What’s A Video Store?

video store

In early November, news came that Blockbuster would be shutting its doors for good. All but a handful of stores were scheduled to close shop, officially signaling the end of an era.

And while I’m not distraught over Blockbuster going out of business, I am saddened by what it represents. With the rise of streaming video services, this day has been a long time coming. I can’t argue against the convenience of these services, but to quote a friend, I won’t have any fond memories of browsing my Netflix queue. Continue reading

Random, unorganized thoughts on Nintendo’s future.

Nintendo-Header

This is really nothing more than a passing thought, but I felt it was worth mentioning. I haven’t done any in-depth analysis, so take from this what you will.

Sony and Microsoft — undoubtedly the two major console makers at the moment — are in the midst of a heavyweight fight for the title ‘King of the Consoles.’ But Valve’s Steam Machines might have a major impact in that fight at some point in the future. Continue reading

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds — Reviewed

A-Link-Between-Worlds-art

Me: “I keep looking for the Pegasus Boots, but I can’t find them anywhere.”

Friend: “Oh, man, that took me forever to figure out!”

Me: “So you’ve got them? What’d you do?!”

Friend: “You know that guy that always runs away from you in Kakariko Village?”

Me: “Yeah, I thought you had to get the Pegasus Boots to catch him!”

Friend: “That’s what I thought, too! But you actually get them from him! I can’t believe it took me so long to figure it out, but you just merge into the wall he’s standing in front of, and then pop out when you’re directly behind him. That will scare the crap out of him, and he’ll end up just giving you his boots.”

Me: “Ah! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that!”

Continue reading

Looking back on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Zelda-3DS

With The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds set to release this week, it’s an ideal time to reflect upon the game it directly succeeds in the Official Zelda Timeline.

Believe it or not, A Link to the Past was released in Japan almost exactly 22 years ago, in November of 1991. It took roughly another five months for it to make its way to North America, but I wouldn’t get my hands on it until Christmas of 2002, when it made its debut on the Game Boy Advance. Continue reading

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Review

WiiU_ZeldaWindWaker_Scrn09

Most of us are familiar with the uproar that came from the unveiling of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for GameCube back in the early 2000s. As is often the case with angry gamers on the Internet, it was difficult to tell if hoards of people were genuinely upset with the cel-shaded art style, or if it was simply a vocal, raging minority screaming through a megaphone. Judging by my friends’ reactions, I think a large number of people were at least initially upset by the art style, largely because they still had images of the Space World 2000 tech demo fresh in their minds.

It was a then-gorgeous display of what a fight between Link and Ganon could (and presumably would) look like on Nintendo’s powerful new console. With 13 years between then and now (oh my God!), I have to say, that once-impressive tech demo did not age well. Wind Waker’s cel-shaded aesthetic, however, still looks gorgeous today. Continue reading

Beyond: Two Souls – A Review

beyond-two-souls

As video games grow and mature as a medium, and efforts are made in an attempt to be taken seriously, the industry is still trying to fully realize its identity. We’ve moved past the debate over whether or not video games can be considered art, and are now questioning what criteria constitute a game.

Games have been adopting cinematic qualities for some time, but none go as far as those made by David Cage and his development studio, Quantic Dream. Some view this as a positive, while others bemoan the subtle interactivity in Cage’s creations, labeling them “interactive movies,” as some form of an insult. Apparently calling your movie a game is only okay when Hideo Kojima does it, but I digress. Continue reading

Word Blurb: Kids and Their Games

This won’t be a long, drawn-out piece today. I’m just documenting a few random thoughts that might be worth a couple minutes.

Yesterday, while having dinner with my sister and two nieces, Autumn and Lauren, we got on the topic of video games. My sister, who teaches elementary school kids, said that’s all kids ever talk about — specifically Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, which are both rated ‘M’ for Mature (meant for people 17 and older). That’s not surprising, though it is a little discouraging for reasons I’ll touch on in a moment. Continue reading

Saving Lives Through Video Games

logo

Last year, a friend of mine took part in the Extra Life charity, which, in partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network, treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

This year, I’ve decided to get involved, along with the rest of the GamerNode crew, and do my part to help these kids who are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, injuries from accidents and many other bad things. Continue reading

Reacting to Bethesda VP’s remarks on Nintendo

bonus round

Sometimes I’m not sure what to think of comments made by bigwigs within the gaming industry. And that’s not some passive aggressive remark. At times, I really can’t figure out what these guys are getting at.

Just a few days ago, on the GameTrailers show ‘Bonus Round,’ Pete Hines, the vice president of Bethesda Softworks, was asked by Geoff Keighley (who always seems to be on the verge of hysteria when speaking about Nintendo) what Nintendo could do to entice third-party developers to create more games for Wii U. Continue reading

“It’s maybe str…

Quote

“It’s maybe strange to say [this], but I miss the limitations of making games in those days,” Kitase acknowledges. “The cartridge capacity was so much smaller, of course, and therefore the challenges were that much greater. But nowadays you can do almost anything in a game. It’s a paradox, but this can be more creatively limiting than having hard technical limitations to work within. There is a certain freedom to be found in working within strict boundaries, one clearly evident in Final Fantasy VI.”

-Yoshinori Kitase, Director of Final Fantasy VI

Not to toot my own horn, but this is exactly what I postulated in my very first blog post.

Here’s what I said:

“I don’t like to speak in absolutes, but I almost get the impression that the best games are often made when developers are faced with reasonable limitations.”

It’s encouraging to hear my thoughts echoed by an industry veteran. Huzzah!

Here’s the article on the Edge website.