hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


VenusInFurs's blog

5:27 PM on 10.08.2011

Are you afraid of the dark?

Two years ago I decided to read 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis De Sade. I only made it halfway through the book before I decided not to finish it - the book was simply too disturbing to read. I thought I can handle the dark tale of four French libertines kidnapping a set of underage boys and girls. But to my surprise, I couldn't. You see, I have an ego; an ego of being undisturbed by anything. I would like to think my generation is the reason for this, and not because I’m insane. The film adaptation of 120 Days of Sodom by Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini had absolutely no effect on me. This supposedly “controversial” and “disturbing” film simply hasn’t aged well, not because it’s bad, but because its shock value has been conquered by other films over the years. For instance, A Clockwork Orange was set to shock you, but now, it’s simply an average film with average violence – the violence doesn’t have the same effect and in return the film suffers greatly for it.

Video games, like literature, seem to be the only shining hope of true violence and genuine scares, but as the years go by, I’m noticing games are following the same path as films - the desensitization of gamers is what I worry about. It’s something we should try to keep intact before it’s ultimately gone.

In Dark Souls there’s an elevator that takes you down to an underground cavern (you can reach this area at the start of the game). This cavern is dark and filled with enemies not interested in attacking you. Instead, the enemies are scattered around crying, pacing back and forth, or sitting with their head down. There’s barely any light and the only sound you hear is of heavy breathing. I spent about five minutes there until I decided to leave. This level had an eerie feeling of hopelessness and it’s the main reason why I love the game. But I’m scared that soon enough this will be absent, only replace wholesale by staleness and the absurd religious inhabitants of typical cliches that currently infest films.

I would like to point out three games that rival this typicalness of violence and horror: Condemned 2, Amnesia, and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.

At the start of Condemned 2, the player controls a drunk officer in an alleyway. He’s unarmed and completely confused as to what is happening around him – only seeing bizarre images on broken TV’s and fighting off black liquid monsters. This level, which is essentially a prologue, is brief, slow; dark to the point you think you’re going blind and effective in its violence and scares. Like Dark Souls, Condemned 2 brings in the violence and scares slowly, it builds it up, sets an atmosphere, and indulge itself in romantics before the main event. Unfortunately, the rest of the game fails to live up to its prologue.

Games, like films, love to show extreme violence. I have no problem with this, but I do have a problem when it’s desensitizing its audience – it kills the immersion and ultimate goal of the game. Dark Souls has a way of scaring you not only with its levels, but with its controls. Like Amnesia, Dark Souls has limited gameplay options. For me, this adds to the horror. I’ve been desensitize to violence and horror, but the possibility of death still gets to me – it’s the reason why I left the underground cavern in the first place. The atmosphere was amazing, but it was the thought of losing all my souls, equipment, experience points, etc that truly ended up disturbing me.

Horror by gameplay is what I preach and it’s used perfectly in Dark Souls, Amnesia, and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Limiting the gamer is the next best thing in horror: take the gun away and replace it with a flashlight, have your currency be used in the same vain as your experience points, let there be limited check points, have every decision you make be the final one because the game saves itself every five seconds. And also, let the game be hard.

Amnesia has you starting and ending the game with nothing – you have no weapons. When an enemy arrives, your goal is to hide until they have left. This, while boring on paper, is simply a delight to experience. Games have gone so far with its gore that I’m no longer scared or shocked by it. I give a bad look to games that apply blood and gore as a way to unsettle you (I’m looking at you, Dead Space 2). I champion the bizarre, not because it’s different, but because it’s effective (well, when it is effective), and so should you.

The first two hours of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has you going around a town questioning people about a murder. This all builds up to the actual “gameplay” of the game: Running… yes, all you do is run. Let me explain, after the two hours of investigating, you go back to your hotel room only to be awaken by the sound of someone trying to get into you room. Every room is connected by doors and your goal is to escape. You’re chased by two sharply dressed gentlemen; one with an axe, another with shotgun. You run to the door, turn around, lock it, or move a book shelf to cover the door – you only have a few seconds to do this or they will break the door down and you will die. This goes on for about 20 minutes until you escape. Like Dark Souls many gamers have never gotten past the first 3 hours and some even fail to see the fun in it. But for the few that do see the fun; they get a special sense of fright, scare, and blood pumping action!

This all goes to my point of gameplay replacing visuals in horror. Because gore has been used so many times, developers must find a different way of scaring you. In a way, I thank games like Dead Space and Gears of War, not because I enjoyed them, but because they encouraged developers to find a more creative way to scare the shit out of you.   read

10:37 PM on 09.15.2011

Criticizing the critics

Reviewing the reviewer and reviewing the score is a rather controversial topic. People seem to never be satisfied with a score a game they admire received; it’s either too high or too low. The comments posted on any review from any site invariably seem to be infested with an abundance of insults and misunderstandings. Complaints about the words or numbers are commonplace, but are they justified? Do any of the critics criticizing the critics have a point? Do any of these points deserve to be explored?

A popular comment I read posted on reviews is the “non-subjective” comment. Certain individuals hold the belief that a reviewer should never place his or her opinions on a review. In other words, a review should only be done from a technical stand point: gameplay, music, graphics, etc. Any comparison to any other games is immediately shut down as trying to live up to certain expectations; a game should be reviewed as it stands: a single entity. I completely disagree with this thought process and find it hard to believe that some individuals actually mean it. T.S Elliot wrote: “No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artist. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. Poetry should never be judge as is.” A review should always have comparisons “to the dead” (past games) of whichever genre it occupies. It is impossible, and wrong, to not compare games to each other. This is how the medium will grow, not by limiting our review process, but by looking at past games (in its genre) for inspiration and improvements.

Another common critique is the number system. A scale from 1-10 is commonly used in many game sites, but is it fair? Does it have any place in a review? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because the number gives the reader a quick and unambiguous answer as to the quality of the game and, no, because a review should stand on its own -- the words in a review should be enough; it doesn’t need to hide behind a number. People seem to take the number scale literally. For instance, if a game is scored a 10, then it gives the impression that it’s perfect, but we all know no game is perfect. The number scale is pretty simple to understand; a 10 doesn’t mean a game is perfect, but that the reviewer highly recommends the game. In a perfect world, everyone would look at the number and read the review, but unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world and many people only look to the number. This begs the question: Should the number scale be abolished? Should such a accommodation be done for the handicap? This is something that’s been debated for awhile, but it seems that the complaints are from overzealous fans. This brings me to another point I want to make: Genre.

