Before playing Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, I was vaguely aware of the series and assumed I knew the general premise: You’re a crime guy, you do crime things, you get really good at crime things, the end. (Obviously, I hadn’t given it much thought.) I was more or less right about the “crime guy” part, but I was wrong about pretty much everything else. I discovered a unique blend of storytelling, lovable characters and unexpectedly rich combat kept together in a package that felt like The Sopranos by way of Tokyo. Yakuza 6 is welcoming to new players. Right from the main menu, you get concise synopses of the previous games (there’s no recap of Yakuza 0). A literal walk down memory lane introduces important people from protagonist Kiryu’s life. Load screen interstitials and flashbacks fill in other gaps in the backstory, and the cutscenes piece together anything else you’ve missed. I never felt lost or confused. Relationships are clear and … [Read more...] about Yakuza 6 review: an entry point to one of gaming’s most interesting franchises
Sega classic games
If you're coming to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this year you've gotta go (fast!) to a very special postmortem look back at the making of a classic Sega game. That's right: GDC organizers are excited to announce that original game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and original character designer Naoto Oshima will be at GDC 2018 to deliver a Classic Game Postmortem of Sonic the Hedgehog! In the course of this remarkable hour-long talk, Yasuhara and Oshima will reflect on the design and development of the seminal high-speed platformer, which made its debut in 1991 and went on to become the best-selling Genesis game ever made. Together, the pair of original Sonic devs will discuss their perspective on the creation of the enduring game franchise, including detailed recollections of the game's original design process and art direction. They'll also dig into their experience creating a character to be a company mascot, the strategies they … [Read more...] about Enjoy a Classic Game Postmortem of Sonic the Hedgehog at GDC 2018!
A digital-only game based on licensed content is doomed to die right from the outset. At some point, months or years from now, that licensing agreement will expire - at which point the publisher can no longer sell the game. It will be summarily pulled from digital storefronts - sometimes with little or no warning - and is unlikely to ever resurface, unless the publisher is willing to negotiate those licensing deals all over again. Last December, a slew of Transformers games were suddenly removed from Steam and PSN (and later from the Xbox Marketplace) with no warning from publisher Activision. Among them was Transformers: Devastation by renowned developer PlatinumGames, which had only been released two years previously. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Marvel titles published by Activision have suffered a similar fate. Players who have previously bought and downloaded such games can still download them again. But even this exception may not apply forever. The fact is that you do not … [Read more...] about Where do downloadable games go when they die?
This week, we’re running a big list of what we — and a group of trusted friends — recently voted as the 500 best video games of all time. For the backstory, criteria, explanation of why Breath of the Wild isn’t on the list, etc., head to the beginning here: The 500 best games of all time. For numbers 300-201, scroll down. 300. Microsoft Flight Simulator (1982, PC) Though technically not the first flight simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator revolutionized the simulation genre with how many real world variables it threw at players. The changing weather, time of day, new coordinate systems and a new engine were seen as so realistic at the time, the game's advertising claimed if it were any more lifelike "you'd need a license." 299. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013, Nintendo 3DS) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is one of the best classic Zelda games in the series. Building upon the series' dungeon design and overall presentation, A … [Read more...] about The 500 best games of all time: 300-201
The Sega Genesis Flashback is an attempt to capture a seemingly new, or at least reinvigorated, market while also not being too ambitious. At $80, the same price as the Super Nintendo Classic Edition, the Genesis Flashback struggles to approximate the user experience of Nintendo’s throwback. Instead, it tries to best it with back-of-the-box bullet points that, while impressive sounding, do little to cement its superiority. Last year’s NES Classic Edition upended the low-end plug ‘n play console market, long dominated by a company called AtGames, which is responsible for the Atari and Genesis consoles littering checkout aisles everywhere. AtGames has been at this for a long time, but the low price is about the only thing easy to recommend on one of its consoles. Still, the company doesn’t have trouble moving units over the holidays. But when the NES Classic Edition happened, AtGames needed a response. HARDWARE The hardware is where the Sega Genesis Flashback … [Read more...] about Sega Genesis Flashback HD review