video games

The holiday season is always big for entertainment. Lots of big movies come out, and video games, too.

The new entry in the Call of Duty series, Advanced Warfare, came out earlier this month. The series is best known for its multiplayer, but I really enjoyed the single player campaign. The story wasn’t overly complex, but it was compelling, not unlike a big Hollywood action movie. The appearance of Kevin Spacey as a villain in the vein of his character in "House of Cards" was a pleasant surprise.

Raj Deut (rdeut) / Flickr / Creative Commons

Last week, Sony quietly released a brand-new gaming console. Sort of.

It’s called the Playstation TV, and, at its heart, it's a Playstation Vita - Sony’s portable console from 2012 – but without the screen or buttons. Instead, it plugs into any HDTV and uses a PlayStation 3 or 4 controller for gameplay.

The system is tiny - about the size of a deck of cards - and it easily tucks away behind a TV or entertainment center.

  The Super Smash Bros. series has always been one of my favorites. When the original came out for the Nintendo 64 in 1999, I discovered it at Blockbuster Video and rented it at least a dozen times. Thirteen years ago, I stood outside a Gamestop all night in line to get Super Smash Brothers Melee for the then newly released Nintendo Gamecube, and I played it with three of my friends until after the sun came up.

I spend a lot of my gaming time playing blockbusters like Destiny or Mass Effect, but games don’t have to have flashy graphics and epic storylines to grab my attention. Sometimes, all I need is a fun concept and a way to play with friends.

fleur-design / Flickr / Creative Commons

Now that school is starting, kids are hopefully scaling back on video games and spending some time studying. But some of my favorite games of all time I actually was exposed to through school, and were fun enough to disguise the fact that I could actually be learning through gameplay.

Normally, gamers who are excited for an upcoming blockbuster title have to wait until the game’s release date to get a good taste of it. However, with the upcoming game Destiny, gamers had a whole week to play, even though it’s not released until September.

Destiny is a first-person shooter, developed by Bungie, which is best known for the Halo series. In the Destiny beta test, you get to play the first bit of the game, exploring a part of Russia that is under enemy control.

Ryan Somma / Flickr / Creative Commons

The summer has been pretty light on new game releases, so instead I’ve gone back to play some of my old favorites. Recently I’ve been playing the first game in the Mass Effect trilogy, which came out for the Xbox 360 and PC in 2007. / Google Images / Creative Commons

Music in video games has come a long way from the bleeps and bloops heard in the very first games.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, is the biggest video game industry trade show of the year. Last week at the Expo, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all showed off the games they’ll be releasing in the next 12 months.

Samuel McConnell / KMUW

I’ve been a fan of the Metal Gear Solid series since the first one in 1998. Since then, I’ve played them all and followed the story of the two main protagonists, both code-named "Snake."

The latest, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, was released last week.