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by Nick Dinicola

23 Sep 2011


Last week I wrote about the differences between the Gears of War games and the books. The latter succeed with characterization because we’re allowed inside the characters’ heads. In the games, we only see their tough, impersonal personas, which makes it hard to care about them.

But this is not to say that the books are above any criticism. In fact, they’re missing a very important element of the Gears universe: action (something which the games happen to excel at). The fact that both pieces of media complement each other so well makes me wonder if this is just a coincidence or some kind of expertly planned transmedia formula.

by Scott Juster

22 Sep 2011


Spoiler warning: This post contains details about Catherine’s plot points and ending.

In many ways, Catherine is a game that speaks directly to a social subsection in which I find myself: a group of childless men straddling the divide between Generation X and the Millenials, trying to sort out their personal and professional lives in an uncertain world.  Many folks have written about Vincent’s generally unsympathetic character traits and the game’s clumsy handling of player choice.  I agree with these criticisms, but most of my discomfort with the game stemmed from broader, more personal issues.

by G. Christopher Williams

21 Sep 2011


This discussion of Dead Island contains several major spoilers of the game’s main plot points.  You have been warned.

After all of the buzz following the release of its often maligned, but more often admired trailer (see below), I have cynically assumed that Dead Island, as a game, would probably not share the emotional weight of said trailer.  And I was more or less right.

by Kris Ligman

20 Sep 2011


I took a stab at The Artist is Present this afternoon, after reading a write-up about it on IndieGames a few days previously. Between the austere Sierra-style graphics and idiosyncratic premise (a “queue simulator,” as IndieGames called it), it seemed like promising blog material.

Unfortunately, 2:30pm on the West coast of the United States is 5:30pm on the East coast, which is where the game is set. Located within the Museum of Modern Art, the game keeps the same hours that the museum does, or so it might appear at first. After squinting at my game for a few minutes, seeing if it was possible to walk around the building (it’s not), and debating the merits of waking up at 7:00 in the morning on my day off just to play a flash game, I tried adjusting my computer’s clock.

by Aaron Poppleton

20 Sep 2011


My barbarian is doomed.  He is absolutely—without a doubt—going to die one day.  I don’t know how or even when (though I have a few guesses as to when), but sooner or later the sword of Damocles suspended above his shaven head is going to drop and that will be that.  I will not have a barbarian anymore because my barbarian will be dead. 

When his end comes—and it will come—and probably before I’m finished playing with him, he will not show up in camp.  He will not be able to revive his companion, run for his corpse to get his equipment back, and continue the fight.  He will just be dead.  This is a difficult thought for me to process, although as soon as I see my barbarian’s health start to drop I panic, start chugging potions, and scramble to open a town portal to escape the fight so I can regroup.  So at least some part of me realizes that there’s a lot at stake here—nothing less than an investment of time that is slowly creeping higher and higher to an inevitable moment when it will all turn out to have been wasted as my barbarian’s corpse rots on the floor of some dungeon.

I know that my barbarian is going to die because if I’m perfectly honest, I am terrible at playing Diablo II.

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"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.

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