The MOBA Scoff

Levi Nordine | Staff Writer

ehacksandcheats.com

ehacksandcheats.com

It seems that whenever you hear about anything relating to the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre these days, it is accompanied by a condescending tone that undermines the topic at hand. Though games like League of Legends and Dota 2 are indisputably the most popular out there, a somewhat pervasive sentiment of dismissal seems to run through the conversations had not only by the press and media, but also by everyday hobbyists and enthusiasts. I think I’ve been able to understand where this type of attitude comes from, and I’d love to air my thoughts on the matter, but first, a little background. Continue reading

Limping into the Console Race

Levi Nordine | Student Writer

courtesy of portablegamingregion.com

courtesy of portablegamingregion.com

In a time where the phone in your pocket is capable of providing you with interactive entertainment, along with an immense suite of practical utility all packaged in a portable format, it becomes harder and harder for dedicated gaming consoles to be relevant. However, as the Darwinian model predicts, the companies that manufacture and distribute these machines have attempted to adapt. Just in the past year we have seen Microsoft attempt to wriggle its way into the living rooms of people outside of their target audience by implementing television aggregating capabilities into the newly debuted Xbox One, essentially making it as much a set-top-box as it is a gaming console. Continue reading

Best of 2013: Games

C. Scot Stene | Staff Writer

best_of_2013_logo_sq

Image courtesy from last.fm

The past year was a transformative one for the games industry, with new consoles coming out at the end. While the transition often leads to mediocre games for the new consoles, the old ones have fully mature development processes, which typically lead to better games.

While it’s not possible for any one person to be a full-time student and play every single game that comes out in a given year, I did manage to find time to spend with several. A major theme for the year was narrative in games, as developers flexed their storytelling muscles. Here are my top three narrative driven games of 2013. Continue reading

Call of Duty: Ghosts – The Specters of Modern Warfare Understanding the Aggression Felt While Playing Videos Games

Drew Petersen | Staff Writer

Chostsupfrontcover

Image courtesy of ubergizmo.com

You and a few members of the most elite Ghost team in the world are perched precariously high above a city that is blissfully unaware of your presence. As fireworks explode in the sky, you fire your zip-line launcher to a massive skyscraper across the street and begin your assault.

The games of tomorrow are starting to look better and better with the recent release of Call of Duty: Ghosts, on the PS4 and Xbox One. Year after year, the Call of Duty franchise tops sales lists and draws new fans of all ages. Currently rated as the most advanced first person shooter thus far by Game Informer Magazine, Ghosts offers some small changes from previous versions that appear to make big differences with such things as the removal of straight lines from round shapes. Where a player once saw pixelation within games when zoomed in, Ghosts created seamless curves so players can see flawless circles within video games for the first time.

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The Greatest Heights Provide the Steepest Falls

C. Scot Stene | Staff Writer

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode One – C+

Image courtesy of paranerds.com

Image courtesy of paranerds.com

Bioshock Infinite is a great game. Though it has some flaws, it is held together by a compelling narrative and suburb world building. Though completely fantastical, the world is believable due to the extra attention developer Irrational Games gave to the details and the fresh setting of Columbia, the city in the sky.

Burial at Sea: Episode One is the first of a two-part series of narrative DLC (downloadable content) packs that return players to Rapture, the setting of the first two games in the series. Rapture, like Columbia, is a master class in world building. In the original Bioshock, players discovered the city in the ruins of a civil war. In Burial at Sea, players finally get to see the city before the fall, and it is fantastic.

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Valve’s Latest is the Last Game You Will Ever Need to Play

C. Scot Stene | Staff Writer

Image courtesy of desktoplist.com

Image courtesy of desktoplist.com

Dota 2 A-

One of the fastest growing genres in video games today is the multiplayer-online-battle-arena game, or MOBA. The most popular entry in the genre is the wildly successful League of Legends from Riot Games. All of these games, however, are based off a map modification for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III, the third entry in that studio’s popular Warcraft RTS (real-time-strategy) series, the precursor to the popular online game World of Warcraft. The map was called Defense of the Ancients.

A few years ago Valve, the creators of games such as Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead, hired the guy who had been running the map, a man known only as Icefrog, and secured the rights to the map’s popular nickname, DotA. A few months ago Valve officially released the free to play product of those acquisitions, Dota 2. It is an incredibly deep and immensely satisfying multiplayer strategy game with only one major drawback; the required time investment.

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Sky-O-Shock: Infinitely Closer to Perfect

C. Scot Stene | Online Editor

Bioshock Infinite Final Grade – A+

title screen 2irrationalMany who played the original game came to Bioshock Infinite with high expectations; like sky high! In that sense, it’s almost fitting that developer Irrational Games chose to set their sequel in the actual sky.

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FTL: Command Your Very Own Spaceship

C. Scot Stene | Online Editor

FTL: Faster than Light Final Grade – A

Image Courtesy of computergames.ro

Image Courtesy of computergames.ro

FTL: Faster Than Light surprisingly fulfills the fantasy of adventuring in space with your own spaceship. It starts out as Oregon Trail in space, but eventually reveals itself to have a more impactful narrative that thrives in the choices it offers players. From choosing where to jump next, to picking from the various upgrades for your ship, to deciding how to approach the various situations and combat scenarios that arise, FTL is constantly throwing choices at the player at every moment.

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King of Sci-Fi

Scot Stene | Staff Writer

Image courtesy of www.pcwalls.net

Image courtesy of www.pcwalls.net

While I am not a Star Trek fan (set phazers to stunned), I was exceedingly entertained by JJ Abrams 2009 reboot/reimagining/time-travel-aided-continuation of the original franchise. I even enjoyed the not-so-subtle callbacks to the old series and movies, even though I have no frame of reference.

With that in mind, when it was announced that Disney had purchased Lucasfilms and the rights to all future Star Wars movies, Abrams was at the top of many lists of potential directors, including my own. No one actually believed it would happen, however, because of Abrams association with that other Sci-Fi pinnacle, Star Trek. Continue reading

Aliens Invade Video Games

Isaac Hendrickson | Staff Writer

Xcom: Enemy Unknown invaded consoles and pc’s October 9th with an innovative new look at turn based strategy video games. This is the best functioning strategy game ever made for consoles, but it’s only available for Xbox and PlayStation (sorry Wii owners). The graphics are only slightly improved on the pc version, so whatever gaming system you choose, Firaxis’, the games developer, distinctive art style shines.

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