Category: Op-Ed

Postmortem: The Emotional Impact of The Last of Us

The Last of Us 1Now that The Last of Us has been out for a little more than a month, I’ve had numerous opportunities (as I sat around doing nothing) to reflect on what did and didn’t work. I kept swinging around in semi-circles with my chair as I thought back to the major thematic beats and emotionally gut-wrenching dialogue.

I stand by my review of The Last of Us; it is a flawed game. But I constantly find myself thinking about different, highly impactful moments. I run over my review time and again, never questioning my opinion, but wondering if there was a better way to articulate it. I continue to remember the fantastic narrative beats and the rich characters that permeate all throughout The Last of Us, and little by little my rose-colored glasses tint just a shade darker. I gave The Last of Us a positive review, even if some don’t think that’s the case. I really like the game, and it will probably make it into my top ten at the end of the year (but let’s certainly not think about that now), so I’m attempting to explore why I still think The Last of Us is one of the best games this year.

Games Don’t Have To Be Fun

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I love Metro 2033; but it isn’t fun

In an effort to catch up in time for its sequel, I’ve been playing a healthy amount of Metro 2033 recently. For those reading who aren’t familiar with the series, it’s set in post-apocalyptic Russia, where the few survivors have flocked to the subway tunnels to escape the destruction and radiation. Most of the game takes place in these tunnels, with some infrequent and ill-advised trips to the surface.

DRM Doesn’t Work

simcityI had my copy of SimCity ready to be installed and I was eager to play. At the designated time of release, I entered my 25-digit product key and hit the download button. Nothing happened. The download servers were already at peak capacity and no one could download the game they had purchased. Luckily, I had a physical copy of the game, so I did something I haven’t done since probably 2005: I put a physical game disc in my disc drive and installed it from there. Around fifteen minutes later my install was complete and I was ready to start playing SimCity.

Nope, that definitely didn’t happen.

The Necessity Of Interactive Storytelling

urlI’ve been playing To The Moon recently, a generally wistful 2D light-adventure game with a pixel art aesthetic. In it, you play as two scientists who travel through a person’s memories Eternal Sunshine-style with the express intent of changing one thing: each of their clients is on their death bed, and wants to believe they accomplished a goal they never could. For the elderly John, that wish is to go to the moon.

Licensing Issues: A Thing of the Past?

There is a reason there are a lot of images like this on the internet.

Video games have been one of the fastest growing entertainment forms ever. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by other types of entertainment such as TV and movies, and almost without fail, any time a major blockbuster is being released or a show gains enough popularity, a video game adaption is not far behind. In the past these adaptions have almost always been written off as poor representations of the source material, while lacking in overall quality. With some more of the recent releases and trends in the gaming industry, could bad video game adaptions be a thing of the past?