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by Nick Dinicola

21 Sep 2012


Driver: San Francisco has a story that shouldn’t work. It shouldn’t be interesting. It shouldn’t be compelling. It shouldn’t be as intriguing as it is. It should be boring. That’s because the game sets up a world in which our actions don’t matter.

The game takes place in the mind of John Tanner. While chasing Jericho, an escaped convict, he gets in a car accident that leaves him comatose. As he lies in the hospital, a nearby television reports the news, and that information seeps into his mind where we get to play as a kind of ghost-detective-driver. Tanner then tries to solve game’s big crime mystery, but there’s no escaping the fact that nothing he does really matters. He uses his ghost power to jump into the bodies of various citizens, helping them with their car related problems, but these people don’t actually exist. Nothing exists. Driver is a story without stakes, yet it still works.

by Nick Dinicola

14 Sep 2012


I liked Transformers: Fall of Cybertron but probably for very different reasons than most people. I’ve never seen the Transformers show. My only knowledge of the franchise comes from the Michael Bay movies, and those take place in a kind of alternate universe. Much of the hype and praise for the High Moon developed Transformers games stems from their attention to detail and canonical link to the original cartoon. So how do they appeal to those with no knowledge of the cartoon? As it turns out, Fall of Cybertron might work best as a standalone story. The less you know about Transformers in general, the more dramatic the game becomes.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron tells a very somber tale. It’s a story about a civil war fueled by such unrelenting hate that it literally drains the planet of its energy, and even as the world falls apart around them, both sides desperately try to kill each other. What makes it so somber is its willingness to kill off major character on both sides of the conflict.

by Nick Dinicola

7 Sep 2012


After almost a year of ignoring the service (no thanks to the dashboard update), I finally went back to the Xbox Indie space to binge on demos and dollar games. There are quite a few excellent and interesting games there. Here are three of them that stood out.

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.

by Nick Dinicola

31 Aug 2012

Broken Sword: Nico and George by
~isolde

Revolution Software recently started a Kickstarter to raise money to make a new Broken Sword game. It has been five years since the last official game, and as a relatively new fan of the series, I’m glad I didn’t have to wait those five years. But neither did any other fan, not really, not if you were dedicated/obsessed enough to find the fan-made Broken Sword 2.5.

by Nick Dinicola

24 Aug 2012


I like Hybrid, the new downloadable shooter for Xbox LIVE, but from the very beginning, something about it bothered me. The shooting mechanics were fine, the equipment was interesting, the various modes were all fun and different, but there was something about it, something at its very core that just nagged at the back of my mind and made it hard to play for an extended period of time. It was only after trying to explain this feeling to a friend that I was able to finally latch onto the issue: Hybrid combines the controls of a cover-based shooter with the pacing of a first-person shooter—an awkward combination since the two genres encourage conflicting behavior.

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