Video Games

Video Games

Will Pokémon Sun and Moon Be The Best Pokémon Games Yet?

Pokémon Sun and Moon

Ever since Pokémon Go smashed its way onto the digital game field, it’s garnered a lot of attention, both among veteran thumb typers, newbies, and the media. Don’t assume that the original Pokémon adventures have stopped evolving in new directions, however.

With Pokémon in particular, it’s fairly difficult to determine an overall “best” stamp of approval, but you can weigh some of its facets and ideas in comparison to itself. Different people like Pokémon for different reasons, and the Sun and Moon series is apparently aimed at pleasing a broad swath of the video game community.

About Pokémon In General

Before we go too far into the quality of products in relation to Pokémon Go, it’s worth looking back at a bit of the historical context. Pokémon has undergone transitions from comic book to TV show, video games to playing cards, and board games, and it has a strong narrative and physical products list (clothes, shoes, backpacks, household items, etc.) to go along.

Many people relate to the characters in the storyline as well as the actual Pokémon creatures themselves, based on the personalities that have evolved over the years. Depending on the person you talk to, you’re apt to get different versions of why they have connected emotionally with one of the characters … everything from how they were drawn to where they happen to fit in the story line.

About Pokémon Sun and Moon

As far as assessing whether Pokémon Sun and Moon might be the best Pokémon games ever, this is how you’re going to have to approach the question. If you watch the trailers for the game, there’s an introduction to three new characters, and then a vague reference to sun and moon characters.

This seems to be a natural extension of the Pokémon universe and will be an exciting way for current players to dive further into that world. As far as gameplay, graphics, and narrative go, there aren’t a lot of spoilers yet (the game is scheduled for release later this month), so the mystery and secrecy that surround it, for the time being, are going to be a major factor in how much attention it ultimately generates.

About Pokémon Go and the Attention Gathered

Returning to the appeal of Pokémon Go, if you have enjoyed the concept of Pokéballs, and evolving characters, battles, and teams, then you are probably going to celebrate the fact that Nintendo is giving you more to work with.

You can take the draw from the augmented reality aspect of the series and find out more about why that Pokémon world came to exist in the first place. From there you can arrive at your own conclusion about whether the video game series compares well against other things you do.

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EntertainmentVideo Games

E3 2016: Top 10 Games of Show


E3 2016: Top 10 Games of Show

This year’s E3 featured all kinds of great new games from major developers, but 10 in particular blew my mind. Here’s what should be on your must-have list:

1. Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The latest installment of the Zelda franchise is a free-map exploration that once again has Link tracking Ganon through the Hyrule universe. Stellar new graphics and a new storyline are the best part of this update, and I may be just a little too excited, but this could be the best Zelda game yet (at least, I sure hope so!).

2. God of War

Sony’s new iteration of the God of War series for Playstation is deep, dark, realistic, and immersive. The narrative continues with Kratos showing his child all the necessary skills to be a God, and the child bringing his father back into the realm of human feeling. Psychology and gameplay combine in one for this title.

3. Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1, from EA, is a first-person shooter game, set during World War I, with machine guns, tanks, deep storylines, and more explosions that you can shake a stick of dynamite at. Look for previews if you want to see the gameplay, and be prepared to be blown away.

4. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare takes you into space, gives you three modes of gameplay, and makes previous versions of the game seem like practice for this epic, cinematic adventure. Stellar voice acting and graphics take the experience to a much deeper level, for old hands and newbies to the Call of Duty franchise alike.

5.Resident Evil 7

Want to feel scared? Puzzled? Confused? Frustrated? Then give Resident Evil 7 a whirl. Even people who have invested hours and hours into this game can’t quite determine what it’s about. Intrigued? Then join the masses and poke your way through the house. Good luck finding your way out!

6. For Honor

In the fantasy realm of good guys, bad guys, peace, confusion, hatred, and thousands of years of destruction, For Honor takes you to a new place and forces you to gain skills and knowledge. Both medieval and deep, put on your thinking caps and check your reflexes before you step too far into this one.

7. Gears of War 4

Microsoft and Xbox bring you the 4th installment of Gears of War. Test your skills and strategies against the universe in this fan favorite franchise. Multiplayer functionality is what’s really going to hook you. Add the gross out factor for folks who enjoy the gore scene, and you’ve got a winner.

8. Sea of Thieves

Your crew against the world. Bring it on! With more of a focus on humor and community, Sea of Thieves will keep you entertained – all the way up until you drunkenly fall of your ship, or your find yourself caught in all of those details that are required to set sail in the first place.

