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Archive for September, 2009

I know that feeling well

While the Nintendo kids will no doubt look forward to annualised Zelda games well into their middle age, for the PC faithful a new appearance from an old friend more often than not heralds dark tidings. Oh sure I remember a time when I was naive and optimistic, a time when I couldn’t wait for another Monkey Island game. Then I played Curse and well, I know it wasn’t that bad but it never captured the old magic, and let’s not talk about Escape.

So there’s me blissfully ignoring the new Tales of Monkey Island and what does Telltale decide to do? Give away the first episode for free to celebrate Talk-Like-A-Pirate-Day.

Well hell I had no excuse, I had to at least try it.

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I actually really like Army of Two it's like post-stupid or something.

Sorry for the provocative title but after my last theory heavy article a friend suggested I read up on Jesper Juul’s ideas about games of emergence and games of progression. Juul defines games of emergence as games that contain a small amount of rules that give the player a lot of freedom to create emergent strategies and games of progression as ones where the player must complete predefined actions to win the game. This is sort of a better and more clear way of saying linear and non-linear.

This is all fine by me but I think where he and I part ways is when he starts evangelising about the evils of storytelling.

Progression is the historically newer structure that entered the computer game through the adventure genre…Since the designer controls the sequence of events, this is also where we find the games with cinematic or storytelling ambitions.

I have a couple of questions.

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Not Stupid At All

This is part of an ongoing series to read the first post click here.

Get your damn hands off me you dirty apes.My mission is clear, discover the source of the super mutant threat and shut it down.  Unfortunately I’ve just pissed off the only people who could help me do that. How am I supposed to single handedly take on the super mutant army and survive? Let alone without bloodshed?

I’m just going to have to improvise I guess.

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Masq is great

I’m probably going to regret this but today I want to talk about something very dry and potentially very boring. Now before you switch off completely I’m talking about this because I think it’s important. It’s an issue that cuts to the heart of many arguments about videogames. I’m going to try and keep this short and to the point but it may all turn into an elaborate wank. You have been warned.

Right, so non-linear gameplay eh?

What the hell do we mean by that? Is it just meaningless hypespeak or the defining characteristic of the medium? Shit let’s see what uncle Google has to say on the subject.

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The Glow

This is part of an ongoing series to read the first post click here.

glow

I’ve heard stories about the Glow, mostly fear and superstition but enough to know it’s a dangerous place. The wasteland isn’t pretty but if the rumours are true then the Glow is irradiated beyond belief.

So why on earth am I heading there? Because a dude in a mechanical exoskeleton won’t let me join his club unless I retrieve a holodisk for him. Typical.

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Gun

Tissue?

Featuring tales of lone gunmen wandering a bleak and unforgiving landscape the myths of the Old West possess a potent beauty. It is important to realise that the Old West is not just a setting, it is a metaphor for the conflicting forces of civilisation and barbarism. Like Arthurian legend or Greek tragedy, it is the epic poetry of a bygone era.

Gun does not understand any of this and so delivers us GTA with horses instead.

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Expletive Deleted

This is part of an ongoing series to read the first post click here.

the future

[Image via Giant Bomb]

Alright so I may have doomed a race of irradiated freaks to slow dehydration but on the plus side I now have the water chip. The vault is saved and I can go back to whatever it was I did before this nightmare began. Right Boss?

Wrong.

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