Saturday, February 24, 2018

Gamers excited about 2016 releases

January 20, 2016 by Tabitha Ross, contributing writer

2016 is set to be a huge year for exciting video games, with big-name sequels such as Final Fantasy XV, Street Fighter V, and Mass Effect: Andromeda hitting shelves. Down at Hang & Play Video Games, store owner Adrian McBurney is hearing a lot of excitement from his customers, including much talk about a new remake of Star Fox, which originally came out in 1993 for Super Nintendo; McBurney feels it will be a hit, along with a few other exciting games.

Unchartered 4 is a big one coming out for PS4,” he says. “The first one that came out has done really well. And the other big one, I would say, would be Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, as it has a very strong following.”

With all this hype for upcoming games, it’s interesting to consider whether too much anticipation can harm a game’s release. McBurney says it depends on the game, and, more specifically, the gameplay.

Adrian McBurney in front of his game shop, Hang & Play (photo provided).

Adrian McBurney in front of his game shop, Hang & Play (photo provided).

“When the beta version comes out, people will obviously latch on to that. Then, if it’s good, there will be more hype put into it, and people will actually buy it,” he says. “But if it’s not good… like when Watchdogs came out, there was a lot of hype on it, but the gameplay wasn’t very good, and it went bust.”

Another big development in gaming is the announcement that the Oculus Rift (a virtual reality (VR) headset) will be released in the first quarter of 2016. But McBurney says it might not change things all that much for most gamers.

“It’s one of those fads, too much gear,” he says. “Maybe for the hardcore gamers, but I don’t think it’s going to be very popular. A novelty item, just like Guitar Hero and all those other ones; when they first come out, they’re great, but after a month or two they go down in value and nobody wants them anymore.”

However, first-year Camosun Science student and PC gamer Liam Lange says the Oculus Rift might be a big development in gaming.

“A lot of important gaming critics think it’s the way going forward and that it’s the best way to actually view your game,” says Lange. “The problem right now is that not everyone has the hardware to use virtual reality, so we’ll have to wait a few years until hardware that can use VR gets cheaper and it becomes a household thing. Right now it’s very high-end because the technology is new, so there’s no less expensive options. In the future there will likely be different tiers of VR affordability, just like monitors.”

Another trend to watch this year is indie games.

Through websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there is no shortage of excited gamers willing to donate to see a game get created. The creators of funding site 8-bit Funding have even put their efforts into a new site called IndieGameStand, where gamers can buy indie games.

“To be honest, indie games are already pretty dominant on PCs,” says Lange. “A lot of people play indie games because they specialize more; they usually do just one thing really well.”

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