Thursday, January 31, 2008

GameSpite - Little Samson Review

I've been pretty excited about this review since I finally finished it about a week ago, and it's good to see it finally go up. It's a bit of a "nontraditional" review, since I don't break the game down into its distinct categories and give it an overall score, but I think it still gives readers a good feel for the game and whether or not they will enjoy it.

Being a part of GameSpite is something that I've wanted to do for a while, so I'm feeling pretty good right now. I've picked out a few older titles I want to do pieces on, so here's to hoping that my piece was good enough to warrant more in the future.

Take a peek. It's probably my favorite thus far.

Read: Little Samson Review

Daily Nexus - "A Gamer's Paradise"

My first piece for The Daily Nexus has finally gone up! Apparently it's been up since the 24th, but I swear I've checked it multiple times since then and not seen the article up. I guess I must have been hallucinating, but I'm glad everything is finally going well with the Nexus.

I pitched the idea of a gaming column that focused more on gaming culture than straightforward reviews, even though this first one came out a bit "review-y" for my liking. There are a handful of great ideas in here I'd love to develop into a full feature, but we'll have to find out how all that goes. It's kind of fun to be an online columnist for my college's newspaper. Take a peek, if you're so inclined.

Read: "A Gamer's Paradise"

Four Problems Facing the Wii in 2008: #3 - Saturation of Casual Games

These things just keep coming, don't they? Third part of my four-part series, talking all about how Nintendo needs to strike a balance between the casual and the hardcore. Well, they currently need to create a larger market, and then strike a balance. Quite frankly the casual market is strangling the Wii faster than an astronaut without a space suit, but 2008 is looking to be a little better for hardcore gamers everywhere. Regardless...

Read: Four Problems Facing the Wii in 2008: #3 - Saturation of Casual Games

Oh, and this story was actually finished up on Wednesday. It just went up today because of time constraints with the editor. Which is fine, cause I needed a little break.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Four Problems Facing the Wii in 2008: #2 - Third-Party Support

This is the second part of my four-part series that focuses on the problems facing the Wii during its second, and arguably most formative, year. I take a look at third-party support thus far, and talk about the ways that it needs to improve in order for the Wii to maintain momentum and stay in first place in this console race. I think this one turned out pretty good, but tomorrow's just might be better.

Read: Four Problems Facing the Wii in 2008: #2 - Third-Party Support

Monday, January 28, 2008

Four Problems Facing the Wii in 2008: #1 - Shortages

The first of my four pieces on the outlook of the Nintendo Wii in 2008 just went up today over at MyWiiNews. I've been thinking about this piece for almost a week now, and ended up finally putting parts of it together over the weekend. It was originally going to be one big piece, but I didn't feel like tt could be thorough enough if I had to truncate the piece down to one manageable blog post. So instead I'm turning it into a four-day feature! Comments are definitely appreciated.
as are suggestions.

Read: Four Problems Facing the Wii in 2008: #1 - Shortages

Thursday, January 24, 2008

RPGamer Editorial - Classic Gaming: Great or Gilded?

It sure has been an involved week. Between working on my first review for GameSpite, churning out a piece over at MyWiiNews about one of my personal loves (Guitar Hero), and other random things like school and work, I sure was busy. One of my pieces that I felt pretty invested in finally went up over at RPGamer, where I discussed whether or not classic games are legitimately good, or just simply nostalgia-fests. I felt pretty strongly about the topic, especially when I look back at games that I love (but not everyone can) like the original Zelda. I feel like there almost has to be a different mindset for people to really appreciate these old games that truly emphasize exploration and adventure, rather than the way that later "adventure" titles tell you where to go, what to bomb, and how to make it through the landscape safely. Quite frankly, the original Zelda beats your ass; there's practically no guidance at all (save for a few cryptic old men) and all the pressure lies on you to create your own adventure and explore the landscape.

As I noted on the boards, the original Zelda is extremely liberating in the way that it allows you to embark on an adventure where you're actually exploring every inch of a world for the first time, just like you would in real life. Sure, you probably can't make homemade pipe bombs and go exploring in the same way that you do in Zelda, but that's what videogames are for, right? They provide us with a way to live out those childhood fantasies in ways that you might never be able to in real life. Instead of feeling muddled because there are no rupee-laden arrows showing you which way to go while playing the original Zelda, embrace the fact that every wall and every bush holds a potential secret to uncover. It's difficult for me to do as I make my way through the second quest for the first time, but it's an amazing feeling when I do stumble upon something new.

It's really difficult for gamers nowadays to pick up and enjoy older games in the same way that many of us did as kids. I believe it's chiefly due to the amount of independent exploration and trial-and-error experimentation that these games require, rather than holding your hand through the same ten levels. GamaSutra did a nice little piece that relates to this, talking about the verisimilitude of classic games which are constructed in the way that makes the player think that the world that they are interacting with is an actual LIVING, BREATHING, environment through hidden gems and randomization. While Zelda is a helluva lot more forgiving than the random mess known as Rogue ever was, the basic idea of interacting with a world that has hidden elements that need to be uncovered through exploration and experimentation is one that is shared among a lot of retro games and alien to a lot of current-gen titles. I think that this is one of the biggest reasons that games older than the 16-Bit era have difficulties reaching a wider audience, and just might be something to write about for a future column for RPGamer.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hello World!

Welcome to the blog! I just started this little workspace up to link to all my writings that get published across the web, mostly because I'm an unpaid slave to videogames that hopes to build up a portfolio worthy of a paying position. Hey, it could happen, right?

Silly early-90's catchphrases aside, I'm looking to put all of my stuff in one place along with any other applicable rantings to try and keep track of what I'm up to. I'm currently rounding out my fourth (last) year at the University of California, Santa Barbara, majoring in Philosophy and Sociology, and love videogames. As long as I can remember I've been playing and reading anything about them that I could get my hands on. As I prepare to graduate and enter the "real world," I'm looking to possibly try my hand at professionally writing about them, and thought that there's no better way to get started than to simply "get started."

So, finally, welcome to my simple workspace. Any comments are welcome and encouraged, as I'm sure I'll need all the help I can get.