Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday afternoon tidbits

I think I'm just about done playing games for 2009. Might still download PixelJunk Shooter, and I'll pick up The Saboteur today, but that's all. With so much to do in the next couple of weeks, I'm just hoping to find the time to play more Borderlands and Left 4 Dead 2.

-This Rogue Warrior game sounds like a real piece of work. I almost want to play it so I can truly understand how bad it is. And, really, two and a half hours? Seems like it isn't short enough.

-Rich Clark looks for some common threads among the games of 2009. I think everything he mentions is accurate, especially the latter two observations. I think it goes to show you how mainstream gaming is today. That doesn't mean that everybody is playing the same thing all the time (except maybe in the case of Modern Warfare 2), but everybody is playing something. It's easier than ever to find high-quality games that suit you. And we're seeing an erosion of the wall that used to exist between self-identified gamers and non-gamers. When I survey the gaming landscape at the end of the decade, I feel great about where we're at.

-Last week I linked two separate pieces by Chris Dahlen, but if he's going to keep churning out work like this then I'm going to keep linking to it. His Edge column on memory and Assassin's Creed II may be the best one yet. You could write about this game from zillions of angles, but this is one I don't think anybody else has tried, and it's very perceptive.

-At BoingBoing/Offworld, Brandon Boyer picks the year's best games from off the beaten track. Some interesting selections in there, some of which I played, most of which I did not. But I don't really understand how Uncharted 2 fits in with games like Little King's Story and Noby Noby Boy. It was Metacritic's game of the year!

-I haven't even downloaded "The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned" yet, but already MTV Multiplayer has me looking forward ot the next Borderlands expansion, "Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot." I might just stay awake and play this game from Christmas straight through New Year's.

-Kotaku's Owen Good wrote a great story about a gamerscore high achiever, a stay-at-home mom who has racked up over 165,000 achievement points. I would love Kotaku to do more stuff like this, and for it not to be so hard to find among their non-stop regurgitations of press releases. Am I missing much more like it? I have no idea.

To the weekend!


Sal Paradise said...

Regarding your Kotaku woes, I sympathize. Luckily, they have organized each tag of a story as its own RSS feed. So simply point your reader to

to get the cream without the crop.

Eric said...

I'd like to see Kotaku embed Tim Rogers with that achievements woman for like 2 or 3 weeks with the stipulation that his finished piece cannot make *any* reference to videogames.

Rich Clark said...

Mitch, thanks so much for the link. It was a huge encouragement.

You're right. While I felt like 2009 was a somewhat lackluster year for innovation and artistic advancement in the gaming realm, I felt like it was also a year where the possibilities became all the more concrete.

I guess maybe you could say 2009 was the year we became aware of a video game's potential on a mass scale. I find it hugely encouraging that Bioshock became a game that influenced games this year, and that the main complaint people have with Modern Warfare 2 is that it tried to make a deep point about war and failed.

At least they tried, right?

Mitch Krpata said...

Sal, thanks for the tip!

Rich, one of the things that makes it hard to make predictions and spot trends is that so many things are several years in the making. I was also happy this year to see the way controversial subjects (RE5, Orson Scott Card, "No Russian") were mostly discussed in a reasonable way, by people who could agree to disagree.