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 … Continue reading

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

The End of Mass Effect

Part Four of Critical 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 … Continue reading

The Year of Lagging Dangerously

My one man battle against backlogs and Twitter

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

“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 … Continue reading

Meetings in space!

The Evolution of Mass Effect

Part Three of Critical 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 … Continue reading

It's a boat!

What Mass Effect Got Right

Part Two of Critical Mass Effect

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. … Continue reading

Mass Effect 1

What Mass Effect Gets Wrong

Part One of Critical Mass Effect

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 … Continue reading


Mass Effect’s Astoundingly Inept Sidequests

A Special Presentation from Critical Mass Effect

Author’s Note: This is the first entry in Critical Mass Effect, a compendium of articles on Bioware’s ambitious, troubled space opera trilogy. The next two entries will focus on everything wrong and right in the series’ first entry, but my … Continue reading

Every self-reflective games writer (and I like to think that’s most of us) is dogged by one question above all others: “How do you measure the value of a game?” When we review a game, the implication is that the … Continue reading