California Literary Review

Video Games

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


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


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 […]

Darks Souls VS. Skyrim – Part 2 – On Space


December 31st, 2011

The First and Foremost Frontier. LAST TIME I was discussing time, and how the usage of it, and specifically how the developers of Dark Souls and Skyrim let players manipulate time, reflected a core difference of focus and design philosophy. Letting the player have any modicum of control over the 4th dimension (aside from pausing) […]

Dark Souls VS. Skyrim – Part 1 – Time Crimes


December 22nd, 2011

LAST TIME we were here, I said I wanted to keep talking about Skyrim, and so I will. But in lieu of a neat conversation I had, I think how I’m going to talk about it is going to change a bit from my original intentions. There were two big fantasy games that came out […]

An Early Resolution, and How the Stars Align.


December 14th, 2011

Hey there folks! Its been . . . a while since the Metro City Reform Committee was last called into session. I wish I could say it was due to something exciting. Like time continuum paradoxes I run into due to my future self warning me of upcoming apocalyptic events which I then spend the […]

Video Game Review: The Elder Scrolls V – Skyrim


December 4th, 2011

Skyrim is the name of cold, northern regions of a continent called Tamriel, on a planet called Nirn; a magical land home to elves, orcs, skeleton warriors right out of a Harryhausen film, and more than enough prophecy and legend than you can shake a Tolkien at. If that level of fantasy geekery gives you acne and a dateless Saturday night just thinking about it, Skyrim is definitely not going to be your cup of mead.

Video Game Review: Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 3


November 13th, 2011

Improbably well-informed terrorists, led by an improbably super villainish man named Vladimir Makarov, have initiated World War 3 by installing a war ready Ultranationalist party to take control of Russia (MW1), and then used false flag terrorist attacks to goad them into invading the United States ala Red Dawn (MW2). Now it’s up to the player to take control of various soldiers (some of whom will perish) in order to wrest Soviet control of America’s eastern seaboard and traipse around the world trying to prevent the war from going all-out nuclear while it still rages throughout Europe.

Video Game Review: Batman Arkham City


October 30th, 2011

With all these issues aired though, Batman Arkham City can still be summarily broken down to one simple fact: it’s more Batman Arkham Asylum, with improvements across the board, more characters, and a better plot. Considering that game is deservedly hailed as one of the greatest things to come out of England since The Beatles, that’s not only an endorsement for you to simply go and enjoy it for yourself, it’s also my guarantee to end up as “Best Game of the Year” barring some sort of “Second Coming of Samus.”

Video Game Review: Dark Souls


October 23rd, 2011

So why would anyone submit themselves to such a nightmarish test of their sanity, and drain time into such a bleak and foreboding world? Especially since the “story” is pretty much a series of footnotes to make the world come to life, the plot is a joke and the ending recalls Ghouls and Ghosts levels of “totally not worth it”? Because while it may be one of the most nightmarishly crafted experiences in gaming that you will encounter, it’s also one of the most amazingly executed. The world is truly breathtaking, and the combat is beyond superb with surprising depth while maintaining functional simplicity.

The Golden(Eye) Rule of Enemy Design!


October 1st, 2011

Last time the committee was called to order, we touched upon perhaps one of the biggest most insurmountable and at the same time grandest issues in gaming. We also exceeded our standard session length by about 2,000 words, twenty minutes and past most folks’ tolerance for walls of text. Doing so caused an eyebrow of […]

Video Game Review: Gears of War 3


September 25th, 2011

Perhaps it’s just me, but it always seemed like Cliff Bleszinski and Epic Games had something heavy on their minds when they launched the original Gears of War back in 2006. Maybe it was the original trailer featuring a lone soldier walking through ruined cities, fighting a war he had no hope of winning against unending waves of monsters while the Gary Jules cover of “Mad World” plays, sealing a sense of hopelessness into a scant minute.

The Ultimate Gaming Breakdown: Are Video Games Art?


September 18th, 2011

Not too long ago recent facts were revealed to the world pertaining to the beloved Mayor of Metro City, Mike Haggar. In fact video documentation was published to the annals of the webiverse that detailed a particular series of exploits that justify this blog’s unending adoration of our iconic hero. The Council of the Metro […]

Video Game Review: Deus Ex Human Revolution


September 4th, 2011

At the end of the day and the game, the gestalt of Deus Ex: Human Revolution still works. All of the individual parts, while disparate in nature and wildly varying in quality, come together to create an experience far greater than any individual aspect. In fact, I’m going to reveal the biggest reason for this viewpoint: I can’t put this game down.

Video Game Review: El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron


August 21st, 2011

El Shaddai is absolutely gorgeous. Each level of the tower of the Fallen contains unique and often totally surreal and psychedelic art design; from neon framed skylines, to impressionist landscapes of floating terrain, and an industrialized highway resembling the love-child of Tron and Blade Runner. Topping it off is just an impeccable use of cel-shading and filters that bring the often insane level architecture and world design to its perverse life.

“Summer Loving, Had Me A Blast!” – A Quick Look Back


August 11th, 2011

So if you’ve been following the world of video games during the last couple of months of the glorious heated atmosphere period of the North American Continent we call ‘Summer’, you may have noticed a trend. No, not that apparently, no one wants to buy a 3DS. Or that if a game takes way too […]

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