The Order: 1886 Articles RSS Feed | The Order: 1886 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 10 Best Video Game Commercials in the Super Bowl Fri, 02 Feb 2018 13:05:24 -0500 Steven Oz


1. Pokemon20


The Pokémon Super Bowl commercial was just awe inspiring. What else can I say about this one? It left you with a sense of wonderment. People the next day were whispering "I can do that," This ad was about more than just selling the next game but remembering the past and all the fun you had. Gathering with friends and trading or becoming the very best. The commercial aimed to motive fans to "Train On," and it did what it was supposed to do. 




What do you think about this list? Were there any memorable Super Bowl video game commercials that didn't make this list? Let us know in the comments below.


2. God of War: Ascension


If you did not know what God of War was all about, this ad perfectly describes the saga of the main character, Kratos, as well as this game. As the press release stated, "Kratos swore an oath in blood to the gods, and ended up losing everything he ever loved." While some argue that God of War: Ascension might not be the best game, all can agree this was a wonderful ad. It showed the human side of Kratos and what he was fighting for.


3. Nintendo Switch 


It's hard to believe that the Nintendo Switch is almost one year old. At this point last year, the hype was through the roof. People were clamoring, and Nintendo delivered. This ad sums up what the Switch is and the functionally of this new game console. It was the marketing push that Nintendo fans always wanted. 




4. The Battle of Evony 


Actors Aaron Eckhart, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Fan Bingbing star in “The Battle of Evony,” a short movie promoting the mobile game Evony: The King’s Return. With a final ranking of 64 out of 66, it was not highly ranked on USA Today's Ad Meter. But this does show the power of mobile gaming and how much money they do have. 


5. Dante's Inferno 


It was not the best game, nor was it the most fun, but you can't doubt the creativity of this ad for EA's Dante's Inferno. The only word you hear is "Beatrice!", and after that, "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers plays. You can identify with the protagonist with following your love to the depth of hell. There was a controversy with this ad. The ending originally said "Go to Hell," but CBS refused to air this. EA had to change the final line of the clip to "Hell Awaits" instead. You can watch the original here.


6. Clash of Clans


Super Bowl XLIX was interesting to begin with, but now it had to compete with Liam Neeson and his smooth voice. This wasn't the first mobile game ad to feature a celebrity, but it could be one of the best. This 2015 ad for Clash of Clans made it to #17 on USA Today's Ad Meter Results.


7. The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind 


I was quite frankly surprised that a commercial for an Elder Scrolls game was airing during the Super Bowl. There was an air of mystery surrounding this ad. Was it going to be an announcement for a new Elder Scrolls game? Not really: it was an expansion of their online game. Anyway, who can say no to a giant bear fighting with you? 


8. The Order: 1886 


While The Order: 1886 was not the best-rated game, receiving a Metacritic score of a 63, this Super Bowl advertisement does lend the game an added layer of mystery. We now know that it was mostly all cut-scenes and QTE. Still, it is a visually stunning game because of the power of the PS4.


9. “Real Awful Moms”


World of Tanks strikes while the iron is hot and puts out their second ad. I would argue that this one was the better of the two. Both ads were created for the game's "Tanks Rule" campaign, and they ran back to back between the first and second quarters of the 2017 Super Bowl. 




10. “Teensy House Buyers”


Using a subversion tactic, this World of Tanks advertisement strikes the balance between reality TV and humor. It simply shows consumers what the product is about in a 15-second format, which is a rarity in the advertising world.  


With Super Bowl LII just days away, some of the world’s largest companies are set to launch their best ads for this year’s slate of commercials during the big game. Last year's Super Bowl LI was one of the most-watched Super Bowls in history, with an average viewership of 111.3 million, and a large number watched for the best part, the commercials. The video up top is a fun car commercial for Koei's Tecmo Bowl.


So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Video Game Commercials in the Super Bowl. 



An Exclusive Interview with Jack Packard and Rich Evans Fri, 28 Oct 2016 11:14:31 -0400 Jared Elliott

Rich Evans and Jack Packard are well-known for co-hosting Previously Recorded -- a popular show which features thoughtful game reviews and hilarious Twitch streams. But they are perhaps most famous for their work in other programs under the Red Letter Media umbrella, such as Best of the Worst, Half in the Bag, ReView, and the full-length comedy film Space Cop.

Both also participated in the hugely popular Mr. Plinkett reviews of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. 

Last week, I reached out to Rich and Jack for an exclusive interview, to which they graciously agreed. Within, they discuss the origins of Previously Recorded, their best (and worst) experiences on the show, and much more:

Jared Elliott: How did Previously Recorded get started?

Jack Packard: The show started as Gamestation 2.0, a Rich Evans solo show where he talked about video games. Rich would write and star in the show and it would be edited by Mike [Stoklasa] or Jay [Bauman]. Rich hated doing that show as he didn’t have anyone to bounce off of. He didn’t like JUST talking to the camera. Also Mike and Jay aren’t video game guys so they didn’t enjoy editing the episodes.

[Rich and I] would always gravitate together during filming of Best of the Worst or other Red Letter Media productions, and conversation would usually end up on games, as we are the only two gamers at Red Letter Media.

With a little pressure from Red Letter Media to make some video game content, we started the show half-assed and under-prepared, filming the first episode in Jack’s Kitchen.

JE: What has been your favorite episode to record?

Rich Evans: The Order 1886. Because the game was so short we really had time to direct exactly why it failed so hard. Also lighting it on fire with hundreds of matches that spelled “F*CK YOU” was very cathartic.

JE: What is the worst experience you've had with a game that you played for the show? The best?

Both: The worst was Alien: Isolation. We don’t get the horror stealth genre. We thought that game was incredibly lame and therefore not enjoyable to play. Then after the episode came out we were inundated with “you played it wrong” comments.

The best was Bloodborne. We stumbled in our first attempt at playing Dark Souls so we were nervous playing another FromSoftware game. But the journey of figuring out the rules of Bloodborne’s world has been unparalleled. These games are packed deep with lore and more importantly emergent storytelling.

JE: What is your process when reviewing a game? How long does the review process take?

RE: The only process is playing the game… though Jack has a notebook because he has a bad memory, and he usually records the gameplay footage. After we get enough play time (about 20-30 hours) we sit down and film the discussion, which usually takes an hour. Then Jack edits the episode, which takes another 15 to 20 hours.

JE: Do you still enjoy playing games as much as you did before starting Previously Recorded?

Both: Of course we still enjoy games, and playing for the show or streaming often allows us to discover games we wouldn’t normally play. We do get a lot of suggestions for games to play, and that can get overwhelming.

JE: You've reviewed quite a few indie titles on the show. How do you feel about the current state of indie games in general?

JP: Rich thinks that we are in the dark dystopian future of gaming with things like DRM, always-online, and the over-abundance of walking simulators. I think we’re in a god damned golden age of entertainment, with more options than ever.

Though with the over use of things like Kickstarter, early access, and consumer beta testing we’re seeing a lot of half finished games. The up-side is we’re seeing games that might not have been made without these tools.

JE: What are your favorite games? What's great about them?

Both: That’s too vague a question, there are so many that we love.

RE: I am replaying the Thief games now, which I love for their slow and tight stealth gameplay mixed with impressive world building.

JP: I'm obsessed with Overwatch at the moment because of its great characters, good balance, and the constant challenge of online multiplayer.

JE: If you could apply any game mechanic to real life, what would it be?

JP: The Konami code for extra lives of course.

JE: What can fans of the show look forward to soon?

JP: I am almost done with the Gears of War 4 episode and Rich wants to do a look back at the Thief games (I have never played them). Also, we are working on something that doesn’t involve them playing games… super secret #ProjectHornet.

We can’t give too much away about #ProjectHornet, but it’ll either be a mild success or a HUGE failure, so either way you’ll want to watch.

JE: Any final thoughts for our readers?

RE: Try your best, every day, not to be a horrible asshole.

To catch up with the latest gaming streams and reviews, follow Previously Recorded on Youtube and Twitter (@PreviouslyRec). Special thanks to Rich Evans, Jack Packard, and Red Letter Media for making this interview possible!

New game by Ready at Dawn to be announced next week Sun, 29 May 2016 09:43:27 -0400 FlameKurosei

Developer team Ready at Dawn plans to show a new game next week -- on that will be distributed by Gamestop's freshly created publishing arm, GameTrust. This will be GameTrust's second game published -- following Song of the Deep on July 12th, which was created by Insomniac Games (also responsible for Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, and the recent Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive.)

Known for their recent PS4 exclusive game The Order: 1886, Ready at Dawn appears capable of creating stunningly realistic and beautiful visual environments to maximize the graphics potential of the PlayStation 4.

Previously, Ready at Dawn also worked hard to produce a solid port of Clover Studio's Okami for the Wii, going so far as to recreate lost assets from the original PlayStation 2 game.

What are your predictions for Ready at Dawn's new game? What aspects do you think the team should improve on? Or perhaps they should work on a new genre? Leave your thoughts below in the comments!

Also, check out The Order: 1886 as one of the most beautiful games of 2015 here on GameSkinny!

[Images retrieved from Dualshockers]

We don't need a PS4k or Xbox One.Five Thu, 21 Apr 2016 08:56:33 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

The PS4.5, or PS4k, is back in the news with another rumour. This time it is in the form of a codename: "Neo" -- hence the terrible pun of a header image. I'm Neo in this case, and Sony is Agent Smith. Hardware specs for "Neo" have also been rumoured at being slightly higher than the current PS4. But this begs the question, why is it needed? And why is it the worst idea since not having sliced bread?

It's about money, not about providing a better experience

The biggest, and foremost reason for an 8.5th generation being terrible is that it's just for the money. Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has said he doesn't really like the idea of an Xbox One.Five -- this is from the head of Xbox representing a console that sold less than the PS4. With Sony wanting to make a PS4.5, all this screams to me is that they want more money. Instead of selling just one console, they can sell two.

Even if the idea is to have full parity of software between the two consoles, playing a competitive game online means that someone playing at 1080p60 has an advantage over someone at 720p30. A higher frame rate means there is less input lag, and the higher resolution means the image is clearer and easier to see. That simply means the experience of the game is compromised, not improved.

playstation vr psvr ps vr

"Neo" could mean a VR focused console

Pictured above, on the right, is the processing unit of the PS VR headset. This is supposed to only add VR specific features like a VR desktop, 3D audio, and other features the main console doesn't have. It is not in anyway an upgrade to the PS4 for either CPU or GPU. That begs the question, if the PS4 can already play VR games at 120FPS, why is more power needed? The answer is simply, it's not. If you don't need more power, if you don't need to run at a higher resolution, there is simply no need for a new console. If something works, and it does work, you do not need more.

Screams of futility...

