Saturday, September 21, 2013

Today, I'm Either 2,718th or 1st. It's Up To The Hackers.

"By night, I had a full set of three shiny stars for each level, including the bonus C-3PO and R2-D2 levels, and noticed that I was in the double-digits on the leaderboards. Before I collapsed that evening, I'd made my way up to 8th out of 314,090 players worldwide, and felt satisfied. That didn't keep those top seven spots from bugging me as much as they bugged Vincent. Why wasn't I first?"

Read the whole article at Kotaku.

We Fell In And Out Of Love With Niko

"By the time I started running missions for Ray, we had a full-blown love triangle on our hands. In an attempt to involve herself in my interests, she'd taken to the Niko's roguish charm and clouded history. In trying to involve myself in anything but work, I'd found a best-of-both-worlds scenario: chasing Niko's revenge target and getting credit for time with my girlfriend. Niko laid down for just about anyone."

Read the romcom at Kotaku.

A Cartoon Full of Video Game References

"The spirit of the show is rooted in gaming from the premise all the way to the little details in its execution. Take, for instance, the plucky chiptune soundtrack. Or, if you like, observe the wonderful world of "kids on their own," (gasp). The Bravest Warriors are living the video game dream."

See the references at Kotaku.

Why World War I Usually Gets The Shaft In Gaming (Until Now)

"What struck me and other game journalists about this clever-looking title, though, was the decision to set it in World War I. According to Ubisoft Montpellier, the story pulls directly from war letters belonging to an old relative of one of the developers, so I can understand how the sentimental component, as well as the familiarity, strikes enough of a chord to prompt game development. If that's what it takes, then, where are all the other letters, and where are all the other World War I games?"

Check out the whole jams at Kotaku.

Total War: Rome 2 Review

"There's something inherently silly about historical fiction that the Total War series will never shake, though Total War: Rome 2, the eighth in the series, comes as close as any reenactment can to escaping it. A passion for historic detail is more convincing than any graphical leap or streamlined troop management system could be, and the staggering obsession over political intrigue in 280 B.C. is a fascinating study in itself. And, as the first Total War game to support thousands of independently animated hoplites, the technical feat is (usually) a marvel too. Developer Creative Assembly put me in charge – now Caesar's dead and there's ketchup everywhere."

Read my take at Joystiq.

Games of the Generation: BioShock

"Isn’t that BioShock? To dive into the minutae that defined an era and pull out some concept, some sensibility that is not only offensive to modern culture but is, taken to an extreme in human nature, horrific? To look into an aged reflection and see it spit back? Then bullets and magic hands?"

Read the homage at GamerNode.

Final Fantasy IX's Shakespeare

"The pieces were set, but separated across games, creating two distinct visions for the Final Fantasy universe. It wouldn’t be until Hiro let go of the series’ next two installments that he would discover that the stories he’d been cultivating and the worlds he’d been building were elastic and interwoven; they had enough in common to support the grandeur and scope he’d originally imagined as the future of fantasy role playing."

Read the whole, looooong thing at Medium.