As an ardent Star Wars fan, I must shamefully admit that I played the critically acclaimed Knights of the Old Republic game only a couple of years ago. Though, it wasn’t really my fault as I have been trying and failing to make the game run on my computer for almost 6 years. I originally got the game when I was 10 only to discover that, for some reason, it refused to work on my PC. It didn’t launch and if it did, it crashed as soon as I reached the main menu. I tried to fix it, but at that age I really wasn’t very knowledgeable about these matters and soon gave up. My second brush with it was around two years later when a friend told me that he had gotten the game to work on his computer. He said that some of the files on my CD must have been corrupt and so, he gave me his CD to install the game from. I remember sitting excitedly in front of my monitor waiting for the installation to finish so that I could get on to playing the game, but once again, I was disappointed. This time, an error popped up on my screen every time I double-clicked on the launcher. I scoured the net for solutions, but none of them seemed to work for me. This attempt to run the game ended the same way as the last – in my surrender. Finally, I got my hands on it again two years ago and this time I was determined about fixing it. I spent hours digging through forums and watching YouTube videos on the subject. Eventually, I think the game sensed my frustration and acquiesced. I literally leapt up in joy when the game worked. However, there were still a few kinks to solve – the game refused to save, cut-scenes refused to play and the aspect ratio was stuck at 800×600. These required an hour more of work, but when it was done, I felt so relieved. I reclined in my chair and prepared myself for a great Star Wars experience. However, I never anticipated it to be that good.
The premise of Until Dawn is something every horror movie fan will be familiar with – a group of teenagers go to a very secluded place, away from civilization, in this case a cabin in the woods (get it?) for a weekend party and end up being picked off one by one by someone or something. It sounds like a typical 80s slasher movie and that’s because that’s exactly what the studio was going for. You might think, the game’s generic, but there are a plethora of twists to make this seemingly stale formula seem fresh.
Disclaimer: I’ll try to avoid as many spoilers as I can, but a few things may slip in.
Let me just say that when I heard about this game and it involving fairy tale characters, I immediately thought that it would be quite childish, a far cry from Telltale’s uber mature The Walking Dead. (The setting of the game did manage to pique my interest though and I gave it a spin.) However, within the opening ten minutes of the game I was proven wrong, so wrong. It’s just as mature, its characters are just as diverse and fleshed out and the story is captivating. These “fairy tale characters” have been adapted for adults and throw out swears and curses as often as Kim Kardashian gets plastic surgery (by that I mean, very frequently. She went from looking like an Oompa Loompa to whatever the hell she looks like now). However, it never feels out-of-place to see that because of the perfect setting. I won’t spoil it, but I’ll just say that the fables, as they’re called here, are in a bad way. Bigby Wolf is just as likable a protagonist as good old Lee Everett and the supporting cast here may even be better than that from The Walking Dead. I can’t call The Wolf Among Us better than The Walking Dead because the two are so different, but they’re definitely on the same level, if one were to compare.
Remember when you didn’t have a PC or a console or even a phone to play your video games on and you had to go to the local gaming parlour which housed all your favourite games, from Street Fighter to Contra? Those days are no more, but that doesn’t mean that such parlours have been wiped off the face of the Earth. I recently went on a holiday to Nainital, a hill-station in North India and while I was walking beside its famed lake, I spotted two gaming parlours side-by-side. There were quite a few children outside it and so I thought that I’d go take a look at it. I peeped inside and saw that there were no computers or large flat-screen T.V.s connected to modern consoles, but large, hunky machines that could play one game each. At the counter, there was a man distributing tokens to the children. This sight and that wonderful noise of a dozen games running together at full volume brought back some really treasured memories.
I play a lot of League of Legends and DotA 2 and I’ve played some Warframe. The stark difference I noticed between the former two and the latter, apart from gameplay of course, is the currency system and how it comes into play in the games. In League and DotA, you have the option of spending real money to buy skins (alternative character models for your “champions” or “heroes” respectively), things that don’t alter your gameplay at all. WoW allows you to spend real money to buy a lot of other stuff too, stuff that makes you a lot stronger in the game without actually having to play it at all (by that I mean the best gear). This makes it a pay-to-win game whereas the other two aren’t.
Disclaimer: I am going to be discussing plot points of The Walking Dead video game series (both season 1 and 2), so if you haven’t completed the games yet or have any intention of playing them in the future, don’t read this! (Unless you like spoilers, in which case, go nuts!) Let me just start off by saying that The Walking Dead Season 1 is my second-favourite story-based video game, just behind Knights of the Old Republic. I’m a huge fan of the T.V. series and also the graphic novel so playing the game was a no-brainer. At first I was a bit skeptical about the it being an adventure game that was point-and-click based like the LucasArts games of the 90s, but since it was being made by the able minds at Telltale Games, I had quite a lot of hope for it. After the disaster that was the other Walking Dead game (it’s so bad I can’t even remember its name), this series needed a hit. And a hit it did get! This was the only game that has ever made me shed tears (man-tears mind you!) and that says something about it. It was brilliant in every way imaginable. However, at the end, I was left asking myself this pertinent question – “did the choices I make throughout the course of the game even have an impact on the ending?” (This holds true for the second season as well.)
Heads up: I’m gonna be discussing the ending of Mass Effect 3 as the title suggests. So, if you haven’t finished the game or are going to play the game in the future, don’t read this.
The Mass Effect series is my second-favourite RPG series, just behind The Knights of the Old Republic series and probably because Mass Effect reminds me so much of Star Wars. It’s Star Wars, except it’s not (get it?). So let me make a quick comparison – Mass Effect 2 is the Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy. It bettered everything that its predecessor did, the inventory system was revamped (Thank God!) and even though some people say that it removed some of the RPG elements, I didn’t mind at all. Then came Mass Effect 3.
Let me just get this out there – Mass Effect 3 is by no means a “bad” game. In fact, It’s really good. Well, most of it anyway. Continue reading Why I dislike the Mass Effect 3 ending