Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Blog Name!

I realized the other day that my blog a stupid name, and decided to change it. It's all rather shallow when you retrace my train of thought backwards, but I think it's at least a little clever.

It has to do with my overall (ironic) disinterest in the games industry. I think it sums up the fact that I can't stand most games, and that I spend more time thinking and writing about how games can be better and more immersive than they are than I really do spend playing them. I'm a little ashamed that I have such short patience with games, but I suppose I could say that I just have a critical eye. Perhaps I just have a short attention span. Anyway, that's the story behind the new name.

Lately, I've been taking in a lot of game news, writings, and podcasts, as well as previews, trailers, and the like, but I've played very few single games faithfully. It's as if I enjoy feeding my hype for a particular game or piece of hardware, but when it comes to actually playing whatever it was, I'm either more content to move on to something else, or pass the game on to someone else and watch casually. It's really too bad, because there are so many games with great ideas and brilliant stories that I want to experience, but every time I try, I fail to stay focused on that game and move on to something else.

Maybe it's only that I'm surrounded by a lot of children lately and I haven't much time to play too much beyond the violence level of Star Wars. That's sort of my excuse for not playing Skyrim, but that game has failed to immerse me anyway.

Recentlly, I've been playing and watching (more of the latter, actually) a lot of Bastion, and I'm loving the game's narration and beautiful visuals. There's a lot of feeling put into this game, and that feeling comes across perfectly through the narration and writing. Actually, this is a game that impressed me both with writing and voice acting talent. With one trivial exception, every bit of character dialogue is heard through the voice of an omnipresent narrator. That's not all you'll hear out of this narrator, though. He constantly comments on actions taken by the player, as well as dropping small story cues throughout the adventure. In this way, the narration brings together gameplay and story in a truly novel way. The way the story is told makes one notice the little things that The Kid(your in-game playable character) does, rather than simply all of his great accomplishments that push the plot forward. The way the narrator comments on the weapons you choose, conversations made, and even events like falling off the edge of the level give a certain subtlety  and meaning to all your actions. This subtlety would be annoying and rather aimless without the witty writing behind the narrator, and his frequent use of metaphor and dry humour bring a lightness to everything the character does.

As much praise as I have for Bastion, I recognize that it's not a perfect game, but it draws me in in a way few games ever do. I enjoyed my time with the game so much that I will likely replay it soon, and probably write a review soon. Then again, I tend to say these things, and they don't happen...

Actually, on a more important note, I want to write an article for the Escapist, but I need to find an interesting topic that hasn't been done already. I was going to write about my disappointment in Skyrim, but that's already been covered, I've discovered. I need a unique approach to gaming that I can write about...

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