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Progress report: Governor’s Ball 2013, Sunday June 10, 2013

Posted by Giovanni in News.
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Last year, New York’s young Governor’s Ball made a big splash. The simple, 2-stage festival drew a concise list of indie heavy hitters including Beck, Modest Mouse, and Fiona Apple. Now, with the public’s eye on the little fest, Gov Ball decided to up the ante this year, doubling its size. Taking over twice as much land on Randall’s Island and adding two stages, the festival has grown to full size. And with that larger scale comes a need to sell more tickets. That became immediately evident with the line-up this year, tapping bands like Guns N’ Roses and The Lumineers to expand the audience from Brooklyn hipsters to Manhattan bros. At the last minute, I decided to grab a Sunday ticket and get a piece of the action this year. And I’m happy to say that despite the larger size, Governor’s Ball still mostly retains the same charm that made its smaller incarnation so fun.

12:00 – 2:15: A Whole Lot of Mediocrity

While Sunday’s top billed line-up was impressive, Governor’s Ball had a problem finding great small bands to fill in the early hours. Taking the start of the day easy, I sat off to the side and casually listened to a few of the acts. Nothing stood out, as all of the bands felt like ‘lite’ versions of their genre. The Revivalists played an admittedly spirited set that felt too clichéd to be impressive—safe bait to draw in the DMB crowd. Things weren’t much better on the indie side with the long-haired men of Roadkill Ghost Choir playing a sleepy set of bland rock songs. The only minor highlight of the early hours came from Haim, a California quartet consisting of three badass frontwomen (3 of the 4 women I saw on stage over the course of the entire day). Their sound wasn’t anything special, as they dipped into relatively standard rock and roll fare, but they kicked things into gear effectively pumping the crowd up for the long day ahead.

2:15: Freddie Gibbs

I head over to the Skyy Vodka tent around 2 to catch the only real diverse act of the day, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs. Regardless of how vastly different the set was in genre, the crowd was still predominately white. It’s probably a good time to note that Governor’s Ball may just be the whitest festival on the planet, despite taking place in the Mecca of diversity. Regardless, Gibbs takes the stage with a commanding presence. He steps out leading the crowd in multiple “Fuck Po-lice!” chants, and taunting the audience to put their money where their mouths are by lighting up some weed in defiance (What he doesn’t realize is that most of the crowd has been smoking the entire set). His flow is flawless. He bounces between songs and freestyles effortlessly to the point where you can’t tell when he’s just kicking rhymes off the top of his head. At one point, his DJ drops the beat so Gibbs can truly show off his freestyling abilities. What follows is Sunday’s biggest display of raw talent, as Gibbs drops a truly astonishing rap for minutes on end. The crowd goes crazies as each minute passes. The DJ tries to bring the beat back in and start the next proper song, but Gibbs waves him off and keeps flowing. It’s a moment of raw skill that solidifies Gibbs as one of the best rappers currently out.

3:00: Portugal. The Man

Portugal. The Man end up on the absurdly massive main stage, leaving them with the task of entertaining a very large crowd. Of course, they don’t have much of a problem with this. Not only is half of the audience already drunk and/or high at this point, but the Portland rockers play pretty fun music. They play through a competent set of danceable pop jams, including highlights from their latest record, Evil Friends. The band does have some trouble, however, filling the stage. They seem noticeably stiff, not knowing what to do with the space. Their sound isn’t quite big enough to reach the arena-sized anthems that a stage like this calls for. As a result, they come off just a little flat, rarely reaching greats heights. Portugal are the type of band you want to see in a sweaty, mid-sized club. The songs and sweat are there, but the energy is a mismatch.

3:45: Deerhunter

Bradford Cox may just be the whitest person at Governor’s Ball. The Deerhunter frontman walks out on stage dressed like he’s on his way to audition for a Gilligan’s Island remake. On paper, Deerhunter doesn’t sound like a great festival fit. Their noisey, often washed out songs seem like they’re better fitted for a more ambient setting. In practice, however, the band ends up pulling off the finest rock set of the show. Mostly performing songs from their garage-rockier new album, Monomania, Cox and company tear through a tremendous set of songs. From the epic opening chords of Agorophobia to the blistering jam of Monomania’s title track, the band commanded the crowd’s attention just by sheer force of sound. One woman near me covered her ears in pain most of the set, even during the silence between songs. “This is some great American music!” shouted Cox after a particularly noisey jam. I couldn’t agree more.

