Welcome back readers.
Thanks for coming out, as always! Stay a while, pull up a chair, and tuck in with twelve new selections.
This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.
We open this week with two fresh perspectives on Immortality.
- My Disturbing Obsession With ‘Immortality’ | Epilogue Gaming
Flora Merigold contemplates whether Immortality‘s seemingly boundless mysteries and absorbing protagonist make it the new high watermark for FMV games.
- The Immortal Interface – GlitchOut
Oma Keeling locates the enjoyment of Immortality less in the twist as the thing and more in its context–the story it is embedded in, the interface which must be mastered to explore it.
“I do think that, for its many exquisitely played ‘normal’ scenes, Immortality’s design relies on the thematic reveal, the interface meta, to pull a twist on an already compelling story. A piece of fiction about people trying to make films, be human and take joy in art, to have sex and resist abuse, then to tell stories about sex and abuse, is heightened supernaturally in a way that ultimately never captures me as much as Marissa’s mortal conflicts do.”
Killers in Paradise
Mythmaking and storytelling, the gods old and new, and the players who walk among them all feature front-and-centre in this next segment.
- Paradise Killer is On a Heavenly Trip | Unwinnable
Caroline Delbert rounds out her multipart exploration of Paradise Killer with a dive into the game’s haunted, cosmic lore.
- THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN FORTNITE | DEEP HELL
Karin Malady parties with the pop-cultural pantheon in the world’s most videogame.
“If Fortnite is anything, it is the true face of Video Games. It’s that wild and unruly dream of colorful and exciting environments Nintendo 64 and PlayStation gave you. It’s the battlefield you fought on in CounterStrike and Team Fortress 2. It’s the emoji filled chat rooms of the past. It’s going to consume everything. And if it doesn’t, it’ll shift, and you’ll be confronted with the new thing that will. And you’ll only have the Gods to fall back on.”
A double portion of catly goodness courtesy of Gamers with Glasses.
- Stray and The Animal Protagonist — Gamers with Glasses
Claire Brownstone studies the ways in which Stray is a game designed around a cat, rather than the other way around.
- What Is It Like to Be a Cat? Musings on Stray — Gamers with Glasses
Christian Haines ponders what it means to become purrst-human (sorry).
“Stray may not communicate what it’s like to be a cat, but it does raise questions about what it means to be human. It sends players into a process of becoming-animal. This has less to do with imitating an animal species than with experimenting with life.”
Gone But Not Forgotten
Next up, we’ve got three meditations on old games, dead games, weird games, and of course: bad games.
- 021: Rose and Camellia | canon fire: an alternative history for games
Amr Al-Aaser sits down with a Flash-era period piece that slaps.
- How a Sims 2 Port Turned Into a Silent Hill Game for Kids | Fanbyte
Sarah Thwaites looks back at how platform constraints and creative liberties yielded a memorably strange Sims spinoff.
- Lula 3D | Bad Game Hall of Fame
Cassidy returns, and in this 69th episode, they give a legendarily bad horny adventure game its due.
“Lula 3D has to rate as a complete failure, with no hope at presenting any sort of redemptive feature that’d save it from my utter contempt. I mean, I’ve only spent tens of thousands of words so far completely eviscerating it, and making it clear there’s nothing to love about it, right? I’d have to be a goddamn hack to suddenly attempt to hand-wave away everything I’ve said about it so far, and try to close this review on some sort of positive note! Well, uhh… as it turns out, I’m totally about to try and do that. Whoops.”
To Meet or Miss the Mark
Two play meditations–one game decades old, the other weeks–united, I think, by expectations not quite fulfilled.
- How renting Story of Thor proved harder than finishing the actual game | Eurogamer.net
Jennifer Allen reminisces about the towering challenge of completing a game when your local Blockbuster only has two copies and every other kid in the neighborhood wants a piece.
- Sheeple | Problem Machine
Problem Machine has some good times with Cult of the Lamb but doesn’t quite come around to drinking the kool-aid.
“I found it hard not to come to the conclusion, halfway through Cult of the Lamb, that this was a world that would be better off without me, without The Lamb, in it. Perhaps I could be of service by slaying the greater and more dangerous monsters who surrounded my little village – but, that done, what could I offer the world except to leave it behind? I suppose I did leave it behind, anyway, when I stopped playing and uninstalled it.”
I thought this was cool.
- Postcolonial Monster Hunter | Why Not Games
Nikhil Murthy offers targeted and sustainable design proposals to radically transform Monster Hunter‘s ideological framework.
“To make the simplest statement; postcolonial doesn’t mean nonviolent. Due to colonialism being fundamentally violent and certain postcolonial movements being tied to nonviolence, the two are often joined, but they are far from synonymous. Furthermore, hunting has a history that well predates colonialism.”
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