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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 21: Jenova Chen of thatgamecompany

Jenova Chen of thatgamecompany (flOw, Flower) is our guest this week, and his journey from Shanghai child to superstar developer was a perfect storm of determination, skill, and a whole lot of luck. You'll hear that story and many more in our jam-packed interview. And yes, he explains his Final Fantastic first name. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.

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Section 8 Review

Gives "Death from Above" a Whole New Meaning

Section 8 Screenshot

HIGH The armor design and functions are great.

LOW The single-player mode is over way too soon.

WTF How can it possibly be so hard to land directly on an enemy?

Section 8


Game Description: On the war-torn planets of tomorrow, mankind's greatest battle is about to begin. With its frontier colonies devastated by a growing insurrection, Earth dispatches the elite 8th Armored Infantry (nicknamed "Section 8") to repel the coming onslaught. The nickname refers to an old United States military regulation where a soldier would be dismissed from service through being mentally unfit for duty. The near-suicidal missions that this division volunteers for brands them as insane by other military units. Section 8 deploys by 'burning in' from their orbital drop ships tens of thousands of feet above the battlefield, utilizing the most advanced arsenal of military hardware known to man.

The Games of PAX - Day Two

The Games of PAX - Day Two

Since this was my first year going to a conference as a family unit (mommy-daddy-baby) I decided to skip most of the presentations and after-hours events. My little boy was great on the exhibition floor, but I didn't want to push my luck… or his endurance. Since I don't have much to say on the other events that occurred (and boy, there were an absolute ton of them) here's my final rundown of the games I saw and played.

The shortest Longest Journey, crackdowns, and choices

Finished The Longest Journey last night, and it was fantastic, if not a bit awkward at times. The "battles" are strange in that since I can't fail, I can stand completely still and do nothing while the monster just looks at me and waves its arms. I'm aware that Dreamfall has a combat mechanic but my friends tell me that it isn't very well done. I'm curious if something akin to Shadow of the Colossus (which I haven't played) or the new Prince of Persia would work here.

The Games of PAX - Day One

The Games of PAX - Day One - Dark Void Screenshot

Today was the first day of PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) 2009. I have to admit that I hadn't really been paying attention to many of the press materials prior to the show, and I was a little taken aback when the family unit and I arrived on-site to find that the place was an even larger, more spread-out roil of gamers than it was last year. I think the expo may be reaching its critical mass at the Washington State Trade & Convention Center, honestly. I certainly don't want it to leave, but I have a hard time imagining more people being able to cram into that space.

Is BioShock Feminist? A response in defense of Bridgette Tenenbaum

Is BioShock Feminist? A response in defense of Tenenbaum

So via Critical Distance I found this feminist critique of BioShock, written by Richard Terrell (who, you may have noticed, is a man). But it is really not sitting right with me. His thesis is that BioShock depicts women as weak and men as strong. So I thought the rest of the article would try to show how BioShock upholds patriarchal values.

Shatter Review

Making something old feel very, very new

Shatter Screenshot

HIGH Masterful reinvigoration of a tired subject.

LOW Nothing... it's all good.

WTF Where can I buy this soundtrack?

Early impressions of Atlus' Demon's Souls

Early impressions of Atlus' Demon's Souls

Got my hands on a pre-release copy of Demon's Souls from Atlus today. It's certainly been one of my more anticipated titles, yet has remained a fairly large question mark. It's easy enough to get the gist, but as we all know, the devil is in the details… Fortunately, although I didn't have as much time to sink into it as I would have liked, the time I did have was extremely impressive—even moreso than I had anticipated after watching several videos available via the Internet.

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