Matt Smith was an honored guest at the Wizard World convention during February 7-9. This marked the young actor’s first public appearance since he relinquished his role as the Doctor and passed the proverbial sonic screwdriver to Peter Capaldi, and the energy in the air was palpable as a result. An estimated 3,700 Whovians filed into the New Orleans Theater Saturday night for an intimate Q&A session with the Doctor himself. The panel was moderated by Tony Kim, and it had more than its fair share of laughter, awkward silences, and, yes, even tears.
The following is a guest post written by Sara Upton.
For most fans of the franchise, Final Fantasy VI (FFVI) was a top pick before the move to the PSX. In all respects it was a gigantic achievement on the part of the company now known as Square Enix that championed in all traditional aesthetic JRPG elements not limited to the story, character development, and soundtrack. TouchArcade puts it best, relating “Check out any gaming forum online and you’ll inevitably find a thread discussing the old-school RPGs of all time with FFVI squarely in the running.”
From concept to design, FFVI was a true mountain-mover in the 16-bit environment. With the development of the mobile port, though, the all-time classic has seen a slew of upgrades inciting mixed reviews from die-hard fans. The mobile FFVI is available from both the iTunes App Store and Google Play at $15.99, a price well worth the nostalgia and remastered design of the original blockbuster.
Season Two of Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead puts players in the tiny shoes of eleven-year-old Clementine—the same girl that players protected in the game’s critically acclaimed first season. Despite this, the season’s first episode “All That Remains” doesn’t give players a chance to stop and contemplate the uniqueness of Telltale’s protagonist. During the episode, Clementine is held at gun-point, relentlessly pursued through a zombie-infested wilderness, swept away by a river, and adopted by a new cast of survivors that neither player nor character know particularly well.
The Elder Scrolls Online begins in a prison, continuing a tradition that started with Morrowind and continued in Oblivion and Skyrim. In each of these games, players begin as a convict and must find a means of escape from their persecution. It’s also an apt metaphor for the series at large—a meditation, of sorts, on how the games strip down the confining walls of linear gameplay and introduce players to a truly open and rich world. It is only fitting that this metaphor persists in ZeniMax’s own foray into Tamriel. As an MMORPG,ESO aims to break down an entirely different set of walls: those separating the series’ single-player elements from the standard MMORPG formula. The result of this “prison-break” is a truly gratifying blend of both genres.
In a society that is inundated with negative press about videogames, it’s refreshing to stumble across a counterpoint to all the vitriol. The Get-Well Gamers Foundation is just that: a bright point in the sometimes dismal representation of the community. The Foundation’s mission is simple. Through the kindness of donations, the Get-Well Gamers provide videogames and consoles to a growing network of hospitals throughout North America. These donations are meant to help recovering children ward off boredom during their hospital stays, but the games and peripherals donated end up having a far, far larger impact on the lives of patients. They help children with pain management, soothe surgery patients as effectively as sedatives, and even aid in physical therapy. I was lucky enough to sit down with the Ryan Sharpe, the Foundation’s creator, for an inspiring interview about the Get-Well Gamers.