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Best Work

Interview with Henry Jenkins

Henry Jenkins is the director of MIT's new comparative media studies program. He has written about games for more than a decade. He has testified before the Senate Commerce Committee and the Federal Communications Committee, conducted workshops with game designers, spoken to PTA meetings and the American Library Association.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance – Review

Metal Gear Solid 2, for all of its sweeping ideology and bold provocations, was a game that suffered under the weight of its own ambitions.

Shenmue II Review

Shenmue II Screenshot

I grew up in a collectivist society, which stresses community effort and family over the dog-eat-dog individualist philosophy. Both terms are extremely generalized and say little about each culture, but there are subtle things that are the key in determining which is which. I never had much use for directions or street names. Growing up on the small island of Guam, directions were given by indicating landmarks of everyday things, like a tree, blue trimmings on a house or strange looking stones. We had street names, just like they do in Shenmue and its Xbox sequel, but apparently the entire community found that they were more of an inconvenience.

Deus Ex: The Conspiracy – Second Opinion

Deus Ex also earned critical acclaim for the way it seamlessly blended diverse gaming genres into a cohesive and entertaining whole. At first glance, the game appears to be yet another first-person shooter (FPS). Everything is viewed from JCs perspective and theres lots of running around and shooting. However, the game also incorporates an abundance of gameplay elements from role-playing games (RPGs).

Vampire Night – Review

Where Vampire Night differs is the slightly slower paced action on screen. Rather than having enemies clutter the screen and overwhelm players, Vampire Night has a more calculated flow and enemies tend to exhibit more physical reactions and gestures than one might expect from this type of game.

Super Mario Sunshine – Review

I thought I was enjoying Sunshine for the first hour or so that I played it, but then it hit me: I wasnt enjoying the game at allI was just happy to see Mario after a six-year hiatus. As I ventured further into the world of Delfino Island, I realized that Sunshine was a rather average game with some serious issues in terms of control and the camera system.

Virtua Fighter 4 – Second Opinion

The Virtua Fighter series has always presented itself with a greater sense of dignity and realism than other fighting games that usually take the anime-fantasy theme route, but the latest sequel of the series exposes the hand-to-hand martial arts simulator label to be more hyperbole than substance.

The Thing – Review

With the dawning of online play for consoles this year, a big selling point is that players will get the chance to interact with live people for an increased human element in games. The idea has merit, but in my opinion videogames that take place offline haven't done more than scratch the surface of offering similar experiences through simulation and programming.

Deus Ex: The Conspiracy – Review

A bum walks up to me and begs for me to kill him. Because its just a game, I shoot him in the face, and then he screams and falls dead. That is a scenario that would be described by some people as funny, especially with the unattractive character models, unrealistic blood and in a post-Grand Theft Auto III context.

Dead To Rights – Review

Despite being rated mature (meaning this game is supposedly for adults), Dead To Rights has no such experience or ambition. It is a mere sheep in wolves clothing that uses only the most socially timid and comfortable clichés like cigarettes-for-trade and prison escape maps to paint a PG-rated teen-friendly novelty amusement park interpretation of prison life.

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