As a counter to the silly list of laughable writing lauded by the Writer’s Guild, I suppose I should provide my own list of games. I’m not going to limit my list to members of a particular union, but instead I’ll simply look for stuff that’s actually good.
In no particular order:
Not the best work BioWare has ever done, but it was a decent yarn with some fun characters.
Secret of Monkey Island
Hey, a re-release is still a release. Aside: Oh delight and rapture, the re-release was wonderful.
Okay, I worked on this one so I should disqualify it. Still, if you’re into Final Fantasy 4 style jRPG games, this one should do nicely.
Lord of the Rings Online
Not a 2009 release, but as an MMO it’s always under development. I saw it for the first time in 2009, so it’s new as far as I’m concerned.
I could rip the game to bits for all of the crazy compromises it makes to shoehorn MMO gameplay into a setting that was almost completely at odds with such a concept. I still get a little crazy if I think about it too much.
But they were careful to honor the language, the lands, and the tone of the original work. Considering the origin of the books as a linguistics project, this is quite fitting. They were faithful where possible, and made compromises when they had to. In the end they managed to adapt Middle Earth to the often absurd world of MMO gameplay while preserving its dignity. This is a great accomplishment and there are precious few developers who could hope to do as well.
Okay, I’m clearly cheating now. Dear Esther came out in 2008. I played it for the first time a few months ago, and it haunted me for days. It’s a free mod for Valve’s Source Engine.
The game doesn’t fit into any existing genre. I guess I’d call it an exploration narrative.
Whoops. Need to take my inhaler. Just laughed myself into an asthma attack.
While I’m doing that, go ahead and nominate games you thought were well written. The rules:
1) The game must be from 2009
2) Or not.
Silent Hill Origins
Here is a long look at a game that tries to live up to a big legacy and fails hilariously.
Juvenile and Proud
Yes, this game is loud, crude, childish, and stupid. But it it knows what it wants to be and nails it. And that's admirable.
The product of fandom run unchecked, this novel began as a short story and grew into something of a cult hit.
The Brilliance of Mass Effect
What is "Domino Worldbuilding" and how did it help to make Mass Effect one of the most interesting settings in modern RPGs?
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.