The Thin Blue Webline: Spider-Cops Are Bastards

The Thin Blue Webline: Spider-Cops Are Bastards

There was a little bit of a… thing back when the most recent Spider-Man game came about. Not a real backlash, just a bit of a kerfuffle, really, about how the game features Spider-Man assisting the NYPD in repairing a surveillance network that spanned the entire city. It’s the kind of thing that in real life would be pretty bad, but because this is a game, the system works perfectly and elegantly, only providing the locations of crimes in progress and not spying on the day-to-day lives of everyday citizens. (more…)

Why Horizon Zero Dawn Feels So Good to Play

Why Horizon Zero Dawn Feels So Good to Play

Released less than a week before Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn hardly got a chance to exist on its own once both games were available. This is especially true given both are open-world games with plots driven by characters trying to save their homelands from ongoing disaster in a post-apocalyptic world. (more…)

Port This, You Cowards: Game Boy RPGs Not Named Pokémon

Port This, You Cowards: Game Boy RPGs Not Named Pokémon

The nice thing about the games market is how often new things come out. Especially now, it’s easy to find a decent game in your preferred genre on your console of choice. The bad news is, it’s appallingly easy to miss out on good games that just slipped through the cracks or couldn’t compete with the constant “MARIO ZELDA PIKACHU ZOMG” hype. The portable market, with its smaller share of cultural awareness, is especially vulnerable to hype-drownage. So here’s a few things I think got lost in the shuffle that deserve another crack at the gamer market.

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How Final Fantasy XV Fridged Its Best Character

How Final Fantasy XV Fridged Its Best Character

I’ve been told everyone has a Final Fantasy, a game that introduced them to the series and got them hooked. Mine is Final Fantasy XV, the latest installment in the series and one of the most controversial.

After spending ten years in development—first as Final Fantasy Versus XIII and then as a mainline game after eighth-generation consoles were released—Final Fantasy XV was released in 2016. I didn’t play it until this year, long after the downloadable content had been released and patches fixed things like characters phasing through walls during boss battles.

(Note: this article contains spoilers for FFXV. Read ahead at your own risk! —Zora)

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Making the Cut: The Tidus Laughing Scene Is Good, Actually

Making the Cut: The Tidus Laughing Scene Is Good, Actually

Making the Cut is a recurring series in which we defend the notoriously bad things we love about video games. Wonky mechanics, goofy cutscenes, poor characterization—we love it all, and we’re going to tell you why.

Final Fantasy X’s laughing scene—yes, that laughing scene—is brilliant.

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September Roundtable: Politics and Games

September Roundtable: Politics and Games

We talk a lot about politics in games. We’re not of the opinion that anything can be truly apolitical; people create games, and people have beliefs and ideologies that inform what they create. This often causes friction, as sometimes a game we enjoy may rub up uncomfortably against our own beliefs, or a game may attempt itself to brand itself as apolitical when it’s clearly anything but.

But some games embrace politics, leaning hard into exploring a tricky idea, a creator’s identity, or other elements that encourage the player to think more deeply about whatever issue the game is tackling. The Sidequest crew sat down to talk about what these games are doing well, and how games that play with politics can be both interesting and fun. (more…)