How to build your own mid-range gaming PC

Although laptops and smartphones have taken the forefront in basic computer functions; and consoles are more lucrative than ever to sate gaming needs; something about owning a personal computer offers a satisfaction like no other. And it has many effective aspects as well. For example, laptops often become a trade-off between performance and display/battery life/peripheral aspects. And smartphones are just too smart for dumb people. 

While buying a new pc, it helps if you know about the parts you are paying for as opposed to just paying for something. It provides a distinct personal satisfaction. So for those of us hoping to purchase a personal desktop computer, here’s a brief overview of what to look for. 

Setting priorities and a budget

It is very important to know exactly what you want when buying a PC. The multitude of choices among parts is easy to confuse anyone. While it was true a year ago that consoles are the most efficient medium for gaming; partly due to the absurd price hikes of PC parts like GPU and RAM and even CPUs later; prices have mostly settled now and it is a good time to get a PC for any kind of use. 

It probably goes without saying that if you intend to play games on your PC, you are absolutely going to need an external GPU.

For low-mid end gaming, a budget of 50-60 thousand BDT should do.

Around 70-100 thousand for the mid-high end and at least 150 thousand for ultra-high-end gaming is required. 

Building the core of the system

This is where the magic happens; the PC needs to have good hardware that compliments each other and don’t cause a bottleneck. It’s important to mention that before building a system you need to figure out what kind of monitor you’re going to use. You’ll need to base your most expensive purchase(the GPU) on that. For example, 1080p on 60fps is enough for me. So I use an ASUS VX-229HJ monitor. 

The Motherboard

It’s easy to cheap out on a motherboard without realizing just how much it contributes to your system. Don’t go for cheap nameless brands here. A decent mainboard can keep your system stable for at least half a decade. It is also important to figure out what kind of processor you’re going to use (buy AMD). But most good motherboards have both an AMD and Intel version. Be cautious not to overspend on unnecessary aspects of the motherboard either. Because on a medium budget, you’re probably not going to need 4 GPU slots or 8 Ram slots. Pick a motherboard with a recent BIOS version and sockets that compliment the most recent generation of CPUs. Since I’m more particular towards the AMD build, personal pick here is the MSI B450 Tomahawk. 

Memory and Storage 

16 gigabytes of RAM is soon to be (already is) the industry standard for RAM. Again, don’t cheap out with Twinmos or Adata products; get gaming RAM with high (>3000) bus speed. You won’t regret it. It’s a good idea to dual-channel your RAM instead of buying a single stick, except if you plan on upgrading later. I am not into the RGB lighting thing, but get it if you have an extra 500 to spare. The personal pick is Corsair Vengeance LPX-DDR4 3200 MHz bus width RAM. 

For storage, please get an SSD if you haven’t used one before. If you have, you really don’t need to know why. If you haven’t, well, how does less than 20 seconds of boot time and virtually no loading time for games sound? Please, at least for your system drive, get an SSD. The Personal pick is Samsung 960 EVO, with storage capacity according to your needs. For HDD, get the Seagate Barracuda 2TB or 4TB, whichever suits you. 

The Processor

Although Intel has occupied the undisputed peak of CPU producers for as long as can be remembered; this is no longer the case. AMD with their Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 lines have usurped Intel’s throne in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. So much so that Intel has basically admitted that they may need the next two generations just to catch up. A high core count and individual thread performance make AMD Ryzen the undisputed best choice for both gaming and multithreading tasks like rendering and ripping. Again, figure out what you need and don’t overspend. Because if gaming is the primary focus, an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is more than enough to handle anything that comes out for at least two more years. 

The GPU

Arguably the most important and expensive purchase. Nvidia still rules the market of GPUs. And AMD hasn’t really matched them in performance; as much as they’ve competed in price.  While the allure of ray tracing in Nvidia’s newest RTX cards might get to you; it is relevant to mention not many games even support ray tracing yet. And the ones that do aren’t that good anyway, at least for me. So I wouldn’t recommend breaking the bank to get an RTX card; especially since the word on the internet is they aren’t all that stable. 

