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Lou Chou's blog

6:37 PM on 09.14.2012

Video Game Heroes You Wouldn’t Want to Be Your Dad

Those who’ve been gaming for as long as the readers of this likely have, will have grown up basically hero-worshiping video game characters. Even beating a dick to one or two, if you’re that way inclined. These pixelated demigods who, in any other context, would be hospitalized and given shock therapy, etched out a place in our impressionable little hearts. To a select few the likes of Gordon Freeman or Cloud Strife were father figures – strong men who did good! REAL good! But what would become of these characters had that fantasy gone one step further, and one of them actually WERE your father? Random, stupid sentence leading into the bulk of this article…


Where better to start than with this fat fuck. He fails the fatherhood test on a number of points. Firstly, he tells you he’s going to work, you think he’s going to be plumbing, but no, he’s a damn liar. This douche is actually fucking off to a Mushroom Kingdom to chase some fine young piece of tail who he’d never get a bang out of for all the coins in World 2-1. Beyond his pathetic commitment to this cause, the guy’s also disgustingly overweight, so don’t you dare think about playing catch in the park or going swimming with old daddy Mario! Not unless you want to witness him indulge in a crippling addiction to mushrooms just to be able to keep up with you.


I imagine Duke being the kind of dad who takes his 12-year old son to strip clubs, and hires him a whore for his 18th birthday. The kind of dad who lets Duke Jr. pour bourbon on his cereal, and fire his pistol into oncoming traffic. Duke would probably insist on his son wearing sunglasses at all times, permanently skewing the child’s sensory development. The result of a Duke Nukem fatherhood is the absolute corruption of a young life, kind of like if Amy Winehouse was male, with a blonde buzz cut.


So, in some respects, the guy WOULD make a cool dad. Super spy-come-mercenary who’s seemingly indestructible. But that’s just the surface layer. To be the son of Solid Snake, you need to know your roots. And like any Kojima-inspired back story, those roots are so infuriatingly complex that you’ll likely just file for emancipation at the first opportunity. You’ve got crazy uncle Liquid Snake, who’s actually Liquid Ocelot, who IS your uncle, but is actually a clone of your dad. Who, in turn, is a clone of your grandad, who didn’t seem to even want his sons, but whose wife did. And then somewhere along the line you’ve got this other uncle who’s actually pretty much your dad, just better. And all of the members of this family seem quite happy attempting, repeatedly, to murder each other… And then, along this line, there’s you! Son of Solid Snake. Better call a lawyer...

I post other shit at Gaming Bullshit   read

4:10 PM on 08.30.2012

BakedMarcel420 on Gender Politics

The following comes courtesy of a mysterious guy by the name of BakedMarcel420, enjoy…

So some trick was all like talking about his college class and shit and he was talking about the females and how they get “objectified”, or some word like that. And I was like “those broads seem pretty on it to me, they get to wear those awesome tight suits and have gigantic titties! That shit just boosts self-esteem, man.” And it’s true! Other femmes see these chicks in leather skin-tight suits and it gives them, like, ya know, shit to aspire to and stuff. Girls just wanna feel good about themselves, and if you’s a chick who’s rockin’ some monster cleavage and a big, g-stringed ass then you probably gonna be all like fucking getting the confidence to be a lawyer or a dental hygienist or even, like, a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers or some shit. The sky’s the limit for that broad, yo.

Look at that Lara Croft chick, she’s just tearin’ it up on the tits and ass front, and that bitch lives in a mansion! She has fucking Ask Jeeves following her around her own estate while she does backflips over his dusty ass. The bitch is rich!

It don’t even stop with treasure-hunting or nothin’, you could be like a fucking Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball athlete broad and despite your ta-ta’s weighin’ like half your body mass you still manage to win major volleyball tournaments and shit. That’s empowerin’ for two reasons see, because you’s a professional dedicated to the game and you successful as fuck, but you’s also like “fuck you, gravity!” and them breastuses bouncing to the beat of they own drum. It’s inspirational.

Ain’t no objectifying going on, the only politrickin’ happenin’ here is that they ain’t more of these thick-ass Bettys in gaming, because they’s the ones handlin’ they fuckin’ bih-ness. Ain’t no skinny-ass, broke-ass, A-cup Aeris making bank! That bitch gets KERPLOW’d through the heart on some 187 shit. Probably because she livin’ in some ghetto ass ‘hood where these transgender, grey-haired motherfuckers in black dusters be carrying huge, fuck-you-up samurai swords around. Now TIFA on the other hand… DAMN! The front on that bitch be creating its own cup-sizes, and, what the fuck do ya know, surprise surprise, she go on to save the fucking planet.

