Jun 282011
 

This past weekend marked an interesting turn in the NASCAR racing season, by which I mean a right turn. Both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Tour visited road courses, a rare departure for a racing brand built on ovals. The weight, center of gravity, and wheelbase of a stock car can make even the ovals difficult to drive at racing speeds, so even though the road courses make use of the same basic skills, they pose a unique and difficult challenge, so much so that it was once typical to see “ringers” with road racing expertise make an appearance at [Read more...]

Feb 202010
 

In Suda 51’s No More Heroes, I loved the city of Santa Destroy. That’s a controversial position, because Santa Destroy bored almost everyone else to tears — the excision of the city from the sequel, Desperate Struggle, was met with almost unanimous praise. Judged strictly by its impact on the gameplay, the town had few redeeming features, and there’s not much point in disputing that. But Santa Destroy had value to No More Heroes in other ways. In excising it, the sequel lost something. So, what was wrong with Santa Destroy? Part of the challenge it posed for players was [Read more...]

Jul 282009
 

I finish, or get finished with, more games than I write long essays about here or elsewhere. Sometimes I’m just not inspired to write a detailed critique, other times I’m just not inspired at all. This being the internet, and me being a blogger, however, I thought I would try to put together a short, snappy format for conveying my thoughts on the games I’m done with. Title: Flower, Sun and Rain Final Status: Finished Put this on your box: This game is some tedious, boring bullshit. Most Intriguing Idea: By using the guidebook as the key to almost every [Read more...]

May 072008
 
It's just lines and colors

Anyone picking up No More Heroes will wonder just what the hell it is that he’s playing, because like creator Suda Goichi’s previous game killer7 it defies easy categorization. That prompts a question, though: why should we want to categorize these games? Does figuring out what bin to drop a game into make the world easier to interpret, or do our categories, and the conventions that come with them, impose meaningless constraints on our appreciation and enjoyment of art? Early and late in No More Heroes Suda breaks the fourth wall—a sign that the game is trying to say something [Read more...]