Video Games

Reviews of both new release and older video games and computer games.

Switching On to Nintendo’s Newest Console

I’m not sure what it was exactly that flipped my internal “switch” about the Nintendo Switch console, but at some point between when they became available to preorder and the release date, the Switch went from a curiosity-piquing concept to something I needed to seek out and purchase. It might have been the parent in me thinking about how useful the parental controls may be, now that my geekling is showing an interest in video games. It may have...

Sekai Project and the Rise of the Visual Novel’s Western Audience

Although not especially well known outside the fandom community, the visual novel is a popular genre of video game among anime fans (not to be confused with the similarly named graphic novel). These games, produced in Japan, consist of narrative prose accompanied by pretty pictures in the familiar aesthetic found in anime and manga, and they play somewhat like a Choose Your Own Adventure book but with a longer story, the player making periodic choices that influence the direction the narrative...

What’s New with Yakuza 0?

Yakuza 0 has finally arrived in North America, and it’s once again time to return to Kamurocho and join Kazuma Kiryu in the criminal underworld of Tokyo. This time around, it’s a little different, as Yakuza 0 has us going back in time. As the name might imply, it’s a prequel to all of the other games in the series, putting us with our lead character, Kiryu, when he is just 20 years old, and still fairly new to...

You Can Explore Path of Exile’s Dark Continent in Just About Any Way You Choose

Path of Exile’s new Breach leagues started not too long ago, and so I figured it’s as good a time as any to introduce the game to a wider world. For those not familiar with it, Path of Exile, made by Grinding Gear Games out of New Zealand, is a free-to-play action RPG loot grinder with a surprising (sometimes frankly astonishing) level of detail in its customization and character building. It manages to be one of the most obsessively...

Never Alone: Ki Edition Combines Native Culture and Atmospheric Puzzle Solving

Never Alone is an atmospheric puzzle-platformer game that seeks to educate players on the folklore and culture of the Iñupiat people. Originally released for console and PC in 2014 and 2015, it became available for mobile this summer with the Ki Edition. The game is quite enjoyable, and if you choose to delve into the extra content, you’ll appreciate it even more. I played this on an iPhone 6S. In Never Alone, you play as Nuna, a young Iñupiat...

Tamriel Gets Spooky with the Witches Festival

Autumn is, without a doubt, my favorite season. There is just something so magical about it to me, more so than spring or summer. Winter is a close second (though the winters here in Minnesota can be as brutal as they are beautiful), but autumn is a special time of year. I think this is due in great part to how brief it is—our autumns do not last long, so it’s important to really enjoy them for the few...

Trigger King Xcaliber Adjustable Triggers: A Great MN Idea with a Fatal Design Flaw

Being an avid gamer, I’m always looking for ways to enhance my gaming experiences and improve upon my skills. I’m not one to shy away from trying something new in the hopes of finding my own personal gaming nirvana. So, naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to try the Xcaliber PS4 Adjustable Triggers by Minnesota accessory company Trigger King. Let’s start off with the package and contents. The Xcaliber trigger set comes equipped with two adjustable triggers, a precision...

A Death at Zee: Sunless Sea Reviewed

The first expansion for Failbetter Games’ Sunless Sea will be here on October 11. The 2015 game was free on Steam recently, and it’s a terrifying wonder to behold. Though this roguelike game (or perhaps rogue-lite, if we’re splitting hairs) encourages you to “Lose your mind” and “Eat your crew,” its appeal is not in its difficulty but in its rich and haunting world. Sunless Sea draws rough poetry out of the code and is a worthwhile experience in spite of its flaws. In Sunless...

I Am Setsuna: A New Taste of the Old

I suppose there’s a moment in every gamer’s life when they feel like an elderly person, waxing nostalgic about the “old days.” Evidently, this is mine. While I am all for video games and their respective genres evolving and changing as long as it’s for the better, sometimes it can be hard not to want to play something that has a more “classic” feel. It could be because there is something to that classic style that’s been lost as...

Resident Evil 7 Welcomes You to Hell’s “Kitchen”

Announced earlier this week at E3, Capcom released their first playable demo of their upcoming title, Resident Evil 7. Inspired by Konami’s now-defunct Silent Hills, Resident Evil 7 follows much the same vein and offers an exclusive demo in the form of Kitchen to whet the appetite of those who have been clamoring for the franchise to return to its survival-horror roots. A departure from the traditional third-person style of gameplay and designed with the PlayStation VR in mind, the...
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