...can be heard from the offices of Sony. They know that their hardware is underperforming and outdated. It's sluggish, and underpowered, but that's ok. The Nintendo Wii and WiiU prove you don't need all of the power in the world. Mario Kart 8 runs at 1080p60, and the WiiU is a literal potato -- a lot of tablets are more powerful than it. But again, that's perfectly OK. Dirt Rally is proof that both the Xbox One and PS4, when being properly optimised for, can run at a smooth 1080p60 constantly. Consoles are not graphical powerhouses, and they shouldn't want to be either. It's never about the graphics anyway. It's about getting into games quickly, and those games running smoothly. All that counts at the end of the day is, did you have fun, or was it a good experience? Graphics are not needed for either of those. Halo 2: Anniversary only ran at 900p -- I say only though it's really not far off from 1080p. Due to it toalso running at a very smooth 60FPS, you didn't notice the slightly lower resolution, mostly because it's still a very high resolution. Halo 2: Anniversary looks stunning, and that wouldn't change by adding an extra 180 vertical pixels.

How much better looking do you want Bloodborne, or The Order: 1886? Both are beautiful looking games in their own right, and both run very well. Turning the graphics down a bit, they would still look phenomenal. With the added bonus of being able to run at 60FPS, it's ok to not have the best graphics in everything ever.

Graphics do not need to be maxed out anymore. Games look amazing enough for us to stop worrying about how they look. With game engines like Unreal 4, you can make great looking games very easily.While they won't be the best looking games, they will still look better than the average game anyway.

the order 1886

Look how amazing The Order: 1886 looks, but it doesn't need to. It went for graphics before everything, and it lost out big time.

Instead of PS4.5 can we see less focus on the best graphics?

I do love a good looking game, and there is definitely room for games that blow you away graphically, but can these become as scarce as a hen's teeth? Well slightly less rare than that, but it seems like they are trying to become a dime a dozen.

Instead of Sony, or Microsoft, trying to sell us another expensive piece of hardware, why not just bring the graphical expectations down a bit and focus on getting things running as smoothly as possible? This would benefit gamers more in the long run and improve overall experiences within the games. Graphics are already at the point where the returns far outway the cost, so can we all just be happy with how amazing almost all games look now?

The seven most beautiful games of 2015 Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:30:54 -0500 Rob Thubron


So, that’s it, the most beautiful games of 2015. I know the year’s not over yet, but we’re unlikely to see any of the games released in the remaining weeks of December challenge those on this list.


As the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” so not everyone may agree with my number one, but I’ve personally never played a game that made my jaw drop in awe the way that The Witcher 3 does. So thank you, CD Projekt RED, for showing that truly beautiful art is possible in video games – and so is having sex on a stuffed unicorn.


1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


I don’t mind admitting that there were moments during the Witcher 3 that were so beautiful it almost brought a tear to my eye. Staring at the mountains over the lake at Kaer Morhen, watching the birds on the horizon as the sun comes up over Novigrad docks, standing on the bridge to Kaer Trolde with the snowy peaks of Ard Skellig in the distance – all moments that made me understand why some people get emotional when looking at world-famous paintings.


There may have been other games released this year that are more photo-realistic, and there may even have been 2015 titles that do textures better, but the Witcher 3 manages to combine so many top-quality graphical elements that it actually makes you want to be in Geralt’s world – even with all the monsters and murderers.


The lushness of the forests, the quality of the water and fire, the snow on the mountains, the birds, the weather, the sunrises, the creatures, the landscapes – I could go on and on. If anyone tells you that video games aren’t art, show them this. If I could somehow show my 10-year-old self the Witcher 3, I have no doubt that this young version of me would want to hop in a cryo-chamber and stay there until its release.


There have been some breathtakingly gorgeous games in 2015, but in my opinion none can match the Witcher 3. A stunning piece of work and my game of the year.


2. Rise of the Tomb Raider


Last month saw the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to the 2013 reboot of the franchise and a game that manages to capture the magic of those original Lara Croft titles from so many years ago.


Not only is Rise of the Tomb Raider an excellent action-adventure game, but it looks stunning. Mostly taking place in the snowy landscapes of Siberia, the environments really are amazing. Snow and water are never easy to recreate in games, but the designers replicate it here brilliantly.


Sadly, despite the critical and commercial praise it received, Rise of the Tomb Raider never got the attention it deserved upon launch. And why is that, you may ask? Becuase it was released on the same day as Fallout 4! As Comic Book Guy would say: “WORST. DECISION. EVER.”


3. Everybody’s gone to the rapture


Everybody’s gone to the rapture is one of those games that seems to polarize opinion: a lot of people, especially critics, love it, but there are plenty of gamers who hate it and reiterate the old “walking simulators aren’t games” argument. But no matter what your thoughts are on The Chinese Room’s English-set mystery, it’s impossible to deny that it looks amazing.


If you’ve ever played the similar The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, then you’ll know what to expect: plenty of stunning scenery, lots of time to admire it, and tons of walking. The small, Shropshire-based town the game is set in is brought to life thanks to the gorgeous, highly detailed graphics. Atmosphere is crucial in a game like this, and EGTTR doesn’t disappoint – you can almost feel the sun on your face and smell the English countryside (which doesn’t always smell great, just btw). 


Everybody’s gone to the rapture is so beautiful you’d think you could reach into the screen and touch it. Plus, it’s a damn fine game.


4. The Order: 1886


Now we get to one of those games whose gameplay doesn’t come close to matching its frankly astounding graphics and fantastic atmosphere. The Order 1886 makes you feel like you’re controlling a live-action movie with its lifelike visuals. Unfortunately, it’s one of those movies where, most of the time, not much is happening.


It’s not that The Order is a terrible game, it just should have been so much better. The huge number of quick-time events and restrictive gameplay can make it feel like a long cutscene. Overall, it just isn’t much fun.


Like a narcissistic Instagram girl, the game knows it’s beautiful and wants you to realize this. There are plenty of moments where the action takes a backseat so players can marvel at the details and high-quality textures of the game’s objects. You can almost hear The Order: 1886 screaming “Ignore my many faults! Look at how beautiful I am!” as it takes yet another selfie.


5. Ori and the Blind Forest


Not every game that’s considered to be beautiful has to feature almost photo-quality graphics; a good example of this is Ori and the Blind Forest, a 2D platformer that uses vibrant, stunning colors to make it pop off the screen.


The multiple layers of Ori’s levels add an extra element to the visuals, giving the game that sense of depth, rather than it looking like a flat cartoon. During some sections, this layering is used to great effect - especially with the rising water. And trust me when I say: there are some scenes so fantastical, you’ll feel like you're inside a real fairytale.


Ori and the Blind Forest is a brilliant, emotional game that’s made even better with its luscious graphics and a memorable musical score. Try it out, you won't be disappointed.


6. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


The thing with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is that it’s such a good game to play, many people are oblivious to how pretty it is. What looks to be Hideo Kojima's swansong for Konami is up there with Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 as a contender for Game of The Year. Not only does it redefine the concept of what’s possible in an open-world game, but it also looks fantastic.


The two main locations of Afghanistan and Zaire are loving recreated in MGSV and Big Boss’ offshore headquarters, Mother Base, is a thing of beauty – made all the prettier thanks to the surrounding crystal blue waters of the Seychelles.


The many cinematic sections look like they’ve been taken straight out of a movie, the character and animal animations are spot-on, and the weather effects are outstanding. Metal Gear Solid V is as attractive as it is fun.


7. Child of Light


Child of Light is a magnificent RPG/2D adventure-platformer hybrid whose visuals are truly lovely. Every little bit of this game looks hand-painted by a master artist for a children’s book. It has the same graphics engine as the recent Rayman titles and its use of light and shade - something that I generally never even notice in games - adds so much atmosphere to Child of Light.


Some of the most visually impressive moments in the game come when you’re interacting with Child of Light’s many gigantic creatures, who can take up the majority of the screen. Each level’s background resembles an interactive art gallery painting, and the characters are fantastically designed without feeling childish. The aesthetics of this game will give you a warm and fuzzy sensation, often inducing feelings of childhood nostalgia (they did in me, anyway).


Child of Light is unlike most games; it’s artistic without being pretentious, child-like without being patronizing, and emotional without being saccharine. A gorgeous, incredible, magical game, and also available at a very low price. I highly recommend it to all RPG fans.


It’s common knowledge that just because a game has beautiful graphics, it doesn’t mean that it’ll be any good. Some titles look breathtaking but are, for want of a better word, a bit shit. On the other side of the coin, you have games that look like they were made twenty years ago yet are utterly brilliant, such as Minecraft, Spelunky and Super Meat Boy. Of course, there occasionally are those titles that manage to combine looks and gameplay into one perfect game, which make up the majority of this list.


Every new year brings advancements in game engine technology, graphics card drivers (for PCs) and game optimization, meaning 2015 saw some truly beautiful titles. Not all of them were brilliant to play, and some were downright balls, but there’s no denying that we’re reaching a point where graphics in video games are hitting almost photo-realistic levels.


So here we have been the seven prettiest, most beautiful games of 2015. Yet more proof that we’ll soon never want to leave our homes, living out our lives as a virtual avatar in a picturesque world while a robot butler feeds us and our chairs double as toilets. Maybe... hopefully.

PlayStation vs. Xbox: PlayStation Is Doing Exclusives Better Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:13:20 -0500 Curtis Dillon

"PlayStation 4 has no exclusives!"

That's the claim I've heard and read all year long.

"This is the greatest gaming line-up in Xbox history."

That's what Microsoft has touted all year long. Truth be told, though, the playing field is a lot more level than you might think.

PlayStation has always had more and better exclusives than Xbox.

Sure Xbox will always have Halo, Gears of War and Forza, but before the Xbox One, that was pretty much it. Microsoft tried its hand with the Fable series, Viva Pinata, and Too Human, none of which were massive successes. PlayStation, on the other hand has a history of hosting many fantastic exclusives and giving its first-party developers room to breathe and create freely.

Last generation, the PS3 played catch-up to the 360 for many years. Sony's third machine ended up outselling the 360, with a year less on the market. And it did so by having the best games. While Xbox 360 owners twiddled their thumbs between Halo and Gears of War experiences, PS3 gamers were having thrilling adventures with Nathan Drake, killing gods with Kratos, becoming a superhero with Cole McGrath, fighting the endless war against the Helghan, and creating worlds with Sackboy. Year in, year out, the PS3 had exclusives every other month.

A Promising Start for Xbox

This time around, Microsoft aimed to rival PlayStation in that department by having more exclusives - and more than just shooters. They came out of the gate with Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, and some Kinect titles, as well as showing trailers for Halo 5 and Quantum Break. The first two were easily the most exciting of the launch games, because Ryse had a ton of potential and Dead Rising is a great series to have exclusively.

PlayStation on the other hand, launched with Knack, Killzone: Shadowfall, and Resogun. Games that were initially intended to be launch titles, like Infamous and DriveClub, didn't make the cut-off. Therefore it's undeniable that the Xbox One had the better launch titles.

