A Demo Harvest

Sometimes I forget that game demos are a thing. That some games offer little tasters of the full product to try before you buy. It honestly feels like a bygone era, like the demo discs you could peel off game magazines. I must’ve played tons of the Fury3 demo back in the day. You have to wonder why all games don’t offer it in today’s world of digital marketplaces. Well after a recent harvest of demos from the Switch eShop, I can see why many don’t.

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Tonight We Riot – The Official Game of Antifa

Developed by the worker owned cooperative Pixel Pushers Union 512, Tonight We Riot is a side scrolling crowd brawler with a retro-anarcho-communist aesthetic. Set in 20XX, Tonight We Riot depicts a society at breaking point under the oppression of capitalism, with the working masses living precarious lives in service of the capitalist owners whose power is entrenched through owning the media and political institutions. So pretty much like right now, without the global pandemic.

Before we go on, a big trigger warning for any reactionary readers we might have who prefer their video games to not contain politics; Tonight We Riot is unashamedly political, featuring not only women but people who are not white too.

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All That Remains

During a decluttering phase in 2018 I found a deal that seemed too good to be true. A New Zealand based online store, Fishpond, would stock, advertise and sell my used games and give me a portion of the revenue. All I had to do would be post a box full of stock to them, they’d even cover postage and just take the costs from my first $15 of revenue. So a found a Hello Fresh box, filled it with almost all my remaining DS games, half my Wii collection, piles of DVDs and posted it to Auckland 5000kms away. The scheme was too good to be true and after 18 months, Fishpond emailed me to say that they were shutting it down and offered to post me back my remaining stock for the cost of postage. The DVDs could stay, but I asked for my games back. And then the world as we know it ended.

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I know nothing about video games, but there’s something fishy about Animal Crossing and COVID-19

A guest post from Roland's partner.

With our lives suddenly controlled by social distancing and quarantine, my boyfriend and I are spending dramatically more time together. I thought this might be a wholesome bonding experience, however he’s dedicating almost his entire time to some game called Animal Crossing. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it? I hadn’t, but it’s popped up in my socials a bit and apparently it’s a bit of a big deal. So anyway, I thought I’d sit down and watch a bit, and after just 5 min I am 100% convinced this game is intricately connected, if not entirely responsible, for the covid19 pandemic. Let me explain:

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Limbo

limbo title screen

Originally released alongside Hydro Thunder Hurricane in 2010’s “-Insert hemispheric appropriate season- of Arcade”, Limbo would escape the bounds of Xbox Live Arcade and go on to become a darling of the indie gaming world, collecting accolades and praise, from critics and gamers alike, on every platform it was released on. But in an unusual twist, Limbo is set to become unavailable on a platform for the first time, as macOS will cut support for 32-bit applications when new update drops next month. On the eve of this gaming purgatory, let us look back on Limbo.

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The Pokémon culling is a disaster, here’s how it can be salvaged

Luxry's self sacrifice to save her crying trainer from dying of exposure.

Pokémon trainers around the world were shocked to learn that not all their carefully raised Pokémon, their friends, will be able to accompany them on their next journey. This news came from game director Junichi Masuda who sheepishly admitted at E3 that the full roster of Pokémon wont be playable after a lengthy preamble to soften us up with excuses. A week on, with the frenzied backlash dying down, this article will examine exactly what the culling of Pokémon means, evaluate the reasons given by the developer Game Freak, and make recommendations for how both Pokémon fans and The Pokémon Company can rectify the situation.

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The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa – Impressions

I don’t yet know what to make of The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa. Seemingly developed by one guy in Russia, The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa sees you play as a directionless high school thug who is threatened with expulsion from his school, which he hardly attends due to spending all his time getting into gang fights. It’s like a tribute to NES classic River City Ransom or some sorta slice of life anime like Cromartie High School which I’ve never watched but Deguello says is a parody.

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Fear Effect Sedna

Fear Effect and it’s sequel were breakthrough hits at the turn of the millennium. Releasing late in the life of the original Playstation, they stood out with their stylish cel shaded graphics and sexy bisexual lead character, which was a big deal at the time. And then the series died. 15 years later Square Enix, who inherited the property after buying out Eidos Interactive, put out an open call for expressions of interest in bringing Fear Effect back. A (barely) successful kickstarter followed and last year French developer Sushee shat Fear Effect Sedna out.

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Every Game has Flaws, Zelda has a Motorbike

Disgraceful, unforgivable motorbike sullying Link and The Legend of Zelda froever.

The Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great game, by any measure one of the greatest ever made, but the final instalment of DLC inflicted the most egregious assault I’ve ever seen on a video game. At the end of an uneven extra quest Link is rewarded with a motorbike. I invite you on a personal journey with me to learn about why the bike is so bad, how it came to this, and the personal toll it inflicted on me.

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Repairing My Left Joycon – A Real Time Blog

1:18pm
For a while now the thumbstick on my left Joycon has been acting up, drifting up mainly but it can do other directions if it feels like it. I blasted it with some compressed air which fixed it for a couple of weeks but now it’s worse than ever. A few weeks back, thumbstick drift caused me to lose the final Smash Bros Ultimate Challenge, and even when I play Tetris 99 the drift can cause me to target other players are random. So I ordered a replacement thumbstick off ebay and found a guide on iFixit and thought I’d share my repair journey as I go. This would be a liveblog but we don’t have that WordPress plugin, also traffic to this site probably doesn’t warrant it, so instead you can follow my progress by looking at the timestamps I provide.

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Tetris 99 is the best battle royale game because I can win it once every 30 matches or so.

I can’t win any matches of Fortnite or Apex Legends because the whole scene is dominated by zoomers pepped up on amphetamines and decked out in microtransactions. So it’s nice to play a real game that real gamers like me, who suffer early onset arthritis in their thumbs, can win once in a while.

My final opponent was Karen from the Switch reveal.

Twenty Nineteen Goals

After the massive success of sharing my goals, and importantly my plan, to complete the Pokédex last year, I’m going to repeat this with my gaming and blog goals for 2019. I found it very helpful to have a plan to refer back to to keep myself on task and written justifications for motivation. Even if you don’t read it, having it publicly posted will be enough to keep me accountable to avoid the embarrassment of not following through. But hectoring me in the comments helps. Like last time, this post will be updated to cross things off as they’re completed and modified if things go awry.

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OPUS – Loneliness and hope

From independent Taiwanese developer Sigono, the pair of games OPUS are linked by their common themes and aesthetic rather than their gameplay or story. Both games share themes of loneliness and hope, with characters isolated in the distant future, determined to complete a seemingly impossible task that was thrust upon them. Despite these similarities, both games can stand alone, they don’t refer to each other, and are a testament to the diversity of unique gaming experiences we’re so lucky to enjoy today.

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1979 Revolution: Black Friday

Forty years ago, revolution swept Iran. The western backed autocrat, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was ousted from power by a popular coalition of forces and an Islamic republic, led by Allah’s apparent representative Ruhollah Khomeini, was established. 1979 Revolution: Black Friday tells the story of Black Friday, a turning point of the revolution, through the lens of fictional photo journalist Reza Shirazi. It’s less a traditional video game and more a kind of edutainment interactive historical drama, with developer iNK Stories borrowing heavily from the Telltale Games formula to immerse the player in the chaos of revolution.

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