Review: Shovel Knight – An indie love letter to retro platformers

Shovel Knight is an indie 2D platformer from Yacht Club Games for the 3DS, WiiU, and PC. This marks the developers first release. The game uses 8-bit graphics, and the gameplay is a throwback to old-school NES platformers like Mega Man, Ducktales, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Castlevania. The soundtrack reflects that same sentiment with a robust lineup of chiptune beats. Difficulty steals the show however, proving itself to be every bit as punishingly hard as the games it homages. There are one-hit kill spikes, pitfalls, and enemies created for the sole purpose of making you set the controller down and count to 10. Anyone with a low tolerance for losing should turn back now. This is going to be a rough ride folks, but if you stick with it the feeling of accomplishment is worth it.

Nintendo: Schadenfreude sells

In the age of online gaming, games that focus on solid local multiplayer are becoming less common. As fun as it is to play with friends from around the world, nothing beats having the gang all in one place for the purpose of fun. Luckily, Nintendo is there to bring us great “couch co-op,” and nobody knows the appeal of schadenfreude like the big N.

How do you define your favorite game?

Maybe you are self aware and don’t struggle with this topic, I envy you and hate you in equal measure. But there are times when crafting a Top 5 list that I don’t know the answer. I spent thousands of hours playing videogames, watching movies and reading comics. If I transferred that energy, it would be enough to power every iPad in the world for 237 years. I’m pretty sure that’s accurate…I spent more time watching Dragon Ball Z than studying physics so it could go either way.

Indie games are more important than ever.

The proliferation of professional level video game engines through the internet has lead to a massive influx of indie games. There are thousands of indie games for sale over the internet now. Most are still of the quality often associated with the indie scene, but just like the corporate games market, there are legitimately great games that rise above the others to become popular and successful. Seeing an increase in the number of quality indie titles is great because they are needed now more than ever before in the gaming industry.

Video games, seizures, and why I burned my son’s ‘Call of Duty’ shirt

It was 5:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning when I heard the sound that caused both my husband and I to lurch out of bed and make a beeline for our 13-year-old son’s bedroom. Turning on his lamp to bring light to the room at dawn, I began the routine of quoting aloud Bible verses that came to mind and practicing commanding whatever was causing his body to seize to come out of him in Jesus’ name – just like Christ did in Mark 9 after his disciples failed to do so for another boy having a seizure.

How Nintendo is different.

Nintendo stays Nintendo and that’s what makes them different from other gaming companies. It feels like they’ll never change at their core, but  why change what isn’t broken? The company’s steadfastness to the Nintendo mentality means that when they do make a change to something, it’s not a case of “because we can” but  an enhancement to their game in some way.

Games that help you lose weight

Now that it’s summertime, everyone wants to look good in their sundresses and shorts and do so ASAP. (Never mind that the kind of fitness freaks I follow on Instagram post memes that say stuff like “Summer bodies are made in the gym in the winter” or “No days off” and such.) I realize that not everybody loves to hit treadmills and elliptical machines at health clubs, nor is grunting and sweating away in boot camps lifting 25-pound kettle bell weights their thing. However, weight loss experts say that strength training is a key component to rapidly dropping pounds.

Are Online Multiplayer Achievements Really Necessary?

I’m a single player gal; always have been, probably always will be. I can count on one hand the number of online multiplayer experiences I have had that I have actually enjoyed. I’ve just never understood the appeal of online multiplayer games. When I do play online, I either get hit on by creeps, called fat, asked why I’m not in the kitchen…you get the idea. Now that you know my stance on online multiplayer in general, I can get to my actual point.

Minecraft Realms or Not?

Minecraft Realms is the latest service released by Mojang which lets players rent a server directly from Mojang. Owners of a Minecraft Realms-server can invite friends to their servers to play with them. The servers are currently limited to a maximum of 20 players. The immediate question one can ask is what the major difference is between downloading a server package for free from their website versus using Minecraft Realms so lets have a look and compare the two.

Watch_Dogs: 5 Invasion Tips

Watch Dogs is primarily a single-player game, but it also features an online invasion aspect. While you can disable invasions with a setting, I personally I think they add to the game and increase immersion since the story is about hackers chasing each other around most of the time. Someone could strike any time, but so could you. If you’ve ever played the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer modes, this should feel somewhat familiar. You need to quickly blend into your surroundings while accomplishing a goal (in this case, tailing or hacking a player without getting spotted/killed). Assassin’s Creed is much more action oriented due to having multiple players and a focus on killing your enemies whereas Watch_Dogs is all about the one-on-one, cat-and-mouse chase. This makes things much harder since your enemy is now only looking for one target, and you don’t have some of the tricks available to you in Assassin’s Creed like blending into crowds, smoke bombs, or the like. However you do have a few options and there are several things that can instantly give Fixers away. The main game types are Tailing and Hacking. Tailing requires you to keep in visual contact with a Fixer while remaining undetected, the target can try to escape or move out of range and you’ll have to follow carefully. Hacking requires you to stay in the same area while the Fixer tries to find you before the hack is complete, forcing you to find a good vantage point or confuse your target. It should be noted that if you haven’t been spotted yet and your target is highly suspicious you can quit the mission at no loss of reputation. If someone took off on a motorcycle and is 1000m away, you can quit and find a new target. However if you profile or get profiled and then try to leave, you’ll be penalized.

Gigabyte brings compact BRIX gaming PC

When you think of gaming PC, all that comes to mind is a huge monster box containing all the powerful hardware. A hell of a heat sink and cooling system, a huge graphic card or two, a huge power supply to heat up all the other components and all in all a huge case to hold the huge components! That has been the set image of a gaming PC for a few years now and Gigabyte comes in with a hope to change that.

Nintendo Rewards my Loyalty

Tonight I sat and thought about how I wanted games like Castle Crashers, A Kingdom for Keflings and Penny Arcade 3&4 from Zeboyd games on my 3DS. Of course I know none of these game will come even though I would love this to happen. However, my loyalty to owning all three versions of Castle Crashers and two versions of Keflings has gotten me nothing, but a great game experience. Should loyalty be rewarded with gifts or cool things to show how much your appreciated with trinkets that you can’t buy anywhere else.

The Art of Death: My Dark Souls review

When Demon’s Souls first arrived back in 2009, few expected it to be such a surprise hit. Aside from its appealing aesthetics, ingenious level design, methodical combat, and numerous customization options, it boasted a brutal yet rewarding difficulty level the likes of which haven’t been seen since the days of the NES, and never did a game feel it did so as fairly as Demon’s Souls. Now, Dark Souls, its spiritual successor, seeks to take those same positive traits and add onto it substantially. How, you ask? By making it harder, more beautiful, deeper in its lore, and more open in terms of exploration and customization so that more people can enjoy it, that’s how. And it pulls it off splendidly. Dark Souls succeeds where Demon’s Souls fell short, and ultimately becomes the better game because of it.