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.

Continue reading “E3 Week: My Highlights from the Microsoft Xbox Press Conference”

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.

Continue reading “The Decline of the Halo Series”

Should you play Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter World just came out and it’s literally all I want to do right now. This always happens when a new one of these comes out. The Monster Hunter grind is like some insatiable drug I can’t resist. It was enough of a struggle to break myself away for long enough to actually write this.

I actually took a short break from the series when I just couldn’t play the game on a handheld anymore. So, the time that had passed, combined with this being on a console meant that when I got my hands on this game, it was like some beast had been unleashed and no amount of Monster Hunter seemed able to sate its hunger.

Putting my fanboyisms aside for a moment: Monster Hunter World is probably the best stepping on point the long running series has ever had for people new to the series. Monster Hunter has always been something of an impenetrable series of games to get into. This new entry does a lot to streamline the experience, removing the unnecessary bits of upkeep that used to add extra layers of complexity to a game that was dense enough already.

Continue reading “Should you play Monster Hunter”