The resolution of your monitor is going to come into play here. For 1080p gaming on a tight budget, the AMD RX570/RX580 is the way to go, with 4GB and 8GB VRAM versions available. Get higher VRAM if budget allows so. For 1440p and higher, you’re gonna have to go RTX. The 2060 and its super variants are good for 1440p, while 2070 is best for budget-performance at 4k and for VR. Either way, the best card on the market is the 2080, if there was any doubt. Price checks out too. Get RGB on that as well, rub that money on our faces if you will. The Personal pick is the GeForce 1660ti, since it has the turing architecture of the RTX cards without the ray tracing itself; as well as GDDR6 memory. This is the card to go for if you have a slightly higher budget than one for the RX 570. The difference in gaming performance is noticeable, check out some benchmarks online, there’s 8-10 fps difference on each of them. 

It is also extremely important to get a good power supply unit for your GPU. Check out Tomshardware and get any of the Tier 1 or 2 PSUs. Unfortunately, a lot of the good ones aren’t available in Bangladesh; and I got my EVGA SuperNOVA Gold plus from abroad. Only thing I can tell you is to take no chances with this part because it affects the performance of your system in general. 

Casing and peripherals

I am a minimalist when it comes to stuff that doesn’t directly influence performance. Even so, it is important to get a case with good airflow and dust protection; to preserve device health. It would be unfortunate, to say the least, if your dream system ends up getting trashed due to dusting. Disclaimer, stock fans get wrecked by dust. Consider getting an external cooling system if budget allows. But again, don’t go overboard. Most systems don’t need liquid cooling. Surprisingly, most systems also don’t need RGB lighting. Personal pick on the case is Corsair Carbide Spec-05 and an Antec A400 cooling fan. 

A gaming keyboard and mouse aren’t strictly necessary for performance. But peripherals are parts that enhance your experience. You’ll have more fun with a decent mechanical keyboard and a good mouse. However, cheap mechanical keyboards are never a good idea. So go for a Cherry MX blue-switch keyboard. Fair disclaimer, good mechanical keyboards go for 8 thousand BDT at least. Since these aren’t immediately necessary, save up and ease into these purchases.  It is ok to use standard equipment until you can afford better.

Good peripherals will only make the experience better. Not having them won’t take anything away.

Lastly, you’ll be spending a lot of time in front of your new system. So it might be a good idea to get a good chair. You do not need an uber-expensive “gaming” chair. Just something with a decent backrest will do; as chairs without backrest can severely affect the health of your spine. 

Having a desktop provides a source of fulfilment that other systems just can’t match, at least for me. And it’s a given that you won’t ever be satisfied with a laptop or any pre-built computing system once you’ve had an extended taste of a self-built desktop. So go and decide what you want and build your system yourself. I hope this guide will be helpful in your purchasing decisions. 

Bangladeshi video gamer makes a gaming empire: The B2M Games story

Video games have played a significant part in shaping most of our lives. Video games have a way for our imaginations to spring free. The engaging narratives and open sandboxes in games inspire us to build worlds, follow storylines, be engaged in new universes and have a lot of friends while doing it. Many of us have wondered, if only we could turn our love for video games into a way to make money.  What if the dream of having your own gaming empire came true? Is that even possible in Bangladesh? Introducing, B2M Games.

What is B2M Games?

B2M Games specializes in making addicting mobile video games on the Android platform. Some of their games are Fruit Hit Smash, Kingfisher, Tap Tap Dagger. Their most popular game, “Adommo 71” has a solid fan base and played regularly by locals. The Adommo series may be followed up with future entries.

A whopping 65 games are in the development phase. Their future plans include creating more than a thousand video games.

