One of my first console games as a child was a little-known game from Rare called Banjo-Kazooie, it was also one of the first of many games that I have never finished. When I dove back into it recently I began to remember why I never beat it – it’s really, horribly difficult!
Was it the strength of the enemies? Not even close. Difficulty of the puzzles? They were child’s play (literally). Whenever I found myself messing up a challenge or getting beaten by a grunt, it was because I’d fumbled the controls and mis-stepped. The awkward camera and early platforming design meant that navigation was far harder than we are accustomed to nowadays. Thus I began to wonder – should I persevere and see this as part of the inherent challenge of the game, or should I be angry and brand it a bad game due to poor controls, and stop playing?
The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. Continue reading “Bad Controls, Bad Game?”
Gathering Storm, the latest expansion to Civilization 6, is out today, and in addition to the new features, I’m looking also forward to the new civs that I get to play. All nine (or I suppose eight and a half, as I’ll get into later) have something that makes them worth trying out, but there are some I want to play first. Now, keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily the best new civilizations, they’re just the one’s I want to give a try before others. I’ll get a review of Gathering Storm out as soon as I can, and you can certainly guess who I’ll be playing first to write that review. Continue reading “The Civilizations I Want to Play First in Civ VI: Gathering Storm”
Last year saw some very important games for a lot of people, including us here at Novus. Whether it was a big hit of the year, a small indie launch not many people were aware of or even an older game we just discovered, each of us has something that will go down as #1 from 2018. As we see in the first few big releases of 2019, we’re taking a look back at our personally significant games of last year. Continue reading “Novus’ Top Games of 2018”
I’m not what you would call a “party animal”. I am, however, a very keen hunter of party games to add to my collection. I like to always have at least one new game at any time, so if we’re ever having a “what do we do next” moment, I’ve always got something new to pull out. Continue reading “Games for Your Next House Party”
As long as games have existed there has been the looming potential for loss. Whether it’s letting one too many pixels slip by, tripping on a wayward koopa shell, playing against a button spamming Raiden, or taking a few too many bullets to the sponge – you die, you fail, you lose, game over. Most games don’t really address losing or dying – you simply reset, respawn, and move on; this I feel is a missed opportunity and designers could find ways to embrace loss in their games. Continue reading “Losing Should be an Option”
I was…less than impressed with Rise & Fall, the first expansion for Civilization VI. I’ll probably get into it more later, but long story short, it did too much to take you down from the path you wanted to go down. I may even turn it off the next time I play Civ VI, I haven’t decided yet. Continue reading “The Things I’m Most Excited For in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm”
I should preface this by being very clear about the fact that I have loved the Xbox One controller since day one. It has such a natural feel that is both true to what made its predecessors special but still finds ways to improve – the ultimate hardware “sequel”, if you will.
Continue reading “Xbox Elite Controller – 3 Years On”
This may be my first article for Novus, but if you know me from RUL, there’s probably something you know about me: I absolutely love historical strategy games. The Civilization series is the big one, but I’m also partial to the games produced by Paradox Interactive, like Europa Universalis IV, Crusader Kings II, and Stellaris. Okay, that last one’s not really historical per se, but whatever. Thing is…I’m not super great at some of them. Continue reading “The Fun of Playing Through Failure”
Gaming conventions while very exciting can be terribly daunting, especially for your first time. With dozens of conventions worldwide housing hundreds of video games, thousands of attendees and only a few days to cover it all, it can be hard to know what you should be doing with your time on the show floor.
After a few years of attending conventions you begin to learn a few simple tricks and truths that will help you make the most of every show. From time management to reality checks, there’s more to these events than meets the eye. Here are a handful of tips and some advice which I’ve put together mostly from my own mistakes and experiences… Continue reading “How to Get the Most Out of Your First Gaming Convention”
I’ll be the first to tell you that the game industry is ultimately about sales and profit, and that it always has to boil down to the business side of affairs. No matter what the conversation is, whether it be the change in direction for a beloved series, the philosophy behind DLC production or the design of a new console, it always has to be about making money.
That’s not exactly a bad thing, despite the connotations. You can have a good studio culture and still have your eyes on those sales figures. In an increasingly entitled world, it’s a common expectation for development studios to do exactly what the fans want, when the fans want, as if they were a charity for the good of the gaming community rather than a business. The fact is that to continue producing the games we love, the studios have to turn a profit, and it’s very easy for fans to lose sight of that.
So what happens when a game performs well but is poorly received by its core audience?
Continue reading “Capcom’s Story of Sales vs Ratings and Why It’s So Important”