• Video games

    Best games of 2019

    Before we get started here, it’s important to note that I base my selections on games I’ve either completed or — in some cases — spent a substantial enough amount of time with to be able to give a proper rating or rank to.

    Secondly, there were plenty of great games available throughout the year, many of which I’m certain do not appear on my personal list. This doesn’t mean I don’t like them or that they don’t deserve your time and attention. I simply don’t have the time to play everything.

    3.) Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

    Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an online action role-playing video game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. The sequel to Tom Clancy’s The Division (2016), it is set in a near-future Washington, D.C. in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic, and follows an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division as they try to rebuild the city.

    I love the world of The Division 2. Every inch I explored felt lived in and offered something to do or to collect. While the missions could be a little repetitive at times, the gunplay, base upgrading, and exploration kept me hooked for hours.

    2.) Resident Evil 2

    The game is set in Raccoon City in September 1998, two months after the events of Resident Evil. There, most of the city’s citizens have been turned into mindless creatures, referred to by survivors as zombies, due to an outbreak of a viral bioweapon known as the T-Virus, manufactured by Umbrella Corporation. Resident Evil 2 is a remake of the 1998 game Resident Evil 2 released for the PlayStation.

    The original Resident Evil 2 has long been my favourite of the series and this remake was everything I wanted from a reimagined version of the game. It’s visually impressive, features genuine scares, and still stays wonderfully faithful to the story of the original game without feeling repetitive. I can’t wait to see what the team comes up with for Resident Evil 3’s remake early next year.

    1.) Control

    Control revolves around a clandestine U.S. government agency known as the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), which is responsible for the investigation of “paranatural” phenomena which defy ordinary reality, usually manifesting in the form of Altered World Events (AWEs), intrusions upon perceived reality shaped by the human collective unconscious.

    Control’s mind-blowing, dimension-bending visuals, brutalist style, and fascinatingly confounding story easily made it the best thing I played this year. The overall mechanics felt patently Remedy but the slew of abilities and upgrades allowed for constant surprises and excitement. As a fan of alternate realities and dimension hopping plot-lines, everything about the game just mesmerized me.

    Looking ahead at the DLC planned for the game, it’s definitely the gift that will keep on giving with a deep exploration of The Foundation — one of the game’s more bizarre locales — and a story tied to another Remedy game (Alan Wake) arriving later in 2020.

  • Technology Micro

    My wife bought me a pair of AirPods for Christmas this year and It didn’t take long for me to see what all the fuss is about. Sound quality is stellar for the size, the pairing process is about as simple as it gets, and they fit great in my ears.

  • Now Playing

    Disco Elysium

    Disco Elysium

    Steam:

    Disco Elysium is a groundbreaking role playing game. You’re a detective with a unique skill system at your disposal and a whole city block to carve your path across. Interrogate unforgettable characters, crack murders or take bribes. Become a hero or an absolute disaster of a human being.

    I’m only about an hour or two into the game but it’s pretty easy to see why it won big at the Game Awards this year. The art direction and sound design are on point and the story is one of the wackiest, weirdest, most original I’ve played in a while.

  • Comic books

    Spider-Woman getting a new suit for series launch

    Spider-Woman art by Junggeun Yoon

    Jude Terror for Bleeding Cool:

    But it turns out, Marvel just wanted to soak in the variant cover sales glory of the costume one last time because it turns out Jessica Drew is getting a new look in Spider-Woman #1.

    While I’m not particularly fond of the new look, I’m more concerned that Marvel seems to have intentionally mislead potential readers in the announcement of the new series.

    Announcing her new book and cover, revealing a series of variants — both featuring the original costume — allowing people to place orders for the book, and only then showing off this new suit seems a little deceptive to me.

  • DesignMicro

    The new design of Anchor’s podcast pages is really nice. It might even be enough to push me into recording new episodes of Shortbox in the new year.

  • Video games

    Apparently it’s just "Xbox"

    Ben Gilbert for Business Insider:

    “The name we’re carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox,” a Microsoft representative told Business Insider. “And at The Game Awards you saw that name come to life through the Xbox Series X.”

    Like the first Xbox generation, the next one is simply named “Xbox.”

    It’s a basic rebranding, but a meaningful one that could help to simplify the Xbox line for interested consumers. It also clarifies Microsoft’s intention with its console line.

    I’m very okay with going back to basics with the naming structure but what a weird way to announce the console… or family of consoles I guess?

  • Video games

    Resurrected Telltale Games releases Batman: Shadows Edition on Xbox and PC

    Batman: Shadows Edition

    Jenni Lada for Siliconera:

    Telltale Batman Shadows Edition is a compilation of every Telltale Games Batman series. When people grab a copy, they get all five episodes of Batman: The Telltale Series, all five Batman: The Enemy Within episodes, and the new Batman Shadows Mode DLC. Shadows Mode is a new visual effect that makes everything monochromatic, with occasional splashes of green and red as the only highlights. (Think of it as a Sin City sort of filter.)

    Both of Telltale’s Batman titles were my favourites games made by the studio because of the new spin on existing characters and how well Batman’s world worked with Telltale’s choose-your-own-adventure type of storytelling.

    While there isn’t a ton of new content added to this new re-release — though I am looking forward to trying the game with “Shadow Mode” on — any sort of update signals to me that the new management is somewhat interested in returning to the worlds the original version of Telltale built with new games. Along with the re-announcement of Wolf Among Us 2, this seems to indicate that there’s a long-term plan in place to keep the studio going for years to come.

  • Video gamesMicro

    I really don’t like the name of the new Xbox Series X but it’s tough not to get behind the hardware. I love the minimalist design and appreciate that they aren’t compromising or doing weird stuff with the guts to make it fit a smaller case.

  • Video games

    Resident Evil 3 remake announced for April 2020

    Nemesis in Resident Evil 3

    Michael McWhertor for Polygon:

    It’s official: Capcom is remaking Resident Evil 3. Similar in style to 2019’s Resident Evil 2 remake, the new version of Resident Evil 3 will inject new life into the 20-year-old original PlayStation game with updated graphics and modern gameplay mechanics.

    The remake of Resident Evil 3 isn’t the only Resident Evil title that developer Capcom has on the drawing board. Resident Evil Resistance is a four-against-one online multiplayer game and it will be included as part of the Resident Evil 3 remake as a multiplayer mode.

    This looks sooo good. With the release date being so soon, there’s no way they weren’t working on this early into RE2’s development. It’s likely that when they started hearing how excited people were to check out that remake, they got moving on the follow-up.

    I’m also excited to see that Capcom’s other Resident Evil project, Resistance, will be getting bundled with RE3. I can’t say I would have given the online game a shot otherwise but if it’s already installed on my machine? Yeah, I’ll give it a spin.

  • Comic booksMicro

    I got my Mirka Andolfo variant for Money Shot #1 in the mail from Things From Another World yesterday. Needless to say, it’s definitely deserving of the black bag treatment.