Home » Video Games
Category:

Video Games

Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


Video games are often launched in an incomplete state prior to a full release in order to gauge player response and fix problems that would only arise from a large player base that would be otherwise difficult to find. These “Beta Releases” are often defined by whether it is “Open” to all comers or “Closed” and restricted to invitation only.

Fighting Games like Street Fighter and Smash Bros, will often feature a beta test before launch to test online connections and overall game feel from their player community.

Another wildly successful example is Fortnite. It has been around for years at this point, but is still technically in Open Beta.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Stephen

See my review for Turbo: Super Stunt Squad.

Mike

There is an adage that there are no bad games, only bad experiences. A lot of fun times can be had with some definitively bad games. When I owned my very own PS2, I went to the electronics cabinet of the local game store bristling with birthday money. I had narrowed down to two choices: Devil May Cry…. and Eve of Extinction (E.O.E.)

You do not remember EoE? That is fine. Neither do I. I just know that I spent full retail on a forgettable action/brawler with frustrating quick time events, instead of quite possibly one of my favorite PS2 games of that year.

John

Starfox 2, go figure that it never got published in real life.  The Switch made me glad that I never plunked down real money for this game as an individual.  It is confusing, awkward and has no business being in any game lineup.

Jonathan 

I have zero love for 99% of the Atari games. They are so rudimentary now that other than missile command or pong I can care less.


Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Nintendo announced the voice cast for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated film during the September Nintendo Direct. It will release in theatres on December 21st, 2022 in partnership with Illumination (The company behind the Secret Life of Pets and the Minions).

The Announcement Video

Miyamoto was on hand to announce the voice cast. Video Source: IGN YouTube

The Cast

The full cast list that has been announced so far is below including links to their respective IMDB pages is below.

Anya Taylor-Joy

Anya will be immediately recognizable as the lead from the Netflix show Queen’s Gambit. I’ll admit. I didn’t give this casting choice a second thought until I watched clips from her role as Gina Gray in Peaky Blinders. I felt like she talked more with her facial expressions and her hands in Queen’s Gambit (which you obviously can’t do while voice-acting). I’m not worried at all after watching her play Gina. It’s going to be fun to watch her play off of Bowser (or at least I assume it will be Bowser. We have no idea what the plot details are).

Princess Peach (voice)
Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt needs no introduction, but it is worth remembering that he has done voice work before. He played Emmet in both LEGO movies.
Mario (voice)
Jack Black

Jack Black’s voice is immediately recognizable and will do a wonderful job bringing Bowser to life. Remember that Bowser is often played off as a somewhat childish and incompetent villain while also being a giant dragon… turtle…. thing. This is perfect casting.
Bowser (voice)
Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen doesn’t often play rules that are suitable for kids. But, He can play the lead role well. If Nintendo is hoping to spin off Donkey Kong movies (which they would be foolish not to), then Seth is a good call.
Donkey Kong (voice)
Keegan-Michael Key

Obama’s Anger Translator is playing Toad.

That’s all I need to say about this.

Toad (voice)
Charlie Day

I didn’t know that I wanted to see Chris Pratt and Charlie Day play off of one another. But I do. I really really do.
Luigi (voice)
Fred Armisen

Fred Armisen is one of my favorite character actor’s from SNL. He does a great job being a guy who is a little out of touch with things… and I can’t wait to see what they do with Cranky Kong.
Cranky Kong (voice)
Kevin Michael Richardson

Kamek is the wizard Koopa that is often seen as a parental figure for Bowser. I never imagined one to have such a deep voice. But, I would listen to Kevin Michael Richardson read the phone book. So this sounds great to me.
Kamek (voice)
Sebastian Maniscalco

I guess they decided to make Spike Italian. Sure! Sounds great to me!
Spike (voice)
Charles Martinet

Charles Martinet has been the voice of Mario for years. So he is being rightfully included in the voice cast as a cameo. I imagine that it will be somewhat like the cameos that Stan Lee did in Marvel movies before his, unfortunate, passing.
(voice)

The Internet Sure Did Have “Feelings” About Chris Pratt

The internet erupted with opinions the second the announcements were made. The biggest rift however was between commenters who had opinions about Chris Pratt and his casting as Super Mario.

The crowd speaking out against him is divided into two camps.

The first group is speaking out against him because of his social views. He is a member of a church that has taken some VERY strong Anti-LGBTQ stances. He hasn’t spoken out in support of these beliefs, but he hasn’t exactly spoken out against them either. I, personally, don’t know what’s going on inside his head. And I have a difficult time judging him for things he hasn’t said, but I can’t blame people who feel that way. Either way, it definitely explains some of the outcries.

The second major group is one that is angry that Nintendo didn’t choose Charles Martinet to be the voice of Mario in the movie since he has been the voice of the character for decades in the video games. I can’t agree with this at all. I love Charles’s work. He has provided the voice for Mario for my entire life. HOWEVER, Mario doesn’t talk in his games. He emotes. He expresses joy, frustration, fear, and excitement. I cannot IMAGINE listening to him actually speak in the Mario accent for 2 hours or more. I think it might actually hurt.

