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by Nick Dinicola

7 Oct 2016

When I saw Don’t Breathe in theaters (which is a really good movie by the way, highly recommended), there was something wrong with the speaker on the right side of the screen. It rattled when there was a low tone, as if a screw had come loose, and the deep bass sounds shook the speaker against its supports. It wasn’t anything that really hurt the movie-going experience, but it did serve to highlight certain changes in the score.

Most of the music consisted of low drones, drawn out for such an extended period of time that I eventually ceased to notice them. They became part of the background noise, an artificial baseline for what sounds normal—a fake silence. This made the scenes of actual silence stand out, since they “sounded” impossibly quiet.

The Final Station is a game that sees horror in all forms of silence. From the literal silence of sound to the abstract silence of answers, all of its horror and suspense is built around what’s missing.

by G. Christopher Williams

5 Oct 2016

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; 
Am an attendant lord, one that will do 
To swell a progress, start a scene or two, 
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, 
Deferential, glad to be of use, 
Politic, cautious, and meticulous; 
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; 
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous— 
Almost, at times, the Fool. 
—T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Profrock”, 1915

The premise of Westworld is made clear pretty early on in its first episode. Westworld is a kind of theme park, whose visitors lay out a big chunk of change to visit. Westworld simulates the Wild, Wild West through the creation of an environment that resembles our conception of 19th century America and a host of robots that appear like the citizens of an Old West town.

by G. Christopher Williams

3 Oct 2016

The forthcoming open world game Mafia III (2K Games, 2016)

The open world game has become a mainstay in contemporary gaming over the past decade and a half. As the beginning of the holiday season for gaming begins this month and continues into November, we know we’ll be seeing plenty of them.

This week then we look back at an episode from several years ago in which G. Christopher Williams, Nick Dinicola, and Mattie Brice discussed the ins and outs of open worlds.

by Nick Dinicola

30 Sep 2016

It’s not quite October, but it’s close enough. So begins another Indie Horror Month!

There’s something wonderfully meta about a game premised on exploring the deep, dark depths of the sea, that can only be found by exploring the deep, dark depths of Steam’s discount dollar game bin. Pricing itself at a measly $1.00, Reveal the Deep willingly burdens itself with low expectations, and then effortlessly swats them away. Save for the weirdly sparse main menu, this is a game that is smartly designed and polished well beyond its price point.

by G. Christopher Williams

28 Sep 2016

An image from one of the "True" Endings of Catherine (Atlus, 2011)

So, I did it. I finally managed to complete the 2010 classic horror game Amnesia (third times a charm, I guess). Knowing, as I did, that the game had multiple endings, though, I did that gamer thing. I reloaded the game’s final sequence two more times to also witness the game’s other two alternate endings.

My first playthrough resulted in what has been dubbed the “good ending”, my second completion was the game’s “neutral ending”, and finally I finished the game up with the “bad ending”. In particular, it was this ending, which fans call the bad ending, that gave me some pause. To me from both a narrative perspective and from a personal perspective, this “bad ending” seemed like the best ending possible. It seemed to me to be the most appropriate ending to the story of the amnesiac Daniel, ending the game with a conclusion that most clearly represented his final self realization and response to regaining his memory. In that ending, Daniel essentially destroys himself, allowing the shadow that has been hunting him throughout the game to catch up to him and kill him.

//Mixed media

Oz Is Not Down Under As Everyone Thinks It Is

// Re:Print

"Frank L. Baum's Oz isn't in the land of Aussies, as one might think, but in a far more magical setting.

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