Choosing what to complain about

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Feb 052010

My review of The Saboteur has gone live at (spoiler alert: I really liked it!) after a modestly torturous rewrite. It’s a vastly larger game than any I’ve reviewed before at that site, which led to an enormous imbalance between my notes and the size of the review. I spent almost 48 hours in the world of The Saboteur, which means I have many pages of notes that had to be boiled down significantly before I could get anywhere near a readable size. Games like this are so large that reviews could easily become a ponderous, ten-page affair, and [Read more…]

Storytelling in Silent Hill

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Jan 192010

My review of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories went up last week at, and I really regret that I had to pan it. The game had some good ideas buried in it, but the overall experience was just miserable, oscillating wildly between deadly boredom and screaming frustration. I covered most of the gameplay issues I had in the review, but I only lightly touched on the positives and negatives of the game’s storytelling. My reason for this is that it’s difficult to talk about what’s really going on in the story without revealing the game’s central twist. I think it’s [Read more…]

Oct 182007

James Sunderland arrives at the deserted town of Silent Hill. He has received a letter from his wife, Mary, though she has been dead for three years, stating that she will meet him there. As he searches for her, he finds others like himself—others who have been called to the town, even though there should not be, can not be, anything there for them. He is tempted by a woman named Maria who looks and sounds like his wife, but in personality is everything she is not. He is pursued by a monstrous, invincible symbol of sexual violence, which repeatedly [Read more…]