4:45: Foals

Throughout the day, you could hear the name “Foals” on the breath of most passerbys. Seemingly everyone spent the day recommending the band to everyone around them (myself included). Their set had a massive amount of hype going in, and the crowd to match it. The English group are an arena rock band in training, busting out a set of massive anthems that got people clapping along at all the right moments. Audience freak-outs to jams like My Number and Inhaler ensued as expected. What I didn’t predict, however, was how moody the band comes off as live. Most of their set actually consisted of more slow-burn ballads. They retained that same anthemic bigness, but something about their set felt just a little too gloomy. Whether or not they lived up to the hype didn’t seem to matter, as the audience used the slower moments as a chance to pour beer over everyone around them and take obligatory selfies. In that regard, Foals were a perfect midday intermission for festival goers ready to take a break from intently listening to bands and just do whatever the hell they wanted while music played in the background.

5:45: Beirut/Intermission

I arrived to the other side of Randall’s Island just in time to catch Beirut. I’d seen the band once before, and their set was nothing short of astounding. Their sound is incredibly full with an onslaught of brass taking each song to soaring heights. But you wouldn’t have been able to tell that from Sunday’s set. Due to technical problems, the sound was off leaving the band lost in empty space. That, combined with a surprisingly large crowd for a band that hit its popularity peak 5 years ago, made for the first sacrifice of the day. While watching bands all day is great, certain human needs take precedence. So instead of strain to hear, I grabbed my second bacon-wrapped Crif Dog of the day and listened to a few Yeasayer tunes from afar (which were perfectly audible from across the field, by contrast). [NOTE: apparently Beirut’s sound was fixed about 4 songs in, just in time for Elephant Gun, so I’m sure they were just as big and brassy as usual].

6:45: Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear rounded out a line-up consisting of 2009’s most exciting indie bands. I’ve seen the group twice before, both in incorrect settings. The first time was opening for a Radiohead before Veckatimest came out. They sounded tiny on a massive arena stage, with their airy harmonies sounding floating around with nowhere to go. Two records later, Grizzly Bear have become an incredibly competent rock outfit. Shields cuts like Yet Again and Sleeping Ute sounded massive with pounding drums and stunning harmonies. Many of those just there waiting patiently for Kanye were none too thrilled, though. Once the band went into an admittedly slower mid-set, they turned to their phones to pass the time. It was their loss, as they missed a rock-solid, satisfying set. But can you blame them for getting restless? I mean, it’s Kanye West.

9:30: Kanye West

Saturday was Kanye West’s 36th birthday, and he Yeezy couldn’t give a fuck. Opening his set with “Black Skinhead,” the intense new song from his new album Yeezus that took Saturday night Live by storm last month, Kanye launched into an incredibly dark, powerhouse set filled with some of his most sinister songs. Of course, I have to take a moment to discuss the new songs. The Yeezus cuts sound like the kind of music you’d imagine a mad scientist would produce. They’re laced with the dirtiest synths you’ve ever heard and primal screaming. This isn’t radio-friendly single Kanye. “Honestly, when I listen to radio, that ain’t where I wanna be no more,” West confessed during a minor rant at the end of “Clique.” It quickly became clear that Kanye wasn’t there to get press. The rapper banished press photographers and strategically placed lights in front of Governor’s Ball’s cameras to block his face. Instead, he spent most of his set out in the middle of the audience on a platform, perfectly positioned ten feet from my awe-struck face. You can call him a douchebag or an asshole (in fact, he agrees), but you can’t deny that he’s an astounding performer. West tore through a greatest hits set that drove the crowd into a frenzy from start to finish. Spectacle isn’t a big enough word to describe a Kanye show. It’s a genuinely larger than life experience that you can’t take your eyes off of. I spent my entire, long commute back home with my jaw welded open processing what I just saw.

