Author: Greg

The Cardinal Sins of Game Development

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So, as you all probably know, I tend to play a lot of video games, and I have done so for years. At least two decades, in fact. This being the case, I have at one point or another kept track of things that annoy me about the otherwise good (and sometimes not so good) games that I’ve played. Usually I do this in hopes that eventually, the people who make these games will decide that a certain annoying thing has been happening, quite pointlessly, for a very long time and that it’s about time that someone got the bright idea to start fixing these things. Granted, every game is limited by the hardware that it is created for, but at a certain point hardware evolves, and the games that exist on that hardware should evolve as well.

This is not always the case.

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14 Things You Should Expect When Attending San Diego Comic Con

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So, I did this thing last week. You may have heard of it. It’s called San Diego Comic Con. You might know it as Comic Con International. Or as That Big Fucking Thing That Happens Every July That Everyone Talks About. I’ve been tweeting and facebooking a lot about it, using the hashtag #SDCC. So have a lot of other people. The internet’s pretty much been talking about it non stop, just like every other year. So why did I go this year? Well, primarily because I had the vacation time, the funds, and a group of friends to share in the experience with. And now I bring my experience to you, dear readers, so that you too can decide whether you want to brave the crowds, the cameras, the EVERYTHING, for yourself. Because let me tell you, it was probably one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of my life, in a completely good way. And it can be for you, too, as long as you remember some very, very important things about it. Such as…

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Opening Turn: The Secret World

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Well, I’m finally diving back into another MMO, after taking a break from them for a little bit (unless you count Diablo III, which might as well be an MMO). However, the one I’m tackling has been promoted as fairly unconventional. In the interest of full disclosure, I should also state that I’ve been in the beta for this one, so I’ve been able to see how things have evolved and what issues have been addressed or not addressed. What I’m reviewing here, though, is the ‘finished’ product, in the sense that no MMO can ever truly be called a finished product, since they all are regularly patched and altered. Anyway, so, here we go with my initial experience with the release version of The Secret World!
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Opening Turn: Magic: the Gathering: Duels of the Plainswalkers 2013

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Yes, that is probably the most blatant overuse of colons in the title of an article that I’ve seen in quite awhile. Anyway, I promised two blog posts this weekend, and here I am, delivering on that promise. Mostly because I’ve actually played two games this week, and /can/ deliver on that promise. But first, this one needs a bit of foreword regarding the author’s previous experience with Magic: the Gathering. I started playing it pretty much at the beginning (though not the /actual/ beginning. Roughly 4th edition or so), when I could talk my parents into buying me booster packs. I played it off and on through grade school and middle school, then a little in high school, and then off and on in college because it was something that pretty much everyone had played at least one game of at one point or another. I never did competitive play, but my skill level has progressed a little past ‘casual player’. So, I picked up the ‘Duels of the Plainswalkers’ games to fulfill the urge to play some casual Magic without having to purchase cards, and to be able to play against a computer controlled AI. That being said, how has it measured up so far?

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Opening Turn: Civilization V: Gods and Kings

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So, it’s something I don’t really do that often, but this time I’m going to be reviewing an expansion pack. Granted, in the process I’ll also be giving my thoughts related to the main game a bit, but I’ll try to keep it focused on the things that are new and different from the original release of Civilization V. Which is, in itself, a pretty good (though not the best) iteration of one of the greatest game series ever made. So how does it improve upon Civ 5? Does it improve at all? Well…
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Opening Turn: Alan Wake’s American Nightmare

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Today on Opening Turn, a game that I’d actually been looking forward to for awhile: Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. See, I absolutely loved Alan Wake, a game that may not have been the best or most original game on the face of the planet, but because when it did something well, it absolutely /shined/. It was an odd duck of a game, too. It wasn’t exactly an action game, because Alan Wake isn’t an action hero. He’s a writer. It was a little bit like a Silent Hill game, only instead of being a psychological gorefest, they removed a lot of the actual gore and gave it some heaping bowlfuls of abstract psychology (“It’s not a lake, it’s an ocean”. If anyone can tell me what that means, I will be eternally grateful). So, how does American Nightmare stand up? Well:
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Better Late Than Never: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

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So, I’ve been in this mood lately where I’ve been more likely to want to actually /play/ games than to /write/ about games. Which is why I haven’t really written a whole lot lately. The upside to that is that I’ve actually been able to finish a game or two in the past couple weeks. In keeping with the theme of me being a pretty busy person, I probably won’t be reviewing all that many games that have just come out (though really, have there /been/ that many games released in the past couple weeks?). Therefore, most of my actual reviews on games I’ve played to completion will get the title of ‘Better Late Than Never’, because I’ll be reviewing them anywhere from weeks to years after they first hit the market.


Thankfully, in the case of Devil Survivor 2, it’s only been two or three months, and it’s taken that long because there’s a lot of content. And I’m a perfectionist.
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Opening Turn: Digital: A Love Story

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Normally, I envision this column being about evening-long initial play sessions of large games. However, this time I’m going to be going over a game that can be completed in an evening-long play session. It is also one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in awhile, and I’ll do my best to do it justice without spoiling any part of it. So my writeup might end up being shorter than normal. So, without further introduction…

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Opening Turn: Diablo III

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Yes, yes, I know, it’s a big name title. But I do feel that even though everyone else, their dog, and their dog’s dog is reviewing the AAA titles, well, let me just say this. Even if there is an elephant in the room, eventually everyone is going to take a look at it and tell you whether or not it’s a damn fine elephant.

So here we go.

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