Another typical comment used is the “how can you give game X the same score as game Y” comment. Genre should always be considered when a reader is reading a review. If game X is a shooter and game Y is an RPG and game X is scored slightly higher than game Y, it’s not because the game is better, but because it’s better in its particular genre. Comparing apples and oranges will get you nowhere. This absurd sensitivity has been widespread because of the internet. This quick reaction to games the consumer has yet experience is demented and show nothing but loyalty to the absurd. But it is useful to examine this absurd behavior that always lies in the realm of pretentiousness, which takes me to my next point: Preference.

Reviews always have the opinion of its writer, but what if the reviewer reviews a game in a genre he or she knows nothing about or even hates. Let’s take Catherine, for example. Jim Sterling stated many times that the game is not for him and if he was reviewing it, it would have gotten a low score. I tend to agree with comments that say, “Why did you review this game if you hate the genre?” But there’s always a little voice in my head who thinks it’s positive to have a fresh voice to speak about a game -- A different t perspective might highlight some blemishes a reviewer comfortable in the genre would overlook. This question is more complicated than the others and I have no solid answer, but I do have a suggestion: a mini review. Let me explain, you have the main review and also have a mini (a small paragraph) review of someone not accustom to the genre giving his or her thoughts. Comparisons between two different gamers are always welcome and can help the way we look at games.

Reviews are always criticized for its content and suppose “bias,” but we must all take a step back, take a deep breath, and think before we judge. There are always some legitimate complaints. Take a look at any controversial review and tell me the comments aren’t always out of line. Is there a perfect way to review a game? I really don’t know, but I think the first step is respecting each other in the comments and being accepted of others opinions, and take what they say seriously. They may have a point.   read

10:34 AM on 09.15.2011

I think I may have a problem

Everyone loves a familiar face, no? Someone you can relate and know inside and out. Most people have fear of the new and undiscovered, but always champion familiarity. As a literary major, my classes demand me to read and analyze several books my virgin eyes have not seen. The Waste Land and Ulysses are some of the works I have to read this semester. I have read most of the books in my collection more than once. I’m sure this is normal -- wanting to experience a great story you just read for a second or third time. Everyone does this, but why am I having difficult time doing this with video games? Not only that, but why don’t I have any games to replay?

I have a confession, I bought Demon’s Souls three times. Yes, I bought the game and sold it three different times. I first got the game for $40 used and only made it to the second world. I played the first world for about 4 hours and had the entire level memorized, but the game ended up pissing me off, so I sold it. A month later, I bought the game again to finish what I started. This time I made it to the third world and had a pretty powerful character. The game ended up pissing me off again, so I sold it. For the third and final time, I bought the game and actually beat it. The moment I started the game, this feeling of familiarity came over me. I went into the game knowing what to do and how to do it. Demon’s Soul’s is one of the very few game I’ve spent over 30 hours playing. I never did this with a game before, most of the time if I sell a game; it’s gone forever. This explains the lack of any game collection -- I simply don’t find replaying games I beat enjoyable. I’m not a multiplayer type of guy, so that’s out of the question. Unlike my favorite books or films, replaying games seem to be a struggle. It’s an interesting dilemma. You would think if you can re-read your favorite books to be experienced again or re-watch your favorite films, that video games would natural fit into the mold. But I think I may have found part of the problem: Gamestop.

Growing up I didn’t have many games to play. I would replay the same games over and over again; even games I knew were bad were always on constant play on my console. The moment I turn 18 was when I finally had the ability to go into a Gamestop and trade in games. This was also the moment my collection dwindled into nothingness. I must stress that the problem really wasn’t with Gamestop, but with me -- I couldn’t control myself. I would sell a bunch of games for store credit. I used this store credit for getting new games, but most of the games I had I've never beaten -- they were all incomplete. I would buy a new game, play it for 4 hours, or sometimes only an hour, and sell them back the following week. This resulted in me buying some games multiple times. For instance, I bought Oblivion and Fallout 3 four different times. I enjoyed the games a great deal, but I wanted a new experience so I ended up selling it. A couple of weeks would pass, and I would buy the games again. At times I would struggle to get to where I left off because I didn’t have the save file anymore, and replaying it was a chore, even if I didn’t touch the game for a couple of weeks or months. I did like these games, but the whole trading games for new ones was too good of a deal to pass up. Games I knew were good, and wanted to finish were never finished because new and interesting games would always come out and I would sell my games to get enough store credit to buy the new games. I would always end up missing the games I sold, hence why I bought them again. This also explains my love for short games. Take Alan Wake, for example. It was short, straight to the point, didn’t bother with any romantics, and I beat the game in a few short days. I enjoyed every second of Alan Wake, but replaying it was something I couldn’t do. I wanted to play the game and experience it again, but video games demand so much time and effort that I rather not go through it again, no matter how fun the gameplay is. This is where the problem lies and what I’m trying to fix.

For the last 6 months, I’ve tried to keep my games and made a promise to myself to beat them. Dark Souls, Ico/SotC, and Skyrim are the only games I will buy and play for the time being. I also made a promise to never step inside a Gamestop. I know this sounds pretty silly, but seeing how many hours I’ve spent with Demon’s Souls and the satisfaction it bought me, I want to experience these games in full, but to do this I must stop going to Gamestop. I really don’t think I can control myself and not sell my games. At the moment I have a PS3 and no games. Yes, no games! It’s been like this for the past 2 months. Well, I did get Little Big Planet 2 and only played it for a day before getting rid of it. I think narrowing down the games I play will help me enjoy them more. I sure as hell don’t want to experience Dark Souls FOUR different times before I beat it!   read

12:36 AM on 09.04.2011

Game + Book = <3

Spoilers for Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and Castle in the Mist.

Their cries would not reach that ancient castle perched upon the cliff at the end of the world, far to the west where the sun sank after its daily journey. The only thing that could lessen the rage of the master in the castle, that could strave off the castle’s curse for even a short time, was the chosen Sacrifice.

