Today’s column is something I wish I’d covered way back when I did my video on Prince of Persia:
Basically, I should have made the difference between “harder” and “more punishing” more explicit. I don’t know that it would have blunted the resulting controversy, but it would have made the ensuing debate a little less muddled.
If you read the comments on that video, you’ll see a lot of people really object – strongly – to my thoughts on Prince of Persia. Some people get angry at the suggestion that games should be less punishing. I still don’t know if they’re confusing punishment with difficulty, or if they really insist that a game must create artificial setbacks in order to be enjoyable. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the comments.
Skyrim Thieves Guild
The Thieves Guild quest in Skyrim is a vortex of disjointed plot-holes, contrivances, and nonsense.
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
I'm not surprised a fighting game has an absurd story. I just can't figure out why they bothered with the story at all.
Batman: Arkham City
A look back at one of my favorite games. The gameplay was stellar, but the underlying story was clumsy and oddly constructed.
The true story of three strange days in 1989, when the last months of my adolescence ran out and the first few sparks of adulthood appeared.
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.