(Belated) Notes on Final Fantasy VII Remake

By |2023-06-25T19:00:12+00:00June 25th, 2023|Categories: Close Looks, Video Games|

Let’s get this out of the way: Final Fantasy VII Remake is the most artless title of any video game I have ever played. Even if they didn’t want to give it a proper subtitle, it should have been Final Fantasy VII Remade. Remake’s the sort of slapdash descriptor you apply before there’s an actual title, […]

The End of Mass Effect

By |2014-10-19T18:47:30+00:00October 19th, 2014|Categories: Close Looks, Retrospective, Video Games|Tags: , , , , , |

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:

This final entry looks at Mass Effect 3, […]

The Evolution of Mass Effect

By |2017-09-08T21:42:12+00:00May 26th, 2013|Categories: Close Looks, Retrospective, Video Games|Tags: , , , , , , , |

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 approach to the sequel seems to have been to take everything that was distinct about Mass Effect and […]

What Mass Effect Got Right

By |2017-09-08T21:42:12+00:00May 4th, 2013|Categories: Close Looks, Retrospective, Video Games|Tags: , , , , , , |

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. To round out my coverage of the first Mass Effect, I’ll take a stab at explaining […]

What Mass Effect Gets Wrong

By |2017-09-08T21:42:12+00:00April 27th, 2013|Categories: Close Looks, Retrospective, Video Games|Tags: , , , , , |

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 that this can start a conversation about Bioware and the choices they make.

In this entry, I’ll […]

Mass Effect’s Astoundingly Inept Sidequests

By |2017-09-08T21:42:12+00:00April 20th, 2013|Categories: Close Looks, Retrospective, Video Games|Tags: , , , , , |

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 contempt for that game’s sidequests needed an entry of its own.

Mass Effect’s sidequests are not all […]

World Rebuilding: A Close Look at Bastion

By |2017-09-08T21:27:36+00:00July 28th, 2011|Categories: Close Looks, Video Games|Tags: , , , , |

Like most fantasy, Bastion draws attention to the art of world-building: the landscapes and societies that emerged from the mind of the developer, were given life by the artists, and are now displayed on our monitors. Cast as an enigmatic protagonist known only as The Kid, I explore the ruins of the great city of Caelondia, now […]

Close Look: Fallout: New Vegas: Extra Colon Edition

By |2017-09-08T21:19:32+00:00July 15th, 2011|Categories: Close Looks, Video Games|Tags: , , , , , , |

Author’s Note: Since I’m writing about a pretty prominent game here, I’m going to assume some knowledge of the game and the series on your part; there’s no point regurgitating reviews at this point. As always, use Wikipedia if you need a quick catch-up, or better yet, play the original Fallout.

There are few things as enjoyable […]

Close Look: EVE Online

By |2017-09-08T21:19:16+00:00June 27th, 2011|Categories: Close Looks, Video Games|

Two summers ago, I spent a month and a half playing playing EVE Online. In terms of subscribers, EVE is the second-most popular MMO, though it has only a fraction of the subscribers of the monolithic World of Warcraft. It was a enriching experience in a fascinating society. It’s too bad the game isn’t very good.

I […]

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