Welcome back readers.
We’ve got a little bit of everything this week, with the highlights spanning DOOM WADs, interviews, viral hits and sleeper hits. Let’s tuck in.
This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.
Following Up and Circling Back
We’re splitting the Zelda-related pieces up for theme reasons, and our first theme this week is sequels! Good sequels, mid sequels, old sequels, new sequels.
- The Firemen 2: A flash in the pan | Kimimi The Game-Eating She-Monster
Kimimi senses a bit of a sophomore slump as this still-unique series makes the crossing from SNES to PlayStation.
- ‘Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’ Made Me Learn to Love ‘Breath of the Wild’ | Inverse
Willa Rowe find that in this case the sequel does not in fact obsolesce the predecessor.
- Review: Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly Serves Up a Worthy Sequel | Sidequest
Madison Butler sums up a more sober and sentimental sequel in Coffee Talk‘s latest episode.
“Overall, it gives the themes a somewhat melancholy, bittersweet mood that I appreciated more than Coffee Talk‘s fiery take on social issues. How do we show care for one another? How do we ensure our legacies live on? I daresay these are questions asked not just by the characters in the game, but the team at Toge Productions throughout the process of creating Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly.”
From the Source
Next up, we’ve got interviews and interview-ish investigations.
- Translator Spotlight: Taylor McCue and Fuglekongerige on He F-cked The Girl Out Of Me | Indie Tsushin
Indie Tsushin sits down with both the designer and Japanese localizer of He Fucked The Girl Out Of Me.
- Why Tears of the Kingdom’s bridge physics have game developers wowed | Polygon
Nicole Carpenter investigates the labour and worker element behind that Nintendo polish.
“Moon noted that it’s not exactly that other studios can’t reach this level of technical innovation, but that they don’t prioritize the resources needed to do it. Often, that comes down to supporting the humans who make the games we play.”
Our next two selections involve different approaches to memory, forgetting, identity formation, and identity loss.
- Virtual Citizen | Unwinnable
Emily Price builds a new mythology of Animal Crossing: Wild World and other life sims from our childhoods.
- DOOM and the horror of gameplay memory | a weapon to surpass blaming yourself or god while knee-deep in the dead
Chuck Sebian-Lander checks out a DOOM WAD of an entirely different brand of self-reflective horror than that other WAD everyone’s been talking about.
“This DOOM WAD tries to insert itself, like a cancer, into that mental presence. It intends to hijack its player’s mental model of the 1993 game and through gaming’s capacity for iconographic projection portrays the loss of all mental models, whether via the ravages of Alzheimer’s or the less pronounced but no less inexorable decays of age. It recreates the process of losing one’s mind within the mechanics and experience of gameplay.”
What’s Old Is New
Our final pairing this week brings together remake and genre conversations in examinations of two very recent, very different, and very successful games.
- Resident Evil 4 Remake confirms Capcom cares about their legacy | Pixels for Breakfast
Steve Heller breaks down how the RE4 remake’s sucess came about largely in spite of the odds.
- Honkai: Star Rail | Have You Played?
Adrian Hon weighs the ins and outs of the modern JRPG via miHoYo’s latest gacha hit.
“It’s a life simulator crossed with soothing busywork crossed with parasocial relationships. As a game, its battle system is dreadful; as a world, it’s deeply engrossing; and as a business, it’s troublingly efficient.”
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Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!