Category Archives: Gaming

The steep price of a disappointing controller

Is it worth it? This is a question on the mind of all PlayStation console users as Sony announces the release of the Dual Sense Edge. The Edge is the concept for a PlayStation 5 controller to compete with the Xbox Elite controller. The Edge was announced mid-October this year and is slated for release on January 26th, 2023. Even though this is something that PlayStation fans have been waiting for since the release of the Xbox Elite controller in 2015, it doesn’t look like the controller will meet fans’ expectations.

The Dual Sense Edge is Sony’s attempt at matching the superiority of the Xbox Elite controller. To reach the excellence of the Xbox Elite with features such as customizable back button controls, different pressure configurations for the triggers, and accessories that come with the controller. Although these features sound great on paper, in practice, the controller looks clunky and looks years behind the continuously evolving Elite that has shown impressive growth. Then you factor in the fact that the Edge is set at a retail price of $200, which is almost half the console’s price, and you wonder what Sony is thinking.

For years fans of Xbox consoles were blessed with the superior Xbox Elite controller that allowed players to customize their own settings and set the controller in a way that fits their style of play. Although the price is steep at $150 for the controller, its capabilities make the price worth it. In addition to the customization, the controller is made of metal, making it more durable and lasting longer overall. These qualities make the Elite one of the top controllers on the market for consumers.

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This brings into question how will Sony compete in the controller world? Even though we are months out from the January 26 global release date, I still question how this endeavor will turn out. Will the controls be functional? What will the customization be for the controller itself? Will it be worth the steep price tag? Will it stand up to heavy play and rigorous use? I, and many other PlayStation fans, hope for the best but expect disappointment.

Braylon Sims is a Senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

The sorry state of video games

Triple-A games today are terrible.

Triple-A games are mainstream and high-budget games made by the largest development companies in the business. Game franchises like Call of Duty, NBA 2K, Grand Theft Auto, and more. Form and function, the companies, and by reflection, their games have suffered. Between the companies overworking and mistreating their employees while functionally destroying themselves from the inside. These game developers also injured their reputation with broken promises and game leaks. Companies have built a horrible reputation with gamers between criticism, scummy sales tactics, rushed quality, and lousy rapport with fans because of recent letdowns over heavily anticipated games. It is important to say that this is not the case for every AAA developer, but the frequency of these issues in recent times warrants being addressed. 

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On December 10, 2020, CyberPunk 2077 was released. This game was under development for nine years under CD Projekt RED. This game was anticipated to be the game of the decade, but has since fallen into obscurity. This game is an example of one of the recent trends of “Release now, fix later.” The gaming industry has long development processes and “due dates” that usually last between 3 and 5 years. These games don’t see the light of day until at least a year before release via trailers. Projekt RED made a terrible business decision and relied on customer patience. By expecting customers to wait even longer for a game that was already in development for 7 years by that point, they had given themselves a time limit. The game eventually could not stop the deadlines and was released as a buggy mess, an incomplete story with a considerable lack of promised features, and no improvement in sight.

In 2013, 2K games continued their profitable series of NBA 2K in which they added a new element of progression through micro-transactions. Fast forward to 2017, when its players started to notice the trend. The game comes out with a premium edition that costs upwards of $100. The people with the money to spend (or otherwise) will start the game with a steep advantage. Those who do not purchase the core game for $50 or $60 are forced into a vicious cycle of working for a few in-game rewards in VC (virtual currency). The use of VC becomes a problem as everything in the game costs VC. The more people complain about the micro-transactions, the more the games get abused by YouTubers and content creators, and all this happens in 9 months. 

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As big an issue as micro-transactions and unfinished game releases are, they are not the only issues. As presented on, and in my own personal experience, DLC (downloadable content) has been one of the worst gaming issues. The most recent example I can think of is Destiny. The second installment in the series, based around fighting using the power of good and evil to destroy your foes in space, has amassed $200 million since 2017. Destiny was initially released as a complete game with a full-length story and set of endgame content achievable after completion. In 2018 the game released a significant expansion called Forsaken. This content was a completely new storyline, with entirely new content. They repeated this process twice with Beyond Light and Witch Queen expansions, with another expansion on the way in early 2023.

