Latest Blog Posts

by Nick Dinicola

11 May 2012

Recently, a fan of the Uncharted games edited together cut scenes and bits of gameplay to create a feature length movie of each game. Personally, this is something that I’ve always wanted to see since just watching the cut scenes in order didn’t present a coherent story.

Watching the three movies, I was surprised by my reaction to the third one. I think that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the best game in the series with the best character arcs, the best writing, and the best plot. Yet, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception was the most enjoyable movie of the three. Strangely, I found it more enjoyable for the one thing that’s always better in games than in movies: its combat.

by Jorge Albor

10 May 2012

With Star Wars: The Old Republic’s subscription numbers down by roughly 400,000 and the response to Zenimax’s Elder Scrolls Online announcement tepid at best, it seems that MMOs have lost the power to grab and hold our attention. Even Blizzard’s Mists of Panderia expansion seems unlikely to draw back the millions of ex-World of Warcraft players finally liberated from their addiction. Yes, Bioware, Blizzard, and numerous other MMO publishers still turn a profit, but the allure of MMOs has faded dramatically since WoW peaked at over 12 million subscribers. Nevertheless, plenty of studios continue to wade into the genre, realizing that even minor innovations in the tired MMO formula can spark success.

by G. Christopher Williams

9 May 2012

So, yeah, we have spent the last decade or so eulogizing the adventure genre.  It’s a genre of game that really belongs to the era that saw the first waves of personal computers and that still maintained some relevance thanks to LucasArts during the 1990s.  Nevertheless, its relative absence as home consoles took hold and the integration of its elements into faster, more exciting genres like platformers and shooters have left the recent landscape of the gaming medium largely bereft of “pure” adventures.

Sure, The Longest Journey is an incredible experience and Telltale has at least made the niche audience that still feels some hunger for this style of gameplay more interesting with games of this sort coming at us through a more modern innovation, episodic, downloadable content.

by Mark Filipowich

8 May 2012

Last week, Daniel Tovrov wrote a piece for Popmatters on the cult of iconic movie “bad guys” (“It Must Feel Good to Be as Bad as Gordon Gekko”, PopMatters, 1 May 2012). Through the characters of Gordon Gekko of Wall Street, Tony Montana of Scarface, and Patrick Bateman of American Psycho, Tovrov argues that, even though these figures are cautionary tales about unchecked power, audiences come to worship them because the idea of relinquishing control to the id is more appealing than the consequences of doing so. Audiences might not want to behave like these villains or even condone what they do, but wouldn’t it be kind of nice if they could?

That left me wondering about how audiences react to similar figures in video games because in a sense they do become these villains. In games, after all,The audience takes control of the sociopath with no limits that Tavrov writes about. This isn’t something that always works all that well in games because—in theory—if the player can’t relate in some way to their on-screen avatar, then there is nothing compelling them to keep playing. But there are a few cases in which the protagonist is a true, rotten-to-the-core bad guy, and—as Tovrov says—it does feel good.

by G. Christopher Williams

7 May 2012

Awsum by

Fez is an amazing phenomenon, generating a unique community that both works together to solve its many perspective driven puzzles but also shares in its appreciation of secrecy with its and tehir desire to maintain the mystery of the game.  Keeping hush hush on anything in the Internet Age is a rather unlikely feat, but Fez enthusiasts seem committed to the cause.

This week we discuss that community, the game itself, and, well, spoil a few of those mysteries.  So, listeners, be warned (though, for a change, we actually announce when the spoiler section is coming up in deference to those committed to encouraging players to experience how Fez‘s mysteries unravel from your own perspective).

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article