chance to shine in a world where mega-corporations have so much control, and so many patents that they stifle independent developers. It is supposed to be a way for those developers to get started and provide a well made product for the public that isn't tainted by the profit driven corporate structure of public companies.

Unfortunately, new technology takes quite a long time to develop and perfect. Not to mention mistakes, and dead-ends in that development that cost money without profits. Trying to fund a research and development with production through a single Kickstarter campaign is practically impossible. Especially when you consider that this technology is going to take possibly decades to perfect and make affordable.

That's where Facebook comes in. Most people don't understand that these mega-corporations acquire smaller companies like this to expand and push resources at the technology so they can develop it faster and better. Yes, they're going to release it for profits later on, but it's still in the best interests of the average consumer for the technology to be developed by a larger company with more resources.

This also marks the first major step by Facebook into the hardware scene. So far they've been mostly software driven, and there haven't been any recent developments in hardware from the company. As a mega-corporation venturing into the hardware scene for the first time, they will try to make this work as hard as possible. Everyone may see this as a scheme to push Candy Crush closer to your face, but Facebook is going to work it's hardest to make sure that Oculus is perfected and successful.

In the end isn't that what we want? A successful VR product that we can use for at out leisure? We've all seen Bad science fiction movies, we know where VR will go eventually. We're all going to have social experiences across the globe through audio-visual simulation eventually, it's only natural that a social company acquires them now. It won't restrict it to Facebook, or social media I'm sure. Oculus will become a multi-faceted and capable platform for many different types of developers to create content for.

So maybe instead of raging about something that seems illogical and greedy, we can recognize that eventually this will create an opportunity for Oculus to develop into a new and better technology. It will definitely lead to the Oculus coming to market fruition faster. Maybe.

(If you had a different opinion or a new video game to suggest, leave a comment below! If you want to recieve regular updates, follow me on Twitter @SimonGolden)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

6 Days of...Deus Ex: Human Revolution!

 Playing a demigod built by man

I've heard plenty of amazing things about Deus Ex: Human Revolution by Edios Montreal. The grapevine told me that there were RPG elements in a stealth shooter, that the environment was deep and interactive, and that the underlying themes were dark and entirely possible. I've found all of these true over the last 6 days, as well as taking on the persona of an entirely impossible hero.

You can't help but have cliche entrances with a guy like this
I'm not complaining by any means. The character you inhabit during the game is entertaining to say the least. His voice is a combination of Stalone and Batman, and his deadpan delivery of well, everything, is reminiscent of the Terminator. Honestly I don't think I could remember an action hero trope that wasn't covered in the first 2 hours. 

And it was utterly amazing. 

Whenever I've played characters in the past the developers seem to want to humanize them to give them accessibility by the audience. Deus Ex doesn't have a problem with this because their main character is almost entirely machine. He's literally lost his humanity so there isn't a need to form a sense of humanity around the character unless it's projected by the player. 

This in turn makes the fact that you'll be wiping the floor with dozens of people believable. This is the first game I've been consciously convinced that I'm actually that powerful. Whenever I pass a fellow "aug" on the street they comment on my military enhancements that are a benefit of working in security for my employer. Even though this is reinforced constantly you can still be taken down with just a burst from an assault rifle. This danger in combination with the augmentations that are obviously the envy of everyone around you makes taking on entire armies conceivable, as long as you're smart about it.

This isn't something you want to fight head on.
The level designs play into this greatly. There are places to hide and take cover in many of levels and still somehow make sense with the areas. There are strategically placed assets to assist in stealth or combat no matter what your path of skills. This careful planning shows in every area you come across and I greatly appreciated it while playing. Especially the natural choke points where I could pick my battles and take out multiple opponents with zeal. 

It's not so easy as it sounds though, there were many times where I had to quickly scout and improvise to invent a solution. This often involved using up limited resources like specialized grenades to seal victory for myself. Using these very limited resources to squeak out a win during clutch moments was something I lived for while playing. Knowing it took all you had to beat a group of enemies is very satisfying when it all comes together.

The other thing that is extremely satisfying is the boss battles, that are up against models of human that are augmented at similar levels to your own. It legitimately feels like a fight among demi-gods or semi-humans, no matter how you look at it. This human and non-human theme comes along plenty of times in the story, but it's never as apparent as when you're fighting someone that is just as inhuman as you are. 

