So, this past week I’ve been writing up elements of the world that I run D&D in. Now in my campaign, I have three players new to the world of D&D and one player who has been running his own games of D&D for ten years. Often, I will add elements of the lore of D&D into my world. When these elements are discussed, there is a back-and-forth about how they are typically portrayed in the canon of the lore and where my world differs. While writing up the deities of my world, I’ve thought more about where the stories that have been told about the gods differ. So, that’s a fun writing topic, what are the benefits of writing in an established universe?
So recently there has been a small and vocal group who are dedicated to remaking the Last Jedi. Attempting to remake a movie that was a success at the box office by professionals from one of the richest studios with crowdfunded money and fan support, not even a year after the film was released, does shine a light on the absurdity of remakes. Remakes are often lambasted when they are announced. Why remake something that is already great? More importantly, what is the purpose of a remake?
So recently there was a new Jurassic Park movie. This piece isn’t about that. This is about the tie-in game: Jurassic World Evolution. Jurassic World Evolution is a Jurassic Park theme park builder game. Those of you who have been around a while may remember that I’ve expressed my fondness for Jurassic Park Operation Genesis in the past. That game was also a Jurassic Park builder. While I am enjoying the new game, I do have some issues that I’ll explain by comparing the older game and the newer game. Hopefully, the developers of Jurassic World Evolution have plans to expand on the game and address some of the critiques of its shallow aspects. In that regard, this comparison might point them in the right direction.
So recently I’ve been keeping an ear to the ground regarding CD Projekt Red’s upcoming RPG, Cyberpunk 2077. The game didn’t wow me initially because all that was shown and still has been shown was a slick CG trailer. I’ve been hurt by the promise of slick CG trailers from beloved developers at E3 before. I need more than glittery promises to butter my gaming bread these days. I need reality. If a brief teaser is all you have, how far away is this title? *cough* Bethesda *cough*. There is some hope for Cyberpunk as it was first teased five years ago. CD Projekt Red received high praise for The Witcher 3 in 2015.
The thing that held me back about Cyberpunk 2077 is that cyberpunk isn’t my favourite genre. I enjoy the theming of the genre and its relevance to everyday life in the 21st century. What doesn’t appeal to me is the tired cyberpunk coat of paint that is applied. Lazy creators use it as a device to evoke titans of the genre, rather than having something significant to say themselves. However, since E3, I have been speaking about my tempered feelings for Cyberpunk 2077. The one hesitation I have is this: Make it accessible.
So last year I discussed the wealth of indie games available on various platforms that were testing interesting game ideas in ways that large AAA games couldn’t. This blossoming of indie games in the modern gaming space could probably be traced back to the Xbox Live Arcade. From there, Steam acted as a platform for these indie games. I have a lot of indie games on Steam. I have a lot of games in general on Steam. While I used to play lots of my indie games on Steam, of late that is getting increasingly difficult. Steam is awash with titles of every conceivable quality. Just recently, a game in which the player can play as a school shooter made its way onto the platform. Steam is just too crowded these days. That crowding includes fantastic games. However, these games often lost in the fray. Now with the Switch, something is happening to these indie games as they find a space in the console space.
So recently I got myself a Switch. I’m enamoured with it for one simple reason. It has a lot of indies and can be played portably. I couldn’t imagine playing Stardew Valley on any other console. I own Stardew Valley on my computer but usually, I’m using my computer for other purposes. With the Switch, I can play a game while I’m commuting. I can play a game while the TV is being used for Netflix. I can play the Switch in another room easily. I can bring my Switch to a friend’s place. The Switch fits around my life and that makes it the ideal console for me and possibly for other busy adults as well. So much of the antiquated idea of gamers revolves around the console as a static platform. Sure, phones games exist but a combination of factors means that phone games have their own shape and form to them that lends itself to smaller experiences. The Switch can handle beefier experiences and a controller with more nuanced controls than tapping. With that, I’m going to talk about a feature of the Switch that I never realised the benefit of until I had a Switch. The controller.