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BONO | Starting Over

I think returning to Ithaca when it’s once again safe to do so, as an alum of the school, will feel the same as loading that old New Leaf save file — like I’m living a life that’s no longer mine.

Fans celebrate the victory of the San Francisco Shock in the 2018 Overwatch League Grand Finals.

Esports’ Most Ambitious Leap Yet

Are gamers truly able to undergo similar travelling schedules to traditional athletes while maintaining their rigorous training routines? Are there enough fans willing to buy tickets to watch their favorite teams? Will this work at all?

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Like the Assassins, Assassin’s Creed Will Stay in the Dark

Michael Fassbender’s Assassin’s Creed is probably the best video game movie adaptation I’ve ever seen and I hated it. Though this movie certainly has its own issues, which I’ll get into later, my greater frustration is that it continues the trend of video game movies falling flat. As someone who has spent most his life playing video games, it pains me to keep seeing my favorite franchises have their reputations smeared on the silver screen. Every release, from Tomb Raider to Mortal Kombat, has been a regular disappointment. I’d say the Resident Evil franchise has made waves but despite getting the green light for a total of five sequels its films get torn apart by critics and fans alike.

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JONES | Dragonbored: The Saga of a Skyrim Addiction

I bought Skyrim for PC in the summer of 2013. The first thing I remember doing in the game, after the opening-scene dragon attack, is trying to kill a blacksmith who was hosting me in his home, and then frantically running away from the town, across a huge plain and into snowy mountains as the sun set. Many fans of “open-world” games probably have similar experiences the first time they play. Open-world games purport to give the player total freedom; the premise is that any decision that the player makes can be supported by the game, and make sense within its world. You can play as a hero, an anti-hero, a villain or simply commit random acts of violence and kindness as you see fit, and in a perfectly-executed game any of these decisions would have ramifications on the progress of the narrative.

Stardew Valley brings classic RPG mechanics into the modern era.

Stardew Valley: Pushing The Boundaries of Farming RPGs

Imagine merging the game mechanics of Terraria and the flexibility of Harvest Moon, and you will come close to envisioning Eric Barone’s new “country-life RPG,” Stardew Valley, the culmination of four years of development. In the game, the player inherits his late grandfather’s farm — sound familiar, Harvest Moon fans? — and has the ability to bring the overgrown farm back to life, form relationships with Pelican Town residents, explore deep caves, improve various skills and make life-changing decisions in the community — among countless other opportunities. Moreover, the dynamic character dialogues, changing seasons and quests from the townspeople foster an altogether engaging and immersive experience for the player. Creating a complete game is a lot of work for a solo developer, but Barone definitely pulled it off.