How to Make MOBAs Newbie-Friendly
Multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA, is a term created by Riot games in an attempt to get people to stop referring to League of Legends as a " DOTA clone" (which is totally what it is). They can be best defined as real-time strategy games where you control a single unit as part of a team of other human-controlled units. The genre exploded in popularity after League of Legends somehow became huge (perhaps it filled the need for a Defense of the Ancients type game that wasn’t using the Warcraft III engine, despite not being the first to do so). But despite the genre’s heavily crowd-pleasing nature, MOBAs are difficult to get into. They present thousands of options to the new player: countless arrays of characters, skills, items, builds, and tactics. MOBAs generally have poor tutorials and some don’t even have an option to play against bots. Add in the fact that people have been fighting hard to win at them since like 2005 and are openly hostile to new players and you have one confusing mess that drives away just as many who get into them.
Dream Games: Mistborn
Sanderson, baby, you’re a great writer, but you’ve got to do something about these dopey covers.
Sometimes magic in a fantasy novel is a strange, esoteric thing with bizarre world-changing effects. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as the prose is up to the task; I love the Thomas Covenant series and nothing in those books is straightforward or easily explained. Then there’s guys like Brandon Sanderson who delineate every little aspect of the supernatural stuff in their books, making sure everything is completely logical and understandable to any reader. Sanderson is famous for coming up with creative "magic systems" that set his fantasy writings ahead of the Tolkien-imitating pack. Mistborn is one example, and a particularly great one at that.
Mega Man Unlimited is Astonishingly Good
If you get the Mega Man formula wrong, your results are mediocrities with predictable levels and nothing to test the player, like Street Fighter X Mega Man . Do it right and you get outright genius like Day in the Limelight . Or this one.
Indie Games That Don’t Suck: Depth
I began this article by attempting to review all of the entries in the “ Experimental Game Pack 01 ”. This failed when I realized my utter incompetence at reviewing that half of the games were literally unplayable and the other half were barely worthy of even noting. Some were interesting, many were worthless. Yet one stood far above the others: Depth , a first-person puzzle game. Yes, I know you’ve played Portal . This game’s notion is even better.
The title screen/opening area as viewed from the front.
Ittle Dew : Why Do I Like Zelda Clones So Much?
My distaste with the Zelda games of the past decade or so I have spoken of previously . Since Nintendo is clearly incapable of making of good Zelda games any longer, and big-budget attempts at Zelda clones ( Okami , Darksiders ) are mediocre to average, perhaps small-time independent developers might have a chance? It turns out that in at least one case, yes, they did quite nicely.
This is supposed to be a come-on, right? Or have I been playing too many tower defense titty games recently?
A Review of Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014
I played Magic: The Gathering around 1994 when it first became popular. Then I quit when Visions came out, after I realized that my family was poor. But I always appreciated the underlying genius behind the game, both from a mechanical and a marketing point of view. The constant battle between lands for resources and the spells you use them on made for an interesting dynamic. The never-ending rampage of new expansions was great for making Wizard of the Coast more money but it also ensured the game never got stale. Intricate new decks became possible, dedicated players found great uses for overlooked cards (InQuest magazine famously gave an initial one-out-of-five rating to Necropotence , which went on to brutally dominate tournaments before being officially added to the banned cards list), and a steady stream of cash kept the game alive.
EVERYBODY DANCE NOW
Saints Row IV : Kitchen Sink Gaming
Things you can do in Saints Row IV : Use a phallic tentacle bat to kill guys wearing giant pink cat mascot heads while listening to " The Boys are Back in Town "*. Jump across floating mechanical citadels while alien police on hoverbikes blast at you to the tune of " Swan Lake ". Sprint at 300mph through traffic and leaping through the air to collect glowing power-up globes as Machine Gun Kelly yells in your ear. "Romance" (a popular euphemism for "attempt to have sex with") every character you meet, male or female, human or alien or robot, and even Keith David. Switch from exploring stuff to blowing up gargantuan amounts of everything in the middle of town to flying a ship in an on-rails sequence to taking over territory for your gang to irritating QTE garbage to farting around in the character creator/clothing accessorizer to make the ugliest player avatar imaginable. Make fun of everything from Mass Effect to Battlezone to Metroid to Metal Gear Solid to Jurassic Park . If you can’t find something fun to do in Saints Row IV , you’re probably Cooper Lawrence.
Fantasy Defense : Pneumonia Edition
While writing this article a couple weeks ago, I was under the impression that touchscreen controls were just terrible. A poor man’s mouse and keyboard. But there is one genre I’ve found they’re pretty good for, and that is tower defense. Unlike real-time strategy, you generally aren’t moving units around manually, so ultra-precise controls aren’t necessary. Therefore, I started playing a lot of free games of this genre on my Android tablet.
C’mon, at least a couple of those character designs are kind of halfway tolerable.
Fantasica : Soulless Free-to-Play and Pay-to-Win Garbage
Here’s a working business model: Take the proven success of the hamster wheel method of gaming (slow progression through tedious busywork), add timers to make players come back every day instead of spending a lot of time at once, and then offer to remove the restrictions in exchange for real money. It’s pretty effective, and it can dress up your bare-bones JRPG/RTS with the trappings of ceremony and decorum. Next, institute a variety of in-game currencies to obscure the fact they can all only be earned at a reasonable rate by getting players to go into debt, create a series of time-sensitive "events" to keep the players busy (replace them with near-identical ones immediately after), and plaster the screen with advertisements for purchasable in-game items. Fantasica is exactly that.