Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday afternoon tidbits

Watchmen comes out this weekend. Like Alan Moore himself, I have my doubts about how the book could possibly be filmed in a way that does it justice, but some of the early reviews are encouraging. Then again, some aren't. I look forward to finding out for myself.

-Lots of tearful goodbyes to N'Gai Croal this week. It may be useful to remind ourselves that he is, in fact, still alive. Still, there were some some elegant tributes to the man.

From Dubious Quality:
N'Gai is one of the very few people who writes about gaming who is a writer first, not a gamer. He could have written about anything and it would have been interesting (and I hope he does).
From The Cut Scene:
N'Gai Croal... forged a path in many ways for those of us writing for mainstream publications about video games as a business and an art form.
From Joystick Division:
Among a relatively small pool of games journalists who not only push the profession farther but are also, you know, read, Croal was a standout, and it's not hyperbole or blowing smoke up his ass to say the profession - not to mention the gaming community en masse - is a little worse off without his voice.
From Sexy Videogameland: of the things I credit most to him is helping delineate and cement the concept that there can exist game criticism as a discipline separate from traditional reviews, from pointed editorial and from news journalism -- writing that in part asks questions and shares experiences.
From GameDaily:
Perhaps the most surprising fact to come to light this week was that Croal has only been covering games for three years. It feels like he's been with us for much longer. In the short time N'Gai Croal has written about games he's opined on controversies and encouraged us to think about our pastime in new ways.
And, of course, at MTV Multiplayer, the final Vs. Mode: part 1 and part 2.

-I've said it before and I'll say it again now: Duncan Fyfe is one of the best pure writers talking about videogames. He's just wrapped up a nine-part series called "The Domestic City," which presents a fictional world in which videogames have the cultural cachet we keep pretending they do. It's just amazing.

-I'll link to anybody who's still talking about Far Cry 2. This week it's Michael Abbott, who says he couldn't take the bleakness of the game's moral vacuum. It's a perfectly reasonable position to take, and yet that was what excited me so much about the game. I felt like it was operating on a different philosophical level entirely from other shooters. Also, make sure to read the comments on the post. As usual at the Brainy Gamer, they're great.

-L.B. Jeffries wrote a critical analysis of Half-Life 2, the likes of which would be impossible to do under the usual review structure. You need this kind of time and separation in order to really be able to deconstruct a game. He makes a number of insightful observations about setting and theme, the kinds of things I only ever noticed on a subconscious level while playing.

Looks like I've got Killzone 2 on tap for the weekend. It'll be nice to finally see what all the fuss is about.

1 comment:

Pala said...

Apropos what to expect from the Watchmen movie, I (who haven't seen it yet either) thought the most interesting review was the one over at Slate magazine.