Latest Blog Posts

by Nick Dinicola

10 Aug 2012


This post contains major spoilers for Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops: The Line is a military-themed, cover-based, third-person shooter. You’ve played this game before, many times over. However, it’s still a game worth playing. It offers a different kind of story than the one normally attached to such shooters. Rather than revel in the power fantasy of shooting guys, the characters in The Line are so disturbed by their own actions that they slowly unravel over time. Based on this description, there’s an assumed “payoff” that should come at the climax: these guys should go insane; they should cross that metaphorical line.

by Scott Juster

9 Aug 2012


I’m spending some time going through my video game backlog this summer, which is why I’ve been playing Metroid: Other M.  I understand why it wasn’t particularly well-received.  I think the game’s systems are actually pretty interesting, but I can definitely see why the third/first-person view switching and motion controls would irritate some people.  I’m much more sympathetic to criticisms of the game’s story and writing.  Abbie Heppe’s review sums up my feelings on it.  Other M is marred by a hackneyed, unimaginative script and a portrayal of Samus that characterizes her as scared and subservient.  It’s truly disheartening to see one of video games’s most competent female protagonists reduced to a child-like state of obedience.

I actually think these weaknesses are symptoms of a larger problem with the game, though.  Other M suffers because it tries to emulate some of the series’s traditions without understanding why they are important (or even if they are important at all).  The blind devotion to the accumulated lore of the Metroid saga stifles the game.

by G. Christopher Williams

6 Aug 2012


Despite games often being thought of as a mental exercpoise, they certainly have a physical component too.  We aren’t talking about how games test your reflexes, though. Instead, what we are interested in is how games simulate physical experiences and how those experiences add to our immersion in game worlds and heighten the drama in video game storytelling.

by Nick Dinicola

3 Aug 2012


Dear Esther is an unsettling game. It’s not violent or disturbing but eerie in a very memorable way. The Lost Archive DLC for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is, to my surprise, similarly unsettling. The DLC continues that game’s odd first person puzzles with narration, but this time the narrated story isn’t Desmond’s story and that completely changes the tone. Both games revolve around the same concept: reliving someone else’s memories. And both games use similar tricks to create a sense of unease and tension even when there’s no danger of failure, since the entire story revolves around stuff that’s already happened.

by Jorge Albor

2 Aug 2012


Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead has earned a bevy of critical praise—and for good reason. Sharp writing, gorgeous artwork, and Robert Kirkman’s compelling source material create a thoroughly entertaining piece of admittedly minimally interactive fiction. Although the episodic game’s completion is far from over, the current releases prove that a well told story told in an episodic format can set itself apart from both epic triple-A titles and one-off indie adventures. Yes, The Walking Dead is a well told piece of storytelling, regardless of its length, but the short episodic form make the game’s features that much more interesting and engaging.

Currently only five games make up the entire collection of Walking Dead episodes. The game follows the story of Lee Everett, a man headed to prison for murder before the zombie infestation changes everything. Early in the first episode, Lee befriends a young girl named Clementine and becomes her guardian. He also meets up with another rag tag group of survivors. As expected in post-apocalyptic fiction, the conflict within the group poses as much of a threat as the undead masses outside their hurriedly assembled shelter.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

How It Slips Away: 'The Breaking Point' Crosses Hemingway With Noir

// Short Ends and Leader

"Whether we've seen or read the story before, we ache for these sympathetic, floundering people presented to us gravely and without cynicism, even when cynical themselves.

READ the article