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Cage Kane Payne

Max Payne 3 Screenshot

In a short period of time I have played three games that may not seem to be similar or related. The co-op shooter Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, the straight-up cover shooter Max Payne 3, and the thriller Heavy Rain share a third-person perspective, though, one that reflects their central cinematic aspirations. Although their critical reputations vary, each of these games is an interesting failure in the project of creating a playable movie.

Extra Credits: Hard-Boiled

Hiroshi Yamauchi (former President of Nintendo of Japan) once famously said that "gamers like to sit alone at home playing dark, depressing games?" Yamauchi was criticizing the industry and even gamers at the time for embracing dark, gritty, CGI-heavy, and mature-oriented games over the more cheerful, family-oriented titles. He felt that it was making games less inclusive and too much like movies. But his words were largely dismissed as the ravings of an old exec upset that fewer people were buying games on his platform. Extra Credits is taking a similar tack, only it makes a better argument than Yamauchi.

Extra Credits: Hard-Boiled

Extra Credits: Spectrum Crunch

The guys at Extra Credits look at something that you've probably never heard about: we are running out of bandwidth. All of those videos of cats being adorable and marathon sessions of Angry Birds and Call of Duty are taxing the current bandwidth sources leaving us in need of more sources or risk running out in a couple of years. It may not seem applicable to gamers, but just watch the video and you'll see that this could be an issue especially with newer game consoles and game-playing media devices coming online at about the same time.

Extra Credits: Spectrum Crunch

Interview with Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman

Interview with Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman

As soon as I saw the Ouya, I knew that for better or worse, I needed to know more. In the media whirlwind that followed over the next few days, I managed to pitch a few questions to Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman. Here's what Julie had to say.

Extra Credits: EC Fund Update

With so many platforms and the influx of new funding sources, Indie game development is looking like a surer bet than it ever has. However, as the guys at Extra Credits repeatedly point out in this video, once you actually attempt it, you might have to temper your expectations.

Extra Credits: EC Fund Update

Armchair Analysis: The correction period continues

Prototype 2 Screenshot

Between Sega Europe's painful restructuring and Activision's dismantling of Radical Entertainment, this past week has been another one of those weeks that we'd rather forget. It's always unfortunate when people lose their jobs, and downsizing doesn't often instill confidence that the affected industry is moving in the right direction. These moves are a continuation of the state of correction that the video game industry is in—especially in the console sector.

Extra Credits: ARGs, Part 2—Augmented Reality Games

Extra Credit now examines the Augmented Reality Game genre. This genre appears to be the furthest out of reach given the technological requirements and costs needed to create seamless experiences. Should someone get their head around those limitations—and I guess wearable technology becomes a thing—it has great potential to blur the line between gaming and the real world.

Extra Credits: ARGs, Part 2—Augmented Reality Games

Extra Credits: ARGs, Part 1—Alternate Reality Games

Alternate Reality Games and Augmented Reality Games both fall under the acronym of ARG, but are actually quite different. Extra Credit takes a quick look at the Alternate Reality Game half of that genre of games—and yes you can argue that they are games. Perhaps it is because they are unfamiliar to the public and save for a few great examples like Microsoft/Bungie's I Love Bees or Electronic Arts' Majestic, they have been largely untouched by many in the games industry.

Extra Credits: ARGs, Part 1--Alternate Reality Games

Extra Credits: Crowdfunding

Extra Credit looks at the latest gaming trend: crowdfunding. It's not quite a household term but going by Twitter, press releases and gaming news coverage in general, it's getting there. Crowdfunding takes money from ordinary people in exchange for, say, a copy of the game or seeing a digital version of that person somewhere in the game. Right now Kickstarter is the company on everyone's lips but it isn't the only game in town. IndieGoGo, RocketHub, ulule and the newly formed Gambitious are all out there trying to help someone create that sequel to TIE Fighter or Star Tropics.

Extra Credits: Crowdfunding

A night on Valak Mountain

Xenoblade Chronicles Screenshot

The almost universally laudatory critical reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles has heaped ambitious praise on the project. Not content to appreciate Xenoblade's design on its own merits, many critics have asserted that it points the way towards "saving" the JRPG. There are good reasons to be dubious of this assertion. For the moment, though, I want to focus on something Xenoblade gets right, and the best way to do it is by focusing on something it gets very wrong: Valak Mountain.

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