Welcome back readers.

Five days until Armored Core 6 but who’s counting? No news around the site to report this week, but my heart goes out to anybody crunching to get an AC review in by the embargo date. Or Starfield for that matter, hell. Whatever they’re paying you, it should be more.

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

Deeper Truths

This week we’re opening up with analysis and impressions of genres, modes, and artistic goals in games beyond just what’s fun, bringing together data analysis and critical meditation.

“I’m creating a world that I am the master of, and a story that you experience from that perspective. It’s hard to misunderstand something that you experience for yourself, and that specific type of communication is what games empower.
As the designer, I can hopefully make a space of mutual understanding. A graveyard for pain. A place to confront and bury demons.”

Desktop Tabletop

As we continue to follow the critical conversations on Baldur’s Gate III, our attention turns to the game’s relationship, for better and for worse, with the mechanical bones of Dungeons and Dragons.

“D&D is the most popular it’s ever been; it’s reached an escape velocity from the niche of nerd culture. All things considered, now feels like an appropriate time to ask: Is this game any good?”

Tales from the Heart

Now let’s look at some impressions on smaller-scale games about love, family, and stories that get us in the feels.

Venba’s ability to reflect the tribulations of everyday life is what makes the game so special. The game is a love letter to parenthood. Venba is not just one woman, she represents mothers everywhere who are simply trying their best in the given circumstances. It touched my heart and soul in more ways than one.”

You Had to Be There

Our next two featured authors are taking a look at games that resonate with a certain time and place, whether it’s an aesthetic period or a very specific arcade-based hardware platform.

“Playing it felt like stumbling across the roots of several branches of game design. Yet even after all these years, and with so many successors, there isn’t anything that hits that same alchemical feeling.”

Critical Chaser

Shining in the Darkness is still a banger.

“Remember bolting back outside, breath hitching? Aged up from the experience but still so young? How life’s options branched off before us, invisible and unbeknownst to our disheveled, sweaty selves? Thornwood promised us more. Thornwood and us, we failed each other.”


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

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