When it comes to retro gaming, Atari is a name that many will immediately recognize. While the company and their iconic gaming console may have faded into obscurity by the end of the 90s, they’re now making a big comeback, all thanks to renewed interest in classic games among the gaming community.
Anyone who followed trends in the video game industry during the last few years will have noticed that retro games and their associated hardware have been generating a lot of discussion. Many gamers agree that a video game doesn’t need cutting edge graphics and AI to be enjoyable. Noticing this renewed interest in their classic titles, video game companies like Nintendo have made some of them available on various modern platforms, like current generation consoles or mobile devices.
But some retro gamers want a more authentic experience in terms of hardware as well. Once again, the household names in the gaming industry were quick to respond by modern versions of their retro hardware. One of the most famous examples of this is Nintendo bringing back its NES Classic console in a miniature format.
Atari fans knew that the company was working on a retro hardware project for quite a while, but little information has been released about it until now. The company has recently released pictures of its “Ataribox” console, together with a basic overview of its specifications. The Ataribox looks like a smaller, set-top box version of the classic console, without being an exact miniaturization.
The device will offer four USB ports, an SD card slot and HDMI output. No information about its expected availability date, pricing or technical specifications has been released yet, but Atari has confirmed that the Ataribox will be able to play both classic and modern games. This has led some tech publications to speculate that the console will be Atari’s version of an Android TV device, combining modern features like media streaming and social sharing together with a pre-loaded collection of retro Atari titles.
‘Splatoon’ is a burgeoning franchise that is so fundamentally Nintendo, right to its core, that we almost have to laugh. This is a game about children running around arenas splattering everything on the map with their team’s color of ink. It’s messy, it’s fast, it’s fun and it is approachable to just about everyone. The first game released to a wave of shocked praise, applauding the game for making something so simple into a multiplayer online juggernaut. Now ‘Splatoon 2’ is here and fans are once again thrown back into the quirky, colorful and frenetic world again.
‘Splatoon 2’ is all about the squid-people hybrids known as Inklings. They are focused on making puns, inking everything in sight, and doing it with an almost drug induced energy that we find exhausting to think about. At face value ‘Splatoon 2’ is merely an updated version of the first game, with tightened controls and new items, but there is a little more going on here than you might think.
Gamers who are just joining the franchise should head straight to the single player mode in order to engage in a great introduction to the core mechanics. In ‘Splatoon’ the single player mode was an after thought but ‘Splatoon 2’ allows it to shine. The story mode teaches players how to use all of the items, how to incorporate important multiplayer techniques such as rail grinding, while also giving players a familiarity with the maps that will be so important.
Still, players are coming back to ‘Splatoon 2’ in order to give it a go on the competitive mode. There are ranked matches and non ranked matches available. Turf War is a fun exercise for non ranked multiplayer campaigns. In fact, the whole system is pretty wonderful. ‘Splatoon 2’ simply does better all of the already great things that ‘Splatoon’ managed to do a couple of years ago.
‘Red Dead Redemption’ still stands up to the test of time as one of the best open world games that we have ever played. Being able to jump into Mr. Marsden’s boots and cavort all over the Wild West to either fight outlaws or embrace your outlaw side is as immersive today as it was when Ubisoft first released the title. Fans have been clamoring for a continuation to the franchise for years and it was announced just last year that we would be getting it. ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ was slated to release some time in 2017 but fans are already slated for disappointment — the title has already been delayed.
Ubisoft CF Alain Martinez jumped at the chance to get ahead of the story by putting out a few statements on record. Martinez called the delay a ‘clear fact’ that delaying the title was a good thing. Martinez went on to say during his phone call, “So the absence of that game is of course giving us a better window for the launch of some of our games.” While financially the delay of ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ may help out other titles in the Ubisoft library, it also runs the risk of infuriating a pretty sizable portion of their fanbase. Still, the delay will likely give bigger boosts to ‘Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ as well as ‘South Park: The Fractured But Whole’ — both titles releasing on Ubisoft’s 2017 late season schedule.
‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ figures to be an industry darling when it finally hits the market place. The CEO of Take-Two, Strauss Zelnick, believes that it doesn’t matter when the title actually goes to market — people are going to line up and buy it no matter what. So, until then we just have to sit idly by and wait.