Why Cast Celebrities At All?

I’ve seen this argument pop up online as well and I just find it odd that Super Mario Bros is where we draw the line? This has been done for decades. Major Hollywood studios are far too risk-averse to cast voice actors who are, essentially, no names with the larger public.

Go and test it. Ask on Facebook if any of your friends know who Charles Martinet is. Then do the same with Chris Pratt. The studio’s decision will be pretty clear at this point.

What do you think? Sounds off in the comments.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Introduce us to your favorite character that you made for a game?

Stephen

I spent a few years playing Dragonrealms, a text based MUD run by Simutronics. I played a dwarven paladin named Deutz Anadeuz (I don’t really know where the name came from.) Over time he turned into a bit of a nerd. He tried to learn skills that didn’t make a lot of sense for him to learn from a power perspective just for the sake of knowing them. Eventually he even began to worship the god of libraries, Lemicus. It was a lot of get into his head and figure out how to would respond to the different things that happened in the game. This is especially true because of how different he was than the rest of the paladins in the game.

Mike

Sometimes, the short lived games create the most memorable characters. I played a D&D single day adventure where everyone swapped roles from the usual game we were playing at the time. Instead of the Swordmage Private Investigator…. I was a halfling professional wrestler dressed in crocodile hides. It was Ebberon, it makes sense for the setting.

John

My LARP elven adept Shenk, because sometimes you need to not think about the details and just kill necromancers.

Linda

My favorite character hands down is my elven healer from LARP Tianna. She is/ was a character that I played for about a decade. Should I have the opportunity to play again, she may yet be played again.

Tianna is a wild elf who has faced a dark force that threatened to destroy the world.  She was given a feather artifact that allowed her unique powers, and eternal life, and entrusted to be its bearer. Tianna is the foster mother to a dragon, and with the power of the feather was able to keep him safe until his hatching.

Jonathan

Well My LARP character is known as Jaques Battleforge and has been nicknamed Happy Dwarf. Weird cause how can you see a smile under a beard….


Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Video games have never been bigger. The industry is growing in leaps and bounds and is showing no signs of slowing down. Our kids play them, talk about them with their friends, and even watch people play them on YouTube and Twitch.

This is a great opportunity for us to connect with our kids, and we definitely think you should take it. Below is a list of three reasons why you should!

You Can Learn About the Games They Play


Showing an interest in the games our children play allows us to build new connections and experiences through play. Kids love to share their favorite things with people and they will definitely want to share their games with you. This is a great way to connect with them and build lasting memories.

Games are a great form of personal expression, and you can learn a lot about someone by the kinds of games they play and the way that they play them. Learning about the games your kid likes to play opens a window through which you can view their interests and examine their inner workings better than conversation ever can.

You Can Keep a Better Eye on the Content

Sometimes it is tough to know what kinds of content are included in a video game without playing it for yourself. Showing an interest in what your child is playing will give you greater access to the games they play.

Knowing what is in the games they play will also help you understand what to look for in other games and will help you give constructive feedback on the games they want to play. This way you can suggest alternatives to what your child wants to play than outright banning them. Being able to suggest Fortnite over Call of Duty: Warzone and have a real explanation for why because of your personal experience is a great way to overcome objections to your decisions relating to acceptable content.

You Might Even Like Them!


There is nothing more amazing than finding a new joy or interest by accident. Games have changed so much that they are hardly recognizable now from even a handful of years ago. There are even new genres that would not even be thought off when we were growing up that are now commonplace for younger gamers.

You only get the chance to find these surprises if you play video games with your kids! So get in there!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to video games: MMORPG

MMORPG is the acronym for Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. This describes a role-playing game that requires a large online player population in order to operate. It typically features dedicated servers and a constant internet connection to play.

MMORPG games often feature mechanics and narratives that encourage both competition and collaboration between players, to some degree. They will often include encounters that put a fixed number of players into a situation or story meant to provide smaller and specific content to those players without interrupting the play experience of others.

These games can be free to play, available after a one time fee, or can be played through a subscription to the service. The cost and payment style varies depending on the game.

Examples

  • World of Warcraft
  • Star Wars the Old Republic
  • Final Fantasy XIV

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

I’ve been thinking a lot about adventure games recently. It is a genre that has had its ups and downs over the years but definitely has a place in the market. I sat down and wrote out a wish list of adventure games I wanted to play with my kids.

Here are my picks! What are yours?

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic may be past the peak of its cultural significance. But, the audience is definitely still there in spite of the show ending after nine seasons.

I can easily see an episodic adventure game where the mane six would venture around Ponyville solving puzzles. Pinkie Pie could even provide some fourth wall breaking humor.

Adventure Time

This one just seems too obvious. There have been tons of action-based video games based on this (immensely popular) TV show, but none of them has really expressed the quirky humor of the show in the right away. The adventure game format is perfect because it would let players take their time while exploring some of the hilarious locations. 

Heck. The word adventure is in the name of the show!

Winnie the Pooh

This is impossible, but I would love to see it for the location alone. I would love to play a game where I direct Winnie the Pooh around the 100 Acre Wood. The characters are iconic and there is plenty of material available considering the movies, books, and TV shows. A man I can dream can’t he?

Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb may have, tragically, come to an end in cartoon form, but I can’t help but think that an episodic adventure game highlighting their summer vacation hijinks would be amazing.

Navigating their home and neighborhood solving puzzles using weird contraptions would fit perfectly with the theme of the show. A meta-plot containing Agent P and Doofenshmirtz would be icing on the cake.

Scooby-Doo, Where are You?

Ok. Look. Scooby-Doo is never going to go anywhere. You might think he’s gone. But, there has been a new movie every year for a while now. We might as well take the opportunity to take the adventure game formula and apply it to a mystery.

The idea of having a series of seemingly unrelated capers that are all tied together by some interesting narrative threads is very interesting. The Scooby gang doesn’t exactly have a lot of depth but that type of scenario would be a great opportunity to develop it a little bit.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us onFacebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Stephen

I love Street Fighter. I’m terrible at it, but I love it. I really fell in love with the game when I started playing Street Fighter II: World Warrior on the SNES with my next door neighbors. We would play for hours. I still remember how excited I was when I was finally able to to a fireball as Ryu. I worked at it for a long time, and when it clicked I was hooked.

Mike

Street Fighter. There is something so satisfying with a well paced, but on the slower side, 2D fighting game. The Street fighter series has always been a very approachable fighting game for me, and my brother will forever be my opponent.

A nod also goes to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a Two Player (Plus) Fighting game where all my nerd dreams came true.

John

Looking back, my favorite two player game of all time has to be Contra.  My brother and I spent countless hours playing this game to the point that we both could play it start to finish without losing a life.

Linda

My favorite two player game is Fox in the Forest.  I rarely play games that are only for two players, but this one has a style that brings lots of nostalgia. Fox in the Forest is a trick taking game, and that mechanic is a family favorite. The extended family are huge fans of the card game Setback, which is also trick taking. The familiarity of the mechanic as well as the beautiful storybook artwork makes it an easy favorite.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to video games: MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)

MOBA is a strategy game where teams battle in a predetermined lane or area with heroes/allies. Their ultimate goal is to destroy the other team’s structure/tower

League of Legends

This genre that features short, team based, multiplayer matches with computer controlled allies and enemies. Players create teams from a selection of playable characters, with mechanics and character abilities encouraging a balance of playstyles and teamwork. Character abilities and maps are public knowledge, and computer controlled elements operate in a repeated, predictable fashion. With that public knowledge, strategy and optimization are considered an additional layer of play that carries over between the individual fast paced encounters.

Examples:

Skytear
  • League of Legends
  • DOTA (Defense of the Ancients)

The MOBA style exists in a board game

Example:

  • Skytear: A Card driven board game


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

Video game publishers are constantly experimenting with ways to earn additional revenue for the games they release. One of the most common methods we see them use is a model where the base game is free to play, but some features are locked behind purchases (that can vary in size). In many cases these purchases are small (some are a dollar or less). We call these Micro-transactions. Some of these purchases are quite large and can be more than a full-price console release. We call those macro-transactions. 

The features hidden behind these transactions can be anything from experience boosts (that help players gain power faster) to cosmetic items that change the way a character, their weapons, or attacks look. 

Sometimes though, these transactions include the ability to directly increase your character’s power and improve their chances of winning against other players who haven’t spent money. These are often called “Pay to Win” mechanics (or p2w) by the gaming community at large.

This is very common in mobile games, but can easily find its way into console games as well (it is just more rare). The gaming community at large is very quick to call out companies for including these types of mechanics in their games (you can look up the commentary on the launch of Star Wars Battlefront 2 if you want to see what some players said). 

Most recently, these mechanics have found their way into the newly released Pokemon Unite. This is an interesting case because the Pokemon brand is incredibly strong with kids (and adults), and the game is free to start. This means it is very easy for our kids to get into the game and start playing with people who have spent a large sum of money to be more powerful than everyone else. 

This isn’t a problem by itself as long as our kids are having fun, but p2w mechanics do create some situations we need to be careful of.

First, p2w mechanics encourage kids to want to spend money on the game. They do this because the more money they spend the more of a competitive advantage it gives them.This can help them win more matches, and will be especially important if they intend to play in the game’s ranked mode. 

Second, it also means your kid is likely to come across a player who has spent a LOT of money in order to be as powerful as possible. This will make it difficult to complete against those players and can make it frustrating, 

 I think it is worth noting that this doesn’t mean these games can’t ever be fun, but we, as parents, do need to be vigilant and make sure we help our kids identify these mechanics and make good decisions. 

The best way to do this is to ask our kids questions when they ask to spend money on a game (especially one that was free to begin with). We should ask them things like, 

“What exactly are you buying?”

“What will that currency you are buying be used for?”

“Are you buying something that will make you stronger in the game?”

These types of questions will help your family make better decisions and will help your kids think about what they are doing. You can even have real discussions about whether or not these are the kinds of games they want to play. This will likely save you and your family time and money in the long run. 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail
Newer Posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More