Welcome back readers.
Before we dig into this week’s issue, Friends-of-the-Site No Escape are doing a fundraiser to finance new projects and expansions for 2023. The plural subject isn’t rhetoriacal: they’re expanding the crew! Anyways, while the grim focus is on tech companies at the moment, games media outlets have seen a lot of shutterings and layoffs this year, so support independant games crit, eh?
This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.
Binaries, parallels, dichotomies, and parallel readings lead us through this week’s opening segment.
- Contested Landscapes | Unwinnable
Jay Castello examines different spatially and geographically-expressed arguments in tension with one another, starting with The Quarry.
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories—A Good Dad Is Hard To Define | Paste
Madeline Blondeau weighs in on the complicated Dad Game everyone talking about this week. It was this one, right?
“Shattered Memories speaks power to the idea that, on some level, all our recollections of our fathers are selective. Sometimes, we can accept why they did what they did, and try to embrace the person they are if they’ve changed. Others, the pain of just thinking about them hurts too much to consider building that bridge.”
…is over when we say it’s over.
- Super Mario Sunshine and Ecological Disaster – Hark, the Phantamanta! | Gamers with Glasses
Edcel Javier Cintron Gonzalez revisits one of Super Mario Sunshine‘s more memorable bosses through the lens of the Anthropocene.
- Evil in Residence | Unwinnable
Yussef Cole recounts his first encounter with Resident Evil.
“We were lost. We had thought this was just another ordinary videogame, another careless stroll through some colorful world full of coins and spells and power ups. Another power fantasy with which to show off our petty prowesses to each other. Resident Evil is decidedly not this.”
Let Us Crit Together
An old TRPG looking forward and a new (?) one looking backward come together in our next section.
- Throwing it all away – Kimimi The Game-Eating She-Monster
Kimimi looks in on the third installment of the Langrisser series, which breaks new ground in the series and genre to mixed effect.
- Review: Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a Product of its Time | Siliconera
Kazuma Hashimoto sees a lion of the genre showing its careworn creases as it clings to the past, for better and for worse.
“While its gameplay systems may feel archaic in this new age of tactical RPGs, it somehow enhances the harshness of its narrative. This will no doubt make it daunting for those unfamiliar with this style of tactics title. It certainly won’t be for everyone, but remains a tried and true classic.”
Now for a segment on game dev–both at the jam-level and the retired-to-a-yacht-level.
- An Hour Making Games in the Belly of Demonicon | Unwinnable
Caroline Delbert joins a jam with a very tight time budget, and shares some insights from her peers.
- Why Roberta Williams Came Out of Retirement to Remake a Beloved Text Adventure | Waypoint
Duncan Fyfe talks to Roberta Williams–on her boat–about genre, craft, and Colossal Cave Adventure.
“Ken found it baffling. Roberta, in the cave, found Roberta Williams—and her fortune.”
Some cool poetry out of Spine!
- Continue Game | Into The Spine
Cricket Miller offers up a little Ibb & Obb poetry.
“We reach the dance party,
hum along to the theme song,
flex our stiff fingers, twist
a cookie off the baking sheet.”
Critical Distance is community-supported. Our readers support us from as little as one dollar a month. Would you consider joining them?
Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!