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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.

Motion control: Boon or bane for gamers with disabilities?

With all the studies on therapeutic uses for Nintendo's Wiimote, a deaf school's innovative use of PlayStation Portables and the potential for Microsoft's Project Natal to make games accessible to players with disabilities thanks to its ability to recognize objects, voices, gestures and facial expressions, it's easy to think that motion-sensing technology is an unequivocal boon to players with disabilities everywhere. But is it? It's certainly easier for some people with disabilities to move an arm than to push a small button (or six). But what about those players with disabilities who are attracted to video games partly because pushing buttons allows them to do things they cannot otherwise do? Will the move toward motion control realism bar some players from their hobby?

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.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 20: Xbox Live Summer of Arcade

Sunshine is for losers! We spent our summer vacation indoors, enjoying the offerings of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade. Well…”enjoying” might be too strong a word. We rundown all five games: Splosion Man, Turtles in Time, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Trials HD, and Shadow Complex. Plus, Mike and Tim red ring within 12 hours of each other! Believe it! Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum Review

When in doubt, there is always a vent

Batman: Arkham Asylum Screenshot

HIGH The Scarecrow encounters.

LOW The omnipresent hint system that can't be turned off.

WTF Poison Ivy over Mr. Freeze? Seriously?

Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station Review

It's garbage.

Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station Screenshot

HIGH Nothing.

LOW Everything.

WTF Why in the world was this even released?

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Tatooine DLC

Just completed the new Tatooine DLC for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on Xbox 360. As my co-podcaster Tim Spaeth so eloquently put it, it's another piece of "stealth DLC" arriving with no forewarning or fanfare, much like Mass Effect's Pinnacle Station. However, unlike Pinnacle Station, this add-on is pretty sweet.

Starting out, the mission assumes that the player became the Emperor's new disciple at the end of The Force Unleashed proper. (This was only one of two possible endings.) Seeing main character Starkiller as a desiccated metallic husk consumed by the dark side was a bit of a shock, but still pretty cool, regardless.

The Xbox 360 Elite is now also $299. Will you be getting one?

Yes.
6% (49 votes)
No.
39% (327 votes)
Maybe.
7% (63 votes)
Already own an Xbox 360.
43% (363 votes)
Just in time. My 360 just red-ringed.
6% (47 votes)
Total votes: 849

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