Several characters in the story could have been considered demigods by the way they've been reconstructed. This isn't ever more apparent than the boss battles, especially when you're destroying a platoon of augmented humans with a war tuned robot for backup. These scenes make for great challenges and definitely give a sense of tension while you're trying to sneak around. 

Obvious reference is obvious.
I've been thoroughly enjoying all this in the environment they've packed it into. The periods where you're walking around a city with minimal fighting still feels comfortable, which is hard to pull off while keeping you in an action game. The focus on the world building is definitely apparent and well thought out. It's hard not to appreciate this neo-world that Eidos has thought up. Honestly I could talk about themes and rhetoric all day when it comes to the in-game environment. I won't though, so don't worry.

I would suggest playing Deus Ex to anyone who enjoys any of the elements it offers, because they're all very well exhibited here. Masterfully really. I feel like I say that about specific elements in lots of the games I play, but Deus Ex shines in lots of areas at the same time. It's a great overall experience that shows where the technology we take for granted might be taking us. 

You'll like this game if: You enjoy stealth/shooter/social/detective hybrids and want to see where our domination of the natural world through technology might take us. Hint: it's a dark, gritty place so be prepared to survive under the watchful eye of the corporations that control the world.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

3 days of...HAWKEN!

Great giant robot time killer

If you're like me you've been seeing giant mechs posted all over the internet as the world enjoys Titanfall in it's premier week. I don't have an XBOne yet, so I have to make do with what I've got. Looking through the Steam Store to scratch that itch, I came across HAWKEN by developer Adhesive Games. 

What it boils down to is an arena style combat game that puts you in the seat of a 30 foot robot to duke it out with other robots of similar style. In this regard it does extremely well. It's got all the features of a fun first person shooter, and includes the fairly standard unlocks-by-level design to keep you playing. 

It's pretty fun, and did I say free to play? That's right, in the time it takes to download and for absolutely free you can be piloting your own mech (albeit a simple mack-truck with legs) and battling with teams of others. Most of them in the same mech. As with other free-to-play games out there it's got the standard points earned through gameplay, and special points that you can purchase with your own money if you want to skip the grind. The only problem I had with this is that certain items, like any of the massive cosmetic choices you can customize your mech with, need to be paid for with real money. Otherwise you're stuck playing the entire game with just your standard slate grey looking chassis. 

I'm not complaining about the lack of equipment you can use when you play for free. They should hold some cosmetic things back for paying customers; it's a good business plan that I absolutely support. The problem is that when I buy the items, everyone else gets to enjoy watching me fight or blowing up in-game, while I never get to see my flashy mech in action. Instead I have to stare at the lackluster mechs that other people stick with because they don't want to put down any cash. Sometimes that strikes me as a bit unfair. 

Try not to wake the kids while you're stomping through future-metropolis
Other than that, the combat is surprisingly fun. I find it hard to get into games where the main focus is giant robots, because they either move too fast to be believable, or too slow to be fun. HAWKEN gets this balance just right. The result is a convincing heavy movement that also feels just fast enough to give you a thrill. The heavy movement of the mechs and the comparatively low damage their weapons do brings the learning curve down a lot so that beginners are on more equal footing with the rest of the players on the field. It's true that HAWKEN won't ever be competitive because of this, but it makes it much more fun and accessible if one person can't destroy a whole team with just his skill.

Add to this all the amazing small details and you've got a truly immersive experience. The screens of the mech display some static on drastic movement, and the motion blur is disorienting in battle much like it would be piloting a battle tool like these mechs. When you back against a wall you can hear the grinding of metal on stone, to signify that you're busting up the paintjob -- CMON BRO! Other details like cracking glass, electrical sparks, and fire in the periphery display an obvious representation of how you are faring. Upon starting a match, a boot screen is put on your display in semi-transparent fashion to indicate your computer systems are coming online. All these things make you feel like you're actually piloting a large robot from your desk. I truly appreciated every single one of these details as they've been done in a way I've never seen before.