9. South Park: The Fractured But Whole

No top 10 list would be complete without some absurdity in the mix, and that’s what the latest South Park title brings to the table.When it comes to this game, expect the unexpected, and appreciate that gaming only has to be as serious as Matt and Trey are willing to make it.

10. Ghost Recon: Wild Lands

Mix a little bit of realism with a whole lot of spy novel fantasy business, and you get Ghost Recon: Wild Lands. Hyper accentuated personalities and fight scenes are going to be the name of the game on this one, so be prepared for some colorful personas and situations to work your way through.

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Battlefield 1 or COD: Infinite Warfare – Which Will Be Better?

Battlefield 1 or COD: Infinite Warfare

Battlefield 1 or COD: Infinite Warfare

E3 showcased a lot of games and opinions from gaming experts. Will gamers love the new games or will they hate them? A couple of big topics, as far as the games went, were Battlefield 1 and COD: Infinite Warfare.

As any gamer knows – or anyone who’s ever had any kind of relationship, for that matter – it’s exciting to wait for new games and the next versions of your favorite games. E3 2016 took a good look at Battlefield 1 and COD: Infinite Warfare and evaluated their strengths.

Here’s an overview of what you might have missed. Plus, a guess at which game may be better than the other.

Battlefield 1

When you watch actual gameplay footage of BattleField 1, you see footage that looks incredibly real. You almost feel like you’re watching a movie, which is the case with most games these days, whether they’re computer or console versions.

What’s one of the coolest things that Battlefield 1 has going for it? Instead of it being just a first person view of the scenario, you get more of an every angle view, which makes the experience feel much more immersive.

COD: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty is a well-known name in the gaming world, but it seems like there are a lot of people who don’t like this gaming franchise:

It’s basically your classic, first person shooter game with awesome graphics. It might be the whole first person thing that people are bored with, as many gamers say the creators just continually recycle the last game.

Which One Will Be Better?

Well, to be honest, with COD having such a love/hate relationship with gamers, and Battlefield 1 being dubbed the new best game from EA and Dice, it makes sense that Battlefield 1 would be the better choice. While COD offers a more “out of this world” look with space stations and spaceships, Battlefield 1 offers a more grounded scenario.

Another deciding factor? It seems that the way the trailers were received says a lot about which game people want. The trailer for COD was one of the most hated gaming trailers of the year, while the one for Battlefield 1 was much better received.

It’s likely that there will still be plenty of gamers who will love Call of Duty, and the franchise will continue to be successful, but Battlefield 1 wins this competition.

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EntertainmentVideo Games

Did E3 2016 Prove Whether VR is Really the Future of the Gaming Industry?

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

In the past, E3 has often boasted the release of new video game consoles, but with no new consoles currently on the market, this year was a bit of a different event. Yes, there were plenty of new games to hear about and look forward to, but what was really the talk of E3 2016 was virtual reality. And yes, it seems that E3 has established that VR is the future of the gaming industry.

Gamers are always looking to try the next big thing. That’s why they’re so quick to buy the newest consoles and invest in the expensive computers made for the gaming experience. Heck, they’ll even pay extra just to be one of the first ones to get a game on the day it’s released.

Therefore, gamers should be psyched about virtual reality becoming more and more popular in the gaming industry.

How Did They Do It?

Well, if you were lucky enough to attend E3 2016, then you saw all of the VR games that are currently in the works. Many of them are big names in the gaming industry. This includes Resident Evil, Batman, Star Wars, Star Trek, Final Fantasy, and Doom.

Virtual reality is so popular because players feel like they are actually part of the game.

Just imagine being inside the Millennium Falcon. Then, pretend that you’re actually battling the zombies in Raccoon City. It’s a more intense gaming scenario, and people love it.

The Future

This year, many people wondered if E3 was even relevant or important to the gaming industry. Furthermore, they wondered if the conference could shine some light on the future. Questions about relevance were due to a number of missing game companies, as the conference focused on hosting larger companies.

Overall, the gaming industry needs companies that will put out high quality games that people love. Competition is high, and stepping into the future of VR may help small businesses/gaming companies in the coming years.

Until these new games and VR systems hit the shelves, there’s really no way to know how the general public will respond. However, it seems that the gaming companies are banking on VR being wildly successful.

