This week, I take aim at an easy target: myself. I recently reviewed Sonic CD and was a bit underwhelmed. However, after re-reading the piece, I noticed that most of my criticisms of Sonic CD are equally applicable to Mirror’s Edge. Both games offer fast-paced platformer experiences and both fall victim to some of the same pitfalls brought on by such a combination. I’m on record for calling Mirror’s Edge tragically under appreciated, so I thought it might be a fun thought experiment to compare the two games in hopes of discovering why Mirror’s Edge sprints where Sonic stumbles. Will I be able to defend my own opinions from myself? Let’s find out.
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I know that Lana Del Rey is receiving all kinds of critical backlash at present from the music community about her authenticity as an artist, her botched SNL performance, and the like.
However, one way or the other, “Video Games” is a rather beautiful song. It strikes a pretty, but mournful tone that is full of a melancholy, uncertain nostalgia from a twenty-something-years-old artist, and it has managed to solder itself into my consciousness pretty effectively in recent days.
I watched Drive the other night, a movie that takes place in California about a nigh unstoppable badass, a possible sociopath with an almost supernatural ability regarding cars, whose enemy is a crime lord who will stop at nothing to kill him. Before putting the DVD into the player I was wondering if it would have any thematic connection to a certain video game, namely Driver: San Francisco, a video game that takes place in California about a nigh unstoppable badass, a possible sociopath with an almost supernatural ability regarding cars, whose enemy is a crime lord who will stop at nothing to kill him.
Beyond that superficial comparison of the details, the movie and the game don’t really have much in common. Drive is a mostly slow paced affair concerned with character development and the main character’s relationships with others, punctuated by sudden violence, which brings a grim underworld into the stark light of day. Driver concerns an internal cerebral battle, in which the violence is presented as so over the top that the player is lucky that he doesn’t consider the main bad guy a Saturday morning cartoon villain. Really I could pack it in there and call it a night—save for one thing. Ryan Gosling’s character is solely defined as a person by his most potent ability: driving. He has no name, no past, and all the human contact that he has is filtered through driving. The dates that he goes out on? They’re night drives. The business ventures that serve as his main means of human contact? They are his job at a garage and stock car racing. He meets his “love interest” by helping her with her car. In an action video game, the protagonist is solely defined by the verb that the player uses to interact with the game. In the case of Driver: San Francisco and John Tanner, that verb is “drive.”
Between them, hundreds and hundreds of hours committed to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Rick Dakan, Nick Dinicola, and Mattie Brice get together to discuss the varied approaches that they took to exploring Skyrim.
The “Death From Above” level in Modern Warfare was a great, unique level, putting you in an AC-130 raining explosives down upon your enemies. Since then it’s been mimicked with varying results, and Modern Warfare 2 wisely avoided retreading this familiar ground. So it’s interesting that it makes a return in Modern Warfare 3 in the level “Iron Lady,” and it’s impressive that it’s not a repeat of what’s come before. Infinity Ward has changed how the sequence plays in subtle ways that reflect how the series has evolved.