Case/point, if you wanna save the world, or be a dental hygienist, or hunt for treasure and have your own wrinkly-ass British butler who gets a bone any time you wearin’ short-shorts, you need rack. Otherwise you gettin’ an 8-foot sword through yo chest. Fact.   read

5:07 PM on 11.08.2011

360 Fanboy Reviews Uncharted 3

Right, the story. Man, the story is like some treasure hunter bullshit, man. I mean, like, this fucking dude called Drake or some shit is the main guy. I thought it was kinda racist how white they made the dude, though. I seen that bro on the VMAs and he was like mixed race or some shit, so I don’t know what Sony is being racist for. I ain’t down with that, dude. I listen to hip-hop. Plus I got this bro I buy weed from who’s from, like, Portugal. Which is probably in Africa. it sounds African, like Senegal, and I know that shit’s African. Anyway, the dude is too tanned to just be tanned, that’s a natural thing.

So Drake is treasure-hunting some shit again, and he’s making these gay-ass jokes about everything, making me feel like I’m watching Buffy or some shit. Basically the story is pretty weaksauce, man. I mean, I’ve seen fucking Indiana Jones and that shit was great. Ain’t no rolling boulders, coal trains or infant Chinese sex slaves in this shit. Dude doesn’t even have a hat! Shit is a joke. Plus, he’s got this girlfriend, and ain’t no options to throw a kegger and get that bitch drunk or nothing. Even Mass Effect lets me nail aliens, and that’s some faggy space shit. This guy’s meant to be a bad ass and he doesn’t even get laid.

The gameplay is all like jumping onto shit and then shimmying 10 feet and then jumping again and doing that shit pretty much over and over for 8 hours. Ain’t no terrorists or bros like that to shoot, plus when I click the right stick to knife a motherfucker the camera just spazzes into the middle. Sony need to fucking change that, everyone knows that clicking those sticks is sprint and knife, who they thinking they are just changing that shit?

Playing online is the worst shit. Everyone knows that when you’re shooting bros online you wanna be looking through your character’s eyes, but Sony still make me move my dude around like I’m playing Bubsy 3D or something. SERIOUSLY Sony, get with the current shit! I ain’t playing no Nintendo DS like a fucking child molester. Screw that Mario shit.

0.5/10 (I’m giving this shit half a point because I like that song Drake did on NBA 2K11)   read

7:23 PM on 10.22.2011

Lost in Translation: The Video Game

Everyone knows that movies based on games are fantastic *high fives Uwe Boll*. And everyone knows that games based on movies are even better. But why is it only the high-octane action blockbusters and kids animations that get the crossover treatment? Why is there little to no room for artistic dramas to be converted? While Activision work out how solve that problem (Call of Duty: Schindler's List edition?), I've conceptualized a video game for Lost in Translation.

If you're unfamiliar with this movie, it stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as characters emotionally lost in strange and wonderful Tokyo, Japan. Besides using 80% of the movie to boost tourism to the city, the other 20% features the main characters trying really hard not to bone each other. They exchange intimate glances and occasionally touch each other softly. It's lovely.

The game will be a modern text adventure. You'll play as Bill Murray, whilst Scarlett Johansson becomes an unlockable player after completing a single playthrough. *If you complete a second playthrough, a bar of tofu will be unlocked as a playable character.

Here are some in-game screenshots I came up with:

You're due to star in your first commercial, and already Tokyo is being really Japanese to you. How will you handle it?

You and Scarlett Johansson are no longer strangers in the night, but how will Bill Murray cope?

That famous end scene. That whisper. Now, not only do you get to know what Bill Murray utters in Scarlett's ear, but you get to decide!

As a pre-order bonus you'll get the Japanese chat show host as a playable character. Enjoy his wacky mini-games as you collect as many used panties as possible in the allotted time (online leaderboards also available).

