Stardew Valley

My favorite game of 2016 is the farming simulator Stardew Valley.  Created by sole developer Concerned Ape, it’s a throwback to the old Harvest Moon series.  Just like in that series you will be planting crops, raising animals, and interacting with villagers. What made Stardew Valley one of the most memorable games I’ve played is its variety of gameplay, routine building, and relaxed attitude.

title screen

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Adaptation Comparison: Bloodborne

Some of the earliest computer games were attempts at recreating Chess. Over the years turning card/board games into video games has been extremely common.  As video games became more popular,  the tables soon began to turn.  But unlike the board game to video game pipeline, these games often couldn’t be 1-to-1 recreations of the games they were imitating, same gameplay, different medium.  Video games based on board games could be considered new implementations. Board games based on video games were adaptations, like turning a novel into a film.

2 covers

When I found out my all time favorite video game, Bloodborne, was getting a card game I was skeptical.  While I love card games and Bloodborne, I wasn’t sure if the two would mix well.  After finding out the designer would be  Eric M. Lang, I became less worried and more intrigued.  I still didn’t believe it would be a great translation, but I felt he would at least put an interesting spin on the idea, and probably make a good game as well.

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WarioWare: Mega MicroReview$ (Part 1: History and Introduction)

WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! (WW from here on), developed by Nintendo R&D1, was released in 2003 and instantly became one of my all-time favorite games. It’s a weird game. Weird mechanics, weird visuals, weird sound. When it came out I loved it for being different. On one tiny cart, you got more variety than some consoles entire catalogues. WW was in constant rotation on my GBA, lived in the bottom slot of my first DS, and now has taken up permanent residence in my GBA Micro. I tend to revisit this game every few years, but this time I wanted to take a closer look at it. To gain some insight to its development I’m going to start by looking at some relevant games from R&D1.

intro screen

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Immersive Storytelling in Life is Strange.

Life is Strange is an episodic adventure game released in 2015 from developers Dontnot Entertainment. I just recently played through this game and found myself very drawn into its world and characters. While I often find video games very immersive for their settings and environments, very rarely do I feel like I inhabit the main character. Life is Strange, I feel, excels at this. Other games try to get you to inhabit their protagonists by making the protagonist silent and allowing you to choose their dialogue options. Max isn’t silent, she talks quiet a bit. She has her own personality and opinions, which may differ from your own. She has her own past, and goals for the future. But in the present that is the game, you become her*. I wanted to take a look at how LIS accomplishes this, at least for me.

 

everyday hero

I’m going to go into some major spoilers for the entire game, so be warned if you haven’t played it yet.  This entry probably wont make a lot of sense unless you have played the entire game anyways, so you should go play it, its lots of fun and not that expensive nowadays.

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The 5 most interesting Journey to Un’goro cards

In honor of Journey to Un’goro launch day I decided to take a look at the 5 cards I’m most excited about.  I do not think these cards are necessarily the best or most powerful within the set, just ones I think will lead to interesting gameplay.

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It’s too bad this cool purple T-Rex didn’t get a card in the set.

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