Sep 082011
The crying game

At ihobo yesterday, Chris Bateman renewed his argument that game mechanics don’t (or can’t) make you cry. As he puts it in his original post on this subject from 2008: This is the nub of the issue here: a story can make you cry by empathising with the protagonist (or another character), but a game (when viewed as a formal system) cannot do this. It follows that the only way that a videogame can make you cry is by using narrative tools that have nothing to do with games as formal systems whatsoever. Although I think there’s something to this, [Read more…]

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

 Role Playing Games, Short Take  Comments Off on Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Nov 102009

Final Status: Story finished. Put this on your box: I HAVE CHORTLES! Most intriguing idea: Leveling up your arch-nemesis to defeat your other arch-nemesis. Best design decision: Constantly layering something new and interesting on the core mechanics. Worst design decision: The unbalanced dodge mechanic and the tedious temporary invincibility in the boss fights. Summary: Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story follows an established pattern for the Super Mario role-playing games. It combines light platforming action with turn-based battles that are supplemented with timing-based action to improve damage or defense. This has worked before and it works here, creating a perfectly [Read more…]