Round-Up! EGLX 2018

This past weekend, Toronto hosted the Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo. Over the past few years, the people at Enthusiast Gaming have grown the show into Canada’s largest videogame event. They seriously know how to throw a party.

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Shirtless Spider-Man is a menace.

Greg Miller and Nick Scarpino from Kinda Funny brought their A game, along with their friend Shirtless Spider-Man. World Gaming presented the WESG Canadian Qualifiers for CS:GO, PES2019, DOTA 2, and Vainglory. Nintendo was showing off Super Smash Bros. Ultimate— fans waited in long lines to get some hands-on time ahead of its December release. There were talks and panels presented by industry insiders and prominent YouTubers like DreamcastGuy and Toronto’s own Shane Luis. A separate Developers’ Conference offered workshops and mentoring, away from the bustle of the main show floor. The show floor itself was packed with multiple stages, artists and developers, retro-arcade cabinets, cosplayers, Fortnite, VR, speedrunners, fighting-game tournaments, and thousands and thousands of fans.

The energy and passion and fandom was infectious. I had a smile on my face the entire weekend. I spent time with dozens of great games and some amazing developers. In no particular order, here are a few of my favourites. Continue reading “Round-Up! EGLX 2018”

Permission to Begin Again

I’m about to give you some very bad advice. Are you ready for it? Here it is: Don’t be afraid to start over.

I’ve tried to dedicate 2018 to finishing more games. I wrote about it here, and here. So far this year, I’ve seen the credits roll on a baker’s dozen of games. This doesn’t happen by picking up half-finished efforts and starting over. But I’m telling you, if your gut tells you to do it, go with your gut. It’ll be ok.

I strayed from my quest back in May, committing an egregious crime against the completionists’ cause. I deleted all of my Witcher III save files and began Geralt’s journey anew. They say nobody ever ‘finishes’ The Witcher III. Well, I put about fifty hours into it when it released a few years ago. After completing the second act, the Novigrad quest-line, I decided to take a break before setting off for Skellige.

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They’re still building my boat to Skellige.

We all know what happened next. Not with Geralt, but with me, with all of us at some point or another. Life got busy, some other game got released, I read a good book­— for one reason or another, that ship never sailed. Like so many other ‘big’ games, my attention span was no match for the massive amount of content available. I’ve made my peace with that. Continue reading “Permission to Begin Again”

Spectrum Break: Review

Spectrum Break, available on Steam for PC and Mac, is a puzzle platformer for masochists. I mean that as both as a recommendation, and a warning. Deceptively simple mechanics and colourful presentation are the wrapping, but inside the package are dozens of levels, each one more maddening than the one before.

 

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Everything I touch runs away from me…

You control a little sprite on a surf board, leaving a trail of sparks on every surface he touches, all against a stylish backdrop of falling stars. The little surfer dude can move left and right, and he can jump. That’s it. Simple right? His goal is simple as well. Each level sees him surrounded by colourful outlines, geometric shapes, of various angles and sizes. When the surfer makes contact with an outline, it becomes solid. If a solid shape hits an outline, the outline becomes solid. Once all the shapes are solid, the level is complete. Still sounds easy? Continue reading “Spectrum Break: Review”

Shame On Me, Fooled Twice By Destiny 2

Double dipping. The phrase means different things depending on the context and the situation. It’s a faux pas, committed at the snacks’ table in the break room. In business and finance it is a frowned upon practice, usually considered unethical, in which a person or corporation games the system in their favor by, for example, writing off the same business expense in two different tax categories for a double deduction. And in gaming, it is the curious practice of paying for the same game twice on two different gaming platforms.

It is a personal choice, and unlike the other examples listed above, it is a victimless crime. But it still draws the ire of people. Even when there’s a legitimate reason, like having groups of gaming friends on two different systems for the same multiplayer game, someone will shame you for it. The internet loves to shame.

I personally try to avoid double dipping, but on occasion I can justify it. Sometimes a great sale will tempt me to revisit a game, a different platform and a bargain basement price can be a nice excuse to play Resident Evil 4 for the umpteenth time. If a game comes up free on PS+ or Xbox Live, I’ll add it to my library whether I have it on the other system or not. But that’s for free, so… The Nintendo Switch offers the portability factor, so at least there’s always that excuse. Even still, I try not to spend money on games I already own. But recently I broke my own code. And I did it in grotesque fashion. It gave me some real insight into the flaws of the game in question, and into the kind of gamer I have become. Continue reading “Shame On Me, Fooled Twice By Destiny 2”