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Let’s talk about Tacoma

Tacoma, the latest walk-‘em-up game from Fullbright, the makers of the critically acclaimed Gone Home, is out now. Callum and Gareth have played it, and we decided to debrief in order to share our thoughts on the experience. Be warned; we will talk about everything in the game, so there will be spoilers galore! Gareth: Overall I really enjoyed Tacoma, probably slightly more than I enjoyed Gone Home. For me, the space station became a more “real” environment than the slightly artificial 1 Arbor Hill felt in Gone Home, despite the space setting. I think the story is somewhat predictable in the main beats it hits, but I didn’t really see the “twist” coming. For some reason I thought that most of the crew had frozen to death in cryostasis, because I missed the line at the beginning where it said the crew had been...
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Nidhogg 2 is more Nidhogg, and that’s all it needed to be

Nidhogg was a perfect distillation of local competitive multiplayer games at their best. Where most of its peers focus on four-player mayhem, Nidhogg was more interested in tense one-on-one duels. But even with the lower player count, it was just as tense and thrilling — both to play and to watch — its game of tug-of-war. Every single aspect felt deliberate and extremely fine-tuned; the care that went into its design apparent at every turn. The point is Nidhogg was already flawless. How, then, do you make a sequel? Apart from new stages, how could you iterate on something so excellent? The answer: new weapons. Where before you could only use rapiers, in Nidhogg 2 you have access to broadswords, daggers, and bows and arrows. Your fists are also a bit more effective now as well. Each new weapon feels unique. The broadsword can only...
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What’s the deal with Overwatch’s loot boxes?

After reading through Gareth’s excellent analysis of Hearthstone, I’ve decided to talk about Blizzard’s other hit, Overwatch. Mainly, I wanted to touch upon what bothers me the most about it: the loot boxes. Like a litany of other online multiplayer games, Overwatch “drops” are tied to an acronym whose mention sends shivers down the spine of players: RNG. The infamous random number generator, an algorithm that dictates the drop rate of items in the simplest of terms, is the source of most of my anguish when it comes to playing any game dependant on this system. Be it the seemingly endless gear race that sums up World of WarCraft and Diablo III’s end-game content to the upgrades to your deck that come from random card packs in Hearthstone, it feels like there’s always a carrot dangling in front of me when playing any of these...
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