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.
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.
Indie developer and fighter of good fights Mommy's Best Games recently released Serious Sam: Double D—XXL on Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA). The big cheese of Mommy's Best Games, Nathan Fouts, explains everything anyone needs to know about XXL, and a few other topics came up, to boot. Apart from the noogie he gave me (it still smarts!) the interview went rather well.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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