A Menace To Society.
Was this the moment where games hacked the human psyche?
Game FAQs Ranking: #13
A subtle reason I like reviewing older games is for the cultural and historical aspect. If you look hard enough, you can see the societal changes being reflected in the medium itself — no different than art or music. As technology has gone on to completely integrate with our lives (we just installed smart outlets that only require talking out loud to illuminate the house) you see this same theme ramping up over the years in video games.
Oblivion is a watershed moment in that story. To me, it feels like a tipping point where video games were able to be more than just a hobby and could actually take over your life. The in game counter for Final Fantasy usually clocked in at 40 hours with each entry and elicited self-moral shaming. I always considered what I could have accomplished with that chunk of time directed at some other task.
Oblivion made that look like child’s play.
Hijacking our sensibilities, it was easy to now play this game for 100+ hours. There was actually that much to do. Stranger yet, these hundreds of hours weren’t spread out over a year but were concentrated blasts starting in the afternoon and not ending and until 2am.
Replaying Oblivion made me go down that road one last time, albeit for just a quick 25 hour play through. It was hard to put down the controller, always wanting to do “just one more thing.” It’s still addicting and engrossing, but I kept thinking: at what cost?
Continue reading “Top 100 Xbox360 Review: # 13 – Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)”
It’s pretty good.
An array of small things keep it from being great though.
Game FAQs Ranking: #10 & #34
Time for a first: a double game post!
Since I played Borderlands 1 and 2 back to back, it made little sense to try and create two different entries. It makes even less sense given both games are almost identical. Sure, there is a reddit thread for everything, but most of the “differences” are nerds talking about math and skags.
I spent most of my evenings for the past couple weeks co-oping Borderlands with my BF. Exploring Pandora is best done with someone else; I’ve attempted to finish the first installment since 2012 but never had the motivation to finish in single-player mode. I think that’s because while Borderlands is pretty good at world building (I consider Claptrap and Scooter muh friends) the game doesn’t exactly suck you. Everything seems tangential and nothing important, particularly the story.
Continue reading “Top 100 Xbox360 Review: Borderlands(#34) and Borderlands 2 (#10)”
This game is like playing slot machines except you are not wasting money, you are wasting your life.
Game FAQs Ranking: #98/100
Some games try and reach a higher plane of existence. Using powerful narratives, nostalgic music, and stylized imagery, some games really come across as high art and should be adored.
Diablo III is more like Candy Crush.
The backdrop is the typical fantasy trope, but what really sets Diablo apart is what happens in the foreground: button smashing. Each piece of movable plastic on the controller is mapped to a different ability with different recharge times and effects. Battle is the effort to smash each button in the most efficient manner possible by timing your reflexes to be in line when an attack refreshes.
Battles are nothing more than reaction tests without consequences. Endless battle against hordes of enemies don’t matter as you skillfully press X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y.
Continue reading “Top 100 Xbox 360 Review: #94 – Diablo III (2012)”
The Rare Feeling of Something New But Phenomenal.
In a world of so many remakes and spinoffs, it’s a blessing to experience something wholly new.
Game FAQs Ranking: #21/100
A quick look at the top movies of 2018 showed multiple retreads of Marvel comic storylines, a Mission: Impossible relaunch, a sequel to The Incredibles. and remake of A Star is Born.
Where the hell is anything new? Part of the problem is how we consume media. Big companies cannot sustain a bomb, so those who are able to take risks are the indie communities in each sector. But, big media is who has reach, so the only things we share on a societal level are the better safe than sorry projects.
After laying dormant since 2003, Edios/Square Enix decided to give the Deus Ex franchise another go. It must have been risky; unlike Final Fantasy, there was no big fan base to fall back on. It worked emphatically.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution has no tropes for the player because there is nothing for them to reference. What you find is an immersive world and addictive game play with its own set of rules and interactions. Finally, a chance to go completely into the unknown!
Continue reading “Top 100 Xbox 360 Review: #21 – Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)”
Its impact was a bit blunted this time — the game relies on the intrigue of figuring out the mechanics of the world and not the world itself.
Game FAQs Ranking: #3
Video games rarely bleed over into a community event: they occur in palely lit rooms as a lone figure casts a backdrop from the saturated monitor light. Skyrim was a whole other story.
I never owned an Xbox360 or Playstation 3, but my new roommate did. I discovered Oblivion and devoured it quickly. He told me the next installment was just around the corner with the date being an easy to remember 11/11/11. When the day came, I woke up early (for my college days that is), and headed to my local Gamestop. Complete chaos. There was a line out the door, some in cosplay, as we all waited to get our hands on the next seminal event in video games.
Skyrim lived up to its expectations. I spent the next months/years exploring every nook and cranny. It has an amazing ability to get out of the way and let you do whatever ever you want. I cycled through all the possible combinations from Thief-Archer Kajhit to War Hammer-wielding Ogre. Betheseda has perfected the art of reward as you slowly nibble and navigate down an endless candy trail, always doing just “one more thing” for the next prize. Then you realize it is 2:00am. Yikes.
This time around, though, I learned something that lessened the game in my estimation, if even just by a little bit. The excitement and intrigue of this game did not come from the characters or story. The world is filled with thousands to meet, but they are mostly means to an end: to figure out how the man behind the curtain operates.
Continue reading “Top 100 XBox 360 Review: #2 – Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)”
Awesome atmosphere with continued perfection of the sand-box RPG genre.
Game FAQs Ranking: #3
I took a break from most video games through college; I made the subconscious decision that drinking and dancing were more important to me. Sure, I replayed a few classics and did some Madden with the dorm mates, but I didn’t have a PS3 or Xbox 360. I missed out out on anything that came out between 2006-2010.
Then there was Chris. My first roommate post-matriculation, he introduced me to everything I missed. Fallout 3 was the first game I decided to go for, and with his dire warning (“it’s going to take up a lot of your time — a lot”), I set out into the wastelands. A work week and a half of time later, I returned a changed man.
Continue reading “Top 100 Xbox 360 Review: #3 – Fallout 3 (2008)”