Author Archive

Review – Dragon Age: Origins

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by simon

The machine slowly comes to life, the sound of whirring fans and arcane instruments powering up to a deafening howl. Then a blinding flash of incandescence, a painful sense of sudden detachment from where and when you were. Also all your clothes are apparently gone, unfortunately burnt away by the paradox. Uh-oh.

Yes, playing Dragon Age …

Third party publishers as RPG archetypes

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 by simon

Imagine if you will some kind of strange alternate meta-world, where major third party games publishers form a rag-tag party and embark upon a quest to… make an awful lot of money? I suppose they’re going to steal some Dragon’s gold, that can be the story. Although in reality, in our universe, they’re just corporate …

Game Concepts – Great ideas of Genius

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 by simon

There are those among us who feel games are becoming increasingly predictable – a marketing dominated creative process where developers simply take elements from other successful games, try to throw in some token new thing and call it a day. So I thought I’d just throw out some slightly different ideas, just for the hell …

Civilization IV: Champion Edition

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 by simon

Many of the great leaders throughout history were also great warriors. They lead armies, knocked over walls, flags were heavily involved. Playing Civilization IV, this is self evident from the available commanders – Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Gilgamesh. I considered what would happen if you added the greatest warriors in the world today – the …

Thinking about identity in games

Friday, June 26th, 2009 by simon

As I sat staring at an enormous horde of Mongol marauders storming across the bridge, I felt a certain pride at the waiting ranks of Byzantine heavy infantry that stood on the other side. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always felt a certain affinity for those crazy Byzantines. Positioned at the crossroads of two …

Review – Earth Defense Force 2017

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 by simon

Japanese firm Sandalot’s third person shooter, published in the West by D3 in 2007, Earth Defense Force 2017 is a 50s style sci-fi, seen through an 80s lens, set in 2017.

When they came to Earth in 2017 with their flying saucers and their spherical mother ship, we were not sure what to expect. We hoped …

If we all work together, we might just get out of this thing alive

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 by simon

Things have changed. Co-Op is now a big deal in the world of games, and, as ever, there is an exact moment at which a well-informed observer such as myself can point and say “this, this is where the trend started.” Imagine there’s a timeline projected on the wall, and I’m probably wearing a …