Tag: Console Games

Console Gaming, Editorial, Games, Mobile Game, Opinion, PC Gaming, Videogame

How I Decide Which Games To Play

I own so many console and computer games, not to mention hundreds of mobile games, some from other countries even, and I have a husband and 2 cats and a full-time job. So how do I decide which games are worth my time, and which ones aren’t? This answer is different for everyone.

I created the flow chart here as a window into my thought process. Disclaimer: my thought process is just my opinion. It is not fact. My opinion is probably different from your opinion. If you’re a long-time reader and fan of my blog and like the games I cover here, you may also share some of the same opinions as myself. If you’re new and somehow stumbled into here, well sorry if my opinion is different from yours. Let’s just all go enjoy our games and be happy and not put each others’ opinions down. read more

Console Gaming, Featured, Game News, Infographic, News, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Retro Game, Sega CD, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Super Nintendo, Technology, Videogame, WiiU, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Video Games by the Numbers

 

Like many of my readers, I have been playing games for over 3 decades now. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of hours spent playing games like Super Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country on my SNES with my friends, or time spent immersing in the stories of RPG classics back in the 16 and 32 bit era such as Lunar on the Sega CD or Zelda on the SNES and N64.

Video games have a long history and continue to entertain new generations of kids who are growing up gaming, just like they did back in the 80s and 90s.

To celebrate video games, the team at The Monitor Monitor has put together this infographic of consoles, the number of games produced for each console, and sales numbers for the top selling games on each console.

Please note that the graphic is sorted by manufacturer, then number of games produced, not chronological order.

Enjoy!

(Infographic published with consent from The Monitor Monitor)

Report: Nintendo Switch will sell 5 million units in 2017
Nintendo Defends DLC Expansion Pass For ‘The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe On Nintendo Switch Gets New Trailer; Up To 8 Players Local Play
Wii U eShop Chart – March 3rd
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe May Be Getting A Price Cut For The Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Puts Banana Peels In Path of Real Life Mario Kart Business Making Money Off Their Ideas, Hilarity Ensues read more

Action RPG, Adventure Game, Android Phone, Anime, Casual Game, Featured, Free Game, Guest Post, Handheld or Portable Gaming, Ipad & Iphone, Monster Taming, Nintendo DS, Playstation 4, Videogame, Xbox One

5 Best Anime Games of 2016

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Continuing the long standing tradition of converting shows and comics into video games (or vice versa), 2016 has delivered us a slew of very decent games. Compared to their predecessors, these games have come a long way from the old days when Bandai meant a relatively short and generic gameplay experience. read more

Console Gaming, Game News, Handheld or Portable Gaming, News, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, Preview, Release Date, Tech News

Everything We Know About Nintendo Switch – Nintendo’s New Gaming Console and Handheld – Release Date March 2017

UPDATE: 1/18/2017: We now know the launch date is March 3rd, Price is $299.99. Preorders have already begun and appear to be nearly sold out at most retailers. There will be two versions of the console, each identical except for the color of controllers. In one version they are grey like the console itself, and in another version they are neon red and neon blue. Interesting to note, you can purchase additional/new/replacement joycon sticks for example, the neon red and blue, ones separately from retailers such as Gamestop. So even if you can’t preorder the exact color console you want (For example, I was hoping for the neon one, but had to get grey, and honestly, feel happy/lucky to have even been able to preorder the Switch at all), you can simply buy these new Joycon sticks and swap them out for whatever ones you got with your console.  Or if say, you don’t like the mix-matching colors and want all red, or all blue Joycons, you can do that too. Kinda a neat touch to customize your console. I wonder if they will release pink controllers at some point? lol!  We also now know that online play will be available free at first, but going to a paid monthly subscription model sometime in fall of 2017. No price has been announced yet for the online service.

Also please check out my list of the Top 10 2017 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls! So many good Games are coming out this year! Are you as excited as I am?

UPDATE: 1/12/2017: Nintendo Price, Launch Titles, and System Specs Revealed in Live Stream Event Tonight. Preorders Begin at the Nintendo Store in NYC tomorrow morning with more Live Events. Read more details and learn where to watch the live events.