I wasn’t the only one. And in the end, Kanye’s set made me realize something fundamental and obvious about music festivals that I hadn’t fully considered before. These aren’t really about the music. Think about it. Why would you want to spend an absurd amount of money to trek through mud and stench only to barely see a bunch of bands from afar while your legs break under you? Doesn’t that sound terrible? But people are what make it worth it all. I spent Kanye’s set surrounded by the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered at a show. We chatted, looked at each other with ‘HOLY SHIT’ glee, and shared a moment we’ll never forget together. During the ever-so-glorious “Runaway,” Kanye told the audience to hold on to their loved ones. A guy behind me (who kept trying to offer me a hit of his weed before the set) threw his arm around me and another fan to my right. We all swayed together and sang together in utter glee. For now, it appears that Governor’s Ball is here to stay, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ll be telling the tale of Kanye at Gov Ball 2013 to my disinterested grandkids for decades to come.  


Nintendo Slashes 3DS Price, has their Sony moment. July 28, 2011

Posted by eboku in News.
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Nintendo set the internet on fire this morning when the company decided to slash the price of the Nintendo 3DS from it’s $249.99 launch price to $169.99, effectively cutting $80 dollars off the original asking price and also making it the same price of the Nintendo DSi XL model. For a system that has been out for less then five months, the move is striking to say the least.

Knowing that there would most likely be some sort of backlash from customers that adopted the system already. Nintendo is offering free games off their 3DS eShop store, which will include a handful of first-party offerings including GameBoy Advance games, including Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Other titles will be offered and it will be up to 20 free downloads.

As someone that purchased the system day 1, I can’t help but feel disappointed with how Nintendo handled the launch. The 3DS came with a barebones library of ports from third parties and small time Nintendo efforts that there was nothing new that would grab a potential buyer outside of the Glasses Free 3D Screen. While that technology is cool, “Glasses Free 3D” isn’t exactly a game.

I’m not saying the 3DS is doomed forever, it can easily pick up steam once this holiday and next year hits when games are actually ready for release. Nintendo has an uphill battle between the Playstation Vita and of course, iOS and Android devices that currently offer the cheapest, most accessible casual gaming.

Free downloadable games is a pretty nice gesture but if they really want to satisfy their core crowd, they should have a conversation with Capcom about Mega Man Legends 3…

Dead Island Trailer Wins Award, Is Kind of a Big Deal June 30, 2011

Posted by Giovanni in News.
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Start the waterworks, kids.

I’m going to ask you to time travel with me for a moment here, dear readers. I need you to remember back to February. Unearth your deepest, saddest memories. You’re hearing that Lost-esque piano score now, aren’t you? Your eyes are starting to well up with tears. Yes, we’re talking about that slow-motion, non-linear, gut-wrenching trailer for Dead Island that turned grown men into weeping children.

Well, I’m sure you, like most gamers, have all but forgotten about it by now, but here’s a reason to remember; that trailer just won a prize at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (No, not THAT Cannes) in the category of Internet film.

This is just another defense for the ‘video games are art’ debate. If a game can produce such an emotional experience just on its trailer alone, then surely they should be considered a serious art form. ….Oh what’s that? Dead Island actually looks like a pretty standard zombie first-person-shooter that features weapons like electrified machetes? Yep, Dead Island’s really looking like the Pere Goriot of video games here.

Behold, the digital Mona Lisa.

Dead Island is set to be released on September 6th for the X-Box 360, Playstation 3, and PC. No word on the film adaptation that was optioned days after the trailer’s release, but I imagine the studio is at the “Well that was a bad idea” stage right about now.

Fans Vs. Nintendo: Also, Hey PXR! June 30, 2011

Posted by eboku in News, Opinion.
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Being a Nintendo fan is like having a divorced Dad. He takes you out on weekends but never came to your Pinewood Derby race.


Operation RainFail


I get why people love Nintendo, I love Nintendo. For a lot of us they introduced us to gaming, defined gaming for most of the late 80’s and 90’s and always deliver quality software and interesting hardware. That kind of impact doesn’t just leave you, which is why it’s so frustrating when you see a company you love make so many backwards decisions. The 3DS is a quality machine but the initial launch window has been a complete joke – 3 1/2 months for Zelda? Incredible title but come on! Where was all the win that was announced for the system when it was announced at last year’s E3? Oh, coming later. Gotcha.

The Wii was definitely the underdog this generation. It is constantly spit on by ‘hard core’ gamers for not having HD graphics, online and basically every feature that the PS3/360 does not have. I supported the Wii, still do to an extent. It had some of my favorite games this generation. Super Paper Mario, Mario Galaxies 1/2, Twilight Princess, Sakura Wars.. I could go on all day. It had some real gems that most people gloss over. However its hard to deny the aging hardware compared to what we get on rival consoles and PC – and third parties have essentially given up on the platform. It’s hard for the system to compete where HD and online are key components and the “Wii Sports” fad has worn off – You would think its time for Nintendo to leave the Wii behind because we got everything it has to offer right?


