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David Kim
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The Power of the Narrative Experience For me, whether it's a book, film, or video game, the element that sticks with me the most afterward is always the story. A good narrative has the power to make cheap production seem exceptional. Unfortunately, it works the other way around. A poor story can destroy any technically impressive product. An immersive story gives games replayability, in my opinion, although I will concede that good gameplay can also provide replay value. I must confess that I have never been intrigued by games that attempt to contrast the conventions. While I can respect and... Continue reading
The Worlds of Guild Wars and Habbo Hotel As a MMOG Guild Wars is rather successful, going off of the free-to-play plan where players are only required to pay once and play without a subscription fee. As a virtual world, Habbo Hotel has become a veritable hit, using a slightly different free-to-play method where even the initial game is free. Both games are similar in their money-producing methods, but that is where the similarities end, because Guild Wars is one kind of game while Habbo Hotel strives to provide a totally different experience. Although the connection to earlier, frontrunners in... Continue reading
When Ninja Gaiden came out for the Xbox, it was hailed as an achievement in action games. Drawing its gameplay from games like Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden entertained the hardcore gamers with difficult enemies, fast action, and big boobs. Although fairly one-dimensional in terms of plot, the game garnered a relatively large fanbase (mostly guys) and great critical praise. Consequently, Tecmo, the developers of Ninja Gaiden decided to port the game over to the Playstation 3 with one added gameplay, the ability to play as the big-breasted female side character, Rachel. This was met with more praise as gamers... Continue reading
Film, from its onset has always been seen as a way for artists to express themselves. Painting, well, that's just considered to be purely "art". Why then is it harder to associate games with art? Perhaps it is partly because of certain aspects of games. Bernie DeKoven describes games as something that only exists as long as it is created. Games are suspended from reality and have no bearing on what occurs outside of the game. Using this definition it can be easy to concur that art and games have no place along the same wavelength. However, games have evolved,... Continue reading
Minesweeper, the classic puzzle game that comes with every Microsoft operating system has transcended time to become a staple in every puzzle gamers' list. The familiar block clicking and quantitative puzzle solving game is the pastime of students in class, people stuck inside on a rainy day, and even puzzle aficionados striving to get the best time on expert (which happens to be about 36 seconds). When one looks at the simple game mechanics of minesweeper (although not that simple since for a neophyte who does not know the rules of the game, the exposing of the blocks might seem... Continue reading
One of the most important, if not the most important, piece in chess is the queen. As evident to anyone familiar with the rules of chess, the queen holds the most desirable move, which is the ability to go across the board in a straight line or diagonally. Often if one player loses his queen, he is left at a serious disadvantage, unless of course you are Joshua Waitzkin who so famously sacrificed his queen in order to procure a checkmate a few moves later. However, as Marilyn Yalom enlightens in Birth of the Chess Queen, the mechanics of the... Continue reading