Lost in Translation: The Video Game - RRP $59.99 (360/PS3/Wii/PS2/Saturn)

*update: the ESRB deemed "the tofu sidestory" far too explicit for inclusion   read

3:57 PM on 09.25.2011

Barry Gibbs of War: Epic (Hair) Edition


6:19 AM on 09.01.2011

Improvements: It's Not You, It's Me Edition - Part 1

I'm going to make this a quick one. No one needs to know how I reached these epiphanies taking a dump, or the arduous journey my food endured from mouth to anus. The object here is making some points, and in order to do so I'll use bullet points. Bullet points are fun, and make things interesting. I want them to be my new step dad.

+ @Replies
I'm not the biggest fan of the GiantBomb community. In my experience the people there are either incredibly cool, or far, far up their own brown eyes. However, the way that communication is facilitated between GB members is really well done. If you @reply someone, you're notified. This is a way in which I could see myself spending a lot more time than I already do here at Dtoid; to be notified when someone responds to a comment I've made somewhere on the site. As it stands I'm leaving comments, and then almost instantly forgetting I've done so. If I could get a handy nudge via email to let me know about interactions with me, I'd love it.

+ Threaded comments
As an active community, a lot of people here are leaving comments and actively participating in discussions. It gets to the point where comment threads become like forum threads, full of active conversation. In order to break up daunting reems of commentary, it might be good to see who is responding to who by indenting comments below the users they're left for. This pretty much works in tandem with my previous suggestion.

+ Actual bullet points
Little did I realize when writing that first paragraph, but I don't think we have bullet points? I can't a magic button for them.

And that's me done. For now, anyway. They're mainly just pointers on how I would get more enjoyment out of the community aspects of Dtoid, particularly these here blogs. I love writing here, I just wanna feel a bit more connected to you peoples. Because I love the way you look, and want to smell your hair while you're sleeping.   read

4:27 PM on 08.19.2011

This was a triumph... (A Portal 2 Review)

When The Orange Box was announced a few years ago, it presented a line-up of Valve’s finest arsenal. Not only were you getting Half-Life 2 on console, a title which would have sold well all by itself, but you were getting both its expansion episodes, and its insanely popular, multiplayer cousin, Team Fortress 2. It was a fantastic deal, and worthy of a price tag double, or even triple its value at retail. At the back of theBox’s lineup was a little known entity by the name of Portal, an unassuming puzzle game which, surprisingly enough, used Portals as its base mechanic. On paper it sounded interesting, but for any gamer anticipating the Box it was nothing more than a quirky, little distraction from the main acts. Valve finally unleashed their collection on the World, and Portal became their little engine that could. Momentum thrust the game from an obscure tent in the corner of the corner of the festival onto the headline stage, bright lights and all, and within a month that quirky little puzzle game had risen to become Valve’s hottest property. The Orange Box remains one of the best reviewed titles on any gaming aggregator, and it’s thanks, in no small part, to the game with the cake.

That was four years ago, and Valve is back with Portal 2. Having broken free from it’s compilation roots, it stands proud as a full-length, and full-priced game. There is no lack of ambition here, either. As we start the game the first voice heard is that of Stephen Merchant – co-writer of The Office – taking the role of Wheatley, a dense but lovable droid who guides you out of a testing complex that’s collapsing to rubble and cinder. You jump from platform to platform, navigating through crumbled heaps of grey and brown cement. Clearly these are the beginnings of a game that wants to broaden its horizons, and expand beyond the sterile test chambers of its predecessor, igniting the notion that there lies a World beyond the Aperture Science compound.

Travelling through a hole in the wall you enter the complex, only, you’re behind the scenes. Panels jolt from walls, malfunctioning, throwing random bursts of life at you. It’s fitting, and is a perfect summary of the spontaneity contained within the complex itself. These are not the test chambers as we remember them, they’re feral from abandonment and lacking maintenance. This adds an interesting dynamic to puzzle solving, as it ends up being less defined exactly where and how you react with the environment around you.

Even in this weathered facility, puzzle solving is not beyond comprehension. And the difficulty curve is a comfortable incline, transforming slowly into a steeper and steeper hill. Opening segments act more as tutorials than true challenges, a useful way for those new to Portal to understand the central mechanic, and for those learned in its ways to brush up on their skills before being provoked properly. One intangible quality synonymous with great puzzle games is the ability to make the player feel smart; to imbue a sense of accomplishment from task completion. I had this feeling section after section while playing Portal 2. Even when it feels as if your epiphany has arrived completely by accident, the path towards that solution creates such an air of satisfaction that you’ll happily forgive yourself for tumbling over the finish line.

