E3 Week: My Highlights from the Microsoft Xbox Press Conference

After the EA conference felt like a company floundering for something to put on stage, and then subsequently not actually making an effort once the stuff was up there. Microsoft came out like a company with something to prove. True, they are trailing behind Sony and the PS4 in terms of sales and install base, but Microsoft also have their fingers in the PC space, so it’s not like they’re desperate…

I’m not going to break down the entire conference for Microsoft like I did for EA, there was far too much on display here and a lot of it I don’t have a strong opinion about, or there wasn’t simply enough there before jumping to the next thing to say anything about it other than stating it’s a thing. So I’m going to go down my notes and talk about the things I felt the strongest about, in either a positive or negative light. So let’s get started.

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The Decline of the Halo Series

This year’s E3 will most definitely announce the next game in 343 and Microsoft’s Halo franchise. The “6th” game and finale to the series’ post Bungie trilogy. The weirdest thing about this, nobody is really talking about it. There was a time that Halo was the biggest franchise in the industry, now it’s a languid shadow of its former self.

Back when the original Halo trilogy was in the zeitgeist, it was seen as the definitive game in the genre. The first game received near universal acclaim from all major publications, as did the second and third for the most part. Not only that, the franchise had a major guiding hand in the direction that, not only the FPS genre moved in on console, but had an impact on modern game design sensibilities and the approach to online play in general. It was certainly the first game I was really aware of playing online on console.

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My time at EGX 2017

So I went to EGX again this year. This would be the point in the article where, if I’d have been a real journalist, I’d have given a brief background into EGX. But I honestly can’t be bothered to make that kind of effort right now. All you need to know is that it’s a big video gaming and culture convention that take place in the West Midlands of the U.K. for 4 days a year.

It’s the third time I’ve gone in as many years and it’s pretty standard fare as far as these type of conventions go. A bunch of developers, large and small, show up and pedal their wares, so to speak. On top of that there are plenty of other attractions. People selling niche and retro merchandise based on video games, or other things the type of people who go to this type of event will probably like. Continue reading “My time at EGX 2017”

Wooderon Games of the Year 2016: #10

goty10

2016 has most defiantly not been my most prolific video gaming year. I have spent a significant amount of time looking at screens for sure, but I’ve noticed my tastes and gaming habits changing. It isn’t just me though. I think the industry as a whole has gone through a bit of a shift.

The focus on buying new games every couple of weeks seems to be dying down a little. Games are expensive, and more of them are coming out than ever before. Developers are shifting their focus slightly and spending less time churning out one project before jumping to the next, rather the idea of games as a service is becoming something people seems to be gravitating towards. Myself included, and that might become apparent in my list for this year, which didn’t have as large a pool of games to choose from has previous years have had.

So, like last year, I’m going to spend the next ten days listing my top ten games of 2016. As I said though, I haven’t played everything so if you think I missed something, chances are I just didn’t play it. Or hey, maybe we have different tastes and thats okay too. Continue reading “Wooderon Games of the Year 2016: #10”

Gears of War is a pay to play mess

I like Gear of War, I like Gears of War 4. It’s been long enough since the last one that I was happy to go back to the series and see how they justified unending the series. Gears 4’s campaign was fun, mixing some cool new elements with the familiar, then it ended with a sequel baiting fizzle. I still liked it though. It was after finishing that I moved onto the only other mode of the game I enjoy: Horde. Because Gear of War competitive multiplayer can go straight to hell.

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