Som has been hanging out with the MMORPG.com crew since 2011, and is an Associate Director & Lecturer in Media, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. He’s a former Community Manager for Neverwinter, the free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment, and is unreasonably good at Maze Craze for the Atari 2600. You can exchange puns and chat (European) football with him on Twitter @sominator.
The question of representation in video games is not a new one, and continues to spark all kinds of discussions that range in topic and intensity. On one end of the spectrum, there are individuals and groups who advocate for the most possible diversity in gaming. On the other, there are camps who posit that there is no issue of representation in video games, or that it’s not a worthy topic of discussion.
Sword Coast Legends (SCL) is one of those games that, if it grabs you, can keep you entertained for a good long while past what you might expect. It was greeted with a mostly rocky reception when it released (see Rob’s review for reference), and was critiqued for a number of items that have led n-Space and Digital Extremes to provide free DLC updates moving forward.
If you were to tell me that there’s an upcoming golf game that’s part PGA Tour, part Mario Golf, and all MMORPG, I’d probably look at you funny. Yet, that’s exactly the theme of Winning Putt: combining accurate golf mechanics with larger-than-life abilities and all of the features that you’d expect from a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game.
The MMO genre can sometimes feel like a whimsical sea of shifting sands, but it’s not without its axioms. Open betas will almost always mean soft launches, game development benchmarks will take longer than expected, and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will always be one of the best-conceived and poorly-executed MMORPGs ever made. Yet, sometimes the sands shift enough to reveal patterns for those who are good enough at predictions to get a glimpse of what awaits for MMOs, RPGS, and other games.
In many ways, Trails of Cold Steel’s JRPG trappings and gameplay struggle to remain relevant in an evolving genre. Yet, paradoxically, it’s the game’s conventional approach that makes it appealing, a reminder of the formula that has made JRPGs so popular, with several ease-of-use additions here and there to make it more accessible in the contemporary milieu. If you’re looking for something new to play on your Vita or PS3, you’d be hard-pressed to do better.
It’s rare that an MMO comes across my desk for which I don’t have much background or context. It’s rarer still for that MMO to be in closed beta, with a lot of localization work and polish needed, and still leave a tremendously positive impression. Enter Black Desert Online (BDO), the upcoming fantasy MMORPG from Pearl Abyss and Daum Games, which just completed its first CBT this week.
I have a confession to make: my excitement for the release of a new Star Wars movie is surpassed only by my crotchety aversion to large crowds and general laziness to buy tickets on time. So while it’s going to be a week or so before I get to see The Force Awakens, and I’ll be avoiding the internet for fear of spoilers throughout that time, I’m doing the next best thing: jumping back into Star Wars: The Old Republic.
I may have missed the boat on Divinity: Original Sin’s vanilla release, but with Larian Studios’ relaunch of the game in October, I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. I’ve been blundering through the Enhanced Edition’s wonderfully expansive content for fourteen hours or so, and have yet to scratch the surface of its open-ended gameplay and story.
Tell me if this cycle sounds familiar to you: you spend a good part of the year playing through your backlog of video games in the lulls between major releases, only to fill it back up again once a Steam Sale hits. I myself am just cresting the wave of a number of older titles that have been collecting dust for some time (the most recent ventures include Shadow of Mordor, Super Mario 3D World, and A Link Between Worlds), and am simultaneously anticipating and avoiding holiday sales.
Everyone has her/his own favorite book or film in a series. For the two big ones, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, it’s become fashionable to like The Empire Strikes Back and The Two Towers, respectively, and pooh-pooh the others. Yet, Return of the Jedi and Return of the King have always been my favorite movies in those trilogies, as they represent the most epic and climactic moments in fantasy storytelling.
Several months ago, I wrote a piece about the potential for multiplayer RPG experiences, drawing a comparison between MMOs and single-player RPGs. Considering classic titles like Baldur’s Gate and newer ventures such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, I posited that there might be a middle ground between co-op modes in traditional single-player games and player character story arcs in modern MMORPGs.
I’ve always considered WildStar to be a great game with a lot of promise. I’ve praised it, I’ve critiqued it, and I’ve suggested it as one of our Five MMOs for Experienced Players. Carbine Studios’ flagship MMORPG has seen a lot of improvements and additions since its launch over a year ago, culminating in the free-to-play rebranding as WildStar: Reloaded last month.
We at MMORPG.com can’t be the only ones who walk around our houses in bathrobes humming the Duck Tales theme song. There’s something about a show’s title track that sticks with you long after you’ve watched it, and video games are no different in this respect. Roleplaying games are particularly well-known for having spectacular music, so here are five of the best RPG theme songs out there!
A lot has happened in Guild Wars 2 since its launch over three years ago. We’ve seen two Seasons of Living World content, changes and additions to sPvP and WvW, and a recent transition to free-to-play. As substantive as these features may be, they none of them can match up to the hype and scope of a canonical expansion, which ArenaNet is poised to deliver with Heart of Thorns.
For the past couple of Lists, Ripper X and I have brought you the Five Best MMOs for New Players and Five MMOs for Experienced Players. As promised, this week we’re taking a look at five “deep cuts” for the most hardcore of players out there, who are either looking for intense PvP experiences, open world sandbox mayhem, or a glimpse into the history and legacy of the MMO genre.