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The State of Gaming

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Let’s get this out of the way abruptly… The state of gaming from a financial perspective is alive and well, profitable and growing in a way not seen in possibly any generation thus far.

With the iteration of streaming, YouTube and various platforms, the exposure of gaming has reached heights never seen before. When gaming was once an embarrassing thing to discuss, or ‘gamers’ were looked down upon and categorized as ‘geeks’ or ‘nerds’ or whatever title to degrade them, the world has totally changed for better in the gaming world.

Video games as a whole, are really not that advanced in age when looking at the grand scheme of things. From the introduction of the Atari, Super Nintendo, etc. — we have truly come a very long way in not just terms of graphics and system power, but acceptance and regularity into society.

The OG gamer may have an issue with how monetized and public the world of gaming has truly become. Fame was never found sitting in front of your television in the 1990’s playing on a console, but the times have truly changed, and now millions can be made by broadcasting your gaming abilities, albeit if it comes with an interesting on-screen persona.

The vortex of gaming has become a whirlwind of gaming versus publication and public marketing, but any publicity is good publicity right? And this is the world we live in. I personally think the exposure and new world that has been bred into gaming is wonderful for the gaming community, no matter what your belief or opinion on this matter, the introduction of streaming has truly given new life to gaming.

The Playstation vs Xbox battle has been a debate that dates back to a past generation, with many media pundits calling for the death of consoles as the initiation of mobile gaming has truly expanded into the universe. But this has not been the case, as the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X have become some of the most sought after electronic devices in the history of the world, not just gaming.

What is interesting in the gaming world, is how there is a market for everyone. For all of the new franchises of gaming, remakes of older classics has become a new norm in the world. It gives not only older gamers the ability to replay some their favorite moments with a fresh coat of paint, but it also gives a new generation the ability to play a game that has been so revered from past generations.

We live in a world where the idea of a gamer can mean so many things now. This is truly a refreshing take on a world that was not always so accepted. Gaming has now defied age and class systems, race and religion, you name it, there is a game and genre for everyone out there. The world of gaming has changed as we know it, and it is fine.

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Nintendo

Is Pokémon Legends: Arceus the Jolt in the arm needed for the Franchise?

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The upcoming Pokémon adventure will look to take the series into unfamiliar territory.

The coverage and anticipation of this title is through the roof. We of course were treated to the recent releases of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes, but these remakes were seen to merely hold over the fanbase until the January 28th release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
A true and tired nature has been established within this 25-year-old franchise. As the game has become rather stale in terms of exploration and new features.

Although the success of the Pokémon: Sword and Shield series was more than apparent as it accounted for more than 22 million copies sold worldwide, the latest installments in the franchise stuck to its very familiar guns and gave us more of the same as we have come to expect in a series that is starting to play out the same in nearly every iteration.

What has been promised in Arceus is not only an innovation to the series, but the developers have promised a shake-up to the now stale formula, and hopefully will bring in a new generation of gamers, while also keeping the previous fanbase pleased as it charters new territory.

We will not be receiving an open-world adventure in this title, contrary to belief, as this has been also confirmed by the developers, but we will be introduced to a world map that is similar to that of the uber popular Monster Hunter series.

According to recent rumors, the title will be doing away with a number of key features that have been present for years during the franchise’s long run with Nintendo, while also adding some new features that should inject much needed life into the series. A contrast in the system is a good thing for Pokémon, as with each new release we have been treated to tiny increments of change, while the games continue to rinse and repeat the same formula to little fanfare.

It may seem staggering to suggest change to a series that is not only one of Nintendo’s most iconic, but one of the most recognizable and popular series in gaming history. Pokémon has defied numerous generations as its popularity remains strong to this day – however, we need change within the gaming realm. The masses have pined for years for a change to a series that has remained largely untouched since the 1990’s.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus promises to be a “prequel” of some sort, or this has been how developers Game Freak has touted the game. With a region titled the Hisui region (which eventually morphs into the Sinnoh region), just maybe stripping this title down and getting back to the basics can truly be a step in the right direction.

From what little we have seen from this title, it seems to draw not only on previous Pokémon titles, but it’s exploration mirrors one of the most well-known and copied games in history in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Which is truly a good thing, not only due to the success of Breath of the Wild, but to this day it is hard to match the exploration and innovation of this title.

 

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Mario Is Dead…So What Is Next?

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March 31st signified the end of the reign of Mario and his 35 years of existence. Depending on your preference, you were either happy for the extra attention the red plumber received – or like some, you were more than ready for his time in the spotlight to come to a halt. Especially considering a particular Nintendo mascot (hint: A little man in green) did not get the same love for their 35th anniversary of another popular Nintendo franchise.

We have moved past the death of Mario and are sitting here pondering what is next for Nintendo. Nintendo recently gave us a new Monster Hunter game to gush about and it is indeed a solid entry; nevertheless we are still wondering what bigger moves are to come for Nintendo?

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD remaster will surely be a huge hit for Nintendo in July as well as other unreleased titles including a few new Pokémon titles, but what about E3? Also, what about the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro? Maybe Nintendo did such a fantastic job over the last two years, as gamers we have become spoiled, but with so much in terms of library availability should we not expect more?

Maybe I am a being a bit hasty here, but 2020 was such a magnetic and massive year for the Switch that I am clamoring for much more. Maybe more secrets will trickle out during the E3 conference in June, but with a lack of love for the Legend of Zelda series, and a few new competitors in tow with the new next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft; it is time Nintendo drops a bomb that will keep it in the ranks among the other console elites.

The stagnant movement of Nintendo has been this way for most of the year. With a lack of major triple AAA titles, it seems the company is in a minor flux. Also let’s be honest, who wouldn’t pay the extra $3.99 to play Earthbound on the virtual console? It is time Nintendo pays attention to it’s consumers. It’s free money to port a title over when you have the rights, or maybe Nintendo is just playing hardball here.

Don’t get me wrong, Nintendo has done a spectacular job with the Switch and has totally closed the gap on it’s more “Prettier” console competition, but with the silence from Nintendo recently, we are ready to see what 2021 has in store. Maybe 2020 wrote a check that 2021 for Nintendo can’t cash? Well only time will tell…The ball is in your court Nintendo, make your move.

 

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