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    This Week In Gaming 12-26-18


    Legolas_Katarn

    Heather Alexandra revisits an old home in Star Wars The Old Republic and reminisces on what the game meant to her and the meaningful connections we forge in games, Ruben Ferdinand on how we remember war and Battlefield 5's Tirailleur and The Last Tiger campaigns as apolitical corruptions of history, archaeologist Justin Reeve covers a variety of games set in the past and How Historical Accuracy Became a Euphemism, prominent developers and executives share their personal highlights of 2018, David Milner speaks to those behind Game Workers Unite, Cameron Kunzelman on what first person games are changing into, Patrick Klepek personal reflection on how empathy and vulnerability changed how he views games, Dan Root on The Animation of Gris, Wesley Yin-Poole and Jason Schreier report on Blizzard's cost cutting measures, Writing on Games on Just Cause 4 and the problem of so much to use and no reason to use it, GOTY lists, and more.

     

     

    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)

     

    Persona 5’s Joker Infiltrates Catherine: Full Body’s Babel Mode

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    Before Persona 5’s Joker is makes his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he has a quick stop to make in Catherine: Full Body as a guest DLC character for Babel and Colosseum mode.

     

    Iron Harvest - Alpha 2 Gameplay

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    Gameplay from Alpha 2 (Multiplayer) of the upcoming classic RTS Iron Harvest. If you want to join the fight, you can pre-order the game at www.iron-harvest.com.

     

    Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord will let you talk your way out of (and into) trouble

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    Taleworlds detailed the game's 'persuasion system' today.

     

    One Piece: World Seeker - Opening Cinematic Trailer

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    One Piece: World Seeker comes to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on March 15, 2019.

     

    You can try out Valfaris, the upcoming heavy metal sci-fi shooter, in a free demo

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    Valfaris looks like what might happen if Metroid’s Samus Aran decided to appear in a Ronnie James Dio video. Or maybe if a squad of Space Marines decided to take on Gwar. It’s a 2D action platformer that’s full of blood, guitars, and gross aliens. It’s coming out sometime next year, but now there’s a free demo to try.

     

    Showcasing The Unexpected Beauty Of Rage 2’s Biomes

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    Ben Reeves is your tour guide through the world of Rage 2, showing off the game's distinct biomes and cracking VERY wise about them.

     

    Crackdown 3: Single-Player Gameplay Footage & Details (4K) - IGN First

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    Microsoft Studios Creative Director Joseph Staten walks you through a section from a new build of Crackdown 3's campaign.

     

    Cloud Imperium secures $46m investment for Star Citizen

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    Funds raised will be spent on marketing both the main game and Squadron 42 single-player campaign

     

    Atlas is live for Twitch partners, with Early Access starting today

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    After a few fits and starts, pirate MMO Atlas is now live on Twitch, with Steam early access to follow later today. Atlas is the new game from the creators of Ark: Survival Evolved, and fans eager to take to the high seas have had to wait a bit longer than they thought to get their hands on the new game.

     

    Daedalus: The Awakening of Golden Jazz credits include section for English localization

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    Daedalus: The Awakening of Golden Jazz may have a chance of coming west. In the game’s Japanese credits, a section is included for English localization. It could be a sign that there are plans for a release in other territories.

     

    Crystar Appears To Be Headed Westward In 2019

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    FuRyu’s Fuyuki Hayashi, the director and producer of the company’s latest action RPG Crystar, hinted as a possible Western release in his year-end ambitions for 2019 feature with 119 developers in this week’s Famitsu.

     

    Celeste adding free ultra-hard levels early next year

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    More than 500,000 copies sold in 2018.

     

    Surprise: The 'Sam Raimi' Suit Is Now In Spider-Man PS4

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    There’s a lot of drama attached to this one, as some fans have been hounding developer Insomniac Games (and, most notably, its community director, James Stevenson) after an August tease for the Raimi suit was never quite resolved. Turns out the suit was coming—it just took longer than anyone thought it would.

