I’m scared of the new Xbox, but probably not for the reasons you’re thinking.
It’s not so much the privacy stuff for me. Yeah, the Xbox One’s microphone is technically “always listening,” whether off or on, to everything going on around it. And it’s hard not to feel a pang of terror at the idea of a video game system always recording you – even only temporarily. Just like everything, though, we’ll get over that.
I’m the oldest of four brothers. All of us play games to varying degrees and, as with any family and any medium, our tastes vary. There is only one game that’s ever resonated with all four of us in equal measure: Rhythm Heaven on the Nintendo DS. (more…)
The Sunday before Labor Day, I got the chance to play through Real Escape Game x Evangelion, a one-weekend-only event in San Francisco’s Japantown. Inspired by the largely Japanese “escape the room” genre of Flash games, SCRAP Co.’s Real Escape Game purports to be the real-world equivalent. And while it was far from my favorite alternate reality thing of all time, REGxEVA was a wholly unique and pretty rad experience. (more…)
“The save file has been corrupted.” “The servers are busy at this time. Please try again later (Error 37).” “Click here to buy one 2,500 Coin Pack for $0.99!” There’s no shortage of fun-stunting, game-ending phrases for players to encounter nowadays, but for me, one puzzle game cliché towers above the rest: “NO MORE MOVES.”
I mean, NO MORE MOVES has to be the worst lose condition of in all of videogames, right? There you are, minding your own business, matching gems or swapping tiles or whatever, when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, you’ve lost. I honestly can’t recall a single time I’ve encountered NO MORE MOVES and felt unsurprised, or even at fault. This particular Game Over doesn’t seem to come about because of a mistake you’ve made – it feels like something that happens to you. Ostensibly random failure conditions might’ve been acceptable in the days of quarter-gobbling arcade games, but in 2012, it strikes me as an incredibly antiquated and unmodern thing to keep around. The biggest offender? Bejeweled. (more…)
My sophomore year of college, I had this hypercompetitive roommate named Stephen. Before we met, Stephen hadn’t played Magic: The Gathering in something like seven or eight years, but he picked it up again easily. As a casual Magic player, I thought the situation was ideal: I suddenly had someone to play against within 10 feet of me at all times! (more…)
If Fez is Phil Fish’s brainchild, Renaud Bédard was the brainmidwife helping deliver the kid. As the only other person in the room for all four and a half years of the labor process, Bédard was responsible for creating not just the engine, but the very toolkit with which Fish built the game.
The weekend of Fez’s release, Bédard departed for Cuba to enjoy a well-earned one-week Internet sabbatical. Nick Robinson caught up with him on his return and asked him about Fez’s myriad secrets, the public reaction to the game and the stuff that didn’t make it into the final product. (more…)