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Playing catch-up

DmC: Devil May Cry—Vergil's Downfall Screenshot

The last week or so has been off-the-charts crazy here at GameCritics.com West—tons of stuff going on and all of it equally important, capped off with the left front tire of my car literally falling off as I was in the middle of a busy intersection in Seattle. I don't like to go so long between updates, but there you go.

Generation why

Killzone: Shadow Fall Screenshot

With buzz building around "inevitable" new console announcements, I started thinking about it and came to a realization: For the first time in over thirty years of playing games, I'm honestly not excited about or even looking forward to the next generation of hardware.

Extra Credits: Religion in Games, Parts 1 & 2

The Extra Credits guys and gals certainly aren't afraid to tackle the big topics, even though it can take them a while to get to them. There aren't too many other topics surrounded with more landmines than that of "Religion in Games." And in fairness to crew, a lot was covered in the 12 minutes of video, but it feels like they only brushed the surface (no Christian-based games?). Hopefully, there is another, deeper discussion in the works that covers more of this subject matter.

Extra Credits: Balancing for Skill

This time Extra Credits talks about balancing the powers granted players in a game with the skill level necessary to execute said power. As with a lot of things Extra Credits covers, it's a concept that sounds a lot simpler than it actually is.

Extra Credits: Combining Genres

Extra Credits takes a brief look at combining genres. They give some pretty nice examples of it working (Puzzle Quest) and examples of it not being such a bright idea. Something to keep in mind as genre blending has been kicked into overdrive over the last few years.

Consoleation: Aliens-gate and deflecting blame

Aliens: Colonial Marines Screenshot

Cinemablend ran an article recently that leveled some pretty serious charges at the gaming press. The article uses terms like "publisher-bought gaming media" and maintains that gaming press needs to come clean before games come out if they're bad. This article, if you haven't read it already, is fallacious and unnecessary.

Extra Credits: Counter Play

Extra Credits discusses the design concept of "Counter Play." The idea here is that in a multiplayer game, there should be interesting abilities or weapons that a player can use on another player that is also interesting for that player on whom the weapon or ability is being used. It's a seemingly simple idea that upon discussion appears to be something the industry hasn't wrapped its head around yet.

Consoleation: January 2013 NPD hardware preliminary discussion—Wii-Oops

New Super Mario Bros. U Screenshot

So… you probably heard the news already: Wii U sales for the month of January were less than 60,000 units. That's less than 12,000 units per week of the reporting period. That's also despite the Wii U being the first new video game console (non-handheld) since late 2006. This number should be addressed by Nintendo as "unacceptable" for the US market, which saw the Wii dominate the early and middle parts of this past console generation. Investors should be nervous that the US may not adopt the Wii U strongly enough before Sony and Microsoft present their new hardware, likely later this year. I know that I would be.

Extra Credits: "My Name Is Ozymandias..."

Points go to the Extra Credits crew (and basically anyone who talks about preserving old, landmark games), but a lot of this just seems "pie in the sky." As mentioned in the video, a lot of the technology that ran and interfaced with these early titles do not even exist any longer. The only solution would be an industry-wide investment, resurrecting arcades, building kiosks, museums, you name it, just so some kid can play Battletech or Space War as was originally intended. When you really think about it, it seems that these treasures are doomed to obscurity.

Extra Credits: Horror Protagonists

The Extra Credits guys give us a quick summary on the importance of the horror game protagonists. After recent comments pertaining to the reception of Resident Evil 6, the creators of Resident Evil really need to watch this video before they even think about returning the Resident Evil to its survival-horror roots. Such an about-face would require a level of expertise (and guts!) that Capcom hasn't demonstrated in over a a decade.

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