The problem isn’t inherently with the expansions but with everything around them. For perspective, if someone were to purchase the deluxe packaging for all these DLCs, they are expected to pay around $350 alone, outside the minor content. This game does not force you into paywalls for aesthetic equipment or progression, but asks for extreme amounts of time to be equipped with satisfactory equipment. They also decided to change their game model halfway through its life cycle. The game was released at $60 and progressed into a free-to-play model. What does this mean for people who have already bought the game? Nothing. No reimbursements, just more content to spend more money on.

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When it is all said and done, the tactics, micro-transactions, etc., could change if it weren’t for the players. I understand this is a hobby for a major population of people, but I also know that we, as players hold immense power in our wallets. All we do is feed the greed in these companies when we continue to consume what is displayed in front of us. We could make gaming a much better place if we all express our criticisms and say goodbye to complacency.

Caleb Smith-Sims, Senior

Caleb Smith-Sims is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism Class.

Finding value in video games

Have you ever found something so interesting that you decide to hold on to it for a very long time? This could be a sport that you love, a show that you frequently rewatch, or maybe even a toy you’ve had since you were a baby. These sentimental things can hold many different forms, but one form that stands out is video games.

Video games have been around since 1958, which was the year when Pong was released. It was a simple two-player game inspired by sports like tennis and ping pong. This simple game inspired people around the world to create similar games and show the world that technology could not only be used for work, but also for entertainment.

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Nowadays, video games have drastically improved since the late 50s. There are realistic graphics, virtual reality games, three-dimensional games, and so much more. Millions of people around the world get excited for new games to release. For instance, this year, Elden Ring was released, and it has already sold over 12 million copies since its release in February 2022.

Most games that are several decades old have died off and have incredibly small player bases; however, there are some games that seem to just never die. Games like Tetris, Minecraft, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and many more have withstood the test of time. These games still have massive fanbases despite being over a decade old. How did these games manage to stay relevant for so long?

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One reason is that these games have a lot of replayability. For an example of this point, I will use Minecraft. Minecraft has been around for a decade, and has managed to stay relevant for a long time. This is primarily thanks to the abundant amount of things you can do in the game. You can play survival mode with your friends, create enormous Redstone machines, build magnificent structures and houses, and so much more.

The insane amount of things you can do in Minecraft gives it a lot of replay value. People have made careers off of this game, and millions still play it and find new things to do. A game’s replay value is probably the most important part of a game’s survivability over a long time.

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Another reason is because of the competitiveness of some games. Super Smash Bros. Melee (or Melee for short) and have been around for over two decades because of the insane amount of competition it has. Thousands of people enter Melee tournaments to see if they have the skill to win it all.

Even though there have been newer installments in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, the Melee community is still one of the largest fighting game communities in the world. The competitiveness of video games plays a significant role in their popularity and motivates people to improve and keep playing.

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Tetris is a game that has been around for almost 40 years, and that reason is because of its replayability and competitiveness. All games must have a decent amount of replayability to stay relevant for multiple years, but Tetris is on a different level. The design of Tetris was basically made to be played anywhere at any time, and its gameplay is extremely addicting.

There are also many Tetris tournaments; there are online ones with people playing on more modern versions of the game, and there are tournaments that are played in person with the classic NES version. These tournaments gather hundreds to thousands of viewers, and many people enter them too.

The finals of the Classic Tetris World Championship, a tournament that uses the 1989 NES version of Tetris and has been running for 12 years.

There are many video games that have stuck with me for multiple years. Games like Tetris, Super Smash Bros, and Minecraft have played a large part in my life, and have brought thousands of hours of entertainment to me. These games have been around for so long because of the replay value and competitiveness, and both of those factors have kept millions of people engaged in decades-old games.

Logan Gorospe is a freshman member of The Quill.

How Wordle took over the World

Wordle is a highly addictive word puzzle game that has recently taken over the internet. It’s a game that tests your deductive reasoning and guessing skills to discover a mystery five-letter word. The word resets every day, giving players a reason to come back and play. This game seemingly popped out of nowhere, so how did it get so popular so fast?

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Wordle was made by Josh Wardle, a software engineer from Brooklyn. It was created initially as a game that he could play with his partner, and he would later share the game with his family through WhatsApp. His family would grow to love Wordle, and after seeing the game’s success through his family, he decided to release it to the public.

Wordle was released to the public in October 2021, and it wouldn’t gain much attention for a few months. It would start to become relevant in January 2022, when it would quickly start to gain popularity. Social media would give Wordle the attention it truly deserves, and it would begin to grow and be talked about on every corner of the internet.

