Most Recent: Features

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #14: Street Fighter II

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior wasn’t the first fighting game ever released, but it single-handedly helped shape the genre for decades to come.

Capcom’s masterpiece rose to prominence by replacing the small and stiff characters of previous fighting games (including its predecessor, 1987’s Street Fighter) with highly detailed characters that seemed to fly around the screen. Instead of generic fighters clad in traditional karategi uniforms, Street Fighter II starred a diverse group of characters with fantastical “special moves.” And young fans lined up around the block to do battle with “World Warriors” like E. Honda, a sumo wrestler with a lightning-quick Hundred Hand Slap; Zangief, a Russian giant who fought bears; Blanka, a green-skinned prince who controlled electricity; and Dhalsim, a yoga master who breathed fire. (more…)

Posted in Features, PS3, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Switch, Top Story, Xbox 360 | Tagged

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #82: Contra

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

The rhythm of the words made them sound less like a controller input and more like a prayer. By “speaking” the correct phrase with their controller as the Contra title screen rolled into view, players were able to invoke the spirit of the developers and begin the game with 27 additional lives. In a way, the Konami Code was quite literally a gift from the gods behind the game’s creation, and not so dissimilar from the God Mode cheat that was included in early first-person shooters like Doom.

The Konami Code was originally programmed into 1986’s Gradius by Kazuhisa Hashimoto as a way to unlock a huge weapons cache in the notoriously difficult shooter. He has even joked that the button sequence was left in the game by accident. The Code quickly became an accepted part of the of the publisher’s identity, and its inclusion in Contra (along with Super Mario Bros.‘s Warp Zones and Metroid‘s password system) changed the way people progressed through a game’s levels. These features meant that players were no longer forced to follow the same trail through a game. Now, they could veer off in new directions, and discover what secrets a game held on their own. (more…)

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

Kickstart This! Zombie Teacher

There must be something in the air in France (apart from all the political stuff), as there has been an unusually high number of game projects from the country launched on Kickstarter in the last few weeks. There’s LabyX from Yazorius in Bordeaux, a pair of games from Clermont-Ferrand (the awesome-looking NES game Twin Dragons by Antoine Gohin and building sim Sandbox by TarteUp), as well as Robi, which is in development at Xzezal in, um, “France, France.”

So, naturally, I chose a project from East London, because I used to live there. Just kidding. I chose Zombie Teacher because it looks awesome. So reach for those tasty brains and see what makes this game a delicious delight. Mmm… brains… (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, Top Story |

The Games of May 2017

Nearly a dozen new games made their way onto store shelves in the closing days of April, but it looks like we’ll be showered with a smaller collection of new games in May. Thankfully, there’s plenty of interesting titles scheduled to launch over the next four weeks including Injustice 2, Friday the 13th, and Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Did we miss your favorite? Read on to find out… (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |


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Warpback: What We Played in April 2017

The Nintendo Switch isn’t just setting sales records, it continues to dominate any discussion about video games. The Warp Zoned staff were no different, as most of us spent the month of April firmly ensconced in Link’s quest to save Hyrule. But there are other games for the Switch besides Breath of the Wild, and Persona 5 might just steal your heart on the PS4 or PS3.

What else did we play last month, audience? Read on to find out… (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |

Grand Theft Auto IV: Nine Years Later

The highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV hit store shelves on April 29, 2008.

I was a sophomore in high school, and I remember it quite well. My mother totally disapproved, so if I wanted to play violent games, I’d have to ask my dad or grandfather to purchase them for me. In the months leading up to Grand Theft Auto IV’s release, I practically drooled over the latest news coverage and store ads (especially the Special Edition with its neat duffel bag, art book, soundtrack CD, and safe deposit box). I never did get the Special Edition, but my dad did purchase Grand Theft Auto IV for me.

My mother had relocated for work, so I had moved in with my father and grandfather in order to finish out the school year. A few months prior, my dad had made the jump from PlayStation 2 to Xbox 360. So on most days, I’d spend the evenings holed up in my grandfather’s basement, with an extra large bag of Peanut M&M’s in my lap, a bottle of Coke at my feet, and a bulky white Xbox 360 controller nestled between my slender teenaged hands. I’d sift through my dad’s video games, randomly popping in anything that appeared interesting, playing until either my dad came home from the NIH Power Plant, or my grandfather yelled down the stairs for me to turn off the TV and go to bed.

But on that Tuesday in April, my dad came home with a surprise… he’d purchased Grand Theft Auto IV! I finished my dinner, grabbed my go-to gaming snacks, and headed for the basement. I’ll never forget those opening scenes of Niko Bellic stepping off of the Platypus, waiting for his cousin Roman to arrive and indoctrinate him into the American way of life. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS3, Top Story, Xbox 360 | Tagged

Kickstart This! Safe House

Ever since the release of Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee, it feels like there has been a bit of a lull over at Kickstarter. Many had hoped that the game, crafted by Rare veterans, would harken back to the heyday of 3D platformers. Unfortunately, a wonky camera and poor level design took the wind from its sails.

Of course, crowdfunding was never the cause of this. Yooka-Laylee was born out of love by game developers, and rather than criticise it for its flaws, it should be celebrated for actually being made and released. Many crowdfunding games fall by the wayside long before they reach a beta test, but then again, many are not even as well-received as Playtonic’s project was.

Whether you consider it a success or a failure, there are other crowdfunding games that need your support. I always think Kickstarter is at its best when it becomes a platform for innovation. It often gets saturated with well-loved genres like JRPGs or retro 2D platformers, but a smaller target can force developers to get creative. Every now and again, someone comes up with a concept that is as novel as it is entertaining, and Safe House is one of those rare gems.

Let’s kick down this door and see what’s behind it! (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Top Story |

The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #17: Final Fantasy VII

“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.

You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.

Since the beginning, every new console cycle has existed as its own separate era that video game players speak of with as much reverence as comic fans who use “Golden Age” and “Silver Age” as a shorthand to represent the different decades of comic production. Ralph Baer’s Odyssey (1st Generation) directly lead to Nolan Bushnell’s Atari 2600 (2nd Generation). Atari’s machine gave way to the rise of Nintendo’s NES (3rd Generation), which in turn lead to the “16-Bit Wars” of the Super NES and the Genesis (4th Generation).

Up to this point, Square had only released three Final Fantasy games in America: 1990’s Final Fantasy, 1991’s Final Fantasy II (released in Japan as Final Fantasy IV), and 1994’s Final Fantasy III (released in Japan as Final Fantasy VI). Even though the remaining three games had yet to make their way across the Pacific, the publisher was determined to unify the franchise’s numbering across all regions with the next sequel. But they still had to find the right home for their game. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS4, Retro, SPBVGOAT, Top Story | Tagged