Wednesday, April 21 2004
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.
With its Middle Eastern setting, Sands of Time deserves credit for allowing Western gamers the chance to experience a different cultural atmosphere.
No longer are your virtual enemies content to die one by one, lining up for death like lemmings overlooking a cliff.
Wednesday, March 24 2004
It certainly puts to rest the myth that online gaming consists of nothing but first person shooters and MMORPGs.
The plot is markedly less clichéd than that of The Getaway, which steals relentlessly and less interestingly from Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino's films.
There's a difference between sticking to the formula and adhering to it as dogma. Super Metroid greatly expanded the breadth and depth of both the original setting and Samus herself.
Wednesday, March 10 2004
It seems as though Harry winks and nods at the camera during every cutscene, as if he knows he's in a game and not on some dangerous expedition. Moments like that really pull you out of what should be an immersive experience.
While artists and programmers continue to push the limits on graphics, sound, level design, and animation, video game writing is lagging far behind in terms of innovation.
Electronic Arts has always given a true feeling of insane speed in these games, if nothing else.
From the first minute of the opening cinematic, when our protagonist chases down a plane on foot and then jumps on to catch it, you know that any notion of 'realism' will be taking a back seat in this game.
Wednesday, February 25 2004
You won't find spectacularly original gameplay here, but in a game where you actually get to drive Homer's dream car, it's hard to complain.
So many games these days feature the authorities often portrayed as the bad guys as much as the criminals are. And I suppose the same could be said for this title.
It's a little like each person holding a separate piece of a treasure map -- the best way to success is for everyone to let each other know what's going on.
Character development in this kind of 'role-playing' game is not so much found in the skills and abilities of the characters, but largely occurs through looting and accruing more weapons and armor.
The situation feels so familiar, one almost expects Osama bin Laden's bearded mug to flash across the floating Big Brother video screens that pervade Hillys.
Wednesday, February 11 2004
hack reminds us that we live in worlds within worlds in a newly unfolding virtual culture, but that culture is not separate from reality -- it is a part of our reality.
While encouraging taunting, through bonus points and rewards, the game seems to police this practice as well.
It's no longer about style vs. substance; in this game, style is substance.