Most Recent: Features

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #90: Space Invaders

Did you miss The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time’s Introduction? Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100.

“Drop down, increase speed, and reverse direction!”

Somehow, the writers of Futurama found a way to sum up the essence of Space Invaders (in 2002’s “Anthology of Interest II”) with a single succinct sentence. And yet, in the days and years after its release in 1978, the game was considered something of a phenomenon. Even today, an oft-repeated urban legend claims that obsessive Space Invaders fans caused a shortage of the 100 yen coin in Japan.

Obviously, dropping a coin into an arcade slot will keep it in circulation, so it would have been impossible for Space Invaders to be the cause of any shortage. Though one thing those obsessive fans did do was raise the profile of the game’s titular aliens so that now they’re something of a mascot for all video games.

But it all started with, “Drop down, increase speed, and reverse direction!” Which as a formula was later refined and improved upon by Namco when they created Galaxian and Galaga. (more…)

Posted in Features, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story | Tagged

Kickstart This! Apocalypse Now

I ummed and awwed over whether to cover Apocalypse Now as part of Kickstart This! I try to steer the column towards games that may be overlooked and are desperately seeking funds, but the film, and by close association this game, feel more relevant than ever.

All is fair in love and war, but crowdfunding campaigns are the perfect analogy for Vietnam. And in its day, re-imagining Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness served as a masterful allegory for the souls of the men sent to fight in a war that history has shown to be a massive mistake. Though this is not the first time Heart of Darkness has graced the gaming world. 2K’s third person shooter, Spec Ops: The Line, also used the book as a basis for its story, and is worth checking out.

Apocalypse Now seemed to strike a chord with many backers, but with each passing day it looked less and less likely that development studio Erebus was going to reach its lofty target of $900,000. And then what happened? The developer cancelled the Kickstarter campaign after reaching less than 20% of their goal.

This is the message they delivered to fans as the last Update on their now defunct Kickstarter page:

When we launched this campaign, we made a mistake. We forgot that many of you have been disappointed by overreaching games and overreaching promises. We had stopped paying attention to the Kickstarter world, when we put our heads down and went to work on this full-steam about 18 months ago — first with documents and then with prototypes. Because we went upriver, we did not remember that those of you who love games and those of you who love Apocalypse Now would immediately treat the announcement not with excitement, but with concern.

But the men and women behind the game have not given up. No sir. They have relocated the crowdfunding campaign to the official Apocalypse Now website, and issued a rallying call to all those who want to see this game happen. It will be done on their terms… and with a much larger funding target.

Queue Ride of the Valkyries(more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS4, Top Story, Xbox One | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #91: Madden NFL Football (Series)

Did you miss The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time’s Introduction? Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100.

A gambler will tell you that they believe Lady Luck will reward them for respecting a streak, and a professional football player will tell you that he doesn’t believe in the Madden Curse. The former is a wishful thinker, and the latter is a liar.

The sports world is filled with superstitions. As a Little Leaguer growing up, I could show you what a “rally cap” was and explain the importance of never touching the baselines. I understood completely why retired Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland refused to change his underwear during a 12-game winning streak in 2011. I’ve even got strong opinions on what you say to a pitcher in the middle of a perfect game. The answer is you don’t say anything, because talking to him at all is bad luck.

For decades, the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx served as a well-known precursor to the Madden Curse. Those who believe in the Jinx are convinced that any player who appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated will experience some form of terrible luck, even though a handful of high-profile hits have obscured the long list of players who avoided the Jinx over the years. If the sheer number of cover subjects doesn’t dissuade you (more than 3,000 issues have been produced since the magazine’s launch in 1954), the illustrious career of Michael Jordan should. The basketball great has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated a record 50 times, and he’s had the kind of career that other athletes dream about… not counting his detour through Minor League Baseball and Space Jam.

