Time Travel  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Time Travel  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Quantum Break valiantly tries to break the mold https://www.gameskinny.com/8yq6j/quantum-break-valiantly-tries-to-break-the-mold https://www.gameskinny.com/8yq6j/quantum-break-valiantly-tries-to-break-the-mold Tue, 05 Apr 2016 09:17:35 -0400 Ty Arthur

With how long the next gen has been out (do we finally call it the “current gen” now?), Quantum Break might be the first legitimately hyped exclusive for the Xbox One (with PC users getting some love as well).

Of course there's the Halo franchise, but that's a given, and isn't ever expected to do much different or shake up the genre. Quantum Break on the other hand finally offers those who went the Microsoft route something to rival the Playstation-only or Playstation-early titles.

Style Meets Substance

Like with Alan Wake, the idea here is to marry a particular gameplay style with the storytelling so the two are completely intertwined and not independent of one another.

On top of that, there is no question – this game looks amazing. Faces, environment, cut scenes, T.V. Episode segments: everything's top-notch. What's that? T.V. episode segments? Yeah, the game has four nearly half hour video clips to watch throughout the story.

Remedy Entertainment nailed the faces in this!

There's lots of star power on display with familiar faces, many of which have dealt with time travel issues before, like Dominic Monaghan (Charlie from Lost), Lance Reddick (Fringe, The Wire, Lost), and Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger from Game Of Thrones).

Those live action, full video cut scenes are actually streamed online like a YouTube or Netflix video, unless you want to download them to your hard drive, in which case clear out about an extra 70 gigs ahead of time.

The story starts off innocently enough with the main character heading to a university to hang out with his old buddy Paul Serene – now a very rich man running a research project – while some protesters are around making a ruckus. Things get weirder from there, and as it turns out, you probably shouldn't mess with time.

Woops, wish he hadn't pressed that button.

Choice And Consequence

Quantum Break features an interesting branching storytelling choice system at the end of each area. Switching between perspectives away from main character Jack Joyce, you have to take control of the villain at the end of each segment and use your precognitive powers to pick one of two options, which changes the episode-long cut scenes.

These branching paths also bring about some minor changes in the background (for instance, what is seen on computer monitors and what information is presented in collectibles), and you can end up with one of two different side kick characters depending on your choices.

Speaking of collectibles, there's loads of documents and emails to find – some out in the open, some that you'll have to really search for - that explain what's going on behind the scenes, bringing to mind all the collectibles from games like F.E.A.R.

The game is easily worth playing through a second time to take the other branching path options, but it does feel like this element is underutilized to an extent, and we haven't truly seen the full spectacular range of choices that a game like this could provide.

Quantum Break's Gameplay

Gameplay is like a mashup of Infamous and Max Payne. The time twisting abilities are interesting, and make combat very satisfying for most of your first playthrough, but it does reach a point where you've pretty much done everything you can with them and it becomes sort of rote.

Those first few hours though? They're a wonder to behold. You'll probably spend several segments just marveling at what can be done and how it affects bystanders, staring slack-jawed at time ripples, floating objects, and people stuck mid-action while you go about annihilating enemies.

Time echoes reveal hidden triggers and enemies, time stopping lets you freeze an enemy in place, time dodge is bullet time on overdrive, and there's still more to discover!

Freeze time and then have fun while everyone is stuck!

That leads to one of the downsides... for all the lofty notions of the storytelling, this is absolutely a game about shooting gobs of faceless soldiers as you make your way through a level, like many, many games before it have been.

Remember the product placement debacle of Remedy Entertainment's previous game Alan Wake? Well, yeah, that's back of course, but its all Microsoft-focused this time around instead of promoting Energizer and Verizon.

The Bottom Line

Depending on how much time you spend searching for collectibles and exploring little nooks and crannies, you're looking at about 9 – 11 hours to beat the game (including watching the episodes). Your second play through will probably be shorter, making Quantum Break an excellent choice for a weekend rental.

Although its not a perfect game, it would be nice to see Quantum Break manage to do well anyway, just so that this idea can be expanded on and built up in new ways with future titles.

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Mark your calendar for April 5th, Quantum Break is coming. https://www.gameskinny.com/8zo77/mark-your-calendar-for-april-5th-quantum-break-is-coming https://www.gameskinny.com/8zo77/mark-your-calendar-for-april-5th-quantum-break-is-coming Sun, 27 Mar 2016 09:15:49 -0400 Sagger Khraishi

We've known about Quantum Break since around the time that Xbox One launched, but the developers have kept us in the dark about its development process. They even pushed it back a year, causing it to dissolve into one of those ghost stories we tell about games that have disappeared into the Abyss. Every so often a trailer would appear to remind us that it still exists... stuck somewhere in time. But now it seems like it the game will finally break out into the world like some mad science project on April 5th.