Ico begins with a boy with horns being carried to a castle and shut forever in concealment. We know nothing as to why this is being done to the boy, but it’s safe to assume that the isolation the boy is sent to is a direct cause of him being born with horns. Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe tries to answer these questions in her novel. The game, unlike the novel, is more of an experience and less of an actual story. In contrast, Miyabe novelization of Ico is less of a retold of events in the game, and more of a glorified fan-fiction. In the preface she writes, If you picked up this book hoping for a walkthrough of the game, look elsewhere. The order of events, solutions to puzzles and even the layout of the castle have changed. While it is certainly not “spoiler-free,” someone who reads this books and goes on to play the game will find much there that is not here. I find it interesting comparing the book and game; two total different mediums that assist each other. The developers of the game had no say in the book, but they did give Miyabe permission to write her own version of the story. For me, first playing the game and then following it up with the novel helped bring the world of Ico, and some cases Shadow of the Colossus , more alive. The games were no longer minimalistic and “ambiguous” with its message and story -- the book bought life to an otherwise lifeless (story wise) game.

Miyabe created a detailed account of Ico’s horns and the reasons why he is cast forever in isolation in the Castle in the Mist. Ever since the boy was born, Ico knew he would be cast out. The boy’s soul resides in the castle. In a way, Ico being cast out is good because he can now reclaim it and finally be whole. He was raised as a normal child until the age of thirteen. The elder of the village took Ico to the “Forbidden Mountain.” He brought Ico there to show him the horrors the Castle in the Mist brings when it’s angry. They had ridden on horseback for three days north, going where not even the hunters dared tread. They saw no one on the road, no birds flying overhead, no rabbits in the underbrush, no tracks of foxes in the soft mud left by the rains the day before. Why were the mountains forbidden? Why did no one come this way? Why were there no birds or animals to be seen? This location reminds me a lot of the isolated world of Shadow of the Colossus. In the end of that game, our hero is born again as a child with horns in a world with no life.

The book brings what I like in a story: details. I’m all for ambiguity, but it seems that if any criticism is put forth to games like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Limbo, The Path, Journey, etc then you’re considered a philistine because you don’t “get it” or can’t use your imagination to fill in the blanks. In my opinion filling in the blanks only works when enough information is given. Think of it as a puzzle piece. You have a puzzle that creates a picture of Mario (you are not aware what the picture is about), but are only given 2 pieces; those 2 pieces are not enough to interpret what the picture is about, you need more, not all, but enough to be open to interpretation. Having only 2 pieces of a puzzle just comes to show you how the creator didn’t know what he/she was doing and decided to be “ambiguous” to hide the fact that he/she was clueless about the story. I find this to be a common thread in most artsy games. The scenery is always beautiful and awe inspiring; sometimes you stop just to absorb the beauty like a good painting; however, unlike a painting, most of the beautiful imagery means nothing (there are some exceptions). It works as a short mini game, but the gamer starts to notice the blemishes and the magic, for me, seems to always disappear. It’s the reason why I take so long to finish games. Atmosphere is good and can take a game to new heights, Demon’s Souls is perfect example, but sometimes I want more. Sometimes I want a good story told to me. Many of these artsy games have great ideas (they’re the most original in all of video games), but do nothing with it. Anyway, I’m glad Castle in the Mist was written because I now see these games in a new light. For me, the games are now more than just pretty colors. They’re games with characters and events I truly care about.

The book spends a good 60 pages before Ico is sent to the castle; during those 60 pages we are introduced to Ico’s friend, Toto. Before Ico is taken to the castle he is put into a cave (a sort prison). Toto visits Ico there and tries to convince him to run away with him. Ico refuses and warns Toto to not do anything stupid. The next day Toto runs away from home with a horse. Toto runs to the castle so he can meet up with Ico when he is brought there, but before he can make it there, he must pass through the Forbidden Mountain and there Toto sees the horror the castle brings. The world around him was petrified and gray. The people in the streets around him had been frozen in time. Some pointed towards the sky, others ran, holding their heads in their hands, while still others held their mouths open in soundless screams. Toto wondered how many years they had stood there like this. When he reached out hesitantly to touch one, it crumbled into dust beneath his fingertips.

The first 60 pages are like a prologue to the game, and I made an effort to not talk about anything more than that in fear of spoiling more than I wanted, but if you have played Ico, I highly encourage you to pick up this book. I promise it will make for a better experience. Your outlook on the game will greatly change.   read

11:20 PM on 08.18.2011

I think we're going to be friends

My school isn’t bad. Nor is it great. It fits right in the middle of mediocrity. The school isn’t a prime example of excellence or a defective environment of undesirables. It’s just there. It’s not ugly or pretty. It’s not clean or dirty. The school simply exists. In many ways the school is exactly like me. You see, I wasn’t a bad student, but a boring one. I had a few acquaintances in school. I care about my appearance enough to make an effort to look presentable, but did nothing with it. I go to class, sit in the back and space out. I cut class constantly and arrived late for almost every class I had. I really didn’t have any excuse for this. I just walked slow and spend too much time in the bathroom. I got along with most of my teachers. The teachers, like the school, are a mix bag of everything. I had teachers who absolutely love their jobs and others who took the job simply because some of them are a bunch of failed artists hungry for a paycheck.

I sat in class and did nothing. I would stare at the peeling dirty white walls and space out – this is my typical routine in most of my classes. I didn’t spend much time thinking about my future. I know I should have done my work, go to class early, listen, and participate, but I didn’t. I wish I had a better reason, but none exist. This, without question, was my existence; however, this existence all changed my senior year.

I never really met anyone who shared the same interests as me until my last year in high school. Surprisingly it was video game music that brought a couple of gamers together. I had an endless amount of mix CDs of recorded game music. You see, I didn’t have any money to buy a soundtrack or import the ones that I wanted, so what I did was record the game music from the television. I made CDs of Metal Gear Solid 2, Final Fantasy X, and countless others. Besides Radiohead, video game music was my high school soundtrack.

I met my friend Jonny in history class. He was a short chubby white kid with a heavy Brooklyn accent. My bag was open on top of my desk with two Radiohead albums clearly visible. The iPod recently came out, and I didn’t have any money to buy one, so it wasn’t uncommon to still carry CDs with you. Jonny whispered asking me what my favorite Radiohead song was. I said it was The National Anthem and his eyes grew bright with excitement. Suddenly our teacher told us to shut up and we didn’t talk until class was over.

