Friday, December 21, 2012


Best video game of my life.

It's okay if you don't understand, but I wish you did.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dishonored: Spoiled by Choice

Dishonored is probably my favorite non-sequel video game of 2012, although this is coming from the perspective of someone who doesn't have the time to plumb the depths for indie games anymore. Though this shortcoming is largely a product of my own lack of diligence, there's also a noticeable lack of original, quality AAA titles on the market these days. What else came close? Sleeping Dogs was solid, but ultimately it carried the sensation of being less than the sum of its borrowed parts: vehicle mechanics and general approach from Grand Theft Auto, distilled Arkham Asylum/City combat, crushingly cut-and-paste sidequests from basically every third person action-adventure game released in the last couple of years. Also, Jesus, Wei Shen was lame as hell. Forcing your voice half an octave deeper than normal and shouting "motherfucker" a lot does not an interesting character make.

But then I look at Dishonored, which doesn't have a main character at all. It has silent killer Corvo Attano, disgraced Lord Protector to the recently assassinated Empress. Corvo has no dialogue, and while this approach has served many video game protagonists well over the years, it's starting to feel more and more out of place as immersive world-building becomes a developmental priority.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Walking Dead's Woman Problem

Spoilers for the whole season, up to last Sunday's (12/2) episode. Also, here, have some Michonne blackface.

In a series where the major dramatic impetus nearly every episode is a character doing something really stupid, The Walking Dead's first two seasons rarely allowed its female characters any sort of redemptive moments for their follies. And if they're not botching things royally and then eating shit for them, then they're window dressing, meant to deliver a few lines where needed and fade into the background. Halfway into the third season, and with a writing team that's really stepped up their game, has it gotten better? Sure, a little. Could it get better still? Yeah. And I understand that characterization has never been the strong point of this little undead yarn, but when you compare any of the women to Rick or Daryl or even Carl, their developmental trajectories are either radically thinner or almost non-existent. But for the most part they're trying, and here's how: