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.
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”
MTG Arena is Wizards of the Coast’s most recent digital adaptation of their popular collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering. Arena aims to replace many of their previous forays into the world of digital gaming while maintaining the core tabletop experience and it takes great strides in doing so. Having been in closed beta for some time to balance and test the various features Wizards has wiped all of the accounts and thrown the gates wide open with the beginning of the MTG Arena Open Beta.
Fans of the table top version and the previous Magic: Duels titles will enjoy MTG Arena as it has a similar feel and flow of play, but with a more polished finish and fully automated mechanics. Though the standard format is primarily being supported we have seen some unique game types, from pauper to singleton, slide into the closed beta that show promise for the future of the title. Coupled with the DCI support and physical code redemption we can also expect the ability to turn some of our physical table top play time into something valuable for our Arena play as well, which is huge for the longevity of the game.
Despite the hype, some push back has been felt from the Magic the Gathering online community as Arena will not support player to player card trading or selling which was a major aspect of its direct predecessor MTGO. An online exchange and marketplace had formed around this feature but without it the once notorious trading card game becomes solely a collectable card game. This decision has its pros and cons, but the general rumblings of dissatisfaction seem to be slowly fading and conceding to all of the things that Arena seems to be able to bring to the table.
As a free-to-play title Arena hosts an economy of both earned in game coins and purchased gems that can currently be spent on six card booster packs to increase your collection or structured tournament entry fees to play against other players for potential prizes. However, players can invest little or no money to progress with an fair in game reward structure for meeting various goals to earn packs, new decks, and coins to spend. As of this writing the balancing of the currency doesn’t seem to overly favor either earned or purchased. Though, with promises of additional cosmetic s and options becoming available we don’t yet know what will become of the market.
Overall, the direction and focus Wizards has taken with MTG Arena shows great promise for long time fans and newcomers alike. With tournaments, challenges, regularly scheduled events, and integrated support with their table top giant Arena has some great potential to be the digital CCG we all have wanted for quite a long time. I have played the closed beta for a few months and it really holds true to the table top experience as designed. It comes with all of the fun of deck building, even my janky builds, and the glory of playing. I’ve had almost as much fun playing MTG Arena as I have sitting in my local game store playing with friends; the biggest difference is that now I can do so without pants and still avoid all of the odd glances. So, don’t just take my word for it – the open beta is live now – go give it a shot and see how much fun Magic: the Gathering can be!
It’s difficult to stand out among hundreds of indie games on the show floor at EGX, but Catastronauts managed to do just that. Groups of players almost screaming at each other for a fire extinguisher or to get in the “safe room”, I had to check it out and what a great time I had… Continue reading “Catastronauts is silly, chaotic fun.”
When I started up Novus, the goals were simple – write about what I love, develop my skills and share it with the world. Even though it’s only been a couple of months, I’ve had a great time and already learned so much launching my own site. But, something was missing.
Teamwork. Running your own gig alone has it’s pluses, but so does working as a team. I missed working in a team. I missed building something special with others. I missed the journey you experience together. That’s why as of today, Novus Gaming is now a team effort, and one I’m very excited to be a part of. Continue reading “Squad Up.”
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?