That “The Shining” moment is a great illustration of how this game sets up something smart and then immediately blows it. In The Shining, the axe-through-the-door moment was one of terror and screaming. But here we have Alan Wake talking to us in his soothing voice as he points out the very obvious reference. How can I get emotionally invested in this scene, when the protagonist himself is so detached? Alan is just talking about what he’s seeing, which is like carefully explaining a joke before you deliver the punchline. It suddenly feels like the game designer is talking to me, and that he doesn’t think I’m very bright.
On the other hand, I think the narration works for the “adventure game” stuff. When we’re hanging around in town and talking to people it helps us get to know Alan. I actually really look forward to these sections.
Anyway, sorry for apologizing so much Mumbles. Including this one. No, that’s not true. I don’t apologize for this one. You’re just going to have to suck it up and deal with this apology. Sorry.
The Game That Ruined Me
Be careful what you learn with your muscle-memory, because it will be very hard to un-learn it.
Game at the Bottom
Why spend millions on visuals that are just a distraction from the REAL game of hotbar-watching?
Mass Effect Retrospective
A novel-sized analysis of the Mass Effect series that explains where it all went wrong. Spoiler: It was long before the ending.
Trashing the Heap
What does it mean when a program crashes, and why does it happen?
In Defense of Crunch
Crunch-mode game development isn't good, but sometimes it happens for good reasons.