Wednesday, October 22, 2014

6 game-themed artists that you need to hear

Music, along with gaming, is probably one of my largest passions, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that when the two coincide there are fireworks. From straight up 8-bit theme music to raps about Princess Zelda, from absolutely mind-blowingly great to brain-numbingly horrible, I have listened to a large array. From my exploration, here are a few of the best gaming-related musical acts out there:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gaming Feminism: Why 50 Percent Makes Sense

The next time I hear the argument that women are only becoming a standard demographic in the game industry because the statistics "count" mobile and social gaming, I am going to punch someone right in the e-mouth. I know.  That sounds like a really aggressive way to start off an article that, for all intents and purposes, is going to try to get you on its side, but DANG does that stuff annoy me. If you are a denizen of the internet, as I am, you have no doubt seen the number of articles floating around that ZOMG WOMEN MAKE UP 50 PERCENT OF THE GAMING DEMOGRAPHIC. The fact that this is exciting news is depressing to me for a few reasons:

On Nostalgia and Crash Bandicoot

When I first discovered that I could purchase Crash Bandicoot on the Playstation Store, my inner 8 year old went nuts. When the game finally finished installing on the virtual Playstation “memory cartridge” that the PS3 provides, I started the game anew with ramped up anticipation and excitement. Unfortunately, it was not as I remembered.

The first few title sequences looked grainy, jagged and just generally inferior to the graphics that I have come to know from modern games. In my mind’s eye it all looked so much better. The starting zone, N. Sanity Island, looked simplistic and low-tech, with its bright blinking red lights to signify how many areas had been beaten, and its crumbily architected palm trees and shadows. The whole thing was underwhelming until I started the first level.

Wildstar: State of the Megaserver

Update: I have seen the promised land of megaservers, and it is good.

For those of you that missed it, Wildstar announced the move to megaservers from their traditional MMO server structure a few weeks ago. While many have said that this is a sign of the decline of the game as a whole, I heartily disagree. When I first joined Wildstar's Beta, it felt like I had reached the promised land after dragging myself through the desert, starving and parched, for years. A self-professed MMO lover, Wildstar seemed to combine all of the mechanics that I had ever known and loved from other games: the content was challenging, and constantly evolving with new updates each month, there were personalization options for how your gear looked, and with the Path system you could, at least partially, choose how you wanted to level up. Everything seemed perfect.

I admittedly didn't get too highly leveled in the beta, for fear of tiring myself out on the game before it actually launched, and instead took time trying out a bunch of alts to see which class I liked best. After much trial and tribulation, eventually I settled on Spellslinger. With both range and high-mobility, spellslingers can be one of the highest skill-capped classes in the game, but I was determined, despite low starting DPS ratings in comparison to my Medic and Warrior brethren, to succeed.