Microsoft continued its promising start by unveiling Titanfall and Sunset Overdrive - an awesome-looking game by Sony's buddies Insomniac. That was a real blow to Sony. Meanwhile, Titanfall was dubbed the "Call of Duty killer". Then came Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Killer Instinct and more Forza. The Xbox One was really looking like a fantastic platforms for what happened?

Cracks Begin To Show

Titanfall released and was...good. The game was a critical success, but not so much a commercial one, and it didn't bring about the death of Call of Duty like many had predicted. In spite of a year's worth of hype and anticipation, Titanfall faded quicker than a fart in the wind.

Sunset Overdrive was next. The difference with Sunset is that it was actually an amazing game. Sunset Overdrive was a fantastic game from Insomniac that oozed charisma and charm, and yet it sold poorly. Poorly enough that Microsoft never announced any numbers for it, and has referred to it when discussing the challenges of new IP.

A fantastic game that no one played

Forza and Halo did well, as expected. However, neither seemed to shift console sales - plus Halo was a muddled mess with big online issues. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, Sony had big success with Infamous: Second Son, The Last of Us: Remastered, MLB: The Show, and DriveClub, despite The Order: 1886 being pushed to 2015. Microsoft was trying, and even producing some great games, but it wasn't getting the desired results.

And so 2015 rolled around...

Do The Math

2015 was supposed to be the year for Microsoft. Sony had "nothing", particularly after Uncharted 4 was delayed. Xbox fans emerged from the crevices of the Internet to poke fun at PS4 owners. I've even heard industry insiders discuss the brevity of Sony's line-up. However, was it really as one-sided as everyone claimed? Nope. In fact, PlayStation 4 had more exclusives in 2015 than Xbox One.

Let's just start with AAA games. Microsoft's "greatest line-up ever" consists of Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Rare Replay. That's a great line-up, and probably the best Microsoft has ever had (as per the claims).

2015 hasn't been the best year for Sony; no one will argue that. But it hasn't been anywhere near as barren as you may be led to believe. The year started with The Order: 1886, a ridiculously pretty game that was unfortunately more fun to look at than it was to play. Then came Bloodborne -- the spiritual successor to Demon Souls was a surprisingly big hit for Sony and was all the talk when it came out. Bloodborne is a surefire game of the year contender.

The next big title to hit Sony's platforms, a game I wouldn't count if I didn't already count Gears of War, was God of War III Remastered. Then came the biggest surprise hit of the year, Until Dawn. A fantastic horror game in the vein of Heavy Rain, Until Dawn shocked many by how well it was written, how beautiful it was, and how much dumb fun it was. Then to round out the year we got Tearaway: Unfolded and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.

So, Xbox One had five exclusive AAA games in 2015, while PS4 had six. Now all in all, quantity is not always as important as quality, and the fact that three of Sony's six were remasters is definitely a factor.

For Xbox, Rare Replay and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition outperformed expectations, Halo 5: Guardians has been a hit, Forza always performs, and Rise of the Tomb Raider has been met with critical acclaim, but sold poorly in the wake of Fallout 4. The sales disappointment of Rise of the Tomb Raider is surely a problem, but it's been a great year for Xbox regardless. It outsold the PS4 in the month of October - marking only the second time this year it has done so, and the fourth overall.

If you want to get really nitpicky...

If we look at smaller titles, PlayStation has had a far better year. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, SOMA, Axiom Verge, Journey (Remastered), Volume, Hotline Miami 2, and Grow Home are just some of the games that came to PSN this year. However, one title in particular really captured the hearts of millions in 2015 -- Rocket League. The second vehicular soccer game from Psyonix has been an unprecedented hit, selling over 6 million copies. The game is likely to come to Xbox One in 2016, but it was a Cinderella story on PS4 this year. The only Xbox digital games you heard talked about this year were Ori and the Blind Forest and State of Decay: Year One.

Party Partnerships

Now I've talked at (great) length about what games came to which platform, yadda yadda yadda, but what's really important and interesting to look at, it the logistics of the exclusives.

Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, Titanfall, and Rise of the Tomb Raider are all third party exclusives, the latter being only a timed exclusive. The only first-party games Microsoft have published are HaloForza, Rare Replay, and Gears of War: Remastered.

Another amazing game no one is playing. Thanks, Fallout 4.

The failure of the third-party games to be commercial hits has probably hurt Microsoft's relationship with third party developers. Take Titanfall for example. EA and Respawn has both admitted it would have benefited the game being on PS4 - and the sequel will be. Phil Spencer has even said that third party games will be less of a focus going forward, though it's not because Microsoft don't want them.

Looking ahead at 2016, Xbox One exclusives Recore, Crackdown 3, Quantum Break and Scalebound are all second and third-party developed games once again. This isn't necessarily a problem, but like I said, should the games continue to underwhelm commercially, developers will be less inclined to work with Microsoft (and Microsoft will be less inclined to work with them). 

On the other side, every game released by Sony this year, minus Tearaway, was a second-party exclusive. Even the Uncharted Collection was done by independent port house Bluepoint Games (although still published by Sony). This is a less risky business than third-party development because Sony still owns the IP, which is also true for Microsoft with Recore, Scalebound, Quantum Break, and so on.

The point is: Microsoft's third-party exclusives are a very short-term solution.

The company has not built any new series, though it's not for lack of trying. There won't be a Ryse 2, and a Sunset Overdrive 2 or Dead Rising 4 is unlikely. Titanfall 2 will be multiplatform. Whereas there will probably be a Knack 2 for the PS4, there will certainly be sequels to Infamous: Second Son, Bloodborne, Until Dawn, and even The Order: 1886. Already this generation, Sony has created 3, maybe 4, new exclusive series.

First-Party Poopers

Part of the problem is Microsoft's first-party studios. Microsoft owns 343 Industries, The Coalition, Lionhead Studios, and Turn 10 -- all of whom are confined to making Halo, Gears of War, Fable, and Forza for eternity. That's four main studios, all tied to making the same four games over and over; it's creatively stifling and redundant. Imagine if Sony had gone to Naughty Dog and demanded it work on Crash Bandicoot forever - without that creative freedom, we wouldn't have gotten get Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, or The Last of Us.

Then Microsoft also has Rare, BigPark Studios, Mojang, and a litany of small studios that work on tablet and Kinect stuff. Rare is working on Sea of Thieves, a fun-looking game with tons of potential. BigPark is completely in the dark, and Mojang is doing its Minecraft thing.

There's plenty more where these came from

So we kind of know what every single Microsoft first-party developer is working on, and it's exactly what you'd expect. This is why Microsoft has gone to third-parties like Armature, Respawn, Insomniac and Crystal Dynamics to get exclusive games. The Xbox needs more variety.

Sony has no such problem.

Of Sony's first-party developers, we know we are getting Uncharted 4 from Naughty Dog, Dreams from Media Molecule, Gran Turismo Sport from Polyphony Digital, Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla Games and Rigs from Guerilla Cambridge, Gravity Rush Remastered, Gravity Rush 2, and The Last Guardian from Japan Studio, and Evolution is still working on DriveClub. Four of those are new IPs.

The rest of the first-party studios are shrouded in mystery -- Sony Bend, Sucker Punch, Sony San Diego, Sony Santa Monica, North West Studio and Sony London. Sony Santa Monica is almost certainly working on a new God of War, but it also helps with development on a ton of smaller games, from The Unfinished Swan to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Sony London is working on Virtual Reality. Sucker Punch is well along in the development of something, according to Shuhei Yoshida -- maybe it's another Infamous. Sony San Diego is inevitably making the next instalment in the MLB: The Show series, but it is also helping produce Drawn to Death, Guns Up, and Kill Strain - three other PlayStation exclusives.

I broke down Microsoft and Sony's first-party studios to paint a picture of the future. Sony gives its studios a lot of rope to hang themselves with and, as such, we get extremely exciting new IP like Horizon Zero Dawn, surprising sequels like Gravity Rush 2, and a few artistic experiments like Dreams. Simply put, Sony's first-party titles are much more exciting.

The product of creative freedom

However, Sony also works with second and third-parties, as mentioned earlier with all of this year's exclusives. Also coming exclusively to the PS4 is Detroit: Become Human from Quantic Dream, Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky, Persona 5, Hellblade, and a lot of third-party VR support. This is different from Microsoft, because those games are all almost guaranteed to sell well - Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky and Persona 5 are no-brainers, and Hellblade and Detroit could definitely do well if marketed properly.


I don't want to be a Debbie Downer and spell doom and gloom for the Xbox One, because that most certainly isn't the case. The exclusives games on the Xbox One so far have ranged from good to great, and it's a shame that some of them didn't sell better. If you are a true gamer, you do not wish ill on Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, because competition is good for everyone.

The failure of Rise of the Tomb Raider is bad news for Microsoft; if a known property like Lara Croft cannot sell, then what can be expected to? However it has baffled me since E3 that Square Enix and Microsoft agreed to send it out to die beside Fallout 4, sandwiched between Call of Duty and Star Wars. Hopefully the game will find some success when it releases on PS4 next year.

Microsoft will always have its staples of Gears of War, Forza and Halo, which may not be the most exciting prospects, but they're a very safe bet. It would be nice to see those developers get more leeway and maybe even develop some new IPs; however, renaming two of them to reflect their respective games kind of suggests they won't get such freedom.

This fall has been a big season for Xbox One, and the winning sales of October are a great sign, but the goal should not be to outsell the PS4. If Microsoft provides excellent games that can only be played on Xbox One, then gamers will come. 2016 is looking exciting for the green brand, with Gears 4, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Recore, Quantum Break, and Scalebound, not to mention a myriad of fantastic digital games like Below, Cuphead and Inside. Microsoft could benefit from re-organizing a few internal teams, most of which were working on Kinect, and setting them off to work on new IP. They should follow Sony's example and allow established studios (like Naughty Dog and Guerilla) to stretch their wings and try new things.

The Xbox One cannot afford another Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, or Titanfall, it needs new first-party IPs that can be established into series. Right now, Microsoft is sitting pretty with exclusives but the past two years were not great for Xbox One, and going forward it could serve the company well to take a page out of the competition's playbook. 

Quick Review: The Order 1886 Mon, 24 Aug 2015 03:36:58 -0400 Gemanoneko

The night was alive. Some characters were lurking in back alleys and my feline intuition implied that most of them were more than shady. All the sounds were drowned in the heavy, foul-smelling, greyish fog. Most of the gas lamps were broken, but those still lit were outlining darkness instead of banishing it. Only the full moon and spotlights of sentinels soaring above the city were illuminating dirty narrow streets of Whitechapel.

Not the place where one wants to find himself in the middle of the night, but I - Sir Galahad, Royal Knight of the Round Table - was on duty. I had to find a connection between anarchistic rebels, scourge of half-breeds and godless deeds of Jack the Reaper that were tormenting London. Meow!

That is a pretty atmospheric piece! I’m proud of myself. Today I’ll share with you my thoughts about The Order 1886 – an exclusive story-driven shooter for PS4.