But what of the Madden Curse? Although you’ll find a few executives at Electronic Arts who enjoy hyping up the current year’s game with talk of the Curse, most of them like to downplay it. In 2008, the then-President of EA Sports, Peter Moore, said, “I guess when you look back there’s a grain of truth to the Madden Curse.” At the time, he wasn’t wrong. Five of the last six offensive players on the cover succumbed to some horrible calamity. The publishing giant even considered producing a movie based on the Madden Curse in 2010, though that project seems to have fallen off the radar in the years since.

And that’s probably because the Madden Curse is as mythical as a wild turducken. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, DS, Features, Mobile, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Games of February 2017

Sometimes, we don’t agree on anything. Other times, we all agree on the same game. This month, we’re all in agreement: Horizon: Zero Dawn looks amazing. You’ll have to read on to see what else the crew here at Warp Zoned is interested in for the month of February! (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |




Warpback: What We Played in January 2017

January was cold, but our gaming time was on fire! We spent a ton of time on our backlogs, though some of us managed to play a few new games. Read on to see what the Warp Zoned staff did to fight the winter temperatures! (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #68: Resident Evil

Did you miss The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time’s Introduction? Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100.

If a Bizarro Universe doppelganger of Jerry Seinfeld was a hacky comedian who worked the nerd belt, I have a feeling he’d start off every set with, “What’s the deal with all the zombies?” And he wouldn’t be wrong. Zombies are everywhere. Just absolutely everywhere. But why? And why now? If you trace the epidemic all the way back to patient zero, it leads to a publisher named Capcom and their desire to create a scary game with zombies known as Resident Evil.

George A. Romero is rightly considered the godfather of the modern zombie movie. Starting with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, his first film inspired a horde of filmmakers and lead to a pair of sequels in 1978 and 1985. But after the release of Day of the Dead and Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead, the genre fell out of favor with the moviegoing public and was reanimated only when some low-budget film studio wanted to add something to the direct-to-video slush pile. Not even Romero himself, who helped visual effects master Tom Savini remake Night of the Living Dead in 1990, could bring it back to life.

Six years later, Capcom brought the zed menace back in a big way with Resident Evil. First released on Sony’s fledgling PlayStation console (and eventually re-released 12 times over the next 20 years), the game’s amateurish acting and stiff tank-like controls never obscured the terrifying zombie tale underneath. You might say that exploring Spencer Mansion and delving deeper into the story behind the T-Virus infected players in a way that few games ever had before. (more…)

Posted in DS, Features, PC, PS3, PS4, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #34: Super Mario Bros. 3

Did you miss The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time’s Introduction? Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
– As You Like It, Act II Scene VII

Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom cohorts have held a surprising number of occupations over the years. In addition to his plumbing business and the hero-for-hire game, Mario has been employed as a multi-sport athlete, a race car driver, a referee, a dancer, an artist, a virologist, and a typing tutor. He’s practically done it all, and I think only political office has eluded him. I guess that’s the trouble with monarchies.

Bouncing from genre to genre like that is usually considered a liability for other game characters. As sublimely silly as the idea seems, no one wants to see Kratos squeezed into a go-kart. And yet, fans readily accept Mario’s multitasking, and many of his spinoff adventures are now more popular than some of the franchise’s traditional platformers. There’s a strong possibility this all stems from the fact that Mario’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, designed the character this way from the beginning. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, Features, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story, Wii, Wii U | Tagged

The Big List of Nintendo Switch Games: Nintendo Switch Presentation Update

nintendoswitch-header

Nintendo hosted their big Nintendo Switch Presentation last week, and the blowout reveal has finally made hybrid console/handheld feel real for a lot of fans. And this feeling of realness will only increase as the Switch’s is just under a month-and-a-half away. This kind of quick turnaround between announcement and launch is literally unprecedented (and frankly, kind of awesome).

But what about the games? Nintendo’s notorious penchant for secrecy went into overdrive during the run-up to the Switch Presentation, but now we’ve got a pretty good idea what the console’s first year (and beyond) will look like. The Switch’s release schedule is packed with big titles, and more than 80 games are said to be in development for the console.

So lets-a-go and have a look at every game in the works for the Switch… (more…)

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