What envelopes the fantastic gameplay is a story with deceptive depth. While the first game kept its narrative consistently light, entertaining from start to finish, its sequel attempts to give the situation, and its characters some deeper context. In one such instance we uncover that GLaDoS, or rather, the intelligence planted within her, may have belonged to a former lover of Aperture Science CEO, Cave Johnson (voiced by the awesome J.K. Simmons). As you tread through sections of the game, hearing Johnson’s voice echo out on old recordings, GLaDoS will recall a mysterious fondness for the man, one for which she doesn’t quite understand the basis. It gives her personality, with its antagonistic wit and humour, a bittersweet face, and turns her into much more than just a malevolent machine.

It’s in this narrative depth that Portal 2 effectively distances itself from its progenitor, proving that beyond its longer length and funnier jokes, it’s a game with with genuine soul, and worth of anyone’s time. Even if the cake does remain a lie.   read

9:35 AM on 08.15.2011

East vs. West: Sympathy for the Devil Summoner

I’m no JRPG fiend. Many, many times over the years I’ve dabbled: a Legend of Mana here, a Wild Arms there, they’ve all been fairly distant and inconsistent forrays into a decidedly enthusiast style of game. Oddly enough, it was 11-year old Lou Chou who struck much more of an affinity with leveling up and the almighty grind than his 24-year old counterpart. Way back then Suikoden‘s was a World with near limitless possibility, committing to lengthy battles that juggled finite control of potions with hit and magic point conservation. I was overwhelmed by the potential these games offered, but all too suddenly things changed. A bright, bitingly chilly January morning in 1999 saw me tearing through a gift-wrapped rectangle, and behind that vivid paper was an orange box sporting text that read Half-Life. The rest, as tired cliches note, was history.

What Valve accessed with the creation of Half-Life, among a thousand other visionary things, was a way to tell a story so artfully, and with such engagement, that it became roleplay. It was by extension an RPG, only without experience points or jarringly translated text. The Japanese RPG had long remained the bar for those looking for a little sophistication or depth from their narrative experience, but with one game a standard was redefined.

In a post-Half-Life World western development had become increasingly more relevant, and when a game like Deus Ex was hitting the criteria for an RPG experience, whilst also escaping the standard trappings of party systems and gender-ambiguous protagonists with eyes like dinner plates, it became all too clear that there existed a lot of imagination in the West.

The current generation arrived, and thanks in no small part to Microsoft the West had become a crucial place for development. Microsoft was, very obviously, close to the PC platform. It recognized the talent behind some of the more seminal games studios, and put a lot of faith in those guys to bring interesting new ideas to its console. You have to wonder, in a World where a Microsoft console didn’t exist, would we still have Mass Effect or Bioshock? As notable beneficiaries of Microsoft support, it’s arguable that the budget just wouldn’t exist for Bioware or Irrational Games to be creating such staggering, triple-A titles.

Gravity is a motherfucker, and just as sure as things will soar, it’s only a matter of time before the consequent fall. The popularity of COD spawned an army of me too titles looking to cash in on the popularity of the first-person shooter, the effect of which has left us with a culture where even those within the industry are surprised if a period of time passes without the release of another shooter. The irony is that now Western gaming has a face, and it’s Call of Duty. The same way an uninformed, surface interpretation of Japanese gaming is that it’s all JRPGs with sickeningly cutesy Anime characters, Western gaming is now just army men awash in machismo.

So what does this mean for Japanese gaming? Well, now’s as good a time as any for Eastern development to force its way back into mainstream consciousness. While people are suffering shooter fatigue, it’s the perfect opportunity to come in with some different ideas and methods. All it takes is one game, one success story, to change the way people think about the games they want to play. Who knows, maybe somewhere in Japan a studio is working on exactly that game.   read

6:48 PM on 08.12.2011

A quick thought on Driver: San Francisco


9:29 AM on 08.04.2011

eSports: Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sports

I’m not going to be the guy who starts his article with a definition of the word “sports,” but it’s fair to say that that word does not belong to those who can throw an object 50 yards, or those who run several blocks in 8.3 seconds. Sport, on its most fundamental level, is people competing. And whether it’s the Superbowl, or an Albanian regional staring contest, the point of sport boils down to people being in competition with one another.