Is that the blue screen of death?
Though the mech building, customization, battles, and immersion are great, the arenas and modes in which you fight are a bit limited from what I've seen. The worlds in which you fight are beautiful, but they lack some element that could make the game truly great. Interactive walls, or traps that you could set up. Also the cities in which you fight are amazingly well designed for arenas to battle giant robots in, and lack any of the personality you might find in similar cities we see today. Frankly, combined with the lack of players willing to spruce up their rides so I can destroy them, the world you fight in can be a bit bland. This is difficult to battle since much of the color you might see is in the cosmetics that cost money, and many people want more to put money into items that have real-world effects in game. So maybe if they allowed just painting to be free, it would allow everyone to express themselves individually and make the game prettier, without costing anyone any money. That's just my two cents though, and already I've put plenty more times that into the game. 

One of the best features is the ability to keep on
moving/taunting when you're being awarded as the winning team.
I will say this though, at the free price point you definitely want to consider this as an alternative to Titanfall. Minus the parkour of course. Keep in mind that this is early-access, so it will be getting better with time before the final release. It's still very playable right now, and a ton of fun. 

You'll like this game if: You just cant get enough mech action, and think that getting out to run is for cowards. Why leave your robot behind when for absolutely free you get giant robots running head on in squad combat with plenty of chaos and explosions!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Missing out as a Father

Titanfall and Dark Souls 2 will have to wait...

Silently biding my time
Life often gets in the way of what we want the most. The key to having a successful long term life is to put off your frivolous desires for what needs to be done now. It's all about priorities see? 

Now as a gamer my priorities are to get the best current games and play them, because that's what we do as gamers. We get the most popular titles in our media of choice and talk about them endlessly with our friends who most likely are also gamers. That's how our culture develops and how we connect with other people that share our interests.

Unfortunately as I said, life gets in the way. And no matter how much I wanted to play Titanfall and Dark Souls 2 they won't help me finish my homework, cook dinner, or contribute to my 40 hour week. Life has priorities, and unfortunately they don't share the same order as my gaming hobby. 

I've seen some other gamers put their life on hold to play these newly released games. Sometimes I wish I had the same time to do that. However I like my life, and how busy it is. It's not entirely in focus, and I'm not a YouTube star that gets millions of views. I do enjoy every facet of my life though, and I wouldn't give up time in any other area in return for the new release of a game. 

Don't get me wrong. I will get Titanfall, and Dark Souls. How could I not? They're some of the most anticipated games to come out this year and they fit right in with my interests. Dark Souls 2 is the sequel to one of my favorite games of all time, and I'm sure will provide just as challenging and rewarding an experience as its predecessor. Titanfall has you running around as a super soldier dueling with giant MECHS! 

I just wanted to rant for a few minutes and get it all off my chest, since I won't be playing them anytime soon. Until then at least I have twitch and youtube.

So to all my dads out there, stick in there and appreciate what you have until the lights go out and your family is asleep. Then have a blast until you pass out from responsibility induced exhaustion. 

The light always dies with time.

3 days of...Antichamber!

Senses mean nothing when they have no meaning

Yes, I know that's nonsensical, but in a way it best describes your opening experience with Antichamber by developer Alexander Bruce. It challenges everything you know from playing games by cleverly beginning with what you know then reneging on that promise. It shows you things you never thought you'd see by not showing you things you thought you would see. 

If you thought that paragraph was confusing you should play Antichamber.

I've read articles that say it's hard to say what's so good about this game without giving it away, so I'll speak in generalities and vague philosophical nonsense, because that's about what this game reminds me of. No matter how frustrating it is though, it keeps dragging me back to its frustratingly backwards ideas and non-conformal logic. As a matter of fact the logic is so non-conformal that it defies even itself.
Colors display segmented hallways and seem to only serve the
purpose of confusion and beauty. A wonderful combination

Up is down, down is up. The walls aren't there, and then they are. You can jump, but it never seems high enough. Obstacles seem very real, as they are your biggest opponent. However they can also be your biggest ally in helping solve them. Puzzles are so confusing, grand, and subtle in Antichamber that it drives at the deepest part of you to understand the overall theme of the game. Unfortunately if you look you'll never find it. 

This comes back to the consistent rules that developers put into games because it's "just what's done" or makes a good game for the genre. Antichamber is definitely classified as a puzzle game, but that's where it's similarities end. It feels more like a psychological test than a puzzle -- as if it's purposefully giving a metaphor for a rat in a maze. Trying the same thing over and over could possibly drive you insane as much as shows you how insane you are. And yet it's necessary to the learning process. which you'll have to start over as if you were an infant again.
You'll need to open those doors to move forward, or will you?

