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by Nick Dinicola

8 Jul 2016

I like a lot of mobile games. I’ve become the mobile-game guy among my friends and at Moving Pixels, but even I have my prejudices: I hate match-three mobile games.

I hate how they’re always timed, rushing to you make a match so that you can never really think about or plan your actions. I hate how cluttered they are, with so many different symbols in play on a little grid that it becomes hard to find a match. My eyes just glaze over the mess of icons until time runs out, and I fail at whatever I was trying to do. I hate how abusive they often are. The issues I mentioned before abuse my time and efforts, while microtransactions for special items abuse my wallet. Sometimes these two things work together, like when a level becomes impossible to beat unless you pay for point-boosting items. Even the supposedly great games like You Must Build A Boat just get on my nerves .

by Nick Dinicola

1 Jul 2016

I totally dismissed Doom before it came out. I took one look at it during Bethesda’s E3 press conference and knew it would be a disaster of a game. I was, perhaps, a bit presumptuous. As it turns out, Doom is a better game than it logically has any right to be, and one of the ways in which it’s so surprisingly, shockingly good is in its characterization of the so-called “Doom Gu,,” the faceless, voiceless, hyper-violent hero of the game. What’s amazing is that he’s still a faceless, voiceless, hyper-violent hero, but not in the bland, generic way that defined early shooters. He’s been given just enough background and a personality to elevate him from “generic” to “iconic”.

by Nick Dinicola

24 Jun 2016

Combat is expressive. You can tell a lot about a character based on the way that he fights. I wrote about this idea some time ago regarding Assassin’s Creed. I considered how the fighting styles of Altair and Ezio changed over time and how those changes reflected on each character.

In retrospect, I wrote that piece based on an assumption that went unspoken at the time. Combat is at its most expressive when it changes. Seeing Ezio’s techniques, arsenal, and skills evolve over the course of three games was far more interesting than simply analyzing Altair based on one game.

by Nick Dinicola

17 Jun 2016

Stealth has never been a word associated with the Uncharted series. When I think about Nathan Drake’s adventures, I think more about spectacle and swashbuckling and stunning scenery. Yet Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End makes stealth combat just as viable, if not more so, than the typical running and gunning action of past games. It’s a surprising addition to the game, and it’s a surprisingly fun addition to the game, but it’s also, for me personally, kind of an unwelcome addition to the game.

by Nick Dinicola

10 Jun 2016

Tomb Raider Go is a mobile game that ignores all the blockbuster action of its console cousins in favor of clever puzzles. The Lara Croft in Tomb Raider Go is not a survivor or warrior, she’s… well… a tomb raider. It’s a wonderful alternative to the console game and received quite a bit of praise upon its release. Uncharted: Fortune Hunter is a similar game with a similar goal, but it hasn’t received anywhere near the amount of acclaim as Lara’s game. Part of this is likely due to its nature as a tie-in game with the recently released Uncharted 4, whereas Tomb Raider Go stood confidently as its own game. However, it’s also likely that Fortune Hunter has gotten less notice because the puzzles in it feel very different. 

Tomb Raider Go is arguably the better designed puzzle game, but Fortune Hunter better captures the tone of Uncharted—a spirit of improvisation and adventure—that is missing from Lara’s game. It’s all about the puzzles.

//Mixed media

How Röyksopp's 'Melody A.M.' Brought Electronica Into the Mainstream

// Sound Affects

"With their debut, the Norwegian duo essentially provided the everyman's guide to electronic music.

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