It certainly helps that big names like Resident Evil, Fallout, and Final Fantasy are hopping on the bandwagon.

Will you?

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Will Zelda: Breath of the Wild be the Best Zelda Game Yet?

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Gamers of every generation are familiar with Zelda. Since the inception of The Legend Of Zelda in 1986, the universe of Link and the princess Zelda have immersed fantasy game fans in an alternate universe worthy of its perpetual acclaim.

Now, with the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2016 in the rearview mirror, the question is: Will the latest addition to the franchise, the newly-announced Zelda: Breath of the Wild, be the best Zelda game yet?

Who Gets To Decide?

It’s hard to answer that question, especially depending on who you ask. There are the people who never made it past the first game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Then, there are the people who didn’t start foraying into the gaming universe until the last few years. These people wouldn’t even recognize the earlier versions of the game, with their 8-bit sounds and stodgy graphics.

And the hardcore fans are going to say “yes” to practically everything regarding characters in the land of Hyrule. They’re the ones who know about the spin-off games and the failed pinball machine game. Yes, that was a real thing!

But this latest addition (the 17th official one) to the Zelda franchise will be the first to be natively developed in high-def resolution. That’s a huge point in it’s favor. Many other Nintendo games and competing systems have, of course, already reached this point, but this will be a first for this particular Nintendo series.


Gameplay for Breath of the Wild will start with a huge open world, very little hand-holding, and an emphasis on exploration and survival. The game world is said to be at least 10 times larger than that of Twilight Princess, one of the most popular games in the Zelda series, and this allows for a lot more flexibility than Zelda games of the past. Previously, things had to be done in a certain order, but Breath of the Wild will allow complete freedom of exploration, as Link finds his own path to beat Calamity Ganon and his nefarious plans.

The plot in this particular game involves a mysterious voice. That voice tells Link where to start his journey, and why his path is important. However, the rest of the details come out as the game moves forward.

What Newcomers Think

So far, all of the testing and presenting for Breath of the Wild has come back exceptionally positive. The new aspects are intriguing for both new and old players, while the classical sense of time and space, as well as the storyline, are familiar to millions of people around the world who have played before. This gives them a sense of nostalgia, along with the new puzzles to solve.

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Video Games

PAX East 2016: We Happy Few Impressions

we happy few

One of the most interesting, fresh, and original games I played at PAX East called “We Happy Few.” Included here are a few things to know about this psychedelic thriller.


Created by Compulsion Games, We Happy Few has a Brave New World inspired premise as well as survival mechanics in a striking artistic style. After Compulsion’s problems with their 2013 release of Contrast, they are working to put We Happy Few in the hands of the masses as quickly as possible. The Compulsion team is gathering feedback and customer response to We Happy Few while still working on the game.


In alternate history of 1960’s England, this game takes place amidst the fictional town of Wellington Wells. The residents of this town do not want to deal with a traumatic event in their past, so, to cope, they have developed the wonder-drug known as “joy.” All residents of the town are big advocates of this sedative, bliss-inducing drug, but there are a few people, known as “downers” who refuse to partake.

As you enter the game of We Happy Few, you live as a downer, trying to blend in while you look for an escape from this tragically pleasant town. The survival aspect in this game means you are trying to maintain a joy-induced facade without actually consuming the drug. Unfortunately, most consumables in the town are already laced with the drug, so you have to find ways to stay fed and hydrated without overdosing on “joy.“


Playing with the themes of Stepford Wives and Wayward Pines, We Happy Few offers a modern take on the Brave New World theme. As you try to stay alive and, incidentally, consume joy, your view of the world will begin to change. The higher your intake of joy the more distorted, faded and colorful your world becomes. If you overdose on the drug, you will find yourself awakened in your underground bunker, with a whole day lost and having to start from scratch once again.


In addition to the above intriguing elements, We Happy Few contains a great deal of problem-solving and escape tactics. You must scavenge for the necessary tools as well as weapons and possible escape routes. Combat is also a necessary interaction in We Happy Few, but you may want to avoid it as much as possible, as all bodies must be hidden to avoid the involvement of the bobbies.


My playthrough with We Happy Few was awesome; I had a ton of fun moving through the world, crafting and looting new equipment, fighting enemies, and exploring the randomly-generated world. On that note, even though the world was dynamically and randomly generated, it felt like it had been professionally designed. Hats off to Compulsion for succeeding with such automated level design. I can’t wait to see how this game develops and plan to pick it up when it’s available to the public. Stay tuned to Compulsion Games for updates on We Happy Few.

