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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
I’m ticked off, dear reader. Once again, an idea I’d come up with in my mind has been implemented in life before I got the chance to execute it first. In this case, I was shocked to see this article by Roland on his 2019 goals. You see, with the new year, I was looking over the Backloggery account I use to keep track of my games. I was able to wrap up a few games in December and cross them off my list. As I thought about doing an article on what I played in 2018, I also thought about looking ahead and what I’d like to do in 2019. It seemed like a perfect follow-up to look forward after reflecting. I didn’t mention this plan to anyone yet during the 12 days it took me to write that article about 2018, Roland has beaten me to the punch making me look like a copycat. So, I’ve altered my plan a bit and my first goal in 2019 will now be to kill Roland to keep him from telepathically stealing any more ideas from me. It seems like the only solution to this problem.
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.
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.
There’s a correct way to play Smash Bros; 4 players, timed match, 2:30, items on, stage hazards on, random stage select. Any other way is wrong. This setup not only creates the most volatile and chaotic matches, but also the ones most likely to see the best players thrive. As anyone who has made it past the third grade of school knows, life is unfair. So why should your video game be any different? Smash Brothers teaches you how to cope with unfairness, how to handle chaos and how to seize opportunities to get ahead in life. Playing stock matches, without items creates not only a saccharine gaming experience, but also a generation of gutless imbeciles. Disagree? Well keep reading to find out why you’re wrong.
Warframe is a game that kept showing up in the ‘now playing’ status of long lost friends on Steam and Discord for a while now and another friend left a comment mentioning it on a Jacobin article about politics in games. I’d never bothered to actually find anything out about it though until today when I realised it had appeared on the Switch eshop, was free to play, and didn’t involve Nintendo’s extortionate online fee. I went in completely blind, not even reading the description, and this is how it felt.
Project Highrise, by Somasim Games is an unabashed homage to Yutaka “Yoot” Saito’s 1994 hit SimTower. The two games share the same premise and aesthetic, with Project Highrise’s art style firmly planted in the early 1990s. It’s a game where you’re tasked with constructing and managing a building, leasing out space to offices, shops, hotels, restaurants and apartments, with the revenue going into services for the tenants and further construction. It’s a sandbox management sim and I think it’s a really good one, but there’s a lot to talk about and the comparisons to SimTower have to be made. Continue reading “Project Highrise – A Vertical Empire”→
Rocket League journeyman player Roland announced his retirement to stunned teammates and opponents, after scoring an own goal to seal defeat for his team, in his 1000th match of competitive Rocket League on Switch.