UPDATE 3: 10/25/2016 11:00am EST: No hardware specs to report, but NVIDIA offers up a closer explanation of what’s exactly going on from a technical standpoint inside the Nintendo Switch. In a blog post last week, NVIDIA revealed that “Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards. The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses. Gameplay is further enhanced by hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering. We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency. NVIDIA gaming technology is integrated into all aspects of the new Nintendo Switch home gaming system, which promises to deliver a great experience to gamers.” (Source: https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/10/20/nintendo-switch/)

A price rumor is also floating around several UK sites which pins the price around $350 GBP which translates to a whopping $424 usd – Techradar is speculating a price around $300 to $350 for US Gamers. (Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/nintendo-nx-price)

The Wii U price at launch was $299 for the standalone console, or $349 for a bundle with a game. Given the “beefier” tech insides of the Nintendo Switch compared to the low end, Wii U, I could see this price speculation put forth by techradar as being fairly accurate — However, most gamers are going to naturally want to compare the Nintendo Switch to the Nintendo DS / Nintendo 3DS and not perhaps make the logical association with the Wii U and increased tech prowess of the new system — The 3DS launched at a price of just $249 — Meaning, if Tech Radar’s rumors are true, the Nintendo Switch is going to be nearly double the cost. Nintendo’s fiercest competitors, Sony, and Microsoft, debuted their new gaming consoles at $399 and $499 when they first came out — However, since the technology has been on the market for several years, both consoles are now under the $300 mark, making Nintendo’s Switch a late arrival to the party. — Will Nintendo Switch’s specs and exclusive games be enough to justify such a large price? Or is it a price that the market can no longer bear? Nintendo has its work cut out for it to win back fans who have felt neglected by Nintendo in recent years. If they price the system too high it may be doomed to failure before it even launches.

I think it’s going to come down to what titles Nintendo has available and how they choose to handle localization of these titles – Nintendo of America especially has come under fire for strict censorship which has pushed away droves of fans. Nintendo’s glory days are far behind them — but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a come back with the right games that fans want. The Switch will either give rebirth to the once great gaming company, or become the final nail in the coffin.

To that end, Nintendo has been very transparent about who they have onboard currently developing titles for the new system. A full list of developers is now appearing on the Gamestop sign up page at http://www.gamestop.com/switch which at time of this writing includes the following companies:

  • 05 Games
  • Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd.
  • ATLUS CO., LTD.
  • Audiokinetic Inc.
  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
  • Bethesda
  • CAPCOM CO., LTD.
  • Codemasters®
  • CRI Middleware Co., Ltd.
  • DeNA Co., Ltd.
  • Electronic Arts
  • Epic Games Inc.
  • Firelight Technologies
  • FromSoftware, Inc.
  • Frozenbyte
  • GameTrust
  • GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.
  • Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc.
  • HAMSTER Corporation
  • Havok
  • INTI CREATES CO., LTD.
  • KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.
  • Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
  • LEVEL-5 Inc.
  • Marvelous Inc.
  • Maximum Games, LLC
  • Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
  • Parity Bit Inc.
  • PlatinumGames Inc.
  • RAD Game Tools, Inc.
  • RecoChoku Co., Ltd.
  • SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
  • Silicon Studio Corporation
  • Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
  • SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
  • Starbreeze Studios
  • Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
  • Telltale Games
  • THQ Nordic
  • Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
  • TT Games
  • UBISOFT
  • Ubitus Inc.
  • Unity Technologies, Inc.
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Web Technology Corp

UPDATE 2: 10/21/16 1:30pm EST:

Arstechnica has reported several confirmed tidbits regarding the Nintendo Switch read more

3DS, Anime, Editorial, Game News, News, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, Opinion, Strategy, Videogame

Will You Miss The Skinship Feature in Fire Emblem Fates?

By now you’ve already heard that Fire Emblem Fates is getting censored for it’s American release due to suggestive themes such as Gay Conversion, Rape, and Heavy Petting. The Petting feature is the latest in a long list of features and scenes to be removed for a Western release later next month. Nintendo of America stands by their decision to cut such items, stating that it was necessary to do so for localization.

Regardless on where you stand on this issue, my question is, will this significantly impact your decision to purchase this game? The fan translation begun nearly a year ago and from what I understand, the translation is complete and available (with a little effort and searching and digging) for those who seek to play the game as the creators intended, without censorship. How you go about getting said fan translation – I will leave that to your imagination. You could for example, support the game creators by buying the original Japanese language Nintendo cartridge for your 3DS and patching it with the translation — or you could use less ethical means which I won’t discuss here, and never indicated that I support. – It’s not just as simple as buying the English version and applying the patch to that version to restore the lost content, as the patch will only work on the Japanese version. However, if you choose to import the Japanese version you may be locked out of DLC content available only in the Eshop.

So you’re missing out either way. In the end, if you really like the franchise and wish to support Nintendo you could even buy both versions of the game. But ultimately, for most western gamers, the changes are small enough that they likely won’t be missed. Still for a small but vocal group of core fans, or Otaku (anime obsessed fans – such as myself) these changes are enough to be upset over. Many Otaku buy Fire Emblem solely because of the relationship aspects which differentiate the series from the slew of other strategy games available. By censoring and “Westernizing” the series, Nintendo runs the risk of deterring the fans who would want to buy such a game in the first place. Perhaps they are not satisfied with such a small market share and strategically removing the content to make it “less” Japanese and more appealing to “mainstream” gamers.

