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It’s Better To Make Something: In Defense of GTAV’s Story (Or Maybe A Third of It, Anyway)

GTA V Michael

Michael DeSanta is an angry, broken man.

His wife and children have deserted him. His wealth does not satisfy him. His return to a life of crime—while initially invigorating—has landed him in an interagency war between the FIB and the IAA. It's also brought Trevor Phillips back into his life, forcing him to confront the sins of his past in a way he hoped he would never have to.

EarthBound Book Review

An Autoludography

Earthbound Book Review

1995's EarthBound (SNES) is a widely known and beloved game, but one that sold so poorly upon release that it's probably beloved by significantly more people now than ever bought the original cartridges.

Consoleation: All good things...

Consoleation: All good things...

After more than 12 years of writing about console video games—ranging from game reviews to sales analysis—I am officially "retiring." I use quotation marks because I can't really retire from something that I didn't really do for a living… but it's been more than 25% of my life, and the time has come to hang up my keyboard and step away… for good, this time.

A World of Canyons

Tales of Xillia Screenshot

Playing Tales of Xillia made me think of Final Fantasy, which was probably not the intended effect.

Consoleation: The death of the College Football video game

Bill Walsh College Football Image

Pretty interesting—and sad—news coming out of Electronic Arts as the company has thrown in the towel on its college football video games after a twenty-year run that began back in 1993 as Bill Walsh College Football.

Just for the trophy

The Last of Us Screenshot

I hate Firefly pendants. I don't really hate anything intrinsic to the pendants, of course. They're much too boring for that.

The Mirage

Remember Me Screenshot

In the wake of Microsoft's unpopular and ultimately reversed turn towards invasive DRM and daily activation requirements, there has been a renewed discussion of the economic challenges of AAA development and the supposed danger that used games posed to the industry. The standard excuse that it's too great a challenge to create games that achieve players' graphical expectations while still selling enough games to be economically viable in the context of a console exclusive has been trotted out, and as usual it is false, or at least lacking in perspective.

Anatomy of a poor choice

Mars: War Logs Screenshot

Mars: War Logs is a confusing game on many levels. It's set on another planet far in the future, but most of the fighting involves whacking dudes with a glorified stick. The player never sees the game's only real "war," and instead deals mainly with an internecine conflict concerning the main character Roy's guild. Yet, in the end, even the internal power struggles turn out not to have been the driving force for the game's violence.

Shooting and missing

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

The discussion around BioShock Infinite's combat doesn't just involve the question of whether its quantity of violence is essential to the story (yes), or whether telling a story where its quantity of violence is essential is interesting or worthwhile (no). Some of the discussion has centered around the question of whether the combat mechanics are any good. Eric Schwarz has written a fantastic post that describes most of the combat mechanics, and I want to expand on it a little. Even though I think violence helps to express the kind of character Booker is, I don't think the combat systems of BioShock Infinite do much to help characterize him, and in some ways actively oppose that characterization.

Hotline Miami and a few words on used games

Hotline Miami and a few words on used games

I've heard a few developers lately talking about why they are in favor of DRM and getting rid of used games. I know this is a huge discussion and I don't really want to get into every aspect of it right here, but there are few things I need to get off my chest.

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