Thursday, July 21, 2011

Other things I've been up to

Here's some of the stuff I've written at other sites over the past few weeks that may be of interest.

Over at Robot Geek:

Where's Your God Now, Mario?: Religious Censorship in Games- A look back at the golden age of Nintendo of America's Standards and Practices, when naming a spell “Holy” or showing a cross on a coffin was forbidden due to fears that any religious imagery or references could cause offense or controversy. Did I mention that this was happening at the same time that one of the more prominent games on the Nintendo Gameboy was a a rather grim saga in which  the ultimate villain and true power behind all the evil, demonic beings the heroes fight during the story turns out to be God Himself? And that the game climaxes with the heroes kicking His top-hatted ass after discovering His heartless indifference to the suffering of His creations? Because it was.

Feeling like a hero, then and now- How games based on the premise that the protagonist is an elite badass among badasses fulfill that premise in their gameplay, or fail to. I express approval of Crysis and Vanquish but am somewhat less enthusiastic about Silver Surfer on the NES. Also includes a handy visual aid to help you, the player, distinguish between games that actually turn you into a nigh-unstoppable killing machine and those that merely claim to.

Meanwhile, over at Kuribo's Shoes, where I'm not hemmed in by Robot Geek's rigid “don't make up blatant lies” policy:

2K Games apologizes for statements by Duke Nukem Forever PR team, says reviewers will NOT be hunted for sport- Nor will 2K be unleashing the terrifying arsenal of orbital kinetic weaponry,
darksome sorceries, or international organ thieves at their command. Because they don't exist. Really. Just let it drop.

L.A. Noire’s development even more troubled than anyone realized- Long-time readers of this site know I enjoy welding as many utterly inappropriate and unrelated things into a single gruesome mass as possible, so I consider successfully working Motley Crue, the Holy Roman Empire, the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Blade Runner, Chris Tucker, and the phrases “orbital bombardment” and “consuming the souls of his enemies” into the space of a 600-word article about L.A. Noire a success.

Nintendo announces new voice actor for Mario: Michael Ironside- “The classic Mario gameplay that has delighted gamers for three decades isn’t going anywhere, It’s just that now, instead of a jolly Italian plumber, Mario will sound like a grizzled stone-cold killer.”

Xenoblade: The horrifying truth- This is a long one, since it was one of our special Friday articles, and due to a last-minute technical hiccup the pictures that would have been there to break up the text weren't included. Nevertheless,  I think this article's rigorous accuracy and grounded common sense make it well-worth your time, as well as a decisive refutation of  those naysayers who claim that writing your article about Nintendo of America's treatment of RPGs when you haven't slept in the past 192 hours and have been munching down hallucinogenic mushrooms like trail mix so that the unearthly things in your sleep deprivation-induced hallucinations can be fought off by their slightly less horrifying psilocybin-induced counterparts is somehow incompatible with responsible gaming journalism.

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