After class, we both walked to the cafeteria talking about Radiohead until he asked if I listen to any video game music. I told him I did and showed him the CD I made of Metal Gear Solid 2. I told him I recorded all the songs off my television and he laughed knowing what I did was ridiculous. He said he had the actual soundtrack and his brother knew a way of ripping game music from the disc. He said he would make me a copy and a mix tape of other game music the next day. That afternoon in the cafeteria was the first time I had a deep conversation about video games. The cafeteria was small and dim; it was overcrowded with students, but we somehow found a little spot to talk. We talked about the music, gameplay, and story of all our favorite games until class started. I was stunned and impressed by his knowledge. A challenge I thought, someone who can rival my useless video game trivia. Jonny also introduced me to the world of anime and would later lend me Akira on DVD.

It was dark and raining that night. I sat on the chair in the middle of my room trying to pop a pimple on my forehead. I lived in a small, damp apartment complex in New York. The walls of my room are dirty white and most of the paint was peeling off. I saw my bag in the corner of the door and remembered Jonny burned me a CD of videogame music. I sat on my bed and played the first track. I recognized the tune from Final Fantasy X. I quickly went to the next track and was greeted with a loud bang. I closed my eyes and imagined a hero in some distant land fighting off monsters. Jonny has kindly written down each songs name and from what game they’re from. Shadow of the Colossus I read.

The song is titled Monstrous People and I fell in love. It was epic. It was amazing. It got my heart pumping. I would turn the volume of my CD player as loud as I can and imagine some great fantasy fight between some unknown soldier and a demonic beast. I reached for the CD case to see if any more music from the game was present. Only 3 of the 17 songs are from Shadow of the Colossus. He also included songs from Ico and other music from games I never heard of. He did include some J-POP which I didn’t care for, but I did love the rest.

The next day I greeted him with a big smile and started to talk about all the good music he burned for me. Jonny and I were best friends that year. We spent most days together talking about whatever interested us. Unfortunately I haven’t seen Jonny since high school, I don’t know why. We just drifted apart; its funny how things always end up, but what can you do. I lost all contact with him, but the memories are enough to keep me satisfied. It’s important to one’s self when you can talk to someone who understands you and share the same interests. You don’t feel alone or weird. Being able to express yourself without embarrassment or ridicule is an amazing feeling and one that I cherish with my friends. The internet has made it easier in finding like minded individuals. Most, if not all, my friends don’t really share my interest in video game and that’s fine. I have my Dtoid friends to talk to about that. Keeping and maintaining a healthy friendship is essential to a happy life and I think I’m doing pretty well.

I’ve only been an active member for about 5 or 6 months, but it’s good to be part of a community who understands you. I never knew something like this can actually happen. I used to look down at people, who had internet friends or met people through the internet, but we live in different times now and this is becoming the norm. By reading blogs I get to not only know your likes and dislikes, but know you as a person. Dtoid has allowed me to make more friends than I could have ever imagined. We have fan fiction about our community members, and even music for each one, too! I don’t know of any other website that does this, but this is pretty fuckin’ awesome.

To the many people I PM and Tweet to; you guys are my friends. To anyone who reads and comments on my blogs, thank you! I may have never met you in person, but knowing you from your writing is enough to generate an opinion. I feel like I'm rambling here, so I'll just leave and give a THANK YOU to everyone.   read

5:51 AM on 08.10.2011

Gamers are going crazy

You know whats lame? This review is lame. I found the ign review to be much more helpful and most reviews by ign are horrible. All u do is bash about how bad the game is. It clearly didn't suit your tastes for a srpg but that doesn't mean that you should go on just bashing about how bad the game is. Have you even played any srpg games b4 this one? if you have how do they compare to this one? If not then you shouldnt have got the game in the first place.dont put up reviews if u dunno how 2 do one

- Youtube comment on a negative review for Record of Agarest War.

I’ve been quiet on this subject for some time, but reading reviews for Catherine, Record of Agarest War, and many other “niche” games has got me thinking: gamers like to feel different and superior. Now, I don’t want to give the impression that all gamers are like this. For instance, I find the Destructoid community pretty open minded about games of various genres and consoles, but reading comments on virtually every gaming site (including Amazon) are really hitting a nerve with me. Now, what the hell am I talking about specifically? Well, my friends, I will present you with an excerpt of a response to a negative review for Record of Agarest War on Amazon that inspired this blog post:

Games today are not as experimental and creative as they used to be; now the game market is flooded with those cheap first-person shooter games with the same agonizing Star Wars/Lord of the Rings style soundtrack with the same trumpets, and choir style that has absolutely been overused in many games over, and over again, and back in the 1990's, and it is wonderful to see that this recent game has at least stepped out of today's trend, ridding all of those unnecessary Star Wars/Lord of the Rings style soundtracks …This game was made in Japan, NOT the United States with all of those bland, rather unfitting English American voice acting that are supposed to be on games made in the United States such as the Call of Duty, Mass Effect, and Halo game series; so your review is rather plain, bland, and rather pointless.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all read comments like this before. Gamers longing for the good ol’days of yore: a time when developers took risks and games were better made… I’m sorry, but I fail to understand this point of view. What is there to hate about this generation of gaming? We live in an age where a small studio can get their games out to the public through digital distribution. We live in age where creativity is bursting out in an extraordinary rate. We live in an age where developers are taking games as a serious art form. We live an age where gaming in general is getting the respect it deserves. As an Xbox 360 owner I have a wealth of different genres to choose from. Want a fantasy western RPG? We got it! Want a JRPG? We got it! Want a FPS? We got it! Want something strange and different? We got it! The same can also be said about the PS3 and to a certain extent the Wii. I fail to see what is so discomforting about this generation of gaming. Are people complaining just to complain? Or do they truly believe what they're saying. If, so, I pity them.

Catherine, this so called “niche” game, recently came out to critical acclaim and great sales, but the masses still champion this game as something the minority will only like. Now, let’s not get out of hand here -- Catherine will not see Call of Duty like numbers, but it’s safe to say the game is a financial and critical success. Numbers and reviews aside, gamers are divided about the game. Most people either love it or hate. I personally think the game is good, but nothing special. I express this opinion in a form of a comment on a youtube video and received this PM minutes later:

This game is a masterpiece! It’s a work of art! How can you think the puzzles get boring and the story is not good? Ha! I’m pretty sure you don’t like the story because you don’t have personal exprence with the subject in hand, and you’re probably too stupid to understand the puzzles. Go play Call of Duty or Halo. You probably wanted porn. Leave the real games to the real gamers. You’re what is wrong with the game industry. We must love and embrace games like this because it’s different. Too bad most people won’t play this game

Besides insulting me; this user assumed the game is some type of underground cult classic -- which it’s not. I learned on Twitter that my friend from school, a casual female gamer (I use the word “gamer” loosely) purchased the game a week ago. This casual gamer, who hasn’t bought a game in a year, bought this underground “niche” game as her first title since Halo 3. Actually, I learned many of my friends, who are not “hardcore” gamers, bought the game as well, not because of its suggestive advertisement, but for the premise. This user also assumed I like to play Fist Person Shooters -- I’m sorry to break it to him or her, but I don’t. Even if I did, is that a problem? Is that suppose to be an insult? I Like a genre you don't, so it's only fitting to insult me? Such a boring and typical response.

