Opinions

Xbox Series X Asks the Question, "What's in a Name?"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Microsoft not only unveiled its next console this week, but now Sony will start making games for other consoles too?

No, Bravely Default 2 Isn't the First Bravely Default Sequel: An Explainer

Three games later, we finally earn a "2."

Once the King of PC Gaming, MechWarrior is Now the Big Stompy Ghost of a Bygone Era

A legacy series returns, and there’s little else like it in gaming today.

Starting Screen | Tyrants, Dollhouses, and Rude Geese: Looking Back on 2019's Great Gaming Moments

There were some great moments in video games this year. Let's look back on some of our favorites.

25 Years Ago, Breath of Fire 2 Was My First Journey to Kill God, and It Was Good

Even the world's worst translation can't destroy a good yarn about slaying the Lord.

"I Can Pretty Much Become Way Worse Than Gordon Ramsay"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan would like to be seen as the "Asian Steve Jobs" but comes off more like "a jerk selling light-up mice."

Starting Screen | Why 2019 Is the Year I Decided To Stop Rushing Through Games

Some of us have been playing Death Stranding slowly, and it's far better for it.

Checking in on FIFA 20 for Black Friday: Does It Hold Up?

We enjoyed FIFA 20 during review, but is it worth picking up on Black Friday? We check in on EA's soccer sim.

Red Dead Online After One Year: Has Rockstar Learned From GTA Online's Mistakes?

Red Dead Online has still had a rough year, but it's progressed at a much faster clip than its online predecessor.

Starting Screen | Five Games I Missed That I'm Planning to Play Now That the Holidays Are Here

A look at the games I want to play before 2019 is officially finished.

"Stadia Nailed the Impossible, and Then Failed the Possible"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | A time of technological transitions for companies like Google, Valve, Game Freak, Microsoft, Sony, and more.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Worst Pokemon Are a Reference to Actual Prehistoric Mistakes

When Gideon Mantell accidentally mixed up early Iguanodon fossils, at least no living creatures suffered.

Jedi: Fallen Order's Intro Beautifully Captures One of Star Wars' Defining Traits

Star Wars has always made us feel small in a powerful way.

It Took Forever to Get Oculus Link Working, But It's Been So Worth It

Oculus VR is promising a lot with Oculus Link, and it mostly delivers.

Galarian Meowth: Oh My God, What the Hell

The U.K. is free of rabies, but Galar seemingly isn't.

In Defense of Cal Kestis, Jedi: Fallen Order's Dorkiest Padawan

There's more to Fallen Order's red-headed Jedi than meets the eye.

The Biggest Game Awards 2019 Snubs and Surprises: Disco Elysium and Outer Wilds Miss Out

Some indie darlings are up for smaller awards, but not the major one.

Starting Screen | Google Stadia is Gaming for No One

Google's first foray into the console space manages to alienate both causal and hardcore gamers alike.

Half-Life 2 Celebrates its 15th Anniversary Today. Here's Why its Rushed Ending is Now its Biggest Strength

It had an annoying cliffhanger, no doubt. Then, Valve made things worse.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Endgame Has a Heartfelt Sidestory

Catchin' the love alongside the Legendaries.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Has Proof Pokemon Are Our Friends, Not Just Servants

Are you worthy of being a Pokemon's friend? Probably not, but at least Sword and Shield lets you try.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Online Deep Dive: What it's Like to Battle, Trade, and Explore the Vibrant Wild Area

The servers are on, and the players are trickling in. Here's what it's like to interact with them.

Grounded Impressions: Why Obsidian Fans Shouldn't Write Off This Quirky Passion Project Just Yet

An odd choice by Obsidian, but there's more than meets the eye here.

Pokemon Sword and Shield is Lovely and Warm, but Not a Next-Gen Pokemon Game

Game Freak prefers to make us cozy on the Switch instead of breaking barriers.

Will Hideo Kojima Ever Stop Making Metal Gear Solid?

A closer look at Death Stranding reveals a game that isn't as different as it first seems.