  • Atmosphere: the strongest point of The Order 1886. Great setting, neat concept – clothing, weapons, locations. All of it creates a mesmerizing picture of industrial Victorian London from alternative universe.
  • Graphics: the game looks stunning both from technical and art point of view.


  • Incomplete: The Order 1886 feels unfinished – there is no closure. More like a first episode of episodic game.
  • Bad or really rushed writing: huge plot holes, very strange decisions made by characters (WHY?! Someone, slap Sir Galahad really hard, I believe he hit his head while falling off that cool steampunkish airship!). Things that could be surprising are made obvious. The story does have an interesting core, but it feels like most of it was cut from the game. 
  • Sir Galahad and gang behave funny: they talk about not using deadly force on murdering bedlamites, but they kill brutally lots of people who might be innocent. The violence in the game is not natural – made especially for players' pleasure (look, we have executions!!!). And it just breaks Sir Galahad’s character.
  • Small amount of content: I finished the game in less than 8 hours. It can be a good length for the story-driven experience when it’s complete, but it’s too short for the action game. Especially if it feels like a 40% of a whole story.
  • Letterboxing: why, Ready at Down? Why?!
  • Badly executed controls: sometimes you can’t run, sometimes you can’t take out the gun, sometimes you can use only one-handed weapons. The game doesn't tell player why controlls are changed or why. It feels like a bug.

Should you bother?

Only if you’re Gamer Cat. Like me.

Good graphics and Victorian London setting are huge virtues of The Order 1886. The game might scratch the itch of the virtual tourism adepts – the atmosphere is great. I dream of playing the game with project Morpheus support (probably not going to happen). Don’t hope for a great story, outstanding characters, addictive combat or multiplayer, though – you won’t find any of those in The Order 1886.

My personal rating:

  • Contemporary graphics – check
  • Victorian setting - check
  • Great atmosphere – check
  • Gun-wielding, knight-slaying monsters (and rebels, mostly rebels… poor rebels…) - check

However, the game left me unsatisfied and wishing for more.

PlayStation Vs. XBOX: How The Tables Turned Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:44:57 -0400 Curtis Dillon

If you'll indulge me for a few moments, I'd like to start off by explaining my history with both PlayStation and Xbox. You see, I was born in Ireland in 1992, and growing up my brother and I had a variety of consoles - including the Sega Mega Drive, Sega Genesis, SNES, N64, and the PS1. Some of my earliest gaming memories are of playing Beavis and Butthead on the SNES.

Back then I didn't care what console I played on, I just played games. That being said, I do recall my brother playing Syphon Filter and Duke Nukem on the PS1 and not liking them. They were too mature for me at the time, so I stuck with Banjo Kazooie. Eventually I began playing the PS1 more and more because my brother preferred it. Fast forward to 2001-ish, and my brother gets a PS2.

Before The Stick of Truth, Beavis and Butthead made farts cool

Once again the games were just too mature for me, he was playing GTA III and Metal Gear Solid 2, and I was dumbfounded. So I rebelled and got a GameCube. I mostly opted for the GameCube because it had Mario Kart and Super Mario Sunshine. To be completely honest, I stand by my decision, because the GameCube was an amazing system with great games.

However, I always found myself returning to the PS2. It was there I eventually began playing Grand Theft Auto, Jak & Daxter, Dragon Ball Z, Tony Hawk, Medal of Honor, Crash Bandicoot and Metal Gear. So by the end of the generation I was totally a PlayStation guy. However, I made the same mistake again when the PS3 and Xbox 360 came out. I got a 360.

Once again I turned my back on PlayStation and opted for the competitor. I chose Xbox because it came out a year earlier and it had 2 games that fascinated me, Dead Rising and Gears of War. So I got my first iteration 360 and played the heck out of the aforementioned games, as well as Saints Row. Then, somewhere around 2007, disaster struck....the red ring of death. So long story short, Microsoft fixed it twice, it broke a third time and they refused to fix it, saying it was my fault. It was at this time when my brother decided to get a PS3. Hallelujah.

Three frickin' times

So we got a PS3 and I played everything on it. I mostly stuck to third party games for a while, but at that time I had no idea what a first or third party was. Anyway, after a couple of years I got my own PS3 and with it I began playing more first party stuff. This was also around the time I started following the games industry and listening to shows like Podcast Beyond.

So my knowledge of gaming improved vastly and I suddenly realized how amazing the PS3 library was. I mean, if you didn't like shooters then you were out of luck on 360, whereas the PS3 had Uncharted, Infamous, God of War, Heavy Rain, Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, MGS 4, Killzone, and Little Big Planet, to name but a few diverse titles. I well and truly fell in love with the PS3.

Nothing the Xbox 360 offered was interesting to me. I could not understand my friend who had a 360. I couldn't wrap my head around why you would have a 360 when PS3 has so many games to offer. I quickly became part of Team PlayStation and would proudly state that the games were more important than sales figures. And that's still true.

Then the PS3 and 360 wound down and the new consoles emerged. I won't belabor the history of those 2 consoles - we're early enough in the gen that everyone remembers. But I will say I learned my lesson and stuck with PlayStation. Now you might think this article is leading to my revelation that Xbox One is now the better system but it's not, I am more than happy with my PS4 and don't regret it at all.

The best place to play

However, somewhere along the way, the PS4 has become more like the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One more like the PS3.

This theory was proven 100% correct to me when PlayStation showed off Call of Duty on its E3 stage this year. No offence to the COD series or fans, but that series epitomized the divide between PS3 and 360 - the PS3 had the amazing titles that flew under the radar, the 360 had little to no exclusives and focused on third party support. This has become the marketing strategy of the PS4 and it's a little worrying.

Both systems have had some amazing exclusives, but neither have had killer apps just yet. That being said, I do think the PS4 library is better than the PS3 library at the 2.5 year mark. So while the PS4's marketing is reminiscent of the Xbox 360's, it's good to see that Sony is still producing exciting new IP like Bloodborne, The Order 1886 and Horizon Zero Dawn. But it's also great to see that Microsoft learned its lesson and has concocted a new exclusive-heavy mindset for the Xbox One, with games you would never have seen on 360 - Sunset Overdrive, Sea of Thieves and Recore.

So both consoles are fighting for supremacy and we the gamers are benefitting the most.

That being said, it's undeniable that the PS4 has a fairly sparse line-up this fall, when compared to Xbox One. Now, I personally don't think this is a big deal when we have massive third party games coming out from September 1st right through to late November. Sony President Shuhei Yoshida said himself that Sony was in no rush to put out an exclusive this fall and let it die amongst the third party behemoths.

Indeed it seems fairly illogical of Microsoft to release Rise of the Tomb Raider on the same day as Fallout 4Also, PlayStation rather ingeniously aligns itself with games like Arkham Knight, Destiny, Call of Duty and Star Wars: Battlefront, getting exclusive content and therefore advertising the game as "Only on PlayStation". So the lack of first party games this fall does not matter. And yet it matters to shareholders.

Right now perception is that Xbox One has more exclusives. The facts are thus: the PS4 has 49 console exclusive games, the Xbox One has 34 exclusives. 8 of those are AAA....on both consoles. So the truth is both consoles have had 8 AAA exclusive games, while PS4 has 15 more digital exclusives. Now this isn't a d$*k measuring contest, so it really doesn't matter, nor am I attempting to justify the PS4's exclusives, which I don't think need justifying. My point is that the perception of both consoles has changed and reversed since the PS3/360 days.

Perception Isn't Always Reality

As mentioned before, PS3 fans boasted about the amazing games that were on the console, whereas 360 fans made jokes about the system's sales and poor running of Bethesda games. By the end of the generation, PS3 fans had the last laugh; the system had a vastly better library of games and even sold more! Then the PS4 and Xbox One were revealed and Microsoft did exactly what Sony did with the PS3 launch. It assumed that it had the core gamers in its pocket and attempted to expand, which just pisses off the core. PS4, however, emerged the clear leader in mindshare and pre-orders.

 That initial mis-step by Microsoft has  proved a hard one to recover from,  with the PS4 outselling it by a 2-1 margin. The  public mindshare has been  completely PS4 since launch, and  that's a hard thing to change. So  PlayStation is coasting right now,  with double the sales, and it's doing  so without any upcoming games.  Sony is aligning itself with huge 3rd party games and relying on that to sell the system. Xbox One, however, is trailing far behind, but with a lot of great games on the immediate horizon. The tables have well and truly turned. The good news for PlayStation fans is that the PS4 is not as barren with exclusives as the 360 was.

So truth be told, this generation has just pushed Microsoft to become a lot more experimental and frequent with exclusives.

Competition is best for everyone, most of all, us, the gamers! Rejoice and let the companies continue to wage war for our hard earned money!

PS Plus deals abound this week Wed, 27 May 2015 10:18:09 -0400 Dalton White I

Starting today, those who are subscribed to PlayStation Plus now have limited-time deals to consider.

Sony has begun a new program called "PlayStation Plus Specials." This program will offer special deals on the newest games and DLC for both PS4 and PS3. The first batch of deals lasts until Monday, June 1st, and features discounts on games like The Order: 1886. 

One of the biggest titles appearing this week is the latest PS4 hit Bloodborne, which will be on sale for $48, marking the first sale of the critically-acclaimed game in the PlayStation Network.

Although the discounts are not as significant as the usual discounts for PlayStation Plus, these deals are also a welcome addition alongside the original benefits of being a PS Plus member. This week's special also includes a special price cut on the updated Dark Souls IIDark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, for both PS3 and PS4 editions.

This first week mostly features discounts on games, it will expand to include "select DLC bundles exclusively to PS Plus members." The Dragon Ball Xenoverse bundle alludes to this as it includes an additional free DLC along with its 10% discount.

If this is only the first wave of the deals offered, maybe some classics and sleeper hits for both PS3 and PS4 will be included in the future.

Is Sony's PS4 going to have a difficult next few months? Tue, 26 May 2015 19:39:07 -0400 Dalton White I

Recent numbers indicate that the PS4 has sold better than its fellow eighth generation "rival", the Xbox One. Despite the higher numbers of consoles sold, the PS4's exclusive games haven't received glowing praise with the exception of the recently released Bloodborne. Both systems have fallen behind the Wii U in quality of games. The Wii U has experienced higher sales from multiple titles, such as Super Smash Bros. Wii U and Mario Kart 8.

The PS4's schedule for releases this summer is also not all that illuminating either. That is not to say that third-party games coming to the PS4 are not worth the purchase, but the PS4 exclusives have the potential to really show off the capabilities of the PS4.

One of these examples is The Order: 1886. This game is a visual marvel with both the characters and environments demonstrating a realistic and gothic style. However, concerning the story and the gameplay, The Order: 1886 is rather lacking. The story is confusing, and the gameplay fizzles out as the plot reaches its climax.