Another example of this is the hate comments Jeff Gerstmann received for his 2 star review of Catherine. Users called him an idiot and mainstream lover for not liking the game and calling his review unprofessional because he shouldn’t voice his opinion in a review; it's suppose to be "subjective." What I find interesting is that most people were defending a game they haven’t played yet. You see this constantly with gamers. Let’s assume Jim Sterling gives the new Deus Ex game a bad review; most will call for his head, even though they themselves have not yet played the game. This species of gamers are so devoted to a product they know nothing about that they are willing to insult and call for the firing of certain reviewers. I'm sorry, but is this not the talk of crazy people?!

All I read in comments are gamers insulting each other because of what the other enjoys. I read one comment calling the BioShock: Infinite demo a "typical" and "uninspired" shooter - how the hell can anyone look at that demo and use the word “typical”? What is typical is his response to the video. The comments on most of these gaming sites are getting ludicrous and it's the reason why I only read comments on the c-blogs. I don’t know if they’re simply doing this to piss people off, but whatever the reason, I’m done reading them.

I understand not liking a game, but there is no need in attacking someones opinion or exaggerating certain problems to fit your agenda. You do find these type of comments on film blogs as well, but not in the same level presented on gaming sites.   read

10:04 PM on 07.31.2011

Demon’s Souls: An Allegory for Life

What is this place? The gamer is told it’s where the dead communicates. It’s dark and damp. A slow and moody soundtrack plays and gives the gamer a certain type of calmness and reassurance that you’re safe in this world. This castle is big. You’re free to roam. Take your time. Upgrade your character. You walk your character around, talk to strangers. Everyone speaks in riddles. The words, names, places, and events these strangers tell you are all foreign. Down in the corner you see a widow. On the left you see an elderly man who has seen too much in his life. Sitting at the corner of the steps you see a young man talking to himself. Out in the middle you see a women dressed in black. What does this all mean? What does he do? He decides to stop asking questions and move on to his mission -- his mission is to survive.

Your movements are slow. You examine your environment and look at every corner. You learn from your past mistakes. The gamers’ hair is starting to grow thin. The sweat is pouring down from the top of this young man’s head. It slowly drips down to his mouth; he can taste it. A disturbing itch arrives on his left shoulder, but the gamer is too immersed to care. The controller is wet as if it was dropped in a pool of water. His eyes are opened wide -- he doesn’t blink. The only movement, besides his fingers, is his right leg; violently shaking but somehow keeping a rhythm. The gamer's mind is devoid of any thoughts of the real world -- he’s only thinking about how he’s going to survive in this world of damp, isolated hallways filled with traps set to kill you. He sees a door. He decides to walk his character there. Then for a moment he stops.

The gamer leaves his character standing alone in this dark Gothic hallway. He ponders. He made it this far. What if he dies? What if it doesn’t go his way? What if this is all for nothing? He’s been playing for an hour and has yet to reach a checkpoint. Checkpoints are only given when the first boss of the world is defeated. Life… it’s so precious. The gamer has learned not to act so swiftly. 8 hours of gameplay has taught him that life should never be taken for granted. You must fight on -- never give up. Such a simple and meaningful message told merely by its gameplay.

The gamer continues to walk towards the door. His movements are slow, so you can barely hear his equipment. He takes out his sword. As he makes his way to the door, he sees glowing red letters on the ground: “Powerful foe ahead” it says. The gamer stares at the three simple words; as if he’s trying to find some hidden meaning. Who put this here? Whoever placed that message of warning puts the gamer in great disarray. He now pauses the game, but remembers the game cannot be paused. Foolishly the gamer presses the home button, but the game is still playing in the background. There is no escape. His only escape is to fight this foe. He drops the controller on his bed. Sits and collects his thoughts. “I don’t want to die,” he says. “I’ve spent too much time getting where I am.” He goes to the bathroom and wets his face with cold water. He looks at himself in the mirror. He walks slowly to the controller, picks it up and begins to move his character. The gamer's body is still. He’s character is almost at the door. One step, two steps… he’s dead. What if death were to close its doors to you...permanently? Would you be disappointed or pleased? Keep in mind, the world changes but you remain constant.

His hand covers his face in disappointment. “I failed” he whispers. All the souls he acquired are now gone. The hours of gameplay is now lost. He sits on his chair. The character is back to this strange castle. He’s once again surrounded by these people. Defeat is not acceptable. The gamer gets up and tries again; he fails, and tries again, only to fail again. He tries again and with his health low, finally defeats the dangerous foe. He finally sees the checkpoint. He raises his hand, touches the sword… I’m alive… I’m alive.   read

2:38 PM on 07.18.2011

Downloadables: The petal of life

I visit her every now and then. She holds my hand with a strong grip. We run through the grass and laugh. We sometimes sit by a tree and talk. I lay my head on her lap and start to tell her stories of my life. I tell her my problems - she doesn't talk, only listens. Listening is something I notice most adults lack. Her Listening skills are what I most admire. It's as if she's mute. She communicates only by facial expressions. Her warm hand caresses my hair as my head is laid down on her lap for hours. We stay there, underneath the tree, until night falls. We stare at the stars, counting them. Then I realize I have to go to bed. I turn off the PS3, and kiss Flower on its forehead.

... "Until next time," I whisper.

Being an adult is difficult. The responsibility and juggling more than you can handle at once sometimes can be too daunting. As a young adult, I look back at childhood with jealously: a life with no responsibility, a life where escapism is rewarded, a life devoid of money, a simple life where your mistakes are forgiven, a life I wish I can go back to. Being an adult has its perks, but nothing can replace the feeling of being a kid again. Flower, a PSN exclusive title, gave me a way to relax, a way to forget my problems in the world of the real. It's hard to explain why I hold this game so dear to my heart, but I will try my best to describe my feelings towards it.