[News] [Analysis] The F2P Storm: Blizzard, Valve and the sudden rise of microtransaction games June 29, 2011

Posted by Colin in News.
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Says everything you need to know right?

Blizzard seems to be doing its best to enable former (and soon-to-be) World of Warcraft addicts. Starting today, WoW is free to play up to level twenty. The new “World of Warcraft Starter Edition” lets anyone with an internet connection and a Battle.net account log onto the 7-year-old MMORPG, but with a few restrictions. Starter accounts are limited to ten gold, cannot trade in auction houses or join guilds, and take lower priority in login queues than full accounts (full FAQ here).

But Blizzard has not been alone in announcing free-to-play updates for their games. Valve announced last Thursday that their class-based slaughterfest Team Fortress 2 would now be completely free to play. Obviously this move puts more emphasis on Valve’s Steam Wallet, a handy little feature that shipped with last September’s Mann-conomy update that allows players to create a steam-exclusive paypal account. Players can use these funds to purchase games through Steam or, more importantly, for microtransactions.

A trend has developed in which companies are trying the free-to-play and microtransaction business models. Many gamers remember the period following WoW’s initial release, when the MMORPG market opened up and imitators flooded in, trying to cash in on Blizzard’s now-billion dollar model which includes the monthly subscription pay structure. City of Heroes did it, and as of June 20 announced they would be implementing the City of Heroes: Freedom subscription model sometime in 2011. Dungeons and Dragons Online originally charged a monthly subscription, but switched to its unlimited “freemium” version in 2009.

Seven years after WoW’s release and Blizzard is still on top of the market, while the imitators have had to switch. But the funny thing about microtransaction in video games, especially MMOs, is that it’s profitable. No, it’s not as profitable as Blizzard’s addictive cash cow, but it’s enough for studios to stay afloat and offer WoW alternatives. And it’s clear that over the past seven years, companies have learned that as long as WoW still holds millions of subscribers (and growing,) a “WoW alternative” is all they can offer. There are no “WoW Killers” – not even Warhammer Online, which has allowed unlimited free play (until level ten) since 2009.

At the moment, World of Warcraft boasts twelve million subscribers, each paying $11-$15 per month. For that kind of money, Blizzard has been smart enough to deliver the complete MMORPG experience – the type that people lose their free time and spare change to enjoy. Simply put, WoW is an investment in both time and money, an investment that millions of people enjoy on a regular basis. Of course sometimes players burn out and get sick of the grind.

Sometimes they even switch to another game, but most of them end up coming back – if not for the game, then for the community the game has created. And while this community may be laden with spammers and jerks, the guild and party loyalty within the game is so strong that players who leave end up feeling guilty about the people they’re letting down. Check out this old Joystiq article (and the links therein) for examples of players feeling bad for not helping their guilds.

A gaming experience as pervasive as WoW does not leave room for seconds, especially not when a monthly fee is involved. Thus, microtransacions have become more popular and it is here that Valve has really stepped up its game. The week before Team Fortress 2 went free, Valve offered up a hardy selection of five Free-to-Play games on their Steam client. Here is a brief rundown of each:

Spiral Knights – an adorable top-down dungeon crawler from Three Rings and Sega that takes art cues from Ian McConville, whose artwork you might recognize from the webcomic Three Panel Soul.

Forsaken World – A World of Warcraft clone with generic fantasy characters in a generic fantasy setting. However, publisher Perfect World demonstrates some considerable influence from Eastern MMOs in character designs:

This is a Dwarf. Could you tell?

Champions Online: Free for All – The revamped, microtransaction based version of Cryptic Studios’ Champions Online. Cryptic is the same studio that brought us City of Heroes and City of Villains, which was dropped by Atari and more recently acquired by Perfect World. The game itself has added a lot of content since its release in 2009, and offers a large number of options for character and nemesis creation.

Global Agenda: Free Agent – the free-to-play version of the class-based sci-fi third-person shooter that quietly debuted in February of 2010. Like all these titles (except Spiral Knights) it wasn’t free to play at release. The class system in the game pulls heavily from the Team Fortress model of class balance, minus five classes. A full breakdown is available here.

