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by Rick Dakan

24 Feb 2011


Only two weeks! Only two weeks until a new Bioware RPG comes out, and I can sink dozens of hours into another sprawling, epic narrative and then do it again for another dozens of hours so I can see what I missed the first time through. These are the games that I game for and even did the usually unthinkable for me: I pre-ordered the limited, special, fanboy edition of Dragon Age II. Despite it’s somewhat clunky combat and less than stunning animations, I loved the first Dragon Age, playing through the whole main game twice, including the massive Dragon Age: Awakenings mega-DLC pack both times. I’d also devoured the earlier small DLC additions, most of which added content to the core game. But then came Mass Effect 2 and other, alarmingly non-Bioware made games, and I lost track of my old friend.

But with just a month to go before new, Dragon-sequel goodness, I thought that I’d catch up on what I’ve missed since I last slipped that disk into my Xbox. I wanted to both reacquaint myself with the game and its story and stoke the fires of my own anticipation for the coming glories. And so I played them all, and now, depending on what your own preferences are, you don’t have to. In some cases, that’s my recommendation exactly.

by G. Christopher Williams

23 Feb 2011


Economies are based on need. Need leads to demand. And what can be more needful than addiction?

The historical and social context of economics simulator High Tea is pretty precisely clarified in its opening text, which describes the circumstances surrounding the game: “1830, Britain is in the grip of a mass addiction to a foreign drug. TEA!”

by Kris Ligman

22 Feb 2011


It’s about time I came clean with you all: I know next to nothing about Nintendo.

My first gaming console as a child was a Sega CD, and I say that specifically because it took 24 hours or so for my father to realize that he needed to go out and buy a Genesis for it to work. He’s been enamored with computers for as long as I can remember and was especially interested in CD technologies of that time period. He couldn’t really care less about games, but full motion video cutscenes, that excited him. Fortunately, it excited his four children as well.

I couldn’t tell you the specific rationale for it now (though it was probably monetary), but my family remained a single-brand household for a long time after that. We got a lot of use out of that Genesis. We even had a 32x! And though no American child can grow up completely without exposure to Nintendo products thanks to classmates and popular media, my siblings and I were all squarely and firmly in Sega camp, back when there indeed were such camps and a blue hedgehog led one of them.

by G. Christopher Williams

21 Feb 2011


More than just a video game, Electronic Arts has given Dead Space the full transmedia treatment, shipping movies, comics, and spin off titles with the same grisly themes. In anticipation of a discussion of the release of Dead Space 2, the Moving Pixels podcast explores the universe of Dead Space as a media phenomenon. 

Is this all about marketing or do these additional properties flesh out the mythos or enliven the concepts of this action/horror hybrid?

by Nick Dinicola

18 Feb 2011


Modern horror games have it rough. Not only is it hard for anything not obviously in the survival horror genre to be accepted as a true horror game, but even those games that do classify as survival horror have to face a discerning public that’s very picky about any mechanical flaws or inconsistencies. Unfortunately, one of those technical and artistic challenges is also a major staple of the subgenre, creating scary enemies that you can run from.

While I don’t believe that combat intrinsically lessens the terror an enemy can evoke, there’s no denying that weakness is scary. Going up against an enemy so overwhelming that your only recourse is to flee is frightening, but if you can successfully escape, then one has to wonder: just how dangerous is this enemy really? Running away time and time again makes even the scariest, most disturbing monster look stupid and non-threatening.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Sugar Hill' Breaks Out the Old-School Zombies

// Short Ends and Leader

"Sugar Hill was made in a world before ordinary shuffling, Romero-type zombies took over the cinema world.

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