     

    Why Are Stars Suing Epic Games Over Fortnite’s Dance Moves?

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    It’s also worth pointing out that this is not just about Fortnite. According to TMZ, 2 Milly, Ribeiro and Horning have filed a second set of lawsuits against a second game publisher, 2K Sports, over the use of their dances in its NBA 2K basketball game series.

     

    With Activision's Influence Growing, Blizzard Is Cutting Costs

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    Blizzard has spent the year taking big measures to cut costs as it prepares for a lean 2019. Those measures, as conveyed by people who work or have worked for the iconic studio, include employee buyouts in which workers are offered money to leave, a broadening of the finance department, and the limitation of budgets for any team at the company that isn’t directly making video games.

    Blizzard customer service concern as staff accept cash to exit Irish hub

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    The company runs its main European customer service operation out of a huge office in Cork, Ireland that's home to hundreds of staff, and sources there have told Eurogamer over 100 people have voluntarily decided to accept money to leave later this month.

     

    Discord raises $150 million in new funding round

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    Company now worth $2.05 billion following introduction of game store, subscription service

     

    Eugen Systems fires workers involved in pay dispute

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    French labor union accuses Steel Division developer of retaliatory behavior as dispute goes to tribunal

     

    “It is a normal practice to have maintenance or inactivity fees for accounts deemed no longer in use” – G2A

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    There’s been a recent furore on Reddit over key reseller G2A charging inactive accounts a monthly fee.

     

    Niko Partners: Chinese regulators have resumed certifying mobile games

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    After a long interruption, Chinese government regulators have restarted licensing of mobile games, according to market researcher Niko Partners.

     

    A big new Watch Dogs mod makes Chicago a more dynamic place

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    The original Watch Dogs didn’t exactly light the world on fire: critics found it a bit directionless and disappointing, set in a Chicago that didn’t feel alive. A new mod for the four-year-old game adds a ton of features that help correct that, and even restores some cut content.

     

    Esports News

     

    Heroes of the Storm amateur league announces new competitive division

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    The Heroes Lounge 'Division S,' with crowdfunded prizes, aims to begin qualifying play in February.

     

    Blizzard Creates Official Catalog Of Overwatch Pros Who Break The Rules

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    We know who’s been naughty now, thanks to Blizzard’s new website outing Overwatch pros for violating the Overwatch League’s rules and code of conduct.

     

    Esports' urgent need for visible gender diversity

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    That the nearly $1 billion esports industry has a gender diversity problem is not surprising to anyone. Plenty of esports industry leaders have either gone on record talking about diversity, or found ways to fund diversity initiatives. Just last week, League of Legends company Riot Games partnered with Women in Games France to sponsor an esports incubator program for women's visibility in their game. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz earlier this year, esports league leaders such as Overwatch's Nate Nazer, NBA2K League commissioner Brendan Donohue, and leader of esports investment for Alibaba's AliSports Jason Fung all agreed that lack of diversity was a major issue that needed to be addressed, outlining little more than concept-level ideas to tackle the problem.

     

    Why SonicFox is ESPN's player of the year

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    Now 20, the four-time Evo champion has branched out into Injustice, Skullgirls, Dragon Ball FighterZ and beyond. SonicFox's breakout 2018 has made him a household name in the wider esports landscape, his undeniable talent vivid even underneath the blue fursuit. With over $525,000 in career prize money, Sonic remains the winningest fighting game player ever (not that he cares about the money). It helps that he masters new games at an astonishing clip, actively seeking out accomplished players in order to learn and grow.

     

    The International 2018 is the subject of a documentary premiering next month

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    It’s a long road to the International, Dota 2’s world championship series, and nobody knows that more than this year’s winners, Team OG. A documentary about their path to International greatness premiers next month in Copenhagen, and you’ll be able buy tickets if you’d like to attend.