When you throw a lowercase E in front of sport, I start to take issue. See, eSport sounds a hell of a lot like sport, but it isn’t. It exists to separate competitive gamers from participants of more traditional, athletic activities. It’s a way of very easily saying that what a certain sect of people are doing is not in fact sport, but something else that likes to pretend it’s sport. This, to me, is wrong. If you’re playing a round of CoD, or racing in Need for Speed, then you’re part of a sport. Unfortunately, beyond the borders of gaming, the mindset is not the same, the irony being that the term eSport has come from the gaming press, and us, the gamers. We have sectioned ourselves off, and shot our own competitive scene in the knee caps, reducing it to a shortbus-riding version of something bigger.

I don’t mind that competitive gaming be something all of its own, but it’s a sport. If you’re a CoD player, then you still play sports, your sport just happens to be CoD, and so on/so forth. Sport, as a concept, got all fucked up when society decided to throw the word itself at folk doing athletic things, but at its root a sport is just a competition between people. If you’re an absolute boss at Starcraft, or Madden, then there should be no unwritten guideline deeming the skills you possess as any less useful than those of Dwayne Wade or Serena Williams. And perhaps dropping terms like eSports from the lexicon of our own community would be a small step on the way to making that a reality.   read

7:05 AM on 07.28.2011

Motion Control: Wii Punch Children

I have to admire any peripheral that inadvertently causes child abuse. That's not to say I'm a staunch advocate of waving a makeshift Nintendo wand around, or thrusting the PS3' glowing, blue dildo in opposite directions to knock a virtual Danny Trejo spark out. But when you can justifiably punch your step mother in the left tit during a game of Wii Sports, a device is bid a due.

It seemed inevitable we'd reach this point. The epiphany probably hit Nintendo creatives as they pondered how they could compete in the current market, and why they wanted to. Sure they could try, desperately, to compete on performance, producing a system that was just as fast as an XBOX 360 or a PS3. But why bother? Why attack a market that is already satisfied? Three's a crowd, after all. Nintendo decided instead to go for people who didn't even want to game: your mum, your infant brother, your gran, shit, you could get your dog Rex involved, granted you can fit the controller in his mouth. These were people who didn't want to play games, what they wanted was to play Wii.

Nintendo's Wii has led to the creation of modern gaming's favourite label, the casual gamer, the irony being that anyone considered such a thing, by a newly-defined ruleset, isn't a gamer at all. They are Wii players. They are clean, wholesome, fun people who take their vitamins and drink plenty of milk. They have lots of clean, wholesome friends with whom they occasionally play Wii sports between volunteering at animal shelters.

On the other side of town, far away from the glorious sunshine, and smiling babies farting rainbows, there dwells the core gamer. We're overweight, socially maladjusted, and probably play Call of Duty to realize our vivid dreams of shooting everyone at our school/college/workplace. We're disgusting, oozing energy drinks from every pore and orifice. We will kick your dog Rex, and burn your animal shelter. Milk is for pussies.

Seperation politics have created a clean, clear divide between those casual and those core. While the former take precedence over the latter for the time being, it wont last. Microsoft can't give their Kinect away, and I don't know a single owner of Sony's glowing, blue love instrument (seriously, it looks like it belongs in a hooker's bedroom in Mass Effect). We're the ones sustaining this industry, and as casual gamers fill more and more of their days with milk drinking and sending cute gifts to their parents, they will commit less money and effort to playing video games, until they become the afterthought.

I've never owned a Wii. I'm someone who sits down after work and just relaxes, and the idea of having to stand and ferociously throw my hands around to within an inch of my TV screen is opposite to my desires. I don't deny that there are plenty of core gamers out there with Wii consoles, I'm merely highlighting a vast majority outside of that sect. Be proud of the fact that you're the industry equivalent to a dirty word, because when the shit hits the fan it wont be Johnny Wholesomeface and his dog Rex that'll be turned to for help.   read

3:08 PM on 07.19.2011

Dam That Shadow (A Shadows of the Damned Review)

Shadows of the Damned is an important game. Sure, it features fantastically tight gameplay, an eccentric and entertaining series of key characters, and a soundtrack you'd be more than happy to buy on iTunes for ten or more dollars, but there's something a lot more important going on here. What this game represents is the near-perfect collaboration of two men to whom Japanese gaming owes a reasonable debt.

