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Sadly at this point in time, 2015 looks like it'll be another barren year for the Wii U, with high profile releases spread out few and far between. Luckily come what may, we know for a fact a new entry in the long running Legend of Zelda series is on the way, and it looks like it'll be what fans have been waiting for - a title that redefines the stagnating series. We don't know much about the mysterious Zelda U at this point in time, other than the fact it sports a particularly striking visual style and has a true open world, a world that Miyamoto assures fans is not only large, but chock full of things to do.
January is coming to a close, and with it goes our desire to actually fulfill our New Year's Resolutions (remember those?) as well as the newness of 2015. It's a bittersweet transition, but sweetening this revelation is this month's edition of community discussion, a monthly feature that just barely made it out in time this month, largely due to procrastination.
Zombies have bled so deeply into the mainstream that in order to stand out, a successful movie, novel, or game in the subgenre has to do something different from the crowd. Truly successful modern zombie fiction has strayed away from placing emphasis on overly gory and disgusting zombie design, special effects, and horror, instead choosing to focus on the survivors. Namely, how the daily threat of death wears on their morals and hope, oftentimes turning them into figurative monsters as bloodthirsty as the flesh eating monsters they live in fear of.
What sticks with us years after completing our favorite video games are not "the smooth controls" or "how quick the loading times were," but rather the memorable moments we forge and create with them. As games become increasingly complex and tell more captivating stories, they're becoming more rich in moments we simply can't forget once we put the controller down for the last time. This is the reason I've started the "Moments" series of blogs, inspired by a feature regularly updated by Game Informer editors. This is the second of what I hope to become a long running series:
Here's a novel thought - stop and try and count just how many video games you've played in your life. I'd wager if you frequently visit this website, that number is a couple dozen, if not a couple hundred. We live in a digital age where the wide variety of platforms and devices that can play video games leads to few software droughts, and like moths to a flame, we are constantly drawn to new experiences. As we continue to buy new software and move on to explore or fight in new lands, all that remains to prove we played previous games to completion are a completed save file, and more importantly - precious memories.As fun as games like Threes! and Plants vs. Zombies are, they're experiences that you won't remember three, five, ten, or more years down the line. What sticks with is when we finish a video game and try and look back on it in the future are the memories we forge from them, whether they be formed from nostalgic Saturday morning spent playing Smash Bros. and Mario Kart with your cousins, or specific moments in video games that shock or move the player and leave a lasting impression. As games become increasingly narrative driven, we're seeing more and more of the latter, and thus we remember more of the games we play for the times they made as laugh, smile, cringe, or cry.
Last month, I began a series of articles known as "Fireside Chats" - through these blogs, I reach out to a member of the Game Informer Community to discuss a specific game, series, or issue in the video game world at length. This time around, I met up with Rezident Hazard (Skeptical Inquirer);Rezident Hazard (known as "Rez" by his pals) is an indie developer on the side, and possesses a great wealth of knowledge regarding the history of the gaming industry, and the dynamics of third parties and console developers. The two of us have briefly discussed issues in the gaming community in the past, but this time I decided to speak with him at length about the future of one of the most beloved gaming developers in existence - Nintendo.While the 3DS is doing quite well, it's no secret the Wii U is struggling to sell well due to a poor interface, lack of third party support, and several other crippling concerns. Rather than take a "doom 'n gloom" stance regarding the 125 year old company though, the two of us put our minds together to devise specific decisions Nintendo can take now, or in the coming years to not only boost the sales of their hardware and software, but regain some of the glory and dominance they so enjoyed in the 80's and early 90's.
Assassin's Creed is a series that has recently come across its fair share of very legitimate and very concerning criticisms - namely how the fact it gets at least one new release a year has led to a bit of franchise fatigue, and glitches that got through the system unchecked. However, one simply cannot deny that the series as a whole does a positively wonderful job of recreating a rich and exciting historical setting for players to enjoy.For the uninitiated, the Assassin's Creed series revolves around players taking control of a character in the modern day. Using a device called the Animus, they relive the memories of their assassin ancestors, who over the years have populated many different eras and areas of the world. Through this storytellling gimmick, the series has allowed gamers to explore sandbox worlds based in the Middle East during the Crusades, Italy around the time of the Renaissance, the English colonies during the American Revolution, the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy, and so many more locales.
Nintendo's made it very clear over the years that they're as fond of the Nintendo Entertainment System as most gamers are. From the hidden 8-bit Luigis that dotted the levels of Super Mario 3D World, to the playable NES games hidden in the first Animal Crossing, to the Virtual Console service, the iconic 8 bit characters of the NES era in history have not been forgotten as the tides of history have swelled. To this day, most of Nintendo's most revered 8-bit titles are readily available to purchase in downloadable format, and 8-bitsprites are tucked away as easter eggs in many modern day classics.
Christmas Day is finally here. Whether you consider yourself religious or not, it's a warm and exciting day, where we all get the chance to see our loved ones and exchange gifts to show our appreciation for everything they do for us. Even if you're a grinch or grouch, it's hard to remain bitter this time of year.
December is a time of reflection for many, looking back at pleasant or not so pleasant memories that have been made over the course of another 12 months on this planet. It's also a time of making a ton of "Top Ten Best (Insert Noun Here) of (Insert Year Here)" lists. 2014 may not go down as one of the strongest years in gaming history, but the fact remains it was not devoid of fantastic gaming experiences. The lower number of big releases this year also gave me time to catch up on some great games from prior years that I never had the time to experience until now.
Like all other forms of entertainment, one of the best aspects of video games is that they can spur conversations and forge friendships between complete strangers. In essence, this is what Game Informer Online is all about; communicating with a diverse population of fellow gamers from across the world, your love of the same hobby unifying and connecting you with people you otherwise would never have had the chance to meet.It is this inspiring and somewhat sappy concept that has inspired my latest series of blogs (that I may or may not forget exists in two weeks) called "Fireside Chats." In essence, these will be casual conversations between a member of the GIO Community and myself, often centered around a single video game, series, or issue in the gaming community. The format will be akin to interviews, with me asking cordial questions and the other member responding, but I may throw in my own two cents after their response. As the name implies, these are intended to be leisurely and friendly conversations that explore a topic, and will help fill the gaps in between writing articles solely on my own.
I've stated in a previous blog that despite my username, I'm not the biggest Pokemon fan out there. As a late 90's kid, I caught the tail end of the wave of "Poke fever" that swept the U.S. following the release of Pokemon Red and Blue, and their accompanying anime. As such, my young companions and I thoroughly enjoyed the hell out of the Kanto region games, as well as their fantastic 2000 sequels, Pokemon Gold and Silver.