     

    What It's Like to Be a Female Fighting Gamer [4k]

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    Perspectives from top Tekken players YUYU, Tanukana, Canis, Kayo Police, and Mimi about their challenges and goals as women players in the FGC.

    Support on Patreon: http://bit.ly/2rfySih

     

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)

     

    Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon

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    Now, the time has finally come to share with you something we started working on a few months ago. Tainted Grail will go digital (PC)! Not as a simple board game port, but a totally new experience crafted from grounds up for the digital medium. This is a huge step for us and we cannot imagine it any other way than for you to participate in this journey with us!

     

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)

     

    Looking Back On My Former Life In Star Wars: The Old Republic

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    I walk around the Solace and realize that all of this is now mine. I have a spacious office for business, a hanger with ships, a massive bridge full of consoles, and even a small bar. I am the lord of my very own castle. The proud owner of a huge starship. And I have nothing to do with it. All I can do is sit down in my lonely office and remember my now-absent friends.

     

    Battlefield V: A corruption of history

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    "Memories as they pertain to war are fundamentally fragile. From maps and troop movements, to the jotted-down numbers of destruction and loss, to the quivering hands of a soldier, what do we tell? Such colossal moments where death is the only upheaving force must be understood, because they must be avoided. But remembering wars is an awful thing, much too awful to remember. So time passes, generations that don’t know war emerge, their connection to direct memory severed — it becomes second-hand. The more a society’s remembrance relies on second-hand memories, the more we want to monumentalise it. In this form, it becomes part of history, though not through its intent to avoid further war. War becomes culturally synonymous with ‘winning’, not with ‘warning’."

     
     
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    It's also revealing that battles about "historical accuracy" so often about race and gender, and never about things like armies of Ptolemaic Egypt looking more like they belong in Age of Mythology than Total War, or the fact that Battlefield V shows V-1 rockets being used as tactical support weapons in 1940? What's being protected here is not the actual reality of the past (few players complain when ancient combat is made so fantastical it looks more like Lord of the Rings or The 300) but a popular historical memory that has consistently valorized Great Men and Martial Glory and ignored just about everything and everyone else.

     

    Game Workers Unite: The Fight To Unionize The Video Game Industry

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    In 2018, at expos across the world – from San Francisco to Melbourne, Montreal to Seattle, London to Tokyo – the first overt signs of an organized game developer pushback emerged from the shadows.

     

    Industry movers and shakers share 2018 highlights

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    God of War, Spider-Man, Red Dead and Epic Store among the year's biggest events for our expert panel

    Tomorrow, we'll be revealing the GamesIndustry.biz team's choices for Game of the Year, but today we'd like to give the (almost) final word on 2018 to the industry itself. We reached out to a range of iconic developers, prominent CEOs and other leading executives to find out their personal highlights of the year -- and here's what they had to say...

     

    'They make him feel normal' – the role of video games in a children's hospice

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    For children facing life-limiting illnesses, adaptive technology allows them to feel independent and express themselves

     

    First Person Games Are Changing. But Into What?

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    For a decade, the FPS has lived in the shadow of 'BioShock' and 'Modern Warfare.' But this year, it feels like there is change in the air.

     

    Spending five years composing a game: The music from Below

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    Call it exploration; call it trial and error. Capybara Games’ Below took six years to make, and in that period composer Jim Guthrie had an unprecedented amount of time to experiment and find the right sound for the game’s musical score. Equal parts Disasterpeace and Vangelis, with shades of C418 and Tangerine Dream, the result shows its history in its depth.

     

    How Empathy and Vulnerability Radically Transformed My View of Video Games

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    There are moments in life that change you. Some obvious, others subtle—influence only obvious in retrospect. But in my life, each radically shifted how I came to think, write, and report about games.

     

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    Photography isn't just about posing the perfect shot, it's about working within limitations to capture a moment.

