Opinions

Blizzard's Very Bad October Just Keeps Getting Worse

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Blizzard's ban on Hearthstone player Blitzchung catches the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike.

Baldur's Gate's Complex Interface Translates Surprisingly Well to Switch

Beamdog's Infinity Engine collections find great ways to bring those games to consoles.

Luigi's Mansion 3 References One of the Best Horror Films of All Time

Crazy things can happen when your back is turned.

Is Darth Maul in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order? There's Strong Evidence For It After the Latest Reveals

Dathomir is in Fallen Order, and that could mean the return of the Baddest Man in the Galaxy.

Ring Fit Adventure Wants People Playing (and Exercising) for the Long Haul

Ring Fit starts adding its deeper mechanics after players have conquered the hardest exercise challenge of them all: sticking with it.

I Love to Hate Luigi Mansion 3's Toilet Rats

When Luigi's Mansion 3 invites you to sit down, you might want to refuse.

Why The Division 2 Is Still Hard to Jump Back Into

With the new Title Update and Episode, The Division 2 should be easier to get into, but it's not.

Starting Screen | Blizzard's Troubled 2019 Finds the Once Invincible Studio at a Crossroads

This past year has found Blizzard embroiled in one controversy after another. What does it say about its future?

"It's Hypocritical for Blizzard to Punish Blitzchung but Not Us"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Activision Blizzard has always been a vigorous advocate for freedom of expression.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint is Still Lacking the One Thing Fans Truly Want

Hardcore fans want Breakpoint to be a harder survival experience.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep's Campaign Ending Has Major Implications For What's Next

The future of Destiny 2 sounds very, very interesting.

Blizzard is in an Even Bigger Mess Than the NBA on China, and It Has No One to Blame But Itself

Blizzard's handling of the Hearthstone controversy is an international mess of its own making.

Starting Screen | A Great Port Is Always Worth the Wait

Whatever time it takes to make a game feel just right on a new system is well-spent.

Ustwo's In a Complicated "Fampany" Feud

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | The Monument Valley developer's dismissal of a pro-union employee shines a light on the studio's unfortunate portmanteau of "family" and "company."

Apex Legends' New Map Is Beautiful, But It Has a Big Pacing Problem

Apex Legends has scrapped Kings Canyon for new horizons, with mixed results.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne's Final Boss Makes for a Brilliant and Terrifying Finale

Shara Ishvalda caps off Monster Hunter: World's excellent expansion with an outstanding battle.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Can be an Obtuse Experience for Players Just Now Returning

For players who haven't played Destiny 2 for a while, there's a lot that goes unexplained.

Reaction: Pokemon Sword and Shield's 18 Gyms is a Good Start, But It Needs More

Pokemon's got a lot of work ahead before it proves itself on consoles.

Analyzing Ghost Recon Breakpoint's Crazy Microtransactions, Including $10 Blueprints and $20 Tactical Gear

Maybe they're looking for the breakpoint in microtransactions.

WoW Classic is Proving More Than a Fad, and Blizzard Should be Paying Attention

For success to feel good, you have to have room to fail.

Starting Screen | Destiny Has Defined This Generation, For Better or Worse

Please enjoy your regular helping of content.

The Blood God Recommends: Dragon Quest 3 for the Switch

A 30-year-old RPG that's aged to near-perfection.

Heading Into Shadowkeep, Destiny 2 Still Hasn't Solved One of Its Biggest Problems

Destiny 2 needs to learn how to embrace generosity.

Borderlands 3 Fans Love Zane, Despite Him Falling Behind Other Vault Hunters

One Vault Hunter is falling behind mechanically, but making up for it with personality.

If You Waited on Dragon Quest XI S for the Switch, Congrats, You Made the Right Decision

They managed to make it even better. Sorcery!

Ring Fit Adventure Is a Fun RPG Until It... Stops Being an RPG

Nintendo's new fitness game excels when you're actively on an adventure.

Oculus VR Embraces the Potential of the Quest, As It Should

It looks like Facebook sees that the Quest is where it's at.

Medal of Honor is Back, and It's Conjuring the Ghosts of Wii Sports

Respawn's revival of the classic World War II shooter brings the series to VR.

