Metal Gear Solid Analysis: The Identity Trilogy Part 2: Sons of Liberty

Sons of Liberty

The second installment in the Metal Gear Solid saga is about the dissemination of information, how important ideas are to the beliefs of an individual, and how they get passed within a society.

For those who never played The Twin Snakes, its story is recounted on disc as the fictional novel ‘In The Darkness of Shadow Moses: The Unofficial Truth’ written by that games weapons specialist, Nastasha Romanenko. The book fulfills several important roles all at once: it provides players of the first game with new story bits that happened on the opposite end of the Codec that Snake wasn’t privy to and exists in the Metal Gear universe as the tell-all that made Solid Snake and his crop of dark mulleted hair a hero the world over for preventing nuclear war.

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Metal Gear Solid Analysis: The Identity Trilogy Part 1: The Twin Snakes

MEME, GENE, SCENE

As an aesthetic work, the Metal Gear Solid saga examines what it means to be human. The spine of the series revolves around the full development of an individual’s identity through the foundations of their biological makeup, the shaping of culture and art upon them, and the importance of the experiences that individual collects throughout their life. But just as important are how those facets forms an individual’s beliefs and directs policies within their country and relative to countries across the globe.

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The Streets of Arkham City Are Prowled By Lunatics

Batman: Arkham City is an incredible sequel to a game with some of the most robust mechanics you’ll find anywhere in the medium.

Picking up six months after the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum, the inmates of that institution and the violent prisoners of Blackgate Penitentiary have been rounded up after events that transpired in a comic series leading up to this game into a prison known as Arkham City at the behest of Dr. Hugo Strange. Strange, who came into possession of Batman’s true identity by unknown means, has thrown Bruce Wayne within the confines of the fences controlled by his TYGER guards to incite deployment of his shadowy ‘Protocol 10’. By its end, Batman will run up against many of his legendary enemies including The Joker, who is suffering from fatal side effects to his exposure to his Titan experiments from his previous takeover of Arkham Asylum.

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Hard Reset

Hard Reset has leap-frogged over the decades worth of design that has evolved the modern FPS. Its about relentless, single-minded gunplay not about varied mixture of combat styles. Flying Wild Hog’s first game is a passion project from a developer made up of former employees of People Can Fly and CDProjekt Red.

The story is a Cyberpunk adventure where the human streets of New Bezoar are built with cold steel and product advertisements assault consumers from the walls and shine down from the sky. The world is beautiful; its vibrant with signs of the life that existed days before. There are fully realized plaza’s and run down apartments. Look out any window and you’ll see an impressive skybox filled with dead buildings. Routinely will you look out and be stricken by how well the entire thing was rendered.

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Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

Nintendo has defined videogames. Since it first threw its glove into the ring of arcade games in the 80’s, the company has changed the way people view, build and play games and Jeff Ryan’s Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America chronicles their rise from card game manufacturer to ubiquitous icons of the industry.

This book offers 280 pages of well-organized content that profiles the games, tech and personalities that set the standard for the medium. Covering everything from Nintendo’s days as a card game manufacturer to their successes with the Wii, Ryan introduces us to Hiroshi Yamauchi, the savvy entrepreneur who took his business into game cabinets, to his son-in-law Minoru Arakawa who put those machines in American arcades to Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary game designer and Mario, his creation that he made the face of fun and quality. Continue reading “Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America”

Ridin’ The Jet Set Funk

Hideki Naganuma is a producer who has earned an impressive amount of respect and professional accolades. Hit play below.

The above track is ‘Let Mom Sleep’, the opening of Jet Set Radio’s soundtrack. Many people who played the Dreamcast classic remember tearing up JSR’s streets to funky beats that added electricity to the gameplay and authenticity to it’s alt-lifestyle and urban youth rebellion stylings. It helped to make that game lively and fluid, colorful and fun. It’s simply amazing.

Combining hip-hop, soul and funk, every track from that game offered something different. Here’s ‘Sweet Soul Brother’, track eight. Continue reading “Ridin’ The Jet Set Funk”

Halo: The Essential Visual Guide

The Halo fiction can be a web information. Spanning six games, more than a dozen novels and comic books, an Animatrix-esque collection of short films and incorporating nods to other Bungie-developed franchises Marathon, Myth and Oni, keeping it all straight can be tough.

The Halo: The Essential Visual Reference Guide has organized the content found in the games into a companion piece to their earlier-released Halo Encyclopedia. Continue reading “Halo: The Essential Visual Guide”

The Songs of Bastion

Bastion’s Caelondia is destroyed minutes before the game’s opening. The Kid, waking from his bed, sets off through a dream that is beautiful and haunting as a nightmare. Supergiant Games crafted a fiction where every element adds to the cohesion of its story. Part of why it works is it’s great sense of place- a fiction that is mysterious and evocative.

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Story en Masse: Narrative Comparison of Mass Effect 1 vs 2

There seems to be this qualitative assertion that when it comes to narrative, more equates with better. This strange idea has become the primary dividing line in any debate between the first Mass Effect and the second.

Mass Effect 1 has an incredible burden on its shoulders. As the first chapter in what Bioware had early on promised to be a trilogy, the story needed to juggle introducing the fiction of the universe, the narrative for the events that would transpire in this game and justify the character that would be instrumental within it.

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The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings

NOTE- This review is for the release day version through patch 1.65. CD Projekt Red has announced version 2.0 with new content and refinements to several of the issues addressed below.

RPG designers should study what CD Projekt Red has accomplished with The Witcher 2. In the almost four years since they released the original Witcher, they have built a detective story wrapped in a mature fantasy where choices beget choices from the second you start a new game to the credits roll.

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