June 2010

29
Jun
2010

Beginnings / Nier Review

Posted by Cha

June has been a month of set-up and new beginnings for me. Here on Shallow Depths I began by deciding to overhaul the comment system, and ended up redecorating the whole place. I'm still tweaking minor things no one but me will probably ever notice. I'm glad this tendency of mine only applies to my virtual homes or I'd run through a lot of furniture and trimmings.

Meanwhile, my own game review column is starting up on Game People. As Microcosm Gamer I'll be looking at how games recreate elements of the real world, and how they inform my life. A bit wanky arguably, but I happen to enjoy that sort of thing. I know if I tried to write for a more standard review site I would get bored very quickly.

28
Jun
2010

Puzzle Difficulty

Posted by Cha

I recently finished playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Yes, the first Layton game -- I haven't had my DS for very long and have a lot of catching up to do.

I've been thinking about what makes a puzzle satisfying. Too easy and it's not really worthy of being called a puzzle. But too hard and I'll soon check a walkthrough rather than fruitlessly bashing my head against it.

Everyone finds different things challenging, though. For example, my partner has me well and truly beaten on number problems, while I have an easier time with spatial puzzles. Puzzle difficulty is quite individual. That said, I've yet to meet someone who didn't consider that map puzzle in Riven too damn hard. If you have played it you'll probably remember the one I mean.

19
Jun
2010

Silent Hill Confessions

Posted by Cha

I love the Silent Hill series. I particularly enjoy trying to understand how the town interacts with a character's psyche. The logic can change a lot with each new character. For example, a religious symbol may be powerful in one game and completely useless in another. Add the residual impact of past events and emotions, as well as elements attributable to the town itself, and you have a lot of complexity to work with.

14
Jun
2010

Ocean Fears

Posted by Cha

I'm having a quiet long weekend, and so I've been on a bit of a game binge the last couple of days. This may have been a bad idea, as my shoulder now hates me.

I have another guest review up on Game people, for Endless Ocean 2.

Yes, I really am afraid of the ocean. I quite enjoyed writing about that. Thinking about it now, I suppose I'm interested in the relationship between games and fear. Not so much intentionally scary games, but how elements in games relate to facing fears. Is a virtual world an easier place to deal with things? I suppose Endless Ocean 2 is an example where this applies for me, though I wouldn't say it made me any more likely to seek out ocean experiences in the real world.

07
Jun
2010

Guest Reviewing

Posted by Cha

News today is that I have a guest review of Sleep is Death on Game People. Game People is a site aimed at providing intentionally anecdotal and subjective game reviews from different types of people. So, I fit in there and am intending to write more reviews for them in the future. This will (and has been) impacting my post frequency here, but isn't the death of my blogging by any means.

Sleep is Death was a strange game, and I'm feeling a bit mixed about my review of it. That is perhaps appropriate, since I was also pretty mixed about playing it. I'm very glad not all games require quite so much work from me.