If more games adopted this tactic, to try new things and NOT to deliver on the promise of previous iterations of the genre, we might have a wider variety of ideas in games. Instead developers have been copying and improving on other games in their respective genres. This isn't to say that it's bad to perfect those formulas. Only that good things can come from carefully considering the exact opposite. 

If you look at it purely as a satire for the industry, it's full of lessons we can learn. How gamers have been programmed to thing certain ways and that messing with that can be confusing. How can you beat a game if it doesn't follow rules? If the only rule that it has is not to follow rules? The challenge becomes then to understand exactly how it is playing against what you think. 

The fight to win is no longer digital in an in game world, but in your head. Antichamber brings the fight so close to your psyche that it becomes uncomfortable. Then turns all of that on its head and turns the mirror around to show you exactly how much of a fool you've been. 

Then again, I didn't finish the game in the last 3 days. So maybe there's something I've missed. I get the nagging feeling there's some grand message that can be gleaned from the overview of the entire experience, however long that is. 

Oh, and the aesthetic is nice too.

You'll like this game if: You're an anarchist, non-conformist, illogical, individual that doesn't like to be classified. You may also like this gamer if you enjoy water boarding and sensory deprivation. Possibly at the same time.

(If you had a different opinion or a new video game to suggest, leave a comment below! If you want to recieve regular updates, follow me on Twitter @SimonGolden)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

3 days of... Dragons Crown!

Dragons, Dwarves, Damsels and stereotypes

It's not a party until someone loses their clothing. Too late.
 On first look you might think that Dragons Crown from Atlus was a fantasy dating sim, with the overly masculine men and the sexualized women. Even the non-player characters have sweeping necklines and bodies with lumps in places that shouldn't have muscles. Lying underneath these stereotypical tropes however is a deep and fun party-style rpg that is reminiscent of the old dungeon crawling classics like gauntlet legends.

I picked up Dragons Crown to play with my wife at home because she loves playing co-operative games and doesn't like the challenge that comes with matching her gaming skill with mine. I may not be the greatest gamer, but I'm no casual, so I don't blame her. Soon after we popped the game in we chose our roles from a selection of six character types. They're the classic fighter (tank), dwarf, amazon, elf, sorceress, and wizard. They all have a role to play in the party, and the combinations of characters gives the game lots of replay value.

Some might find her offensive.
I found her to be enchanting.
The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. I'm no art-history major, but this artwork could be put onto a canvas an hung at the Smithsonian, and I could be convinced it was a classical depiction of a fantasy setting. That's how good it is. I could understand how it could put some people off because of the extreme stylizing, but I enjoyed it. Artistic license in this case was used to great effect to enhance the feeling of the game; most often highlighting the ridiculous characters during fights that flash across the screen on a regular basis.

The fighting is fun, and is from the classic formula that was implemented in games like XMen and TMNT from the arcade cabinets that you may have grown up with. It's also chaotic, because the screen is focused just slightly uncomfortably close to your characters, everything appears on the screen at once during a fight. Enough creatures and characters have magic that the screen often looks like Poe's version of the apocalypse. Fighting characters that need to be accurate in their strikes get lost in fire and ice flooding the screen. It takes a while to focus and watch your character, but sometimes no matter how hard you try, you get lost in the chaos of battle. It seems like an appropriate metaphor though, because battle is supposed to be confusing and blinding.

The item system is randomly generated and items are given statistics and rankings based on their quality. If you keep the same save, you can farm for items for your lower level characters so they don't have to worry about finding their own later on. This is a nice touch so I can just continuously start new characters without having to farm all over again. The result is extending the game once, and then delivering a quicker, streamlined experience for consecutive characters you create. There are rings and items that give your character new and interesting abilities, so even if you have two of the same role in a party, they can have a wide spread of differing abilities to make them unique.

