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alien: isolation

For years now, I’ve been frustrated by games’ fixation on an anointed hero saving the world through mass slaughter; I’ve been talking about that most frequently recently in the context of Dragon Age: Inquisition, but of course anointed murderers are all over the place, the only reason why I bring the issue up in the […]

returning to okami

What a game Okami is. I loved it when I first played it, though in recent years, I’d started to wonder: maybe that game went on a little long, maybe I was thinking about it through rose-colored memories? As it turns out: yeah, sure, the game does go on a little long, but wow what […]

dragon age inqusition: stepping back

Preamble So: after that grab bag of impressions of Dragon Age: Inquisition, what do I think about the game as a whole? One question is: what do I wish the game was? Given the importance of relationships and romances in the game, “a dating sim” is a not outlandish answer. I don’t think it’s my […]

dragon age inquisition: miscellaneous thoughts

Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s glorious, but it’s also a bit of a mess, in a AAA-ey way. Which means that I have no idea how to talk about the game in a coherent manner! So, in absence of that, a randomly ordered list of topics: The Scale of Its Story In Dragon Age II, you […]

is it time to upgrade consoles?

When the new consoles came out, I had zero interest in getting one: I hadn’t been playing AAA games much, and nothing on the new consoles caught my eye at all. And that continued for quite a long time: until I started playing Tomb Raider a few weeks ago, I hadn’t played a newish console […]

don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story

My arc of feelings about don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story is, I think, similar to that about Digital: A Love Story: I didn’t think about it too much when playing it, but then it stuck in my head, and then we had a VGHVI Symposium about it where I had […]

against saving, against aspiration

This year, I’ve been a little touchier about games than in the past. I’m tired of violence in games: yes, it’s a classic theme, rich in narrative possibilities; yes, it lends itself to a myriad of success/failure conditions that are rich in gameplay possibilities; but even so, does it have to be quite so dominant? […]

the walking dead

I don’t normally put spoiler warnings on this blog, but given how recently The Walking Dead came out, I’ll make an exception: spoilers below.   If I had to try to put a finger on what makes The Walking Dead so different from other narrative games I’ve played recently, it’s the way the game avoids […]

dragon age 2

Dragon Age 2 starts off with a frame: the Seeker interrogating Varric about Hawke’s deeds, and calling bullshit on him. So: it’s first of all a game about story. But not a story with a clear ending or a clear path; and not a story where we the player (or, for that matter, the player’s […]

triple town

Like I said yesterday, we’re in a surprising heyday for match 3 variants. Of the variants I’ve played recently, I like Triple Town quite a bit more than 10000000: I get the feeling that there’s a lot of depth to the gameplay, in the way that it invites me to plot out strategies that take […]