This makes sense given the premise of the game. Set in the northeast United States, the game casts you as the protagonist Jack Joyce. Being part of a weird H.G. Wells style time travel experiment that backfired, you gain these really cool time-related abilities. You can freeze time and still move around, move projectiles, or people in harms way. It is kind of like that running scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

You will need to travel through and fix temporal distortions around the map that might get in the way of your objectives. You need to do this before the enemy, your ex-best friend Paul Serene, tries to take advantage of the situation and claim global dominance.

If you aren't sold already, another important feature of this game is that the actions you take have a bit of a butterfly effect on everything else. This isn't in the Skyrim way where killing xyz causes his kids to hold a grudge against you. Instead, it's something more akin to one of those Goosebumps "choose-your-adventure" type stories. As you play the game, the choices you make change the live action cut-scenes and the plot of the story.

It's been two years since we first heard of the game, but it looks like we will be delivered a powerhouse of game design and approach that can change the way we approach games when this launches. So pre-order your copy for April 5th, and let us know what you think of the game here.

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Flashback: Chrono Trigger stands the test of time https://www.gameskinny.com/bq9j8/flashback-chrono-trigger-stands-the-test-of-time https://www.gameskinny.com/bq9j8/flashback-chrono-trigger-stands-the-test-of-time Fri, 21 Aug 2015 08:42:26 -0400 Larry Iaccio

Every Friday in honor of #flashbackFriday (yes, I went there) I plan on looking back at a classic game that had either a profound impact on my gaming career or impacted the industry in some way. Let's be clear, I am not reviewing these games, but rather expressing how I remember them in comparison with how I feel about them now after having played through them again.  This week I'm looking at the classic time-travelling RPG, Chrono Trigger

Excuse my terrible pun in the article's title (expect a lot of time-based puns throughout), but it's true - Chrono Trigger is an amazing RPG that needs be played by fans of the genre. It was a groundbreaking game that was both critically and commercially successful when it first came out for the Super Nintendo back in 1995. And even to this day could still be considered one of the best RPGs ever made.

Although some of this novelty has lost its charm today, Chrono Trigger's time travelling system is an essential part of the story that is fully realized and never wears out its welcome.

Chrono Trigger was developed by RPG king Squaresoft's 'dream team', which consisted of Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball character designer Akira Toriyama, and Yasunori Mitsuda with Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.

Plot & Gameplay

Chrono Trigger follows around a voiceless hero who goes by the name of Crono (you can rename him though). Set on some earth-like planet initially in the year 1000 A.D., we see Crono and his friend Marle watch the tech-savy Lucca present a teleportation device at the Millenial Fair. Marle volunteers to be a test subject for the device, but she unexpectedly opens up a time portal when her pendant reacts strangely to the machine, which flings her into the past. From there Crono sets out to find his friend and ultimately learns that a being called Lavos wipes out civilization in the year 1999 A.D. So he vows to try and save his world.

Throughout the game, there are a total of 7 playable characters that can join your party (2 of them being optional), 7 different time periods that you will inevitably have to travel to (ranging from 65,000,000 B.C. to "the end of time"), and a total of 13 different endings you can get (14 if you're playing the DS version).

This is Magus, the only playable character not shown in the header art.

The gameplay is much like an older Final Fantasy game in many ways. The battle system, which is very polished, is a turn-based system known as active time battle. This basically means that each character gets a time gauge that allows them to attack once it is filled up. This gauge fills up quicker or slower depending on the characters speed. From there characters can attack, use items, or do special moves called "techniques" (tech for short) that use up their magic points.

The key way that Chrono Trigger is different than most Final Fantasy titles is the fact that battles aren't random. You can see the enemies on screen and only battle them if you bump into them. This is a very welcome change and basically eliminates the need to do any kind of level grinding, as the game does a really good job levelling your party up through required encounters. This in turn makes the battle system feel as if it really does rely strategy and skill more so than just how strong your character is. And that makes a difficult battle all the more rewarding in the end.

Aside from the battle system, one of the most unique things about Chrono Trigger is its time travelling component. While that may be a fairly commonplace thing now, back then it was a groundbreaking feature, and still to this day Chrono is one of the most well-executed time travelling games to exist. 

The Epoch was the name of the time travelling vessel in the game

Things done in the past would affect future events and actually seeing the ramifications of your actions hundreds or thousands of years down the line in this fully-realized world is pretty impressive. Although some of this novelty has lost its charm today, Chrono Trigger's time travelling system is an essential part of the story that is fully realized and never wears out its welcome.

