California Literary Review

Profile of Laura Buttrick


I am currently studying for a BSc in Computer Games Production at Lincoln University, UK, before progressing onto a Masters in Computing. My key interests are serious games and game philosophy.

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Articles written for the California Literary Review:

  • Video Game Review: Mass Effect: Leviathan and Extended Cut DLCs
    Posted on 17 Sep 2012 in Games, Video Games

    The premise itself is sinister; an elusive entity called the Leviathan proves all too tempting a lure for Commander Shepard, who believes that whatever it is, it can help the galaxy triumph in the war over the Reapers. To go into more detail would give away too much about the Leviathan’s nature; suffice to say this DLC ramps up the creep factor and provides a chilling entry to the Mass Effect canon.

  • Video Game Review: Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
    Posted on 12 Aug 2012 in Games, Video Games

    The Kingdom Hearts series, on the decline for several years now, has finally been given a much needed boost by the release of Dream Drop Distance. A stellar title and a must-own for the 3DS, it shows that there is still hope for the franchise.

  • Video Game Review: Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir
    Posted on 25 Jul 2012 in Games, Horror, Video Games

    In order to discover the secret of the house and escape the curse, you encounter and battle ghosts from the memoir and the house using the Camera Obscura – taking photographs of the ghosts at crucial moments leads to their untimely demise. You do battle with all sorts of unsavoury types, from staggering, bloodstained long-haired young girls to bodiless hands which reach out from the memoir’s pages to grab and tear at you.

  • Video Game Review: Lollipop Chainsaw
    Posted on 01 Jul 2012 in Games, Video Games

    The game’s main protagonist, zombie hunting high school cheer leader Juliet, is, like, totally blonde and sugary sweet. She wakes up and it’s so lame because like, it’s her birthday and there are zombies everywhere. Not cool! Out comes the heart-patterned chainsaw and the pom-poms and soon zombie heads are flying, with flips and flourishes galore as Juliet twirls around the battlefield with elegance and grace. So totally, like, awesome!

  • Video Game Review: Diablo III
    Posted on 09 Jun 2012 in Games, Video Games

    Herein dwells the problem. The treatment of your combatants as mere faceless fodder makes gameplay as compulsive and mindless as your average stint in Azeroth – all that is required of the player is to keep on clicking until everything around them is dead. There is nothing skilful about taking an enemy down in Diablo III – if you have the time to sit and click, click, click, you’ll get it done.

  • Video Game Review: Minecraft XBLA Edition
    Posted on 27 May 2012 in Games, Video Games

    The inclusion of drop-in drop-out multiplayer allows for friends to build settlements together, wage war on each other and have fun without the hassle of purchasing and maintaining servers, a costly and sometimes difficult process required of the PC version. Playing alone is all well and good, but humans are social animals even when isolated in a block-eat-block world. Whether collaborative or competitive, multiplayer expands the Minecraft universe exponentially.

  • Overachievers: In Pursuit Of 1000G
    Posted on 16 May 2012 in Blog-Video Games, Video Games

    In a moment of madness I cared too much about finding everything, about doing everything, and it was to the detriment of my gaming experience. It’s in moments like these that achievement-oriented gamers need to be reminded that their Gamerscore doesn’t mean anything and that they run the risk of turning a fun experience into a chore – and turning one’s hobby into work is a risky business indeed.

  • Video Game Review: Pandora’s Tower
    Posted on 13 May 2012 in Games, Video Games

    What was once iconic – big hair, slender waists and massive…uh…assets – has become a laughable stereotype as developers refuse to push forward and innovate with their designs. Japan used to be a trendsetter in terms of game design, and it’s a shame to see things descend into mere mimicry of what has already been. In terms of aesthetics, Pandora’s Tower suffers deeply from this refusal to move on.

  • In the Therapist’s Chair: Kingdom Hearts and Minecraft
    Posted on 02 May 2012 in Blog-Video Games, Humor, Video Games

    What makes video games brutal is often their most basic premise.  If you think too long and too hard about exactly what it is you’re doing, a creeping sensation starts to prickle the back of your mind.  If you put yourself in the shoes of your avatar, would you be so gung-ho, would you even be capable of walking out of the front door?

  • Video Game Review: Silent Hill: Downpour
    Posted on 15 Apr 2012 in Games, Video Games

    An attempt to transfer Murphy to a higher security prison inevitably goes horribly wrong, leaving a bus of inmates and prison guards dead and Murphy stranded in “The Devil’s Pit,” a derelict tourist attraction, with no means of escape but a tram car down to… well, you can take a guess.

  • Video Game Review: Binary Domain
    Posted on 01 Apr 2012 in Games, Video Games

    Binary Domain portrays such a future; a world in which technological development has become so advanced that among humans walk robots which look to be of flesh and blood, which have real memories, lead real lives and possess no knowledge of their true origin. Beneath the skin of these Hollow Children beats no heart, but as they are gunned down one by one throughout the game’s narrative it is called into question who the real monsters are in this story.

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