Founded in April of 2016, the company started with three people. B2M games has now grown into a 12-person team with 6 developers and 4 designers. B2M games has started to break even on their third year of operation. For a gaming company in the current industry, especially in the context of Bangladesh, that is a remarkable and difficult feat.

Read more: Bangladeshi graphic novels: 5 essential reads

B2M games is the dream child of Rayid Isaam Faruq, Founder and CEO.

Driven by the passion of one gamer

Mr. Rayid possessed knowledge of app building, but his skills in game making was next to nothing at the initial stages of the company. Mr. Rayid’s, an avid game enthusiast, took his passion for gaming and turned into a full time job.

Before B2M Games, he worked in a holding company which dealt with purchasing intellectual property of game companies. Mr. Rayid was motivated by this experience and drew from it to acquire the necessary knowledge of the industry and confidence to start B2M Games. The astonishing growth in smartphone usage penetration also contributed to B2M Games’ growth. Mr. Rayid’s story inspires us to carry our dreams with us, wherever we might end up, even in jobs and tasks that may seem unrelated. It might just happen to come compound into something bigger and come true.

Advice to aspiring game developers

Learn as you go and keep improving

At the moment, B2M Games are producing fun, but simple games. But it is a company which seeks to evolve with each release. Mr. Rayid puts it simply, his team has grown with each game and through the vigorous process of trial and error. They have worked on each new release, being smoother and more seamless, more emotional and cerebral.

Grow slowly, but effectively

As trailblazers in a relatively young industry in Bangladesh, persistence and quality is important.


Mr. Rayid’s message to aspiring game developers is to grow slowly, but effectively. He advises planning out a road map for your company and working according to that plan. Not getting ahead of yourself is strongly recommended, and patience is key. Most of all, he advises writing down the rawest version of the dream you have and looking at it every once in a while– just in case you ever lose your way. Because it is a long road ahead.

20th edition game is coming out soon!

On this journey of growth and learning, B2M Games is reaching a milestone in the form of their 20th edition game, Brain Calculator. This game is different than other B2M projects in that this is more of mathematical puzzle game, as opposed to one click action/arcade games. It is going to be a very colorful retro experience and due to launch very soon.

Read more: Great Bangladeshi bands that disappeared after their debut album

You can download their games today from the Play Store. Join B2M Games on their exciting journey and support local entrepreneurs while you are at it.

Explaining piracy in third world countries

The land of piracy! As cool as it sounds, believe us it’s not. This is not One Piece. This is the real world. One should not feel proud to call their country a land of piracy. For starters this is illegal and WRONG. Secondly, it is disrespectful to those who make awesome TV shows, Anime, Music, Comic books, books and video games for us. Yet sadly, for those of us who reside in these third world countries have no other option but to use piracy if we want to consume any popular media from countries other than our own.

It’s not just popular entertainment that piracy prevails in. Piracy is intertwined with our businesses too. Just how many companies and homes in these third world countries do you think run genuine windows operating system and Microsoft office software? Not many, that’s for sure.

BUT WHY?

Before answering that, here is a more important question. DOES IT MATTER?

So what if we pirate all our games? So what if our operating systems are all downloaded from pirate bay? What if all our favorite albums and songs are downloaded from random suspicious looking websites for free? What if all our software and movies are downloaded from TorrentBD? Why does it matter? Why is it wrong or illegal? It’s not like we are stealing money or committing some kind of crime.

Now, imagine for a second that you are one of the writers of your favorite TV show. Put yourself in the shoes of these people for a minute. You have spent months passionately writing a story, writing these characters for this one show. You have poured your heart into every dialogue, every word. Your audience has noticed, and given your show and characters their love and attention. The critics have given you their seal of approval. The pay is great too.

There is just one tiny problem.

Your show isn’t getting any ratings on the TV. So, a few seasons in, your show gets cancelled for something different. All your passion and hard work gone just like that. You are out of job too. It’s time to look for a new job.

How did this happen?

Turns out everyone has been downloading your show from torrent sites.