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Video Games

PAX East 2016: Death Squared Impressions


Go no further than SMG Studio’s Death Squared if you’re looking for a cooperative game to both frustrate your spatial sensibilities and tickle your puzzle-hungry brain. With either 2 or 4 players, the point of the game is to navigate your way out of rooms fraught with pushers, bumpers, cliffsides, and of course, lasers.

When you start the game, your first challenge is to understand how the colors work. If you’re the blue robot (which, by the way, resembles something halfway between a refrigerator and a washing machine), then you aren’t affected by blue conditionals. You block the blue lasers, aren’t affected by the blue spikes, and aren’t pushed around by the blue walls. Same goes for the red robot, and so on.

Gameplay and Strategy

So the gameplay consists of you and your cooperative players trying to figure out how to move, specially and sequentially, in order to get your robot onto your colored target. That’s how you move on to the next level. So it’s essentially a cooperative puzzle with some physical skill required, as well as concentration, memory, and temporal focus.

And the physics are part of the what makes the game interesting as well. The rules of each level have a tendency to shift on you, so you have to relearn them each time. And if you had to pick a feel for how your robots move, you might say they were on something a bit like a gummy oil slick, and there’s some inertia involved in the gameplay as well.

Communication Is the Key

The keys to both winning and having fun are all about cooperation and communication. You and your partners have to observe together, learn together, solve the riddle together, form a plan together, and then shimmy, pixel by pixel and move by move, in order to reach the end goal. One mistake, one missing piece of focus, one forgetful moment, and it’s back to square one of the room.

And whereas some types of players might be ruffled by this necessity of getting along and being able to talk in discrete steps, other types of gamers will find that the cooperative factor is what makes Death Squared, in particular, so much fun to play.

The possibility for expansion on a game like this is infinite as well. Because the physics of play, the types of obstacles, and the ability to constantly create new game levels will always be changeable, there’s lots of room to continue evolving the concept over time.

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Video Games

PAX East 2016: Top 10 Games of Show


Perhaps one of the most popular shows in the gaming industry is the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX).. Most recently, the PAX East 2016 festival was held in Boston.

Included here are the 10 best games of the show:

1. Pyre

A party-based RPG, Pyre allows you to lead a band of exiles through the ancient battlegrounds of a massive purgatory. Some of the main benefits of this game are the artistic talent, emotional story, and crazy combat scenarios. Pyre has not yet been released to the public, but you can learn more on their Supergiant game page.

2. A Night In The Woods

For animal lovers everywhere, A Night In The Woods is a game about a talking cat who returns to his hometown. Based on the frequent colloquialism that “you can never go home again,” the cat returns to find everything has changed. Reviewers felt the game was a bit depressing, but

interesting and engaging all the same.

3. Hob

Another popular game on the PAX agenda is called Hob. For lovers of Zelda, Hob gives you a throwback to a Zelda-esque landscape. At its essence, Hob is an adventure game that involves completing tasks to save a failing planet. The color, mystique, and silent protagonist of this game are sure to get gamers everywhere talking.

4. Outlaws 2

For those who love darker, spookier games, Outlaws 2 may be the game of the year. Outlaws 2 allows you to experience a near dark experience, filled with suspense and terror. With interdimensional time travel and fear of the dark, Outlaws 2 is sure to fill the adrenaline junkie with a gamer rush.

5. Cuphead

For those who love a flashback to keeping it old school, Cuphead may be the perfect game. With a revamped edition coming out with more bosses, an easy mode, more content, and additional platform levels, Cuphead has brought a new angle to 2016. Fantastic two-player controls as well as fine-tuned charming graphics make it a travesty that there’s no release date in sight.

6. Dead By Daylight

Another game for those who love suspenseful, horror experiences, Dead by Daylight pairs a one-person killer with four other players attempting to escape. Caution for those who get woozy easily, Dead By Daylight has exceedingly gruesome kill scenes.

7. Headlander

For those who love apocalyptic based games, Headlander may be just the thing for you. Set to release in summer of 2016, Headlander pairs extinct humans with robot overlords. Imagine waking up from a century-long slumber to find your body is not where you placed it and the world looks nothing like it did in the past.

8. Wasted

A humorous take on modern lifestyle changes, Wasted offers you healing junk food and powerful mutating booze. Set in the post-apocalyptic world in space, Wasted offers a completely new lease on battles and puzzle-solving.

