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Denis
Chicago
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Can I refund my C&T class for this new course instead? Sigh.
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2010 on Portal on the booklist at Brainy Gamer
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As others have mentioned, many of the small details threw me for a loop. Then again, I am a dual-cultured person, having lived in both Europe and the U.S. Things like door handles, the way the toilets flush, et cetera drew me out of the experience because I could not ever get comfortable in the locale. Putting your culture's spin on the U.S. is one thing; getting small details like this wrong to me illustrates a lack of actual research. The voice acting is often just terrible, AND poorly edited in many cases. I did enjoy my time with the game, but it has some major issues with it. Also, agreed that I often felt pulled from the action. I felt tense, but that was due to the QTEs. An example: SPOILER When I was dancing as Madison to get the attention of Paco, the screen split and Paco was apparently making lascivious tongue movements and such on the other screen. Did I notice? No, I was too focused on getting the sequence correct. Meanwhile, Dickie and his girlfriend were watching and commenting on what was happening on the other screen. The game seems to have problems with always knowing where to direct your attention and giving you the full scope of the scene. /SPOILER
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on Heavy Rain at Brainy Gamer
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I was going to post a reply to this, but it grew lengthy. Instead, I will post this ersatz reply and promise to address this in a blog post soon. One thing to note is that I don't prescribe this method for everybody, but I feel it can illuminate how we go about playing games and identifying play types. We all have different playstyles, and I know mine is shared by a few, and wholly rejected by quite a number.
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Y'know, it occurs to me that the Sims franchise has also been about iteration, which explains a lot of the recent praise for 3 as well. I still have to pick up any games in this series, but I imagine it will be something I have to do sooner rather than later.
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2009 on The joy of iteration at Brainy Gamer
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It made me appreciate the game more, but for another reason: they took the premise and promise of the story, and excised much of the fluff that is only valid in the stereotypical comic.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2009 on The Darkness at Brainy Gamer
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This was both my first game to rent via Gamefly and to play on the Xbox 360 by myself (Rock Band 2 had been played prior); this is what I attributed to it having an impact on me. Yet, I also noticed glimpses of why it stuck with me as I played other games. The interaction with Jenny is light enough that it didn't make me cringe like many story romances go (particularly in this field). It also managed to wrench at me without necessarily seeking to make me cry or feel sad. Rage was the overboiling emotion, particularly after the couch. It served as such a poignant counterbalance: I can choose peace and serenity to last a while, but I have violence chosen for me if I progress. I'd like to play the game again, in fact. Yes, the comic is pretty much pure pulp written rather unconvincingly. Top Cow is not generally amazing; have you seen Witchblade?
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2009 on The Darkness at Brainy Gamer
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I think you're forgetting the word 'innovative' in there as well. All of this is innovative!
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2009 on Thank you sir, may I have another? at Brainy Gamer
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Oh, I'd agree that every medium can now take advantage of it; games are among the first to actually utilize it however. This is largely due to tradition, I feel. It's harder to retcon something not on the internet unless you make up an elaborate story as to why it must happen. We'll see it appear in all media more frequently, I imagine. Fallouts 1 & 2 did have narratives that kept going if you so wished, but there wasn't much point to it other than pure ludic masturbation. The issue many players had with the ending for Fallout 3 is like Ben mentioned below, it's rather arbitrary and a poor choice. The ability to also choose any of the endings near the end, instead of building to any one of them, felt a bit cheap. It's narrative relevancy rather deflated for me at that point.
Toggle Commented Apr 22, 2009 on Game trumps story at Brainy Gamer
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This all makes me want to read Michael Ende's The Neverending Story again (yes, the book, not the bastardization called the films). In many ways, our desire to keep telling a story and create our own worlds with said stories seems to rule with an iron fist when we're discussing games. The question, of course, is as beforegamedesign stated, is this new to games? Games just seem to be able to change to acquiesce to customer demand more easily than previous media.
