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by G. Christopher Williams

11 Apr 2016


Hardcore Henry (STX Entertainment, 2016)

Since Hardcore Henry released over the weekend (a film that I will be writing about later this week), it seemed that it might be apropos to re-run an older episode of the Moving Pixels podcast about the ubiquity of the shooter in American gaming.

Wolfenstein and Doom made them essential, but the shooter has been with us almost since the advent of the video game. Space Invaders, Contra, light gun games, the variations on how we can murder pixels on a screen seems nearly limitless.

by Nick Dinicola

8 Apr 2016


There are quite a few hacking minigames in Pony Island, so many that I’m not sure if this is best described as a hacking/puzzle game or a platformer/parody game or something in-between or encompassing all of those things. But for the purposes of this post, all I care about is the hacking gameplay. Thanks to some surprisingly clever uses of art, Pony Island makes the same puzzle mechanics feel like actual software coding and also like a children’s educational game.

by Boen Wang

5 Apr 2016


I’ve been playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and thinking about the legend of Zelda—the central narrative of good and evil and light and dark that these games keep retelling. Wind Waker opens with a cutscene that summarizes the series’ recurring myth. Once, the land of Hyrule contained great power in the form of the Triforce. An evil man named Ganondorf stole that power for himself but was defeated by a young boy clothed in green. The young boy went away. The evil man came back. During the course of the game, it’s revealed that Hyrule was submerged beneath a flood in an attempt to seal away evil forever.

It didn’t work, of course. If evil was completely banished, there would be no game to play and no story to retell. Wind Waker’s intro cutscene presents Hyrule’s history as a sort of folktale, as if the story had been passed down from generation to generation. But you, the player, know the story. You’ve lived the story. If you played through Ocarina of Time, you got to travel across Hyrule and defeat Ganondorf yourself.

by G. Christopher Williams

4 Apr 2016


Following a year of availability in early access, Darkest Dungeon was released on Steam in January 2016. Set in a Lovecraftian universe, the game is about twisted family lineages, unspeakable and otherworldly horrors, and the cruel psychological and physical consequences of attempting a campaign against unwinnable opposition.

This week we discuss our own sadistic and masochistic experiences in the Darkest Dungeon and how penalties and pain became a source of twisted pleasure in games like this one.

by Nick Dinicola

1 Apr 2016


SUPERHOT (SUPERHOT Team, 2016)

Action in an action movie moves fast. Games have always tried to emulate such action by moving just as fast while demanding that the player learn to keep up. Fighting games, like Mortal Kombat X or Street Fighter V, demand that players learn an intricate series of button combinations and also be dexterous enough to input them on a moment’s notice. A character-action game like God of War or Devil May Cry demand of us the exact same thing, but against AI opponents instead of other players. Action demands speed, usually.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Moving Pixels Podcast: Our Own Points of View on 'Hardcore Henry'

// Moving Pixels

"Hardcore Henry gives us a chance to consider not how well a video game translates to film, but how well a video game point of view translates to film.

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