Alliance of Valliant Arms – Another class-based shooter but set in more modern times. A.V.A uses the Unreal Engine 3 and rekindles the East vs. West tensions of the cold war, but with the European Union v. the Neo-Russian Federation. Unlike other class-based shooters, A.V.A. sports only three playable classes, forcing players to think more strategically about class choice in the heat of the moment.

Altogether, these games represent a wide spectrum of play styles (okay, maybe only RPG and Shooter) that have embraced the F2P model for online gaming. Valve has opened the door for its 30 million steam subscribers to browse cheap, free-to-play games and Blizzad has responded in kind. It seems that a bidding war has begun, and as companies continue to lower the pay wall, more people will get online – Just look at Team Fortress 2, which just supplanted Counterstrike as the most played game on Steam.

Of course none of these are “WoW Killers,” although the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Old Republic may loosen Blizzard’s grasp on MMORPGs. But as time goes on it seems more likely the great WoW behemoth will simply die of old age.

[News] [Analysis] Supreme Court knocks out California video game law June 27, 2011

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In a 7-2 decision the Supreme Court upheld an appeal to California Civil Code sections 1746-1746.5, which banned the sale of violent video games to minors (read the technical version here). The case (now known as Brown v. EMA) has been awaiting resolution since last November, when the State of California and the Entertainment Merchant’s Association presented their arguments.

The discussion, which you can listen to or read here, came down to an argument of definitions: are violent video games obscene? Or, more astutely, does violence qualify as obscenity?

Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the court’s opinion, stating:

“Our cases have been clear that the obscenity exception to the First Amendment does not cover whatever a legislature finds shocking, but only depictions of ’sexual conduct.” Under Miller v. California (1973) the Supreme Court ruled that ‘obscenity’ (a particular type of unprotected speech) refers to specifically sexual content – not violent content, as the California law proposed.

This is the seventh such law banning violent video games to be struck down in the United States, but the first to make it all the way to the Supreme Court. The full text of the Supreme Court decision is available here (.pdf)

The decision seems to extend (or at least solidify) First Amendment protection for video games. 2011 has been a banner year for video games: in May, the National Endowment for the Arts rewrote its guidelines for the Arts in Media category, allowing video games to qualify for grants.

Roger Ebert is not pleased

Could it be that video games are gaining ground as a “serious” medium? With increasing publicity and legislation, it is easy to hope so. Plus, consider the facts: Americans spent over 25 billion dollars on video games in 2010. The average age of a gamer is now 37. This could be the start of a bright new future for the medium…

*Sigh* ... Just... NEVER MIND

Nintendo Press Conference E3 2011 Roundup June 7, 2011

Posted by Giovanni in News, Opinion.
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Wii U; console or college for geeks?

Okay, let’s face it; while there was quite a bit to look forward to going into this year’s E3, but the big focus was Nintendo’s new console. Sure, the Kinect was something to keep an eye on, and Sony’s Playstation Vita certainly turned a lot of heads, but new consoles are what really pique audience interest. And with all of the rumors about Project Café circulating for weeks now, as well as Nintendo’s reputation for raising the bar—or more accurately, creating a new bar entirely—with new technologies, this was sure to be an E3 to remember.

But of course, you can’t start your conference with the big news, can you? Instead, Nintendo began ceremoniously tooting their own horns with a montage of Zelda games, soundtracked by a live orchestra playing classic songs from the series’ history. Miyamoto eventually took the stage to point out that it was Zelda’s 25th anniversary, and that Nintendo had big plans to celebrate. Of course, they talked about Skyward Sword, showing new footage, and even debuting the game’s new theme song with the orchestra’s help. Interestingly, they didn’t demo any of the game; a smart decision considering last year’s onstage fiasco. Miyamoto also announced that they’d release a Zelda game for each Nintendo system, with Link’s Awakening coming to the 3DS eShop that same day, and Four Swords coming as a free download for the DSi in September. If that wasn’t enough, Miyomoto showed off a gold wiimote, complete with a Hylian crest, as a bonus for those picking up Skyward Sword.


Sony Press Conference E3 2011 Roundup June 7, 2011

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Behold, the Playstation Vita!

