Video Games in One Sentence, 2014 Ed.

By |2017-09-08T21:45:25+00:00January 22nd, 2015|Categories: Lists, Video Games|Tags: , |

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 […]

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 Year of Lagging Dangerously

By |2017-09-08T21:43:21+00:00February 28th, 2014|Categories: Meta, Video Games|Tags: , , , , |

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 to charity, e.g. Humble Bundles).

The first is the sort of resolution every lazy writer makes. The second is […]

Video Games in One Sentence, 2013 Ed.

By |2017-09-08T21:43:16+00:00January 16th, 2014|Categories: Lists, Video Games|Tags: , |

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 […]

On Murder Simulators

By |2017-09-08T21:43:02+00:00January 5th, 2014|Categories: Video Games|Tags: , , , , |

“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 hyperbolic – […]

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 […]

What do we get out of video games?

By |2017-09-08T21:42:13+00:00February 4th, 2013|Categories: Meta, Video Games|Tags: , , , |

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 game is being judged against some larger metric, but usually this is just a purely relative standard […]

Go to Top