2015 Video Games

Games Played in One Sentence, 2015 Ed.

Once again, here’s a sentence about every game I played in the year 2015 (not counting games finished up from last year, described in last year’s list). 80 Days* Eloquently capturing the trials and tribulations of travel in a pre-globalized world, 80 Days‘ classy literary ambitions don’t stop it from being a page turner. 9…

Crowdfunding!

Kotaku’s “Unsung Story” Article Isn’t Really About Unsung Story

Four days ago, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier published a story titled “Unsung Story Is A $660,000 Kickstarter Disaster.” It’s a peculiar thing; the body mostly consists of Schreier venting his displeasure with said Kickstarter in a very feelings-based, op-ed style, despite the story being filed in the same place as Kotaku’s more regular journalism. What evidence…

VG2014

Video Games in One Sentence, 2014 Ed.

Continuing a tradition from the last two years, I’m devoting a sentence to every game I began playing in 2014. Consider this a small apology for not writing substantive entries on any of them save Mass Effect 3. More in 2015 (I promise). Also, if you haven’t already, please consider buying my book (and seven…

Among other notable features, Mass Effect 3 contains the worse dream sequences in video game history.

The End of Mass Effect

This is the fourth and final part of Critical Mass Effect, a close look at the Mass Effect series. Previous entries are: Part 0: Mass Effect’s Astoundingly Inept Sidequests Part 1: What Mass Effect Gets Wrong Part 2: What Mass Effect Got Right Part 3:The Evolution of Mass Effect This final entry looks at Mass…

The Year of Lagging Dangerously

I made two New Years Resolutions for 2014: 1. Update this blog at least once a month. 2. Do not purchase any video games for the first half of the year (excluding games where at least 30% of proceeds goes to charity, e.g. Humble Bundles). The first is the sort of resolution every lazy writer…

Skulls of the Shogun, one of the best games of 2013.

Video Games in One Sentence, 2013 Ed.

Last year, I wrote a one-sentence description of every game I played in 2012. I’m making this an annual tradition, so let the run-on sentences commence! Because throwing glowing adjectives in a sentence gets tiresome quickly, this is not intended to be fair in any way shape or form; some of these are serious commentary, some…

Murder

On Murder Simulators

“Murder simulator” has been one of the most popular rhetorical sledgehammers in the national FUD campaign against violent video games. Popularized by Dave Grossman in his 1996 book On Killing, the phrase was repeatedly used by provacateur Jack Thompson and the mainstream media when attempting to tie violent video games to real-life killings. The term wasn’t just…

Meetings in space!

The Evolution of Mass Effect

[SPOILER WARNING: As with all entries in the Critical Mass Effect series, this contains various degrees of spoilers, in this case for Mass Effect 2] The unimaginatively titled Mass Effect 2 may as well have been called Mass Effect². Bioware’s approach to the sequel seems to have been to take everything that was distinct about…

It's a boat!

What Mass Effect Got Right

In the last entry, I highlighted the most egregious problems of Mass Effect. But the fact remains that I’ve played it to completion twice, when I don’t manage to complete most of the games I start. Clearly, it’s doing something right. To round out my coverage of the first Mass Effect, I’ll take a stab at…

Mass Effect 1

What Mass Effect Gets Wrong

Welcome to the first real entry in Critical Mass Effect, a compendium of articles that will poke and prod at all the design decisions that make up the Mass Effect trilogy.This will not be comprehensive; as much as anything, I hope that this can start a conversation about Bioware and the choices they make. In this…