“Jesus Christ is alive and well and watching over you today.” This phrase, hissed with cold fury, will always ramraid its way into my forebrain, and my cheeks will burn with embarrassment, whenever I think of ancient man-puncher Double Dragon. The first time a game had made me feel shame, for it was the first game to make me blaspheme, which just so happened to occur at the house of a friend with deeply Christian parents. Double Dragon made me a bad man. Or so I thought for the longest time, confused by the severity of my transgression. I had bellowed “Jesus!” as another same-faced thug had beaten my musclebro character into unconsciousness yet again. She, the mother, somehow made her way to us from two floors away in an instant, and then came the phrase I will never forget. (And did I also feel fingernails dig into my shoulder, or did the shame and shock of the admonishment make it feel as if physical?) I was very young, but not so young that I hadn’t … [Read more...] about Have you played… Double Dragon?
Spectrum double play
The Spectrum Retreat is a game that really wants to be the new Portal, and I can respect that. It’s good to be ambitious. But raw ideas matter less than their implementation, and when it comes to execution, The Spectrum Retreat doesn’t quite manage to reach the level of polish and elegance it aspires to. The game’s atmosphere is, at first, decidedly Portalesque. You wake up in a hotel room. The place is white and golden, all clean surfaces and smooth curves. Elegant. Perfect. Deserted. You are alone. Robotic servants tend to your every need. You don’t know why you’re in the hotel, but you’ve been here for a while. Everything changes once you receive a call from Cooper, a mysterious woman (cheers to the voice actor, she’s fantastic) who wants to help you escape the place. Her gentle voice guides you inside the control rooms behind the façade of the hotel, and at this point, the game morphs into something else: a refined version of SPECTRUM, … [Read more...] about Wot I Think: The Spectrum Retreat
Whether you watched the Stranger Things kids fight a demogorgon, listened to Taaco, Merle and Magnus hunt down relics on The Adventure Zone, or watched and listened to “a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons” on Critical Role, chances are you’ve consumed D&D in some form of media. The iconic fantasy role-playing game is having a moment. Publisher Wizards of the Coast confirmed to Syfy Wire that 2017 was its biggest sales year in history, thanks in large part to streaming. When high profile nerds like Dan Harmon and Felicia Day bring their celebrity friends to the table and put it on the internet, their fans are introduced to the joys of fantasy roleplaying without ever picking up a 20-sided die. Watching live D&D campaigns can be alternately inspiring and intimidating for potential players looking to get into the hobby. I spoke to Nathan Stewart and Greg Tito, two representatives from Wizards of the Coast, who both compared … [Read more...] about A beginner’s guide to playing Dungeons and Dragons
MLB The Show 18 represents one of the biggest chances that developer Sony San Diego has taken with the series in ages, and it’s a much-needed one. Road to the Show, the single-player career offering in the studio’s MLB The Show franchise, has long been the game’s most popular mode. But it was at risk of becoming stale, with few meaningful changes in recent years. If elements of sports games can be examined on a spectrum from “fun” to “realistic,” Sony San Diego seems to be coming down more heavily on the latter side with this year’s long-awaited overhaul of Road to the Show. That’s not inherently a bad decision — especially for a simulation sports title — but it needs to be backed up with a sound internal logic, an ability to expect certain behavior because that’s how things work in real life. Unfortunately, MLB 18’s Road to the Show suffers from a lack of consistency that often makes it a frustrating … [Read more...] about MLB The Show 18’s big Road to the Show risks don’t quite pay off
As Polygon's recent fifth birthday approached, we started thinking about what we could do to celebrate it. And what's more fun than ranking the 100 best games of all time? 500? So we did. We started by setting rules upfront. We asked everyone to vote based on innovation, polish and durability, rather than simply personal taste. We cut games released in 2017 to eliminate recency bias. And we left out sequels that we deemed too similar to the games that came before them. Then we voted, but we knew we had gaps in our knowledge on staff. So in addition to gathering votes from the Polygon team, we worked with a group of external and freelance writers to pull in their input: Kahlief Adams, Susan Arendt, Katherine Cross, Jon-Paul Dyson, Benj Edwards, Cara Ellison, JC Fletcher, Jenn Frank, Harold Goldberg, Janine Hawkins, Blake Hester, Laura Hudson, Henry Lowood, Jeremy Parish, Carolyn Petit, Andrea Rene, Jaz Rignall and Gary Whitta. Collecting all those votes together, we then combed through … [Read more...] about The 500 best games of all time: 500-401