Category Archives: Features

We went to BAM9 in Melbourne last weekend and it was the absolute best

The profile of competitive eSports only seems to be growing in Australia with the Intel Extreme Masters drawing a massive crowd in Sydney just a few weeks ago and the ESL continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. These events tend to focus on one of two genres — shooters or strategy — but there is a third genre that has been building a following with the rise of streaming services like Twitch, fighters. Continue reading We went to BAM9 in Melbourne last weekend and it was the absolute best

What is Australia’s Future in the Games Development Industry?

Earlier this month, I attended Xbox Academy’s games design workshop. The workshop, part of an initiative from the Sydney Microsoft Store to foster up-and-coming Australian games development talent, teaches students the basics of the industry, fundamentals of game dev and tips for getting a foot in the door. The class was led by Jennifer Scheurle, a multi-talented games designer working alongside AIE, one of the best educators for game development in Australia. Throughout the three-hour course, we explored a range of techniques for developing and creating game ideas, ultimately leading to each of us pitching our games to the whole group, of which there were about 15 people. What struck me most was the enthusiasm of the younger kids taking part in the workshop, who had clear passion for the industry and their future in games design. Their excitement had me thinking – what future are we leaving for budding games designs, and are we doing enough for the industry?... Continue Reading

Everything Old Is New Again: The Rise of Video Game Nostalgia

It seems ironic that the more video games improve and grow, the more gamers yearn for the simpler classics of their past. Sure, graphics might have advanced to the point of near-photorealism, but what’s more impressive? That, or being a low polygon Australian mammal with the ability to double jump? For many, it seems the answer is the latter, and it’s the strength of their collective nostalgia that has brought back Crash Bandicoot from his years-long exile. The soon to be released N. Sane Trilogy features the classic Crash trilogy remastered for both a new generation of gamers, and the reminiscing older generation, but is this nostalgia really such a good thing?... Continue Reading

The 10 Best Comic Stories That Should Be Made Into Video Games

Comic book stories make for some great game adaptations, with the likes of Batman: Under the Hood and Ultimate Spider-Man receiving the video game treatment. As mentioned in our previous article, XII and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction were both based on stellar comic runs, while games like Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Injustice took only loose inspiration from their comic counterparts. Often, concepts and story elements are taken by games developers and spun into their own original tales, each with varying results. For every Arkham Knight, there’s also a Superman 64, but with such a plethora of great comic stories filled with untapped potential, it’s a wonder that there aren’t more truly brilliant comic book video games. Here are just a few of the best comic stories that could make for awesome games.... Continue Reading

Page-by-Page: The Best Comic Book Video Game Adaptations

Comic books often seem destined for some kind of big screen adaptation, with many of them being home to brilliant stories and great characters. Sometimes, that comes in the form of blockbuster movie adaptations, but other times, comic books find their greatest successes in video games. While these games might be exceptions to the rule, more often than not, the greatest comic book stories make for brilliant video games.... Continue Reading

The 7 Best Classic Point and Click Adventure Games

Some of the first games that I ever played were desktop point and clickers, a genre that has waned in popularity ever since the introduction of console video games. From classic MS-DOS titles like The Treehouse and The Backyard to the gorgeous and cartoony Putt-Putt series, the point and click genre really ignited my passion for video games. The genre has given us a long list of gorgeous and enduring classics, such as the beautiful and poignant Grim Fandango to the swashbuckling adventure of the Monkey Island series.... Continue Reading

Are modern gamers expecting too much from their favourite developers?

In this modern age we live in, there’s no doubt in my mind that games today are as good as they have ever been. This is not to suggest that the importance of games that came before are diminished, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for instance is and will remain a classic, but rather a way to analyse the situation here. Graphics are better than they’ve ever been, accompanied by larger and more detailed open worlds, more complicated design, and overall higher production value, with games costing more than they ever have to produce. With all of these facets coming into play in almost every AAA release, a new trend has emerged among players. There is a willingness to rush to anger should a game fail, in a real or imaged way, to hit these development milestones. This piece will explore the question of whether the gamers of today simply expect too much from these experiences. Continue reading Are modern gamers expecting too much from their favourite developers?

The Rise and Fall of the Video Game Film

Recently released photos of Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider film have sparked much attention and interest for the newest in a long line of video game films. By their very nature, video game films spark scepticism, and a hefty dose of it already accompanies the release of the film. The original Tomb Raider films are largely abysmal, but the newest entry in the series aims to change the face of video game films, much like Assassin’s Creed and Warcraft before it. Perhaps it’s only cynicism that colours my view, but given the slew of failures in their wake, isn’t it time to give up on blockbuster video game adaptations?... Continue Reading

Gone Before Their Time: The Video Games That Never Made It – Part IV

In our final instalment, we’re looking at some of the more obscure, lesser known and forgotten titles that never got the chance to show off what made them so special. While many mourn the loss of blockbuster games, there are often great video games from smaller studios that slip under the radar and are never heard from again. In the case of the following titles, these cancellations meant that the world never got to experience a plethora of unique and varied concepts. Here are a few of our favourite forgotten games. Continue reading Gone Before Their Time: The Video Games That Never Made It – Part IV

Gone Before Their Time: The Video Games That Never Made It – Part III

In our last two installments, we explored a slew of major franchises with promising games abandoned before they ever saw the light of day. From the enigmatic ambition of Peter Molyneux’s Fable franchise, to the never realised depths of the Pirates of the Caribbean games, it’s clear that even the most popular franchise often suffer huge losses. This time, we’re focusing in on something a little bit different. In the wake of successful 3D platformers like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon on the Playstation, and Super Mario 64 and Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the Nintendo 64, developers of the early 2000’s began to focus on crafting bright, colourful platformers featuring a wide array of cute characters. Some franchises had more success than others, but throughout this period, there were several 3D platform games with great ideas and a lot of heart, but not enough to keep them from the chopping block. What follows is a collection of our favourites, each with their own unique appeal. Continue reading Gone Before Their Time: The Video Games That Never Made It – Part III