Editorial

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
Opinion pieces that aren't long or detailed enough to be considered feature articles.
Matt Barton's picture

Ultima, Ultima

Hail, brave adventurer! That's right--it's time for me to start drafting the chapter on Ultima for Vintage Gaming, the forthcoming book by your very own Bill Loguidice and Matt Barton. Thankfully, I've already done much of the necessary research for this title for Dungeons & Desktops, but I'd still like to hear your stories about the Ultima series. What is the best Ultima? What is the worst? What do you consider the most important innovations introduced by the series? I can think of several right off the top, such as the focus on ethical decisions and the more personality-driven character creation system of later games. The series is also known for introducing really memorable characters and stories, years ahead of the more character and plot-driven JRPGs. Other factors worth considering are the heavy attention given to the interactive world in Black Gate, and the radical changes made to the engine from game to game.

Matt Barton's picture

King's Quest: Your Thoughts on Roberta Williams' Masterpiece

King's Quest: Your thoughts on the world's most influential GAG.King's Quest: Your thoughts on the world's most influential GAG.Well, the time has come for me to turn my attention to King's Quest, having recently finished the drafts of Pac-Man and Myst. I played through the original King's Quest and a few of the later games, though again they're blurring together somewhat in my mind (will have to go back in to refresh my memory). Naturally, a discussion of KQ will let me talk about the PcJr as well as EGA and the early PC game industry. It'll be fun to talk about the many spin-offs, though I don't want to get too far away from the original game.

Matt Barton's picture

Myst

***UPDATE: Links to my reviews of all the Myst games below.***
Whew. I've been working all day on the Myst chapter of the book. I'm actually a good choice for this chapter, since I've played ALL the Myst games from start to finish and have a great love and respect for this venerable series. That said, it's been challenging; the games tend to blur together in my mind. I still think Myst IV: Revelation is the greatest of them all, simply because it had the best graphics and puzzles. Still, I admire III because of its brilliant marble puzzle and voice acting, and the final game for its luxury car interface that I still think is the best ever made for an adventure game. It's *comfortable.* I love it.

Matt Barton's picture

Natalie Brooks and Thoughts on Casual Gaming

Natalie Brooks: Casual adventure games seem to be the future, but do they necessarily have to be casual?Natalie Brooks: Casual adventure games seem to be the future, but do they necessarily have to be casual?I've been taking a few minutes here and there to check out the extensive casual gaming library that shipped with my new computer (an HP Pavilion).

Matt Barton's picture

Pong !

Well, I've decided to leap forward a bit and start working on the Pong chapter. While many people seem to think Pong is more fun to historians than gamers, I did see its draw demonstrated recently in Chicago during a videogame exhibit.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Braid - The Cohabitation of Art and Videogames

"Art" is a word frequently thrown around in the videogame world, usually in the question, "Are videogames art?". While art truly is in the eye of the beholder and it's ultimately fruitless to try and argue if videogames and art can be one in the same, from my perspective there have been precious few times when something in the videogame world struck me as beautiful and made me feel emotions normally reserved for my experiences with other forms of entertainment. It's with that idea in mind then that I come to Braid from Number None Inc., for Microsoft's Xbox 360, via Xbox Live Arcade. To me, this time manipulation puzzle platformer is art in its truest sense, from the painterly, animated graphics style to the almost transcendental instrumental music to the rather flowery and richly constructed prose. Braid is also a game of seemingly purposeful contrasts, embracing often overly tread videogame constructs like jumping on enemy heads to dispatch them (Super Mario Bros.), finding and using keys (Shamus) and puzzle pieces (Impossible Mission), and reversing time in order to meet or re-do certain goals (Blinx), all wrapped up in an achingly beautiful aesthetic that makes everything else about it quite all right thank you very much. If I weren't terrifically busy and feeling a bit guilty about best use of my own time, I'd buy the 1200 point game immediately, but I will have to make do with a taste of the free demo for the time being, a demo of a game I'll want to expose my wife to at the first opportunity so I have someone else, firsthand, to share the experience with (and an experience it is). There are already countless reviews of Braid (whose title, for those wondering, is also fitting), but here's a brief one to get you started that hints just a bit more at what the game actually offers...

Matt Barton's picture

GameBiz: A Game that lets you make Games?

I was browsing Slashdot's Top Indie Games You Wouldn't Mind Paying For and came across GameBiz, an absolutely fascinating game that puts you in the role of a game developer. You get to create games and then market them on a range of platforms including the Amiga (the game begins in 1980). You can also make your own platforms! It's a freebie, so might as well try it out. I know it'd be fun to finally get to see how the Amiga would've turned out with proper management! If you do try the game, please let us know what you think. Click more to see the developer's blurb.

Matt Barton's picture

Pac-Man: Your Thoughts on the Pie Guy!

Pac-ManPac-ManPac-Man fever! That's what I have now that I've started work on the Pac-Man chapter in the book I'm currently writing with Bill Loguidice, the acclaimed collector and game historian. :) As usual, I started off by reading the wikipedia entry on the game, which this time was actually extremely detailed and helpful. One interesting thing about the wikipedia article is that it claims that the game designer, Toru Iwatani, was not inspired by a pizza as the old story goes. The article cites a book called Programmers at Work: Interviews, which I unfortunately do not own. If anyone does have this book or has thoughts on this matter, please let me know!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Completing the Console Trifecta Earlier than Expected - Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 (also, DS and PSP)

Well, it happened sooner than I thought--I got a refurb Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) in late November 2007, completing the "next generation" console trifecta. With enough time passing now, I thought it would be a good time to provide some insight into my thoughts around this current generation of consoles and handhelds. I'll start in the order of consoles I purchased and then finish up with the handhelds.

Matt Barton's picture

A Console is a Hard Drive with Games on it!

I saw this blog posted on Digg and thought I'd put it up here for folks to wince at. It concerns a television show named "Life" that recently had a segment involving Prince of Persia.

Syndicate content