This article ran in two parts across PC Gamer issues 324 and 325. For more quality articles about all things PC gaming, you can subscribe now in the UK and the US. The history of computer strategy games begins on tables and boards, crammed inside cupboards alongside that knackered old box of Risk that every home seems to possess. The moment strategy made the leap to consoles and computers, it was already familiar. These weren’t just inspired by the games people were playing, in many cases they were direct copies that had been squeezed, sometimes awkwardly, onto a new platform. In 1972, Invasion was released for the Magnavox Odyssey. It was Risk, essentially, but with Pong-like battles that were fought on top of overlays that had to be slapped on the front of the television. Aside from the battles, Invasion was mostly played on a physical board, so the actual strategy game didn’t really take place on the console at all. The Odyssey’s limited capabilities … [Read more...] about The history of the strategy game
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“It was my birthday and I had to have Elza.” This middle-aged, married man, going by Nothing024 on Reddit, missed out on his first chance to get the limited-time promotional crossover character in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, and only had two weeks to try to get her again. A patch had increased the chances he’d pull rare characters like her, but nowhere did it say that Elza was a 1-in-400 pull, with each try costing about $2.50. He eventually got her, though — one character in a game with a cast of hundreds. “I charged $1500 that day to get her,” he wrote. It’s easy to get hooked on Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. It’s a traditional Japanese role-playing game split into episodes, with new ones released roughly once a month, and streamlined for mobile play. Brave Exvius’ main selling point is its huge crossover melting pot of characters from almost every Final Fantasy game, and from many other Square Enix titles. In the game, these … [Read more...] about Players keep spending thousands of dollars on Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Mike Laidlaw can still remember his first day at BioWare, even though it was over 15 years ago. He even remembers the date he answered the phone and found out he had got the job: 23rd December 2002. Laidlaw was used to answering the phone; at the time he was working at Bell, Canada's largest telecommunications company, in the province of Ontario. When Laidlaw first joined Bell's call centre, he worked the phones. Later, he got promoted to lead a team on the phones, "which was somehow way worse than being on the phones," Laidlaw told me last March, the day after his star turn at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. "I went in and said, I'm sorry, I'm quitting. I'm not coming in tomorrow. They said, 'you can't quit two days before Christmas! If you quit you'll never work here again!' I said, 'that is pretty much the plan, yes.' So I walked out, and a bunch of people high-fived me because - yay! - I got out."We're upstairs at Zero Zero, a pizza and pasta place just a 10-minute … [Read more...] about Being the boss of Dragon Age
After 21 years of Pokémon games, we’ve seen more spin-offs than you can shake a Turtwig at. From Pokémon Ranger, Mystery Dungeon and Rumble to Hey You Pikachu!, Pinball and Trozei!. In 2018, Nintendo has added a new one to the mix, the mystery game Detective Pikachu. In Detective Pikachu you play as Tim Goodman, a young boy journeying to Ryme City to find his father, Harry. Now, there are many questions about this premise. Why did he wait two months to start his journey? Why is his father in the city when his parents are seemingly not separated? Where the heck is Officer Jenny? These questions will likely go unanswered, so it’s best to just accept the set-up and move along. Shortly after arriving in Ryme City, Tim runs into a Pikachu. Of course, this isn’t just any Pikachu, as he’s wearing a Sherlock Holmes style cloche hat! Just kidding, what makes him special is that he can talk. Tim is the only one who is able to understand what … [Read more...] about Detective Pikachu First Impressions – A Bolt of Brilliance!
The first time Taylor Kurosaki and Bob Rafei saw a running PlayStation, they were in a Las Vegas hotel room. It was the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. They, along with the company they worked for, Naughty Dog, were being given a behind-closed-doors look at Sony's first foray into the game console industry. When they describe the event now, they use words like "inspiring" and "enthralled" and phrases like "blown away." They didn't know it at the time, but the members of Naughty Dog in that room — Kurosaki, Rafei and co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin — were looking at the system that would host the team's next game: Crash Bandicoot. They were seeing the console their company would eventually create the unofficial mascot for — the console they would develop Naughty Dog's first smash hit for. It was Kurosaki and Rafei's second day with the company. Naughty Dog released Crash Bandicoot for Sony's original PlayStation in September 1996. In it, the team took an old … [Read more...] about Crash Bandicoot: An oral history