Time Again and Mario Rip-off

Video games are new…relatively. So it still hasn’t reached the point where we can call it an art form. It took thousands of years after the invention of writing before the greatest works of literature were formed, like Frankenstein, Dracula, and the great works of William Shakespeare. So, it might take just as long for gaming to make the same impression on the collective consciousness. However, film is less than a century old and we already got some good stuff, the Alien trilogy, the Star Wars trilogy, the Star Trek undecology and the Matrix onelogy. So maybe we can get some really good games that will still be played generations from now…or maybe we already do.

Recently, and by recently I mean April, Roger Ebert caused a ruckus in the gaming community when he said video games can never be art…ever. While Ebert is a very persuasive and brutal movie critic, he isn’t really a major authority on video games, and his exposure to games has consisted entirely of watching someone else play them, which takes away from the experience somewhat. Besides, as far as I can tell, his definition of art is inherently incompatible with anything interactive. It also seems to be incompatible with anything bad. I think the Twilight series is a collection of purely refined shit, but it’s still art. Of course my definition of art is pretty simple, it’s anything that is a reflection of the creator’s creativity and imagination.

I could go into more detail, but I think I’ll leave that to an upcoming blog post. The point is, games are art, now, and to prove it, I give you exhibit A: Braid. Continue reading

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Portal 2: Portal Harder

Hype is one of those things you can’t get away from. There is always that movie, or TV show that one cannot wait to see begin or continue for whatever reason.

When it comes to hype, I like to refer to the infallible logic of Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw.

It makes the logical sense to be pessimistic

Any questions? Now it may be presumptuous to take the word of an Anglo-Australian prick just because he has a yellow background and a sweet hat, but I honestly can’t see how he’s wrong. But in spite of this, I can’t help but be caught up in the hype virus. Continue reading

Portal 2, About Fucking Time!

Last week a new update to the classic Valve title Portal was released. For those who don’t know, Portal was a first-person puzzler, A unique genre, that revolved around the concept of Portals and was first released two-and-a-half years ago. For those of you who have never played Portal, I suggest you do so, or at the very least play the free demo available on Steam, or play the game that kinda sorta inspired Portal, Narbacular Drop. It maintains the same game play mechanics and was made by the same people but has a completely different story.

Anyway, I’m a big fan of Portal for one major reason: I wish it was real. I know that sounds odd, but it’s true, and that is why I think the best games are ones that people wish were real, that’s why I love Myst so much, because I wish I could visit other worlds that easily, and why I wish someone could come up with a really good game involving time travel, because time travel is awesome, and why I wish I had a Portal gun. Though one must use it responsibly.

There are other reasons I love Portal, but really, they come secondary. Continue reading

Left 2 Spend Eternity In Development Hell

So in a little more than a week Left 4 Dead 2 is being released. Left 4 Dead 2 is a sequel to Left 4 Dead, a game developed by Valve that was released a year ago next week. So assuming Valve immediately saw how successful the first Left 4 Dead was and started development of Left 4 Dead almost immediately, Left 4 Dead 2 took one year to design, develop, test and tweak before it’s final release. So keeping that in mind lets look at Valves other major franchise, oh who am I kidding, their only major franchise, Half-Life.

A while ago…I can’t remember when exactly, probably about a year ago, I bought The Orange Box and for the first time got a chance to play through Half-Life 2 and it’s two episodic follow ups, as well as Portal and all three games are fun and worth the $50 I spent. Oh and Team Fortress 2 is in that set but who gives a shit especially when the sniper gets you before you can take two steps? Continue reading