Jul 242013
Lane Pushers vs MOBAs

The term ‘MOBA’ is one that’s really bugged me recently as I’ve begun trying out a few, what I call, ‘Lane Pusher’ games. MOBA supposedly means “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena” – which to me sounds like it would mean anything where there were two teams of more than 1 a side, all battling online in some kind of arena manner so all players can fight all other players. So this term would apply to many games like team based first […Full Story…]

Aug 062012
Competitive Gaming 123

We’ve written so much here on Agoners about competitive gaming, as per our definitions, that I thought it might be useful to re-state a few things in a single article. A bit of a re-statement of our beliefs; a competitive gaming manifesto if you like. Gaming design for competitive gaming should always mean these three things: 1. As level a playing field as possible. This means that as much as possible everyone is playing the same game with potential access […Full Story…]

Jan 042011
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing - Review

Title: Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Format: XBox 360 Reviewer: Remy77077 Approximate Time Spent playing at time of writing: 29 hours Modes of play: Single Player, 2-4 Player Split-screen Offline Competitive, Online 2-8 player Competitive, Online Leaderboards At some point playing Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing I realised exactly why I’ve never been able to get into most driving games. It’s because they are almost all about rote-learning of the perfect route through a course, and pure execution skills. There’s […Full Story…]

Dec 292010
The Revealing Use of Walkthrough Guides

There are a number of ways to tell how and why people play videogames and what type of player they are – are they an Agoner – an actual gamer – playing entertainment software as actual games and challenges for the kinds of reasons we discuss here, or is it for something else? The excellent Brainhex Survey certainly proves invaluable for self analytical game-literate people, as do our videogame classifications, and of course there’s various studies into observing how people play […Full Story…]

Aug 122010
Why I hate level up systems

As soon as I see people selling pre-levelled up characters and gear, or selling in game gold and the ilk  then I know something has gone badly wrong with a game. If a portion of a game is so bad and boring that people are willing to buy their way into not playing it, that’s a red flag for me to stay away. After Navan’s seminal videogame categorizations, it’s even clearer to explain how I generally play and judge videogame titles almost […Full Story…]

Aug 052010
The Beautiful Game

This video encapsulates so much of what us “gamers” are trying to fight against. For a report that is supposed to be showing us the flip-side of our perceptions of gaming she still manages to start the report with: “If your parents ever told you that computer games would rot your brains” and ending with: “A career goal that might make parents around the world cringe but one that, ironically, makes his fellow Koreans very proud”. Both indicative of the prejudism […Full Story…]

Feb 222010
Fourts and Chaos Part 2: Street Fighter IV and Variety, Viability and Balance

(Continued from Part 1) Part 2: Variety, Viability and Balance Street Fighter IV is often said to have really good balance between characters. It’s current tier listing shows it isn’t too bad at least as fighting games go – 53 points between top and bottom, 25 characters (2.12 per character). Although HDR’s current tier listing shows the differences there are probably even less – 26.5 points between top and bottom, 16 characters (1.66 per character), however if you remove Dan, SFIV also […Full Story…]

Dec 012009
Complexity, Depth and Skill: Good Games?

Complexity = depth = skill (= a better game, right?) Now this is something I essentially agree with (and the linked article is must-read), however the trouble is the mistakes that many people make are: 1. complexity = execution complexity and/or that 2. complexity = the sheer number of options, disregarding their viability Both of these can actually be ‘meaningless rules’, and so do not actually necessarily increase complexity and depth, and I’ll go on to explain why. This is […Full Story…]

Aug 262009
Hardcore you know the score

The keen-eyed reader may have noticed that we’ve been playing around with the summary tagline that attempts to describe this blog in a single sentence. It’s actually quite a difficult thing to pin down, as Agoners is really about an attitude to gaming and our thoughts that develop from that, coupled with a wider reach on just about any gaming-related topic that interests us. I guess the whole purpose of this blog is founded in my own constant quest to […Full Story…]