Trodamus

Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

The Long Dark

In Video Games on December 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm

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Casually speaking, I use the concept of The Sublime to describe a certain ineffable beauty, a long wooden spoon that reaches into you and stirs your emotions and draws out a certain longing,yearning for beauty, for more beauty.

Thanks to certain elements of my collegiate education, I also know that The Sublime finds its origins in negative emotions: things that “excite the ideas of pain and danger,” that provoke terror.

If there’s a marriage of the two sides of this concept, it’s The Long Dark, a new survival game that distinguishes itself from its many peers by being about …survival.

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Cultural Heritage List of Games That Are Coming Out That Have Piqued My Interest

In Video Games on August 16, 2013 at 5:06 pm

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We’re fast approaching the late Q3 / early Q4 drought of game releases, so much of what I’ll list is either coming out in a week, or coming out in time for Christmas.

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Xbox One: The Cloud Could Save Gaming

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on June 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm

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Like most of Microsoft’s PR about its new console, the alleged 300,000 server-powered Cloud behind the Xbox One is ill-defined and subject to a great deal of controversy, labelled as anything from an always-online DRM excuse for single-player games to “a lie” as spun by Witness dev Jonathan Blow.

While what it is has yet to be fully settled, what it could be is the salvation of the next generation of gaming.

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Remember Me: First Impressions, Metareview and Early Allegorical Interpretations

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on June 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

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Remember Me is an incredibly ambitious game that seems to have polarized reviewers, having pockmarked its review sheet with scores that defy conventional mathematics, ranging from 40 to 90, with six scores of 80 and eight scores of 70.

Having not yet finished this ten plus hour game, I will refrain from offering too final a verdict, but instead will discuss my initial impressions, the mystery behind the metareview, and what notes this game is hitting allegorically speaking.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown

In Video Games on January 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm

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It’s not often you hear about a true modern success story where the invigoration of old franchises are concerned. Caught between competing pressures to widen the appeal, to say true to the original, to fix what needs fixing but also to leave broken the sacred cows, most games are pushed too far in one direction. The resultant product may bear little resemblance to its namesake, or it may be missing features true fans considered essential. Worse yet, it may be a true and faithful update that is marred by all the problems of the original, with no progress or improvements, doomed to please “fans of the original” and little else.

That said, I’m the kind of bastard that never seems to have played the original and care little for legacies or sacred cows. I want a good game. I enjoyed Syndicate and only wish it wasn’t part of that franchise so it could have gotten a fair shake. Deus Ex: Invisible War was as good an implementation of Deus Ex on consoles as could be done at the time and is still a very good game.

So while XCOM: Enemy Unknown is by leaps and bounds a faithful reproduction of the original with a number of necessary improvements to the overall formula, to me it’s much more important that it is simply a good, addictive game.

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2013’s Games That Are Coming Out In 2013 (Eventually) (2013 Edition) For 2013

In Video Games on January 15, 2013 at 10:59 pm

With the new year freshly under our feet, let’s take a look ahead at what’s going to be draining our wallets this time.

Whether the next generation’s pending announcement, rumored to be even before the GDC in March, will impact your anticipation or purchasing plans is, of course, a personal matter best left to vociferous ramblings in public forums.

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Things That Bug Me

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on November 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

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A Drop in the Ocean: Halo 4 is Pretty Good

In Video Games on November 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

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Halo is a humble series. A mere eight games in eleven years — bizarrely spaced out at that — contrasts well against Call of Duty’s nine games in as many years, or Battlefield‘s ten games and inumerable expansions since its inception in 2002. As well, while it pioneered a number of gameplay mechanics that would be championed by the “dumbing down” trend in gaming, regenerating health among them, it’s still a game that hasn’t changed much over the years with each release.

And yet, with this new and improve sequel, which does everything a sequel should, the game feels positively hardcore compared to the stagnation of the shooter genre in years past. Read the rest of this entry »

Planetary Annihilation

In Video Games on August 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm

If there’s a genre that defines the split between my “real life” friends and my “internet” friends, it is the real-time strategy genre.

It feels weird even typing that out. That distinction is purely academic at this point. Given that I went through a period of time of only seeing my brother about once per year, there has been a period of time in my life where I saw my “internet” friend Jack more frequently than my brother. So mote it be. But anyway. Strategy games. Read the rest of this entry »

On Homage, Satires and Parodies

In Video Games on June 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I think some games have a hard time following their predecessors because  they’re trying to follow a nuanced construct with a simpler diversion. What was previously a pastiche instead only references itself, and it shifts from satire to self-parody. It’s disconcerting.

Two games bring this idea into focus: Max Payne 3 and Saints Row 3. Read the rest of this entry »