This might sound like some crazy extreme fictional scenario. But consider this, producer of Hannibal TV series blamed piracy for cancellation of the show. Consider that the band LCD Sound system from United Kingdom begged their fans to not leak their upcoming album. Their plea went unheard. Consider that piracy is the reason that EA implemented very restrictive DRM systems in their games.

Developing, creating anything requires talent, hard work, and time. This is why artists, writers, video game developers, film-makers get paid.

The money we pay to consume art allow the creators to create more for us.

So, what happens when we take money out of the equation and download everything for free? The people who make the things that we enjoy can no longer support themselves and have to stop what they do.

Piracy is pretty much stealing. Every time someone is downloading something for free that has a price tag added, he is depriving the creator of his well-deserved compensation and livelihood.

Why does piracy happen?

So, piracy is morally wrong and its consequences ultimately impact us directly, and negatively. This brings us to our first question again. Why then, do we pirate everything that we can?

The short answer to that question is that, it’s easy. The long answer is a bit more complicated.

Internet hasn’t been around for that long. The world is still adjusting to the huge wave and splash that the Internet has brought along with it. In between all the chaos, innovations, and great leaps forward, the world has lost track of how information can be shared and spread. Now we can easily download a song by Eminem as soon as it comes out without needing to buy it. This would be impossible in a pre-internet world. But, in a post-internet world, where everything is connected, it is expected that pirates will give others access to freely download anything.

Piracy in third world countries 1
Sure, Netflix sounds great! But its costly too.

Another thing is that these products are simply not available in a lot of third world countries. Even if they are, they are available in very obscure places that most people don’t even know about and they cost a very high amount of money to get. A good example of this would be Japanese anime TV shows and manga in Bangladesh. It’s not like we can not at all find CDs, DVDs of anime shows, and volumes of manga in this country. We can find them if we look and search hard enough. The issues are that it’s not easy to find and the cost is too high. There is also the fact that even if we find what we are looking for, there’s no guarantee that we will be able to find everything of a series and in good enough quality.

Add to all this some basic and normal human psychology. Who in their right mind would go through all that hassle to pay for something when they can find the same thing for free very easily with no issues online? No one.

Ahoy, matey!

“They are necessary for countries like us where you can’t get crunchyroll or Netflix even if you wanted to, since international payments are even an issue.”


-Munazil Rahman, Organiser at Unmad-JCC Comic Con.

This is how we have reached the situation that we are right now. We are all just pirates drifting through the endless sea of the World Wide Web. And we are not even the cool, awesome kind from One Piece or the dangerous, adventurous kind like Blackbeard. We are more of a very large group of bandits riding a worn down boat, unaware of what we are really doing. Some of us are also doing this because we have no other option.

Red Dead Redemption 2 review: Rage, rage against the dying of the West

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an unabashedly stubborn masterpiece.

I was strolling through the quiet road at the base of Mount Shan on my trusty steed, Epona. Suddenly I came across a rugged-looking man intently crouching over something and talking to himself. It wasn’t long before I listened in and came to know that he was a hunter tracking his prey. We shared a hearty greeting thanks to the contextual button on my PS4 controller. But then he went back to his hunter business. Curious, I followed him from afar just to see the climax of this random event. I wasn’t ready for what happened a couple of seconds later.

Without warning, a huge bear suddenly came out of the woods and rushed straight towards him. The hunter got in a few shots from his rifle but not before the bear jumped squarely on him and viciously clawed his face off. I ran towards the spot but found both of them laying lifeless and still. I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt about my failure in saving him. Maybe if I drew faster, he’d still be alive and we could have shared a chuckle after his successful hunt. Worn with woe, I accepted his fate and rode back into the world.

