Pixels & Ink Podcast Episode #267: The Most Important Shooters of ALL TIME!

Pixels & Ink Podcast Episode #267: The Most Important Shooters of ALL TIME!

This week, Brendan, Quinn, Phil, and Lisa discuss the most influential shooters of all time. From game-changers like Wolfenstein and Doom, to Quake, GoldenEye 007Half Life, Halo, and the dominating Call of Duty, the team walks through how these titles changed the face of the genre and videogames in general.

In games news, the gang takes a look at the new trailer for the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2, and the battle-royale tension between Playerunknown’s Battleground and Fortnight. They discuss what the cross-play glitch in Fortnight means for the possibility of a cross-play feature between Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Phil is back with his take on Tom Cruse’s latest movie, American Made. He also gives the team a rundown of the surrealist feature, mother!.

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Want to read more about the topics we talked about today? Check out Phil Brown’s reviews of mother! and American Made.

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Nintendo Direct Recap: Pokemon, Kirby, Wolfenstein, and More

Nintendo Direct Recap: Pokemon, Kirby, Wolfenstein, and More

Updates to Fire Emblem Warriors and Splatoon 2 are just some of the announcements that were released through today’s Nintendo Direct presentation.

Kirby: Battle Royale is a new 3D brawler that throws you and your friends into a variety of multiplayer modes. Expect this title to release on January 19 on the Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo is rounding up the top minigames from the main Mario Party series and throwing them into Mario Party: The Top 100. The update’s assortment of minigames is set to release on November 10 for the 3DS.

Minecraft is headed to the 3DS! The portable version will come with both the Survival and Creative modes, along with five skin packs and two texture packs. The game is currently available on the eShop and is exclusive to New Nintendo 3DS systems.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is still set for its November 3 release, but we did get some new updates. The story will primarily feature Necrozma as it takes over Solgaleo and Lunala, the legendaries of the Generation 7. Pre-ordering will get you a Rockruff that can evolve into the new Dusk Form Lycanroc. New clothing and style options were also shown off.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is still set for its December 1 release on the Nintendo Switch. A new Pro Controller themed after the title was announced, along with a special edition that includes a soundtrack CD, a metal case, and an art book.

DOOM and Wolfenstein II will see a release on the Switch. No word on whether or not these editions will have special features. DOOM will be released this holiday while Wolfenstein II is set for 2018.

Fire Emblem Warriors is getting a new playable character in the form of the classic hero Lyn.

Kirby Star Allies is the name of the new Kirby title announced at E3 2017. The Switch title will allow characters to recruit enemies while playing cooperatively with up to three friends. Kirby is set to release next spring.

Splatoon 2 and ARMS are both getting free content updates. Splatoon 2 will get two new stages while ARMS will get the new playable fighter, Lola Pop.

The new Champions amiibo figures based on the characters from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are set to release on November 10.

Super Mario Odyssey got a ton of new announcements, all of which you can read here.

Pixels & Ink #264 – The Battle of the Cons

Pixels & Ink #264 - It is the Battle of the Cons

We’re back! After a crazy week of cons, your favourite team of podcasters are here with stories galore! Quinn regales us with stories from QuakeCon, including some first impressions of Doom VR, Wolfenstein 2: New Colossus, and The Evil Within 2.

Read morePixels & Ink #264 – The Battle of the Cons

Pixels & Ink #230 – GOTY 2016

Pixels & Ink #230 - GOTY 2016 2

With 2016 coming to a close, the team at CGMagazine join together to sort out their game of the year. Looking at the top games this year, the group including, Cody Orme, Elias Blondeau, Lisa Mior, Lane Martin, and Brendan Frye, argue their case as to what they think should be the game of the year.

Read morePixels & Ink #230 – GOTY 2016

Best of 2016: Multi-Platform Gaming

Best of 2016: Multiplatform Gaming 1

For gaming, 2016 was truly a year of growth. The AAA space started to evolve in major ways, the indie scene produced some truly interesting gemss, and long-gestating passion projects finally saw the light of day. While there’s still much for developers and publishers to learn in practically every area of design and storytelling, this past year truly felt like a further maturation of this medium we love to get lost in, to lavish praise on, and to sometimes tear apart.

Here sre some of the games that grabbed us in 2016. The ones that pushed us to question what videogames were really capable of, that gave us pause and made us reconsider our standards for what truly great gaming is.

To discover even more of the best multi-platform titles of 2016, pick up the Best of 2016 issue.

(Reviewed by Jed Whitaker)

Overwatch’s November Updates Embrace Change 1

Overwatch is a very easy to pick up and play. The characters are diverse and just as colourful as the levels where battles take place. Overwatch is an extremely colourful breath of fresh air, in stark contrast to most first person shooters that come out these days.  I especially love the character designs as there is truly something for everyone. Want to play as a cowboy? You can do that. A gorilla scientist? Yup. A robot with a bird buddy? Surprisingly yes.

Dark Souls 3
(Reviewed by Brendan Quinn)

With Dark Souls 3 we bid adieu to Lordran (for now anyway) and while it’s not exactly the epic send-off some were hoping for, it’s a fitting end to a series restricted to its own original innovations. Dark Souls 3 goes back to its roots in both story and gameplay, and will certainly help fans wash the bad taste of Dark Souls II out of their mouths.

