stories by Jarrod Bell

What Uncharted: Golden Abyss could have learned from iOS games

Uncharted: Golden Abyss from Sony Bend Studios was supposed to be the flagship title on the Playstation Vita designed to showcase not only the graphical power but also demonstrate how the new control schemes could work in such a game. What started off as a great idea however ended with poor results due to execution and overuse when it came to the touch screen. A few tweaks on Sony Bend's part would have resulted in far more engaging gameplay had they taken a page or two from several iOS games.

How games saved my life

Video games mean something special to me. Some of my earliest childhood memories come from playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES with my parents. We stayed up way past my bedtime, taking turns trying to conquer each level, and bonded as a family in ways I can't even describe. It's amazing to me how something often viewed as a toy, a distraction for the chronically immature, can have so much power.

If handhelds are thriving are mobile devices dying?

Why is it in the tech world it has to be one or the other? Handheld gaming has to compete with mobile devices and every time a handheld struggles the blame is squarely placed on the rise of the mobiles. Yet when handhelds do well, much like Nintendo's 3DS currently, you never hear that the mobile market is suffering from this. Perhaps in the tech world we can have our cake and eat it too.

Hey, video games! Hold my hand (but not too much)

The sun was quickly vanishing behind the horizon as day transformed to night before my eyes. The sudden realization that not only had a friend and I failed to build ample shelter from the horrors the night would bring but that neither of us had eaten a thing all day. Thunder blasting overhead as rain poured down on us while we desperately sought out some form of protection.

Does the PC need Online Passes?

Everyone knows all about Online Passes by now; they're popping up more and more in games to help publishers/developers combat used game sales (and piracy to some extents). Consoles have been seeing more games release with Online Passes with companies like Sony, Ubisoft, EA, id Software, and more getting behind the idea. This practice has been met with some resistance though for the most part gamers have accepted this as the new standard.

Why Sony and Microsoft won’t be dropping out of the console race

Recent rumors spawning from cloud gaming company Gaikai's chief product officer, Nanea Reeves, are pointing to either Microsoft or Sony not joining the next generation of hardware. "Not all of the current console makers will have one more generation. That will be the big news at E3." Reeves said during an interview with IndustryGamers. Quite the bold statement if you ask them though I think this has been made without anything to back it up. 

The PlayStation Vita is not doomed

Anyone who spends time on video-game forums or websites has seen the countless threads announcing Sony's demise and that the PlayStation Vita will be a massive flop due to early Japanese sales figures for the portable. The same was being said about the Nintendo 3DS after it was released and failed to meet sales expectations. Some are pointing to Sony's tactics for the Vita, including the lack of onboard memory for saving data, overpriced memory cards, and the expensive price tag for the Wi-Fi model (even more expensive for the 3G model). Others believe the strong mobile-device market has cut into the dedicated-handheld segment quite a bit. Then there are those who simply say this is Nintendo's continued dominance at work when it comes to the handheld industry.