This is just one of the many, many random encounters in Rockstar’s astonishingly detailed and exhaustingly beautiful open-world western opus, Red Dead Redemption 2. A world unnervingly polished to a marvelous sheen, the sequel’s responsive open-world design ensures it’s a treat to just exist there. It tells a heart-wrenching and worthy story that weaves many character-driven narrative threads into a glorious tapestry. It starts at a deliberately measured pace but soon reaches full steam and gradually culminates in a thunderous crescendo. When the sun has set on the somber tale of not heroes but flawed men and women with dark pasts and desperate futures, you can’t help but marvel at your own journey.

The premise

Red dead redemption 2, Arthur Morgan
Our man Arthur lookin’ real nice

As Arthur Morgan, you have plenty of opportunities to do right by the Van der Lindes.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a follow-up to Red Dead Redemption. And while new and improved in terms of design and execution, Red Dead Redemption 2 is narratively a prequel. The year is 1899, a decade before the events of the first game. The story follows the adventures of Arthur Morgan, right-hand man to charismatic gang leader Dutch van der Linde. Players of the original Red Dead will recall that this gang is the one previous protagonist John Marston originated from. At this stage of history, Arthur, Dutch, and crew are on the run following a failed job in the town of Blackwater.

Throughout the story, the gang exists in a transient state. Moving from state to state, the crew finds itself mixed up in a wide variety of misadventures as they try to regather themselves and pull together the funds they need to finally disappear. As Arthur, you are essentially the gang’s fixer. In addition to participating in the various robberies and related crimes that take place throughout the game, you’ll also find yourself in charge of the gang’s camp. Its is a bustling communal space where you collect quests, manage resources, and just exist alongside the various personalities that encapsulate the gang. But your true calling comes from the wild.

Wild wild West-world

horse
More horses than you could ever want. Question is: why’d you want so many horses?

One of RDR2’s greatest strengths is the lengths it goes to in order to make its world feel like it is breathing on its own. Other Rockstar open world games have largely focused on centering the player in every way. Everything is typically built like a playground, chock full of activities that exist at the forefront, while the various NPCs just sort of mill around. Here, the various cities, camps, and wild areas all feel like they are moving along at a life-like pace. When you’re in your gang camp, you’ll see people doing chores, reading, playing games, and engaging in conversations that have nothing, in particular, to do with whatever quest you’re about to embark upon. These personalities, these people, are the core of what makes Red Dead Redemption 2 go. There is a humanity to these characters that Rockstar games don’t typically seem all that invested in portraying.

When you head into towns, Rockstar’s meticulous craftsmanship gets even more impressive. Each of the many towns and cities has its own character and personality, with the bustling New Orleans facsimile Saint Denis being the crown jewel. The cities are packed with things to do, from taking in a vaudeville show and getting your photo taken to meeting a memorable cast of strangers and perusing the intricately detailed shops. You can dive into a catalog at gun shops and general stores, or walk right up to the shelves and grab what you need.

Ultra-realism

“… And that’s why I’ll need your horse, pardner”

All the exteriors and interiors in the game look authentic to the time period and make you feel like you are visiting a place lost in time. Even the civilian population is remarkable – you can interact with each person you come across. I rarely heard a repeated line of dialogue outside of some random encounters outside the city. New strangers continually pop up offering interesting side missions as well. This is world both alive and lived in. And Rockstar never misconstrues this basic foundation.

But the strongest case for this amazing open-world is its nothingness. Galloping through the path less-trodden, enjoying the simplicity and the Zen-like peace of the western frontier is such a delight. The stretch of calm is at complete odds with the gun-slinging robust action but just as vital to the game’s experience. Light bursting through a tree canopy, rain clouds forming and clearing, evening mists rolling into an eerie swamp- the gorgeous visuals of the game punctuates throughout these spectacular moments.

