December 6th

Welcome back, readers.

While I’ve got you here, I’ll encourage you again this week to follow Twitch streamer and content creator ZombaeKillz. Ko-fi here!

Man, I don’t know if anyone else is just hitting a wall this week, but that’s where I’m at. We’re gonna play a little bit fast and loose with the categories this week, but there’s some great stuff lined up for your reading pleasure, as always. Hope you brought your, umm. . . reading. . . eyes. . . sorry, sorry, I’m trying to delete it.

This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.

Cyber Punks and Disco. . . Techs?

Somebody will get it. Probably. Anyway, our opening segment of five pieces deals with critical tensions in cyberpunk worlds and other assorted dystopias. Check ’em out!

“The promise of communism and even Christ’s return is not that all will be solved, but that we will have the time to heal. In Disco, Harry finds that healing in the margins, in small choices, but I do believe that this can be our lives.”

Something Old

Doom 3 counts as old now, right? I mean, it’s definitely a game of a certain time. Anyway, here’s three retrospectives on retro titles, with a bit of design-minded focus sprinkled throughout!

“At first blush this PlayStation 2 exclusive seems to be a successful sequel simply because it’s such a superficially safe and gentle update of the now established King’s Field’s formula: You’re once again dumped goodness knows where clutching nothing that will help you live even a second longer and there’s an unceremonious death-by-environment lurking just a few steps away from your starting position – so far so familiar. However this isn’t the thoughtless churn of the same old content slightly polished and repurposed to hoodwink the next batch of unaware consumers but proof of a game totally at peace with itself – King’s Field IV knows exactly what it wants to achieve and how it wants to do it, modernity be damned.”

Something New

Look, if we’re still on 2020 time, then Jedi: Fallen Order came out about a month and a half ago. So here’s two critical looks at recent titles.

“I don’t expect we’ll hear from Cal Kestis, Cere Junda, Nightsister Merrin or Greez Dritus again, not like we’ve heard from Ahsoka Tano or other principal characters in the universe. They were never going to save the galaxy, even though it felt like that’s where the story might go. Instead of each character being potential Chosen Ones, they’re simply bit players in a much larger war, and they know it. We get a chance to see them interact with each other like regular people in wartime. They’re all suffering from trauma of some kind, and it’s the relationships they build with each other that helps them soothe those tortured moments in their past, not the destiny they have to fulfill.”

Arch Characters and Character Arcs

Sorry, I broke the pattern two lines short of a wedding dress, I know. But hey! We’ve got two cool character studies here, looking at a Dragon Age favourite, and a collective cultural nemesis, respectively.

“Ultimately, the concept of building a game around the contemporary notion of Karens is cheeky but wouldn’t work at any scale larger or more ambitious than what is present with Karen: An Outrage Simulator. The runtime of the game, as well as the limited scope of six locations that Karen encounters, contributes to the overall punchiness and humor of the game. I am reminded of the aphorism, brevity is the soul of wit, and Karen matches that pith perfectly.”

Critical Chaser

We close out the week with two artsy pieces for your feels-ing pleasure.

“Tiny flames dance in the distance, this time created by those who link the fire. With the vision of your predecessors, you hold the power of rebirth in your hands.”


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