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Western developers need religion

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron Screenshot

I have been comfortably Agnostic for years, but my departure from Christianity hasn't erased the experience of having practiced it. I couldn't deny the influence my time within the church has had on me, and wouldn't; to do so would be to deny a fundamental piece of myself. From this perspective, I can't help but wonder if Western developers are doing themselves, gamers, and culture as a whole a disservice by continually minimizing and ignoring the role of religion in Western society.

Choose Mass Effect 3's female Shepard

Mass Effect 3 Female Shepard Facebook Mass Effect 3 Female Shepard Facebook

It's not often that you get to play a part—however small—in the development or marketing of a game. BioWare is giving fans such an opportunity. Illustrating one of the ways social networks are actually useful, BioWare has launched a promotion where fans can vote via Facebook, on the "default female Shepard" that will be used in Mass Effect 3. Fans get to chose from six different looks—actually it's just different faces while the bodies remain the same—and you vote by liking the image that you want to see win.

Where Red Faction: Armageddon failed

Red Faction: Armageddon Screenshot

I initially had a hard time writing my review of Red Faction: Armageddon. I almost fell into the same trap that caught me in my review of No More Heroes 2, another game that essentially abandoned an existing open-world concept, of reviewing the predecessor rather than the sequel. This was an enticing prospect, because I liked Red Faction: Guerilla a great deal, and I did not like Armageddon one little bit.

A Boy and His Game: Papo & Yo and Vander Caballero

Papo & Yo Screenshot

Now that E3 is a few weeks cold, I'd like to write a little about my personal game of the show, and the man behind it, Vander Caballero, who is inextricable from his pet project. I didn't go into the convention thinking about winners and losers, but Minority Inc.'s Papo & Yo was a definite winner for me, one that has stayed on my mind continuously since the show's end.

L.A. Noire: The hollow man

L.A. Noire Screenshot

Who is Cole Phelps?

What Blackwater should do

Blackwater (Kinect) Screenshot

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo has ended but produced a deluge of coverage and critique as journalists and bloggers debated the merits of this hotly-anticipated sequel and that oddly-named, overpriced new platform. All the games got some coverage, but many sank beneath the tide of information. The announcement by Backbreaker publisher 505 Games' upcoming "FPX" Blackwater seems to be one such.

L.A. Noire's problems finally reach their end

L.A. Noire Screenshot

There are three missions on the game's Vice desk, and two of them are ruined, as mentioned before, by the newspaper-related cut-scenes that spoil all of their key plot details. The third mission, while more satisfying than the other two, is fundamentally undercut at the writing stage based on a problem at the scripting stage: The writer/director doesn't seem to understand how gambling works, at all.

L.A. Noire has more problems

L.A. Noire Screenshot

It's not unusual for game developers to take their inspiration from other, better established media. There are roughly fifty games about some version of Indiana Jones, after all. It is, however, a little on the strange side to see a game lift content so thoroughly that lawyers could very well get involved. Even Deadly Premonition, which was noted far and wide for its similarities to television series Twin Peaks, was smart enough to merely use that show as a jumping-off point.

L.A. Noire has problems

L.A. Noire has problems

Many, many, problems. So many, in fact, that I couldn't risk talking about them in my review of the game lest I completely spoil the story for anyone who hasn't played it yet (and still wants to). Over here in the blog section, however, I'm free to be as spoiler-y as I want, so I've put together an article detailing some of the ways in which the game doesn't measure up.

Identity Crysis

Identity Crysis

Crysis 2 is an excellent game and worth playing if you have ever enjoyed first-person shooters at all. On many levels, however, I thought the game couldn't really decide what it wanted to be about. Is it a game about making sound tactical choices in an operation against a superior force, or is it a (bad) story about squid attacking New York City with a bio-weapon?

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