ABZÛ Review

ABZÛ is an adventure game released for the PS4 and PC on August 2nd, 2016. It was developed by @GiantSquidology and published by @505_Games. For more info check out ABZÛ’s site. Screenshots taken by myself.

I like to take notes while I play a game for review. When I pulled myself away from my monitor after beating ABZÛ, all in one sitting, I went over my notes and noticed I had written the same word several times throughout my list: gorgeous. And if you take one thing away from this review let it be that ABZÛ is an indisputably gorgeous game. In a year of gorgeous indie games like Inside and Firewatch, we’re spoiled yet again by an indie title with visuals that put AAA games to shame. Continue reading →

The State of Female Characters in AAA Games

Header Art by Zakurarain.

This time last year I was ecstatic over all the amazing 2016 games showcasing female protagonists. It seemed like things were starting to look up for those who’ve been demanding more diversity from the mainstream, AAA video games. Unfortunately, I realised after this year’s E3 and looking at the Fall to early 2017 lineup I was being a little too optimistic. Not only is there a lack of women, but big games and publishers are actively avoiding putting women in their games. In an industry where more than half of those who play games are women, it’s frustrating that sexism and misogyny keep pushing women to the sides or entirely exclude them from AAA games. From the typical oversexualized portrayal to a more subtle misrepresentation to outright exclusion, there are different ways in which the AAA games in this article (and many others we couldn’t get into here) are a disservice to the potential of video games and the players who love them. Continue reading →

Best Studios & Publishers on Snapchat

Cover art used pixel controllers by Amaniness.

Snapchat is a marvellous app. Letting friends and family share pictures and videos of what’s going on then and there in their lives is why it appeals to so many. But Snapchat has been adopted by several big name video game studios and publishers in recent months. These studios share behind the scenes looks at their team, their games and their offices. Fans of video games love learning about the people who make them and some fans are fascinated and enamoured with the behind-the-scenes of game design and development. They want to know the people and want to see the work that goes into their favourite titles. Snapchat provides an excellent opportunity to get that perspective into games that can’t be found anywhere else. So here are some of the best studios and publishers to follow on Snapchat! Continue reading →

PlayStation 2016 Meeting Recap

PlayStation held what they called a “PlayStation Meeting” this week at their PlayStation Theater in New York City. After countless leaks, rumours and even blatant hardware unboxings, everyone knew that they were going to announce the PlayStation Slim. But the majority of the excitement was for the PlayStation Neo, a rumoured impressive upgraded PlayStation 4 hardware that supports 4K and VR. In actuality, the conference was a disappointing hour of Mark Cerny blandly discussing hardware specs and development challenges along with Andrew House promising that improved hardware will allow for better games and more immersive experiences, the standard marketing and PR spiel we’ve all heard before. With all that said, there were a couple interesting announcements made and some cool games shown. Continue reading →

Our Telltale Wishlist

Telltale has made quite a name for themselves since they created their own subgenre of the adventure game with The Walking Dead back in 2012. Since then they have applied that same formula to several notable franchises from Borderlands to Minecraft and most recently Batman. Telltale’s uncanny ability to take an established property and put their own story-driven, quick time event laden brand over it to deliver something new has earned them quite a following. And while I don’t particularly like all of the work they do (looking at you Minecraft) they’re just printing money with these games so there’s clearly a huge market. So with that said, I thought it would be fun to think about some franchises that would adapt to the Telltale formula in an interesting way! Continue reading →

Updated: Awesome Video Games Coming in 2016

It’s hard to believe 2016 is half over. So many amazing games have come out this year. From Naughty Dog’s phenomenal conclusion to their beloved franchise Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End to Drinkbox Studio’s stunning PS Vita adventure Severed there have been loads of great games to play from small indie games and AAA titles alike. But there is still so much more to play in the coming months and several undoubted “Game of the Year” contenders. So to keep track of all the awesome games still to come I’ve decided to update our previous list published back in January. Take a look at all the exciting games you’ll (probably) be able to play in 2016! Continue reading →

Inside Review

Inside is a puzzle platformer adventure game released for the Xbox One on June 29, 2016, for PC on July 7, 2016 and for PS4 August 23, 2016. It was developed and published by @Playdead. For more info check out Inside‘s site. Screenshots taken by myself.

I want to preface my review by stating that I went into Inside with no knowledge about the content of the story, the gameplay or anything. My experience was infinitely better because of it. So while it may seem counterproductive to start a review by saying don’t read my review I’ll instead say read my review after you’ve beaten the game. It won’t take you long, it only took me a little over three hours. But an experience as truly unique and wonderful as Inside needs to be enjoyed fresh. So bookmark this review, go get Inside and play it. You’ll thank me. Continue reading →

PlayStation E3 2016 Press Conference Recap

PlayStation returned to the Shrine Auditorium in downtown LA for the first time in several years but not only was there a change venue but there was also a change in style. PlayStation’s conference was a huge step away from the usual press conferences where big wigs in suits discuss sales and price changes, announce new partnerships and entertainment initiatives. Previous PlayStation conferences have talked about TV shows like the PlayStation Plus exclusive show Powers or TV streaming services like PlayStation Vue. But this year PlayStation was all about games. The full conference was incredibly short, running just over an hour, and was all trailers. Continue reading →

Ubisoft E3 2016 Conference Recap

Ubisoft celebrates its 30th birthday this year as a company. That’s 30 years of delivering creative, beautiful, imaginative and delightful game experiences. As well as some godawful ones. But hey, nobody is perfect. So this year at E3 Ubisoft came out with some sequels to beloved franchises, some creative new titles (especially for VR) and also some totally new games no one knew about. Unlike competitor’s, Ubisoft’s conference had a very informal tone as developers would come out on stage and sit on the couches and discuss their games with 5th time returning host Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler). So if you missed Ubisoft’s conference or just want a detailed list of the announcements then this list is for you. Enjoy! Continue reading →

Severed Review

Severed is a first person, touch-based dungeon crawler released for the PlayStation Vita on April 26, 2016. It was developed and published by @DrinkBoxStudios. For more info check out the game’s gorgeous site. Screenshots taken by myself.

First person dungeon crawlers are a rare breed of game. It’s a genre that had its heydey in the late 90s and hasn’t really been heard from since. But the opportunity for immersion that comes with this sort of game is quite high if it’s done right. It’s even rarer to see a game from a high profile studio release exclusively on the slowly dying PlayStation Vita. What’s rarest of all is for one of these types of games release on the Vita AND be an incredible experience from start to finish. This recipe for success is what makes Severed a marvellous game and a must play for Vita owners and fans of the genre. Continue reading →