     

    UBISOFT DIRECTORS CALL OUT FAVORITE MOMENTS FROM THEIR GAMES

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    As players, we all have our favorite moments from our favorite games, those instances that sear themselves into our memories and shape our passions. This isn't unique to players; videogames are made by passionate, hardworking people who pour themselves into their creations. We wanted to find out what moments stand out to the people behind our most loved videogames, so we asked 10 different directors to highlight the moments that resonated most with them from their particular game. Be warned, spoilers ahead.

     

    Assassin's Creed Origins Composer Posts Unreleased Tracks

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    Composer Sarah Schachner, whose credits include Assassin’s Creed Origins, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and the upcoming Anthem, has released a number of previously-unreleased tracks from Origins on her Soundcloud page.

     

    The full PUBG Vikendi interview: footprint-tracking, cut content, and optimisation

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    While it seemed like the obvious path at the time, PUBG has carved out something of a niche for itself in the battle royale genre as the only game with multiple maps. What started as just one vaguely Russian battleground called Erangel has – in the space of a year – snowballed into four battlegrounds. In addition to Erangel there’s the desert map where snipers duel across arid plateaus, the tiny jungle map with dense vegetation and non-stop action, and now Vikendi: 36 square kilometers of snow-covered, Slovenian countryside.

     

    Florence finds emotional power in how we use touchscreens

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    Florence tells the story of two people falling in love through a series of beautifully hand-drawn scenes and interactive moments. Australian studio Mountains breaks from typical game mechanics and expectations in order to amplify the powerful emotions of its narrative.

     

    Subliminal Murder: Why Hitman 2 Should Arm Agent 47 with a Camera

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    What if Hitman 2 didn’t task you with killing your target?

    The obvious, easy (and unfulfilling) answer is “well, then it wouldn’t be Hitman.” But what if there’s more to it than that? In the grand scheme of things, in the ideal execution of a mission—the murder has been given the most weight (both titularly and in terms of mission completion), but it unfolds in a blink. Hitman has always put much more emphasis on players inserting themselves into, understanding, navigating, and ultimately, destabilizing a space. Assassination is just a goalpost.

     

    Butterfly Soup is Writing at Its Best

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    During my sophomore year, I realized that the problems with my writing ran deeper than formatting. As we began the poetry unit in my first creative writing class, our professor laid out a guiding principle that’s shaped damn near everything I’ve written since. Drawing a pair of funnels on the chalkboard, he told us, “Your work will have the greatest emotional impact when it is at its most specific.”

     

    'Spider-Man' Super-Disease Devil's Breath Uses Shockingly Accurate Science

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    Spider-Man has never been the most scientifically accurate superhero (we’re pretty sure getting bit by a radioactive spider won’t give you powers, but one detail in the recently released PlayStation 4 video game actually makes a good deal of scientific sense. We’re talking about Devil’s Breath, an imperfect medical serum designed by Norman Osborn that Doc Oc uses to infect all of New York City with a deadly contagion.

     

    Seiyuu Danshi

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    Seiyuu Danshi follows a year in the life of an up-and-coming voice actor Haato, who I named Block. Block was picked up by a voice acting agency the previous year, whereupon he basically made no money for the company by not only refusing to look for work but also failing to attend VA school to improve his skills. Block is now given an ultimatum; turn his career around so sharply that he wins the prestigious Seiyuu Award (literally “voice actor” award) in December, or get kicked out of the agency and fend for himself. Thus begins the game.

     

    Kahlief Adams' Top 10 Games of 2018

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    The co-host of the Spawn on Me podcast runs down his favorite titles of the year.

    Rami Ismail's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    Here is a lengthy list of all the games Vlambeer's frequently airborne co-founder loved in 2018.

    Bryan Intihar's Top Games of 2018

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    Insomniac's Bryan Intihar understandably had a very busy 2018, but he still managed to get to a few of this year's best games.

    Alex Zandra Van Chestein's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    In between writing light novels, introducing us to Zelda randomizers, and being a ray of positivity, Alex Zandra loved these games most in 2018.

    Dan Ryckert's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    It was another great year for Dan, and not just because it included a new Mario Party!

