Games I’m Thankful For: Final Fantasy XIII

Image By Flickr User: Al Pavangkanan (cc)

With Thanksgiving having come and gone this week, I thought I’d look back at a few of the games I’m most grateful to have had the chance to play over the years. Like the Duck of Indeed, there’s more than a few games on that list: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for getting me started, Super Mario 64 and Kingdom Hearts for fueling the fire, and Mass Effect for making me want to do more with gaming than just playing the games. Those are the major ones to be sure, but as I thought about I realized that there’s also several games that taught me how to be a better t player. With that in mind, I’d just like to say I’m thankful for Final Fantasy XIII!

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Giving Thanks for (Seven) Video Games

Image by Flickr user Peter Taylor (CC)
Image by Flickr user Peter Taylor (CC)

Here in the states, we’re in the throes of another turkey day. Happy Thanksgiving! Or, happy Thursday! However you are spending today, I hope you are enjoying it. I, for one, am looking forward to spending a little quality time with family and a lot of quality time with games. (Or…maybe that’s the other way round? Nah. J) If you celebrate this holiday, then you know it’s supposed to be a day during which we take some time to remember and be happy for all the good stuff that we’ve got going on. (As well as eat loads of delicious goodies and watch/play/listen to one sporting event or another. At least that’s what they tell me.) It’s in that vein that I use this space here today to honor a few of the games for which I’m thankful.

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A Fate Worse Than Death

Image from Flickr User: Jose Armas
Image from Flickr User: Jose Armas

Just recently, my parents’ widescreen TV died (well, it actually works just fine; it’s just that, the menu screen won’t let you out), and so I helped in the endeavor to find a new one. Long, very frustrating story short, we found that Insignia is horrible (should I really have to make this many adjustments to the picture…for it to still look like crud?) and TV’s pretty much have no RCA ports anymore. (You know, the three colorful ones you use to plug consoles into the TV? I know, I didn’t know the real name before this day, either. They’re composite ports, another thing I learned while doing tons of research into the matter.) In the end, we managed to find a Sony TV that actually possessed the old-timey composite RCA ports (the others either didn’t have it at all or had this weird green/yellow split), and we got everything up and running again, but boy, was it difficult. Continue reading A Fate Worse Than Death

What Next Gen Looks Like

Image captured by Hatm0nster

The “next-generation” of gaming has been here for about a year now, which I suppose makes it “current gen” now. Aside from a few games that have been set to run at 60fps, it really hasn’t felt the monumental arrival of the Next Generation of Gaming that we thought it was going to be has it? Then again, what exactly were we expecting the next generation of gaming to look like anyway?  It would have better graphics of course, and better frame rates but I always felt like there was going to be more to it…somehow. I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to make the next gen feel different, but with the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition I think I’m finally getting an idea.

Dragon Age: Inquisition has a tie-in site called, which enables users to choose set up their own custom world state to bring into the game. It’s similar to the motion comic that accompanied the PS3 version of Mass Effect 3, which allowed players who didn’t have save data from the previous games to still make the important choices. What really makes the Dragon Age Keep a step beyond the likes of that motion comic is just how much it allows you do with the world states you save. Not only can you make decisions and port them to your game, but you make multiple states and save favorites, and even share them out among your friends. They’re features that save states have enabled on PCs (consoles if you have the right tools and knowhow) for several years now, but this is the first time we’re seeing this kind of functionality made officially part of a game. It’s not an incredibly dramatic feature but I’m thinking it’s a forerunner to the kinds of features we can expect to see from future games on Xbox One and PS4. I don’t know if this is available to the last generation versions also, but even if it is I’d still call it a next generation feature simply because we haven’t really seen its like before.

Better graphics and frame rates are nice, but now that I’ve seen it I realize that is this kind of expanded functionality that’s going to come to define this new generation of games more than will ever be able to.

What do you think sets this next generation apart from that which came before? Where should they go from here?

Spooky Contest Winner

Image captured by Hatmonster

Well the time has come to announce the winner our little Spooky-Scary Poetry Contest. We had several excellent entries submitted but there couold only be one Spooky Champion of Silly Prose, and that would be: C.T. Murphy, who authored Ocean House Hotel!

Here it is again for your reading pleasure:
Continue reading Spooky Contest Winner

[!] How do you obtain information about video games?

Image by Flickr user Travis Estell (CC)
Image by Flickr user Travis Estell (CC)

The quest for information is a never ending pursuit. Human beings crave knowledge about everything, from the world’s most monumental questions (“Why are we here?”) to the least life-changing queries. (“What socks am I going to wear today?”) This fact is no different when it comes to video games. From the moment they were created, we wanted to know everything about them – how to play them, how they were made, their respective “fun factors,” if they were worth having in the home, and so on. As with life in general, the way we receive information about our games has evolved.  Early on, the best place to find out about a new game might have been in an arcade. Talking to your closest gaming friends (and maybe some strangers) and/or watching them play probably gave you everything you needed to know but most importantly, whether or not a given game was worth your time and quarters.

Continue reading [!] How do you obtain information about video games?