Monthly Archives: June 2010

What Deus Ex Did For Me

Ion Storm’s Deus Ex is one of my favorite games of all time.  I don’t know where it rests, exactly, but it’s definitely in my top 3.  Deus Ex also celebrated its tenth anniversary on June 22nd, 2010.  Before all the resulting tributes and retrospectives, I got to think about why, exactly, Deus Ex is so important to me.   Not just why I love it but why it really matters; how my life would be different, if only slightly, without it.   I might do more of these, if my other ideas can turn into more articles.  But for now, here’s Deus Ex Tribute #8576392 of the week.

They killed Paul; they killed my brother.

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E3 Journal Day 3: Ain’t No Disco, Ain’t No Foolin’ Around

Beep.

Beep-beep.

Beep-beep-beep.

Beep-beep-beep-beep.

The relationship one has with their morning alarm is at odds with itself. It’s not a welcome interruption, when it violently pulls you from the throes of your natural and much-needed REM cycle. But at least it serves a purpose: waking you up in time in the morning. When you’re already awake, however, it’s no more than an annoying sound; a taunting reminder that you didn’t sleep that night. Continue reading

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E3 Journal Day 2: E3 Day is a Very Dangerous Day

I went to bed ready to spring up at 8:00am and pop down to a nearby coffee shop. Since my motel’s wi-fi turned out to be less than reliable, I hoped to use the coffee shop’s wi-fi to send in the previews I had stayed up until 2:00AM writing. Sure, that admittedly large time-frame accounts for a lot of procrastination, but bear in mind I had been awake since 4:00AM the previous morning. My brain had dulled considerably by that night and my body wasn’t having me wake up that early.

Screw it. Continue reading

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E3 2010 Journal Day 1: No Time For Love, Dr. Jones

“Dude, you’re going to be so busy… …you’re not going to have time to be nervous.”

That’s a paraphrasing of Area 5’s Matt Chandronait’s advice to me, given on Rebel FM in response to a letter I wrote about the anxiety I felt leading up to my first E3.  Despite my respect for the man, I kind of wrote him off at the time.

“Thanks…that’s useful.” I said to myself, sarcastically and out loud, as I sat, alone, at my computer.

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Nintendo Presser Highlights

3DS: No reason to bury the lead: the 3DS blew everyone away.  Yes, we got to go hands-on (just with a visual demo).  The 3D sans glasses is real and it works (and it blows your mind).  The face features a slider to adjust the 3D (even down to 2D), and a new “slide pad.”  The top screen is now 3.5 inch widescreen; bottom screen is still a touch panel.  Has three cameras for taking 3D photos and plays 3D movies.  Motion control and gyro control.  Online all the time, downloading new content in the background (and NO SUBSCRIPTION FEES).  Lots of big promises made in the form of both 1st and 3rd party support.  We were teased with Mario Kart, Starfox, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Resident Evil, Batman, Guitar Hero, Saints Row, Madden, Dynasty Warriors, Assassin’s Creed, and (wait for it) Metal Gear Solid: all new, unique experiences for the 3DS.  Developers talked about seeing it as a tool for the future of more than just game development. Continue reading

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Hi, How Are You?

The main point of this har thang, obviously, is to get my writing out there.  Anything I write (at least, anything I want people to see) will go here.  But the other point is to further explore the kinds of reviews I like to write, in a non-review way.

About a year ago, I discovered Kieron Gillen’s New Games Journalism and latched on to the method like a tick (writers learn through imitation, right?)  Since then, what I try to express with my reviews is how a game makes me feel, not necessarily, or simply, what it does.  Since there’s no such thing as an objective review, I make a point of being as subjective as possible.  I try to convey a descriptive narrative of my experience rather than write an analysis of a game’s formal qualities (I do include some of that, for the reader’s reference).

I’m not so interested in consumer report stuff (previews, regular reviews), industry coverage (“news” i.e. free PR…not that that doesn’t have a place) or even the business or design trends.  I’m much more into the imaginary part of games: how imaginary places are created, how they work, how the game works with them, and the unspoken contract the player signs when they play — to what extent they can work with a team of unseen developers to become immersed within a narrative bubble.

So, branching from reviews I’ll probably get into some game diarist stuff and nitpicky minutia (<3), and see where I can take it from there.

In that interest, I’ll hopefully learn enough of Dwarf Fortress one of these days to actually get a story or two out of it.

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