Wednesday, June 30 2004
Its erasure of racism, its fetishization of an imagined black cultural aesthetic, its glorification of excessive materialism, its celebration/demonization of black athletes as focused solely on bling-bling, and its treatment of women as sexual objects of possible acquisition, are all troubling.
No video game has ever, or will ever, accurately reproduce the pool hall atmosphere. Not even the best of them. And Lightning Break is no different.
Nintendo has gone the purists' route with this title and has left everything at its mediocre best.
Wednesday, June 16 2004
It can't be argued that Syberia or its sequel are flawless masterpieces the way films like Dr. Strangelove or The Sweet Hereafter are, but in the history of gaming they stand out as pinnacles of the form.
KOTOR is like watching a 40-hour Star Wars movie that you get to play a part in. Plus, George Lucas didn't mess this one up.
The Frank's Adventure series recasts digital sex in a satirical light, exposing all of its one night stand dementia in bright colors, sleazy music, and addictive gameplay.
It's quite thrilling to make your dream character and then watch him do battle with the baddies. Who hasn't ever wanted to live out a super hero fantasy or two?
Wednesday, May 19 2004
Kids these days may seriously not have the pleasure of experiencing the whole wonderful mystery of why pinball carries a far greater pleasure than any video game I can name.
Uplink is too far removed from reality to provide more than an extremely crude representation of hacking. It does do a very good job, though, of establishing the atmosphere.
If Resident Evil scares us with visions of a future driven by profits at the expense of human life, Siren frightens us with the possibility of a return to a violent past based around repulsive ancient beliefs.
Maybe 155 years after the San Francisco gold rush, cowboys and Westerns just aren't relevant anymore.
Wednesday, May 5 2004
Thanks to the many editions of Trivial Pursuit, everything from Friends to the Holy Bible has been trivialized for your gaming pleasure.
In case you think this is simply a bleeding heart exercise to pity the poor, in Real Lives even the more fortunate people in the world are bound by their circumstances.
To complete the game's missions, you literally have to think like a hitman.
Wednesday, April 21 2004
The heart and soul of Madness is homicide, and lots of it. It is as basic and primal as a video game can get.
The good news for the uninitiated out there is that there is still a solid game underneath all the extras.
While certainly reflecting today's world of global capitalism within baseball, the ubiquitous advertisements are both overwhelming and bothersome.
Americans lack any real connection to mythology in the classical sense. All our stories of heroes and monsters -- religious and mythological -- are imports.
Wednesday, April 7 2004
Unlike other sports games and America's sports pages, Top Spin doesn't completely erase women from its sports world. Yet their presence is to fulfill male fantasies as sexualized commodities.
This action-RPG plays like a 'greatest hits' package of fantasy RPG elements, with a couple of brand new tracks thrown in to entice the fans who've heard the classics a million times.