Show, Don’t Tell: Do Games Talk Too Much?

At some point, it was decided that every modern video game needed to include additional story in the form of collectables. As we wander the world, we come across audio and/or text files. We can pause our gameplay to open up the parchment or ‘press play’, at which point we are told a little bit more about the world or given more flesh for the bones of the story.

Sometimes, it’s implemented well. Other times, the extra information is dull or unnecessary. Far too often, the added collectable stories feel forced, as if the developers felt obligated to include such things – All the other games are doing it.

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Late Review: Final Fantasy VII Remake

I recently replayed Final Fantasy X, and when I was nearing the end I made a comment to a non-gamer friend that I might play Final Fantasy X-2 again.

They immediately had questions:

  • Why is it called ‘Ten Two’? Why not call it ‘Eleven’?
  • Why is only one of the numbers in Roman numerals? Were they worried people would see ‘X-II’ and think they had skipped a game?
  • Why is it written as “X-2”? Looks like ‘ten minus two’. Is it secretly Final Fantasy 8?

I didn’t have the heart to break it to them that there are actually three Final Fantasy XIIIs. With all the other spin-offs, prequels and pseudo-sequels out there, I honestly don’t know how many Final Fantasy games are out there myself.

And now we have Remakes in the mix.

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The GamerPeak Quiz #4 – Magic

The theme this time is MAGIC. Special powers, wizards, magic in games, movies, literature and history.

6 rounds, 60 points, slightly less than 20 minutes in length. Have fun, share with friends and family, use it as a resource if you are a teacher!

I’ve got a few ideas for the next few quizzes, but if there’s something you’d like to see, let me know!

Ready to Quiz?

The GamerPeak Quiz #3 – Science

The theme this time is science, including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology and scientific achievements.

6 rounds, 60 points, slightly less than 20 minutes in length. Have fun, share with friends and family, use it as a resource if you are a teacher!

I’ve got a few ideas for the next few quizzes, but if there’s something you’d like to see, let me know!

Ready to Quiz?

The GamerPeak Quiz #2 – Animation

The first quiz was fun to make, so I made another one! The theme for this one is animation – comics, tv shows, movies, video games and Disney Classics.

6 rounds, 60 points, slightly less than 20 minutes in length. Have fun, share with friends and family, use it as a resource if you are a teacher!

These were made for the fun of it, and because they are bound to be useful later on, but I still managed to pick up a few likes and even a couple of subscribers! If you enjoy these two quizzes, why not like and subscribe too?

Ready to Quiz?

Can a Game Review be Too Late?

I’m thinking of trying something different. Since I returned to my blog I’ve already branched out into talking about table top games , and since I became a dad the perspective from which I write has shifted somewhat. Yet there is still one more thing I want to try: game reviews.

I have never written a review before. I have plenty of reasons why I’ve not thought of doing it before. Firstly, reviews have always felt like a professional writer’s task. My understanding is that reviewers lock themselves away with a game for a long weekend, surging through a game at break-neck speed to meet a deadline. Every week, a new game and a new review added to the catalogue.

But does that matter? It’s nice to know the reviewer has experience, but a review is a stand alone thing, the only reason that a series of reviews are useful is for context. It allows us to see how the reviewer scores games, what a 3 out of 5 actually means from that author, what kinds of games score higher with that reviewer, etc.

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Why should YOU play D&D? Reason #3

People play games for different reasons. Some people play to win, to fulfil their need to triumph through a show of skill, logic or chance. Others play for the simple joy, unphased by who wins, uninterested in the finer points of the rules. For many, games are simply something to do with friends enjoying the social side.

That last point was the basis for my second reason for why I think you should try out Dungeons & Dragons. It is one of the most sociable games out there. I also believe that the other factors above are especially true for D&D; it can be played competitively or for the simple fun of playing a game.

Which leads me to reason #3:

Reason #3 – It has Something for every kind of Gamer.

Even if you take away the social side of gaming and strip away the inevitable fun that comes with playing any good table-top game, D&D at its core is something that can appeal to all gamers. No matter how or why you play games, Dungeons & Dragons has qualities that will appeal to you.

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When Do Young Geeks Make You Feel Old?

I am still a decent distance away from considering myself ‘old’. I turned 32 last week, I don’t get confused by modern technology, I get very few eye-rolls when I reference popular culture around my students. My five month old daughter definitely makes me feel youthful, if a little tired sometimes.

Nevertheless, from time to time, I experience events that give me the sense that I am old, or at the very least getting noticeably older. This happens to us all in various ways. You might hear yourself saying things your parents exclaimed when you were little, or react to what you see on the TV with the disgruntled attitude of a person past their youth.

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Why should YOU play D&D? Reason #2

We all react differently to the prospect of ‘something new’. The idea of sampling a new food, taking part in a new sport or meeting a new social group can instil fear and trepidation in many, whilst others can leap at new experiences with glee. Even something as harmless as Dungeons & Dragons can seem like a daunting prospect for new players.

Even if you tell a person that D&D is easy to get into, they may still be hesitant. Inform them that they don’t need to know or the rules and buy all the parts to play, that person may still be reluctant to join in. They may be interested, but misconceptions exist about how ‘intense’ the game is. I’ve had many new players reflect on how they thought that D&D consisted of focused players pouring over character sheets and spewing complex jargon, a blur of numbers and structured play.

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Challenge in Gaming: What’s the best way to be tested?

I began playing Wolfenstein: New World Order a few weeks ago. I started the game in the usual way, by selecting ‘New Game’ and then perusing the available difficulties. I was curious to find a whopping five levels of difficulty available to me. It struck me at that moment that it’s been a very long time since I saw a game settle for an ‘Easy-Medium-Hard’ spread of difficulties. I also found it odd that New World Order was eager to throw so many options at me right out of the gate.

Personally, I could never begin a game on anything except ‘normal’. It makes much more sense to me to attempt a higher difficulty on the second play through, when I have the intricacies of the gameplay sussed. Games will often hide their highest settings, allowing them to be unlocked after the player has gone through the game once. I struggle to imagine anyone running headlong into Wolfenstein’s “ÜBER” setting on their first go and then enjoying the experience.

It’s not that I don’t think people would enjoy the most difficult setting. It’s the level of challenge present that I think would turn first-time players away. Playing a games ‘extreme’ difficulty is meant to be taxing, but if a player has mastered a game’s ‘normal’ setting, they can gauge for themselves whether they will be able to take on something greater. Whether or not a Gamer enjoys ‘challenging’ games, every game challenges us in some way and it’s up to us to decide how enjoyable that is.

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