9. Seven: Days Long Gone

While isometric RPGs have been living out of the spotlight for awhile, it may be time for them to make a comeback with Seven: Days Long Gone. This RPG takes place in a vibrant environment with elements of cyberpunk and steam. This interesting concept allows parkour and free traversal in the world map.

10. Let It Die

Returning to the darker elements of the gaming world, Let It Die is a hack and slash game with weapon varieties based on character choice. With fast-paced battle interactions, Let It Die keeps you on your toes as your slain enemies return as vengeful ghosts.

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Video Games

PAX East 2016: Pit People Impressions

pit people

The game designers behind The Behemoth have brought out a new facet of their imagination with their work in progress, Pit People. It’s a 2D hex-based concept, with enough intrigue to make it one of the most unique presentations in the Indie world, as well as at PAX East 2016.

Just watching the gameplay, it’s easy to get lost in the details. The number of things that are happening on the screen are enough to make you dizzy, and those visual details are just as important to getting your tactical strategy in order as the details you have to understand implicitly.

And did I mention that Pit People is co-op, and turn-based as well? That’s enough to pique your curiosity.

That’s a lot to handle, but because of the way the controls are set up, as well as which features are either automatic or automated, battles are fast, heady, and complicated in terms of strategy and tactics.

Intrigued yet?

Artistically, there’s a lot of eye-candy for gamers who like the look of what they’re playing. Bright colors, strong lines, and a unique overall style means that you can’t miss the amount of effort that’s gone into the graphics aspect of the game, which complements the intense and cooperative strategizing that must go on during every turn.

And in addition to the play, the co-op option, and the style, there’s a deep narrative that goes along the journey with you as well. Excellent (and amusing) voice acting, absurdity and humor color the overall theme, and the comic relief from the battles is part of what makes the overall process and movement so entertaining. After lengthy competitions of thought and compromise, theatrical cut scenes give your brain a break.

Strategies, Complexities, and Simplicities

Deeper into the construction of the game, players will appreciate things like the abilities that characters onscreen have, positioning and isolation strategies to delve into, and the rules behind spacial attacking (i.e. without explicit positioning, characters will just end up attacking whomever they feel like).

Overall, Pit People is going to take awhile for anyone to completely learn and master, but the payoff is a uniquely immersive journey. Look into other games from “The Behemoth” to get a stronger historical concept of where this particular idea comes from, as there are internal reference to past projects that deepen understanding.

Stay tuned to their homepage and web presence for more updates.

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PAX East 2016: Divinity: Original Sin 2 Impressions

Divinity Original Sin 2

At this year’s PAX East, Larian Studios brought part of their Divinity: Original Sin 2 universe for gamers to try out, specifically showcasing multiplayer combat. The campaign portion of the game promises to be a broad single player or co-op adventure, but for this PAX event the demo focused on PVP single-and multi-player combat scenarios.

Before you read too much into Original Sin 2 though, be sure to check out the original Divinity: Original Sin game so you can appreciate the development going on since the inception of the idea. Currently, this second helping is in its post-Kickstarter development phase, receiving over $2 million in funding from Kickstarter backers.

Especially with the multi-player combat option, it’s vital to understand how action points fit with your turn-based strategies. This particular gameplay feels a lot like chess, and it’s extremely addicting, not to mention satisfying.

Moving On Up In The World

The most intriguing part of the preview was the new vertical aspects of the combat map. There are now different vertical platforms that can be climbed and perched upon, causing things like gravity, vertical distance and placement to affect different characters’ abilities and strengths.

Another new part of the game is the addition of elemental processes. Fire, ice, and other conditionals are part of the new balancing act, and especially with the new vertical mapping, there are a tremendous number of new ways to approach battle strategy and tactics.

From Amateur To Advanced

As with many of the best games of this type, the smart money is on learning how to combine abilities and statistics more efficiently than your opponent, which means that studying these skills and testing them is going to make the difference between an average player and an advanced one.

Even with only 2 players in a PVP battle I competed in, the battle frenzy was nearly instantaneous, with both of us scrambling for high ground and strategic positions. It was a blast to play. I only wish we had been shown progress on the single player campaign, as that’s where the meat of the game is.

In terms of eventual customization options for players, race and origin stories will be part of the immersive experience. Between all of the options from Divinity: Original Sin, and these deeper details that are available in the second installment, the series continues to invite hard core gamers into the folds of this highly entertaining, engaging, and imaginative universe.

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