Flower was my first PSN game. I was on my bed; legs spread apart, sheets a mess, and me half-way asleep. I was playing Fallout 3 and was quite bored with the scenery and gameplay to continue on. I decided to quit the game and see what the Playstation store can offer. I went through generic title after generic title until I saw Flower. I heard good things about the game, but never put much thought into it. I quickly reached for my laptop and searched for clips on Youtube. What I saw impressed me, so I decided to give the game a chance.

Flower is a pretty simple game. You use the motion controls on the sixaxis to move left and right and hold any button to move forward. You play as a single petal and your goal is to accumulate a swarm of flower petals. There is no time limit and the worlds are pretty open, but that is the extent of the game. There is nothing else to it. In this game the gamer brings life to a dark and cold world. The gamer is the sole source of light. The gamer is the petal that represents life - The gamer is the savior.

Now, how can such a simple game get an emotional response from me? Well, it's one of those games where you have to play to believe. The gameplay, while simple in design, is pretty addictive. It's almost as if you're not even playing the game; that's how simple the controls are. The key element is the presentation. When I played Flower my eyes were glued to the TV, then I started to space out. It's strange, I still had perfect control of the game and was accomplishing my mission, but my mind was on other things. The music and colors that Flower presented brought a certain kind of calmness to my mind and body. For a moment the game helped me forget my financial troubles. For a moment the game helped me forget the problems I have in school. For a moment I was calm and enjoyed what little free time I had. You see, I worry too much. I worry about school, social life, money, etc. There is nothing to relax me anymore. Even when I'm playing a game or reading a book my mind will eventually drift back to my problems. Flower is the first and only game to do this. A game where it's asking its player to participate and relax for moment; forget about the problems and be safe in this world of color and wonder. Being an adult is hard, but I'm getting use to it. I'm getting use to the idea that I will not get everything in life. Flower has taught me that there will be disappointments, but you have to move forward; don't let it get you down. Flower was therapy for me. I can see how silly this might be; such a minimalistic game having such a strong effect on me, and I can see how said game will totally not work with some gamers, but if you open your mind and heart then maybe, maybe you can feel the same way I felt.

I must stress that I didn't play this game every day. Games like this don't work that easily. You have to be in the right mood to play it. I played the game at night before I went to bed for a little over an hour. It took me about a month and half to complete the game. Minimalistic games deserve this type of treatment; they're not made with the intention of constant play. They are there to help the player. The game, like a good book, deserves to be completed in a leisurely pace. Well, that's my belief. I treat games the same way I treat literature. I take my time and absorbed each word, each sentence, each paragraph, and at times read them over again with the same care I did before, so I can fully absorbed the message. Flower is a delicate game that deserves this treatment. I know many will not understand why I feel this way, but I don't care. This is the power of video games! There is no story, no violence - I'm in control of everything. The game takes its robe and covers my problems for a brief moment, but that brief moment is enough to satisfy me.

So as I turn the PS3 back on, I am reunited with her. We start off slow. We are alone, but after a few minutes we start to meet new friends. Friends of all colors, my eyes grow bright with excitement. We run around the strange blue lit grass in the cover of darkness, with the moon being our only source of light. We count the stars, we laugh. We lay down on the grass and I let out a big sigh. I am happy.   read

6:01 PM on 07.05.2011

Why I like linear games

I’ve been without a current generation home console for almost a year now. During this year I’ve become a lover of handheld gaming. I finally bought myself an Xbox 360 four days ago, and I’m starting to regret my decision. Not because of the money I spent, but because of the possibility of me neglecting the console. There is nothing wrong with the 360, but with me. I simply cannot give console games my time and attention anymore. Well, most console games. Let me explain.

I sit, turn my 360 on, and begin to play Alan Wake. I beat the game in about five hours. The game is short, but it was exciting, original, scary, and most importantly linear. I greatly enjoyed the game, but I did struggle to play through it. My mind kept wondering, as if I had something else to do. What attracts me to handheld gaming is how I can play for 15 minutes, save, and then shut the system off. Alan Wake, while short and episodic in its presentation, was the perfect length for me.

Recently I played Fallout: New Vegas and while I did enjoy Fallout 3, New Vegas proved to be a bit too much for me. I played for about 10 hours and most of those 10 hours involved me walking around the wasteland. As I get older, I find myself reading and writing more often. My attention span has greatly expanded since I was a teenager, but this expansion did not reach my love of video games. I’m starting to detest any game longer than 12 hours. Like I said before, my attention span has improved greatly with age, but I’m not willing to give a game that much of my time anymore. It can be because I’m a young man in my twenties in school trying to balance the many hardships that life brings me, but I am noticing I’m not the only one to feel this way. Most of my friends complain of the same thing, too.

BioShock, Alan Wake, Shadow of The Colossus, Ico, and many others are games that offer a deep, emotional, and intellectual experience in a few short hours. This trend of condensing games is an act that is frown upon by many gamers. Most will say that a game must be of a particular length to justify its price tag, but I’m perfectly happy with a 4 – 12 hour experience.

To be honest, this kind of depresses me. Experiences like Mass Effect and Oblivion are games I love, but I’m getting nervous that I will not finish and enjoy a game like Skyrim. How can an improved version of Oblivion bore me? Well, this can all just be a phase I’m going through, but this phase has been with me for some time and I’m not seeing myself investing that much time into a video game anymore.

Linear games, for me, provide me with the essential experience I need from a video game: action and story. I can see the appeal of an open world game with choices and exploration, but the way things are going I don’t think I can do it anymore. But there can be a remedy for it!

Grand Theft Auto 3 (GTA 3) is the only GTA game I enjoyed and beat. GTA 3 is credited as being the first open world sandbox game, but compared to games nowadays its openness is laughable, but let’s think about this for a moment. GTA 3 had a world that was perfect -- it was big enough to explore, but small enough to roam around and remember where everything is. The condensed world was a big attraction for me! Because its world was so small, it provided me with a world jam packed with activities and locals I cared about. The problem with most open world games is that I get bored easily. Maybe if games took the open world mechanic, but just condensed it, it would have made for more of an attractive world. Many games have a big open world for no other reason because they can. But if a game can make a small open world, and provide it with content worth exploring than maybe my interest will lighten up.

I don't know. Sometimes I think having a novice approach to game design is a good thing.   read

9:08 PM on 06.27.2011

Your game is kiddy!