While I will miss the Skinship, I will probably still buy the western release. I don’t feel it’s enough of a significant change to boycott the series or Nintendo over. I am disappointed by Nintendo’s decision and wonder if anything will be added in replace of the Petting minigame, such as perhaps talking to, or giving gifts to your comrades, etc, as the Petting game offered bonuses and made a significant difference in the upcoming battles. It will be a shame to lose those stat bonuses just because of some controversial undertones within the minigame.

Skinship (or Petting as all of the media outlets are calling it) is not a new concept, not if you’re familiar with dating sim games – and Fire Emblem definitely has a strong Dating Sim component tied into each game. Skinship exists in other games in this genre – While the mainstream media outlets are loving to compare it to Pokemon Amie (possibly because it’s one of the only examples of Skinship in a Western Release) – and saying that it would be “creepy” or “odd” to pet a “human” character – this is nothing new for these types of games despite how “weird” or “sexualized” the media is portraying this mini game to be. For example, Tokimeki Memorial also has a Skinship feature, as does Ensemble Stars both are Otome Dating Sim games. Princess Maker 4 also comes to mind as having Skinship. The problem is, none of these games ever got “localized” – perhaps the Skinship feature is partly to blame as America is so up tight about anything with even a hint of sexuality – Meanwhile it’s fine for their kids to play games with blood, gore, violence, or foul language, but if anything is even slightly perverse, it riles up a frenzy in the media.

As other media outlets have pointed out, Nintendo’s entire marketing strategy has been on providing family entertainment for small children. While Fire Emblem is likely to be rated T for Teen, that won’t stop parents from buying it for their young kids anyways. So I do understand just why Nintendo has made so many changes. I may not like it, but I get it, it’s all about business at the end of the day and Nintendo’s business is all about very small children.

I am pretty concerned for what the future will held for SMT X FE #, another Nintendo release in the Fire Emblem franchise. While Atlus is focusing on the localization of that title, it’s even more “Japanese” than Fire Emblem Fates since SMT X FE # deals with the Idol Singing Subculture that proliferates Japanese pop culture. I worry that Nintendo of America may “Strong-arm” Atlus into making changes which will dumb down all the “Otaku Pandering” elements from the final release.

In case you haven’t heard news of these recent changes check out some of the major media outlets covering the story below for more info.

Fire Emblem Fates‘ Changes: The Censorship Is America’s Fault  iDigitalTimes.comJan 31, 2016

Trusting EA, Nintendo Censorship and the DeVito-chu The EscapistFeb 1, 2016

Fire Emblem Fates wasn’t ‘censored‘, it was localised for good reason TechRadarJan 25, 2016

Nintendo Speaks on Fire Emblem Fates Censorship Nintendo EnthusiastJan 22, 2016

Fire Emblem Fates ‘Petting’ Removed for Western Release Game RantJan 27, 2016

The Other Ways Nintendo Is Changing The English Version of Fire  Highly CitedKotakuJan 26, 2016

And then weigh in with a comment below and let us know which version you’ll be buying, or maybe you won’t be buying any of them. Do you feel Nintendo is making a smart business move to capture more audiences, or hurting themselves by isolating current fans of the Fire Emblem franchise?

Well Here’s A Good Opportunity For Nintendo To Release Mother 3 read more

Animals, Anime, anthromorphic, City Building, Fantasy, Featured, furries, Game Review, Mystery, Nintendo, Retro Game, Review, RPG, Super Nintendo, Videogame

Breath of Fire II – SNES Retro Game Review

Title: Breath of Fire II

Platform: SNES

Release Date: 1994

Publisher: Capcom

Where to Buy: Your best bet is Nintendo’s Eshop for $7.99 assuming you have a Wii or Wii U. You can go to the Store Page Here. However if you don’t have a Wii or Wii U or you want to have the original SNES version for your collection you can find it on Amazon with prices ranging from $199 to $329 depending on the condition of the item. You can browse what’s available on Amazon right here.

Geeky: 

Sweetie: 

Overall: 63/80 79% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

Concept: 10/10 Breath of Fire II is another one of my all-time favorite games. I loved the cute and colorful graphics, interesting characters who are mostly anthromorphic or furrie in nature, and especially enjoyed the city building aspects of the game. It also had a very touching story; and one that was quite bold and unprecedented especially for a western release at that time as it takes a very negative view of religion. Combat is typical 90s RPG turnbased style and there are random encounters every few steps with unseen enemies. While this style of gameplay is dated today, it was pretty standard fare back in the early-mid 90s.