Usually, E3 is most closely watched when the Big Three are unveiling their newest consoles. Those are the years that people consider “game changing.” But this year has proved to be incredibly important in a multitude of ways. Obviously, Nintendo’s big Project Café announcement has taken center stage for the gaming world, but it’s a massive year for Sony and Microsoft, even without showing their next-generation systems. Microsoft had to prove that the Kinect was a worthwhile investment that would truly increase their system’s shelf life (They didn’t do a good job of it, mind you). Sony, however, had the most difficult task at all. After the recent PSN fiasco, Sony took a huge hit in popularity amongst gamers. This year, they had to regain the gaming world’s trust if they didn’t want to go the way of Sega.

As a result, Sony went as all out as they could this year, short of unveiling a new Playstation, making for quite an intriguing conference. That’s mostly meant in a good way, though a few strange points came up. The main one comes from their first area of focus; 3D. Sony began the conference by showing some of their biggest upcoming PS3 titles, and each one was presented in 3D. Sony’s “unmoving” commitment to 3D is somewhat bizarre, when you think about it. At last year’s E3, the company was ecstatic about the feature, but gamers didn’t seem terribly interested. Everyone went on to talk about the Kinect, Move, and 3DS, almost forgetting about Sony’s 3D plan. Sony didn’t. And this year, they wanted to make sure the same thing didn’t happen twice.


Microsoft Press Conference E3 2011 Roundup June 6, 2011

Posted by Giovanni in News.
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Last year, Microsoft had a lot riding on its press conference. That was the year that they were going to fully reveal the Kinect to the world, a device that Peter Molyneux was something that “science fiction hadn’t even dreamed of yet.” The claim seemed a bit ridiculous, but it built up a good deal of hype for the possibilities of a sophisticated gaming camera. Unfortunately, the press conference didn’t deliver much that year. The Kinect was used to show glorified tech demos, highlighting the voice recognition and motion control capabilities of the camera. The audience was overwhelmed as games like Kinectimals took the stage over serious triple-A titles. But, it was a new piece of hardware, so what could you expect?

So, Microsoft still had a lot riding on them for this year’s E3. Now that their hardware was out, it was time to see what it could really do. So it came as no surprise that a great deal of Microsoft’s focus this year was on the Kinect, treating it like a new console as opposed to a peripheral. The words “Xbox 360” and “Kinect” were rarely said apart from one another. It’s clear that this is Microsoft’s way of expanding their console’s shelf life.

They started the show strong, though expectedly, showing some of their big franchise sequels. Dazzling cinematic demos for Modern Warfare 3 and Tomb Raider began the show, firmly reinforcing Microsoft’s usual stance of hardcore gaming. Both games showed a great deal of promise in terms of providing exciting, story-driven action games. Seeing Lara Croft run through a crumbling underground tomb was more enthralling than either of the Tomb Raider films ever brought.

And then, the Kinectability began. Keeping in the same vein, Microsoft started by showing their big titles that would utilize the Kinect. Mass Effect 3 was demoed complete with voice recognition options for choosing dialogue and shouting commands during battle. The dialogue aspect seemed a bit slow, but the idea of getting to vocally control your teammates showed some great potential for immersing the player in intense situations. Microsoft rounded out their hardcore game announcements with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which uses Kinect’s motion control in a mode called Gunsmith. This allows you to customize and test weapons in a Minority Report-esque fashion. It’s a neat tweak, again, ripe with potential. But wasn’t last year supposed to be the year of “potential”?


[Review] [Analysis] “One Chance”: Breaking the Game December 8, 2010

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A while ago I argued that choice in games lacks impact, that decisions more often than not boil down to the superficial. I came to the conclusion that most of these choices lack emotional weight because games, by their very nature, allow you to replay and reset, thus removing consequence and, most importantly, regret.

One Chance is a Flash game made by AwkwardSilenceGames. You play as John, a scientist who discovers the cure for cancer, a gas that only kills cancer cells. It’s not until this gas is released across the entire planet that we find that it kills all cells. Humanity is now facing annihilation in six days and it’s up to you to decide how you will spend your time.

The catch is, as the name implies, that you only have one chance. You can only play the game once and you have to live with whatever choices you’ve made. It’s an art game whose execution is questionable and pathos heavy-handed, but regardless it’s an interesting thought experiment and there are much worse ways to spend 15 minutes.