Friday, December 19, 2014

"Hunger" (Short screenplay)

This wrote itself out of nowhere. I just wanted to fire up the old screenwriting software and see if I still got it. After a round or two of editing, I think I wound up with a pretty tight little story. Good characters, good conflict, good structure, good dialogue... Good ending? I'll let you be the judge.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review - Wolfenstein: The New Order

I was among the crowd of skeptics in the gamer community every time new screenshots or details emerged prior to the release of Machine Games’ “Wolfenstein: The New Order.” Like so many others, I felt that the 2001 release of “Return to Castle Wolfenstein” was the high point of the venerated series and that every release since simply failed to capture the same great experience. Despite this feeling, The New Order started to gain some critical and commercial momentum, so I decided to give it a try. It has definitely left a fantastic impression on me, and I am looking forward to seeing it all continue in some form after the revitalization The New Order has bestowed on the Wolfenstein series.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review - Transistor

I hesitate to label what Supergiant Games does with their work as a “formula.” Both of their releases (Bastion a few years ago and now Transistor) share the same “groove.” The ingredients that form the experiences of both games are relatively identical. Whereas Bastion had a narrator to describe the onscreen action, Transistor has a commentator to provide more emotional weight.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review - The Banner Saga

Much has already been written about the unique art style of The Banner Saga, so I will simply say, “It is breathtaking.” I did not even notice that the character portraits were not animated (besides their shifting eyes) until I was halfway through the game. I realized that the hand-drawn art served to activate my imagination and fill in the action. In my mind’s eye, I saw their struggles on the road and their battles in the field. Despite the lack of voice-overs, I heard them speak. Despite the lack of animation, I saw them march and fight, suffer and starve, smile and rejoice. The storytelling in The Banner Saga is so strong that these characters were truly drawn to life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review - Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

After the mind-bending closing cinematic of the first LoS, I waited years for details about Gabriel Belmont’s second coming, imagining what it would be like to stomp around Mercury Steam’s gloriously reinvigorated Castlevania world in the legendary vampire’s boots. His prowess is certainly felt in the challenging combat, but the addition of unneeded stealth gameplay really detracts from the enjoyment.