In real life, war is messy. Mistakes get made, civilians get hurt, families are shattered and once-thriving countries are bombed back to the Stone Age, often because of the misguided actions of their politicians. Wars in videogames, by contrast, are a hell of a lot more convenient and clean. Because they’re (usually) fictitious, the justifications are clear, the goals relatively simple and the opposing forces completely, irredeemably evil.
But that’s not always the case. Whether by design or through slapdash writing, some of gaming’s most notable conflicts – when examined objectively – are completely meaningless, stupid exercises in futility for all involved. Here are some of our favorites...
Thanks a bunch, Christopher Nolan. Ever since Batman Begins took the universally-reviled cinematic bastardization of a cool character and redrew it in the drab colors and long shadows of The Dark Knight Returns, the “gritty reboot” has been back in fashion. In Hollywood-speak, the term's a nice way of saying “we've screwed this up, can we have a do-over?” Of course, games being a forward-looking sort of medium, players have been wise to this trick for years now – and we're still suckers for it.
Whether it's a deeper-'n-darker sequel or restarting from scratch, rejigging your series with a darker palette and more distorted guitars is a great way to draw attention to what might otherwise be just more sequel-abuse. But how well does it work? From a player's perspective, a gray coat of paint is hardly going to turn gameplay upside down... but from a “cataloguing the tricks they'll pull to sell a new installment” standpoint, dark reboots are just gravy...
Jan 15, 2008
Final Fantasy IV
Lost your bearings? FFIV is the one that introduced the ‘Active Time Battle System - the same time-meter-based attack system thats been used in pretty much all Final Fantasy games since. You might have seen IV before on GBA or maybe even PSOne - but never like this. You get the same 3D refit as the recent FFIII remake. You get voices. You get animated cutscenes. And you get one of historys greatest traditional RPGs, playable on the
Has it really only been 12 months since the last avalanche of “Best Games of 200X” awards? Well, we all love a good list, and you won’t find a better barf bag of random praises than our own Platinum Chalice awards, the place to have someone else’s gaming opinions shoved upon you. How important are these awards? So important. Real important. What do the other guys have, gold trophies? Screw that.
From the stinging paper cuts delivered by their early Hanafuda cards, to their dual screen screammaker Contra 4, Nintendo have been responsible for a downpour of tricky titles to douse even the most resilient gamer's spirit. Join us as we descend Jacob's ladder through the circles of hell, into the belly of the Game Over beast.
More and more games seem to be plucking our heart strings to great affect and eliciting a genuine sense of woe amongst players. Here we look at five recent videogame deaths that have made us appropriately gloomy for all the right reasons and ponder how they succeeded in stoking the cold blue flames of our sadness.
Like flying piranha or sentient automobiles with a grudge, an apocalypse is something humanity doesn't want gate-crashing the cosmic party. Famine. Pestilence. War. Death. These are just four types of disaster commonly associated with an apocalypse and each one is guaranteed to kill the mood at any social gathering or LAN party. More catastrophically, they can also kill a significant proportion of the World's people population. Especially Death. Make no mistake - apocalypses are no fun. But would gamers be better prepared to survive one type of apocalypse over another? We find out.
Now that the world hasn't ended after all, let's pretend we got caught in the apocalypse anyway, as we pick our the top wastelands we'd like to inhabit...
Whoa, hang a second. The DS has been around for five years? Strange as it sounds, it’s true – the DS launched in the US on November 21, 2004 to almost immediate success, and is well on its way to outselling every other major gaming platform in history. Current numbers put the DS (and its various incarnations) at nearly 115 million units sold worldwide, a runaway lead over Sony’s estimated 60 million PSPs
Composers in games are always the bloody bridesmaids. While Kojima, Clifford Bleszinski the Third and Shigeru Miyamoto lap up all the credits, complimentary hookers and free mini muffin baskets, the men and women behind their games' epic music go unnoticed.
Steven Spielberg famously said that composer John Williams' score in Jaws was responsible for 50% of the movie's success. And when you consider the iconic tunes from Super Mario Bros. or Shadow of the Colossus' sweeping score, it's hard to underestimate the impact a well composed soundtrack can have on a title. That's why we're giving some of gaming's finest composers the long overdue recognition they deserve.