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Blog Check #3

Moving Pixels

  • Of the four articles I read on Moving Pixels, I found them all to be quite well written, fairly thorough, and interesting.
  • Developing Characters in Valkyeria Chronicles: Though I found the game to lack in enough depth for the amount of complexities it harbors, the points made in this article were worth noting. The characters in this game are very detailed in several ways that affect and are affected by the gameplay. In some cases, the player's personality and history give them additional abilities on the battle field. In other cases, you can't dig into a particular characters past without investing time in them throughout the game. While not addressed specifically, the quality of the actual story/story telling in the game is another issue entirely.
  • The Hispters of Gaming: And article centered around hardcore gamers that didn't make me roll my eyes. That's saying something.
  • Travelling in Video Games is one of the other articles I enjoyed.



the game-critique


  • The QWERTY stuff is hardly worth me commenting on. If you're going to post something on your blog that you don't agree with or have "no comment" for then don't bother. If you do post it, at least give your view or put the material into context so the readers don't feel like I feel now after reading it; like I wasted my time reading a forum rant. 
  • The BG&E artile rambles a bit. I've noticed that there are a lot of articles out there on BG&E like there are about Braid, Portal, BioShock, and other games that are strangely popular for bloggers. My problem is that there is a stark absence of any discussion that digs into the gameplay. Even when discussion a game's themes/story/plot, most don't provide enough examples. I imagine that these writers try to keep/come up with what these games are about all inside their heads instead of taking detailed notes on the game. I've found the the most common statements and comments on game stories are the most memorable and obvious facets.
  • When Swain made a case for how unique BG&E is, I think it would have been better if he used a lot of specific examples instead of tip toeing around spoilers. Too many statements were made without any theory or examples to back it up. "The gameplay is varied enough that to be interesting to the very end." Really? How so? This is an big statement that needs lots of support that show the game's variation (pacing/progression/challenges/unique design spaces) in addition to the story/narrative elements. Supporting this statement alone is an article in and of itself. A lot of time was spent generalizing and making vague comparisons to other games.
  • I'm interesting in where Swain goes with his writing because he's an English Major with some Creative Writing mixed in. I can relate. It's too bad his PS3 was stolen. At least his written anger was considerably clear and focused.


Vorpal Bunny Ranch

  • There writing here is very even tempered. Though the site has small text (which wrecks my focus) I found that I could read to the end of each post, and then hop (lol) to the next quite easily.
  • The post titled "Love Life" is very intriguing: "May's topic challenges you to imagine that the artist had been a game designer and supersede the source artwork--whether it be a painting, a sculpture, an installation, or any other piece that can be appreciated in a primarily visual way--to imagine a game that might have tried to communicate the same themes, the same message, to its audience." I believe that my LBP level Improvisation #1 supports this idea. With my level, I took a non interactive painting, and tried to translate its visual flow into platforming flow. The board game idea in the post sounds neat, but I can't wrap my head around it based on the current description.
  • The article "A Case for Closets" is a good start. Looking at characterization (eventually for games) in clear/new ways.


Cruise Elroy


  • Everything about music on this blog is excellent. Top quality. The presentation of the notation and the audio clips are wonderfully convenient and effective. For an example, check out some Brawl music
  • Indie Appeal: Perhaps instead of wondering how youth take to indie games, why not do some research and interviews? Anyone and everyone wonders.
  • I found the Braid article to be completely off. Though well written, I find it hard to swallow that anyone plays braid without experimenting. The easy rewind mechanic makes experimenting fun, efficient, easy, and inexhaustible like having the "infinite scratch paper" of a digital notepad like when scribbling notes on Phantom Hourglass maps.
    • The comment about how one doesn't experiment when reading through a text is off too. Readers do hold all the data in their mind as they go, but they also find patterns and connect the dots at the same time, which can often lead to wrong turns and dead ends. That's how suspense and surprise are created in text. We were thinking one way, and now we have enough data to go a different way.
  • If Dan Bruno, the writer, had time to play/examine/ and critique my LBP level Improvisation #1, I'd love to hear what he would have to say about it. Not only is the music progression non linear, but it can be layered and controlled by multiple players to really ramp up the counter point.



  • I couldn't stand the genre bending podcast. The way some topics were breezed over, others ignored, and others still privileged drove me nuts. Gameplay is hard enough to write/talk about. Story, which you might think that we have more experience with, is even harder for people to talk about.
  • The critical compilations remind me of the discourses I was doing here at Critical-Gaming before my mind map hosting site when down.
  • The surfer girl piece is very good. The material is so thorough that I got an "Icons" feel when reading through it. I'll definitely come back for more of these.
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