Failure, Difficulty Presented in Video Games

Failure, Difficulty Presented in Video Games

Toby Alden
May 8, 2014
Filed under Columnists, Opinion, Opinion Highlight

What does it mean for a creative work to be difficult? When we talk about a book or a movie being "difficult," we usually mean it requires close scrutiny and multiple viewings in order to be fully understood and enjoyed. When we call a video game difficult, however, we usually mean it requires a greater degree of... Read more »

Brogue presents unique landscape

Toby Alden
April 24, 2014
Filed under Opinion

How do you write about video games? Until recently, nearly all writing on games was done under the auspices of the "review," a consumer-minded evaluation of game as product, designed to help determine whether or not a particular title was worth buying. This led to a lot of unsavory practices: scores... Read more »

Review of Etrian Odyssey III

Review of Etrian Odyssey III

Toby Alden
March 6, 2014
Filed under Opinion

Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City is the third installment of Atlus's dungeon-crawling series for the Nintendo DS. It largely follows the format of the previous entries in the series: you form a party of adventurers, consisting of princesses, gladiators, pirates and the like, and then descend into a ... Read more »

Hotline Miami Horrifies, Thrills

Hotline Miami Horrifies, Thrills

Toby Alden
January 30, 2014
Filed under Opinion

Violent video games are an enduring and well-documented cultural phenomenon. Of the 10 best-selling video games of 2013, seven contained some form of armed combat. One one hand, this isn't surprising. Since video games are games, they usually have conditions for winning and losing, and more often than not, these conditions are synonymous with killing and... Read more »

Jill of the Jungle’s Creative Aesthetic Won’t Disappoint

Toby Alden
December 12, 2013
Filed under Opinion

Before Epic Games made it big off of Gears of War and its sequels, they were called Epic MegaGames, and they made shareware games. Shareware was a distribution model for games in which companies gave away a portion of their game for free and encouraged people to share it with each other via online bulletin... Read more »

Simple Video Games Offer New Arena for Competition

Simple Video Games Offer New Arena for Competition

Toby Alden
November 14, 2013
Filed under Opinion

The most elegant games are those which have the fewest and simplest rules, but the greatest complexity resulting from their interplay. The Chinese game of Go epitomizes this axiom. In it, players alternately place stones on a grid, attempting to demarcate territory and to capture their opponent... Read more »

The Binding of Issac Offers Throwback

Toby Alden
November 7, 2013
Filed under Opinion

The roguelike genre of video games takes its name from Rogue, a text-based dungeon crawl game made by Michael Toy and Glenn Wichman in 1980 that boomed in popularity on college campuses soon after its release. Rogue was by no means the first of its kind; plenty of Dungeons & Dragons aficionados had... Read more »