The dreaded word “kiddy” is often used as an insult to certain type of games; mostly games made by Nintendo. I question the people who have a need to express their distaste for anything “kiddy.” Should we insult these “kiddy” games? Why don’t we embrace them? Are they always as innocent as they seem?

This semester in school I’m taking a Children's Literature class; in this class we focus on children’s and young adult’s literature that concerns trauma and/or dystopian culture. In class we interrogate issues within these books. We’re examining literature meant for children. Sometimes we go into philosophical discussions about life, and other times we discuss the innocent and care free nature that children exhibit, but one thing is clear: a room filled of students in their twenties are enjoying literature meant for ages 8-16.

Not all the books we read have deep messages, but some offer something more simple and innocent: a child like wonder and happiness. A game that gave me this feeling was Kirby’s Epic Yarn; a game I absolutely adored, but a game most people insulted because of its look.

The colorful, imaginative world of Kirby is as innocent as it looks. The game, for me, is the expression of child like happiness. For instance, the simple game-play, colorful art-style, and surprisingly “adult” music engulfed me in a world I haven’t been in a long time. A world long forgotten, a world I will always cherish: a free spirited world absent of my worlds problems. It’s as if the developers were holding my hand and told me to forget all my troubles for awhile. Just relax and embrace the colors. Relax and escape the harsh reality. Relax and be happy. .. Why is this difficult for some people to understand?

I understand that some of the insults towards these “kiddy” games come from teenagers who wish to be looked at as “mature.” This is perfectly understandable, but I have encountered a number of adults my age echoing the same thoughts of these teenagers.

There has been a recent surge in young adult fiction that has drawn the attention of scholars and readers alike. Surprisingly, many authors within the last three decade have chosen to write about children’s engagement with personal and traumatic experiences. A game that’s very similar to this is Earthbound.

Many people call Earthbound the first art game. This is a game that many people will call “kiddy” because of its art-style, a game where you fight hippies and birds wearing sunglasses, a game where the protagonist gets home sick. But this game, unlike the majority of games, aims to hit your mind and heart with its story. Earthbound remains the only game, that I know of, that has gotten essays regarding its ending.

We’re in love with an industry that embraces violence and that is fine. But maybe we can have more games like Earthbound. What if we have a game that deals with childhood adolescence or creation of a hero amid adversity. We can have games that discuss the family structure and dynamics, class and economics, intimacy and knowledge, adolescence and growth.

Nintendo seems to be the only company that are making games like this, but maybe we have to take it further than just pretty colors (which are fine). Maybe I’m thinking too much on this topic, but what I know is that I want to see these type of games be embraced by gamers of all ages.

Let's try not to ignore something simply because it's "kiddy." I was at the Dtoid chat a couple of days ago and recommend some of the books I read from my class to a user, but he expressed his detest for "simple writing" and wanted something more "complicated." This type of attitude is simply heartbreaking, and I hope I'm not the only who wishes for more creative "kiddy" games.   read

10:17 PM on 06.15.2011

Do games have to be fun?

Do games have to be fun? Well, in my opinion they do. But there are some individuals that disagree with this opinion. Sometime it’s best to agree to disagree, but I still fail to see how an individual can enjoy gaming without it being fun.

I always bring my Ukulele with me to school; I sit in the back of the empty lounge area and quietly play some songs. This morning I was playing Kraid’s Theme, which I just learned the night before, and sat there, me with my brown Ukulele picking the strings to the simple, yet amazing, 8-bit song. The lounge area is pretty big and it was about 10:00 AM. I was sitting on a couch facing a window looking down on the beautiful city that is New York. The sun seemed to be my only source of light because the lounge area for some reason was devoid of any. I was lazily plucking the strings to the song when a classmate of mine, who had hair very reminiscent to what Bob Dylan had in the mid 60’s, went up to me to start a conversation. He said, “Wow, I wish I knew how to play that song. Metroid is one of my favorite franchises, but the original game hasn’t aged well at all.” I nod my head in agreement and he sat down next to me. He started to talk about our class assignment, but quickly went back to the topic of games.

As he started to talk, I crossed my leg and started to gently play After Hours by the Velvet Underground. He started to spit out some of his favorite games to see if I’ve played them:

“Have you played Person 4?”

“Yeah, I’m currently playing it at the moment.”

“Uhh, have you played Flower?”

“Yup, I enjoyed a great deal.”

“Have you played Limbo?”

“Yeah, that game is boring as hell.”

This, my friends, is how the topic in hand started.

My second blog for Destructoid was about Limbo; a game that disappointed me, but apparently didn’t disappoint the Destructoid community. Limbo, for me, was a boring, pretentious mess of a game. I told him this and he shook his head looking down at the ground in disagreement and said, “Games are not all about fun.” Now, I don’t know this man very well, but I do see how animated he is in our Literature class and I have agreed with many of his points, but this was the first time, in the first 2 weeks of summer class, which I’ve strongly disagreed with his opinion. I also didn't notice until a few minutes of him talking that I stopped playing. I put my instrument down next to my bag and started my reply.

“Game are about fun, dude. That’s the whole point,” I said. He started to ramble about games being art and asked who my favorite film director is. “Gaspar Noé is my favorite director” I responded. He then let out an elongated “oooooooh” and said, “Well, do you enjoy his films?” “Yes, of course I do” I responded. “His films are not films you watch every day, right?” he said. This is when I realized what he was doing, and for a moment I had to stop to think about my response. It’s true that the films by Gaspar Noé are graphic in subject matter; I do enjoy them in an intellectual and visual sense, but they are not films I would say I enjoyed -- his films are too dark and twisted to be enjoyed. I told him this and he said that games are the same. He also added that games should have more than just one emotion.

This is where he stopped me on my tracks. He said, “If we gamers believe that games are an art form then we have to believe that not all games have to be fun, right?” I honestly never thought about it this way. I do believe that games are an art form, but if they’re not fun then what’s the point of playing? But I wouldn’t say I had fun watching Irreversible or Requiem for A Dream… I’m confused. I've enjoyed them but didn't find them fun -- are they even the same? What is fun? Isn't this all subjective?

Anyway, he wanted to know how I can like a game like Flower but hate Limbo. I told him that Flower, while simple in design, was a fun and emotional experience -- we both agreed on that, but quickly disagreed when I said that Limbo was slow, boring, and had bad level design. He went on about the atmosphere, in which I responded that the immersion left me after the first 15 minutes of the game. I said, “Limbo seemed like it was unfinished.” He then laughed at the comment and said I was crazy.

