A Case of the Mondays – It’s My Party

“This is it, the final battle. Nobody’s ever faced odds like these before, and for good reason; any smart man would call this mission suicide, but it has to be done. The fate of the world is riding on our shoulders people, if we don’t succeed here, there won’t be a home to go back to. Are you ready? Great! You two come with me, everyone else stand over on the sidelines while the three of us take on these ridiculous odds. Let’s go!”

Chaaaaaarge!

Chaaaaaarge!

Seems crazy doesn’t it? But time and time again players are confronted with this scenario in role-playing games. The fate of the world hangs in the balance, but they’re forced to tell most of their party to stay behind and take it easy while the player takes a couple of companions on a suicide mission. It’s become such a common part of these games that a lot of players barely even bat an eyelid when this happens – it’s the norm rather than the exception.

We all know the reason; it’s a video game and all of the fights are based around the player having a 3 character party, if they could bring everyone along the game would be completely unbalanced. But RPG’s are a story driven genre, and from a story perspective, the decision to leave everyone behind doesn’t make any sense. So I’m going to ask the question:

Why can’t I take my whole party with me? Continue reading

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The Best and Worst of 2012

With the new year kicking off, it’s time to look back at 2012; a year that brought a close to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the Twilight franchise as well as kicking off a new trilogy in the form of The Hobbit. Marvel’s multi-movie continuity experiment payed off with The Avengers taking over $1 billion at the box office, and studios continued to push 3D – re-releasing everything from Titanic to The Phantom Menace in a bid to rake in some extra revenue.

There were a lot of great films this year, but if I was to write about all of them my hands would probably fall off. So I’ve narrowed down the field to a few standouts. Without further ado, let me present my awards for 2012; like the Oscars, but without any of that pesky credibility.

Continue reading

Blizzcon 2011 Impressions

Blizzcon 2011

Every year, more than 20,000 gamers descend on the Anaheim Convention Center to hear the latest news on the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo franchises from Blizzard. For the last few years, they have been joined by tens of thousands of people from around the world on the Blizzcon livestream; but the viewing experience has always had its share of problems. 2011 was no different, in fact the viewing experience this year was the most problematic that I have experienced. Continue reading

Skyrim Preview

The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesised Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.

The Elder Scrolls series of games is one that has attracted many dedicated fans over the years, myself included. The huge open world gameplay in a fantasy world is something that has been tried by other studios, but nobody has come close to creating a similarly immersive experience. Skyrim, the 5th game in the series is due to come out in November, and Bethseda have been demoing footage behind closed doors at QuakeCon and PAX Prime to help build some buzz. The footage has recently been released to the public, so I thought I’d dive in and have a look at what Game Director Todd Howard has to show us about one of my most anticipated games of 2011. Continue reading