Watch Dogs 2
(Reviewed by Mike Cosimano)

Watch Dogs 2 (PS4) Review 2

The code powering Watch Dogs 2 could use some work, but the game itself is excellent and maybe the best open-world game available on current-gen consoles—yes, I’m saying I think Watch Dogs 2 is better than Grand Theft Auto V, if only because it’s a rare example of a big-budget game looking to make a statement. Even more rare, it succeeds by starting with a central thesis and communicating ideas through player action. That it also manages to be a rip-roaring good time is almost irrelevant. You can patch a framerate, but you can’t patch a story or gameplay, and on those fronts Watch Dogs 2 is nigh unimpeachable.

Dishonored 2
(Reviewed by Cole Watson)

The key ingredient that made me fall in love with the original Dishonored was the land of Dunwall, and the new setting of Karnaca feels even better. Brimming with colourful detail, architecture and even richer lore than the first. Dishonored 2’s world and gameplay feel just as tight and diverse as the original and will still be loved by fans of the original who have been craving for more since the game’s reveal at E3.

(Reviewed by Jordan Biordi)

Best of 2016: Multi-Platform Gaming

Doom is a big, goofy action game, it knows what it is, and it does that best. It reminded me that games used to just be fun. It’s a polished and incredibly enjoyable game that blends old-school sensibilities with new-school quality. Doom captures the feeling of nostalgic fun without being cynical. Brutal, intense and incredibly fun.


Doom: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the FPS

Doom or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the FPS 5

Like many people my age, I feel as though I’ve outgrown—or at least become fatigued with—the FPS genre. I’ve been playing FPS games since the original Doom essentially created the genre way back in 1993. However, 20+ years of running around and shooting things eventually grew stale, especially with the re-rise of the Call of Duty series and its endless series of unlocks, upgrades, and stale design principles. I’ve moved on to other genres, and up until a week ago, actually playing and enjoying an FPS seemed like an experience I was not likely to find myself doing ever again. It’s not that I’m against the genre, it’s just “not for me”.

Having said that, Doom is (so far) easily my GOTY for 2016. I’m flabbergasted as to how much I’m loving this game, and for the first time in forever, I find myself actually excited to come home, pick up my DualShock, and go frag (so much fun to use that term again) some demons. And here’s the thing that really gets me: there is literally nothing to this game but running and gunning. There is no depth, no tinkering, no story, no puzzles, no open-world, and (thank the gods) no cutscenes. All you do for the entire game is run, jump, and kill demons. Outside of the gorgeous graphics, from a gameplay perspective, Doom 2016 is basically no different than Doom 1993; and it’s the most fun I’ve had with a game all year—easily.

Doom or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the FPS 9

I’m clearly not the only one who feels this way either. Despite decent, but not incredible, reviews, gamers are going nuts over Doom. I haven’t seen NeoGAF react so positively to a game in forever. Everyone seems to love the game, but I cannot nail down exactly why.

For comparison purposes, I’m going to use another recent release and likely GOTY contender, Naughty Dog’s glorious sendoff to Nathan Drake: Uncharted 4. As with previous entries in the series, UC4 features unparalleled production values, wonderful and believable voice acting, smooth, addictive gameplay, an incredible musical score, entertaining and thrilling set pieces, and a story and characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. Taken individually, UC4 blows Doom out of the water in nearly every conceivable category, and yet, I haven’t touched the game since Doom came out.

Doom or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the FPS 11

Perhaps over-analyzing a game by breaking it down to individual metrics, an unfortunate side effect of working in the industry, is the root of the problem. As reviewers, we dissect a complete package into separate little pieces, critique each one as a part, then sit back and try to view the game as a whole package—and can’t.  It’s the old “can’t see the forest for the trees,” idea and when it comes to games, that statement holds incredibly true. Especially so in an industry where every forest tries to cram in as many trees as possible. AAA games are incredibly restricted by this, and very few actually pull it off. Either they manage the impossible and get everything perfect, as is the case with UC4, or they try too hard and the entire package becomes laden with flawed parts that drag it down.

Sure, there’s always indie games that take a single idea and run with it, believing that there is in fact elegance in simplicity. Rather than attempting to get everything right on a huge scale, developers focus on one idea and perfect it. This is all well and good, but Doom somehow manages to do both these things incredibly well by succeeding in the one area that a videogame should focus on: making it fun.

Doom or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the FPS 8

I suppose, in the end, this is what the devs at id pulled off with Doom. From the get-go, everything was stacked against this game being good. Reboots of old series often miss the point of what made the original fun, or they try to mimic what made the title successful in the first place forgetting that the industry has evolved quite a bit since the initial game. Look at Duke Nukem Forever and how poorly that went. The world is a lot different than it was in the early 90s, and what worked then often doesn’t work in this new environment. But here we are, playing and loving a game that is nothing more than a faster, shinier version of its 23-year-old predecessor.

Whether or not this trend is something that can be repeated by other studios remains to be seen, but if we are due for another Quake, or yet another attempt at Duke Nukem, the team that successfully resurrected the OG’s of the genre in Doom and Wolfenstein should be the ones making it. Not every game requires a gigantic, open-world, an immersive and engaging story, or well-directed and acted cutscenes. Sometimes, going back to basics is the best bet. Regenerating health? Realistic, two weapon restriction? Vehicles and side quests and chatty NPCs? Nah, screw that. Give me health packs, tight, well-designed linearity, and some big scary demons to shoot with cool weapons and—apparently—I’ll enjoy the hell out of it.