7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Grand Theft Auto V

grand-theft-auto-v-headerI don’t think that I could do a list of the seven best games of the seventh console generation without including one game from this year. While a lot of our attention this year has been on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, 2013 has been a spectacular year for games. Any one of a few games are more than worthy of inclusion on this list.

From the class of 2013, the best swansong for the now last generation of consoles has to be Grand Theft Auto V.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Mass Effect Trilogy

mass-effect-trilogy-headerLast week, when talking about Skyrim, I mentioned that a number of games outside the RPG genre incorporated elements of RPGs into their games. These included things like skill points, customization, inventory systems, questing, deep stories, dialogue tree and more of the classic RPG tricks.

This week’s entry into the 7 Best may have started life as being a bit more of an RPG than a third-person shooter but evolved into a third-person shooter that retained the strong influence of RPGs. Of course, if I boiled down the Mass Effect Trilogy to a series of gameplay mechanics and the evolution of the mechanics, I’d be missing the whole point of the franchise. Mass Effect’s strong suit and its claim to fame is the story.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-headerIf there’s one genre of games that seemed to take of the last generation of consoles, it was the role-playing game. The RPG genre has been around for almost as long as video games thanks to the popularity of the pen-and-paper RPGs, like Dungeons and Dragons. It was really this generation that saw the proliferation of RPGs and the incorporation of RPG elements into a number of games in other genres.

At the top of the class in this generation is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The fifth entry into Bethesda’s hit action RPG series re-set the bar for Western RPGs thanks to gorgeous graphics, a spectacular soundtrack and seemingly limitless gameplay throughout the open world of Skyrim.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Rock Band

rock-band-headerWhen people think up games for lists such as out 7 best games of the 7th generation (or 7 For 7 for short), they think of game of the year winners or critically acclaimed blockbusters. But how many of these lists include games that were just wildly popular and genre redefining?

Rock Band was probably never really in contention for a major game of the year award but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a big game for the current console generation. The mark of a game being among the best isn’t just what the critics think but what the gamers think. I’m hard pressed to think of anyone who didn’t love playing Rock Band.

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Bungie’s Destiny: Much Ado About Nothing (Yet)

destiny-teaser-posterNot surprisingly, Bungie’s unveiling of their in-development Destiny to an assembled group of gaming press was massive news. After all, Bungie developed the Halo franchise, produced five well-received games in the series and have moved on to a much-anticipated new IP that will be published by Activision.

If you checked any of the major gaming blogs or news sites, Destiny’s unveiling wasn’t a one post piece of news. Writers dedicated multiple posts to news about the game but all those posts had one thing in common. Bungie didn’t unveil anything of substance about Destiny. Continue reading

My Most Anticipated Games of 2013

Since it’s the start of 2013 and I’m done with my own 2012 lists, I thought it would be fun to look ahead to 2013. While I know that I’ve started a geek culture blog, I thought that this would make a fun extension to my favourite games of 2012 list. As good as 2012 was for gamers, I’m liking how 2013 is stacking up already. There are some good-looking games already confirmed for 2013 release that will be Day One purchases.

So, in no particular order, here are my ten most anticipated games of 2013. Continue reading

Are Triple-A Games An Endangered Species?

The last six months have been far from smooth sailing for the makers of the best of the best video games. Aspiring triple-A developer 38 Studios went bankrupt under the weight of poor business decisions and an underselling game. Irrational Studios is losing top staff as BioShock Infinite allegedly struggles to its spring 2013 release date. BioWare has faced gamer and critical backlash over its last three big games (Dragon Age 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect 3). Blizzard’s Diablo III has faced criticism over having to be always online (exacerbated by server issues during the first week after launch) and a poor endgame.

Sure, there are still game studios dedicated to putting out only the best games but some games are being crushed under high expectations. This begs the question if the so-called Triple-A game developers we have now are long for this world and if we’ll see any new developers rise in their place. Continue reading

BioWare Officially Announces Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut

Seemingly out of nowhere, BioWare officially announced the upcoming release of the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC which will be available for download on June 26th (this coming Tuesday). This is the much-anticipated updated ending to ME3 announced in April after fans complained about the lack of closure and plot holes contained in the ending of Mass Effect 3 that shipped with on the game disc.

After the jump, we have all of the official details from BioWare and our analysis. Continue reading

E3 2012: The Microsoft Outlook

There was a lot of hype heading into Microsoft’s E3 press conference. There was a promise of footage from the upcoming Halo 4. In the run up to E3, the biggest expected announcement was for Smart Glass which was believed to allow for media sharing between XBox 360s and (non-BlackBerry) mobile devices. And we were expecting all sorts of Kinect games and apps to be unveiled. Continue reading

The Mass Effect 3 Controversy: What Went Wrong And Why It’s Not Entitlement

Last Friday, I posted my spoiler-free review of Mass Effect 3. By going spoiler-free, I didn’t discuss many of the more controversial moments of ME3 as that would involve spoiling most of the game to give any sort of context. While many gamer complaints about the game are written-off by larger gaming media outlets as “gamer entitlement” or gamers looking for a “happy ending,” many gamers have valid complaints about what was promised by BioWare and what they actually shipped in March.

After the jump, I take a look at some of the controversial moments in ME3 ahead of today’s EA press conference at E3. Continue reading