Comments Off The Week in Pixels #20


  • One controversy a week? Seems that way. After the Infinity Ward/Activision divorce and Ubisoft’s server infrastructure proving inadequate to allow players a stable experience, news that Bioshock 2‘s DLC was already on the disc has stirred quite the hornets’ nest. In short: it’s all a problem of perception. Companies dismiss the dangers of a lack of transparency regarding their contents and consumers don’t realize that what the industry is actually selling them is not the game but a license to play it. This should move people to engage in conversation but it probably won’t, so, MAN RAGE.

  • Chris Hecker, during the last Game Developers Conference, talked about how certain independent games focus on novelty but little on consistency. Chris used Jonathan Blow’s Braid as an example of a game that “explores its mechanic to the depth the mechanic deserves”. Later Chris mentions Cactus as an example of someone with a lot of creativity and then bemoans that many indie enthusiast cannot develop their ideias in more creative ways, and suggests many become nothing more than a handful of “wacky ideas” – something that in his eyes has less value than Braid. I understand – and even agree to a certain degree – with the sentiment but the counter-argument I keep thinking about is: wasn’t that exactly how the medium was born, spearheaded by games like Pacman, Space Invaders and Tetris? Something to think over.
  • From time to time, Kotaku compares reviews of certain games made by various sites, in an attempt to understand critical reception. This time it was Final Fantasy XIII‘s turn but the results aren’t very interesting. Critical consensus is a double edged sword because a game’s quality is often conditioned by a first impact or by numerical relativity. Many of the negative aspects pointed to the latest Final Fantasy are aspects that have always been there throughout the series, for instance, and here the critical worth is also divisive: is linearity itself a bad thing? A good one? Is it necessary to tell a story? Why do we only realize certain design elements in 2010 when the same elements were a lot more noticeable in the past? Nothing but going in circles. By the look of things, in 2020 someone will realize that maybe cutscenes, after all, weren’t as good as previously thought.
  • Bungie trademarked the “Marathon” name. Marathon was their classic debut into the FPS arena back in the 1990s, showcasing a good understanding of the genre paving the way for its future. While Bungie achieved worldwide praise with Halo, this is one of those cases where the spiritual successor wasn’t as admirable as its predecessor.
  • Don’t have the money for a PlayStation 3 but still want to be popular enough to discuss Heavy Rain with your friends? For the fair price of your finger, here’s a Flash version that sums up the intro of David Cage’s game: Press X to Jason.
  • 8-bit NYC. Wonder if it could render people in that Dragon Warrior style? Like Slimes being hobos and Drakees being young, corporate execs on their lunch breaks.
  • Can you spot the real Achievement?
  • Kratos, the God of R&B.
  • Portfolio of the incredible hyper-realistic acrylic body painting by artist Alexa Mead.
  • First trailer for “Predators” by Robert Rodriguez. Yes, those Predators. Hand picked quote in the comments section: “would Star Wars would had been better with 5 Darth Vaders instead of a single one?”
  • In the wake of the recession, North Tyneside residents in the United Kingdom are welcoming a peculiar stimulus package. Heads of the council decided to set up fake shop fronts to ensure the local business “looks attractive” to consumers, even if everyone can see they’re fake shops. It’s the great Potemkin village comeback.
  • The perception of “truth“.
  • Women: now with spoilers.

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