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Archive for March, 2017

Video Game Review: Everything

March 30, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Everything
Everything
In Everything, control everything you see (and don’t see) in this image.

The butterfly effect is the idea that small changes can effect big changes (also a terrible horror movie), and DoubleFine’s Everything is a game built around that idea. There’s no narrative or direction, but Everything does have scope — from the biggest of the big to the tiniest of the tiny, Everything is equal parts art project, digital tourism and video game, but with a philosophical throughline.

CONTROLS (3.5/5)

Everything isn’t a game in which controls really matter. Unfolding essentially at your own pace (other than a few occasional guided challenges), all you really need to know is that you move your object (be it a rock, tree, herd of goats, or a planet), you summon them to you in a group, and you communicate with them to make them bigger and stronger.

Simple button presses accomplish this, and the only real bit of finesse is ascending/descending your scale of scope, which is down with the L2/R2 buttons and using the thumbsticks to choose a target. This lack of necessary precision is a good thing, since the actual movement and collision detection are a bit wonky.

GRAPHICS/SOUND (3.5/5)

At first glance, Everything’s procedurally generated world looks PS2/Xbox quality. We’ve seen plenty of large open worlds by now, and they look far more detailed than this. This probably comes from the fact that it’s not an A-list title loaded with budget, but it makes sense once you start to grasp the entire scope of Everything.

Within the first hour, you’ll have controlled a cellular-level organism or an entire galaxy, and the way the game effortlessly lets you zoom up or down on levels of play tells you where the procedural generation power is going. So while Everything isn’t necessarily a looker — especially with its funky movement animation — the way every single bit of the universe connects together somehow makes it feel right.

GAMEPLAY (4/5)

Everything is a bit hard to explain. It’s best to essentially walk you through the first hour or so. In a procedurally generated desert, you start off as a mammal (i.e., goat, pig, giraffe). You move around and communicate with others of your species until you entice them to join your group.

Now you move as a pack, exploring and communicating with other species, and as you do, you (the player) have the ability to control other species you encounter. As you do, different interactive dialogue boxes pop up, some with advice, some with tutorial-esque guidance, some with non-sequiturs, and some with audio clips of philosophical discussion.

Then your scale of control gets really small, down to the granular level. Or it can get really big, like zooming-out-of-the-galaxy big. All basic movement, group forming and communication is available as big or small as you get, and the rest just plays out as you set off a chain reaction of gathering and exploring — not just in the traditional planetscape of a world, but in order of magnitude, all with a freedom of control.

Some of you may think, “wow, that sounds amazing.” And others may ask “what’s the goal?” The point of Everything really comes down to exploring the interconnectivity of, well, everything, from a small grain of sand to a galaxy. Switching between these things at will gives a Zen scope of the world, and while you probably won’t play for long binge sessions, it’s one of the most intriguing games in the exploration/relaxation genre.

OVERALL (3.75/5)

Almost a mash-up of No Man’s Sky’s interstellar exploration and Spore’s life simulation with a little dash of Katamari, Everything is simultaneously serious and lighthearted, game and art. It’s definitely not for everyone, but for those seeking a Zen experience, Everything is a good pick-up-and-be game in the vein of Flower.

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Video Game Review: Old Time Hockey

March 28, 2017 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Old Time Hockey
If you’re comparing the actual on-ice play to EA’s version, the controls may be the same, but the response time is strangely sloppy and slow. Shooting feels off and collision detection is inconsistent at best. Passing is what you’d expect, except your players are hardly ever in the right spot for a breakout or a one-timer.
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The Wire Troll: Brayden Point Piling Up Points

March 27, 2017 | by David Weightman | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Brayden Point Piling Up Points
In the last seven games, Point is living up to his name and then some by averaging over a point. Some recent highlights include a two-goal game, one of which came on the power play (that was also the game winner), in a road win over the Rangers. In the next game, Point scored a goal against Ottawa, then, after a two-assist performance, he had a goal and assist and was +2 in a big win in Boston. He kept the party going by setting up the overtime winner in Detroit. Point has moved to the top line, so with the Lightning making a run for the playoffs, he is someone to consider scooping up.
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Blu-ray Review: Silence

March 27, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: Silence
From a visual perspective, Silence is stunning. The countryside of Taiwan (standing in for 17th century Japan) offers all kinds of amazing views and scenery, and that beauty juxtaposed to the horrific acts being committed proves to be a powerful combination. For instance, one of the first scenes shows priests being burned with the water from hot springs. It’s simultaneously gruesome yet spectacular.
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The Wire Troll: Willie Reed Could Get More PT

March 25, 2017 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Willie Reed Could Get More PT
Back where it all started for him, Tucker is starting to provide nice low-level value, and the fact that he qualifies at multiple positions is a bonus. He’s been flirting with double-doubles lately, while racking up the treys and contributing plenty of steals.
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