The first man is Goichi Suda (more famously known as Suda 51), the eccentric and arguably visionary game designer who brought us Killer7, and Wii cult hit, No More Heroes. Followers of his work, and he has a few, will tell you that the ace in the Suda pack is a wildly vivid, exciting imagination. The more honest of those followers, however, will also admit that this creativity often comes at the detriment of solid, or just downright enjoyable gameplay. For every fantastic idea that creeps into Suda 51's rainbow-colored brain, there's an element of functional game design screaming out from the distance with muffled pleas for consideration. All too often that voice is stifled, and tapers to a whisper.

Step to the forefront, then, the second half of Shadows' dynamic duo, Shinji Mikami. Not quite as famed a name in quasi-casual gaming circles as Suda 51 may be (perhaps because his name isn't quite as alpha-numerical), Mikami is no slouch, having been the driving creative force behind just about every Resident Evil game since the series debuted in '96. What the godfather of survival horror brings to the feast, in his many years of experience directing triple-A titles, is a technical ying to Suda's creative yang. Mikami becomes the megaphone thrown towards that whispered voice in the back of Suda's brain, projecting at great velocity the kind of veteran guidance that shapes Suda's brain farts into neat sprays of designer cologne.

I'll happily shine over the symbiotic relationship these two masterminds share in Shadows for the rest of the article, but that would be missing the case and point here: the game itself. Shadows of the Damned stars Garcia (Fucking) Hotspur, a Latin demon slayer with more body art than Tommy Lee. His girl is kidnapped by the lord of hell, and made to experience death on repeat. Hotspur's mission is to set her free from this grim cycle of suffering by fighting his way through hell and sticking it to the high ruler of down below. This journey is broken up into acts, each act representing some sort of world, or phase of hell. These sections are consistently different, and you're unlikely to find any two that seem cut from the same stencil, with the game throwing up anything from puzzle stages, to tower defence, even side-scrolling shoot 'em ups are represented here. It becomes crystal clear within an hour's play that the team behind Shadows absolutely adored this project, each act being a true labour of love.

These stages revel in their depravity, and the game has no interest in apologizing for the imagery it displays. For instance, I had to double-take on a string of babies overhead, each one hanging from a noose. Fully animated, they kick out arms and legs as you pass them by. It took more scrupulous inspection to determine that they were in fact dolls, not infants, but the impact that visual has still carried an abundant measure of weight. Remember, people: this is hell. Damnation and hellfire are not the only points of interest throughout your stay, you're going to encounter some gruesome things, half of which will revolve around your girlfriend as she's torn in two, exploded, decapitated (multiple times), and feasted upon.

For all Suda 51's demands to horrify and unsettle, at no point do we reach a level of excess. From the very beginning, Shadows paints a pretty clear picture of its intent. This could very easily have been a horror title, were it not for the tone of protagonist Garcia, and his glowing, bejeweled sidekick, Johnson. It wants to be sick, twisted fun. Humour plays a large part in this adventure, and while it's abundantly crass and juvenile, the funnies deliver with such a loveably cheeky wink and nod that you can't help but raise a wry smile. If Duke Nukem Forever's poor and uncomfortable forray into potty humour (rape jokes? seriously?) cast a doubt over whether that content has had its day, Shadows makes us believe once again - our collective inner-13-year old breathes a relieved sigh.

One thing thankfully deceptive in its maturity is the gameplay, as Mikami steps to the forefront of this process and applies a tighter version of the controls used in Resident Evil 4. It's a control scheme that seems specifically crafted for interaction with multiple enemies at once, giving you a button dedicated to a 180-degree turn, and an evasive roll that grants you escape from the very tightest of hellish (sorry!) situations. The latter offers something of an invincibility hack, actually, as enemies cannot make contact with you mid-roll, no matter how close to them you may be. I can see this being a justified grumble from the more hardcore crowd, but I personally found it a God send - it levels out overwhelming battles and affords you opportunities to restore health or reload weaponary.

I've gushed, but Shadows is not a flawless game. There's the rare issue of screen trearing, or collision detection which could render you stuck in an invisible gap, unable to progress. This is not a gamebreaker, mind you, and happens once or twice, if ever. What's important about Shadows is that it has very reasonable aims, and it hits them with the kind of style and attention to detail that you wont find in even the finest triple-A titles this year. It wants to be the kind of game you can pick up whatever mood you're in, and just have a blast with. It wants to access that dumb fuckin' kid in you, the one that existed before you started watching comedies by Christopher Guest or reading Chekhov, and let you know that it's alright for that kid to breath every so often. Who'd have thought it'd be the darkly depths of hell teaching us all to lighten up, eh, pandejo!   read

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