On the other hand the power and popularity of Bloodborne demonstrate that the PS4 can really stand on its own. The game has a gigantic map, full of diverse locations as well as a variety of enemies. The scenery of the desolate town of Yharnam is as gorgeous visually as one would expect from a creation by From Software.

Nevertheless the upcoming schedule for the PS4 this summer is a bit lackluster concerning standout games. Two games in particular in the PS4's arsenal have the potential to improve the PS4's summer releases. In July God of War 3: Remastered brings the bloody finale of the G.O.W. trilogy to the PS4. Supermassive Games has recently announced that Until Dawn will be released in North America on August 25th. These games have two different styles that can really show off the PS4's ability to provide fascinating gameplay, intriguing storylines and beautiful visuals. Betting on only two games for the summer lineup is rather risky and may be putting all Sony's eggs in one basket.

Sony will be releasing multiple promising games such as The Witness, Rime, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and No Man's Sky (a timed exclusive) for the PS4. However, none of these titles have a definite release date. All that has been stated so far are promises for 2015, but they have yet to be confirmed with specific dates. A possibility exists for more specific information to be revealed at Sony's E3 Press Conference in June. So there is a chance that Sony will give its fans and consumers a more exciting summer schedule to look forward to. At the moment Sony's calendar of game releases is rather bare to say the least.

What to Buy With Your Tax Refund Wed, 11 Mar 2015 05:21:04 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez




If you're looking to stock up on games, whether it be for the PC, Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo, GameSkinny certainly has lots of reviews to help make some of those decisions a little bit easier. Check out some of these recent releases:


What ideas do you have in mind? Did you like our suggestions? Let us know in the comments.


Gaming Chair


Have you ever dreamt of splurging on the ultimate gaming chair? I know I have! This may be your perfect opportunity to provide yourself with the ultimate companion from the expensive to the even budget friendly variety. There are various types of chairs on the market for kids and adults whether you're on a PC or console. Choosing one for your child may not exactly be suitable for you, so keep that in mind--one size does NOT fit all.


Amazon is great place to start looking, along with Best Buy, Newegg, Staples, Sears, Target, Walmart, and even bizrate. Shopping online is a great way to shop, check customer reviews, and find the best price that won't give the wallet a heart attack.


Gaming Keyboard and Mouse


Well, who doesn't need a great gaming keyboard and mouse? Keyboards like the SteelSeries Apex, Razer BlackWidow Ultimate (2014), Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. TE, and the Roccat Ryos MK Pro are great options.


When looking for the ultimate mouse, options such as the Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse, Corsair Vengeance M65, Roccat Tyon, SteelSeries Sensei Wireless, and the Razer Ouroboros are pretty sweet.


Gaming Headset


A killer headset definitely comes in handy when you want to fully immerse yourself in your game. has a great review on their Top Gaming Headsets. On this list you'll find reviews on the Razer Kraken Pro, Skullcandy PLYR 1 Gaming Headset, to the ultimate Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset.


Here's a great review on the Corsair H1500 Headset by our own D.Slater.


Gaming Desk


Perhaps it's time to replace or get a new gaming desk. Sites like Amazon are a great place to start looking for various types of desks to meet your needs and budget. Take a look at some of these extreme gaming desks and these expensive gaming desks if only to dream saying "I wish."


This Atlantic 33935701 Gaming Desk here is a great option thanks to its features, dimensions, and price of $90.89 with shipping included.

  • Steel rod frame construction
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  • Cable management system
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  • Fits 27 inch flat panel monitor up to 40 lbs
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  • Charging Station
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  • Speaker trays
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  • Drink holder
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  • Headset holder
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  • 26.5 inches x 50 inches x 40.25 inches; 37.4 lbs.
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Wii U


Getting your hands on the Nintendo Wii U system is always a wonderful idea for the entire family. The Super Mario 3D World Bundle is available at $299.99. It even includes Nintendo Land.


Don't forget to include extra controllers, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. These are a must-have!


PlayStation 4


What about upgrading your PS3 to the PS4 console? Whether purchasing in-store or online directly through Sony, you can get your hands on some great bundles starting at $399.99. Pick from The Last of Us Remastered, Destiny, Far Cry 4, NBA 2K15, or Little Big Planet 3.


Xbox One


If you haven’t already, how about purchasing an Xbox One console? You can purchase at various stores locally or directly online via Microsoft. Bundles start at $399.99 and up like the Madden NFL 15 without Kinect. The Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag bundle with Kinect is $499.99. It also includes Titanfall for a limited time.


New PC or Laptop


Dell has some great deals on Windows 7 PCs and laptops right now on their website where you can customize according to your budget. Deals starting from $379.99 and up on desktops; and $229.99 and up on laptops is not a bad way to go.


It’s that time of year again for W2s, 1099s, and a trip to H&R Block. If you’re lucky, some of you will get to stay indoors, hop on your trusty computer, and file those taxes online. Not having to pay the IRS is a Godsend and receiving that refund check is like Christmas (or any holiday gift). If you have a kid like me, you’ll even get a Child Tax Credit which will add some extra dollars to that check.


Throughout the year, so many of us gamers put off buying things we’d love to own for various reasons. Now with tax season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to purchase those long-awaited for items.

So what should you buy?
5 Must Play Games on Playstation 4 Thu, 26 Feb 2015 05:53:13 -0500 Eric Nicolai

With just under two years under the new generation, there is a litany of games that are released. There are games that you may have looked at, but aren't quite sure if you may like them. Here is a small list of games that you may enjoy on the PS4. Although most of these are exclusives there will be some multi-platform games that are throughly enjoyable on any console.

The Order 1886

Although criticized for being short The Order 1886 is a beautiful piece of digital art. The Order pushes the limit of the PS4 graphics and seems to have some good gameplay while it lasts. 


Destiny has been developed on the PS4 giving the edge to players on this console. They have been getting DLC first as Bungie has been showing a focus on this console. Destiny is a marvelous game there is nothing like running the Vault of Glass for the first time with friends or a random group of people. 


InFamous Second Son

Infamous has become a recognized Playstation title. This installment is no different. The open world stylized gameplay is nothing to turn away from. Infamous is a great Playstation title that should be given a try by any new owner of the console.


Driveclub is a PS4 exclusive and thus far is still only available as a purchase. There was a rumored Playstation Plus Edition that was going to be free. Players have yet to see this free launch and still anticipate the release. Driveclub is a fast paced beautiful racer that will keep you coming back for more.


Transistor is a download title that all PS4 owners must look at. This title is developed by the same studio that stood strong behind Bastion. Transistor stands well with its strong soundtrack and solid gameplay. This narrative is beautifully done and should not be overlooked even though it is only a PSN game.

These games have been praised since their launch and still stand out as a great playthrough. This small list is enough to keep new owners busy for a while, while they get familiar with their new console. Another bonus is that some of these titles are not new releases and can be found at a great price.

The Order: 1886 Review for PS4 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:42:13 -0500 Matt_Paprocki

Major studio games failed to find their visual individuality once they graduated onto CD-ROM. Interactive software continually poked and prodded the underbelly of movie blockbusters long enough for “cinematic” to enter critical vernacular as a positive.

The Order embraces the philosophy to extremes, drizzling and then soaking itself with “cinematic” splendor. It is unapologetic about the direction, too. At times, The Order is dangerously close to self-parody in its divisive video game artlessness – the locked 2.35:1 scope presentation, faux grain, frame rate choice, sound design, editing technique. Movie procedures take precedent.

In fact, The Order does everything those critical of this overbearingly loud sector of the market despise. It snuggles up to theatrical trends of fairy tales, super heroes, and werewolves. Hints of blues and oranges stretch for all six to eight hours. Story segments swell between action and become a geek repository featuring gunsmith Nikola Tesla, steampunk, knights, and Jack the Ripper. Everything about it feels wrong... until it doesn't.

Order in the (Round Table) Court

Not only does The Order recover, Ready at Dawn's work begins to apply a craftiness to this litany of clichés which bolster its otherwise mimed world. As much as it may antagonize the medium (even abort it) through lamentable QTEs and blasé ledge climbing, The Order is smartly doing what it wants with them. They're a means to a filmic end.

Combat is often routine, a series of duck-and-shoot encounters with throes of faceless rebels. In-between are werewolves. They're more than targets; they're a force. Situating their few confrontations outside of the standard point/fire mechanisms broadens the wolfmen's power. They cannot be beaten through traditional means. Lycans need to be stabbed and shot repeatedly before slinking back into their quivering human form. Doing this inside intimate QTEs increases their pathos and elevates their fear-inducing prowess.

It's another cinematic trick: Friday the 13th's Jason takes a cleaver to his head midway through only to rise unharmed later, creating a credible, ghostly threat. Jason is someone to fear and something to shock. Similarly, The Order makes grand supernatural struggles count.

In some way, The Order rolls the design back. We're in a period where pithy full-motion games of yore are returning, only now with polygons and linear corridors. The latter is not intrinsically a negative. Staying on the path ensures timed and sensible narrative delivery. That's what The Order wants (whether the intent is smart is clearly divisive).

Staying on the path ensures timed and sensible narrative delivery.

It also protects the superficial, yet ravishing display, of technology. Bricks are sweaty, London's fog permeates the October air, and gloomy aesthetics create a visible odor. And these are not only direct signs of the locale. The Order's equivalent of production design – stacked with disheveled bookshelves and the influence of Tesla's adolescent electrical trickery – relives an era of mutton chops and top hats, albeit enhanced for modern tastes. Thermite and head exploding shock guns ahoy. Oh, and The Order openly demands you play by the whims of its firearm selection. Guns are not a choice. The Order's rules as a game are clear.

The Order of Things

Mind you, this work does not necessarily spend its time well. Welcome diversity only amounts to incomplete, embryonic characters by the end, allegiances are predictably soured, and as a whole, the narrative is back-loaded. The rebels who spark much of the action are mere composites, never established until the opening of the third act's hectic race through chapters. By then, The Order has solemnly slipped into an ill tale of corporate conspiracy without layers, albeit with an attractive Victorian/horror slant.

To counteract those failings is Galahad, more than a stiff or silent vessel meant to hoist a gun. As a lead character, he is loyal and proud. These Knights of the Round Table have mythically served for centuries. Even if The Order's plotting is malformed, Galahad is a stout leading man whose sense of right will supercede an assignment’s wrong-headedness. His honor drives him to learn. Compared to the shameful routine of AAA's protagonists (who are often inexcusably silent), Galahad becomes a revelation – which may not say much.

There is credit due. Lots of it, actually.

The Order is not stuffed with launch DLC. Derided, shoehorned multiplayer is non-existent. Females in an inherently macho fable are refreshingly self-capable (if still forced to a side status). It is all together coherent too. The Order seems almost alien when in consideration of its whole.

To lambaste QTEs is to ignore their purpose in context.

The non-infamously low scores assigned to The Order for surface level criticisms is shallow, although it unquestionably invites some of the dissatisfaction of its own accord. To lambaste QTEs is to ignore their purpose in context. To belittle length (and it's not too short) berates a game properly fitting its own skin. To slam its adherence to gameplay conventions - well, that's probably on point. The Order is not something to cherish so much as it is an intoxicating melding of media forms, completely unafraid to swerve between or imitate them as need be.

