Too many goddamn games

Yeah, this one, too. Pretty disappointing. Photo: Ubisoft

Yeah, this one, too. Pretty disappointing. Photo: Ubisoft

When I was a kid, I used to buy albums on cassette. They were precious; each $12 – $16 item (when new) was an entire night of experience. I’d lie on my bed letting the music (with my mono-speakered cassette player from RadioShack at first, then my Sony yellow Sports Walkman, then an actual stereo I bought from Sears) flow over me, and I’d stay very still. Listening to the music. Hearing all the lyrics, even the ones I had to make up in my own head.

When I started playing video games for real, back in, say, 2006 or 2007, I had a similar experience. Each tiny Game Cube disc was a watershed moment. I could only buy one at a time, at varying intervals.

As I moved into the Xbox 360 era and then purchased a PlayStation 3 (“It’s for my website, I promise! Tax-deductible!”), new games were still fairly far and in-between, downloadable and on-disc. Gears of War. Flower. Final Fantasy XIII. Each a unique, special moment.

Not so anymore.

Continue reading

Goodbye Cara Ellison, we hardly knew ye

So long, farewell... Photo: Alan Levine, FlickrCC

So long, farewell… Photo: Alan Levine, FlickrCC

Writing about games isn’t a great way to make a living, and — as with talented writers like Cara Ellison — may not even be the best thing to write about.

Ellison and her big goodbye, right here:

Nordic Game asked me to do a talk on ‘New Wave games criticism’. I didn’t know what that was really, and if it’s anything we are probably in the middle of it and I can’t really see what it is yet. But anyway, since I’m leaving, I guess this is my goodbye.

Via: Cara Ellison

Gaming criticism is important, and it doesn’t mean being negative

Photo: WB Games

Photo: WB Games

Girls on Games’ Catherine Ashley has a lot of good things to say about the
over the top reaction to Arthur Gies’ (Polygon) critical (not negative!) look at The Witcher 3, a game I really can’t be bothered to want to play.

Critical thought simply means to be reflective, and engage in independent thought, rather than passively consume what is thrown at us on a daily basis. In spite of its negative connotation, being critical when reviewing a game is crucial; not only for those who read the review and decide whether or not to purchase it, but also for the video game industry in general.

Oh, and the Polygon review? It’s been taken down, apparently.

Via: GirlsOnGames

Last f*ckable day, indeed

Maggie Gyllenhaal is unimpressed. Photo: Jezebel/Splash/Getty

Maggie Gyllenhaal is unimpressed. Photo: Jezebel/Splash/Getty

Oh for fuck’s sake. She’s 37. She’s too OLD to play a 55-year-old man’s lover? How about TOO YOUNG?

Aging Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal ‘Too Old’ to Play 55-Year-Old’s Lover

37-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal was recently told by a Hollywood producer that she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man. In an interview with The Wrap, Gyllenhaal said was surprised by the producer’s admission, but that it’s just one of the many “disappointing things about being an actress in Hollywood.”

Via: Jezebel

Winter is Coming! (for gaming)

It seems like every third party console gaming company has decided it’s time to make mobile games now. Unfortunately instead of breathing a little fresh air into the mobile industry by bringing their originality and creativity, they are falling over each other to release the shittiest match-3 possible. And they are doing so while trying to convince the world it has “the fun and the pedigree of our studio.” “No one has ever made a match-3 on a sphere before.”

It’s still a fucking match-3. What happened to the vision of their studio? These studios used to push the limits to the absolute bounds. They would release things that would move gaming in a new direction. But now they just want to try to do the same thing as all the rest, and not nearly as well. There’s nothing wrong with a match-3 — but it’s been done to death.

How degrading must it be for these teams to go from working on a state of the art 3D environmental open world game with real originality and amazing engineering to crapping out a fucking match-3? It’s like they have given up. They have lost their direction, their drive, and their inspiration.

Before it’s too late, bring some of the studio’s insane talent to mobile games and make these match-3 companies run in fear. Show the world that gaming isn’t dead. Embrace the fact that gaming is becoming pervasive and release the next big thing on all platforms at once. Don’t give up the quest for making something original.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Brianna Wu continues to get graphic death threats, knows the name and personal information of one egregious offender, and still law enforcement does nothing.

If you received a call saying what that guy says below, wouldn’t you want someone to protect you?


“I’m coming to your fucking house right now. I will slit your throat you stupid little fucking whore. I’m coming, and you’d better be fucking ready for me.”

The death threat you can hear in this tape comes from Columbus, Ohio. The prosecuting attorney in that district is Ron O’Brien. If he wished, he could bring criminal charges against this man by the end of the day.

Source: The Mary Sue

A cynic is just a disappointed optimist

Maybe we all need a little brightness in our lives. Photo: Disney

Maybe we all need a little brightness in our lives. Photo: Disney

Damon Lindelof thinks that fanboys are going to have a hard time liking Tomorrowland, because it’s just too unabashedly optimistic and fun.

“Now, I don’t want to start a war, but as a self-identified fanboy, I think that with this movie, it’s gonna be really hard for fanboys to say, ‘I really enjoyed this movie. It made me feel good.’ God forbid you tweeted something like that! What would happen to you? You’d lose your readership! ‘You sold out!'”

Via: GamesRadar

Storytelling in video games is still pretty bad, mmmkay?

Leigh Alexander frequently gets it right. Here’s a thoughtful look at how maybe the storytelling in games isn’t all we want it to be.

People often say they are enthusiastic about games because “they can tell stories”, or because they enable narrative moments not possible in other media. But although there are numerous flashes of brilliance in games, this potential often feels like something they circle, but never attain.

Leigh Alexander for BoingBoing

Why are adventure games so boring?

Is there a place for games without combat? Photo: Double Fine

Is there a place for games without combat? Photo: Double Fine

Yahtzee is a game dev (natch), and he’s looking for ways to make an adventure game with storytelling more compelling. But what can you add to a story game that isn’t combat? Interesting question. How far outside the box can you go when making video games?

Pondering Adventure Games and Gameplay in Modern Gaming

Combat is certainly an option, but we’re talking about gameplay that enhances the all-important narrative, rather than interrupts it, and in that case combat kind of limits the kind of story you can tell. Survival horror does pretty well out of it, as did Spec Ops The Line, because violence and physical threat are very much at the core of the story themes those games are trying to bring across. Otherwise, it can feel a bit contrived.

Via: The Escapist

Hysterical Man is hysterical, man

Furiosa and furiouser. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

Furiosa and furiouser. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

Honestly, some of the best ironic writing we’ve seen in a long time. Check it out, SJWs:

The New Mad Max Film Is So Feminist My Scrotum Killed Itself

Guess what’s got my large intestine in a septic knot today, MANmerica? The extreme pussification and dude-slicing feminism that has taken Mad Max: Fury Road—a movie that should have been about two greased up male torsos in a UFC fight on the back of on a loud motorcycle—into a crotch-kicking misandrist fantasy starring some dyke named Furiosa who doesn’t even show us her tits. THE BETAFICATION OF AMERICA CONTINUES. MAD MAX HAS BEEN RUINED.

Source: Jezebel