The Sunday Papers | Rock Paper Shotgun

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Sundays are for reheating that leftover pizza. Before you see it sizzle, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related things).

Over on Kotaku, Sisi Jiang wrote about people who play mobile games and how many of them are excellent strategists. I’m less interested in the “casual gamers” versus “hardcore gamers” debate, and more into the methods some mobile players use to squeeze the most of their games of choice.

When I spoke to Arknights players, they didn’t seem to realize how authoritative their gaming knowledge actually was. I’ve played Arknights on a weekly to daily basis for almost half a year, and I can’t recall rare tag combinations off the top of my head. To long-time players, these game “rules” came naturally, just like how I can instantly recall a Pokémon type chart. But they became experts without the likes of GameFAQs, IGN guides, and official strategy guides.

Over on Eurogamer, Hirun Cryer wrote about the Elden Ring subreddit reaching its endgame. A fun look at how at a community’s journey from hopeful to tarnished to elated.

The crucial point of that cycle is the final part. Elden Ring’s subreddit didn’t lash out at anyone for From Software’s game failing to appear at E3, Gamescom, or The Game Awards over the course of a year. They didn’t berate Geoff Keighley, harass From Software’s Yasuhiro Kitao, or go after anyone in a public-facing position in the games industry for failing to produce brand new info on Elden Ring. As more events passed where Elden Ring failed to make an appearance, the ‘hyping up’ period for showcases became something of an in-joke for the Elden Ring subreddit, like they’d all point fingers and shout “gotcha!” at one another.

Over on Polygon, Khee Hoon Chan wrote about the rise of prestige Chinese games. How market saturation can lead to innovation and moving beyond stigma.

“A lot of the games in China right now are free-to-play, they are designed a certain way, they’ve always drawn [from the] traditional MMO genre, or theme, or gameplay style,” says Ahmad. “And so, the market has become saturated with those over time. So there’s a lot of room for broader genres to take off, and that includes on mobile and in the free-to-play space too. Essentially, there’s a lot more room for different game genres, types, themes, but also business models, so [we’re] seeing a lot more developers experiment with creating premium games or even subscription games to some extent.”

Over on their site, Nathalie Lawhead wrote about their favourite indie games of 2021. A bit of an oldie now, but still very much a goodie. A cool roundup of some cool indie games.

I don’t really know how I found it, or maybe it found me… A toasting simulator ended up being the one thing that stood out to me most this year. When people ask what I enjoyed the most, I send them this. Half joking, but also kinda… serious.
It’s pretty much the perfect game. I don’t know what we’re still doing here now that this game has been made. We can all stop making games because La fumée des miettes has set us free. Our souls may escape the loop of game dev and Twitter now…

Music this week is Never Better by Raleigh Ritchie. Here’s the YouTube link and Spotify link. Raleigh Ritchie (real name Jacob Anderson) played Grey Worm in Game Of Thrones! Bit of trivia for you there. I also think he’s got a really nice voice and does good music.

That’s me folks, until next time!

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