Immersive Shooters, Short Take  Comments Off on F.E.A.R.
Mar 022016

Status: Campaign completed Most Intriguing Idea: that enemy AI can be good Best Design Decision: that AI, man Worst Design Decision: the evil spirits Summary: F.E.A.R. is a dumb name for a game, and the story that goes with that name is dumb. I want to get that out of the way at the start. The scenario is absurd, the plot is ludicrous, the characters only rarely manage to gain even two dimensions, and the whole thing is written as sloppily as can be. HOWEVER I did not come here for a great story. I came here to slo-mo shotgun [Read more…]

Feb 222016

Status: Completed, all secrets found Most Intriguing Idea: Yarny’s principal handicap is also a key to its mobility Best Design Decision: The versatile knotting mechanic. Worst Design Decision: That field with the birds oh my god Summary: Ever since one of its designers showed up to E3 with a little yarn doll much of the gaming world has been awaiting Yarny, although some writers fervently wished for the little character Yarny to burn in hell. I occasionally shared the sentiment as I was playing. One problem I often had was being unable to tell that an object on the screen [Read more…]

Feb 172016
One Hand Clapping

A curious feature of games that seem to be the least bit intelligent is that they inspire people to believe that one True Meaning™ can be found in them. It’s a little bizarre. Games, like any work of art, tend not to be about One Thing; that’s not how creation works. Any work of art contains multitudes, not only because the creators have more than one idea in their heads but also because the interpreters are of wildly divergent backgrounds. Regardless, the temptation remains, especially when one auteur is primarily (and often erroneously) identified with the work. This approach has [Read more…]

Jan 282016

Status: Gold in every Grand Prix through 150cc Most Intriguing Idea: This far in, there’s not much intrigue left. Best Design Decision: Changes to the blue shell Worst Design Decision: Character select screen Summary: Mario Kart 8 isn’t a game I would be likely to buy, but it came with my WiiU so I played it anyway. And look, at this point Mario Kart is pretty much a known quantity. It’s a kart racer that’s built on two main principles: A) People who are good at Mario Kart will do well. B) People who are not good at Mario Kart [Read more…]