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CES ’14 Roundup: Are Gamers Getting Steamed for 4K?

To sum up what last week’s Consumer Electronics Show was all about, plenty of 4K televisions and Steam machines will be entering into the market. That will be great for video enthusiasts wanting a bit of extra oomph from their Blu-ray movies and video gamers will wonder what’s next to enjoy. With multiple hardware manufacturers clambering on board to develop boxes that will run SteamOS, the console gaming war is going to get a lot more interesting.

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Rethinking Open World Games

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The post-E3 news has been all about the new consoles, the Xbox One controversy, DRM, just what the heck Nintendo execs are smoking, and, of course, how painful the wait is going to be. Most of the big news came from differences: how each company plans to distinguish itself from the others and make their product the one you want to drop big bucks on day one. If there’s one thing they could all agree on, though, it is this:

Open worlds are totally sweet.

Seriously. A HUGE chunk of what was announced or shown off at the expo is planned to be “open world” — to the point that I’m not totally sure what it even means anymore. See if I figure it out after the break.

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What Makes “The Last of Us” Work So Well?

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Like many of you, I recently finished Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. I found myself involved, affected, and taken aback; it moved me in a way few games have this generation. It’s probably the most emotional I’ve felt about a game since Red Dead Redemption.

Looking back, however, it’s not difficult to see the faults in Naughty Dog’s storytelling. It is derivative of a lot of post-apocalyptic/zombie fiction, but worse than that, it gives in to some of the worst habits of this genre.

But I still can’t deny the game’s strength. I’m going to break down a few of the issues I found, and then explain why I think Naughty Dog manages to overcome them.

*Major spoilers for The Last of Us follow the break*

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The Comeback: Sony’s Fight To Make Gaming Synonymous with PlayStation

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Sony wants to make a comeback with the PS4; not only to become top dog in the industry, but to make gaming synonymous with the PlayStation brand once again. Right now Sony’s like a former champion, hungry and determined to win his prestigious title back and return to the spotlight.

When we become the best, we oftentimes become overconfident and complacent. Given the PlayStation and PS2′s runaway successes, Sony came into the current generation like an overconfident fighter – complete with posturing and an inflated ego. All of a sudden gamers were “lucky” to become part of the PlayStation conglomerate. Remember when Sony (Ken Kutaragi specifically) boldly stated that “The PS3 is for consumers to think to themselves, ‘I will work more hours to buy one’?” Alas, like many memorable fights, the hungrier and more determined of the contenders reign supreme; and Sony’s overconfidence became it’s downfall.  Read the rest of this entry

Broken Games That Gamers Love Anyway

Case in point
(Kudos to half-dude for the great pic)

Sometimes gamers forget just how complex their toys really are. Gamers only see the surface of what’s really going on in their console, not realizing that the pretty pictures cover up a metric shit-tonne of code. And with all that code, it’s easy to miss a few bugs.

Most gamers will put up with the occasional glitch, but enough cracks in the system will turn people right off. Sometimes though, gamers find a game that they can’t put down even when they’re back at the loading screen every fifteen minutes.

Here are a few games riddled with bugs that gamers still love. Read the rest of this entry

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