February’s best video game bargains and values

Although the modern video game industry is perceived by mass markets as a platform exhibiting violence, destruction, drugs and suggestive themes – there remains something very special lurking beyond this popular perspective.

Spirited individuals have long struggled in finding a conduit for communicating their passions, dreams and emotions to others. In fact, this is a struggle some claim still exists in today’s world. In an attempt to bridge this distance existing between artist and viewer, a few poetic souls have shifted their attention away from many traditional forms of art, to the fledgling platform of video game development.

It is from this newfound connection that fresh examples of fellowship and understanding have been growing progressively over the last two decades. As the expense of technology and licenses necessary for software development have lessened, so too have the barriers keeping aspiring artists and consumers away from the medium – widening the veritably of experiences available to this platform considerably. Each month of the year, online marketplaces strive to take these ideas to heart, and introduce a bevy of highly discounted titles. It seems that as costs shrink, so too do the retail prices for these games!

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Okami 

Priding itself as a project faithful to reanimating early Japanese calligraphy and oil-based painting; this title brings the wonders of a rich culture back into the modern world. With visible brush strokes and fading tapestries, the detail of Okami gives the player control of what feels to be an authentic masterpiece.

This month, the prices for the downloadable version of this title on most online marketplaces are 50% off, bringing Okami’s price down to a tasty $6.99 price point.

Wikimedia Commons – Okami

 

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Limbo

Following the voyage of a young boy’s soul as it passes into the great beyond, players accompany the spirit of this child and his trek through a mysterious land that is both haunting and peaceful. This simple art direction of black silhouettes is especially striking in its ability to keep an atmosphere of uncertainty surrounding the player’s actions. This also gives practical context to the 2D nature of Limbo’s traditional platforming mechanics.

Due to Limbo’s identity as a download only title, the price of this gem can be picked up online for a killer $5.99 – making it a must buy for February’s deals.

Deviant Art – Limbo

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Cuphead

The days of hand drawn animation have faded away with the advent of powerful computerized animation programs. Try telling that to Studio MDHR, the developer responsible for constructing an entirely hand drawn interactive experience.

Despite the long hours of toiling over how to get something as simple as a walking animation to not look terrible, these ambitious folks are taking on a task that is as unique as it is challenging to create.

Development on this title is quickly wrapping up, with a likely release in the last week of this month for a $29.99 price point – easily one of February’s biggest contenders.

Studio MDHR – Flickr

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Neverending Nightmares

Sometimes when a perfect combination of style and genre pair with each other, they create something entirely separate than what either component would have done individually. Neverending Nightmares is a 2D side-scrolling horror game that takes advantage of what would otherwise be an elegant approach to illustration. Although similar to Limbo in that the title manages to make the most out of its small pool of  resources, the two differ in that this game manages to capture a visually disturbing feeling. This is likely accomplished in the way the game constructs these line based drawings to display familiar everyday objects to the viewer, then they are slightly tweaked in a way that feels out of the ordinary. This odd displacement method is extremely unique and effective in progressively breaking down the player’s psyche over time.

During the week of February 20-27, all registered platforms hosting this title have given full access to consumers for free, making this a must try for February. Although, you may as well purchase this beauty, as it is only a whopping $8.00.

Infinitap Games – Neverending Nightmares

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Journey

Journey is a game that reminds players of how beautiful the experience of first meeting someone can actually be. The player assumes the role of a cloaked wanderer traveling across a vast desert landscape in search of whatever the desert might have to offer them. Along your journey, players will come in contact with other anonymous players and establish non-verbal relationships that are formed around helping one another past obstacles and challenges. What makes Journey an especially gripping work is the inevitable goodbye that players will inevitably be forced to accept with their newfound friends, as anonymity is a hallmark of the experience. This means that establishing contact outside of the game isn’t possible. In other words, when you and your new friend finally part ways in Journey, chances are you will never interact with that person again, neither in game, nor in life.

For February, this title has a special promotional event for the Valentine’s Day holiday week. From February 14-21, a trial version of the game is bring offered to those who wish to test the waters as to whether or not this is the game for them. On a regular basis, Journey is often sold around $13.00 in most online marketplaces.

That Game Company – Creative Commons

Fans of Journey’s art direction love giving credence to the way in which the game has inspired them, exemplifying the emotional impact that this video game is capable of.

