Jun 072016

Status: Finished DLC up to Maria, got tired of it, completed main game (Moon Presence ending) Most Intriguing Idea: Guns don’t kill people, they stun them. Best Design Decision: The health-regain mechanic Worst Design Decision: Vast, overwhelming grayness Summary: I bounced right off of Bloodborne‘s introductory segment—a textbook case of tedious bullshit passing as difficulty—the first time I tried it, but I returned to the game after Dark Souls 3 because the games seemed to be communicating on a mechanical level (seemingly to DS3‘s detriment). Bloodborne favors pairing conservative strategies of engagement with aggressive tactics of combat, and playing DS3 [Read more…]

A Machine Encrufted

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Oct 292013
A Machine Encrufted

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is a game I did not love. For the sort of person who thought The Chinese Room’s previous outing Dear Esther was not a game, I should note that A Machine for Pigs conforms more closely to certain norms. There are traditional puzzles, for instance, and levers you must pull to open secret doors, and scraps of diaries that you can read, and furnaces you can throw lumps of coal into, and ugly violent monsters from which you must hide lest you get knocked back (or occasionally forward) to a checkpoint. This should relieve the people who think that The Chinese [Read more…]

Apr 192012

I Am Alive is a post-apocalyptic platforming and combat game that does a few things right and many things very poorly. My upcoming second opinion on GameCritics will cover many of the mechanical and technical issues, but I didn’t have enough space to address an additional, more subtle point about the story. I Am Alive clearly wants to be a serious, adult take on post-apocalyptic survival, and in some respects it is. Unfortunately, the game’s treatment of women, among other things, seems to devolve back to the attitudes of a teenaged boy. In I Am Alive, women are helpless objects [Read more…]

The Road Course

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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…]