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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.

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.

TouchTalk, Volume Six

Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion Screenshot

Welcome back to a semi-regular feature here at GameCritics.com: TouchTalk. In every installment we'll be reviewing a handful of mobile games and apps that you might want to check out… and maybe some that you'll want to avoid. This time we cover Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion, Hungry Giraffe, Blood Roofs, Sushi Mushi, Noble Nutlings and Paper Galaxy.

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.

Consoleation: Irreconcilable differences

Beyond: Two Souls Screenshot

I've learned a few things after reading about what's happened during the DICE Summit and Awards event that's taken place this past week. The industry seems to be crying out desperately for maturity. David Cage (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) says that games need to grow up. Warren Spector (Epic Mickey) says that games like Lollipop Chainsaw shouldn't be made. The industry wants more Journey and The Walking Dead experiences, as evidenced by these games winning 99.5% of the awards given out. The definition of "fun" is changing.

Sounds Great: A peek at the audio-only Agents

Agents is a game by Recursive Frog (Patino) created for last month's Ludum Dare online game jam. The game is very simple on the surface, in that it's an audio-only adventure where players control two nefarious field agents solely via "voice calls" on their mobile phone. The task is to get them in to a guarded complex, then out, while helping them work together to stay alive.

Extra Credits: Demo Daze

There is a surprising downside to video game demos. With fewer and fewer options available for those that might want to try a game before buying it, demos are the default option. But demos have the adverse effect of underselling a good game or demonstrating how bad a bad game really is. Understandably, many developers and publishers aren't willing to take that chance. Where does that leave us? The guys at Extra Credits take a look.

Brad's Honorable Mentions of 2012

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition Screenshot

So in the last post, you saw my top ten games of 2012. However, I think the last twelve months were fabulous for gaming overall. It seemed as though there were a neverending stream of titles that ranged from "pretty good" to "pretty great,"and I never had much trouble finding something that was worthwhile.

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