The Xbox One: Strike Two

Image by Evan-Amos (Wikimedia Commons)
Xbox One Console Set By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Eighty days ago, less than three months, the Titanfall Xbox One bundle arrived in our house. After going through quite the ordeal to get the thing set up and online, off into the world of next-gen we sailed on a digital ship. Yes, digital. Digital-only. For eighty days we explored a world of games through a download code and the almighty cloud: Titanfall (digital download), Trials Fusion (bought from the Xbox Store), the new Killer Instinct (free through the Xbox Store), a trials of Project Spark and Kinect Sports Rivals (free through the Xbox store). Sure, there were plenty (Some? Eh, a few.) on-disc games that we could have enjoyed, but with so many games in the house to play, buying physical copies of Xbox One games just wasn’t a priority. Plus, with our Gamefly membership, we knew that there would be a few good rentable titles down the road, like Wolfenstein: The New Order, which arrived in the mail last week.

Excited by the notion of seeing the Xbox One takes its true form as game console immersed in physical media, we popped in the Wolfenstein game disc, the first physical disc our console had ever seen, and were greeted with:

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Overlooked: Star Fox Goes Out of This Dimension

Image from Flickr User: Armando.G
Image from Flickr User: Armando.G

Gee, Duck, what’s the weirdest boss you’ve ever fought? Well, that’s an easy one, random questioner, because the very first thing that comes to mind is a seriously bizarre hidden level in the old SNES game “Star Fox”. Like with the hidden Yellow Lum from “Rayman 2”, this secret didn’t come to my attention until just a few years ago. Two secrets did, actually, one involving going through a black hole, which was kind of weird, but not super exciting, and another called Out of this Dimension, and I mean it, this one’s really…weird.

Just getting to this place is weird. You’re supposed to go to the Asteroid Belt on the right (Fox’s right), and eventually you find this certain asteroid (which I missed during my first few tries) that looks different from the others that you blast to reveal an egg of some sort. Shoot the egg, and a bird comes out, and if you fly into the bird, you reach this secret place called Out of This Dimension that makes you want to spew and jump for glee at the same time. But, don’t, because that’ll only increase your chances of, well, spewing.

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

From flickr user Danny K1m
From flickr user Danny K1m

*Our scene opens with the writer, a tall bearded 20-something with glasses, sitting in a booth at a local diner.  He appears nervous, checking his watch, obviously waiting for someone.  A copy of the handheld hit Bravely Default walks through the door and takes a seat across from the writer.*

Hey BD, thanks for meeting me here.  I know it’s not one of our usual places, but we shared a cup of coffee here once while killing time, so I thought it would be a neutral zone for us both.  I think you know why I wanted to get together today, so let me cut to the chase.  No, please don’t interrupt; this is hard enough for me as it is.  I… think we should stop seeing each other. Continue reading Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Multiplayer is the New Pinball

Photo by Flickr user: Matteo Paciotti

It kinda stinks what’s happened to pinball isn’t it? In the time since arcades began declining and our modern gaming age, that classic game of flippers and steel balls has fallen from the epitome of fast-paced, yet deceptively complex, frantic fun and transformed into simple franchise tie-in machines getting turned out by the same company year after year. Happily, there’s been something of a resurgence in pinball development in recent years and we’re finally seeing some of the spirit that used to define pinball back in the glory days of the early 90’s. As a pinball guy I couldn’t be happier about that, but I’ve recently realized that we didn’t actually need pinball itself to come back in order to enjoy that which made it fun in the first place. Even as pinball was first beginning to fade, its successor was already well into development. You might that it’s video games I’m leading up to here, and if so you would be right…but not entirely. Video games took the place of pinball but it was multiplayer that succeeded it.
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Relationships in Games: The Teammates

Image by Flickr user Ryan Somma
Image by Flickr user Ryan Somma

I recently picked up South Park: The Stick of Truth (SoT), and I’ve been having an absolute blast with it. It’s a fun, funny, and fantastic game complete with decent mechanics and enjoyable gameplay. SoT is a turn-based combat game, and it’s been awhile since I’ve played one of them. Thinking back…the last one had to be…gosh…Final Fantasy IV on the DS, maybe? What’s interesting about combat in SoT is that your party consists only of two people – you and another character. Going in I expected to start out small and grow my party into the standard three- to four-person crew. In SoT, while I’ve unlocked other members of my party, only one stays with you on screen and in battle. As they all have different abilities, you can switch team members at any given time, but more often than not, I’ve found myself a long-term companion in just one character. The sweet, and at times vicious Butters.

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The Duck Discusses the Wii, 360, and PS3 Generation: Part 3-Sony Still Can’t Think of Creative Names

Image from Flickr User: alessandrofaj
Image from Flickr User: alessandrofaj

Today is the last day of my series of posts on what I like and dislike about the last generation of consoles, the Wii, the 360, and the PS3.  While I loved the PlayStation 2, I actually didn’t have any intention of getting the PS3 because Naughty Dog was still refusing to make any more “Jak and Daxter” games, the “Kingdom Hearts 3” release date was nowhere in sight, and because I could just keep up with the “Final Fantasy” games on the 360.  And then, because of a sale on used games at GameStop, I bought myself a few PS2 “Ratchet and Clank” games, causing me to really get into the series.  And that’s when I found myself with an unstoppable need to buy the PS3 and catch up on all the “R&C” games I had missed.  Nevertheless, at first, my PS3 didn’t have much to motivate me to play it aside from a few short “R&C” games, and I wondered if I may have wasted my money.  The console did become much better, however, when I added to my collection “Portal 2”, “Rayman Legends”, and the Final Mix version of “Kingdom Hearts”, and now I’m starting to really love it.  Not as much as my PS2, but it still turned out to be a pretty grand console.  And now, I present you with my pros and cons for the PS3!  (With the focus, again, on gaming, and information found on Wikipedia.) Continue reading The Duck Discusses the Wii, 360, and PS3 Generation: Part 3-Sony Still Can’t Think of Creative Names

What Was the Frantic Factory For?

Image from Flickr User: JD Hancock

The world of Donkey Kong 64 was an odd place wasn’t it? It had jungles, fungi forests, crystal caves, a haunted castle…and that’s not even all of them. Most of these regions found in DK Isles made some sort of sense, but what about the ones found on the mechanized K. Rool Island? The haunted castle and gloomy bay areas are weird enough, but it’s Frantic Factory that really stick out here. Really, what was up with that place? Continue reading What Was the Frantic Factory For?