Latest Blog Posts

by Scott Juster

11 Jun 2015

I wasn’t expecting it, but Splatoon often feels like a game targeted at adults. Perhaps this is a shooter for someone like me; that is to say, a working stiff without the time or reflexes it takes to compete with the sharpshooter kids who weren’t alive when Quake came out.

Simplifications and small improvements to the standard multiplayer shooter conventions make Splatoon feel very modern. There are some exceptions that make Splatoon feel like it’s trying to catch up to its more militant big brothers, but the end result is something that feels strangely mature.

by G. Christopher Williams

10 Jun 2015

A selfie and a mirror have something in common. Both are objects that by reflecting the self allow one to reframe the self. They are both ways of preparing one’s face to meet the world and to show others who you intend yourself to be.

As we arrange ourselves in the mirror before we go out, so the photographer of the self prepares, poses, and retakes the photo until the digital representation of the self becomes what that photographer wants it to be—or at least the best that that individual can do at the moment.

by G. Christopher Williams

8 Jun 2015

Context matters, or so we are told.

So, this week we consider how thematic, aesthetic, and narrative contexts effect how we understand the mechanics of the games that we play.

by Nick Dinicola

5 Jun 2015

Chronicles: China is a small game relative to its franchise counterparts. It’s a 2D side-scroller, not an open world adventure, and priced at only $10, it presents itself as an even smaller package than its downloadable peers (China takes a lot of inspiration from Mark of the Ninja and that game is $15). Naturally, changes must be made to the typical Assassin’s Creed formula to fit it into this very different package, and China succeeds in this regarding its mechanics and systems (mainly by mimicking the mechanics and systems from the aforementioned Mark of the Ninja).

Yet, its narrative remains a sprawling adventure, an excuse to travel from historical locale to historical locale. It’s a narrative uniquely unsuited to the 2D side-scroller genre, and it’s interesting to watch the game bend over backwards as it tries to shove as much plot as it can between levels. China is an unfinished product, but only from a story standpoint. Its gameplay systems and art and level design are all quite well-done, but it’s clear that they were the priority. The story remains an outline that never got revised.

by Jorge Albor

4 Jun 2015

I had barely scratched the surface of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, the epic fantasy open-world game that features well over a hundred hours of action/magic/sword-fighting gameplay, when I decided to sit down and play Gwent, an optional card game within the game. The game crashed after my first win, and I haven’t been back since. I think I need a break from all the seriousness of gaming.

See, I don’t think I have had fun playing games lately, at least not the jovial free-spirited form of fun that I associate with child-like playfulness. The world of The Witcher is dark and rough. Geralt, who sounds like someone constantly waking up from a nap, lops off heads and runs quests for murderers and racists. It’s not exactly a light romp through magic-land.

//Mixed media

Marina and the Diamonds Wrap Up U.S. Tour at Terminal 5 (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Marina's star shines bright and her iridescent pop shines brighter. Froot is her most solid album yet. Her tour continues into the new year throughout Europe.

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