In the summer of 2016 ‘Pokemon Go’ released to almost hysteria inducing levels of popularity. The game skyrocketed up the iOS sales charts and soon everybody and their brother was outside trying to catch the rarest Pokemon. People realized early on that the gym system was struggling and ever since then the developers at Niantic have been trying to get it just right. Changes seem to be in full effect a year later and Niantic seems to be doing their best to make the new Gym Raid system part of their core gameplay mechanic. A recent update made it easier than ever to fight to hold on to gyms.
In just the past few months we saw an update to the gym system that introduced the concept of Raids. Rather than just stacking your strongest Pokemon into a gym and holding it forever, Niantic implemented a system where you could pool Pokemon together to fight in strategically timed group battles. When you station your Pokemon at a gym you can also stop by and feed the Pokemon at that gym from your berry pouch, strengthening and healing them to continue fighting for your team. This was a neat update but it meant that you had to constantly go check on your Pokemon while they were at a gym. If you had a lot of Pokemon out and about this became an obvious issue.
In order to address these obvious issues, the developers at Niantic made it possible to care for and nurture your Gym Pokemon without actually having to go see them in person. This patch, though small, makes a fundamental difference in the realm of holding gyms for prolonged periods of time. Hopefully these small updates lead to larger improvements in the future as Pokemon Go inches toward becoming the game we had hoped it would be.
Fighting games are the way of the future because they are such an integral part of our video game loving past. From ‘Street Fighter’ and ‘Mortal Kombat’ to the vaunted ‘Marvel vs. Capcom’ series, we’ve seen great fighting games released every single generation. Recently the team behind the upcoming ‘Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’ released a new trailer for the Marvel Games panel at this years San Diego Comic-Con. The new trailer, which has since leaked online, showcases an additional four characters for the series.
the new trailer showcased the special moves of four new characters, three for Capcom and a single player for Marvel. On the Capcom side we got to see the vile Nemesis (Resident Evil) as well as Frank West (Dead Rising) and Mike Haggar (Final Eight). In thrilling 3D we got to see the special moves for each fighter, including our favorite — Frank West’s jury-rigged zombie killing weapon. On the Marvel side of things the newest character was none other than Spider-Man himself and who didn’t see something like that coming? In the trailer Spider-Man and Frank West execute an awesome combo utilizing weapons as well as Spidey’s trademark web slinging. We also got to see Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy) but she had already been announced prior to the trailer.
Right now excitement is heating up for ‘Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’ and we are finally filling in the cracks of what should be a legendary roster. A total of 24 characters have been announced so far for the two rosters. The game will be released for the PS4, XB1, and the PC and it will come out on September 19th, 2017. Fans hoping for the ultimate fighting game featuring some of the top characters in pop-culture might finally have their perfect title to start playing.
Retro gamers who want to go back to the joys of their youth better start getting their wallet primed. Sega and Atari are releasing classic editions of their consoles that will be ‘plug and play’. These new consoles give gamers the chance to go back and experience the classic games of yesteryear in the way that they were supposed to be experienced. These consoles have been hyped up for the better part of the past six months and it looks like we’ve finally got some real, solid details on what they will offer.
Sega is releasing their Sega Genesis Flashback which is a re-packaging of the classic Sega Genesis. The console itself will only run you a cool $80 and you’ll be getting something that is jam packed with features. The system will come loaded up with 85 different games including classics like ‘Mortal Kombat’, ‘Phantasy Star’ and ‘Shining Force’. The system will have a port in it for you to insert your classic Genesis cartridges and you should be able to play almost any game that you own. The console will have an HDMI output that keeps the quality at 720p and it will come with a pair of wireless, classic Genesis stylized controllers. Every game will have a save/rewind functionality, as well.
Atari is releasing their ‘Atari Flashback 8 Gold’ for $80 as well. The re-released game system has 120 games including some of the most famous titles of all time — ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Frogger’. The console comes with two Atari 2600 controllers, both wireless, and the same 720p HDMI output we listed above.
Pre-orders for both systems will begin on July 28th through the AtGames company behind the production of the models. This news comes on the heels of another huge Atari announcement: they are creating a brand new console for ‘classic’ and ‘current’ content.
Telltale Games continues its contribution to the red hot superhero genre. Batman: The Telltale series debuts its second season in August. Superhero fans definitely cannot get enough Batman. The iconic Dark Knight remains one of the most popular and well-known fantasy characters in pop culture history. Even with the current awful comic books sales slump, Batman consistently sells more than 100,000 copies per month.
The “point and click” game allows players to jump into the life of both Batman and Bruce Wayne to deal with the nefarious schemes of popular Caped Crusader villains. The Riddler may be the primary antagonist in the new series, but The Joker returns to add a little mayhem.
DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment team with Telltale Games to produce this unique series. The interactive component likely reflects the major selling point of this particular game. Fans love to experience the adventures of their favorite heroes. Standard video games are not truly interactive, which can somewhat limit the ability to become a hero or other fictional character. The arrival of interactive and virtual reality games changes all that.
The interactive nature of Telltale Games’ Batman series allows for more Batman-themed projects. The recent massively successful Arkham Asylum video game series was a massive smash hit. Developing an equally impressive follow-up takes time. The new Telltale Games interactive endeavor might not be as grandiose as the Arkham series, but it fills a nice niche of superhero game fans looking for something until the next major video game release.
Video games are a great form of recreation for millions of people. They are also a part of the modern world. Every year at least 1.2 billion people frequently play video games from every part of the globe. Actually, this number can be higher if casual (or intermittent) gamers are counted into this figure. Most people spend a limited amount of time gaming.
However, there a few gamers who play video games to the point where it can be classified as an addiction. Even though this is the case, there are some psychologists who disagree that excessive video game playing is a mental health issue at all.
The American Psychological Association published a paper by a group of highly respected psychologists from out of Texas. These mental health medical professionals all agreed that classifying excessive video game playing as an addiction is senseless. Their conclusion over this matter is based off of substantial proof that excessive video game play cannot be analyzed, evaluated and put into the same category as a drug addiction or any other type of compulsive habit.
If a gamer is constantly playing video games and this form of game play interferes with their responsibilities then it could be classified as an addiction. If gamers are not being productive members of society on some level due to video game play; that too, could possibly place a person into the realm of addiction. The fact is that most people who spend an extremely large amount of time on video games; are in fact interacting with society and taking care of their responsibilities on some level.
Video game addiction is a tough call. Yes, there are some people who are so obsessed with video game play that they could realistically have an addiction. For most people, this just might be a bad habit as opposed to a real problem. More information about the issue of video game addiction is available on the Polygon News website.
Video games have sold in very large amounts so far in 2017. Many developers have experienced very large profits because of the great response their games have received up until this point. It is very interesting to note that there are a wide variety of genres represented in the top selling video games. This shows that gamers have very different tastes in the games that they choose to play in their spare time. Shooting games dominated this list a few years ago. However, it seems the tastes of the public have changed during that time. Let’s take a look at the games that have racked up the highest sales figures so far in 2017.
The biggest selling game so far in 2017 is “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.” The late author continues to have very popular games associated with his name. This particular game is considered to be one of the best of the Tom Clancy series. It is inventive and very engaging. It was designed by Ubisoft and it continues a very successful run of games for the company over the past several years. Players are able to play the game at the same time and work together to defeat it. This element has made the game very popular. There is also a wide variety of environments and weapons to choose from in the game.
“For Honor” is another Ubisoft creation that ranks number two on the list. This is a fighting game where the players can choose to be a knight, a samurai or a viking. There are several elements to this game that have not been present in many recent fighting games. For example, the combination of buttons required to make the characters move is more complex than other games in this genre. Players appreciated this because it was too easy to win fights with the simplistic button combos in other games. This is one of the things that sets Ubisoft apart from other game developers.
Many parents do not like it when their kids play video games for a long period of time. They feel that video games in large doses are not good for their children. However, a new study by the University of Glasgow might shoot holes in that theory. The study indicates that video game playing actually improves the hand and eye coordination of children. It also improves their performance in areas such as resourcefulness, ability to communicate with each other and their ability to adapt to stressful situations. There are more studies involving children and video games that are currently underway at the same university. It will be a while until all of the data has been released. However, the early data seems to prove that video games are not nearly as harmful to children as many parents thought they were.
There has been a great deal of debate about the toll that extended video game playing takes on a person’s brain. This debate has been raging ever since video games were introduced 40 years ago. Many parents believe that video games have no redeeming value whatsoever. However, many of these parents still allow video game consoles in their homes because they are a distraction and a way to keep their kids occupied for long periods of time. Many of these parents also realize that their kids would simply go to a friend’s house to play video games. Therefore, they prefer to be able to keep an eye on their kids so they can monitor what games they are playing.
The University of Glasgow has not commented on what any of their other studies involving video games are going to be about. They have also not released info regarding how long the studies will take or how many kids will be involved. However, they did say in a press release that some info on the study results will be available by the end of the year.