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Undertale is charming in a way that I found surprisingly refreshing: it’s telling a story, the story leads off with a major conflict but almost immediately shrinks to a personal level, and then the personal level gets a lightweight touch. And that doesn’t combine to make the game feel slight: it makes the game feel […]

monument valley

Earlier this summer, I stopped my playthrough of BioShock because, frankly, I was getting angry at the game. I didn’t want to spend my time going through grandiose facilely unreflective morality plays: I wanted to play games that were more closely crafted. I’d seen screenshots of Monument Valley and heard good things about it: I […]

returning to bioshock

After my unpleasant experience with System Shock 2, I moved on to BioShock. I wasn’t worried that I might have the same problems with BioShock that I had with System Shock 2: I remembered from my prior experience that BioShock took the Easy difficulty setting seriously (enough so that I was thinking of trying Normal […]

system shock 2

I’m planning to play through all the games in both of the Shock series this year; I had a quite good time replaying System Shock, but I’d never played System Shock 2, which seems to get talked about rather more. (E.g. I’ve seen comments claiming that BioShock is in many ways an inferior remake of […]

system shock

I first played System Shock right when it was released: a friend of mine who worked at Looking Glass gave me a copy. And it’s apparently lodged itself in my brain—over the summer, I wandered across some footage of the game, and it all came back, almost two decades later. So I figured I should […]

playing pc games on the tv

I recently watched a video about the System Shock and BioShock games, and I was surprised how nostalgic the System Shock footage made me. I’d been tentatively thinking that I should play through the entire BioShock series (I’ve only played through the first game in the series), but now I’m thinking I should start off […]

mass effect 3

The first two Mass Effect games were among my favorites of this console generation. Despite that, I’d been rather ambivalent about the approaching third installment in the series for the last year, ever since Mass Effect 2‘s Arrival DLC. Arrival took a series that had always allowed me to express optimism about doing the right […]

mysims agents

MySims Agents is a delightful video game. The presentation is charming; the puzzle solving is lightweight enough to never be frustrating while being engaging enough to keep me happily playing through it; several of the NPCs are amusingly quirky; one of the minigames is surprisingly tricky; the mixture of your main character’s journey plus the […]

yakuza 2

There was a time towards the end of 2008 when it seemed like everybody in my twitter feed was talking about Yakuza 2. It was apparently a Shenmue-style action RPG (also published by Sega), but (as Steve Gaynor so eloquently outlined in the 2008 holiday confab) filled with delightfully quirky side missions, missions that added […]

juvenile and adolescent games

When Michael reviewed MySims Agents, I knew I had to get it for my daughter for Christmas, and my hopes for the game weren’t misplaced: it looks both fun and charming, she loved it, my wife blazed right through it, and I’ll give it a spin as soon as I’m done with Mass Effect 2. […]

combat fatigue

I recently replayed BioShock‘s first couple of hours as part of a VGHVI gaming session. And I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting those scenes with the perspective that I’d gained playing through the game, and gaining new insights by listening to the other participants. But I was also sad, especially in the initial bathysphere descent. That descent […]

vintage game club updates

A couple of pieces of Vintage Game Club-related news: We’ve just started a playthrough of BioShock; we’ll follow this up with a playthrough of BioShock 2 when the sequel launches. The less-than-vintage nature of those games accurately suggests that we’re considering changes; we’ve opened up a discussion thread where we welcome your suggestions.


I was intending for BioShock to be one of the first games I played on my 360 but, well, one thing after another came up, and it took me a couple of years to get around to the game. In the mean time, it has garnered some amount of discussion, so I’m fairly sure I […]

what game should I play next?

At any given time, I’m normally in the middle of one game that I don’t let Miranda watch; but that slot in my schedule has been open ever since I finished No More Heroes. I was planning to finally get around to playing BioShock, but recent events have rendered my 360 unavailable. Any suggestions? My […]

curse you, brainy gamer!

I’ve been going through the back episodes of the Brainy Gamer podcast, and I must say that I am extremely annoyed with Mr. Abbott. The problem is his game recommendations: he has the most infuriating way of talking about games that I was aware of and favorably disposed to and turning them into games that […]

half-life 2

I managed to avoid playing any of the Half-Life games in the past: I’ve been almost exclusively a console gamer since 1998, and the few computer games I’ve played since then are ones that can be played with a touchpad (my hands and mice really don’t get along), which pretty much means that PC FPSes […]