Welcome back readers.

After a short break and a jam-packed catch-up issue, we’re getting back to our usual weekly stride with thirteen new-and-cool selections for your reading pleasure.

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

Mystery Machines

Our opening section this week is genre-specific, looking at design, structure and theme in recent mystery games.

“Having been reminded of my own truth so powerfully by the game, of course I told Tassing their own. I still wonder what they made of it.”

Follow-Up Act

Let’s shift genres now to RPGs, and in particular, a pair of sequels with a lot riding on them at the time.

“So Langrisser IV is creatively timid, and unfortunately you can feel that as you play. It’s cautious. It’s eager to please, to show you things that are like other things you’ve seen before. It doesn’t try to beat Der Langrisser at its own standard-setting game, but meekly offers something comfortably similar to it instead.”

Language Support

Our next section focuses on language, etymology, and localization.

“It’s strange for me to write about this given that my Cantonese is actually terrible, which I attribute to being born and raised in the UK, which comes with the cross-cultural baggage of trying to fit in and resenting your own heritage. But while I lack the vocabulary to converse in important subjects like politics, it’s also impossible not to consider the politics of Cantonese being eroded by Mandarin, whether in Hong Kong’s education system, or Nintendo’s decision in 2016 to unify the names of more than 100 Pokémon but according to the Mandarin pronunciations, which disgruntled fans in Hong Kong called the erasure of “the collective memory of a generation.””

States of Play

This next pairing looks at games as they intersect with politics of power and state.

“What is horrifying, to The Callisto Protocol? It has two answers: One is the visceral, grotesque violence one body can inflict on another. The other is the mass violence that an institution can quietly inflict while making abstract decisions about people’s lives. These two ideas, as executed, are also entirely in conflict with each other throughout the game.”

Main Character

Yeah I split up the Callisto pieces; this next section has a particular focus on what actually constitutes a character.

“Mario doesn’t have Thoughts or Opinions. He isn’t going to beat up his enemies to a song that screams about how independent he is and how he hates cops or etc. Mario is a conceptual hole in the world that emits “Woo, Hoo, Wahoo” noises and the general hope is that you, too, feel “Wahoo” in response.”


Now for some meditations and practices on curation, completionism, and play.

“It’s easy to buy a lot of games. It could be just you are always online, hearing about new games. Or that you are more time agnostic and spoilt for infinite good deals on cool games. You’ll need to find a system to help you replace that new game craving with exploring your own library.”

Critical Chaser

A short transformative piece closes us out this week.

“This tale confronts the fear, uncertainty, joy, empowerment, failure, triumph, and peace that come with fundamentally redefining yourself in the eyes of everyone you know… including yourself.”


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Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!