Gameplay: 8/10 There are numerous characters to recruit, while not as numerous, as say, Suikoden, it still offered a half dozen or more playable characters who could join your party, each with unique skills and abilities. You had a max party size of 4, but could freely rotate characters in and out of your group. As mentioned above, aside from the ability to build your own town, including choosing colors and styles of buildings, and selecting who to move into your city, aside from that aspect, it’s very typical of gameplay found in other 90s era RPGs, especially in terms of combat. While it doesn’t innovate, it’s definitely a tried and true gameplay mechanic with millions of fans of these games. Some people may find the gameplay a bit tedious if not used to games from this era. Combat is fun though since you have many different abilities to choose from with each character, and how many other games are there where you actually become a dragon :).

Story: 10/10 The story of Breath of Fire II follows a young boy, Ryu, who returns home from an adventure one day to find his family missing and other townsfolk acting oddly. It’s as if Ryu’s family, and Ryu himself, have never existed. No one has any memory of them and Ryu finds himself all alone in the world. He is taken in by a priest and meets another orphan dog-like boy named Bow. The two decide to escape the foster home together and flee for the city where they plan to live as Mercenaries for Hire. While taking an assignment from the palace, Bow is accused of being a thief. And thus Ryu’s adventures begin in an effort to track down the real thief and help clear Bow’s name. The journey begins with our cast of characters as light-hearted “scamp” precocious like children, and then it evolves into a very mature mystery as we witness the characters’ growth throughout their journey and we learn more about the evil demons and possessed citizens who have fallen victim to a false religion. We also learn what happened to Ryu’s parents.

Characters: 10/10 Throughout the journey, you meet many people who are possessed by a strange power. You also encounter dragons, beasts, demons, and learn that Ryu is in fact the last remaining member of the dragon clan with a latent ability to transform himself into a dragon and kick some ass in combat. You encounter a full cast of interesting, unique, non-human like comrades who will join your party, including Nina, a winged woman; a tiger girl named Katt; a bull or horse like character named Rand; Sten, a monkey like creature; Jean the frog; Spar, a plant like creature; and Bleu the Naga serpentine like creature. I really enjoyed such a unique character lineup. I also feel there’s significant character depth. While the game largely is light hearted and suitable for all ages, there’s some touching and even “heavy” moments such as the scene with Nina’s sister (if you’ve played the game, then you know the one). I found the entire cast to be likable and found myself caring for them and responding to their emotions.

Graphics: 8/10 The graphics are extremely colorful in this game, more so than other rpgs released around the same time such as phantasy star, final fantasy, illusion of gaia, and etc. The character designs are out of this world and unique (though admittedly, Jean does remind me of Frog from chrono trigger with the cape design and everything being very similar). The special effects in combat were also exciting and fit well with the expectations of one who can shape shift into a big bad dragon. However, clearly, the game is old, and its graphics don’t stand up to today’s standards. Also unlike other games of its time such as Lunar, Popful Mail, Vay, Y’s, etc It suffers from a lack of cinematic scenes which could have really brought this game to life. I’m assuming it’s because it was a cartridge based game and had to make due with less space than other games of its time, but I think it would have been awesome with some anime cutscenes.

Music: 5/10 The music didn’t really make any lasting impressions on me. It’s been about 3 years since my last playthrough; and I can’t really recall any particular tracks. I am sure the music was “good” but when I compare it to say Lunar, Chrono Trigger, or Final Fantasy 6… It just doesn’t “stand the test of time”. While other 90s RPGs have such “iconic” music that I can still almost “hear” in my head years after last playing them; Breath of Fire 2’s music just falls by the wayside.

Replay value: 4/10 The game is linear in terms of story, like so many 90s JRPGs were back then. But I still find myself replaying it, not necessarily for story or branching plot or anything of that nature, but instead, simply because, it’s a very enjoyable game with unique and lovable characters. It also offers a little bit of variety with its city building aspects.

Overall: 63/80 79% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

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    Featured, Game News, Ipad & Iphone, Mobile Game, News, PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Rumors, Videogame, Xbox 360, Xbox One

    Konami NOT stopping development of AAA titles for Console or PC

    Did I call this one or what? Last week, rumors abounded that Konami was exiting the gaming market once again (this rumor ALREADY happened earlier this year). Can we finally put this rumor to bed now please? As I wrote in my article here: Konami Reportedly Stops Making Games, Internet Goes Crazy Over Rumors I advised gamers to not get too upset, and boy was I right. Konami ONCE AGAIN denied rumors that they are exiting the console and pc marketplace.

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    Yesterday, Nintendo Life Reported that they had spoken to Konami and received the following response in regards to these rumors:

    “After reaching out to Konami, they were told that, ‘I can promise you that we’re definitely not leaving Metal Gear behind or anything like that. I know some blogs were claiming that online this morning, but I’m not really sure where they’d be getting that from.

    “We’re still definitely working on console games and franchises such as Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania, PES and all the rest.'” read more