Culture, Gaming

Destroying the Death Star: the Star Wars games of our generation – part one

Star Wars X-Wing Alliance cover art (1280x720)Star Wars games. If you’re reading this I’m guessing you too will have some affection for interactive lightsaber swinging, X-Wing piloting, blocky 32-bit confrontations with Jabba the Hutt and other fantasies from George Lucas’ sci-fi saga that games have enabled us to live out.

With the seventh film hitting cinema screens next month, now is a fitting time to run through the Star Wars games of our generation – or, to put it another way, the last 25 years.

Culture, Gaming

Moments We Remember: Sarah Woodrow on Bomberman

Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a timeSarah Woodrow, Utopian World of Sandwiches (800x450)Title: Saturn Bomberman (Sega, 1997)
Format: Saturn

The power that games have to bring people together isn’t celebrated enough. Certainly, the most memorable games – be they single-player adventures or ones built for couch multiplayer sessions that make you forget where the time has gone – are the ones that help us bond.

Today’s guest, Sarah Woodrow, one half of indie game studio, Utopian World of Sandwiches, thinks so. Below, Woodrow explains how her time spent playing Bomberman, on Sega Saturn, with her friends in college, inspired the kind of video games she and her husband have gone on to make.

Culture, Gaming

Moments We Remember: Candy Explosives on Alien: Isolation

Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a timeAlien: Isolation, Oct 7, 2014, screenshot, 01 (1920x1080)Title: Alien: Isolation (Sega / 20th Century Fox, 2014)
Format: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Spoilers: None

Today’s game has dramatically changed the life of our guest poster, who recently left her nine-to-five job to become a full-time video streamer.

That game is Alien: Isolation, created by the talented team at British developer, Creative Assembly.

Culture, Gaming

Introducing Moments We Remember

Chronicling stories of how gaming has changed us – one moment at a time
Gaming at home, Aug 15, 2009, by Maria Morri (1920x1080)I’m about to embark on a journey with this post – and I’ll need your help. This journey will either lead to a honeycomb of new tales and new faces, or it will peter out and be assigned to the graveyard of faded feature ideas. So on that jolly note, here goes.

Real-life story features in game magazines and websites are some of my favourite. They are the ‘My Favourite Game’ articles. The community spotlights that were previously so common on GameSpot and IGN before social media killed forums. The career spotlights in the likes of Develop magazine. Or, occasionally, the one-off posts by guest writers who give you a whole new perspective on a game or genre.


Sonic the Hedgehog 4!?

Well, there’s something I thought I’d never see.

Yesterday, Sega officially revealed ‘Project Needlemouse’ to be Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Coming to PSN, Xbox Live and WiiWare this summer, Sonic 4 will be the first home console Sonic to be in glorious 2D for years, as well as being a follow-up to the Mega Drive games that solidified Sonic’s reputation for platforming excellence in the first place.

The game is planned to be released in episodic form – with a complete digital and box release almost certain to follow later this year. The latest video released by Sega shows they’re really going for that nineties nostalgia – just like Capcom have been, with their retro revivals of Bionic Commando Rearmed and Mega Man 9. They even got the old choral “Sega” chant when the logo appears.

But let’s not start celebrating yet. Sonic was one of the first game’s I ever played. It was also one of the first titles that made me realise games could be enjoyed by more than just the person holding the controller. Sega have peaked my interest enough to warrant a day-one purchase, however, this is their last chance. One of the unsung heroes of the original Sonic Team is Hirokazu Yasuhara. He was responsible for much of the gameplay and level design in the classic Sonic games. It’s clear to see that since he departed things just haven’t been the same. Do not let us down, Sega.