I spent a good chunk of last week at E3, where I was inundated by games striving for authenticity. Most of these were shooters, most of them boasted impressive motion capture and textures, and most of them started to blend together after a while. In between explosions, I kept thinking about Botanicula (a humble point and click adventure game from Amanita Design) and how much more alive it seems than many of these photorealistic spectacles.
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When I was growing up, there was no need for the “J” in JRPG. There were RPGs from Japan, many of which featured similar conventions and drew from many of the same tropes, but only recently has the JRPG become a genre of its own. And for Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and their imitators—for that is what one means by JRPG—the new classification has done a lot of harm. I remember seeing the Squaresoft logo on the corner of a game in a store and knowing with certainty that that game was worth a shot.
I was considerably shocked the year that I bought my Xbox 360 and realized that that rule no longer applied. In fact, anymore, when a game pays homage to the glory days of Japanese RPGs, it is nearly guaranteed to be obtuse, frustrating, and awkward in every way. While there are many reasons for the fall of the JRPG, the main one is that they’re still designed for consoles over 10 years old.
This week the Moving Pixels podcast crew takes a look at the latest adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.
While the familiar trappings of a zombie-filled setting might be at risk of oversaturating the American media landscape, Telltale’s latest episodic adventure game proves this video game genre might not quite as dead as some have pronounced it to be.
The third and final day of E3 2012 has come to a close. Some highlights include plenty of hands on time with the Wii U, new information about Assassin’s Creed 3, and the balance between creation and destruction on the show floor. It’ll take a few more days for everything to truly sink in, but until then, here are some more impressions:
There’s a lot of good writing in Max Payne 3, from its handling of character arcs to Max’s self deprecating narration. I love the moments when Max stops narrating with a noir flourish and just calls someone an asshole. It’s a way of representing his exhaustion though the narration: he’s too tired to think of a metaphor. But what really stands out to me are the seemingly throwaway lines from minor characters that give those characters depth despite their little screen time.