Long Reads archive

Trials of Mana Interview: The Developers on Topping the Fan Translation and the Possibility of New Mana Games

"[T]he localization team took a look at the translation and the first thing they said was, 'We're going to show them up.'"

The Pride Flag in Marvel's Spider-Man is a Small Gesture That's Made a Large Impact

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Pride flags in Marvel's Spider-Man, edits to Yakuza re-releases, and an Ion Fury backtrack show publisher actions speaking louder than words

What the Heck is Ray Tracing and Why Does it Matter for Next-Generation Consoles? An Explainer

Nvidia is pushing ray tracing very hard, so let's talk about why it matters to games.

Where Nintendo Switch Online Has Gone Wrong

The reasons Nintendo's online service is flaccid, and what it can do to pump things up.

The Fire Emblem: Three Houses Student Ranking Thunderdome: 34 Students Enter, Only Shamir Leaves

We have no favorites among Three Houses' characters, except for the ones that are our favorites.

NBA 2K20 Finally Tackles the VC Microtransaction Grind: "We Didn't Want People to Feel [...] Trapped in This Grind Anymore"

Virtual Currency is here to stay, but at least the grind will be less painful this year.

What To Read, Play, and Watch Before Playing Telling Lies

Back at GDC 2019, Sam Barlow filled us in on the syllabus for Telling Lies.

Remembering the Early Days of BioWare with Co-Founder Trent Oster

Beamdog and BioWare co-founder Trent Oster talks about the early days of the studio, before Electronic Arts.

Starting Screen | Sony's Insomniac Acquisition is Its First Major Salvo in the PS5 Generation

Exclusives matter more than ever... or do they?

No Man's Sky Beyond Is Finally Feeling Like the Game I Wanted Three Years Ago

The new Beyond update continues to make No Man's Sky the game it was supposed to be.

The Beauty of Chrono Cross in HD Reminds Us We're Overdue for a Remaster

A remaster needs to give us the option to drop-kick Poshul into the sea, though.

How Chanbanhi is Turning Video Game Memes Into an Artform

We catch up the editor behind those viral Animal Crossing edits you've probably been seeing around lately.

The Sega Genesis Mini's Misfit Collection of Games is Authentic Nostalgia

Taking a gander at Sega's first proper mini console.

Apex Legends' Solo Mode Encourages a Very Different Style of Play

If you ping in Apex Legends' new Solo mode, does it make a sound?

Metal Wolf Chaos XD's Exaggerated Japanese Take On American Patriotism, as Observed by a Canadian

I may only watch and observe this strange planet. I mayn't interfere with its workings.

No Man's Sky Beyond Might Reset the Universe Again, But Its Most Dedicated Players Are Ready

It's the end of the world as they know it, and they feel fine.

Starting Screen | Can Sports Games be Fixed?

No one seems happy with otherwise popular games like Madden and FIFA. What's going wrong?

Guilty Gear Being More Accessible Shouldn't be Controversial

The fighting game community is changing and the primary driver of that might be Super Smash Bros.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Has a Hidden Second Story in its Illustrations

Even in wartime, the Circle of Life churns ever on.

Teamfight Tactics vs Dota Underlords: The State of Auto Chess Now That the Dust Has Settled

The big question isn't who's next, but what's next?

Zachtronics' New Visual Novel Eliza Reckons With an Industry and Generation in Burnout Crisis

We talk to developer Matthew Seiji Burns about his prescient upcoming visual novel, a surprising departure for a studio known for puzzle games.

Volta Feels Like the Missing Piece of the Puzzle for FIFA 20

We go hands-on with FIFA 20's new street mode, and we like what we see.

Man vs. Mario Maker 2: Hardcore Jumps, Airship Explosions, and Spiny Rescues

We're back with another round-up of some of the most interesting courses in Super Mario Maker 2!

Meet the YouTubers Using Math to Unlock the Depths of Monster Hunter: World

An inside look at Monster Hunter Math, a mathematical video series from masterminds JinJinx and Tuna.

The Secrets of PangaeaPanga, One of Super Mario Maker 2's Most Fiendish Course Creators

The creator of some of Super Mario Maker's hardest level is back with Super Mario Maker 2.

In Memorium: Fire Emblem's Juicy, Chunky GBA Sprites

A little bit of sprite art could convey a lot of emotion on the GBA.

Blaming Video Games For Gun Violence is a Tired Old Song

We've been here before, and it's never worked out.

Starting Screen | The ESA Leak Puts the Future of E3 In Question

Things are about to get pretty rough for the industry's number-one trade show.

Why I'm Not Reviewing Madden 20 This Year

What is there be said about this version? Not enough.

How Tekken 7 Rose to the Top of Competitive Fighting Games

Modern Tekken is all about the storylines.

Obsidian Talks About Ways to be Really Evil in The Outer Worlds

How bad can you get? Pretty bad, it seems.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses' Romances Are Its Weakest Element, and I'm Kind of Glad

Fire Emblem makes a welcome course correction after Fates.

