The 2024 Olympics might add competitive video games to its list of events. Amazon Prime used to give a 20% discount on games for two weeks after launch but that discount is now gone. And for those of you keeping score at home, there are currently 61 video game movies in development.
What are you playing?
Dan Colonna, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Ten hours of Pokémon Ranger and a slightly more scuffed up DS screen later, I obtained a Manaphy egg! Woohoo! I have to admit—I sort of enjoyed Pokémon Ranger. However, I enjoy that it's over just a little more.
On the home console front, I (like many others) gave No Man's Sky a fresh chance. The game's dynamic has changed for the better. It feels similar to a game that finally came out of early access. It's clear that Hello Games has been listening. Compared to Elite Dangerous, I feel as though my ship is on autopilot half the time. Have I evolved into a fine purveyor of flight sims?
Kinsey Danzis, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to an incredibly generous girlfriend, I am now the proud owner of a refurbished Nintendo New 3DS XL, which also just so happens to be a golden Hyrule Edition. In between my escapades with trying to get my PC rig set up, courtesy of a very generous father, I'll be exploring Pokemon Sun and Pokemon X. The last Pokemon game I played, excluding Pokemon GO, of course, was SoulSilver, so I've been out of it for a while. But thanks to my discovery of Griffin McElroy's old Nuzlocke run, I felt like jumping back in. Hopefully I'll be able to fit in some 7 Days to Die as well, but that all depends on how quickly I figure out how to set up my rig.
Dave Gamble, Staff Writer, email@example.com
My infatuation with the virtual world continues apace, even more so as the real world continues to disappoint. While the Rift visuals are nothing to write home about, there are often times when the immersion factor is so intense that my wife coined the phrase "It's so real it's surreal."
I have segmented the games into two categories: pure VR and VR enhanced.
An example of pure VR would be Dead & Buried, which has to be one of the most seamless online multiplayer experiences ever. No lobbies, no lengthy setup—just start shooting. What, those aren't AI? Oh my! Naturally I forego even that level of extroversion and spend almost all of my time target shooting, and even at that I ignore the fixed targets and concentrate on the blue vultures of Crow Canyon. It's so close to trap/skeet shooting, one of my few outdoor hobbies, that I just can't get enough of it.
A close second is Iron Lung VR, an incredible simulation of a 1–4 person German U-Boat. The only reason it's in 2nd place is that it's kind of wonky with only two motion trackers. That will eventually be fixed once I conjure up a way to hide another $60 expense on "that crazy toy." I can't seem to develop an affinity for Robo Recall. It's too frenetic, and the voices make me feel like I'm murdering a Speak & Spell. And who among us is heartless enough to do that?
In the VR-enhanced category, which is comprised of games that I have already played for hundreds of hours on a 2D monitor, Project CARS is still the leader. But the sleeper is a flight sim, IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad, that I never really got into. In many cases, and with IL-2 in particular, the Rift is like adding a little Himalayan Sea Salt to popcorn: the popcorn was fine without it, but with a touch of salt it becomes exquisite.
Randy Kalista, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm on the road, so mobile is the soup du jour.
It's great watching how quickly my kingdom and legacy spirals out of control from a simple left or right swipe in Reigns. Crows foretell of war, the nice lady in dark clothing is upsetting the church again, and some unknowable alien asked me if my people's happiness is an aspiration or merely a consideration. I've played a thousand games that've never put me in such well-balanced uncertainty.
Otherwise, I thought I'd be done with Design Home by now. Guiltiest pleasure of my 2017. Saying it's unlocked my inner interior decorator would be a modest understatement. I now know that all-white furnishing will net you higher scores than my grayscale sensibilities, and heaven help you if you fail to tie the room together with the perfect area rug. I haven't spent a single dollar on the game, mainly because the real-money conversion rate is worthless. But my wife is now waking up at 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning, wondering why I'm still staring at my phone.
Nicholas Leon, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Okay, I'm not sure if I said this last week, so I'll just say that Mr. Shifty is awesome. But what I'll actually be doing is packing up all my stuff to move back to school. If I do get a chance to play anything, it'll be Hitman. Hitman is fun. Hitman is sneaky. Hitman is fashionable. Go Hitman.
Kevin O’Connell, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Been on a vacation this past week/weekend but have returned to continue Path of Exile. It is a rather straight forward hack-n-slash game, but so far so good. Looks like I'm at the end of the line with the City Island 4 app, as it has finally gotten to a point where you have to pay money to build anything else. Took 38 levels, but it is definitely there. Beat Dungeon Defenders II as well, but am using different characters now for a second run through. Besides the lousy pet system, the game is better than the first.