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It's been roughly 7 years since Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots blew our minds in 2008, and 5 years since Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker reshaped people's expectations for Sony's struggling PlayStation Portable system. Last year's Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes acted as a paid demo of sorts that offered a tantalizing glimpse of what fans could expect from the series' future, but there is no denying that the wait for a real, impactful console Metal Gear has been achingly long and that the AAA games industry has been all the poorer for it.
We live in a world of retro throwbacks and reimaginings, but none have been more successful than the platformer revivals. Games like Mercenary Kings, Volgarr the Viking, Mega Man 9, and Super Meat Boy have captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. However, none of these have had quite the nostalgic appeal and same technical mastery as Shovel Knight. Yacht Club Games designed a nearly perfect replica of classic 8-bit games, taking inspiration from Mega Man, Ducktales, Castlevania, and several others. Shovel Knight encapsulates all there is to love about the classic 8-bit and 16-bit era with very little of the frustration.
Like many PlayStation 4 owners, I have been completely obsessed with From Software's Bloodborne since its March 24th release. I am a "Souls" virgin, meaning I have never played either of the Dark Souls games. I played a little of Demon's Souls and absolutely hated it at the time. As someone who tries to actively keep on top of all of the latest and greatest games in the industry, missing this crucial output from From Software has always stung.
Sony has released a stunning new trailer for Bloodborne. Developed by From Software, the studio responsible for Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, this slick and brutally challenging action/RPG is one of Sony's most pivotal exclusives in 2015. The trailer shows a variety of absolutely disturbing imagery, making one fact painfully clear: Bloodborne will not be for the faint of heart when it releases March 24th. Read on to watch the trailer, and feel free to let us know if you're excited for the game in the comments below!
Not nearly enough attention is paid to good cover art, on both the publisher and the consumer side. Like with films or novels, good cover design should cast an artful eye towards conveying the contents of the game in an eye-catching way. As a collector, good cover art matters to me. It's something that can get me interested in a disc-based game, tipping me into a buying decision. It's something that I value years later when I peruse my collection, feeling the warm rush of nostalgia wash over me and reminding me of everything I loved about a game.
In a sea of mediocre (or worse) cover art, good cover design matters and it should be celebrated! Here is a look at 10 of the finest cover designs 2014 has had to offer!
The original Castlevania: Lords of Shadow came as a surprise to me when it landed in 2010. Spearheaded by Metal Gear Solid mastermind Hideo Kojima and developed by a little known Spanish studio, I initially didn't quite take to the game. I grew tired of it after only a few hours of play, writing it off as a very pretty but ultimately unpolished God of War "clone." When I returned to it later with fresh eyes I found an action game of shocking depth and scope. Lords of Shadow is a game that, after a rough start, only improved over its considerable (20+ hour) runtime.
Dust: An Elysian Tail originally released for XBLA in 2012, and instantly turned heads with its classic Disney quality visuals and animation. As wonderful as the game looks (now slightly better on PS4), that's not why I'm replaying a game I've already experienced. I wanted to take the time to write about Dust because it is a staggering achievement of independent game design that deserves to be played by far more people than its XBLA exclusive audience afforded it.
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