The Dragon Ball franchise is in a weird state.As noted in my review on Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, there’s something about the franchise that has been able to maintain its rather overwhelmingly large and dedicated fanbase for decades since its debut back in 1984. And yet, the games have always had a hard time of capturing the core of the franchise, of making what could be called the quintessential must-have, be-all, end-all Dragon Ball game, though many have captured a part of it. But there’s just something so epic, so grand in scope, that’s hard to dissect and contain in one disc, cartridge, cassette and on. At least, so far.So how do you make the a better Dragon Ball game? What kind of steps can be taken to revive the franchise, to invigorate it, as if resurrected by the dragon balls of game development? And how can future games bring something new to the table? Do People Even Care Enough?First, let me get this out of the way: yes, yes they sure as hell do. People … [Read more...] about Is It Time For The Dragon Ball Z Franchise To Do Something Completely New?
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Street Fighter 2 is one of the only games that truly deserve to be called "genre-defining" -- today, 25 years after SF2's release, we can see that practically every fighting game out there has adopted its core game design principles as industry-standard gospel, with only a few tweaks here and there to stand out from the crowd.If you're the average consumer or dev, or even if you're an experienced fighting game competitor, you probably aren't all that familiar with all the games that have tried to make major changes to the fighting game template.So, in celebration of SF2's 25th anniversary, I'm going to walk through some of the fascinating deviations and beautiful experiments that fighting game devs took to try and change SF2's fighting game formula. Studying these games may inspire you in your own designs, or may suggest ways to tinker with the paradigm you're currently wokring within.I'm going to try to avoid the other well-known franchises (if you know Street Fighter, you probably … [Read more...] about 17 mold-breaking fighting games that all developers should study
I will admit to a certain wateriness in my eyes when I heard the music. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was and is, I believe, almost more a state of mind than it is a roleplaying game. A strange and desolate place, built upon a foundation of distrust, it is almost aggressively lonely. As an RPG, the precursor to Oblivion and Skyrim is all over the shop, but that never mattered because it was a place to disappear into. The mist, the mushrooms, the menace. The music. Elder Scrolls games since have been playgrounds first and Other Places second, and I don’t know how they can go back now.Going back is exactly the plan. Morrowind is a standalone expansion-cum-relaunch of The Elder Scrolls Online [official site] (ESO), Bethesda’s massively multiplayer spin-off of the series that gave us Skyrim. It’s due for release this June and I’ve taken a look.ESO: Morrowind is designed as a clean entry point for new players, and also to dangle the juicy carrot of nostalgia in … [Read more...] about How Morrowindy is Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind?
Bleached white bone is the new black, undead immortality is the new 30 and death is the life of the party. Playing as Total War: Warhammer’s undead faction, the Vampire Counts, injects some fresh mechanics into the long-running strategy series’ blood and provides plenty of evidence that this will be far more than a fantasy paintjob applied to well-worn rules and mechanics.There are two main reasons for my newfound faith: the ability to resurrect the fallen and the existence of giant flying monstrosities that eat archers for breakfast. Welcome to Sylvania, the rotten heart of the Old World.Both the strategic map and the tactical battles of Total Warhammer are clearly cut from the same cloth as those in The Creative Assembly’s historical titles. The interface is similar, the landscapes are populated by similar troops of tiny people, and settlements follow a roughly approximate path of building upgrades. If you were to play the game with your historical hat on, … [Read more...] about Hands On With Total War: Warhammer’s Vampire Counts
Sony's conference has just barely wrapped, but already E3 Media & Business Summit attendees are rushing from the Shrine back to the Los Angeles Convention Center for the next press event. Specifically, French publisher Ubisoft is looking to continue this, the first day of the show. How, exactly, Ubisoft plans to wow audiences is a bit of a mystery, considering the publisher just recently held a massive press event in France, UbiDays. As part of that May gathering, the publisher rolled out Shaun White's Snowboarding, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, a reboot to its Prince of Persia franchise, and new looks at a number of its other titles, including Tom Clancy's EndWar. Be that as it may, Ubisoft has dimmed the lights, donned its berets, and taken the stage. [2:27] It's Ubisoft's turn to take the stage at this year's E3, and journalists and other attendees are starting file into one of the larger meeting rooms at the LACC. [2:28] Pop rock cranks out of the sound … [Read more...] about E3 2008: Ubisoft conference Alive with POP, Shaun White