Orphan: simple game, simple story, simply fun

Orphan is a side-scroller sci-fi platformer developed by Windy Hill Studio stationed out in eastern Tennessee. It began as a Kickstarter back in January 2015. After three years, this fledgling studio’s debut game is finally seeing the light of day.

The game is about a young boy who is the last survivor on earth after an alien invasion. He survives the invasion by hiding in shadows, tall grass, and even water. He stumbles across different items and weapons, arming himself against the aliens. With some very cool twists in the story, this game is a short 8 hours with interestingly simple bosses spread throughout.

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Flashback Review | SOMA

Note: First, I will give a quick, spoiler-free overview on the game, and then have a longer spoiler filled segment where I will go in more detail.

SOMA takes an average of 10 hours to complete and tells a full and meaningful story about a post-apocalyptic world and humanity desperate to survive the end of it. SOMA is a first person sci-fi survival horror game from the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Frictional Games, and is a well done horror game that managed to have me on edge for many parts. Where the game really shines is in its world building and storytelling, from the general atmosphere of the decrepit underwater base the game takes place in, to the voice files, email, and other details left by the crew. SOMA does a great job of building up the broader world, and the sense of desperation that everyone living has experienced as they struggle to survive.

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Totalbiscuit will be inducted into the Esports Hall of Fame

During the upcoming ESL One Hamburg (October 26-28th), titan of the gaming industry John “Totalbiscuit” Bain will be inducted into the Esports Hall of Fame. He will be the first non-pro gamer to be awarded this recognition.

For many years Totalbiscuit was a bastion of critical thinking and consumer advocacy in the gaming industry. He tragically lost his battle with cancer earlier this year and left behind his wife Genna and his step-son. Even when it became clear his cancer would be terminal he still continued to critique and talk about games until a mere few months before his death, when it became impossible to do so.

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Soulcalibur 6 Review

Tekken, Mortal Kombat, Injustice, Street Fighter… these games pit fighters against each other to duke it out with superhuman strength, superpowers, grappling, and brutal, bone-shatter finishers. Players punch in and time combos so their fighters can pummel each other into a pulp until only one remains standing.

Soulcalibur (including the very first arcade iteration, Soul Edge) marched to a slightly different war-drum; it is classified as a weapon-based fighter. Instead of fists, the players assume control of fighters who specialize in unique weapons. Some examples include Nightmare and his enormous zweihander, Kilik with his bowstaff, Sophitia with her shield and short sword, and Maxi with his nunchucks. In the fighting-game community this is pretty common knowledge.
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Is getting a racing wheel for Forza Horizon 4 worth it?

The Forza Horizon series has always given the chance to drive, race, and abuse your dream car, whether it’s a beautiful 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302, a 2018 McLaren Senna, a 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo or even a 1963 Volkswagen Type 2 De Luxe. What’s better than playing your dream car, tricking it out with a beefy engine swap and decorating it with a gorgeous livery? Well, driving it, of course! Sadly, we can’t all afford a brand new supercar, so we do the next best thing and buy a nice racing wheel with force feedback, gear shift, pedals and clutch.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 “Crunch Time” Controversy

Over the past few days there has been a discussion online regarding Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2, and the weekly work hours of their employees, and specifically what is known as crunch time. Crunch time refers to the time before a deadline is due, when it becomes clear that there is no way it will be completed on time at this pace, so everyone works overtime to meet the goal.

In an article released on October 14th in Vulture magazine, Dan Houser Co-founder and head writer at Rockstar Games stated “We were working 100-hour weeks.” This sparked an internet firestorm with many speaking out against the perceived work practices at Rockstar.

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Titanfall 2 – A Fun Multiplayer FPS with a Short Campaign

I am going to start this review by speaking about the mechanics of the game. While Titanfall 2 has a solid campaign, it is rather short and not where I would expect most peoples’ time to be spent. Online multiplayer is by far the meat of the game.

The gameplay is excellent; you move smoothly and are able to transition from wall running to sliding along the ground while turning your opponent into a pin cushion. Each Titan feels unique and requires a different approach to how your opponent’s Titan will be transformed into scrap metal.

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Heat Signature Review

Heat Signature, developed primarily by Tom Francis (or as I like to call him, Gunpoint Guy), is another resounding hit. While he has created many games in the past, Gunpoint and Heat Signature are his two signature (heh) games that really capture the absolute best of his work so far.

Heat Signature is less story-driven than Gunpoint, with most of the lore being gained through the short dialogue trees of people who’ve left their respective factions sitting around bars. Also unlike Gunpoint, the story is not too important (though Gunpoint does have a dialogue option to admit that you lost track of the story past the second mission) and seems to be much more focused on gameplay and replayability. Most of the humor that was previously covered by dialogue in Gunpoint is put into item descriptions in Heat Signature and in the hilarious situations one gets put into while playing the game.

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Forza Horizon 4 – celebrating car culture

The sense of speed that the Forza series depicts is more than just immersive; it’s soul-gripping. My body feels like it is moving 215 miles per hour across the United Kingdom’s rural roads. I completely lost myself in the beautifully rushing landscape. Lamborghinis and Ferraris falling past me as I scream down the countryside roads of England and Scotland in my McLaren pushing 150… 155… 160… 180… 200 miles per hour! The upbeat of the EDM and the positive and enthusiastic voice-over of the in-game radio host made it a borderline, if not entirely, emotional experience. The flash of colors watering my eyes, the roar of the engine growling in my headphones, my held breath in the final stretch with the crowd screaming and the overall optimistic and positive vibes of the finish line and atmosphere, in general, all made for a rather euphoric experience. And that’s just the opening sequence.

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