Even to this day, Chrono Trigger could still be considered one of the best RPGs ever made.

The biggest downside to the game is that after beating it once, you have the option to start a new game with all of the stats and items from your previous play through so that you can try and get all of the different endings. This doesn't sound like a bad thing, but the game doesn't adjust to your leveled characters enough - so after beating the final boss and most powerful character in the game, the rest basically just becomes a grind to unlock the different endings (which could be good thing depending on the type of player you are). Although this was one of the first games to include a "new game +" option, the replay value starts to wear thin rather quickly.

Presentation

You are either going to love this art style or hate it. Toriyama's designs are recognizable and very consistent throughout, but if you are not a fan of the Dragon Ball or Dragon Quest series, chances are you are not going to care for these visuals very much.

If you are not a fan of the Dragon Ball or Dragon Quest series, chances are you are not going to care for these visuals very much.

With that being said, I absolutely love art style. I am a huge fan of Toriyama's work and he brought such a unique look to this game that is as endearing as it is impressive even to this day. Many enthusiasts rank this as one of the best-looking SNES games ever, right up there with the beautiful Final Fantasy III (or VI, however you want to look at it).

The soundtrack was mainly composed by newcomer Yasunori Mitsuda with some tracks being completed by legendary Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu after Mitsuda fell ill. This gave Chrono Trigger a breath of fresh air compared to an FF title. The score was not over-the-top, but somewhat simplistic and evoked a sense of atmosphere and emotion exactly where it needed to.

Verdict

Play this game, that's it. If you're not a fan of turn-based combat or traditional JRPGs in general, then maybe this game isn't for you. That's the only exception. For all of you who have ever played a Final Fantasy game, or any RPG for that matter, then you owe it to yourself to check this masterpiece out.

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Former BioShock Developers Touch the Area of Surreal Narratives in New KickStarter https://www.gameskinny.com/w4c2o/former-bioshock-developers-touch-the-area-of-surreal-narratives-in-new-kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/w4c2o/former-bioshock-developers-touch-the-area-of-surreal-narratives-in-new-kickstarter Thu, 09 Oct 2014 13:23:57 -0400 Jay Prodigious

Back in February 2014, Irrational Games, the creators of the BioShock and BioShock: Infinite games, announced that the company was closing down. This article by Fathoms lists the reasons behind this closure as well as discusses the future for the company head, Ken Levine. 

Though, as you might have read from the article above, not all the developement team went onboard with Levine's entrepreneurial endeavour. Many developers were left without work, but that doesn't mean that gaming talent fell to the wayside. While some of them started doing freelance work, others decided it was time to start on their own company. 

Day For Night, formed by a group of 12 former Irrational Games employees, and a few others who had their own special talents to offer, are working on their own project that has existed since they left Irrational. 

The Team that brought you surreal events and dystopian environments hasn't lost its touch for strange games

Their current project is The Black Glove, which is now a KickStarter initiative. It can best be described as a surreal trip into the world of a theatre on the verge of falling apart, and not just financially.

The theatre, dubbed The Equinox, is the center of the world where you must deal with three acts that aren't pulling in much money to keep the business afloat. 

It May Sound Normal on the Surface, but Here's where it gets complicated

Financial troubles aren't the only concerns you have to deal with, as the three acts, or Creators, fail, so does The Equinox's reality. "Time flows backward in areas. Weird things peek out of once-sealed doorways. Unearthly music plays." Says Day For Night's KickStarter page. 

The world will be yours to fix, by going into past and changing events in the Creator's lives to improve their work in the present. This can change the artist who painted a bundle of flowers into a macabre scene of darkness. There are many events that can happen, which offers up plenty of re-playability options.

You also must work through retro game events, like the Maze of the Space Minotaur. Events like that are considered games of skill that you need to play to reach the "4th dimension" and help restore the Equinox to its prime.

Day For Night started the KickStarter on the 6th of October, and it is running through November 7th. The goal is end is  $550,000 and is now at $73,769 when writing the article. With some lofty stretch goals with rewards ranging from a free copy of the game to a limited edition art book. They are even offering lunch with the developement team at PAX East but it's a pretty steep fee ($5000) and it doesn't pay for travel or hotel expenses.

For a list of more rewards for backing and a more in-depth description of the game, check out the KickStarter page here. Expected to release (if fully funded) in late 2015 for PC/MAC/Linux and some other platforms if they reach high development quotas. Best to keep your eye on this warped reality title. 

Sources for Images:

All The Black Glove Images:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theblackglove/the-black-glove

BioShock Infinite:

bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Columbia

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