Wednesday, February 11 2004
Ambivalent morality lies at the heart of what makes the Legacy of Kain series such a sophisticated work of video game art.
Tuesday, January 27 2004
It's time to head back to the '70s once more and dig up an old artifact that any gamer born in the '80s or after probably won't recall too well.
What one has to remember is that wrestling is and always has been entertainment, but what the owners, bookers, and stars never took into account was the way in which many fans would eventually wrap their lives around the very business.
While gamers have for years played historical re-enactment of former events through board games like 'Axis and Allies' and 'Three Days of Gettysburg', this is a strange time in the development of interactive 'historical' reconstruction.
While big-budget developers spend millions of dollars and employ hundreds of designers, writers and testers to perfect a single game, more and more gamers are taking it upon themselves to create games on a shoestring budget.
All that's being passed along here is Howard Dean's image, and the fact of the matter is that this exact same game could have been developed for any other candidate.
Is it still in good taste to use the war as material for popular entertainment? Does the idea of playing an infantryman mowing down rows of German soldiers seem more profane than fun in this new era of reverence?
Wednesday, January 7 2004
As the game embodies the hoopla and excitement of college sports, it equally reflects its cultural politics.
While some would say that all art is political, and video games, as an art form, must then also be political, they would have to dig awfully deep in Double Dash!! to find politics worth discussing.
It was only a matter of time before the likes of such a game was created. Something about getting to make an ass out of oneself in front of a crowd really thrills people.
If FFX-2's consideration of feminine identity is schizophrenic, so too is its game play.
While creators of war simulations often strive for painstaking realism and historical accuracy, their earnest efforts inevitably come up short. Conflict: Desert Storm II is no different.
Wednesday, December 10 2003
You can only listen to Kang shout 'It's Dim Sum time!' as he shoots up a Chinese gang so many times before you start to get uncomfortable.
While visually and aurally brilliant, the rest of the game is muddled and full of plot holes that would make Ed Wood proud.
This game seems to be in a time warp, as if EA did not receive the memo about the end of the Cold War. Yet despite a Soviet enemy, the game seems all too appropriate for our historical moment.
There's a certain perverse thrill to finally bust a move all over 'In the Navy' cranked up to a ridiculous level that really hits home if you weren't there the first time around.
Wednesday, November 19 2003
By giving us what we want (fast paced, addictive gaming), they're disconnecting us from the rest of the world and forcing us to slow down so we can remember what time is.
Instead of blowing the bejeezus out of aliens, monsters, and fellow humans, this time the player is duking it out with everything from protective programs to data corruption.
Barnum would be proud of the whole enterprise and is undoubtedly smiling from his grave.
Focuses on the ongoing war on terror and attempts to present a simulation of potential consequences.