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by Nick Dinicola

5 Aug 2011


Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax is an effective parody of JRPGs. However, it’s also more than just a parody; it’s a full-fledged JRPG itself, one that falls into all the traps and tropes that it makes fun of and not in a clever wink-to-the-audience kind of way. The title says it all. “Super Mega Neo Climax” is obviously a joke at the expense of the often hyperbolic titles of Japanese shows, but at the same time being part of the title, this is how the game defines itself. It’s not just a parody, it is what it parodies; it’s quite literally a parody of itself.

by Jorge Albor

4 Aug 2011


Gods may shape the earth and all its rivers and streams, but do they feel responsible for the trials and fates of mortals? With so many games that bestow great power on players, games may offer a unique realm to explore the sensation of responsibility and themes of duty, guilt, and regret. From Dust, which grants players limited divine influence over land and sea, wrestles with the dual task of providing dynamic gameplay in a large scale sandbox while creating an emotionally resonant relationship between god-like players and their aboriginal flock.

by Rick Dakan

4 Aug 2011


Chapter 1 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 2 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 3 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 4 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 5 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 6 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 7 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 8 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 9 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 10 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 11 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 11 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 13 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 14 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 15 of Rage Quit is available here.
Chapter 16 of Rage Quit as a PDF.

Randal had a problem. Well, two problems. Maybe more, now that he started to think about them all. The first problem was the date on the backup disks. It wasn’t last night or even last week – it was over a month ago. He had no idea how much of the new code that had been written since then was vital for Lea to live, but he was clinging to the hope that if they uploaded the hundreds of gigs of data to somewhere that was not only readable but writable, Lea could pull the same trick she had earlier when they’d done the reboot and re-write the databases as she needed. He assumed that would work, if they ever got to that point.

by G. Christopher Williams

3 Aug 2011


This discussion of Catherine includes some mild spoilers concerning a few of the game’s early game plot twists.

Quite a few reviews and discussions of Catherine have criticized Atlus’s new title for a disconnect between its gameplay and narrative.  Indeed, a review in Game Informer called the game’s block puzzles “shamelessly gamey and [also] out of place in the narrative” (Phil Kollar, “Catherine”, Game Informer, August 2011, p. 108).

Some criticism of the gameplay is unexpected, especially given Atlus’s fairly firm commitment to RPGs (thus, a puzzle game may come as a surprise to fans).  Additionally, this game, which has so intrigued gamers and the gaming press since screenshots began surfacing of the Japanese version of the game, is one that also was greeted with some concern when discontent grew among those same players and journalists about the idea that this was just some kind of “box shoving” game.

Which, more or less, it is.  Nevertheless, to write off Catherine’s gameplay as somehow disconnected from the sexual politics that is the central concern of the game’s narrative is to miss the most obvious metaphor that the game is interested in generating between plot and game.

by Kris Ligman

2 Aug 2011


This discussion of Catherine includes major plot spoilers.

Atlus games rarely make any sort of practical sense, but they at least possess an internal logic. Towers must be ascended, dungeons must be traversed, and walls must be climbed, if not to thwart ancient eldritch horrors then to peel back the psyche of the self. In this respect, I find that Catherine performs quite admirably, even if it doesn’t venture quite as far in as I might have preferred.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

20 Questions: Rachael Yamagata

// Sound Affects

"After a four year break since her last album, Rachael Yamagata reveals a love of spreadsheets, a love for Streisand, and why it's totally OK to suck at playing guitar.

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