California Literary Review

Games

The Finale Solution – Three of Them, Actually.

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May 10th, 2012

End Errors: Game, Postscript For the last month or so, I’ve been talking about how terrible endings are in video games. Over the course of two articles, one focusing on a decent variety of problems, the other exploring a single issue in depth, I think I managed to at least identify what the five biggest […]

Video Game Review: Fez

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May 3rd, 2012

While not completely original (Paper Mario and Echochrome both used similar mechanics) the concept has never been more meaningfully implemented than in Fez. Not only is it a neat way to make this game different from other platformers, but it’s also a metaphor of the theme of the game – changing your perspective on life in order to achieve enlightenment.

In the Therapist’s Chair: Kingdom Hearts and Minecraft

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May 2nd, 2012

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?

The Massive Effect a Boss Makes

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April 19th, 2012

End Errors: Game, Part Deux! Whoah! What was that, it’s almost feels like I skipped through time. Like this article isn’t actually it’s own premise, but the continuation of another article, one from the past. Weird. Anyway . . . So far we’ve seen how video game endings can fail in a literary sense (denouement), […]

The Dialogue Tree Welcomes a New Climber!

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April 16th, 2012

With that done, I now must ask Laura to introduce herself by revealing something embarrassing. To let the folks reading this know that not only is she smart and talented, but a gamer through and through. It’s also the final part of the ritual, and you don’t want to leave the painted goat hanging for too long.

Video Game Review: Silent Hill: Downpour

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April 15th, 2012

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.

Endings are Void – Dark Souls VS Skyrim – Part 6

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April 4th, 2012

or “Without art in the ending, a game ends up without art.”   For those that are new, welcome! For those that have been following this series, now in it’s sixth (I think?) installment, I know it seems like I may have forgotten about it. I hadn’t (mostly), but like certain Canadians, I just didn’t […]

Video Game Review: Binary Domain

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April 1st, 2012

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.

Video Game Review: Mass Effect 3

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March 18th, 2012

A few nights ago, I finished Mass Effect 3. As the credits scrolled I again sat silent in the dark, dumbstruck by what I had beheld. Not out of the bittersweet satisfaction that comes with the conclusion to any story, but in the confusion and anger that occurs when you’ve witnessed a crime you could do nothing to stop.

Gaming’s Best and Worst of 2011 – A Delayed Interruption

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March 6th, 2012

or Adam’s Alliterative Awards Attached Arbitrarily At Awesome And Awful Amusements! I know this blog’s been missing for a few weeks, er, pretty much all of February. Which is a shame as I was in the middle of this HUGE SERIES chronicling the CORE ASPECTS of all of gaming using Skyrim and Dark Souls as […]

Video Game Review: Gotham City Impostors

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February 26th, 2012

GCI’s extreme customization options are nice, but aside from the “psychological profiles” option rewarding play styles that match disorders found in the DSM-IV, it’s not that unique. No, the big meaty difference here are the slipshod, homebrew gadgets that each of the imposters employ. From springy moon-boots, a pop-out hang glider, and a hand-cranked grapple gun, all of Batman’s traversal gadgets are present in a garage built form.

Video Game Review: NeverDead

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February 15th, 2012

The misused and undercooked immortality concept could have been much more than the result, but it’s at least a solid first step in a unique direction. This is exactly the type of game that needs a sequel to hammer out some fundamental problems, add depth, and plant seeds for a unique tale to develop, but the “Eh, it’s alright I guess” overall quality will most likely prevent that from ever happening.

Video Game Review: AMY

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January 25th, 2012

No, what truly hurts is that AMY squanders more potential than a philosophy student. Especially to me, as the game combines a favorite genre, Survival Horror, with a favorite game, ICO, and adds a dash of novelty by using a character you don’t often get to play as: an average woman ill-prepared for combat using her cunning to get by.

Dark Souls VS Skyrim – Part 4 – Splinter of the Mind’s AI

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January 21st, 2012

Climb On Up and Talk With Me, in The Dialogue Tree! First things first. Though this blog used to be known as The Metro City Reform Committee, it has been rechristened as “The Dialogue Tree” for reasons that should be obvious: I often leaf behind the roots of my topics and branch out into fruitful […]

Dark Souls VS. Skyrim – Part 3 – Space is the Place

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January 8th, 2012

To trace the place that is space like an ace. So LAST TIME, I spent about a thousand words or so explaining stuff before getting to the danged point. But at least I was thorough, and ended up making a major point pretty early on in that intro, and it’s what we’re going delving into […]

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