It’s an outlaw’s life for me

Because ladies LOVE to be wooed by a mysterious guy in a mask with a bloody knife in his hand

As Arthur Morgan, you have plenty of opportunities to do right by the Van der Lindes. You’ll find a settlement for your gang first, of course. Then you quickly learn how imperative it is to keep everyone alive by supplying them with food, medical supplies, and ammunition. You’ll have to rob trains, steal stagecoaches, hold up shopkeepers and civilians on the road, as well as complete missions, hunt animals, or complete bounty missions to earn your keep. On top of this, there’re plenty of other ways to earn money, such as games of Blackjack or Poker, and selling your wares to those that are interested.

Your camp has a group fund to which you can donate your money, as well as a ledger where you can spend that hard-earned cash to improve the camp by upgrading it. Living quarters, building better supply stores, and opening up the option to fast travel across the vast plains- all can be achieved through these upgrades.

Survive

Sounds simple. Ain’t.

Out in the wild, or engulfed in a mission, the three cores of your character need to be kept replenished if you want to survive. Health, Stamina, and Dead Eye all need to remain high or you’ll start to show signs of fatigue. It isn’t just Arthur that has these cores. Your horse is an extension of you, and looking after it is essential. It’s important to bond with your horse because you’ll have access to better abilities. For example, if you’re bonded with your horse it’ll come to you from a farther distance once you whistle it to return. Your horse also acts as your inventory whilst exploring, storing the extra guns and equipment for you to equip while in the wild.

Hunting is a huge part of Red Dead Redemption 2, as is fishing, and both can be done whenever you like. Planning every hunt is just as important as robbing a train. Learning which options are at your disposal can take time. But planning that next big kill proves incredibly satisfying when done correctly. Unlike so many modern open-world games, Red Dead Redemption 2 does not want you to achieve dominance over it. It wants you to simply be in its world, and to feel like a part of it. It’s a crucial distinction and a big part of what makes it all so immersive and engrossing.

The wild bunch

Ain’t no party like a cowboy party

Arthur may be the story’s protagonist, but Red Dead Redemption 2 is an ensemble drama. The Van der Linde gang is more than just another clutch of scoundrels on horseback. It’s a community, a mobile encampment consisting of about 20 men, women, and children, each with their own story, desires, and role. There are villains and psychopaths, drunks and miscreants, and also dreamers, runaways, and lost souls just looking to survive. Each character has their own chances to shine, particularly for players who take the time to get to know them all. From the cook to the layabout to the loan shark, each has become real to me in a way fictional characters rarely do.

The game’s primary tale of Arthur’s journey through the gang’s final days is an extremely compelling one. The performance of Rob Clark as Arthur is a big part of that. Also at the head of the table sits Dutch van der Linde, as complex and fascinating a villain as I’ve met in a video game. Benjamin Byron Davis plays the boss man perfectly, imagining Dutch as a constantly concerned, watery-eyed killer. Time and again I was also struck by how seriously this game’s writers took these characters, themes, and subject matter. Glances of Rockstar’s satiric commentary famous from the Grand Theft Auto franchise can be seen here. But in its heart, the narrative remains about an invading modern world and a grim destruction of the old guard. And it is absolutely riveting in its execution.

See you, cowboy

See you, not-space cowboy

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an incredible achievement in open world gaming. It is an intricate machine that disguises its machinery better than just about anything else that’s come before. It toys with our suspension of disbelief about all those ones and zeroes beneath. Ultimately, it is gaming’s Pinocchio moment- blurring the puppet strings beyond belief. In addition to its lengthy and engrossing campaign, it delivers moments of emergent storytelling more compelling than anything I can ever remember playing. Graphically and aurally, it is top-to-bottom stunning. Rockstar has single-handedly thrust open-world game design to the next generation. And I refuse to ever go back.

Spider-Man: the saddest easter egg in gaming history

Spider-Man fans worldwide would love to propose to their better halves through media involving the wisecracking hero. For one fan, however, the wish came true, but it wasn’t as great as he would have liked.

The proposal

A Spider-Man fan named Tyler Schultz tweeted to Insomniac Games, the developer of the new Spider-Man game, a request. He wanted to propose to his girlfriend through the game.
The game devs eventually agreed, tweeting “Well ok then, who are we to say no to love?” They proceeded to put an easter egg in the game. In a specific place on the map, the movie theater reads, “Maddie will you marry me?”

