I don’t write too many “response” pieces, because normally I get too bent out of shape about the ego-driven prattle and misinformation so often passed as fact. Yet here we are! ...
Please note, the images used for the article are safe for most environments, but the linked images are NSFW. For a long, long, time I’ve been extremely curious about the entire ...
Everyone loves a surprise. Risk of Rain didn’t completely sneak up on me, but it came dangerously close. I knew of the game’s Kickstarter campaign earlier in the year, but we’re ...
The best way to play Proteus? Anywhere.Platform Perfection: A Review Of Proteus (Vita)
There’s been no shortage of prose about Proteus, and in a way, I feel like I’ve already reviewed it. It’s all well-deserved, though, for in the effortlessly calming walkabout there’s a sense of intrigue and subdued mystery at work; it simply delivers a feeling few games do.
Now, with Proteus available on more platforms that just the PC, we’re in the fortunate position of being able to ask which system it’s best to play Proteus on. With such a pure, evocative experience, is there a “right” platform?
Disasterpiece TheaterCall of Duty: Ghosts: The Movie: The Interview
Editor’s Note: What follows is a transcription of an interview that may or may not have taken place between the author and a conveniently ambiguous third party after a viewing of the movie Call of Duty: Ghosts. You have been warned.
[SCENE - A MOUNTAINTOP OBSERVATORY LAIR. BRYCE sits broodingly at a desk beneath a star chart. He is wearing a smoking jacket. On the screen before him flicker the words: Call of Duty: Ghosts. From the atrium doorway enters a wild-eyed TOM, who is possibly a clone, or alter-ego, or manifestation of Bryce's subconscious--whatever works for the purposes of this piece.]
Tom: Have you finished it?
Tom lowers himself into a leather chair.
Bryce: I have.
Tom: You played it awfully quick.
Bryce: I didn’t play it. I watched the movie version on youtube.
Tom: [gasps] They’ll be angry about this!
Tom: The players. You didn’t get an accurate experience.
Bryce: Believe me, I did. Call of Duty: Ghosts, is, fundamentally, a movie. (more…)
“Starting to get sick with excitement…the game has never felt more real to me than it does today…”
That’s what Ackk Studios co-founder Brian Allanson tweeted last June when Two Brothers began to near completion. Since then, Brian and his crew have been putting the finishing polish on a labor of love that’s been two years in the making. Screenshots make it look like catnip for anyone who’s in love with old-school graphics and chiptune soundtracks.But the game is also trying to be more than just a relic, fusing a literary approach to narrative with an original premise and an unorthodox amalgamation of different play mechanics. (more…)
When Bad Videogames Stay BadJust Like Your Least Favorite Animes: A Review Of Agarest: Generations Of War
Agarest: Generations of War released last month on the PC, four years after it appeared in English for the first time. This is alternately a great and terrible thing.
It’s a good thing because Japanese role-playing games are a sort of exotic breed on the PC. As someone who likes this genre of game, I’m glad to be able to pick from more of them. It’s a bad thing because, well, Agarest: Generations of War is a Japanese RPG released for a major console in 2007: it’s a bit of a mess.
2007, to be sure, brought us a couple pantheon games. It brought us Persona 3, when JRPGs regained some mainstream relevance, and Lost Odyssey, itself a bit of a mess but a beautiful one nonetheless. Agarest: Generations of War might have been a better game if we hadn’t had six years to learn to see through all its mistakes, but I’m not convinced that would have helped. (more…)
Forget Those RealmsRPG Club Plays Baldur's Gate II
We all knew this was going to happen eventually, right? I mean, how could any self-respecting RPG Club not have a Baldur’s Gate game on the syllabus? Seeing as how the newfangled Enhanced Edition is on its way in a matter of days, we simply couldn’t resist this opportunity to sink our hooks into this canonical RPG while it’s still considered “vintage”; here at Pixels or Death we never pass up an opportunity to further cement our videogame hipster cred.
For some of us this is a first foray into the Forgotten Realms, while others are repeat visitors. Either way, we’re strapping on our butt-kicking boots, gathering our parties, and venturing forth, joined in similar purpose by one question: What have we gotten ourselves into? (more…)
Nothing New, But Oh-So-GoodDelicious Popcorn: A Review Of Deadfall
You know that super fancy popcorn you get from Boy Scouts—the flavoured candied stuff that’s kinda overpriced but still good? That’s Deadfall Adventures. It’s fancy and it’s pretty, but it’s just popcorn. It doesn’t break any new ground and it doesn’t revolutionize the way we do business, but it’s a damn fun game.
The Intersection of Theatre and VideogamesFortune Favors The Bold In Sleep No More And The Stanley Parable
Taking risks is part of playing videogames. Recent hit Dark Souls is one of the best examples of this, a game which gives you nothing and demands everything for even the smallest morsel. It punishes and rewards experimentation in equal measure, smashing you in the face when you roll right instead of left and looking at you as if to say well what have we learned? Of course, it’s that very bitter taste of failure that makes success all the more sweet–a necessary evil. What’s reward without a little risk, right?
Risk isn’t always so fatalistic though. Sometimes it’s a far more subtle and devious kind of challenge, a demand to overcome something so basic that you wouldn’t even know you were putting yourself on the line until you had crossed onto the other side. It’s into this brave new world that games like The Stanley Parable and The Walking Dead thrust players, a world where the risk isn’t in losing, but instead in trusting in yourself.
It’s a world that’s expanding beyond the limited sphere of videogames with Punchdrunk and Emersive’s play Sleep No More, an in-the-flesh theater experience that has more in common with modern first-person exploration games than anything on Broadway.
I'm Wind-borne AgainWindborne Preview: Minecraft For Me
At this year’s PAX Prime, I stood in line for a chance to get a pin. While I didn’t get the pin, I did get drawn into a game that I’m really excited about—Windborne. At the time it looked like a Minecraft clone with some extras added on, but having played yesterday’s preview, I’m thinking that it’s more than just a clone. It’s Minecraft for people who want to explore, learn, and discover—people like me.
Also In One Cross-Dressing SceneMatthew Porretta: A Look At Alan Wake's Voice
Today I continue my quest to educate gamers about the voice actors who have such a strong effect on their lives. This time, I focus on Matthew Porretta, but according to one of his fan sites, Porretta has “expressed an opinion to keep his life private” – so no amount of internet stalking could find me contact information for him. No interview this time – but he’s still absolutely worth a look.
The Recipe for Gender Equality Isn't Quite That SimpleAdd Breasts and Stir
I haven’t played Grand Theft Auto V, but I think it’s probably sexist.
There are some readily apparent flaws in this line of logic, but that didn’t stop gamers from using it. Gamestop reviewer Carolyn Petit docked the game’s score a single point for its sexism, writing that the women were relegated to “strippers, prostitutes…and goofy, new-age feminists we’re meant to laugh at.” Because Petit failed to christen GTAV the new Citizen Kane of Gaming, there was a lamentably predictable backlash. But the review was published before the game was released, meaning these commenters were willing to bet the game, which they hadn’t yet played, wasn’t sexist.
Targeting and punishing women who do their jobs as reviewers or critics has had the two-sided effect of unveiling the pervasive sexism in the industry and making gender the dominant conversation of this generation. In Katherine Cross’s excellent analysis of the backlash, she highlights a comment on Petit’s original article that read: “no one gave a shit about how women were portrayed in video games 2 years ago but now because more women play it’s suddenly a problem.” To be sure, its an old issue with renewed interest—modern discourse is such that developers, commentators, and critics alike cannot simply ignore the issue as they could before. (more…)