The Magic of Pyre and the Supergiant Games Formula

After their last game release, Supergiant Games basically entered my trust list. That is, a fictional document in my head that’s basically a list of developers whom I’d pretty much buy from on day one, sight unseen. For me, these guys came out of nowhere to deliver memorable experiences like Bastion and Transistor.

What I find so compelling about the studio is their ability to tap into new ideas for each game. For example, Bastion is an isometric action-RPG set in an interesting hand-painted world. Transistor, on the other hand, takes place in a more sci-fi style world and uses a special pause and plan style of combat known as Turn(). Needless to say, each game plays quite differently from one another and that’s really what I admire and respect about their formula. They don’t tend to rehash ideas, even if they prove to be successful.

When Pyre was first announced, I was excited to see a new Supergiant game, but for some reason, it didn’t resonate with me like the other games had. Perhaps it was because I didn’t quite understand what it was. Unlike the previous games, first details showed an almost 3 on 3 style sports game. I didn’t totally understand it and unfortunately, it slid off my radar.

Perhaps it was positive word of mouth or some new gameplay which attracted me back to the game. I decided to jump in and found a brand new experience once again. As I should have guessed from the start, Supergiant has another winner on their hands.

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Saturday Video Round Up: August 6 – 12

It’s the weekend once again, which means it’s time for your weekly dose of the Video Round Up. As we head into prime video game season, the trailers have begun to flow. Without further adieu, here’s just a small sample of the content waiting for you this week.

With about a month left until release, Bungie is releasing the marketing hounds for Destiny 2. This week, Lord Shaxx drops some knowledge on the competitive multiplayer side of the game, known as the Crucible. Learn what each class brings to the table in this stylish and snazzy trailer.

This week, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus continues its recent trend of introducing us to what classic TV shows would like if they really did exist in this alternate timeline. Chocolate lovers may need to hold their candy just a little bit tighter after this week’s video.

I’ve also got new videos for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Overwatch, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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Middle-earth: Shadow of War and the Loot Crate Saga

It’s the middle of 2017 and I think the video game industry is getting a little wild with the idea of loot boxes.

Originally I wasn’t planning on writing a piece about loot boxes, but some things happened over the past couple weeks where I feel like I need to get some things off my chest. Hatm0nster, over at Virtual Bastion kind of led the charge with this topic last week so make sure to give him some love as well.

Before we get into the topic at hand, let’s start at the beginning. While not the originators of the idea, loot boxes are a feature that was really made popular by the competitive shooter, Overwatch. For those who don’t know, loot boxes represent a way to keep players hooked by offering randomized content or loot for doing something like reaching a new progression level.

With profit margins always a massive concern for publishers and studios, loot boxes have been identified as a sure fire way to keep the retention rate high as well as offer an easy way to monetize the experience. Games like Overwatch also let players purchase loot boxes in exchange for real money, something which has no doubt helped Activision/Blizzard’s bottom line.

So where has this gone off the rails a bit? Let’s explore.

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Saturday Video Round Up: July 30 – August 5

The weekend is once again here and that means it’s also time for a brand new edition of the Video Round Up. As usual, we’re bringing you the best trailers and gameplay clips from the week that was. Here’s a small taste of what’s to come:

One of the more criminally overlooked games of 2016 was Titanfall 2. Unfortunate release timing in an already incredibly crowded season didn’t help things, even though it’s a game that is critically acclaimed by players and critics alike. If you’re someone who missed the boat, Respawn is making it easier than ever to jump in with their newly announced Ultimate Edition. Now has never been a better time to check out this fantastic shooter.

The surprise of E3 2017 for many was the zany Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle and just how good it looks. The XCOM inspired game is now just a couple weeks away and the Ubisoft marketing team is full steam ahead. This week sees two new trailers showing off the combat and co-op modes at work. Switch owners will definitely want to check this game out.

I’ve also got new videos for Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, The Evil Within 2, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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Top 5 Moments from the Assassin’s Creed Franchise

As many of you are already well aware, I’m a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I love how Ubisoft is able to take history, create a fictional narrative, then weave them together like all this stuff actually happened. Being able to run around exotic locations is a huge draw for me. Where else do you get to experience places like 1191 Jerusalem, Renaissance Italy, and Revolutionary France?

Even being a big fan of the franchise, I can admit when something doesn’t work. As we know, not every game in the franchise panned out like we hoped. I was happy to see the franchise take a break after the breakneck annual pace it set out on after Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Though I felt Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was a fantastic addition to the series, I was hopeful the extra time would do the series good in the long run.

We’re still a couple months from release, but I’m really liking what I’m seeing out of Assassin’s Creed Origins so far. The newest game takes a lot of those well-known core concepts and either tweaks them or outright dumps them. While I won’t get into specifics here, combat and world exploration are two areas that aim to revamp the franchise along with a new RPG progression system.

So in honor of the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Origins, I’ve put together a list of my five favorite moments from the series. These are specific events that occur within each of the games, so even though I loved exploring the open seas of the Carribean or was wowed when I ran across Venetian rooftops for the first time, those broad experiences don’t actually count.

Also, I’d like to point out that there are plenty of spoilers for a bunch of the games below, so reader beware. In no particular order…

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Now Arriving: Games of August 2017

Now is the time to save up as we start our fast descent into the fall and holiday rush season of games. Though August isn’t chock full of games, there’s definitely a few to keep an eye on before the real big hitters arrive in September.

It doesn’t get much bigger than the Uncharted for Sony fans and Naughty Dog is set to deliver it’s next instalment later this month. The twist here is that series protagonist Nathan Drake is nowhere to be found. Instead, players will step into the more than capable shoes of professional treasure hunter and thief, Chloe Frazer. Not only that, Frazer finds herself in an alliance with Nadine Ross, who Uncharted 4 players may remember as the antagonistic mercenary leader. A match made in heaven, am I right?

Not a PlayStation 4 owner? No problem, there’s stuff for you this month as well including Volition’s next game, Agents of Mayhem. I’d love to tell you more about this game, but a serious lack of coverage and over-reliance on flashy, cool trailers doesn’t leave me with much to go on.

So yeah, it very well could be an open world action game where you play as one or more charismatic protagonists. There are guns and melee weapons so you can fight against enemies belonging to some sort of evil group who are hell bent on….umm…doing bad things, I guess. Now that’s what I call a box quote! Feel free to use that one Volition.

Lastly, for you Switch owners, the very slick looking Mario+Rabbbid’s Kingdom Battle finally arrives, mashing up turn based combat with XCOM style gameplay. It looked fantastic at E3 and is likely another must purchase for Switch owners. Nintendo is clearly on a roll.

Want more stuff? Well, good! Here’s the full list of titles coming your way in the month of August…

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Saturday Video Round Up: July 23 – 29

The Round Up is back on track after a few weeks off and a catch all version last week. With July almost at an end, we’re quickly moving head first into the fall rush and already the trailers are starting to arrive. Here’s a small taste of what’s waiting for you below the jump.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a game that is near and dear to my heart, so naturally, I’m pretty excited to get my hands on its follow-up, Shadow of War. As we saw at E3, Monolith is adding a tiny bit of humor to the game to help break up the traditionally serious and bleak tones. We already saw the large sassy orc named Bruz, and now we get Kumail Nanjiani’s The Agonizer.

The first Uncharted game not featuring poster boy Nathan Drake is just a few weeks away. If for some reason, you’re not sold on the expansion to standalone release, Naughty Dog has posted almost 15 minutes of gameplay. No doubt, this should give you a fairly good look at what the game entails.

I’ve also got new videos for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Need for Speed Payback, Splatoon 2, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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