Gaming Archive

Why the Tales series is the traditional JRPG’s best hope for survival

The JRPG has been in decline for the past decade, but the Tales series continues to attract a dedicated audience. Sam Brooks investigates how it has survived so long.

A wild Pokemon appears – 20 years later, unused

What happens to the unused Pokemon who never make it to a game? They get leaked 20 years later and ruthlessly insulted.

House Flipper is the renovation simulator for the eternally renting millennial

Born after 1980? Going to be renting your entire life with no end in sight? House Flipper is the game to simulate a renovation future you'll never see.

Waterdeep Mountain High: Ep. 3. The Smuggler’s Run, part one

Welcome back to Waterdeep Mountain High, a Dungeons & Dragons podcast set in a below average school in the mystical land of Faerun.

A tribute to Madden: 30 years of Hail Marys and buying everything

The mighty John Madden Football series turns 30 today – a huge achievement for any game series. Haimona Gray looks at how the series has matured and mutated over the past three decades.

Detroit: Become Human is David Cage’s biggest and most beautiful mess yet

A new David Cage game comes with a lot of hype and a lot of high promises. Does Detroit: Become Human meet the hype for the first time in Cage's career? Sam Brooks reviews.

Challenging the bigotry of an icon: How Bloodborne slyly calls out HP Lovecraft

It's no secret that horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft had bigoted attitudes to race and class. Duy Le examines how these aspects of Lovecraft's writing are critiqued in FromSoftware's Bloodborne.

Putting your zombie survival plan into practice: State of Decay 2

The highly anticipated sequel to the 2013's cult hit, State of Decay 2 feels like three steps forward and two steps back.

Waterdeep Mountain High podcast: Finding Hootie part 2 – the reckoning

It's the second episode of our new comedy Dungeons and Dragons podcast! Welcome back to Waterdeep Mountain High, a below average school in the mystical land of Faerun.

Counter struck: A diary of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament in Sydney

Half sports tournament, half trade show, all technology, all vaguely foreign to him. This is gaming editor's Sam Brooks' diary of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament in Sydney, where he spent three days last weekend.

Sick of Candy Crush and Hearthstone? Some better games for your commute

If you're tired of crushing candies and playing meaningless virtual card games, we've something else to distract you from the mindless grind that is your commute.

Your childhood ruined: the disturbing stories behind early-2000s kids websites

All that glitters is not golden, and the websites of our youth are no exception. We explore the dark underside of the not-so-pure browser-based games Neopets and Habbo Hotel.

‘You’re always rolling the dice’: two award-winning developers talk game development in New Zealand

The recipients of the Play By Play International Games Festival’s Te Maunga Kai Kapua Awards Mario Wynands and Niamh Fitzgerald, talk with Adam Goodall about Final Fantasy VII and the future of game development in New Zealand.

Welcome to Waterdeep Mountain High, a new Dungeons & Dragons podcast

Welcome to Waterdeep Mountain High, a Dungeons & Dragons adventure starring Nic Sampson, Alice Snedden and Ray O’Leary.

How games like God of War herald a new era of adult-orientated gaming

As gamers grow up, so does gaming. Baz MacDonald writes about how gaming is maturing along with the people who play them, and what that means for the medium.

WAR stories: Tales from the frontlines of the Waikato Arena Rampage

For years, the larger centres in Aotearoa have had a headlock on the competitive gaming scene. But with the Waikato Arena Rampage, that's all about to change. Horiana Henderson reports.

How to return to Hogwarts (on your phone)

The latest addition to the vast and sprawling Harry Potter canon is out, and it's a mobile game. Alice Webb-Liddall heads to Hogwarts in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.

God of War is a landmark achievement worthy of the myths that inspire it

An epic tale of Scandinavian myths and the father-son duo that fight them, God of War is a defining AAA game that pushes the boundaries graphically and thematically. Don Rowe reviews.

16 games, 16 minutes each: We play all the Play by Play Festival awards finalists

The third annual Play By Play International Games Festival is spilling out across Wellington this week. Adam Goodall played all sixteen contenders for awards at the festival...  for sixteen minutes each.

What is Fortnite and why do people keep talking about it?

Welcome to the Cheat Sheet, a clickable, shareable, bite-sized FAQ on the news of the moment. Today: what is this Fortnite: Battle Royale thing that your kids keep talking about? Gaming editor Sam Brooks has you covered.

Jade Empire is the black sheep of BioWare’s library

Xbox have announced a re-release slate of old games, including one that is little spoken of now: the mythic Chinese fantasy Jade Empire. Sam Brooks writes about the game's reception 13 years ago, and why it's all but forgotten now.

The beautiful promise of backwards compatibility – and the sad reality

From April 26, approximately 3% of all original Xbox games will be available in their original form on the Xbox One. That's more than you can play on the Playstation 4 – but still far, far from what we hoped for, writes Adam Goodall.

Spinoff Investigation: What the hell is Rampage, exactly?

Rampage hits cinemas this week, and you might be surprised to learn it's based on a popular video game. Gaming novice Alex Casey saw the film without playing the game, gaming expert Sam Brooks played the game and refuses to see the movie.

Suikoden was Game of Thrones before Game of Thrones

Despite five numbered entries over eleven years, Suikoden remains a much loved but little known RPG series. Sam Brooks writes about one of his favourite video game series ever, and what makes it so special.