 

Katan! is a daily newsletter that reaches deeply within the video game industry, bringing attention toward works and subjects that deserve to be acknowledged. Follow Katan! now for more wholesome game development stories and editorials.

Feeling down? This Elder Scrolls news will make you fall in love all over again.

Whether your Valentine’s Day is filled with love or a little lacking, our best friend and developer, Bethesda, will always be there. Here are the week’s top five updates on The Elder Scrolls (TES) universe.

The Elder Scrolls Comes to Nintendo

#Skyrim at home. Skyrim on the road. Your adventures begin on #NintendoSwitch this fall!

A post shared by The Elder Scrolls (@elderscrolls) on

The Elder Scrolls Skyrim Special Edition will come to Nintendo’s new mobile platform, Switch. The two companies have never partnered before now, meaning Nintendo players couldn’t play their favorite TES games on their preferred console; that all changes this coming fall.

It has to be the dopest news since a flipped sweetroll (volume warning):

H.P. Lovecraft reference in TES?

Hermaeus Mora, Daedric Prince of Knowledge and Fate. Photo via UESP/Legoless

This tentacle-ridden god presides over the realms of Fate, Knowledge and Memory. Speaking of memory, Hermaeus Mora reckons images of Lovecraft’s signature character Cthulhu. Mora is arguably the most intriguing deity in The Elder Scrolls as no one really seems to know what powers he holds over mortals; no one except the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages. 😉

These TES game deals are truly magical

Skyrim Special Edition screenshot. Photo via Flickr/Joshua I Ezzell

Destructoid has reported a massive sale on The Elder Scrolls games and much more from Bethesda. The website hosting the deals is known for good bargains on PC games, but this takes the cake. Skyrim, the game that is still massively popular six years after release, is being sold for just $24. Now that’s an arrow through my heart.

Getting caught stealing? Just put a bucket on their head, man.

This fantastic bug in the game’s software is apparently no bug at all. The non-player characters’ AI actually have a functioning line of sight, instead of the pesky “know-it-all” feeling some games have. Now go, my children. Loot so much you put the Gray Fox to shame!

The Ayleid Mystery: Who the hell are they anyway?

You know, for a race of elves being so central to multiple games’ storylines, not much is known about them at all. Thankfully, YouTuber ShoddyCast has us covered with this explanative episode on the background behind the elusive Ayleids.

 

This weekly newsletter brings you the best of the Elder Scrolls news, updates, easter eggs and secrets from all corners of the web. For any questions, email sam.j.campbell@icloud.com

 

 

5 games that will make you lose all sense of time

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A truly great video game masters the art of keeping you playing. These games are the ones that have you saying, “just five more minutes.” Here are 5 games that will keep you playing until you tomorrow.

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5. Overwatch – This game was released in the summer of 2016 and has quickly become one of the most popular games in the world. Aside from its competitive scene, Overwatch offers over 20 different heroes to keep you playing.

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4. Rocket League – This sequel to the cult classic, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars, has been a massive success since its release. Enjoy the game of soccer with a rocket powered twist.

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3. Goat Simulator – The name speaks for itself on this one. Ever wondered what it would be like to be a goat? Well here is your chance to experience goat life to the fullest. Enjoy hopping around town in this open world simulator.

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2. Ark: Survival Evolved – This game allows you to join a tribe in prehistoric times and work to survive. This game will keep you playing because even when you are not logged in, your character is still in game. It is possible to come home from work and your entire tribe has been wiped.

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1. Minecraft – This game has been popular for years and for good reason. Minecraft does not have a “point” to it and never will. Just gather resources and start building. Build whatever you want it does not matter. This game tops the list due to it’s nature of not having an end. How do you stop playing something that has no conclusion?

Settle it in smash: the rise of E-Sports and video games

Video games are a part of many people’s individual lives. Each week, new, groundbreaking titles come into the market and people flock to the stores to pick up the latest title.

While many people play video games just for fun, the competitive video game scene, also known as E-Sports, is on the rise. Different types of games will bring different forms of competition, one of the most popular genres of competitive gaming are fighting games.

Fighting games give people the sense of a real fight and provide intense head-to-head competition, which is why many aspiring competitive gamers choose to pick up games like Super Smash Bros Melee. Melee has been one of the most popular fighting games since its release in 2001, but the competitive scene continues to grow, not only in size, but skill.

I went to one of the Ohio University Smash Team’s weekly meetings to find out more about this game, and if the future of sports is in video games.