    Mary Kish's Top 5 Games of 2018

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    A classic adventure, a top flight strategy game, and a few of the year's best platformers made their way to Mary's 2018 list.

    Maffew's Top 10 Games He Played in 2018

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    The greatest compiler of pro wrestling botches on the planet assembles his favorite games of 2018 (or 2016/2017).

    Pat Baer's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    The comedian and model builder thoroughly enjoyed these ten games and wants to tell you about them.

    Will Smith's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    The Fresh Prince of FOO VR takes us through a very reasonably-sized selection of his favorite games of the year.

    Ben Pack's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    I made this list, I checked it twice, I guess I found out what games are naughty and nice?

    Matt Rorie's Top 6 Games of 2018

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    Do you like cool books? And also cool video games? Then you should check out this great article by Matt Rorie.

    Vinny Caravella's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    Games, games, games! They just won't stop. Not only does Vinny have video games, he even added in some board games as well. So much gaming fun!

    Jack Gallagher's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    The consummate gentleman (and occasional villain) weighs in on his favorite games of 2018.

    Sébastien Bénard's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    Dead Cells designer Sébastien Bénard released a hit game AND became a new dad in 2018, but here are the games he still made time for.

    BAKOON's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    BAKOON's back, baby! And you know what that means: a list of 10 good video games.

    Rich Gallup's Memorable Games of 2018

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    The mind behind Fart Cat has no time for your traditional Top 10 lists.

    Samantha Kalman's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    Um Jammer Sammy makes her triumphant return to tell us about her favorite gaming experiences of the year.

    Xeecee's Top 10 Soundtracks of 2018

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    These are the game soundtracks that stuck with Xeecee throughout 2018.

    Greg Miller's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    When he wasn't busy getting called a moron by Brock Lesnar on Monday Night RAW, the buffalo wing enthusiast found time to enjoy these 10 games.

    Matt Pascual's Top 7 Games of 2018

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    If you thought getting a new gig at Activision would prevent Pascual from putting Destiny 2 on his list, well, you're wrong. He put Destiny 2 on there.

    No Goblin's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    The only married dev team in the tri-county area wishes you a Merry Christmas and rattles off their favorite games of the year.

    Jan Ochoa's Top 10 Games of 2018!

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    Janathan Ochoa is an Associate Video Producer at Giant Bomb Dot Com. He enjoys the finer things in life: rap sounds, cups of coffee, and cool s's.

    Brad Shoemaker's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    Let's all be thankful that 2018 is over, and equally thankful for the great games we played along the way.

    Aaron Stewart-Ahn's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    The co-writer of 2018's best Nicolas Cage movie talks about the year's best RPGs, VR experiences, workout apps, and more.

    Nina Freeman's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    The creator of Cibele and how do you Do It? takes us through a wide variety of the year's best indie games.

    Colin Spacetwinks' Top 10 Games of 2018

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    Colin's got plenty to say about their favorite games of 2018.

    Felix Kramer's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    Like many of us, Felix did not love 2018, but they did love some of 2018's video games.

    Dave Lang's List of Games He Liked in 2018

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    As a successful and busy businessman, Dave Lang has no time for ordered lists.

    Bruno Dias' Top 10 Games of 2018

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    Critic and game dev Bruno Dias tours us through the games he loved most in 2018.

    ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER's Top 10 Games That Pissed Him Off in 2018

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    After a brief 2018 retirement, ZODIAC returns to tells us about the games that enraged him most this year.

    John "Cowboy" Bellomy's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    The Cowboy wrangles up his ten favorite games of the year.

    Vinny Caravella's Top 10 Games of 2018

    Quote

    Games, games, games! They just won't stop. Not only does Vinny have video games, he even added in some board games as well. So much gaming fun!

    Drew Scanlon's Top 10 Games of 2018

    Quote

    Clothmap host Drew Scanlon takes us through the games he made time for amid his travels in 2018.

