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Extra Credits: The Beast Macabre

In this response piece, Extra Credits expands on the subject of horror in games. This time the crew talks about the three types of "monsters" available to developers shedding a little insight into why some fall flat.

Extra Credits: How To Start Your Game Narrative

The gist of this particular Extra Credits presentation is that developers should focus on the gameplay first and then wrap their story around that. It sounds like a no-brainer until you realize that a practice of de-emphasizing story at the onset is standard operating procedure in the video game development community. The result have been unoriginal and unsophisticated stories. Maybe we need more developers taking a stand and pushing through those barriers to focusing on story and come up with something that can really move the medium forward.

Speaking in Forked Tongues draws nearer and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Screenshot

I'm currently working on my review of Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate. I wasn't able to put as much time into it as I expected because the bridging software which allows players to transfer data between the Wii U and 3DS has not been available, and apparently will not be until the day of release. Since I'm usually able to catch a few quests here and there on a portable when I'm not in front of my TV, that was an unexpected setback.

Extra Credits: Depth vs Complexity

This time, it's the ratio of depth vs complexity that Extra Credits seeks to explain.

Extra Credits: God Does Not Play Dice

Extra Credits has a response-episode to feedback for a recent episode about religion and games. As usual the guys do a great job challenging those that blindly worship science.

I Am (Still) Alive, Mirror of Fate and damsels in distress

I Am Alive Screenshot

In a nutshell, I Am Alive's a post-apocalyptic story about a father who was trapped far from home when disaster struck, and is only just now returning to find his wife and daughter. There are a number of things that make this title unique, such as the extremely stark visuals, the dark, mature subject matter and the interesting combination of environmental traversal and highly non-standard combat which is more like lethal puzzle-solving than it is about punching dudes out.

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.

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