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State of Play with Brandon Bales: Jonathan Blow, Part Two

Welcome back to the second part of our interview with Jonathan Blow, creator of the indie smash Braid and the upcoming The Witness.

In this episode, we begin the discussion of what it means to spend our time playing games. Paramount to this: our discussion of "achievements" and how they feed into creating structures that presuppose challenging design.

Otomedius Excellent Review

Stupidity in Disk Form

Otomedius Excellent Screenshot

HIGH The music is fairly catchy.

LOW Playing the game.

WTF How exactly was this inspired by Gradius?

Saving Yello Review

Somewhere Between Sushi and Fish Sticks

Saving Yello Screenshot

HIGH Quality animations.

LOW Minor control issues.

WTF Children shouldn't have pets.

Nobody's Hero, Part 3: What it was for

H.E.R.O. Image

I didn't think about H.E.R.O. in general or my record specifically for a full month after that long night. Then, due to happenstance, I found myself cleaning out some boxes from my mother's home over Christmas, ruthlessly disposing of anything I'd ever been graded on. Near the bottom of a box of sundry tossables, I came across this...

State of Play with Brandon Bales: Jonathan Blow, Part One

Welcome back to State of Play with Brandon Bales!

Here's the first part of our interview with Jonathan Blow, creator of the amazing indie hit Braid and the upcoming The Witness!

In this episode, we dive into Mr. Blow's history in the industry and into the genesis of Braid, one of the breakout hits of the new Download Renaissance.

Nobody's Hero, Part 2: I beat H.E.R.O., which, unsurprisingly, does not lead to me becoming one

After a few false starts over the course of a week, getting my score into the 3-4 hundred thousand range, then getting controller-throwingly furious at abruptly losing half an hour's work when I got myself killed, I was almost ready to give up. After a particularly dispiriting series of losses I had the classic "1 more game" moment at Midnight on a Wednesday. This would, naturally, prove to be an unbelievably stressful decision.

Nobody's Hero, Part 1: A tale of obsession on the most insignificant scale

H.E.R.O. Box Art

So, some background to start. H.E.R.O. was an especially beloved game from my childhood, largely because it was my game. I'm sure anyone with siblings will recognize the phenomenon of shared game consoles and playing time, and the special joy that comes from having a game that is not only one's own property, but that holds no interest for siblings, so playing it offered a safe haven free from fights over controllers.

Sea Stars Review

Jetpack Joyride Underwater

Sea Stars Screenshot

HIGH Zoning out while in the zone.

LOW An underwater, generic Jetpack Joyride.

WTF Sisyphus metaphor too obvious, depressing.

Indie protest—Game Type by Mommy's Best Games

Game Type Screenshot

My good friend Nathan Fouts over at Mommy's Best Games has just released a new project on the XBL Indie channel called Game Type. However, it's not exactly a game, although it sort of is...

Sonic Generations Review

The Drowning Music Still Haunts My Soul

Sonic Generations Screenshot

HIGH Chemical Plant Zone is still awesome.

LOW "That looks like a homing shot! Careful, Sonic! That looks like a homing shot! Careful, Sonic! That looks like a homing shot! Careful, Sonic!"

WTF Who's the genius that thought leaving out Launch Base Zone was a good idea?

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