The Zen of Fishing in Minecraft

Fishing is pretty much my favorite thing to do in Minecraft, nowadays.

One of the things that makes Minecraft such an enduring game is the fact that you can focus on any one aspect of it, and that can become a game in and of itself. If you just want to build stuff, you can. If you want it to be an RPG, adventure-style game, it can be that. And if you just want a fishing simulator, well, Minecraft has you covered there, too.READ MORE


Amazon Deals Another Blow to GameStop (and Best Buy)

Back in March of 2015, I wrote about switching from GameStop to Best Buy for new game purchases, because of Best Buy’s newly-discounted Gamer Rewards program. The big hook for Best Buy was offering a 20% discount on new games, something that GameStop does not do.

A little over a week ago, Amazon gut punched GameStop again (and kicked Best Buy’s legs out from under it) when they announced that Prime Subscribers will now get 20% off of pre-orders and newly-released games to go along with their already free two-day shipping. The term “newly-released” in this case means up to two weeks after the initial release date.

So, how does this stack up to GameStop and Best Buy? Well, as I wrote about before, GameStop still gives you a print magazine subscription for your $15 a year, and Best Buy offers reward certificates that can be used for anything they sell. Both also give you extra value for used game trade-ins.

Looking at Amazon’s trade-in program, it looks like they actually give you slightly more value than GameStop, although GameStop gives more if you are using the credit to buy more games. For example, Amazon will give you $20.54 for Star Wars Battlefront, while GameStop would give you $19.66 cash, or $24.20 if you used it toward another game. Add to that the discount you get on used games, and GameStop can provide more value for those trading in games to buy more games.

But really, the main questions you should be asking yourself are if you buy new games and you are already a Prime Subscriber. Because if the answer to those two questions is yes, this is a no-brainier.

I am a Prime subscriber and for me, this move by Amazon actually hurts Best Buy more. I already had stopped buying new games at GameStop. Now I can get the 20% discount and free two-day shipping on my new games. So, Amazon will become the place for me to buy new, and GameStop will continue to be my used game option.

At some point, I think GameStop is going to have to bite the bullet and offer discounts on new releases. They’ve tried to diversify, getting into retro games and pushing more geek culture merchandise, but I don’t think that will be the solution in the long term.


Brian’s Best in Games Journalism 2015–GameSpot’s “The Point”

This episode of GameSpot’s “The Point” from July 2015 is a fantastic piece of journalism by Danny O’Dwyer. In it, he explores the systems that hook players into Destiny, a game that many complain about while admitting they sink hundreds of hours into. It’s a very well-done piece, and just one of the many great episodes of the Point that you should check out on GameSpot’s YouTube channel.

It’s also my favorite piece of games journalism from 2015.

Let's Play Until Dawn - Co-Op Critics

Brian’s Top Three Games of the Year (#3)–UNTIL DAWN

As we wind down 2015 this week, I’ll be posting about my top three games of the year.

It’s been a great year for games, and for horror games in particular, as reflected by my list. I’m a huge horror fan, and there were some great horror entries on all of the major platforms this year. Bloodborne, Dying LightResident Evil: Revelations 2, The Park, Until Dawn, SOMA and Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water all saw their Western releases this year, and three of those titles beat out everything else I played to make my “best of” list.READ MORE


#PS2PS4: What Games Do You Want?

And we thought backward compatibility wouldn’t be a thing this generation.

For a while the WiiU was the only console this generation that was backward compatible. Both Sony and Microsoft seemed to imply that backward compatibility wasn’t something that was really all that important to gamers, and there were no plans for either the PS4 or the Xbox One to be backward compatible.READ MORE


Bethesda Games Give Me Wanderlust

I prefer to play games alone.

At first blush, that may not be the best opening line for a post on a site with co-op in its title. But while Co-Op Critics is a place where we celebrate games together, that doesn’t mean we have to always play them together. It’s my need to discuss my gaming experiences with others that drove me to create this site, and one of the reasons for that is many of the games I play are single player experiences. Games that I enjoy playing alone, but then need to process with others.READ MORE