Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's Heartbreaking To Watch A Brilliant Game Like The Order:1886 Get Dragged Through the Mud

The Order: 1886 is a shitty game according to just about every reviewer with a keyboard and a reader base. It’s a waste of time. It’s a linear slog full of quick-time-events and button prompts, and stale third person gameplay that the developers tried to sneak by us with their pretty visuals and carefully choreographed cutscenes. Kotaku doesn’t even think you should bother with it.

What a joke. Look, you may feel disappointed because a certain game did not give you exactly what you were hoping for, but many of the reviewers out there who played The Order and didn’t think it offered anything worthwhile just don’t understand gaming. Rather, they don’t understand what does and does not make a game worth playing. Or maybe they just bought into their own lazily crafted narratives?

The Order: 1886 is a linear game. If you go into it expecting sidequests and wide open worlds to explore, you’ve been misled. This is not that sort of game, but that does not mean that it sucks, or that it’s a failure. Saying that The Order is not worth playing is like saying that Yosemite is not worth visiting because it doesn’t have a hip nightlife. Every game is different, and the best way to approach one (as a reviewer) is to take what it gives you and determine whether or not it’s goals are worthwhile, and then decide if the game achieved those goals.

Every game shares at least one common goal: to entertain the audience. Maybe The Order didn’t entertain you, and that’s perfectly fine, but if you can’t see why other people might be more appreciative of what the game offers then you shouldn’t be reviewing it. Go write about it in your blog or whatever, but don’t tell people that the game is objectively bad.

With that out of the way, I’d like to say a little bit about why I’m so wonderfully impressed by this game.

Friday, February 20, 2015

LittleBigPlanet 3 Is Our Reminder That Games Should Be Fun Before All Else

Hey, 2014… What’s your deal? Do you like disappointing us? You know, it wasn’t long ago that it seemed like every past year was the new “Best Year Ever for Gaming,” full of AAA hits and genre-defining titles.

Way to drop the ball, 2014. That was… Man, that was rough.

I'll admit that I enjoyed Assassin's Creed Unity more than the average player, though that had a lot to do with the fact that my copy was one of the few that wasn't infested with glitches and bugs. Far Cry 4 isn't bad, but really it's more of the same. I loved Destiny for like, seven minutes before realizing the amount of grinding and backtracking the game expected from me. Watchdogs? Didn't even even bother with it.

By the time LittleBigPlanet 3 released in November, I just didn’t have it in me to expect anything more than mediocrity. Nonetheless I made the trek up to GameStop on release day to pick up my preordered copy, if only because it came with a Sackboy plushy, and you best believe I wanted my damn plushy. When it came to the actual game, though, my expectations were so low that I didn’t even bother to pop the disc into the console until last week.

Who would’ve thought that I’d be here, halfway through February 2015, making a case for LittleBigPlanet 3 as my game of the year for 2014? Granted, my tempered expectations certainly helped, but make no mistake, this game is really really fun.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why I love video games, part 12,437

My sister has been home from college for the past few days, taking a timeout from the stress of finals prep and college life in general. We had the house to ourselves today so I hooked up the Wii U to the living room TV and the two of us played some co-op Super Mario 3D World for a couple hours.

A couple hours quickly turned into four or five because we were having so much fun. There's something special about handing someone a controller and watching them smile and have fun with a game you just knew they'd enjoy, and I'm telling you, nobody does it quite like Mario.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

From great to unforgettable: what makes a game stick in our memories?

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It's an effective tool for any creative medium, but I don't think it's off-base to say that nostalgia is an especially potent tool for game developers. Most of us who love video games grew up with them, so characters like Link and Mario feature heavily in our childhood memories, and we remember our favorite game worlds with the same fondness that we might remember a family vacation, or holidays at grandma's house. Let's admit it, when a new game comes along, no matter how great it may be, odds are that it won't quite measure up to the games you played and loved as a child.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Early Impressions of The Wonderful 101

I'm just about a third of the way through The Wonderful 101's main campaign and I figured this would be a good point to stop and give some impressions, because DAMN, this is one unique game.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

How Come Nobody Wants A Wii U? This Thing Is Awesome!

Okay, we need to talk. If you consider yourself a fan of video games- not a "gamer", because that word is seriously lame- then go ahead and take a seat because we're going to have a discussion about the Wii U, and crucially, why you haven't bought one.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Two Gems That You Probably Haven't Played, But Should

There's something especially uplifting about stumbling upon a special work of art where you weren't expecting one. Like a book you picked up only because you liked the cover, but WOW you feel so lucky that you did. Something like a random documentary on Netflix that really blows you away and turns you into an anti-SeaWorld activist for like, a week.