Posts made in June, 2011

Can Nintendo Win Back Core Gamers?

Can Nintendo Win Back Core Gamers?

We’ve turned off the paved road, and now we’re bumping along the last, dusty stretch of pebbly dirt that will lead us to E3. Hardware engineers are worn out, game developers are worn out, PR folk are ready to sink onto a couch with a bottle, but gamers are just getting geared up. E3 is never a small event to begin with, but 2011’s E3 is arguably going to be the biggest one since 2006, and for similar reasons: Nintendo is getting ready to unveil a...

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PlayStation Vita: What’s in a Name?

PlayStation Vita: What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? As far as a video game console is concerned, history, power, brand recognition, and at least six months worth of Internet-bound puns and jokes. The “Nintendo Entertainment System” was specifically branded and engineered to squirm its way into North American family entertainment centers and take its place among the VCR’s of the age: The term “video game system” induced too many flashbacks of sub-par Atari games....

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Final Fantasy VII Remake: Will it Ever Come?

Final Fantasy VII Remake: Will it Ever Come?

By far, 1997’s Final Fantasy VII is Square-Enix’s most recognized and most popular game; the title helped catapult the PlayStation, the role-playing game (RPG) genre, and Square-Enix (which was then “Squaresoft,” one half of today’s whole) into mainstream relevance in North America. The game still commands a good deal of praise and nostalgia from fans of Japanese RPGs, and when Square-Enix celebrated the title’s tenth birthday...

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Achievements vs. Trophies, Unlockables, Leaderboards

Achievements vs. Trophies, Unlockables, Leaderboards

It’s interesting to consider how video game design has, in a way, come full-circle. Gaming pioneers used to stand for hours at arcade cabinets in hopes of leaving their mark on the screen in the form of a high score and a three-letter identifier. Then, with the introduction of the home console, gaming became a solitary affair for a time. Now, we exist in an era wherein we’re encouraged to accomplish several goals in one game. We invest time and energy...

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Can Serious Games Teach Kids About Life?

Can Serious Games Teach Kids About Life?

Video games present an array of objectives to achieve, many of which involve overcoming some creeping menace or another. Some of these are fictional: Slay a dragon, drive back a demon, stop the mad scientist jerk who’s turning your woodlands pals into robots. Some of these are more realistic: Fight in a fictional war, fight in any number of history’s past bloodbaths, raise a family, move up in the ranks of a mafia, tend to a farm. Despite the problems...

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Fan-Made Video Games: The Future of Development?

Fan-Made Video Games: The Future of Development?

Video game design became even more interesting with the advent of the Internet. Thanks to email, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and message boards, fans have far more input on a game’s creative process than they once did. We propose that other careers should similarly evolve. Brain surgeons: We want our say in what you do. Open up communication alongside those skulls. In all seriousness though, the Internet has long allowed players to vocalize what they like and...

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Can GameStop Make Retail and Cloud Coexist?

Can GameStop Make Retail and Cloud Coexist?

No one can accuse GameStop of dragging its heels on adopting new digital and cloud video game distribution technology. Last March, after it acquired Spawn Labs and Impulse, GameStop chief executive Paul Raines said that the retail giant is moving closer and closer to becoming a “technology company.” It looks like the technology train is rolling on: During a quarterly investors conference call, GameStop announced it would be testing out Spawn Labs’...

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Nintendo 3DS: The Best-Selling System of 2011?

Nintendo 3DS: The Best-Selling System of 2011?

Have you picked up a Nintendo 3DS handheld portable 3D video games system yet? According to the major Japanese video game media publisher, Enterbrain, it’s only a matter of time before you cave in and grab a 3DS, if you haven’t already. Enterbrain says that the Nintendo 3DS is on track to become 2011’s best-selling piece of game hardware–at least in Japan. In its annual industry report, Enterbrain predicted that the Nintendo 3DS would sell...

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