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I’m playing Chrono Trigger for the first time and it’s making me think about how RPGs deal with damage. In a lot of RPGs, you pick a weapon type, continue to get better and better weapons, and increase stats that make you better at using those weapons. All of this is done in order to increase your base damage.
In anticipation of Deus Ex: Human Revolution I replayed Ion Storm’s masterpiece, Deus Ex. As I once again traversed through the web of conspiracy and explored the open levels of Deus Ex, I marveled at how, up to this point, no modern game has rivaled the smart design and complex story AI of Deus Ex. I believe Deus Ex is unmatched in the level and depth of freedom it gives the player. Continue reading Deus Ex: Free From the Conspiracy
A brief lull in the climactic battle of The Witcher proved the most memorable moment in the entire game. As I stood amid the corpses of my fresh kills I spotted a dead female elf lying in the dirt. I’ve killed her, I thought. She was not one of my assailants, I didn’t actually cut her down, but after making it to this point I finally began to understand the repercussions of my actions throughout the game, the choices I had made that led to this moment. And for that brief moment I felt something wholly unique in my video game career: deep regret. Continue reading The Witcher (2007)
Picking up after the events of the first game, Mass Effect 2 opens with the death of Shepard. A few years later, The Illusive Man, the shady leader of a group called Cerberus that believes the ends justify the means, reconstructs Shepard from his or her recovered DNA. The setup is a perfect opportunity to explore questions of identity, human nature and the soul, a thematic staple of classic sci-fi texts. Instead, the game sidesteps philosophical pondering and makes a popcorn blockbuster, sending Shepard to collect a team of deadly killers to fight a new threat to humanity: The Collectors, a group of aliens wiping out fringe human colonies. Continue reading Mass Effect 2 (2010)