Gaming Goodness

A Digital Decade: Top 10 Games of the Past 10 Years

2010 didn’t seem that far away until I started looking at how many games have been released since then. Hundreds of games from teams across the world, spanning a myriad of platforms and genres. Some of which I devoured, others I merely scratched the surface of and many that had never even made it on my radar.

While I haven’t even put a dent in all the games that have come out since 2010, narrowing down 10 years of games to one favorite game per year still wasn’t an easy task (especially when there are so many left unplayed in my backlog), but here are my picks and their runner-ups.

Fallout: New Vegas (2010)

Runner-ups of 2010: Alan Wake, Fable III and Halo: Reach.

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Neopet's Illusen, the Earth Faerie of Meridell, poses.
General Geekery

Growing up in Neopia – Celebrating 20 Years of Neopets

Neopets has been a part of my life for a very long time, as strange as it may sound to say something so sentimental about a website. Some of my earliest memories of using my family’s first desktop computer are of navigating the Neopets homepage at the age of eight or nine and creating the first of my digital pets.

Now, as Neopets celebrates its 20th anniversary and I get closer to celebrating my 30th birthday, I realize just how much of a constant Neopets has been throughout my life. I have grown up alongside the site and while Neopets has changed throughout the years and I have gotten older, and while it may not be with the same account I started with, I still log on.

It was through Neopets that I got my first taste of internet culture. Neopets was my introduction to interacting with other people online, how I was first introduced to fan-culture and how I was first encouraged to explore basic coding, among so many other things. In a myriad of ways, it was Neopets that made me a little more prepared to go forth into the rest of the internet as a prepared online citizen.

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Gaming Goodness, Out and About

My 10 Favorite Games @ PAX West 2019

After 4 busy days, PAX West 2019 has drawn to a close and after a full weekend of picking up controllers, demoing builds, chatting with passionate developers and actively avoiding the PAX pox: I’m ready to round up my favorite video game finds from the weekend.

Here are 10 different projects that stood out to me on the show floor, ranging from dog-themed dating simulators to creative takes on dungeon-crawling adventures.

Project Witchstone (Spearhead Games)

Isometric RPGs have been having a renaissance over the past few years, and while many strive to capture the best parts of tabletop gaming, they sometimes fall short in terms of achieving the player freedom found in tabletop games. That’s the gap that Project Witchstone is trying to bridge, with their robust AI “game master” approach to NPCs, skill checks and investment in player agency. With no overarching questline to embark on, players are free to integrate themselves into factions, frame the local blacksmith for murder or forge onward of their own volition.

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Gaming Goodness

Fallout 76 and Bethesda’s Approach to S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Storytelling

I have to admit that even I hesitated briefly when Bethesda announced that Fallout 76 would have no human NPCs. After all, the eclectic array of survivors (along with their equally eclectic stories, ambitions, and machinations) has always been part of the charm of the Fallout series. The more I thought about it though, the more the decision makes sense in ways other than just the post-apocalyptic timeline.

After all, Bethesda has been conveying stories through their extensive world design and eye for detailΒ in each of their titlesΒ for years now.

Fallout 76
(viaΒ Alicia Alexandra)

In Fallout’s case: whether it’s a carefully placed skeleton clutching a dusty teddy bear in the dark of an abandoned bunker or hastily painted warnings scrawled across a boarded door, there is an entire world telling players more about their surroundings than any digestible, scripted dialogue with an NPC could.

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Gaming Goodness, Xbox Lifestyle

Forza Horizon is More Than Just a Racing Game

I don’t drive. I don’t even have a driver’s license, mostly because they’re useless on the island of Montreal, where I spent my late teenage years, but also in part because I don’t really have any interest in driving. While I have a passing appreciation for nice cars, that’s just about where my interest ends when it comes to anything with four wheels. So, there’s really no logical reason I should enjoy a series like Forza Horizon, or at least so I thought.

I downloaded the demo for Forza Horizon 3 on a whim one Friday night when I was stuck at home with a cold and I quickly found myself buying the full game, much to my own disbelief. Why was I having fun? Well, my friend Maxen said it best: the Forza Horizon series is a “car-based adventure game”.

Forza Horizon 4 (2)
(viaΒ Alicia Alexandra)

Forza Horizon 4 just came out and it’s a perfect example of how this series from Playground Games embraces different play styles and includes mechanics to make it accessible to both racing and non-racing fans alike.

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