The Problem With Backtracking Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:36:24 -0500 Elijah Beahm

There's a lot of decrying these days for games that add filler content, just as much are there are complaints for those that don't have "enough" content like The Order: 1886. One of the most hated aspects of games with filler are backtracking sections where you must traverse a level you've already gone through before. I've thought a lot about this, and I'm beginning to question if we're looking at things the wrong way.

What is Backtracking and Why is it so Horrible?

So, say you've never played a game with backtracking -- what does that mean? Well, it would mean the levels never go back to any previous rooms and/or set pieces you may have participated in before. Every part of the level design forces you forward, and you can never go back.

If your mind is thinking back to NES-era gaming, you are on the right track. Mario in particular forced you to never go back, and always keep moving forward. While you could go back an inch or two, you really couldn't go back and try again for that 1-UP block or get all the coin boxes you missed.

Now, take a game like Halo: Combat Evolved, where on several occasions you walk back the way you came and/or reused path ways to reach new areas of levels. One level in particular is a reversed and expanded version of a previous level in the game. When Halo: Combat Evolved: Anniversary  released, it was criticized for this. In particular, in Game Informer's review, Matt Miller wrote:

Unfortunately, because the gameplay has been left unaltered, players are also stuck with some of Halo’s less fondly remembered features. Disastrous checkpoint placement can regularly derail the fun. You’ll backtrack through almost every level in the game at some point. Shields recharge slowly, and the health system regularly leaves you badly damaged right before a big fight. The lack of objective markers will often have you searching through empty corridors long enough to push your patience to the limit. We were more accepting of these flaws a decade ago, but time and advancing design make the frustrations more noticeable.

Now for comparison, a review by Eurogamer of the original 2001 release:

The one downside to this heavily scripted story-led malarkey is that the game is depressingly linear at times, shuffling you from one encounter to the next and rarely giving you any real choice in where to go or what to do. While running around space ships and Halo's interior you will find an amazing wealth of locked doors which keep you from straying from the one true path, with occasional neon arrows conveniently painted on the floor to point you in the right direction in case there was any doubt. The outdoor settings look fairly open at first sight, but although there's more freedom of movement there are still only one or two paths open to you most of the time thanks to steep-sided canyons and the occasional rock fall.

You see, as gaming has evolved, our priorities in level design have shifted. Once upon a time, a game like Halo: Combat Evolved was seen as too-linear, which is almost laughable now. Instead, now we're complaining about it requiring us to explore its levels thoroughly and backtrack. This is the tip of the confusing iceberg when it comes to backtracking's acceptance in the gaming community.

Bats, Dragons, and Inconsistencies

You see, this isn't a problem exclusive to shooters and platformers. Even role-playing games like Dragon Age have had to grapple with this. Dragon Age 2 attempted to focus on a single city for its campaign, and as a result you often went through familiar districts, outskirts, and streets. It was heavily criticized by fans for this.

Responding to this, Bioware released Dragon Age: Inquisition not even a whole year ago, with two large regions to explore, on top of hours of unique story content. Now, Inquisition has been criticized for doing the exact opposite of Dragon Age II. Not all games have had a problem with this criticism though, and that's where things get really weird and nonsensical.

Why is Batman here? Well, because Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham series is, amongst other things, a Metroidvania game. The subgenre involves unlocking upgrades for greater traversal and combat options, a tightly woven yet large world to explore, and lots of backtracking. Somehow though, I doubt you've heard anyone complain about repeatedly visiting the Arkham Library or having to go back into Intensive Treatment at the Medical Wing.

This is where the criticisms start to feel awkward, as backtracking truly is something the Arkham games have leaned upon. Not only can you backtrack, but completing each entry to its fullest extent and several specific missions require you retrace your steps. And yet, Rocksteady's gotten by pretty well with minimal complaint. What does this mean?

The Real Problem

You see, the problem itself isn't backtracking. It's both how the backtracking is executed, and modern gaming trends. On the former front, I feel Jon X. Porter at Venture Beat put it best, in his article Backtracking: You’ll Need the Blue Key to Read this Article:

What's important about these games is that you never backtrack for a single-use device. Doom's system of red and blue keys is fine for its small levels, but when put into a larger game, such as the original Devil May Cry, it becomes not just irritating but unsatisfying to wade back through.

Contrast this with the previously mentioned Morph Ball from Super Metroid and the numerous places throughout the game where you can use it. It's not just some throwaway item you immediately discard — it's an essential part of your arsenal that you'll use for hours to come.

Whenever we're reintroduced to a level in a game, we need something new to keep us invested and interested. Some games like Alien: Isolation let us unlock new areas and obtain new gadgets, much like Arkham and Metroid. Other games like Halo 3 and Half-Life 2 use a consistent flow in their levels to give a sense of cohesion and making the levels feel like real places.

The best consistent flow games also change the scenario within their levels as you retread them. In Halo 3's level Crows Nest, as you defend a UNSC base, you face different enemies as the siege progresses and you run around the base helping your allies. You go from turret sections in wide hangers to tight corridors constantly, rarely given a moment to breathe. The level design in such games needs to be dynamic and flexible, supporting a variety of approaches.

The other part of the problem is that as games have progressed and yearned for being more like "cinematic" and being more "like a real movie", we've stepped away from older styles of design that properly used backtracking. Shooter level designs were maze-like once, yet now games like Crysis 3 and The Last of Us are praised for offering us minor amounts of non-linear level design.

With games like Uncharted, Gears of War, and The Order: 1886, any ounce of backtracking can become an annoyance due to just how restrictive it can be. The more scripted the level design, the more a player has to follow what the designer intended instead of changing it up how they want. So then it feels more reptitious, and is far more obvious and lacking in fluidity.

The backtracking becomes more contrived, and doesn't even have an exploration element to lean upon. Thus, it feels more forced than it already was. While some games like Batman: Arkham City find a happy middle ground, it's clear a lot of developers still can't find the right footing for this. Unfortunately, this is also impacting the latest generations of games.

For instance, in Techland's Dying Light, while the open world offers you plenty of options, it's linear sections are some of the worst backtracking in recent memory. This is especially clear during the climax, where you constantly are being made to retread through incredibly specific paths. These paths that might only make sense coming from one direction, but you have to go both ways regardless.

As much as we jest and joke about how developers design single-player campaigns, there's a real issue here. Backtracking alone is not the solution to expanding modern level design, nor is it the lazy, corner cutting level design trick some take it to be. The problem is that we are seeing a marked decrease in proper backtracking.

When used properly, backtracking can be a great asset and add to the experience. We should praise games for doing backtracking right, along with criticizing those that do it wrong, as we would any other facet of a game. That way developers can improve it, instead of attempting to abandon it altogether.

Weekly Weekend Round-Up: Feb. 20th - Feb 22nd Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:10:45 -0500 Eric Nicolai

Another big release has been launched this week so there is a chance that a lot of PS4 gamers have their attention focused on that. However, not all of us are fans of or own a PS4 so may need other ways to fill this weekend up. Below is a small list of games that may take up some time this coming weekend.

The Order 1886

There has been more and more information available about The Order 1886 as it approached its lauch this week. The game has been rumored to be only a five hour game which is less than impressive. I have had my eye on this title until I read that small fact. However, the game looks impressive and gauging by only speculation; it is more than likely to have a very high replay factor.

The Escapists

The Escapists was launched last week on X1 and PC. This game seems to be an impressive puzzler that could take up a decent amount of time. The indie style of gameplay has a very attractive tone to it that will instantly give any older gamer an instant nostalgia feeling while looking at the graphics. 

Hand of Fate

Hand of Fate is a PSN game that was made available on the PSN this week. This is a downloadable card game seems more than addicting. Although the game seems simplistic at first glance it is very random and a very high depth level. The game does not give the player the same outcome on cards every time. Players can assume they are playing safe by choosing an option that worked well one game and have the results not be so beneficial the second time. Hand of Fate seems that it could be quite fun if you are looking for an easy game to learn and spend time with while you master.

I have been on the fence with The Order 1886 and this game would take up my weekend if I allowed it, but I have to work on other games for a small time. What games will you be playing this weekend? Comment below.

The Order: 1886 - Collectibles Locations Guide Fri, 20 Feb 2015 17:54:56 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

The Order: 1886 is the latest single-player third-person shooter by Ready at Dawn, SCE Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for PS4. The game takes place in an alternate history of London, where an you play among an old order of Knights bound to keep the world safe from half bred monsters--half-animal and half-man.

If you're like me, you're certainly a player who enjoys hunting down every single collectible in the game to be the ultimate loot finder. Throughout the game you'll encounter various types of collectibles to "inspect." Finding and inspecting all of these will unlock some great trophies such as:

  • Inspector First Class (Gold): find all inspect items
  • Archivist (Silver): collect all phonograph cylinders
  • Well-read (Silver): inspect all newspapers
  • Detail Oriented (Silver): inspect all photographs and documents
  • Power of Observation (Silver): inspect all objects

Note: Some items can be turned over for more information and others in locked chests, so pay attention to the screen cues.

Happy Hunting!

This guide contains all the collectibles found throughout the game in Chapter I, Chapter II, Chapter III, Chapter IV, Chapter V, Chapter IX, Chapter XI, and Chapter XV.

Chapter I Locations
  • Newspaper: Mysterious Disappearances in Whitechapel

This can be found on the desk near the man cleaning the staircase banister.

  • Photo: Family Portrait

This photo can be found at the bottom of the stairs on the table near the man who's sweeping.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: Le Morte d'Arthur

Near the man fixing the elevator, you'll see the cylinder on top of the table on the right.

  • Paper: Theatre Flyer

Once you see the couple arm-in-arm, it'll be on the trashcan on your left in the corner.

  • Object: Pocket Flask

Once you past the couple, with the man sitting in duress, near the officer; just past them by the produce stand on your left, it'll be on top of the barrel.

Chapter II Locations
  • Photo: Tesla vs. Edison

This will be on the right work bench with the electrical equipment and the bulbs.

  • Object: Old Communicator

This will be on the center work bench with the Galton bomb plans spread out.

  • Paper: Brothel Flyer/Tesla Sketch

This will be on the left work bench with the bleakers and Bunsen burners. Tesla shows you the other collectibles once you approach him, so there's no need to point these out.

Chapter III Locations
  • Newspaper: Karl Benz: Wunderbares Clara!

Run past the carriage and down the lane on the right. On the crate next to the trash on fire is the newspaper.

  • Object: Smoking Pipe

After helping the others through the blocked gate, head back up the stairs knocking down the weak boards, and enter the room on your right. The pipe will be right on the table.

  • Paper: Coffin Sleeping Flyer

In the Shelter hostel, enter the first room to locate the flyer on the crate.