This mess is what battle looks like, but with more explosions.
Adding all this together with a surprisingly engaging story for a multiplayer game, and you've got a great time. It's a fun game individually but in this case more is always better. The computer creates characters to assist you if you don't have any friends, and fills out your party with people you save from earlier missions but it is still best to play this game with at least one other person. Four people would make this game the most fun, but the scores that you may compete against each other for are not persistent after a level. So playing for score is possible, but will change for each level you beat. Also don't be disappointed to spend a lot of time in town because of the menu system, as everyone has to enter and use the shop individually it can slow down game play. That might be a good time to get some refreshments while you wait.

I loved playing, and I'll be playing this for a long while to scratch my gauntlet itch from my N64 days. Besides all the slightly offensive stylized art, Dragons Crown has a deep and rewarding structure with its rpg street fighting gameplay. I haven't found another game that quite meets my multiplayer dungeon crawler standards because as of late it's not such a popular genre. Fortunately I think that Dragons Crown is all I need for now.

You'll like this game if: You enjoy multiplayer dungeon crawlers that are as much fun to play as they are to look at. Also if you're an art history major and want to see more hand painted anything in modern media.

(If you had a different opinion or a new video game to suggest, leave a comment below! If you want to recieve regular updates, follow me on Twitter @SimonGolden)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

3 more days of Dota 2!

Getting wrecked is addictive

I've been playing more DOTA 2. That's right, my original intention of playing every one of my games for 3 days has been put aside for one of the most challenging and punishing games I've ever played. I'm horrible, and I'll probably never get good enough to be useful to my team in any role. I'll probably be called NOOB so many times I'll forget my own name. And if I could give someone starting up a tip to playing DOTA 2 it would be this:
DOTA 2 fan art by Kunkka.
DON'T PLAY DOTA 2 (if you have a life).
Generally I'm pretty level headed when it comes to games. I enjoy many different genres and styles, and love giving new things a shot. I get excited when a new Call of Duty comes out, as well as putting massive amounts of time into each Final Fantasy. Lately however DOTA 2 has overshadowed everything else -- I've become slightly obsessed. Well, maybe more than slightly.
I've begun playing casts in the background at wok, to try to get used to the terms, items, and heroes. I've started watching guides on my free time to see what builds are good for each hero. I've even ditched my morning news session for a chance to trollop through the DOTA 2 forum on reddit. There isn't a part of  my day that DOTA hasn't infected -- and even when I'm not doing something related to DOTA, I'm thinking about it.
Now that's not to say I'm not a functioning human being. I still take care of my family and responsibilities dutifully, but the endless combinations of teams and builds still lies pervasively in my sub-conscious. It's an itch that I have to wait all day to scratch, and even then only for a short 2 game session. The problem is that I don't have the time that DOTA requires, but nonetheless it keeps calling to me. I hear its sirens call from my office and am drawn ever so slowly to it by the end of the day. Every step bringing me closer to those few team games I can fit in before I collapse in bed from sleep deprivation.
If you read my blog, you can even see that I've stopped posting every 3 days about games. That's making assumptions though that I have an audience. Unfortunately the numbers pinging my blog don't even add up to compete with the call and drag me away from DOTA enough to write. I'm dearly sorry if you're one of those people, I'll do my best to get back to reviewing more games. 

Even so, I still enjoy it massively

Trying new heroes is half the fun!
Though it has stolen parts of my life and hours that I'll never get back, DOTA 2 still keeps me coming back because it's a fucking blast. It's a blast like a nuclear bomb of fun, even when I'm losing horribly. I can understand when people flame because it's just so intense. I think my mouse might give out from overuse because I'll be clicking like a madman trying to keep up with my avatar for at least 45 minutes at a time. I'm surprised I haven't set the desk on fire. Thinking about it I might need to get a fire extinguisher for the office here.
Nonetheless the massive amount of heroes for flavor and the items that I still don't understand half of are fun and interesting to use and combine. Then there's the extremely addictive items you earn after each fight. You collect weapons, chests, and treasure that you can show off on your heroes. Like a meta-collectible card game The collectors concept of hero sets and the daily sales that are going on in the store keep me visiting, and while I'm there I might as well play a game right? Just one game right? I could get some items for free, and make my heroes even flashier! 
Those games are where you get the full effect of your hero. The team fights are the most rewarding as everyone dumps all of their skills in to one screen-wide area. For several moments the center of my computer displays something like a European rave and death reigns over everything. Then it's all over and someone runs away into the forest while another recovers from being practically crippled for the fight. If you're the one to walk away from a bomb-site like that you're lucky. If you walk away with kills you're lucky and you've got money to spend on more items that will make the next fight even more intense.
It's this intensity of each game combined with the high learning curve and the collectible nature of items that is SO addicting and rewarding at the same time. Every game is a chance to improve and it's definitely tangible every time you earn something as a reward. These items have real-world value too that you can see in the store. You feel like you're earning something for nothing, and having fun while doing it. The illusion is so strong that I can nearly never resist it if I have the chance.
So if anyone wants to join in with me after this rant, let me know because I'm always looking for teammates. I'm on Steam as BigDadGamer (Big_Dad_Gamer) And if you've not given DOTA 2 a chance, do or don't depending on whether or not you have other things to do with your time. Because it will definitely prevent you from pursuing anything else but fleeing heroes.
(If you had a different opinion or a new video game to suggest, leave a comment below! If you want to recieve regular updates, follow me on Twitter @SimonGolden. )