The Pros and Cons of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Battlefield-Style Maps and Player Counts

From 10v10 to more than 100, Modern Warfare is pushing its player count to the limit, and not necessarily for a battle royale either.

Inside Modern Warfare's Push to Rebuild Call of Duty's Multiplayer From the Ground Up

Animation director Mark Grigsby and multiplayer design director Geoffrey Smith break down the huge overhauls in Modern Warfare.

Sega's Failed Attempts to Mock the Game Boy are Still Funny 30 Years Later

Oh, you like the Game Boy? You probably also like drinking out of the toilet. Enjoy your 12 IQ, dumbass.

We Get Up Close and Personal With Monster Hunter World: Iceborne's Newest Monster: The Viper Tobi-Kadachi

Check out gameplay footage from Monster Hunter: World's upcoming expansion, including some new monsters.

Madden 20's Franchise Mode Has Fallen Far Behind the Competition. Here's How to Fix It

Seven major improvements that need to happen for Madden's franchise mode to catch up with the competition.

Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers' Savage Raids Has Top Guilds Vying for the Glory of a World First Completion. Here's a Breakdown

We take a look at the current race to take world first in Final Fantasy 14's hardest content.

Starting Screen | Wolfenstein: Youngblood's Frustrating Finale Begs the Question: What Makes a Good Final Boss Fight?

Let's talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of final bosses in games.

We Need More Games Like Turok: Escape From the Lost Valley

The game isn't exactly what I want, but I can't fault the idea of playing around with properties.

Where Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Could Go Next In The Marvel Universe

From the Mutant Massacre to War of the Vampires, there's more of the Marvel Universe to mine.

Inside The Fallout 76 Church That Worships Mr. Pebbles, The First Cat To Go To Space

We talk to the leaders and members of lore-centered Fallout 76 role-playing communities.

What to Read, Play, and Watch Before Playing Wolfenstein: Youngblood

What one Youngblood dev thinks you should brush up on before going Nazi hunting.

Fans Are Vowing to Boycott Pokemon Sword and Shield, but Here's How That's Gone in the Past

People aren't shy about airing their opinions on games in development, but are developers listening?

The Final Splatfest May Be Over, But Splatoon 2 Players Aren't Ready To Say Goodbye

How Splatoon lives on is in the community's hands now.

Man vs. Mario Maker 2: The Best Courses Based on Other Games

This collection of Super Mario Maker 2 courses references other games, including Contra, Sonic, and The Legend of Zelda.

7 Classic Trainers We Spotted in Our Pokemon Masters Hands-On That Fans Will Remember Fondly

We got extensive hands-on time with Pokemon Masters. Here are some of the cool trainers from deep in Pokemon history that we spotted.

Starting Screen | It's Time for Nintendo Switch Games to Have a Better Handheld Experience

It's no longer a good idea to relegate the Switch's portable mode to second class.

How One Modder Builds Handheld Custom Consoles Through the Magic of Community and Self-Teaching

For modder Chris Downing, making his own handheld consoles is even more fun than playing them.

Blacksad: Under the Skin Stars a Feline as a Detective, But It's No Kid-Friendly Zootopia

Blacksad: Under the Skin is like volume 2.5 in terms of when it takes place in the comic book series.

Splatoon 2 Players Are Dressing Up For The End Of The World

We're near the end of Splatoon 2's updates and events, but it's going out in style.

Sky: Children of the Light Might Be the Best Looking Mobile Game Ever

Thatgamecompany's long-awaited follow-up to Journey has some beautiful clouds, and it looks surprisingly great on mobile too.

Metal Gear Solid 2's Commentary On America On The Brink Resonates Just As Strong Today

An essay on Metal Gear Solid 2, from the new book collection of Metal Gear Solid essays called Okay, Hero.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: Marvel Heroes Who Could be DLC

There's some strong candidates that could be added to this roster.

Hyrule Warriors and MMOs Prepared Me for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3's Improved Combat

The new Ultimate Alliance switches up the formula.

Man vs. Mario Maker 2: The Superball, Arby's, and World 1-1 is Burning

On this week's Man vs. Mario Maker, we bring you eight new courses full of delight and despair.

It Took Several "Crappy Prototypes" For Furi Developer To Get To Haven

A change in pace was not easy, but it was much needed.

How Does Fire Emblem: Three Houses Stack Up Against Persona, Bully, and Other Games With School Settings?

We don't need no education, but video game characters are another story.

Starting Screen | A Reminder for Fans Raging About Pokemon Sword and Shield: Every New Entry is Somebody's First

In this exciting issue: I recall dismissing Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire as "lazy" back in 2002.

What Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers Has to Say About Today's Real World Problems

Final Fantasy's latest expansion draws on our experiences to tell a fantastic story.

Nihon Falcom's President on Why It's Not Supporting Switch More, Lessons Learned From Ys 8, and Hopes for the Next 5 Years

The state of Nihon Falcom, one of the oldest RPG studios in existence, in 2019.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is Excellent, But Its Excellence Comes at a Cost

Three Houses solidifies the trends that began with Awakening, but in a good way (mostly).