  • Newspaper: Assault on Mayfair

After the cutscene, move past the marked door to find the newspaper will be on the barrel.

  • Photo: Prositute Ad

In the brothel, there will be a photo on one of the tables.

  • Object: Rebel Armband

This will be found on the roulette table.

  • Paper: King's College Lecture

This will be found on the table by the main counter where no one is sitting; be sure to turn it over.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: Sons and Daughters of Britain

This is located on the crate in the back corner as you attempt to find your way to the hospital.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: The Anarchist 12.10.86

Climb out the window and move to your left around the corner to find a locked chest. Open it with your blade to find the phonograph.

  • Paper: Propaganda Cartoon

After the fight on your way to the rooftops, climb the stairs, turning left into the room to find the cartoon on top of a box.

  • Object: Stuffed Doll

As you make your way to meet up with Perceval and Igraine, climb through the apartment window to find the stuffed doll next to the oil lamp.

Little Big Planet's Sackboy makes an appearance
  • Paper: Central London Map/Rebel Hideouts

As you bring the Constable inside the building, the map will be on the table. Make sure you turn it over for hidden information.

  • Newspaper: Rule, Britannia! But where is the Queen?

After planting the thermite on the bridge, enter the building to enter the small room. There you'll find the newspaper on the table near a door.

Chaper IV Locations
  • Paper: Hospital Patient List

Once in the hospital as you head upstairs, you'll find the list on the reception table. Again, don't forget to turn it over.

  • Photo: UIC Management

After your fight with the Lycan Elder, help Igraine into the ward. Here throughout the room you'll find various collectibles. As soon as you leave her side, head to your left to the wall with the World map. The photo will be on the table on your left.

  • Paper: Airship Manifest

Across the room, on the long desk, you'll find the manifest to the right of the table.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: All Through the Night

Go across the the hall and use your lockpick to unlock this door. Upon entering you'll find this phonograph on the table.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: The Anarchist 29.09.86

Across the table to your right by the uniform rack, is a locked chest. Use your blade to open to find the phonograph.

Chapter V Locations
  • Object: Broken Music Box

Once on the Agamemnon, while facing the hatch, head right along the catwalk. You'll find the music box on a wooden handcart.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: Agamemnon Christening

In the Crew area, as you first enter, turn left to find the phonograph on the handcart in the corner.

  • Newspaper: United India Company combination called "unholy"

As soon as you get out of the Mess Hall, look for room "Crew 15A." You'll find the newspaper right on the table.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: Evacuation Procedures

After the cutscene, follow Perceval to the Ship Security Area. The phonograph will be right on the desk to your right.

  • Paper: Armory Inventory

Upon entering the weapons hold area, this paper will be on the last table among tools.

  • Photo: Photo of Chefs

As you exit the kitchen, going through the corridor, the photo will be on a crate to the right.

Chapter IX Locations
  • Paper: Thames Tunnel Flyer

While following Lakshmi, the flyer will be on a worktable.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: The Anarchist 16.10.86

This phonograph will be found in a locked chest in the tunnel while moving along the rail.

  • Object: Wooden Mallet

Once you find your way back onto the street, walk around the platform to find a table with tools. There you'll find the mallet.

  • Photo: Edison at UIH Building

While trying to help Lakshmi get to safety, next to the locked door, on the worktable is the photo.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: Cable From the New Continent

Upon following the catwalk into the next room, down to the security door, on the shelf will be the phonograph. Find this before returning to Lakshmi.

  • Newspaper: Inspector Slain in Whitechapel Gun Battle

After the brief fight, before meeting up with Lakshmi at the wagon, you'll find the newspaper on your left on the worktable.

  • Photo: Elephant Transport

Inside the Booking Office, follow along the hallway to "Nestor C Office," to locate the photo on the desk between the bookshelves.

  • Object: Model Ship

Just shy at the end of the hall, enter the "Carpinteron Room" to find the model ship on the table on your left.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: Cargo Inspection Log

Go down the stairs to where the women are waiting. Go around the corner to use your lockpick to open the "Receiving Room" door. You'll find the phonograph right on the desk.

  • Paper: Union Flyer

Inside the "Munition Room," you'll enter the "Jointer's Shop," go around the corner under the staircase, to find the flyer on the desk.

  • Photo: UIC Guards

From above, go up the stairs to find the photo on the worktable.

  • Paper: Memo

Inside the Warehouse, upon entering, turn to your right to find the memo on the crate by the huge red oil drum (you can't miss it).

  • Object: Original Light Bulb

On the other side of the room, you'll find the light bulb on the desk.

Chapter XI Locations
  • Newspaper: Crystal Palace in Ruins after Airship Crash

Follow Lucan into the house, to find the newspaper on the table in the corner.

  • Photo: Soldier Francis with Malory and Alistair

In the next room, the photo is on the side table.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: The Anarchist 17.10.86

Once heading outside, before following Lucan, go down the stairs, to find a locked chest in the corner. Inside you'll locate the phonograph.

  • Newspaper: District Paralyzed by Power Failure

As you're looking for the key to unlock the gate, you'll find an alcove. Near the ammo crate, on the worktable, you'll find the newspaper.

  • Photo: Small Family Portrait

Upon entering the West Wing, the photo will be on a table.

  • Object: Tea Tin

At the United India House Courtyard, you'll find a small storage room down the stairs. The tin will be right on the worktable.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: News From the East Indies

On the lower level of the main house, you'll find the phonograph on the credenza, next to the phonograph player.

  • Paper: Death Announcement

Once you enter the weapons locker, you'll find the announcement on the worktable.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: Ramayana, First Verse

Go up the spiral staircase to locate the long dining table. At the far end is the phonograph.

  • Newspaper: Rebels Spread Terror on Westminster Bridge

Right before entering the Archives, the newspaper will be on the table beneath the huge sailboat painting.

  • Paper: Letter from Darwin to Hastings

Inside the "Archives Room," go to your right to find the letter on the desk.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: Chopin - Prelude in E-Minor

Go back around to the bookshelf, and open the drawer revealing the phonograph.

  • Photo: Statue of Liberty Under Construction

Head to the far end of the room to the fancy chest. On top you'll find the photo.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: The Captain's Testament

From above, turn around, head to your left, to the first bookshelf, and open the drawer to find the phonograph.

Chapter XV Locations
  • Newspaper: Lost Soul meets his Maker

While following the entry tunnel to the Platform lobby, you'll find the newspaper on the cabinet in the left corner.

  • Paper: London Tunnel Map

In the generator room, turn left, to find the paper on the wooden crate next to the "Danger 600 Volts" sign.

  • Phonograph Cylinder: The Anarchist 29.11.86

In the Catacomb Crypts, at a dead end, you'll find a locked crate. Inside you'll find this phonograph.

  • Photo: Crate Delivery

In the sewer room, by Tesla's lab, you'll see an alcove to the right. The photo will be on the wooden crate.

Please be sure to keep your eyes out for other guides for The Order: 1886.

5 Reasons Video Games Are Better Now than They Were in the '90s Fri, 20 Feb 2015 05:46:10 -0500 Glen Schoeman

Recently, I came across an article online claiming that gaming was better in the 1990s.

The first thing that came to mind was a conversation I had with my grandfather when I was about ten. He ranted for around twenty minutes about the fact that young people were spoiled and that he used to walk twenty kilometers to go fishing. “Simpler, better times,” he said. I admit that now that I am in my late twenties, there are times when I look at the youth and fondly remember the old days, but those moments are rarely experienced when I play games.

1. Graphics

Before you get worked up and start screaming that good graphics don’t mean a good game, hear me out. When I was young, all I wanted was a Sega Megadrive. I had the NES and a collection of about 20 games, most of which purchased from flea-markets or garage sales and I could spend hours playing The Addams Family or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (that freaking water level though, amirite?)

TMNT water level

I loved the NES but the Mega Drive was always what I really wanted. They had shiny graphics and characters in a game actually looked like people. I would spend hours on my cousin’s Sega, often for hours even after he went to bed, marveling at the brutally realistic fatalities in Mortal Kombat 2, adamant that graphics could not possibly improve. We now know that I was very wrong.

Despite the flak that The Order: 1886 is getting over its length, it looks amazing. We also know, however, that there is much more to a game than great visuals and this, I believe, is really why many games today eclipse the games of old.

2. Gameplay Mechanics

In the days of SNES or Sega, the mechanics for most games were fairly generic. There were platformers, racing games and fighting games that were similar to many of those that we have today, but even the masterpieces such as the early Final Fantasy games couldn’t hold a candle to the huge and immersive RPG worlds where choices have consequence like Skyrim or DragonAge.


These games simply weren’t possible on the older systems. Now, before you get out the pitchforks and torches, consider for a moment what could have been done with games like Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda if they had the technology that is available today. Those games were absolutely fantastic and many people still play them today, some 20 years after their release but you cannot deny that those games paved the way for some of the truly spectacular RPGs that we have today. Besides that, developers have often tried (even if not always successful) to keep the elements that were great back then and merely put a modern spin on them. Mortal Kombat has changed very little in the 20 or so years since its inception and has remained near the top of the list of best fighters for that very reason.

3. Difficulty

While it’s true that most of the older games presented more of a challenge than they do today, (to this day, I will worship anyone that could beat Contra without using cheats.) In the '90s, if you clocked a game, it was a real achievement and every kid on the playground wanted to know how you managed to beat the boss on stage 5.

The difficulty, however, was mainly due to the limited number of lives and tricky patterns to memorize rather than difficult-to-master mechanics. Cue Dark Souls, the Tiger Mom of video games, demanding mechanical perfection throughout and punishing the player until they get it right. After dying to the early mobs on my first playthrough more times than I am willing to admit, I was adamant that it could not be beaten and anyone that claimed that it could was a filthy liar.

After taking the time to actually learn the mechanics I came to the conclusion that if video games were pets, Dark Souls would be a cat. It makes you work like hell to earn its respect and even once you do, there is no real reward other than feeling of true accomplishment. When I fought Ornstein and Smough for the first time, I died no less than 58 times.

But on my 59th try, I did it.

Ornstein and Smough

I had finally killed those bastards and at that point, I felt so powerful that if it had come down to it, I was sure that I could rip a tree in half with my bare hands. While it’s true that the majority of games nowadays pander to the casual gamer, games like the Souls series shows that there is definitely still a market for the hardcore gamer.

4. Multiplayer

I admit that I do miss the days of couch co-op.

I will also admit that I lost a few friends due to my somewhat –ahem- aggressive temperament whenever I played Mortal Kombat. Don't get me stuck in the GODDAMN CORNER!


Those were good times but I feel that online multiplayer is the way forward. With new systems, we are able to play with friends like never before, whether it be raiding in World of Warcraft, teaming up for a game of DOTA 2 or even just messing around Los Santos in GTA Online. Hell, despite the bugs in Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the co-op is fun and offered a variety of options to accomplish a mission; something that just can’t be done with split-screen gaming.

