In-between the hype and the criticism, The Dark Knight Rises stands as one of the most ambitious superhero films, but consistently under-develops many of its most compelling and interesting ideas. There is a magnificent film buried in-between new characters, mediocre action and misplaced human drama.
Most SCUMM era adventure games start off with a high concept, a general idea of what the setting and story is going to be, and then work from there. The specifics of the jokes, puzzles and narrative details are often unrelated to one another. The mechanics of the puzzles and the layout of the various areas often have to do with gameplay while the story is told around those gameplay elements. The brilliance of The Dig is that the world informs the approach to the gameplay, creating a fantastic synthesis of gameplay and story. Continue reading The Dig (1995)
Grand Theft Auto III is a brilliant metaphor for American consumerism, coupling esthetics and gameplay to create a critique of capitalism. The open world freedom and undeniably fictionalized American location reinforces a powerful statement about how the American dream can go so wrong. However, as well as it works on an ideological level, the underlying mechanic do not always allow for the seamless flow between ideology and play. Continue reading Grand Theft Auto III (2001)
For the first few hours of Grand Theft Auto IV ,I found myself behaving abnormally in a games: I acted as if the world of Liberty City was real. Fresh of the boats, I took control of Niko Bellic, a European immigrant who came to live in America with his brother, Roman. As I drove him home from the docks, I did my best to follow the rules of the road, stopping at red lights, waiting for pedestrians to cross and watching out for oncoming traffic. Continue reading Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
After tasting the succulence that is The Secret of Monkey Island, savoring of its sweet adventure gaming goodness and sighing with a great sense of satisfaction upon completion, the turn comes. Like the late night after a fantastic Mexican dinner, a great disturbance in the force; There is another: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge or, as I like to call it, revenge of the beef fajitas, refried beans and fried rice. Continue reading Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (1991)