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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for doing everything slightly later – and marginally slower – than usual. It’s okay, it’s just a Sunday. There’s no rush. Why not call the whole thing off and sit down to read what the internet had to say about videogames and related issues? Yeah, that’s probably a better idea. Make yourself a nice cup of something hot, and we’ll begin.

  • Kirk Hamilton wrote this: “The Unsung Secret of Great Games—and How Some Games Get It So Wrong“. In it he says stuff like this: “Other people think about games in terms of their graphics, others concern themselves with their stories; still others focus on game mechanics and design. But when I close my eyes and think back to my favorite games of the past few years, I remember the way they feel: the heavy-metal crunch of God of War II, the gliding flow of Flower; the irrepressible bounce of New Super Mario Bros. DS and the impeccably timed slip and slide of Super Meat Boy. Each of those games had its own unique rhythm, an irresistible tempo that hooked me and kept me coming back.” Hey, it’s that feel thing from last week being elucidated.
  • John has written his last “They’re Back” budget games column for PC Gamer UK. He’d been doing it for twelve years. He’s signed off over on his blog: “I think it was about one issue before I started trying not to mention the games in the reviews. This became the tension it needed to be any good – production editors and editors sending the column back to me demanding rewrites, me getting furious and having a strop, and eventually some sort of teeth-gritted compromise being reached. They were ridiculously over-zealous about this, and early on I was grossly lazy and late with the section every month. It wasn’t ideal, but it so often produced something I’m proud of.”
  • Electron Dance have an interview with Brian Moriarty. He says stuff like this: “There’s nothing wrong with recreation. When I come home from work, it’s relaxing to play a few levels of a favorite game. I claim an absolute right to “waste” some of my free time this way! However, video games possess an addictive quality that is especially dangerous for procrastinators like me. And, as I get older and increasingly jealous of my free time, I find myself demanding more from my entertainment. I want thoughtful works that offer perspectives on my real-life issues, like having a child with a disability, or caring for elderly parents, or religious and political questions. For me, computer games have not yet demonstrated an ability to serve this need the way the great works of literature and music can.”
  • There’s been quite a lot of noise about the increasingly widespread use of Non-Disclosure Agreements with videogame marketing and its attending press outlets. Firstly this over on MCV, which has drawn responses such as this one, and then there’s this from Kotaku. Hmm.
  • Bits ‘n’ Bytes remembers Evil Genius, and the write up is fun: “Misanthropes, like everyone else on the planet, need videogames to survive and despite what you may think, there isn’t a great slew of interactive entertainment appealing to the pessimistic demographic. Shooting terrorists in Call of Duty is far too brainlessly patriotic. Performing drive-bys on a gaggle of hipsters in Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV, while entertaining, is far too overt. No, for the real misanthrope, there needs to be something a good deal more tactful – a game with an evil base, symbolising the bitter core of the player, filled with traps and laser beam doors, perhaps?”
  • Apparently up to one-hundred people have been left off the credits of LA Noire. One of those ignored devs has gone and made a full list of the credits and popped it on a website. It even has its own Facebook group to gather support for missing developers.
  • Rob Fahey’s take on Call Of Duty: Elite: “Activision sees this as the beginning of something much, much bigger. The company recognises that turning around a franchise like CoD is like turning an oil tanker – you can’t just swing it around in the water, but must begin with a series of small, gradual course corrections. With Elite, it’s testing just what percentage of CoD’s player base see themselves as hardcore enough to want this kind of service – and furthermore, what percentage of those are actually willing to make a monthly financial commitment for it. ” Much more on the whole issue, as well as Activision’s response, here.
  • Rob Zacny on the interrogation bits in LA Noire: “My problem isn’t with failure, but with failing because the game gave me no way to express my mixed reactions to a witness’s behavior, or my intentions in questioning. I could handle the flawed interrogation mechanics if the ways of controlling them were exact and consistent, but they are not. At least, not in a way that is convincing.”
  • APB: ArfPB, more like.
  • I don’t know why this captured my imagination so, but I love this $7000 CG model of Chicago. (Even if it is for a proposed skyline that will never exist.)
  • The most pitiful conspiracy theory ever?
  • Oh, and the capsule review thread on the forum is quite the read…

Music this week is The Fierce & The Dead. I mostly like this album because it is called If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe.

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Jim Rossignol

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