video games

29 posts

Why You Should Play Marvel Heroes

About six months ago I wrote an article detailing how to make a good Free To Play MMO. One of the games I singled out as what not to do was the recently released Marvel Heroes. Calling its launch a disaster would almost have been an understatement. However, rather than pack up my things and go to some other imaginary online universe, I stuck it out. I saw a huge amount of potential, and I’m pleased to report that my faith has been rewarded. There have been some growing pains, but I finally feel comfortable recommending Marvel Heroes, and here’s why.

Continue reading

How to Build an MMO in the Free-To-Play Era

For those of you that follow MMORPGs, you’ve probably noticed that the big trend among new games is the free-to-play model. For those of you that have actually played some of these games, you’ve probably noticed that free-to-play either becomes pay-to-play or pay-to-win pretty quickly. Although many developers are gamers themselves, they are also attempting to create a profitable product, and when those two instincts collide the business side inevitably wins. This creates friction with their user bases, and if left unresolved inevitably leads to the game failing.

I recently started playing Marvel Heroes, an MMO based in the Marvel universe, which uses a League of Legends-style Heroes system. The launch has not exactly been smooth, to say the least. So, speaking as a both a gamer, with insider knowledge of gamer psychology, as well as someone with a business background, I’m hoping to bridge the gap and explain how it’s possible to create a Free-To-Play game that convinces the gamer to spend money and make the game profitable. Continue reading

A Musical Retrospective of the Mass Effect Trilogy

Mass_Effect_logo_smallI recently found myself with a great deal of free time and very little to fill it with, so I figured I’d take a crack at playing the entire Mass Effect trilogy back-to-back-to-back. I had played all three games when they released, and done multiple playthroughs, but never a complete playthrough from start to finish.

As I was working my way through the games, I began to pay more attention to the little things I missed working my way through playing them separately. Bits of conversation, foreshadowing, etc. that added to the experience in unexpected ways. After I was finished, I realized that, more than anything, what moved me the most was the music. Continue reading

Why Consoles Are Killing Gaming

I’m a gamer. Unlike the vast majority of gamers, however, I game on a PC. I’ve been gaming on a PC for nearly 20 years. I’ve invested hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars into gaming hardware over that span to run the latest releases at resolutions, framerates, and detail levels that would make your eyes bleed, and I’ve done it without a second’s hesitation; in fact, I usually do it with a smile.

So you’re going to have to trust me when I say that the consoles are killing gaming. Continue reading

EA Makes a Blatant Microtransaction Money Grab in Dead Space Three

I’m a big fan of the Dead Space series from EA. I loved the first two installments, so when I heard there was a third coming out, I was super pumped. As the game got closer to release, disturbing news about the game hit the internet: EA, Dead Space 3‘s publisher, had included microtransactions, allowing players to buy weapons, skins, and resources for the in-game crafting system. Developer Visceral Games assured players that they could still find everything they needed in game, and with some careful resource management would have more than enough resources to play and beat the game.

Having not played and beaten the game, Visceral wasn’t far off the mark; there were times where I was strapped for resources, but eventually was able to get most of what I wanted.

However, the inclusion of micro-transactions in a full-priced game is still disturbing, as it shows how a publisher like EA views it’s gamer customers: walking piggybanks. Continue reading

Early 2013 Video Game Preview

January is usually a slow month for video game releases, due to the glut that people usually purchase around the holidays. Come February and March, however, the release pace picks up significantly, and 2013 is no exception.

This year’s slate includes a number of Triple-A releases, more than a few of which are sure to be on any gamer’s radar. So, let’s take a look at some of the big names coming out in the first quarter of this year. Continue reading

Game Review: Mass Effect 3

In 2007, BioWare released Mass Effect, the first game in a new epic trilogy of action/RPG games. In 2010, they released Mass Effect 2, the second much-anticipated installment, to rave reviews. A week ago, they released Mass Effect 3, the epic conclusion to the trilogy.

Unfortunately, as many gamers have discovered, the galaxy does not end with a bang, but rather, with a very disappointing whimper.

Continue reading