“Xbox One, the all-in-one entertainment system from Microsoft”, that’s the almost laughable quote that Microsoft mandates is added to every press release and official statement about games released on their brand new platform. When it was announced back in May 2013 that the console would have a focus on media not just of the video gaming sort, the bile and vitriol spewed against the decision was unavoidable. But with millions of paying customers now looking for a way to get televised content in front of their eye sockets, Microsoft have delivered a swift ‘stuff you’ to those critics having moved ahead with their Xbox Originals program to bring original TV billing to the Xbox One and Xbox 360. It could still go wrong and come crashing down around their ears which is why we’ve outlined 5 things they need to do to make Xbox Originals a resounding success.
When Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag launched last year I praised it and included it on my list of PS4/Xbox One launch titles to watch. It had a white protagonist but (on PlayStation) it let you play as Aveline, a mixed-race woman whose mother is a slave and it also introduced us to Adewale, a former slave who became Edward Kenway’s First Mate on the Jackdaw.
In AC4 slavery is undoubtedly a focus of the game, with plantations as common as the hairs on your head and slavemasters being met with the pointy end of Edward’s sword more than a handful of times, but many aspects were jarring and being told that you’d freed ‘8 out of 10 (nameless) slaves’ in a series of optional side-quests s didn’t feel like it was doing the realities of slavery much justice.
There has to be a game that depicts the horror of slavery right though; gaming needs its 12 Years a Slave or its Django Unchained* and new game Thralled will be the story-telling masterpiece to do it.
Around these parts, we’re just a bit fond of Tomb Raider, the origins story that was released to show Lara Croft as a green behind the ears explorer who was neither very good at killing, shooting or not getting herself torn to pieces by particularly pointy bits of metal. We like the gameplay, the characters and the world that is was set in and when I reviewed it a few months ago, I even thought that Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (the PS4 and Xbox One rerelease of the 2013 game) was a cracking title too. Obviously, I want more of it and as I’m sure some sort of Yamatai prophecy suggests, you probably do to so here’s a list of the 8 things that we’d like to see from a Tomb Raider sequel.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Diablo 3, what with the Reaper of Souls expansion pack being released and then the Reaper of Souls XP boost announcement and then the Reaper of Souls update also being pushed out to garner all of the headlines and interest around Blizzard’s highly regarded RPG. But there’s something far more important afoot, as Blizzard prepared to ready their game for the RoS playing masses by releasing an update, an update which brought clans (hooray!) but it’s not all something to cheer about as in attempting to moderate, they’ve managed to offend but even more than that, the decision to keep the word ‘trans’ out of clans brings to light some of gaming’s worst, transphobic behaviour.
I really like Concursion, I like it a lot. I don’t say that because of its pretty genius concept of mish-mashing 5 games in 1 (although I like that too) or for its testing of skills and determination (but this is also a plus point). Concursion reminds me of the games younger me would play before class with friends in computers labs, frantically testing the limits of our own patience and our school’s budget keyboards. We’d rush off to lessons afterwards hating ourselves for not playing more as we regaled tales of who got further in the game than who. It’s a beautiful thing, nostalgia, and, as I said, I really like Concursion and I think that you will too.
J Station X is going to start covering PC games! I’m taking this very seriously because it means BIG, big things for the site and its coverage of diverse games, so keep reading after the break to find out more about the site’s new foray into keyboards, mice and the glorious world of Steam sales.
Racism still exists. From the day to day micro-aggressions muttered under breaths, to the vocal suggestions in protests and online that any person of colour is less than their white peers and to the systematic oppression of those who don’t happen to be white. It’s around us and poisonously so, to the point where it infiltrates every aspect of society. A place where it is most called into question and analysed is video games, where a (small, but meaningful) margin of non-white characters are seen. But can the behaviours of these characters influence our views on race? A new study seems to think so.
Like an ever faithful steam engine, good ol’ PlayStation Plus keeps chugging along. Passengers get a delectable buffet cart of free titles every month and like the Grade A hoarder that I am, I have yet to get through them all. So, every so often I take on a PS Plus title and test its mettle and this month’s challenger is…Touch My Katamari.
Child of Light blinks and glimmers like a beacon of hope on the horizon. With combat, platforming and an art style more creative than a da Vinci fever dream, you probably wouldn’t believe it if I told you that the game is from Ubisoft Montreal, the same development team that also brought us the brilliant stealth stabbing action of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. But it is, though Child of Light couldn’t be any further from that series if it tried. It’s like few things seen in any series actually, which makes it a hard sell. However, without making room for the title in your brainspace, you’d be seriously missing out, so where better to start than here, to find out everything you ought to know about Child of Light.
Video game consoles aren’t ‘video game’ consoles any more, they’re fully fledged media boxes, with TV shows, movies, games and music ready to sap away our free-time and attention like a leaky dam at the touch of a button and a flick of an analogue stick. We shouldn’t have to decide between a quick gaming session or catching up on our favourite show when both are available in the same package. So with that in mind, what would happen if the two types of media merged and 20 hour gaming epics were whittled down to concentrated 40 minute bursts of television entertainment? It would be incredible, that’s what. Read on to find out our top picks for the best games that would make brilliant TV shows.