Didn’t go as planned

However, by the time the game had been released, Tyler had already broken up with his now ex, Madison. As per the latest revelations from Tyler, she left him for his brother. All of this is taken from a video he uploaded to YouTube, which has been removed by the time of writing this.

Tyler tells Kotaku that the idea for this came to him from an idea of Madison. She wanted a proposal at a large convention, and Tyler had the idea to put it in a video game, which would basically do the same thing.

Easter egg to be changed

Since this has come to light, many gamers around the world have felt their hearts break. The art director of Insomniac has already tweeted an offer to change the sign as a patch. Tyler originally decided to keep the Spider-Man easter egg but eventually changed his mind.

Location of the easter egg

Tyler wants to change the proposal to the name of his grandmother. She was the one who gave Tyler his first Spider-Man book. She also gave him a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man’s first appearance in a comic book.

Tyler joked that the event might go down as the saddest easter-egg in gaming history.

Stay tuned for the review of the latest Spider-Man game on the PS4, to be published soon.

E3 2018: 5 great games you might have missed

It’s hard to not be distracted by E3 2018‘s huge announcements and dazzling trailers for the next installments of popular series or brand new video-game franchises. Nestled among those bright lights and earth-shattering presentations were brief looks at smaller indie titles that looked just as amazing. Here are 5 games you might have missed out on this E3.

Tunic

During the Xbox presentation at E3 2018, a little fox made a big splash. Tunic is an isometric action adventure that takes the adorable character through lush, sunlit forests and dark, mysterious ruins on a quest to unlock an enigmatic glyph language and defeat the rampaging monsters. The glyphs are even part of the game’s text, making their translation a vital part of your adventure. The calming colors and soothing soundtrack immediately make the game stand out, but don’t let them lull you into thinking Tunic will be a laidback lark around the island.

Sable

Shedworks’ Sable might be the prettiest game of E3 2018 and for a good reason. The narrative adventure from Gregorios Kythreotis and Daniel Fineberg looks like it was torn straight from an ‘80s-inspired graphic novel. The game leans on the kind of detail and simplicity you’d expect to see in The Louvre. It’s an open-world, coming-of-age tale of discovery, bound to be a true Breath of The Wild descendant that fills every corner of your body with butterflies.

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is a gun-fu ballet 2D action-platformer in which a talking banana assists a man with glowing eyes in the mass execution of geriatric gangsters. No matter how I describe it, I can’t do this game justice. Please go watch the gameplay trailer for this game and enjoy the masterful juxtaposition of thoughtful platforming and a brutal murder party. Video games, ya’ll. And kudos to Devolver for taking chances in these single-dev productions and giving platforms for these great games to shine.

The Messenger

In The Messenger you play as a young ninja tasked by the “Western Hero” to transport a scroll that is key to your clan’s survival. Meanwhile, a demon army has launched a full-fledged assault on your village. The visuals look similar to old-school Ninja Gaiden games, but The Messenger promises to expand itself from traditional platformers. There are several portals located throughout each level that seamlessly transition the game from 8 bit to 16 bit. Transporting to two different eras in gaming history serves a crucial role puzzles within the platform too.  The Messenger clearly looked to the past, but its eyes are dead-set on the future.

Daemon X Machina

Nintendo opened its big E3 presentation with a wild new mech game from Japanese developer Marvelous Entertainment. Called Daemon x Machina, the game features incredibly fast-paced robot action, along with a cel-shaded art style similar to anime. Aside from how cool it looks, it’s the pedigree behind it that promises this game’s production value. Driving forces behind the Fire Emblem, Armored Core and Macross franchises are working on this game and it shows on the gameplay. The game’s entire color palette- a mix of vivid reds, oranges, turquoise and mustard yellow- makes it stand out.