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Naughty Dog and the reason they're so good at what they do

Developers giving us what we want, and what we need.

Recently in an interview with WIRED about the DLC for The Last of us called Left Behind by Naughty Dog, the creator Niel Druckmann said some very interesting things about development and the industry in general: 

"We’re very lucky at Naughty Dog that we get to make our own calls. No one outside of Naughty Dog tells us what to do. But I know when it comes to marketing or other aspects of the industry, those calls are sometimes very precedent-driven. So without being able to point to a game and say that can succeed on the market, you’re going to feel a lot of pressure to not do that. We’re lucky at Naughty Dog that we can ignore those recommendations, but in a lot of other studios, I’ve spoken with people in those studios and they cannot."
Seeing this quote made me think of Apple in their latest decade, and pushing a product on the American public regardless of what they voiced that they wanted. It was because they knew what the public would buy and not what they wanted that made them successful. If you read about Steve Jobs, he wasn't a people pleaser, and he didn't want his company to do that either. He was there to provide a quality product that he knew was an innovation and that lacked the complexity that comes from attempting to meet every demand of the public.

The problem with this inevitably is that you have clashing concepts and eventually have an absolute mess that ends up alienating the audience that you started with. A good example of this is the Call of Duty franchise that brought innovation and quality originally to the First Person Shooter scene. Now through the years though they've alienated the original audience and has created a new one with their consistent annual releases. This came about because the marketing team wanted to push the concepts that everyone liked about the original series and keep profits flowing.

Examples of the opposite however are Naughty Dog and their Uncharted series, the original Halo, and the upcoming release, Titanfall. These games have a clear vision that the entire development team shared, and they didn't look for popular features to implement. They took stable, and well-known ideas and built upon them to create something that was high quality, and more importantly could be mutually owned as a concept by everyone on the team.

I won't get into team dynamics and why this creates room for innovation, but it shows with the quality of game that these teams publish, and the continuing titles that they develop. Putting profits as a second priority to quality will create a product that, long-term, will overtake profitable but quickly developed games. Applying the observed rules of economics and production here can do wonders to see why some game series do wonderfully, while some lose quality in consecutive iterations.

Other News - Steam Sales

This week Steam released a statement saying that developers would now have full control over the sales on their games, instead of being controlled by Valve in their sales. I'm looking into this and the ramifications that other markets have had to find something to compare it by. Free market and the ability to lower and raise prices is a great thing, and I think it can have some great effects on sales. I'm all for companies selling their product at a lower price point if they want to make a more popular product, but I know there are some dangers in rampant price bidding as well. Hopefully this helps both the consumer get more for his money, and helps indie studios that are struggling. I want to see everyone get what they want, and hopefully this lets them have it. 

Anyway, I'm not going to be able to review a game today, and that's why I'm only writing about news that I found interesting. School, fatherhood, and work are taking a toll on my life this week and last, and I'm going to need a few days to recover. Don't worry, (I'm saying this to myself as much as my imaginary audience) I've got 40 games installed on my computer right now waiting for play-time and review, so I'll get the "3 days of..." series back up and running again soon. Nothing will stop me, believe me.

(If you had a different opinion or a new video game to suggest, leave a comment below! If you want to recieve regular updates, follow me on Twitter @SimonGolden.