It's been suggested by critic emeritus Gene Park, staff critic Matthew Kaplan and others outside of the GC community, that adding more interactive choices/decisions to the popular PlayStation 3 title, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, would change the very thrill-ride nature and universal appeal of its gameplay. The argument is that the inclusion of such choice would result in something that was "not the point of the game".
Gene insists that: "...I've followed the game's development through media and it's been said time and time again (even in the game's in-game documentary) that the purpose of the game was never going to be about player choice, but providing the same experience for all players."
I disagree with this logic of thought for multiple reasons.
I recently had the pleasure of playing Machinarium, a fantastic adventure title from indie developer Amanita Design. Currently available on Steam and on their website, Machinarium has received accolades from many critics, myself included. Their CEO, Jakub Dvorsky, was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about the game his company, and his team.
Stephen Totilo of Kotaku provided a fascinating look at Zach Gage's Lose/Lose, a curious statement-game (I would call it an "art game," but that label comes with its own baggage and may obfuscate the analysis below) that posits players in a pretty lousy situation: Get "killed" in the game, and the application running the program is deleted from the computer. Destroy "enemies," however, and a file on your computer—represented graphically in the game as a blurry mess of pixels scrolling down the screen in true Galaga fashion—gets deleted. That's right. The game deletes your files. Of course, that's only if you choose to play the game as a game... and not experience it as a question of will and complicity.
We continue debunking The Myths of Game Criticism in the second half of our two-part series. Do we live in constant fear of Twitter putting us out of business? Are games so spectacular now that the average score really is 8 out of 10? Do publishers send strike teams to our homes and force us to change scores? We set the record straight. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Five Point Scale" Spaeth.
This week we challenge commonly held assumptions about criticism, writers, review scores, finishing games and much more. So much more, in fact, we had to split the episode in half. Plus, if you're a Borderlands fan, get ready to hate us. Our quick hit is less than flattering. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.
We have a new writer in town, a self-proclaimed feminist by the name of Alex Raymond, who at the time of writing has graced our site with three op-eds on the representation of women in video games. While I think issues of gender representation in video games are a perfectly valid and worthwhile topic, I'm consistently finding Alex's articles to be misguided and occasionally misinformed attempts to promote dubious and unscientific ideals about female equality. But it's her attack on the creative freedom of game developers that I find most worrisome.
Fans of games are always ready to dress up like their favorite characters. What compels them to do so is anyone's guess... actually I wouldn't even want to know. But sometimes you get really stunning tributes like this one. Savage Land Pictures' crew is a collection of professionals who make their living in the movie industry. Apparently, Faith as a character and Mirror's Edge as a backdrop proved quite appealing for this project.
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