The Indy Gamer Blog


Gaming opinions, reviews, news, and impressions. Plus thoughts on other cool stuff.

E3 2016 Reaction Tweets

E3 2016 Reaction Tweets

I thought I'd do something a little different this for E3. I'll have some focused articles on various E3 games and announcements over the coming days and weeks, but I thought I'd also highlight some of my tweets with off-the-cuff reactions to the conferences.

You can follow along for the full discussion on my Twitter account, too, of course.

Um, That FFXV Platinum Demo is Weird

Um, That FFXV Platinum Demo is Weird

If you watched the Final Fantasy XV: Uncovered event a few months ago, you might have heard about the long-awaited game's new demo: Platinum Demo. It's free to download on either PS4 or Xbox One.

Earlier tonight, I finally played it; and, well, it's weird.

That Time Uncharted 4 Was a Really Good James Bond Game

That Time Uncharted 4 Was a Really Good James Bond Game

Historically, one of the main differences between developer Naughty Dog's two flagship series was stealth: the "Infected" (i.e. zombie)-filled world of The Last of Us required quiet and careful sneaking, while the pulp fiction swashbuckling action of Uncharted relied mainly on loud, flashy shootouts. 

With Uncharted 4, however, those worlds have collided, and Nathan Drake now has some honest-to-goodness stealth abilities. The result is a set of levels that could be pulled straight out of a really great James Bond game. (Beware: some light spoilers ahead).

Firewatch Wasn't Perfect, but It Was Pretty Rad

Firewatch Wasn't Perfect, but It Was Pretty Rad

I played it in February, but Firewatch was my own personal summer camp. It offers a delightful, if sometimes melancholy and mysterious, departure from urban life with a vast expanse of nature to explore at your leisure.

A game that was highly anticipated, generally well-received at launch, and subsequently second-guessed for not being as life-changing as people thought it should have been, Firewatch is still an experience that sticks out in my memory as a very personal journey inward experienced through the eyes of a man searching for an escape (and maybe newfound purpose) after a period of loss and grief. 

Quantum Break — Early Thoughts

Quantum Break — Early Thoughts

Quantum Break, released on April 5, 2016, is finally here! For those keeping track, it was one of the big Xbox One exclusives unveiled during the original Xbox One reveal event back in May 2013, so it's been a long time coming (and time itself, of course, is a major component of the story and gameplay).

As I've just started playing through it, I thought I would share some initial thoughts and screenshots. This post chronicles the early moments of the game and some of the story along with my impressions as I played. Think of it as my personal game commentary track in written form.

Rogue One Is a Critical Step for Star Wars

Rogue One Is a Critical Step for Star Wars

Last week, the Internet (and Good Morning America?) got its first look at Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the new Star Wars spinoff film coming December 2016. This film will mark the first time we'll be getting a major, live-action Star Wars movie that isn't a main-line, numbered episode, and that's a pretty big deal for a number of reasons. Write here...

Lego Dimensions Proves "Toys-to-Life" Isn't Just a Gimmick

Lego Dimensions Proves "Toys-to-Life" Isn't Just a Gimmick

Despite my growing collection of Nintendo's amiibo toys, it's hard to ignore the obvious fact that they don't contribute much to the on-screen action in any particular game. And, while both Skylanders and Disney Infinity figurines offer the ability to bring characters in and out of the game, this also feels like a somewhat unnecessary (albeit cool) method of purchasing DLC content. So, I wondered, can this whole toys-to-life genre really go beyond the gimmick of watching a character "magically" pop up on screen when you scan in a figure?

Enter LEGO Dimensions , which answers this question with a resounding "yes."

Review: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Review: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

The term "walking simulator" has often been used as a pejorative, but it might just be my new favorite genre. Like Gone Home before it, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a game with no action or combat. There really aren't even puzzles to solve—at least not in the traditional sense. However, the five-or-so hours I spent exploring its idyllic English countryside were some of my most memorable gaming moments in 2015.

Review: Super Mario Maker

Review: Super Mario Maker

It's been over a month since Nintendo released Super Mario Maker, a game that lets you build your own Mario levels. In that time, I've been trying to find time to write a review of it, but it's taken me this long because I can't stop playing this game. It's captured my imagination in a way that probably no other game has before, and it's finally Wii U's "killer app" to show why its tablet-meets-gamepad controller lets players do things no other console can offer.

Amiibo Collection Update

Amiibo Collection Update

It's been nearly nine months since I first posted about Amiibo. At that time, I had four lonely figures: Samus Aran, Wii Fit Trainer, Fox McCloud, and Link. In the time since then, things have changed. I now have a collection six times that size (24 total figures) that spans Nintendo's core franchises, niche series, and even third party characters.

Let's check in on it, shall we?

Fire Emblem: Awakening - Some Thoughts

Fire Emblem: Awakening - Some Thoughts

Fire Emblem was always a bit of a mystery to me. Apart from a few a characters that had appeared in various Smash Bros. games, this strategy RPG (think chess meets Final Fantasy) was a Nintendo series I had squarely ignored.

And then, back in early 2013, Nintendo released its latest game in the series, Fire Emblem: Awakening. Suddenly, it seemed like every podcast and gaming site was talking about the 3DS game. After two years, I finally purchased this game during this year's E3 sale on the eShop when it dropped to a rare, low price of $27.99.

So, was it worth all the the hype?

Nintendo Needs a Unified Virtual Console

Nintendo Needs a Unified Virtual Console

Any long-term gamer who was paying attention to the Wii's launch back in 2006 likely had one very specific feature call to them amid the hype surrounding motion control, blue ocean strategies, and a console promising a "revolution"—the Virtual Console.

And yet, as with so many of Nintendo's innovations, strange policies and limitations have, over time, turned this selling point into a pain point.

On Being a Gamer Dad: My First Father's Day

On Being a Gamer Dad: My First Father's Day

If you're reading this, you've probably guessed that I'm a gamer, but you might not know this is my first Father's Day. My wife, Lauren, and I welcomed our daughter, Lyra, on April 4 of this year. Being a new dad means many things: love, transformation, new identities, new roles, new responsibilities, and so much more. But what does it mean to be a dad and a gamer?

E3: Horizon: Zero Dawn

E3: Horizon: Zero Dawn

A lot of Sony's E3 press conference opening focused on games we knew about or otherwise hoped we knew about: The Last Guardian got re-confirmed, a Final Fantasy VII remake is happening, and a Shenmue 3 Kickstarter got started. But it was one of Sony's completely new franchises that really caught my eye—Guerrilla Games' Horizon: Zero Dawn .

E3: Star Fox Zero

E3: Star Fox Zero

Fox McCloud is back! Yes, we'll all be to "do a barrel roll" when Star Fox Zero releases on Wii U later this year, and I'm pretty excited to jump back into an Arwing.

Nintendo led into the formal unveiling at the beginning of their Nintendo Digital Event video by way of an amazing introduction during which muppet versions of Satoru Iwata, Reggie Fils-Aime, and Shigeru Miyamoto gradually turned into muppet versions of Peppy Hare, Fox McCloud, and Falco Lombardi of Star Fox fame.

It was as weirdly charming as it sounds.