California Literary Review

Games

City Tuesday and Chris Zukowski – An Interview with an Independent

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July 18th, 2011

In our ongoing mission to define the facets that make gaming the unique art form it is and has to potential to become, the Metro City Reform Committee has attempted to contact various people who actually make games. Unfortunately most were intimidated by our impeccable physiques, “accept no substitutes” attitude, and brilliant repartee. These jealous […]

Video Game Review: Ms. Splosion Man

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July 17th, 2011

‘Splosion Man was a return to form. Of the glory days where the platformer was king due to the success of a benevolent super powered Italian plumber (by way of a whimsical Japanese former toy-maker) and practically every game made followed suit, no matter how little sense it made.

Batman, Auteurism and Supreme Court Decisions! Oh My!

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July 12th, 2011

Events are brewing in the world of gaming dear readers. Big events. Sure, I suppose that’s pretty common – something’s always happening somewhere. But one of these events is of a political nature, so it would be remiss of we members of the Reform Committee to let them slip past without comment, as you might […]

Video Game Review: Shadows of the Damned

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July 10th, 2011

So despite its simplicity and despite its vulgarity, Shadows of the Damned could prove important. Here we have group of gaming visionaries who effectively sold a game to a publisher based off their names alone, and retained creative control over the process. If they can sell it to the audience at large, it may portend a shift in the culture of gaming itself: away from the studio system it’s currently in and into an Age of the Auteur.

The Defense for Regeneration (and Canada).

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June 30th, 2011

LAST TIME an the Metro City Reform Committee – SOME STUFF HAPPENED. Then a Recess was called. THIS TIME on the Metro City Reform Committee – RECESS IS ADJOURNED! Let’s finish this. When last the Committee was called to order I detailed four major problems with the rising trend of video game health regeneration, but […]

Video Game Review: Transformers – Dark of the Moon

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June 26th, 2011

So High Moon, obviously full of people that care, did the best they could with what they had. They re-used as much of their previous work as possible to produce a polished bit of fluff as quickly as they could have. It’s nothing new or groundbreaking and it’s not quite up to their standards, but it is fundamentally fun. So if you you can turn your brain off for a while, or if you know what the word “Unicron” means, you’re probably going to enjoy Transformers: Dark of the Moon, or at least the video game version.

Video Game Review: Duke Nukem Forever

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June 19th, 2011

No, wait I was right the first time: Shame on you, Duke Nukem development teams! You fooled us again! Where’s the real game? The one actually worth fifteen years of our time and yours? Alright, I won’t be too harsh on this point (others already have already beaten me to it), but Duke Nukem Forever simply isn’t worth the time it’s taken to make. I’m not sure what could be worth such a prolapsed cycle, but it sure isn’t this.

The Guggenheim Effect on Gaming

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June 15th, 2011

During the grand Marvel comics crossover event of 2006 – Civil War – Wolverine, the clawed Canuckle-head, chased after the super villain who triggered the whole shebang, Nitro. Nitro is a guy whose power is to blow up, not in the “I ated too many pizzas” sense, but rather in the “Ladies and gentlemen, I […]

Video Game Review: L.A. Noire

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June 2nd, 2011

You step into shoes of Cole Phelps (ably portrayed by Mad Men’s Aaron Staton), a veteran of the Second World War who has come to town in order to forget the past and forge a new future for himself as so many other GIs have. He finds a new home in the LAPD and due to his swift intelligence (and heroic war record) he’s quickly promoted to the rank of Detective. Working his way through the many “desks” of investigative work — from Traffic to Homicide — Cole ends up mired in the seedier side of life in the heart of Screenland and dragged into the heart of a case that reaches into his past and will control his future.

Video Game Review: Portal 2

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May 7th, 2011

Yes, Portal 2 is great, there are no two bones about it. If all you want from this is validation, then boom! There you go. The less you know about it, the better the game will be, so go play it at a friend’s house, or nab your own copy and enjoy! Seriously, take it on faith alone. Portal 2 is an excellent game worthy of your time. Go play it. Now.

Sex, Choice and Video Games . . . on a Quantum level.

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May 4th, 2011

I, along with most of the free world, have been playing Portal 2. Perhaps thinking 5th dimensionally has put everyone in the mood for science, as there’s an interesting issue that the Metro City board of certified physics professors has brought to my attention. Normally they stay in their labs figuring out the mysteries of […]

Video Game Review: Homefront

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April 21st, 2011

What’s a publisher to do when faced with the fact that gamers across the world have shot, stabbed and blown up pretty much any decent faceless, non-morally ambiguous enemy in the oversaturated first person shooter genre? After all, what hasn’t been done?

The Trap of Indoctrination in Gaming

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April 17th, 2011

The committee’s been out of session lately. Unlike some almost government shut downs, this wasn’t due to a bunch of politicians arguing over partisan issues, but rather events far more mundane: I got sick. The most common thing the world really. But then I got hooked on something far more sinister during my recovery. No, […]

Video Game Review: Killzone 3

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April 6th, 2011

The other thing a war-porn game must deliver is a satisfying experience of fictional warfighting. Thankfully, Killzone 3 delivers on that, and in spades. Space-Soldiers and Space-Nazis alike gun each other down with thrilling intensity. The clatter and bang of assault rifles and the dull thump of grenades and explosions establish an aural impact to match the game’s gorgeous presentation.

Video Game Review: Dragon Age 2

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March 24th, 2011

Do you like fantasy? As in the elves and dwarves and sword and sorcery ilk? No? Well then here’s my shortest review ever: Dragon Age 2 is not for you. The end. If however, you’re like myself and you spent plenty a weekend around a table with friends rolling dice and trying to stab kobolds in the back with your half-elf rogue, or even if you just thought the action scenes of The Lord of the Rings were pretty cool, then read on.

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