Author Archive

Portal 2 Review Part 2/2: The Negative Review

Monday, May 16th, 2011 by jackson

“Any motion picture–such as 2001:A Space Odyssey; Demon Seed; Silent Running or Forbidden Planet–or Star Wars–in which the most identifiable, likeable characters are robots, is a film without people. And that is a film that’s shallow, that cannot uplift or enrich in any genuine sense, because it is a film without soul, without a core. …

Portal 2 Review Part 1/2: The Positive Review

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 by jackson

The first Portal seemed so undeserving of its success. It was essentially a Half-Life 2 mod similar to Research And Development only with a new gameplay gimmick. The story was only added later in the playtesting phase because players were getting bored with room after room of puzzles. Since the developers didn’t have time …

Portal 2, and Three Reasons Why I Don’t Like Sequels

Monday, April 18th, 2011 by jackson

This isn’t about how I don’t like Portal 2. Tomorrow (or perhaps earlier?) will be a historic day in my life. Not just because I’ll be playing Portal 2, but because it will be the first time in I-don’t-know-how-many years that I’ll actually play a game on its launch date. I barely ever pay …

Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl Non-Review

Saturday, March 12th, 2011 by jackson

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has been a game I’ve declined to review. There are some things I’m just not comfortable casting judgment on. A review implies that the reviewer has authority over the game, an intellectual superiority. I can tell you what I think about Stalker, but Stalker is a complex game full of loose …

Review – AquaNox 2: Revelation

Friday, January 14th, 2011 by jackson

The bottom of the ocean is a lot like space–both are dark and mysterious, both require special equipment in order for us to survive, and both appear as a peaceful shade of blue from our viewpoint. There are, however, some sharp differences between them. No one really goes to space (at least not outside of …

Ken Levine’s Secret Notepad of BioShock Ideas

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 by jackson

BioShock — A city under the ocean (not Atlantis) is populated by murderous psychopaths. Everyone here also has superpowers. A little girl and her dozen twin sisters wander around needing to be rescued. Andrew Ryan talks to you about why his city is so great. After you kill everyone in the city the moral of …

Extra Lives Review

Friday, September 17th, 2010 by jackson

Tom Bissell’s latest work, Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, doesn’t include much discussion on the subject of why video games matter. This has very little weight on the text itself, but I think every reader should be aware of that fact before opening a copy. Extra Lives is about Bissell’s fascination with videogames and …

Review – SSX Tricky

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 by jackson

In the early days of the GameCube one of the first games I made sure to get was SSX Tricky. It was awesome and I played it endlessly until I had mastered every single trick of every single character on every single course. Eventually I got bored of it because, well, it stopped being fun …

Art Can Never Be Games

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 by jackson

Everyone loves discussing why games are or aren’t art. Even I can’t help it. The subject is just too hard to pass up. It exists just so intellectual jerkoffs can spill ink (do people even spill ink anymore?) over it and feel good. This is why I’m not going to write about it anymore. Instead, …

Someday we’ll all look back at this and laugh

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 by jackson

If you’re reading this blog then there’s a fairly decent chance that you’ve heard about Roger Ebert, his loud and controversial opinion about videogames, and its latest iteration which was posted last Friday. I told myself that I’m above falling into that cyclical argument, but the bait is too tempting for me to resist any …