Oct 142009

My compilation of critical writing about Grand Theft Auto IV has gone up at Critical Distance. If you have a couple of hours to devote to reading some interesting writing about the game that was supposed to change everything then hop on over and get clicking. There’s a lot to read, and I ended up including a pretty diverse set of posts, from straight essays to cross-blog dialogues, to one post from Corvus’ site that ended up in there because of a really interesting comment. Also, because the game appeals to such a broad swath of gamers, I made an [Read more…]

Apr 042009

BioShock is the rare game that really does change the way we think about video games, if for no other reason than that it has turned up as an example in almost every discussion of game style, mechanics, story, or design that has been written since its initial release in 2007. BioShock has received excessive adulation, a much-discussed backlash, and even a backlash to its backlash. Discussions of the game spawned the most popular jargon in games writing. So much has been written about BioShock that I could only put my hands on a fraction of the material without driving [Read more…]

Prince of Persia (2008)

 Critical Thinking Compilation  Comments Off on Prince of Persia (2008)
Jan 312009

The decision to completely reinvent the Prince of Persia universe, following the (mostly) widely-praised Sands of Time trilogy may have come as a surprise to many fans. Removing the time-manipulation mechanic, discarding the character of the Prince, and adopting a dreamlike, cel-shaded look all seemed like significant and perhaps inexplicable departures. Duncan Fyfe has suggested, in “Time after Time”, that the franchise needs to keep rebooting itself because the simplistic core of its story and gameplay is at odds with the need to extend its stories into trilogies and series. Perhaps it was this, perhaps Ubisoft simply felt that it [Read more…]

Dec 172008

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, mostly so I don’t have to keep digging things up. Now, finally, I’m going to try it for Bethesda’s Fallout 3, and if I like it, and other people like it, then I’ll probably start doing it for more games, new and old. What is it I’m doing? Well, look at the title. This is a critical thinking compilation.It is not a review compilation. I am not interested in anything that provides a “score”, explains what the writer loved/hated about it, or tries to tell the reader whether the game [Read more…]