    Abby Russell's Top 10 Games of 2018

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    My gamer motto is that I love to game.

    Jack Gallagher's Top 10 Games of 2018

    Quote

    The consummate gentleman (and occasional villain) weighs in on his favorite games of 2018.

     

    Our Favorite Games of 2018: Austin's Top Ten

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    Maybe because games have been so personal this year, I've also been thrilled to see so much variation among people's individual best of lists. There are, as Jackson Tyler wrote over in Deorbital, some games that will control conversations and win awards through sheer "polish." But I've been thrilled to see a lot of mentioned around the internet this week that I've never played or never heard of. (I'm looking at you The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa.) And appropriately, my list may be no different.

    Our Favorite Games of 2018: Natalie's Top Ten

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    As the year began coming to an end, and I started thinking about what my top 10 list would be, I was filled with dread. There were so many games I had wanted to play this year, and I was disappointed in myself for sort of “playing it safe” with the games I chose to invest in. I had so much Real Life shit happen this year that I found my mental and emotional bandwidth to be severely limited. Too often, when I got home at the end of the day, I rarely felt ready to pick up the controller and try something new, and instead leaned back on what was comfortable.

     

    Welcome to Hades - Developing Hell Episode #1

    Quote

    In the first episode of our series covering the development of Hades, we meet the team at Supergiant Games who are preparing to launch in early access and finish their announcement trailer. All in preparation for Hades' secret public debut at The Game Awards. Noclip's work is 100% crowdfunded.

    Consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/noclip

     

    Mortal Kombat and the Cheat Code That Changed Gaming − Codex

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    If you'd like to support the development of these videos, consider becoming a patron! https://www.patreon.com/codexshow

     

    The Animation of Gris

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    There's something magical about the animation of Gris, and I'm here to give you my thoughts on how it does it.

    http://www.Patreon.com/DanRoot

     

    Why Skyrim's Mining Animation Is Bad - New Frame Plus

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    What makes Skyrim's mining animation look and feel bad? LET'S TALK ABOUT IT.

     

    The Seductive Nightmare of Bloodborne's Chalice Dungeons

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    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the Lower Pthumeru Chalice in the dead of night.

     

    Just Cause 4: The Problem With Chaos

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    Just Cause 4's bafflingly large tool set has the potential to shift the way you view open worlds. So why did so many people (myself included) come away from the game so underwhelmed? My guess? The hands-off approach to mission design that encourages you to make use of almost none of it. Let's talk about this weird game.

    Support the show on Patreon - http://patreon.com/writingongames

     

    Mass Effect: Andromeda... 1 Year Later

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    Konami: How the West was Worse [SSFF]

    Quote

    Some of Konami's best video games were also their worst. Well, at least they were outside of Japan. We crack the code on which games and features didn't make it over to PAL and North America.

     

    20(18) Games You Should Have Played

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    2018 was a weird year for games, for every great title that was released, there was a massive controversy, that meant that some great games went completely unappreciated.

    Luckily for you, The Architect is here to right that wrong and tell you all about 20 games that you might've missed but really should have played.

    Support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/ArchitectofGames

     

    Top 10 Games of 2018 | The Completionist

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    Let's have a big cheer for 2018! This year had another huge impact on gaming, with surprises until the very last months. Now let's take a look at my Top 10 Games of 2018!

     

    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks

     

    Tekken: Rangchu, the Panda Champion

    Quote

    Meet the guy who won Tekken World Tour 2018 finals with low(er) tier Panda.

    Support on Patreon: http://bit.ly/2rfySih

    I think I forgot to add this last week.

     

    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry

     

    Twitch streamer plays Breath of the Wild for 95 hours, then finds tutorial

    Quote

    As her viewers pointed out in chat and on Twitter, it’s a testament to her skill in the game, as she overcame difficult portions of Breath of the Wild without those combat tools in her kit. It’s similarly a testament to the design of Breath of the Wild, which often lets players tackle challenges in their own way through creative solutions.



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