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Many people found out about Wordle from the internet. Millions of people worldwide would share their thoughts on the game and make jokes and memes about it. Through this, people would discover Wordle and begin playing it. These people would also discuss Wordle online and spread it around even more.

Another major factor in Wordle’s success is the simplistic ad-free design of the website Wordle is on. Its design lets people enjoy the game without any large popups flashing in their faces, making the game easily playable and enjoyable for many people. The game was created with the intention of being for pure fun and no financial gain, and thanks to that, people would enjoy the game even more.

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The ease of sharing Wordle attempts also plays a role in Wordle’s popularity. A built-in share button appears on your screen after finishing the daily Wordle, and tapping it will allow you to copy a set of emojis that represent how your Wordle attempt went. People would use this to share their attempts with friends, family, and strangers on the internet. This ingenious idea would help Wordle’s popularity rise exponentially and be a critical factor in its fame.

Wordle’s popularity is primarily thanks to many varied factors, such as its spread on social media, its clever design, and its fun gameplay. Millions of people worldwide play Wordle every day, and it’s not hard to see why. These things helped Wordle spread around the internet and brought millions of people together, and that is how Wordle took over the world.

Logan Gorospe is a freshman member of The Quill.

How Super Smash Bros changed video games

While some video games lack story, characters, plot, or overall game mechanics, one gaming series that does all of those well is Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros franchise. Over the five games in the series, Super Smash Bros is able to capture the eyes and hearts of millions of people around the world, both because of its unique concept of fighting mechanics and the vast roster of iconic gaming characters to choose from. But how will this game franchise change the gaming industry?

If you don’t know what Super Smash Bros is, the creator of the game, Masahiro Sakurai, explained the concept of it as “an action game about smashing beloved game characters off the screen.” Going into more detail, Super Smash Bros is a competitive crossover fighting game. Players select characters from other games like Super Mario, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, and many more to fight each other to see who will be the last character standing. This franchise has been around since 1999, starting on the Nintendo 64 with only 12 characters from about nine different videogame franchises. Super Smash Bros Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch’s latest game in the series has 89 characters from over 190 different franchises. The more characters added will have a massive effect on how gaming companies create crossover games in the future.  

With the variety of characters in the roster to choose from, you know at least one character. Do you like sword-fighting characters? There is an abundance of characters ranging from Ike, Marth, Cloud, and the latest released character Sora from Kingdom Hearts, where they all have sword attacks. Want to go old school and represent the retro characters? Choose between characters like Mario, Link, Pickachu, Banjo Kazooie, Pacman, Sonic, and so much more! Then some characters give you the challenge to master their abilities, like Steve from Minecraft, Pyra/Mythra from Xenoblade, and Kazuya from Tekken. There’s something for everyone, and that’s what’s so important about this game!

With each generation of the game, more and more game companies got involved with the project, which would mean big things in the future for video games. Over the past two years, Nintendo has released DLC characters for people to get and play as, and let’s just say some of the announcements broke the internet.

In the first DLC pack that was released, the character Banjo Kazooie from the popular Banjo Kazooie games back in 1998 was a huge step forward in crossovers. Microsoft, the parent company to Xbox, which owns the Banjo Kazooie character, agreed with Nintendo to add the character to the game. This announcement of Banjo made the whole community go insane because this really meant anyone could join Smash that was owned by Microsoft, and could possibly hint towards other collaborations with different companies. 

Masahiro Sakurai explained to everyone that they don’t just pick names randomly out of a hat, but instead go through research on popular game characters that everyone should know and that would be happy that they added. This tactic is what they used for the DLC character, Steve from Minecraft. Minecraft at the time had recently passed Tetris as the #1 most bought video game in the world, so Sakurai wanted to get one of the best-known games and characters to join Smash. On the announcement day of Steve as a fighter, no one was expecting it. People all over the world wanted to express their thoughts and went to Twitter. Because of the massive spike in online users, Twitter servers crashed for about half an hour all due to an announcement in a video game. 

The release of Steve not only broke Twitter, but it also broke the boundaries again on how game companies collaborate. This was the second character that was owned by Microsoft to get into Smash Bros, but this wasn’t the final time collaboration of this size occurred.