5. Story

While I loved the stories told by many of the old games (the Monkey Island Series still cracks me up), I feel that if you look in the right places, epic stories are still very much a part of modern gaming. When developers take advantage of the technology in the right way, even deeper stories begin to take hold.

I didn't really jump on the bandwagon for The Last of Us as I was never really a fan of the zombie genre - but that story was just fantastic. You really felt a need to protect Ellie as if you were personally responsible for her survival.

The last of us

When I played through the different endings of GTA V, I felt like I had betrayed a close friend when choosing to kill Michael and honestly hated myself for it. Being forced to kill Siff in Dark Souls, especially after saving him in the DLC, made me curse the ninja's for chopping onions while I played. People have an easier time remembering the great stories from '90s games over the bad ones but that doesn't mean there weren't any. Much like back then, there are epic stories being told through video games; you just need to look for them.

The older systems had some epic games that laid the foundations for modern gaming and will always hold a place in my own personal hall of fame, but we don’t want to live in the foundations: we want to live in the house.

Exciting Cosplay Ideas For 2015 Mon, 09 Feb 2015 11:07:22 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez


Don't forget about Talion from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor either. You could probably do some amazing things with contacts for the eye effects when he uses his abilities.


These are just but a few ideas to assist in your costume ideas whether it be cosplay at conventions, competitions, or even for Halloween. I can't wait to see what amazing creations cosplayers will come up with!


If you want to creep people out and impress them with your cosplay and make-up artist skills; how about being an Uruk Orc from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor?


Add in Dying Light's main character Kyle Crane with Jade and now you have a couples themed cosplay.


Dying Light's Jade by Techland Games is simply badass.


Throw in Vesemir from The Witcher series and now you have a 4-person group cosplay.


Yennefer from The Witcher series is a great addition to the group idea or as an individual one.


Geralt from The Witcher series by CD Projekt RED is amazing, not only as an individual, but can be done as a group with the other characters.


I don't know about you ladies, but I think Triss from The Witcher series by CD Projekt RED is stunning.


Is anyone looking to turn some heads on your way to the convention dressed as characters from Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2 by Dennation Games and Devolver Digital? The look on people's faces would be absolutely priceless--just like Visa.


The Knights from The Order: 1886 by Red at Dawn, SCE Santa Monica Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment, would be a great group cosplay for friends. There's nothing like doing a cosplay theme with your fellow cosplay comrades.


Mortal Kombat X's Kano would be a fun cosplay for any guy looking to show off his gym efforts.


Of course, seeing Bigby, also from The Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games, walking around a convention center perhaps "approaching" Bloody Mary would be epic.


Bloody Mary from The Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games would be pretty amazing and scary to see in-person.


The Goliath monster from the upcoming Evolve release by Turtle Rock Studios and 2K looks to be like quite another challenge, but also so amazing if pulled off.


Want to really challenge your cosplay skills? How about this creature from the recent release Dragon Age Inquisition? Talk about a challenge and making a statement.


Another idea from Bloodborne that I believe is worth checking out is the Bell Maiden. My goodness that just screams creative genius all over!


The Raven Hunter from the greatly anticipated Bloodborne release by From Software and Sony Computer Entertainment is the stuff of nightmares. Think of the impressions you'll make as everyone stops to look!


Aurora from Child of Light by Ubisoft Montreal gives some great variations as she grows, that you can really make your costume something to remember!


Next we have the character classes from Destiny by Bungie. The Titan, Warlock, and Hunter have so many shaders and armor in the game, that you could really come up with something unique.


Hello folks! It's about that time of year again when we start prepping our ideas for our cosplay costumes for all the upcoming conventions, such as PAX South and as far ahead as NYCC. Here at GameSkinny, we want to assist you with sharing some great ideas to get those creative juices flowing.


First up is the upcoming release of Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine that was successfully funded on Kickstarter.

The Most Anticipated Games of 2015 for XBOX One & PS4 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 04:20:31 -0500 fuodshfdshfdsjfk

Wondering what games are your best bet for console gaming this year?

And don't want to watch an hour-long, monotone top 50? 

Then today is your lucky day.

This 4-minute video covers all 50 of the most anticipated games for consoles coming out this year, with a little flashy something extra. 

All footage is provided by IGN.

Music playing within this video is a remix made by me uniquely for this video including elements from:

  • Ellie Goulding - "High For This"
  • Ellie Goulding - "High For This" (Ianborg Bootleg)
  • Ellie Goulding - "High For This Omega Dubstep Bootleg" (Gaming muziek)

All rights reserved for original copyright holder.

Video put together by me.

More content by me can be found here.

2015: A Year of Gaming Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:33:58 -0500 NorthwestGamer


Honorable Mentions

  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (February 13)
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  • Total War: Attila (February 17)
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  • The Order: 1886 (February 20)
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  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (March 10)
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  • Project Cars (March 17)
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  • Mario Party 10 (May 15)
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  • Dead Island 2 (TBA - April)
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  • Fable Legends (TBA)
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  • Gran Turismo 7 (TBA)
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  • Homefront: The Revolution (TBA)
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  • Just Cause 3 (TBA)
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  • Killing Floor 2 (TBA)
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  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (TBA)
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  • Persona 5 (TBA)
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  • Ratchet & Clank (TBA)
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  • Star Fox (TBA)
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  • Star Wars: Battlefront (TBA)
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  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (TBA)
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  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (TBA)
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  • Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade (TBA)
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  • Xenoblade Chronicles X (TBA)
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  • Yoshi's Woolly World (TBA - Spring)
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Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (TBA)


Acclaimed developer, Naughty Dog, is ready to strike again with another big game. After the unbelievable success of The Last of Us, a game that many would argue was the best game of the last generation of consoles, they are returning with the next installment in the Uncharted series.


The game is set after the events of Uncharted 3 and still does not have a release date, but is anticipated to launch in 2015.


Look for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End for PlayStation 4.


Tom Clancy's The Division (TBA)


The Division was another amongst the many titles that was delayed. It appears that the challenges of the new console generation have hit developers harder than they expected. Earlier this year, Ubisoft announced that The Division would be pushed back to 2015, so hopefully it doesn't get pushed back sooner.


This is a new series for the Tom Clancy games. The success of some of their big IPs, such as Ghost Recon, has dropped over the last few years and The Division has a lot of potential to help bring the name back into the mainstream shooter world. It will be played in an MMO type setting, the first game of the type in the Tom Clancy series.


Look for Tom Clancy's The Division on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and potentially the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


The Legend of Zelda (TBA)


There has still been no official subtitle for the newest installment in The Legend of Zelda. At this point, we are pretty much just praying that we can avoid the inevitable The Legend of Zelda for Wii U or The Legend of Zelda U titles that Nintendo is throwing around these days. After Super Smash Bros. it is looking all the more likely.


The big focus for this new installment is to give players more freedom by having less defined, bottle-necked zone changes and temple entrances. There is an ongoing discussion among the community about whether the format of the game is truly open-world, but you will have to wait until the game releases to make your own decision on the matter.


Look for The Legend of Zelda for Wii U.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (TBA)


Unfortunately, all we know right now is that The Phantom Pain will be releasing in 2015. We do not year have an indication of when in 2015 it will release, but at least 2015 is a start.


We have already had a sneak peak into Metal Gear Solid V with Ground Zeroes, released back in March of this year. Many people were stunned by the fact that it took the average player about 45 minutes to an hour to beat the main storyline for Ground Zeroes, but the gameplay was solid, nonetheless.


After the outstanding success of Metal Gear Solid 4, it is looking like Hideo Kojima could keep the ball rolling with another excellent installment next year.


Look for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.


Halo 5: Guardians (TBA - Q3/Q4)


At the time of writing this article, neither 343 Studios nor Microsoft Studios have announced an official release date for Halo 5. It could very easily be delayed until 2016, but lets keep our fingers crossed for that late 2015 date.


For Guardians, 343 has elected to try and bring Halo back to its strong roots by bringing back a heavier focus on the multiplayer aspect, and what made multiplayer so great in the beginning of the series.


Look for Halo 5: Guardians on Xbox One.


Batman: Arkham Knight (June 2)


Remember when the Arkham games were phenomenal? After many people were unsatisfied with Batman: Arkham Origins, some people questioned the future of the series. Well good news, Rocksteady Studios is back and Arkham is looking as good as ever.


By not releasing to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Rocksteady has been able to include several features that they claimed they were not able to include with the last-gen consoles, including driving the Batmobile.


Look for Batman: Arkham Knight on June 2 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.


Mortal Kombat X (April 14)


Many would say that Mortal Kombat has stood the test of time better than any other fighting game. While games like Tekken and StreetFighter were top rivals years ago, they do not compete as well anymore on the sales charts as they used to.


One thing that helps make Mortal Kombat such a promising time is the company's patience. Unlike many mainstream games these days, we are not seeing new installments being released annually. NetherRealm has opted to take a quality over quantity approach, similar to Rockstar Games. The consistent success of the Grand Theft Auto series proves how successful that approach can be in terms of quality.


Look for Mortal Kombat X on April 14 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.


Battlefield: Hardline (March 17)


Hardline is one of the many games that has been delayed recently and, might I add, probably for good reason. After the devastating, bug-ridden launch of Battlefield 4 late last year, I don't think anybody would mind if they took the extra time to make sure we did not see that happen again.


This installment to the series is a bit of a new direction for Battlefield, or for any of the mainstream shooters these days. Instead of the typical war scene, Hardline is set in a cops and robbers-type scenario. Looking at gameplay and the open beta, the true heart of the Battlefield has remained unaffected, only a twist has been added to it.


It may be an important note for some of you that this game's primary developer is not DICE, it is Visceral Games.


Look for Battlefield: Hardline on March 17 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (February 24)


For those of you Elder Scrolls fans that cannot wait any longer for the sixth installment, I urge you to take a look at The Witcher 3. It is another open-world action role-playing game set in a world that is claimed to be an "open world larger than any other in modern RPG history."


It is expected to take approximately 100 hours to complete The Witcher 3, with 50 hours of that being on main story and 50 on side quests. It seems that there is a much stronger focus on the main story than in Skyrim.


Look for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on February 24 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.


Evolve (February 10)


Remember Valve's big co-operative shooter, Left 4 Dead? Well, the developers behind the acclaimed game, Turtle Rock Studios, are back with their first big game since then, Evolve. These ex-Valve developers have since moved on and joined up with publishing company, 2K Games.


Turtle Rock has not abandoned their love for co-operative gameplay, Evolve will be heavily focused on four-player games in which you fight all kinds of enemies, including some large bosses.


Look for Evolve on February 10 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.


The End of 2014


I think most would say 2014 has been a fairly successful year for gaming. After the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One released late 2013, we were able to use 2014 to finally get a decent collection of games for the new consoles; however, it has only just begun.


It is looking like 2015 will be the year we finally see what these consoles are truly capable of, so let's take a quick look at some of the most anticipated games of the upcoming year.