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Articles tagged “games”

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Gift suggestions for the morally deprived

All the feelgoody stuff we associate with Christmas comes about through general high-spirited social interaction, meals, music and last but not least, Christmas presents. Most people will use this opportunity to spread joy, merriment and happiness in the lives of yourself and others, but there are undoubtedly those amongst you who would rather utilize this festive occasion to declare mortality dead, either through wilfully opposing the sentiment of giving people something nice or useful or presenting them with items that can and will corrupt their character and undermine their sense of morality. This list of Christmas gift suggestions is …

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0 comments | Tags: corruption, Queens of the Stone Age, games, morality, gifts, Christmas

Popular Culture as Art: What One Can Learn From The Legend of Zelda

Mastering Hyrule has ramifications beyond the television screen.

Over the past summer, due to a lack of employment, I got a chance to dust off my old Wii (which since 2008 I have been using as a doorstop) and revisit a few of the games. Whilst I was playing I realized that the brilliance of the franchise lies not because they are simply ‘fun’, but because the world of the game induces such a level of immersion through its music, story-telling elements, and idiosyncratic visual art style that evokes such a perfect sense of atmosphere that the game is …

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0 comments | Tags: Nintendo, Legend of Zelda, games, culture, art

A Small Glimpse of Korean and Hong Kong Culture

Gyeongbokgung Palace in Northern Seoul

Although Hong Kong and Seoul are only separated by a two hour flight, my visit to Seoul prompted a realisation of the huge difference in lifestyle between the two cities. Filled with narrow crowded streets and buzzing with life in every corner, Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, was what I portrayed Seoul to be like in my mind. However, I was confronted by a totally different image as I landed at Incheon airport and had my first taste of Seoul: delicious strawberry flavoured milk.

The strawberry flavoured milk in a mini carton is …

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0 comments | Tags: culture, China, food, history, games, travel, transport, mysticism

Game On!

Letting your face know you play to win

Since the days of the Romans little has, arguably, changed. Panem et circenses or, Bread and Circuses, is still the most powerful vehicle for controlling the masses. Romans had their beasts and gladiators; we have Max Payne, Hollywood and sports events. Could it be by chance that Spain’s recent bail-out by the IMF happened just a day before La Roja’s match against Italy for the UEFA cup? Nevertheless, the real twist of these virtual realities is that the masses are now able to play for change instead of the …

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0 comments | Tags: business, learning, Memory, video games, games, technology

Review: Mass Effect 3

Liara’s return is a particular highlight.

Saying that Mass Effect 3 was highly anticipated is a bit of an understatement. People have been impatiently waiting for the concluding part of Bioware’s epic science fiction series since it was announced back in 2010. However, does the game live up to the monumental level of hype which surrounds it? I definitely had a great time playing it, although I don’t think the game is that much of a step up from Mass Effect 2. Whereas that game felt revolutionary when compared to the first installment, Mass Effect 3 feels …

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0 comments | Tags: Commander Shepard, RPG, Bioware, mass effect 3, Mass Effect, sci-fi, video games, games

Sweeping away a certain fig leaf…

Ubisoft’s main man Ezio on a killing spree.

I think it’s fair to say that Nerd Culture has never really suffered from a shortage of pretensions about itself. You can’t blame it though, I guess. If, like Bob “MovieBob” Chipman from The Escapist, you want to derive a legitimate criticism of US immigration laws from the film Machete, irony blinkers are going to prove invaluable headgear. However, as that great misanthropic sage of Nerd Culture Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw noted upon the emergence of the (admittedly excellent) “dark” fantasy game, “Dragon Age: Origins”, “sometimes it’s better to …

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1 comment | Tags: ubisoft, assassin's creed, Skyrim, video games, games

Encounters

Another source of unexpected happiness.

Train journeys in the UK are never fun. The Underground in London is the worst: standing amidst a jostling mess of people, all trying to pretend none of the others exists in this very small space. The moment of panic when accidentally catching someone’s eye is ridiculous, “Oh no! That was rude!”. Politeness is in our British bones. But last Saturday on a train journey I had a surprise that shook the conventional out of me.

I got on the train looking around for my booked seat number, 51. My number was in an …

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2 comments | Tags: British identity, games, travel, happiness

Ignorance is Bliss: Overexposure in Gaming Media

Hyrule Field in Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

I’m trying to ignore the gaming media.

I’m doing this in an attempt to recapture what it was like when I was younger: oblivious to reviews, trailers and pretty much the internet as a whole since I didn’t have access to a PC until I was 12. Back then I used to approach a new game with no expectations or presumptions and this had a profound effect on my enjoyment of the game.

I fondly remember walking into a Woolworths store at the age of 9 or 10 and seeing …

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4 comments | Tags: video games, entertainment, games, media, Legend of Zelda, Mass Effect, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Path Less Played: Bastion

Bastion’s isometric protagonist The Kid.

In my last column I talked about narrative within video games (indie games in particular) and the difficulty in implementing a good story which doesn’t conflict with the gameplay. I looked at some visual novels which had above average (for video games anyway) stories but sacrificed engaging gameplay in order to achieve this. In this column I will be looking at Bastion, a game by independent developer SuperGiant games which was released last year on PC and 360. The game was critically acclaimed and won quite a lot of industry awards. The way …

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0 comments | Tags: storytelling, video games, entertainment, games

Fans Finance Double Fine Adventure

The gallant heroes of Tim Schafer’s Costume Quest.

For those who aren’t aware, Tim Schafer and his company Double Fine Productions are long-standing critical darlings in the video game industry. Their properties such as Psychonauts, Brutal Legend and Trenched, are almost exclusively regarded highly by critics and gamers alike but they never seem to gain mass financial appeal – or so it was perceived. This week Double-Fine broke a Kickstarter record, amassing nearly $1,400,000 in two days by simply asking the fans for it. Whether this speaks for a new age in innovative game design …

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0 comments | Tags: video games, entertainment, games
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