Toggle Commented Apr 22, 2009 on Game trumps story at Brainy Gamer
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As Mike pointed out, it becomes quite apparent when the latter example is used. It's also partly the reason why voice acting can be so horrible in many games, considering it's a last-second attempt to bring everything else together. To have people who feel confident as writers and have possibly honed those skills (everyone can write, it's whether or not they can do it well) seems noteworthy in the fact that one can be writing the whole time through the process. To just add it in after the fact seems like it would create a disconnect, as you yourself noted. If it's to be in the system, it seems like it would benefit from being implemented as early on as possible. Of course, I also see the role of writer in a game like Fallout 3 to be as simple as storyteller in the imaginings of its more subtle back-stories. The skeleton in the hotel who is lying in a bath full of empty alcohol bottles, for instance. To be there from the beginning of the process means to think of how to help create that 'about' feel--in this case, an oppressive hopelessness through which the character progresses.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2009 on The taciturn designer at Brainy Gamer
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I found the last point about games as art amusing, and recall commenting when Leigh Alexander Tweeted about it. It seems to have similarities to the Aestheticism movement, but instead of providing sensuous pleasures for us to enjoy without necessarily an underlining moral, we're talking in terms of entertainment. If I recall, was it Pagliarulo who made comments about film's early beginnings? How it was considered more a form of entertainment and grew to be appreciated as art? Then again, is it within the purview of the creator to label something as art? Post-Andy Warhol, we seem to expect the creator to be able to label his or her contributions to the world with absolute certainty, but I'm not sure if we can state that's the case. Even television shows can be viewed in such light, and I believe many of us would claim their primary goal (for the majority) still hinges on the act of entertaining us. Also, I was not aware that everyone at Bethesda was a writer. Interesting.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2009 on The taciturn designer at Brainy Gamer
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Take that first Iwata and replace it with Kojima.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2009 on Pick the keynote at Brainy Gamer
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Someone recently talked about how Iwata is suave and cool and I merely rolled my eyes. He's never failed to make me just feel that he's someone who could benefit from a writer (for all those taking note that want to say writers have no place in the industry) and needs to learn how to capitalize on his ideas, without stuffing them with hours of cut-scenes. This is, of course, why I've selected him. The amount of dissonance he spews has to be of more interest. Iwata seems to me someone who will talk about some interesting matters that I will easily pick up in a transcription, while Kojima's will be of interest in a personal context.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2009 on Pick the keynote at Brainy Gamer
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This is all the more reason for you to join in on the discussion. Since you are more emotionally removed from the game, you're likely to give it a more critical distance. I wouldn't call myself head-over-heels for the game, though it numbers among my favorite of the jRPG genre (which tells you all about my love-hate relationship with its form).
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2009 on Vintage Game Club: Chrono Trigger at Brainy Gamer
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This is why I could not own a Kindle. I like the idea of having a library that I can lend to friends when they need a particular type of book for either pleasure or research. It has also occurred in the past that I host reading parties, where we all have tea and books in front of us, occasionally looking up to share our experiences with everyone around us.
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2008 on A crimp in my evening at Brainy Gamer
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I'd love to play the game, and will be doing so this weekend at some friends' place. It seems charming, and I think you probably are on to something about our language in criticism and being able to properly phrase our experiences. I know I'm somewhat caught in a spot where I'm wondering if I need to expand on past principles and then alter as they fit or just eschew them all together. The latter is a somewhat frightening proposition.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2008 on What about Sackboy? at Brainy Gamer
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I feel the difference lies in whether one is reviewing it as a product or as an actual experience. From the sounds of it, your experience was largely positive and left you on a good note, whereas many people are looking at reviews to determine whether or not something is worth purchasing. I believe I'd prefer having many options open, and personally am surprised I enjoyed Fallout 3 so much after growing largely listless with the previous attempt in Oblivion. Fable II, from all the talk that has gone on about it in these blogs, is one that I'll certainly look at in the future, but I hardly think I'll look down upon it for having a largely unalterable storyline. There are many games I've enjoyed who did such expertly.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2008 on Tell me a story at Brainy Gamer
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