Blazing Chrome Gets Contra in a Way that Contra: Rogue Corps Does Not

Developer JoyMasher crafts a wonderful homage to Contra 3: The Alien Wars.

Meet the Creators Behind Awesome Overwatch Workshop Creations Like “Last Man Bouncing”

For some, the Workshop is "one of the best things to happen to Overwatch."

Dr. Mario World is Breaking My Brain, But in a Good Way

Dr. Mario and the whole Mushroom Kingdom reunite to cure more diseases. Maybe they can destroy cancer this time.

Switch Lite is (Almost) Everything I Wanted From a Switch Revision

The Switch Lite is looking great, like other Nintendo portable revisions before it.

SolSeraph Misses the Point of ActRaiser's Town-Building Simulation

Do not forget the ways of the old gods.

From Student Project to Backpacking in Space: The Story Behind the Mystery Sci-Fi Outer Wilds

The seven-year road to the year's biggest surprise hit.

Starting Screen | It's Becoming Impossible To Keep Up With More Than A Couple "Forever" Games

Apex Legends, Final Fantasy 14, World of Warcraft, and more are seeing huge updates. Will we ever rest?

Apex Legends Fixes Its Battle Pass Problem With Season Two

New challenges and better rewards help season two feel actually satisfying.

MAD Magazine Published the Ultimate Video Game Parody in its January 1990 Issue

For a gang of idiots, they were pretty smart.

You Might Actually Want to Grab A Mozambique In Apex Legends Now

In Apex Legends: Season 2, a joke of a weapon just got viable.

ActRaiser is Awesome Because it's About Bashing Monsters While Trying to Understand God's Love

There's a time to fight, a time to philosophize, and certainly a time to do both.

Video Game Characters Keep Popping Up In Porn Ads, And Publishers Might Not Be Able To Stop It

We spoke with a lawyer, and more, about the shady world of porn ads and copyright law.

Nvidia Replaces the RTX 2080 and 2070 With New 'Super' Versions

Nvidia's RTX line of cards is getting a small refresh and power boost.

Starting Screen | Super Mario Maker 2 Wants To Make You A Better Level Designer

Super Mario Maker 2 teaches you to respect your players, not frustrate them.

Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers Has a Healer Shortage Problem

The changes to healers are leading to some leaving their favorite classes behind.

No Straight Roads is a Musical Action-Adventure Where You Don't Necessarily Need Good Rhythm

Directed by the lead game designer of Final Fantasy 15, No Straight Roads is a music-driven action-adventure game inspired by all genres.

Why Some Super Mario Maker 2 Players are Thinking About Going Back to the Original

Players dismay over the mechanical changes in the level-building sequel.

WoW's Rise of Azshara Patch Points Toward a Potentially Brighter Future

Patch 8.2 experiments with different types of questing zones, in the hopes of finding the future of WoW.

The Big Panzer Dragoon Interview: "It Really Makes Me Think Again About How Incredible Sega Was at the Time"

We dove into the whole Panzer Dragoon series with creator Yukio Futatsugi and art director Kentaro Yoshida.

Tokyo RPG Factory on How the Studio's Classic RPG Inspiration Fuels the Action-RPG Oninaki

Don't worry, Oninaki is still going for that classic JRPG feeling. Just in a less obvious way.

How a The Sims Machinima About a Pregnant 16-Year-Old Spawned a Soap Opera Dynasty

These two sisters are rewriting the soap opera rulebook with The Sims.

Call of Duty: Mobile Should Really be Called "Call of Duty: Everything"

At E3 2019, we went hands-on with Call of Duty's next frontier: phones.

The Pokemon Sword and Shield Pokedex Controversy Has a Name, and the Conversation Around It is Getting Worse

Pokemon fans are riled up about Pokemon Sword and Shield. Here's a breakdown of the reasons why.

Starting Screen | Auto Chess is the Latest Gaming Industry Gold Rush, Like MOBA and Battle Royale Before It

In such a short period of time, there's been an explosion in the autobattler genre.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 Trailer: All the Big Fan Theories That Have Already Emerged

It looks like Ganondorf is making his Breath of the Wild debut, and that can only spell trouble. We've analyzed the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer.

The Outer Worlds Makes Conversation As Powerful as Combat

There's a variety of way to tackle your problems in Obsidian's The Outer Worlds.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Reminds Me How Much I Missed Touring Castles from Hell

Sometimes you want to go where everybody eats your skin.

Sea of Solitude is a Deeply Personal Project For One Developer

This fantastical adventure is based on a real story.

Sega on Bringing the Old Team Back Together to Create the Genesis Mini

Sega talks about the lengths it went to create a proper Sega Genesis mini-console.

Breath of the Wild 2's "Rehydrated Ganondorf" Isn't Just Sexy - He's Sweet, Too

The latest art trend shows a fascinatingly softer side to the Gerudo king.

Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Largely Misses the Point

A free-to-play jumble that misses what made Pokemon Go and its own source material so special.

Sky: Children of the Light is a New Game From the Creators of Journey Where Everyone Wants to Give You a Hug

At E3 2019, we got some hands-on time with the next social adventure from thatgamecompany, which launches next month.

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