The Legendary Innovations of Final FantasyFinal Fantasy is more than just a series of video games. It is a universe unto itself. Beginning in 1987, it's seen a dozen games in the main series, plus spinoffs in every direction. While it's the challenges and the satisfaction of a quest well done that keeps Final Fantasy alive, you might not realize how innovative the series has been, not just for RPGs, but for gaming as whole. In 1987, video games were a new frontier, and Final Fantasy led the way in technical breakthroughs and advancements that would become standard across the industry. You know, things that we take for granted now. Take a look back at nine ways Final Fantasy changed video games forever at Den of Geek.
All Epic Quests Are The SameThe "Epic Quest" was born in tales told around a fire, then was recreated in books, often a series of more and more books about the same characters, who are interchangeable with characters from other franchises. They then move to feature films, and then TV series and video games to continue the fantasy, whether it is already played out or not. Alasdair Beckett-King rolls all these familiar elements into one generic quest that somehow exists in all formats at once, starring characters you've never heard of, like Runcorn the Wizard, Young Tampax, Princess Atari, Sir Bobbins, and The Emperor's Horny Riders. Whether you're a fan of Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Wizard Of Legend, Baldur's Gate, The Legend of Zelda, Conan the Barbarian, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Elden Ring, Fantasy Quest, or even Quest, you'll recognize the archetypes and how they appear again and again in different worlds. Besides, it's funny, and you'll have to watch twice to catch the smaller jokes that reference specific stories and how they were presented to us. -via Geeks Are Sexy​
Nip For Speed is One Bizarre Browser GameOkay, imagine Toonces the Driving Cat as a big orange with one brain cell and no ethics or self-control. Oh yeah, Toonces didn't have those things, either. But here you are stuck in the passenger seat with a cat who doesn't know how to drive behind the wheel. That's Nip For Speed, a free browser game that doesn't take all that long. But you'll want to play through a couple more times, because the first time you'll laugh, and the second time you'll miss the road signs, and maybe the third time it will all come together. Meanwhile, try not to stress too much over a thoroughly dangerous yet totally implausible situation. However, the controls are right mouse button and left mouse button. My mouse only has one button, so I got stuck pretty early. If you have a mouse that will do the job, try the game here. If not, enjoy the play-through video above. -via Boing Boing​
15 Games That Changed Gaming Graphics ForeverUnless you are a youngster or new to the world of video games, you probably recall a moment in your life when you saw a new video game and went "Whoa!" because the graphics just blew you away. Looking back, that game that impressed you was probably painfully rudimentary compared to what you are playing today, but that's how the industry grew, with improvement building upon improvement over the last 50 years. For me, it was when the arcade across the street got a new game called Dragon's Lair. I never got to play it because the line was always too long, but there were almost as many people standing around just to watch someone else play it. Maybe you marveled at the way the pixelated characters moved like real human beings in Prince of Persia in 1989. Or it could have been the lush backgrounds in Donkey Kong Country in 1994. Or Shadow of the Colossus in 2005, which elevated video games to an art form. There have been some obvious milestones in the never-ending advance of video game graphics, 15 of which are highlighted in a timeline at Den of Geek. It's a trip back in time to the breakthroughs in video graphics that led us to what we have now.
This Game is a "Playable Documentary"If you were to tell the history of a classic video game, what better format to use than a video game itself? That's the idea behind the interactive experience The Making of Karateka. Karateka is a side-scrolling fighting game first released by Broderbund in 1984, so your grandfather might have played it on his Apple II computer. I had an Apple II in the 1980s, and if we had owned Karateka, it would have been many levels above the games that we actually played on that computer. Karateka is still playable, but in order to understand how innovative it was at one time, you need to get a taste of the era, and learn the story of how it came to be. The Making of Karateka puts you into that place and time, with teenage game developer Jordan Mechner. The Making of Karateka will leave you not only more understanding of the game itself and the state of video game innovation in the 1980s, but also an appreciation for the creative process that drove Mechner and other video game pioneers to launch new ideas. Those ideas built on each other to bring us the technical and artistic leaps that led us to the hyper-realistic games we play today. Kotaku tells us more about The Making of Karatekaand how it will boost your appreciation for video games as a whole. And you'll find out the genius reason that bird was so annoying.
What's Wrong with Palworld?Only two weeks after its debut, Palworld has proven to be massively popular. What do you know about it? According to Luke Winkie at Slate, the game is a reflection of the darker urges among very young players. You've no doubt heard that the game is a blatant ripoff of Pokémon. The basic premise of the games are rather close- the player character wanders through a new land and gathers up cute creatures that change as they grow and eventually become warriors. But Palworld differs in many ways. You might even call it the dark side of Pokémon. In Pokémon, your aim is to nourish, grow, and train your pocket monsters, while in Palworld, you enslave them, make them work, and you can be as cruel to them as you want. And the kids love that. However, Dave Jones at PC World sees Palworld as another, more blatant level of the cruelty already inherent in Pokémon, which takes pains to justify the enslavement as analogous to raising pets. Either way, Palworld's popularity among younger players gives us something to think about. You could even call it shocking. But should it be? After all, young players were thrilled at the cruelty and mayhem of games like Grand Theft Auto, and we rarely thought about it since GTA is supposed to be an adult game. Putting adorable pocket monsters in those same violent situations just seems like a video game version of "saying the quiet part out loud." And is cruelty for entertainment any less disturbing when it's performed by adults? At any rate, in video game journalism, the ethics of Palworld has taken a backseat to the controversy over Pokémon's intellectual property rights. Yes, you better believe Nintendo is looking into that.