October 5th, 2021, after 3 years of Super Smash Bros Ultimate being released on the Switch, the last and final DLC character was announced. Sakurai introduced the trailer by thanking the community and for everything that has happened throughout the franchise. The trailer begins, with a million viewers at the time, and so many predictions, but only one will come true. Mario walks up to a spark on the ground. Grabs it and throws a flame into the air. The flame takes the shape of a sword in the air, and the first thing we see is a Mickey Mouse charm. The flame turns into a key blade and opens up a lock for the new character to arrive. The last, and final character for Super Smash Bros ultimate was Sora, from Disney’s Kingdom Hearts franchise. This was the most requested character for years and most people thought it couldn’t be done – because it’s Disney – but Sakurai and Nintendo were able to pull it off. 

But in the end, do these collaborations and introductions to new characters really impact gaming?

With the introduction of Microsoft characters and Disney characters, Super Smash Bros shows us what the future of video games will look like. Companies will be more open to collaborating on ideas and stories after the success of Smash Bros. In fact, just this past week, leaks have come out saying that Warner Bros Entertainment is making their own version of Super Smash Bros with the characters and properties they own. a roster image has been circling the internet containing the following characters:

  • Steven Universe
  • Batman/Harley Quinn
  • Finn/Jake
  • Superman/Wonder Women
  • Gandalf
  • Rick and Morty
  • Tom & Jerry
  • Bugs Bunny

People who have posted the image of the roster and have included them in videos, their posts have been taken down, which is all the more reason to believe that a crossover game with Warner Bros franchises could be coming.

Besides the supposed leak, I still think Super Smash Bros has done something incredible with the resources and skills to pull off something of this scale. This gaming franchise will have lasting effects in the gaming industry, and it is exciting to see what types of collaborative games will come in the future.

Cooper Funk is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class

Why is Tetris so addicting?

Tetris. It’s the iconic puzzle game that everyone has played at least once. It is currently the third best-selling game of all time, being beaten by Grand Theft Auto V and Minecraft. It is a remarkably diverse game, as there is a large community of casual and competitive players. The various versions of the game also contribute to its diversity since the community of classic Tetris on the NES is a lot different than the community of modern-day Tetris games such as TETR.IO. But how is this game still relevant after being released over 30 years ago?

“We have an inherent desire to create order out of chaos, and Tetris satisfies that desire on a very basic level while being easy to understand and quick to learn.”

— Alexey Pajitnov

The main goal of Tetris is to clear as many lines as you can to gain score. You clear a line by placing ten blocks, or tetrominoes, together in a row. A tetromino is made up of four squares, and they can take up various shapes. Clearing four lines with one tetromino is called a Tetris. This simple concept has been pushed to the extreme by the developers and players of the game. Modern-day Tetris has many mechanics and gimmicks that are much different than classic Tetris such as the Zone mechanic which is in Tetris Effect: Connected. This mechanic is pretty complex, but it is a time freeze mechanic. Check out the video below to see the Zone mechanic in action. All these things, from the community of the game to the developers creating new and interesting twists to Tetris all caused the game to not completely die out over the past generation that it has existed.

Example of the Tetris Effect Zone mechanic demonstrated by Tetris YouTuber, Wumbotize.

I’ve been playing Tetris for 6 years, and after all that time I have never been bored of it. Every time I open the game, I struggle to turn it off. The simple gameplay as caused millions of people to be completely addicted to this game, but why? What makes this game so addicting? According to Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris, on the official Tetris website, “Tetris is a very simple game, but it appeals to many players because it’s both visually and intellectually challenging. I think that’s what makes the game so addictive. We have an inherent desire to create order out of chaos, and Tetris satisfies that desire on a very basic level while being easy to understand and quick to learn.” The game is addicting to everyone because of how it pleases our desire to organize things that aren’t organized, and how the simple gameplay can be fun and challenging to all. The reason I am addicted to the game is because of how satisfying it is to make a giant tower of randomized blocks and destroy them right after. Everyone is different, and there could be other people that enjoy the game because of its challenging yet simplistic gameplay.

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Tetris has been able to stay relevant after three decades. This is because of its addicting gameplay that allows players to fulfill their inner desire to create order from chaos and its challenging yet simple gameplay. The developers of the game also contributed to its addiction factor, as they constantly add new and interesting twists to the already legendary game. All these things have kept the series alive and relevant and have made it even more addicting than it was before. Tetris will forever be known as one of the greatest games in history, and it’s all because of how addicting it is.

Logan Gorospe is a freshman member of The Quill