Starting Screen | I Love Death Stranding's Ridiculous Product Placement

Chugging Monster until it kills me.

Death Stranding, Explained: Breaking Down the Complex Relationships, Mysteries, and Ending of Hideo Kojima's Sprawling Epic

There's a lot to unpack in Kojima Productions' Death Stranding. That hasn't stopped us from having a crack at it.

A Devolver Co-Founder Makes A Plea For Publishers To Rethink Predatory Microtransactions

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Devolver Digital co-founder Mike Wilson likens addictive titles to crystal meth.

We Need a Mass Effect Remaster for More Important Reasons Than Nostalgia

Shepard's legacy should outlive their consoles.

Nioh 2's Beta is a Brutal Brick Wall of Difficulty

Like its predecessor, Nioh 2 cranks its difficulty amp way up.

Death Stranding's Stealth Gameplay Has Shades of Metal Gear Solid, But Not the Whole Picture

Sam's sneaking missions can still be fun, even if they don't quite measure up.

Death Stranding Roundtable: We're Still Trying to Figure Out What the Heck We Just Played

Eric, Kat, and Hirun answer some follow-up questions about Death Stranding on the occasion of its launch.

World of Warcraft's 15th Anniversary Raid Is Making Me Nostalgic About Its Best Era

The new raid hits me right in my sweet spot.

Thank God Apex Legends Finally Has a Proper Training Mode

Apex Legends introduces a new training mode where you can finally test out every character.

Starting Screen | Blizzard Had a Terrible Weekend, But At Least Warcraft 3: Reforged is Good

Maybe Blizzard's best days really are behind it.

On Its 10th Anniversary, Dragon Age: Origins is Better Than You Remember

Dragon Age: Origins was willing to eschew Mass Effect's infamous moral binary for something deeper.

Digital Eclipse Has Made It Much Easier to Hate-Love the 16-bit Aladdin and Lion King Games

"I can show you the world with some help from rewind."

Blizzard's Commitment to Free Expression Doesn't Mean Much With Blitzchung Still Banned

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Blizzard calls its suspension of Blitzchung for voicing support for the ongoing Hong Kong protests a "tough Hearthstone esports moment."

The Outer Worlds is the RPG Genre's Past, Disco Elysium is Its Future

It feels like Disco Elysium represents something new in RPGs.

Nier: Automata Raid Carves Out Its Existence Within Final Fantasy 14's World

This isn't an alternate reality.

Polterkitty From Luigi's Mansion 3 Wants to Claw My Face off and I Love Her

There's no such thing as a bad cat, even if that cat comes directly from hell.

Starting Screen | Three Classic Letters That Show How Much Easier It Is to Be a Video Game Fan in 2019

The gaming community knew nothing in the '90s, and frankly, neither did a lot of publishers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Campaign is a Half-Step Toward Greatness

How Modern Warfare falls back on old habits, even with its compelling new direction.

Four Months Later, Auto Chess' Successors Are Rewriting the Genre

Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords are trying to ensure auto chess isn't a flash in the pan.

Shenmue 3 Can't Help Betraying the Spirit of the Original Game

Where once the series sat at the bleeding edge of game design, Shenmue 3 is more content to look backward.

Do Delays Reduce Game Developer Stress, or Simply Extend It?

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | With The Last of Us Part 2 and Watch Dogs: Legion slipping, the first quarter of 2020 suddenly looks a lot lighter for game releases.

The Outer Worlds' Biggest Surprise Is Something It Doesn't Have Much Of

After a long history of buggy games, Obsidian delivers a game with relatively few bugs.

All The Dumb Ways I Died Or Almost Died in Disco Elysium

Big failed check energy.

Fallout 76 Just Threw Out Months of Goodwill in a Single Day

With the announcement of a subscription service, Fallout 76 tosses a fire bomb at its community.

Starting Screen | Please Stop Putting Big Spiders In Video Games

I'm tired of it, and I don't have a good reason for it!

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.

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