Battle for Azeroth's Latest Patch Might Signal The End of An Era for World of Warcraft

Will all races stand together to battle for Azeroth?

Starting Screen | Sayonara Wild Hearts is a Bright, Loud Game That Tells a Sweet, Subtle Story

Video games are still learning the art of subtle storytelling, but a game about neon biker gals at war somehow nails it.

Kunai Is The Best Feeling Platformer I've Played Since Dead Cells

This tiny robot samurai wins with precise platforming action.

Apple Arcade Brings Game Pricing Concerns Back to the Forefront

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Will successful subscription services turn into their own walled gardens?

Apple Arcade is Way Cooler Than You Think. Here are 10 Games to Check Out

Apple Arcade has dozens of neat games, so we highlighted 10 from its launch lineup that are a bit under the radar.

At Last, FIFA 20's Career Mode is Interesting Again - Review Impressions

Some much-needed improvements have a major impact on FIFA 20's much-maligned career mode.

Session is the Skate 4 Fans Have Been Pining For... Almost

Session tries to capture the trial and error of skateboarding, but right now it feels like a lot of the latter.

Starting Screen | Games are Running Worse Than Ever on the Base PS4 and Xbox One. Is There a Solution?

Owners of the base consoles are increasingly saddled with long load times when playing games like Borderlands 3.

Haven is an RPG Where You Control Two Star-Crossed Lovers at the Same Time

It's a wonderfully fresh take on video game romance.

We've (Maybe) Reached A Turning Point in the Fight Over Loot Boxes

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | A U.K. Parliamentary committee report offers another wake-up call for the industry, but the ESA hits snooze once more.

Why Porting the 16-Bit NBA Jam to PlayStation Was Such a Major Trial Back in 1995

An excerpt from the new book Arcade Perfect, following a programmer's daunting task with NBA Jam T.E.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 on Switch Has a Major Advantage Over Its Console Counterparts

Just let me move my game from platform to platform. That's all I ask.

After Playing the Beta, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is Better Off Without the Minimap

Some are upset about Modern Warfare's lack of a minimap, but we've barely mourned its absence

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Drops Frames Like Marin Drops Beats, But it's Not Too Bad

The small hitches in Link's Awakening don't spoil an otherwise wonderful Zelda adventure.

Celeste's Final Free Chapter Is A Brutal, But Fond Farewell

Celeste gets a beefy new chapter for its last update that's just as intense in difficulty as The Core.

GreedFall Is a Slow but Satisfying Burn for Fans of Old BioWare: Review Impressions

Spiders' tale of colonial tension is, so far, compelling.

Starting Screen | Why I Ignored the Dreamcast 20 Years Ago

I was a teenage Debby Dreamcast Downer.

Game Devs Speak Out on Gaming's Discoverability Problem

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Developers and publishers dance around the question of how to get games noticed in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

These Rare Games Make SNES on Nintendo Switch Online Worth Paying Attention To

Race 'em, fly 'em, stack 'em: Nintendo Switch Online's SNES library is off to a good start.

Terrified People Want to Know What's in Pokemon's Sausages

If you think too deeply about the curry you make in Sword and Shield, questions bubble to the surface of your mind.

Wilmot's Warehouse Is the Chill Organization Game That Shouldn't Slip You By This Busy Season

Wilmot's Warehouse is the medicine you need right now.

How Final Fantasy 7 Remake's Battle Music Goes in Unexpected Directions

So long repetitive battle themes, I'll see you in therapy.

Sayonara Wild Hearts Scratches My Ever-Present Rhythm Heaven Itch

At PAX West 2019, we played Simogo's latest colorful adventure.

Starting Screen | Control's Creepy Memos and Unsettling Book Clubs Make Its Collectibles Actually Worth Collecting

The information buried in the collectibles is far more sinister than it lets on.

Abuse Accusations and "Censorship" Drama Were at the Forefront of a Busy Week in Games

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | A series of accusations of abusive behavior dominated the industry during a week full of new releases.

Starting Screen | EarthBound’s 25th Anniversary Makes us Pine for Classic Instruction Books

Earthbound's player guide is a great example of the effort publishers expended trying to make the West fall in love with RPGs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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