SC Streamcast #02: PewDiePie and Hatfros

What is a “Hatfro”? It’s what happens when 90’s video game graphics are so ambiguous that it can’t decide if something is hair or head-wear. It’s only a small part of this SC Streamcast, but a point worth clearing up. Having said that, what exactly is an SC Streamcast anyway? With this being only our second episode, I’m not entirely sure that we know ourselves. In many ways, and with my hand on my heart, it’s a whim; a half-baked idea that I’m playing around with. While its off-the-cuff nature is undeniable, there is some consideration behind its format. Streams, as delightful and interesting as they can be, are quite exclusive in their scope and focus.…   [continue reading]

Final Fantasy XV [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

Hear the writers discuss this subject (and the whole Final Fantasy series) on the Secret Cave Podcast!

It usually goes one of two ways for people when it comes to the prolific Final Fantasy series.  Most have either never bothered dipping their toes, or have already obsessively played large chunks of their games.  The release of Final Fantasy XV was something I greatly looked forward to, being a firm member of the latter camp.  Of course, i’m far from the only one.  Its announcement, ten years ago, has caused a rich lather of anticipation.  From ridiculously impressive gameplay videos to an entire cinematic offshoot, we’ve had plenty of time to let excitement take hold.  …   [continue reading]

Rockstar Retrospective: Grand Theft Auto III

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

As hopefully the first in a series of “Rockstar Retrospective” articles, I thought it prudent to start with their first 3D foray, Grand Theft Auto III.  Having recently earned the Platinum Trophy on this undoubted classic, I feel in a position to give it a fair and holistic overview.  A diminutive eleven years of age on its day of release, it helps that I hold such vivid memories of its initial impact too.  With that in mind, there’s plenty about the game that screams of bad design – almost in equal measure to the beautiful details found in every corner of the experience.  …   [continue reading]

A Case for Luigi

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

Mario is the proud progenitor of the world’s very best selling video game franchise.  His titles have influenced almost every generation of home console and he’s entertained countless individuals internationally – from the young to the old.  With that in mind, what of his younger brother – Luigi?  Since Mario has clearly taken the fore, Luigi’s been conversely left in a large and imposing shadow.  This has had the effect of rendering him vastly more interesting over the years, despite his sidekick trappings.  While he’s only held three true starring roles in his “career” (in Mario is Missing! …   [continue reading]

Online Multiplayer: The Addictive and Infuriating Barrier

I used to hate the idea of online multiplayer.

I grew up on single player behemoths; Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Dark Cloud, and Devil May Cry. Why would I play against other people when I had hours of challenging enjoyment ahead of me?

In my mind, online multiplayer (when it came about, that is) was just asking to get yourself trashed, then screamed at by someone half your age with double your free time to practice.

That’s not fun – that’s masochism.

Gaming nerd and movie over-analyzer. Has credits on Appcues, Usability Geek, and Process Street, but comes to Secret Cave to unwind and spit the shit.
…   [continue reading]

Death of a Legend

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

It seems, as gamers, that Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom associates have been with us from the beginning.  Of course, they haven’t.  What’s important about Shigeru Miyamoto’s work on the Mario series is that it almost invalidated everything that came before.  With some, indeed many, exceptions, most that preceded it suddenly seemed like mere experimental prodding towards something of greater importance.  Perhaps i’m overstating Mario’s power but that’s, at least, how it seems on the wide open surface.  Having already set the watermark high with his first outings, he would only continue that trend for the decades ahead – reinventing the platforming genre at every turn and outclassing his peers with ease.…   [continue reading]

No Man’s Redemption

No Man’s Sky is quite the heat magnet.  Indeed, there’s very little need for yet another article from some ripped-off geek-boy registering his disappointment.  Something else has even reared its head in backlash, inevitable and irritating in its aloof judgement.  I’m seeing so much defence of the game in a wholly uncritical, “well-I-still-like-it”, way that I can’t take it anymore.  Sean Murray’s probably relying on the defenders of the game to keep his misfired “labour of love” on track, and much of the hate has slipped into focused obscurity as gamers, one by one, give up on the screensaver that is No Man’s Sky.…   [continue reading]