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taking away bending

In the media I interact with, there’s a lot of killing. In games, it’s especially prominent, because killing is frequently used as a core mechanic for non-narrative reasons. (That’s not the only reason for the prominence of killing in games, of course: the desire of many games to appeal to an extremely skewed view of […]

super mario 65

The main question that I’d like to understand better in the current Vintage Game Club playthrough of Super Mario 64 is how the game fits into the taxonomy of the genre of platformers. Or, indeed, whether it fits into the taxonomy of that genre: while, at the time it was released, Super Mario 64 seemed […]

the “i wish” gameplay segment

At GDC this year, Randy Smith recommended that game developers provide a “game-toy” as their players’ initial experience with their game: strong, juicy affordances with low pressure. Which is great advice, but is of course not all that you need: as Smith also comments, we want players to be able to enjoy the game for […]

metroid prime 3: corruption

Whenever I start a new Nintendo game in an established series, I do so assuming I’m going to be disappointed. Their core series made the leap brilliantly to 3D, opening up gameplay in ways that I’d never imagined. And then, with one idiosyncratic exception, Nintendo has mined that gameplay in subsequent installments, not adding anything […]

twilight princess

I just finished the latest Zelda. Summary: a good game, quite well done. But not a great game, for two reasons: the previous games in the series, and a certain other game in the genre that came out the same year and that is much much better. The good: it’s a Zelda game, with all […]

metroid prime 2: echoes

Today’s video game is Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The first Metroid Prime game was my favorite Gamecube game, and was a real eye-opener for me. It was my introduction to the Metroid series, so I’d never seen its particular brand of exploration before. Games in the series take place in one big world; it’s divided […]