Growing up I never thought about games this way. Yes, I truly believe they are an art form, but in my opinion they have to be fun. I had fun playing Braid, another art game, but I didn’t have any fun out of Limbo because the puzzles and gameplay seemed uninspired. Whatever the reason, I would have never thought that I would have a discussion about this topic in life. Wow, look how far this medium has gone.

As our geeky conversation was getting heated up, we realized that class was about to start. We agreed to disagree and headed off to class. After class he said he would introduce me to some PC games and 360 game where “fun” isn’t really essential. I only remember two games he mentioned: Nier and Silent Hill 4: The Room. Both games I never played.

I still believe that games must be fun to be enjoyed. Why would I waste time and money to play something I don’t enjoy? But his argument using films does seem to make some sense. Ugh, it seems this blog went to the dreaded discussion about games being art.   read

12:46 PM on 05.17.2011

How My Brother Ruined My Gaming Experience

As most of you know by now, I recently got my hands on a copy of Persona 4. I went into the game knowing nothing of the series, and to my surprise, I ended up enjoy it, until my brother came to visit me.

My brother, once a gamer, and now a serious adult, came home to visit me after I complained to him that I haven’t seen him in almost two months. He got married back in December to a woman I barely know. I am happy for him; I can say now, without any hesitation, that my brother is finally happy with his life.

My brother, who just turned 30, lives 15 minutes away from me. I understand once you’re married you start to live a different life, but I do notice that he spends more time with her family than his own. For instance, last week my aunt, cousin and uncle came over for dinner; this was the last time I would see them – they’re moving to Argentina – now, where was my brother? Well, he was upstate with his other family. Whatever the reason, I complained to him through the power that is text messaging, but he didn’t respond to any of it; instead of responding, he came home twice this week to visit.

Anyway, he came home on a day I was playing Persona 4 and watched me play the game until he started to ask questions: questions that made too much sense.

Before I start this, I feel I should give some background information about my brother. I don’t want to give the perception that he’s some guy who never laid his hands on a controller, or doesn’t understand the gaming culture; he does understand it, he just lost interest in it. You can’t fault him for that, it happens. He use to be into comic books, but now doesn’t read them at all. He doesn’t live a geeky lifestyle anymore, which is fine by me, but I don’t want to give the impression to my sexy readers that he’s some philistine who doesn’t understand us. This man has beaten the Legend of Zelda without a map or battery save. He waited on line to see The Wizard and beat Battletoads, a goal I have yet to complete! I would fill this page up with his accomplishments with gaming, but I think you get the idea.

I was lying down on bed, my laptop on my right, my PS2 controller on my belly, and me texting frantically to a friend. As I was sending the last text, I heard the door open, my mother screamed “Sergio, you’re home!”

I heard them talk, but stayed in bed. I looked at the time and noticed it was close to noon. Still covered in my blanket and too comfortable to move, I didn’t bother to get out from bed. If my brother wanted to see me, he had to come to my room; I was too pissed off to even care if he was home.

After 15 minutes of talking to my mother, he finally came in the room. “Hello, brother,” he said as he was walking in. He took the only chair in the room and sat near the bed. “What‘s up? How’s school?” he asked as if he was interested in my response. I shrugged my shoulders, put my phone down, and continued to play Persona 4. As I was playing, he continued to ask questions, after a few minutes, I started to open up, and the next thing I know, we’re having a conversation. It’s funny how a few simple words of kindness can break even the hardest of hearts. Anyway, I explained my situation with school and money, and he offered to help me find a job, and even took my resume so he can properly fix it up. Everything was going well between us, and he stayed sitting on the chair watching me play. This is an act he did when he lost interest in gaming. For instance, he never played a Metal Gear Solid game, but has seen me play and beat every single one of them, and can tell you in detail what happen in those games. I can see that he, like I, was immersed in the story of Persona 4

After 40 minutes my brother said, “Hey, when are you actually going to play? The game is cool, I like the story, and the characters are pretty interesting, even the voice acting is good, it kind of reminds me of those anime shows you use to watch, but this doesn’t feel like a game. How long have you‘ve been playing this?” I said, “I’ve played for about 3 and half hours and so far I’ve only had one fight.” My brother was shocked and continued to ask questions: “What the hell is the point of a game if all you’ve been doing is pressing X for almost 4 hours.” I shrugged because I didn’t have a response. He continued and said, “Games are about interactivity, right? Well, there really isn’t a lot of interactivity here to speak of.” After all his blabbing, I explained to him that this was done on purpose. I said that when you and Yosuke enter the Midnight Channel without Chie, is when the first battle sequence finally begin (this is about 2 hours into the game). The opening is slow but the developers wanted to flesh out the world of Persona 4 before you begin to play. My brother seemed to understand my explanation, but insisted that there had to be a better way to do it. “Games have been around for so long, and they still rely on talking heads” my brother said as if he never stopped playing games in the first place.

We started to have a deep conversation about games, and I was quickly reminded at how knowledgeable he was towards the subject. He may not play them much now, but he does understand them, and is not afraid to ask the hard questions. Questions I still ask myself today. I have the game on pause now, actually, I just stop pressing X on the dialogue sequnce to write this, and I’m starting to feel the same feeling my brother felt. I think the game is amazing: the story, characters, music, artwork are all well done, the game even looks good on my HDTV, unlike Shadow of The Colossus, but honestly, the whole pressing X to move the conversation along is boring me. There has to be a better way to do this. My brother said, “Metal Gear has long cutscenes and that codex thingy, but in between them are a healthy amount of pure gameplay, why can’t this game do the same?” I really don’t have an answer. Games have been around for over 40 years and developers still struggle to tell a story. I’m optimistic, but I’m starting to wonder if this is the best games can do.

I hesitate to call games a "young medium" because it's not. It's been around for so long, and I feel it really hasn't evolved much. Games are taking baby steps in the right direction, but this going way too slow for my liking. There has to be a better way than cutscenes or long periods of pressing X to tell a story. I will leave you with something my brother said:

" BioShock did a good job of immersing you into a deep, complicated world without cutscenes; you were part of the story, not a bystander."

By the way, I've played about 5 hours now and 90% of it were me pressing X to move a conversation along. Now, I'm going to pick up the controller and press X to start playing the game again.   read

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -