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Titan Books knocks it out of the park with Assassin's Creed III and Halo 4 Art Books

The Art of Assassin's Creed III

British publisher Titan Books has decided to celebrate the gorgeous artwork that provides the basis for our favorite digital adventures in two new books: The Art of Assassin's Creed III and Awakening: The Art of Halo 4. If you've got a finicky game-lover on your holiday shopping list, both of these books could make fantastic presents.

Interview with Might and Delight Art Director, Jakob Tuchten

Pid Screenshot

Before reviewing the new puzzle-platformer Pid, I had an opportunity to talk with Jakob Tuchten, Might and Delight's art director. If you're curious about hearing more on the next game from the studio that released the excellent Bionic Commando: Rearmed, this is the place to be.

Extra Credits: Spec Ops: The Line, Parts 1 & 2

We're still playing catch-up on the latest videos from our friends at Extra Credits, but thanks to their fondness for two-parters we'll be caught up in no time. This two-part presentation is about the often maligned and often underappreciated Spec Ops: The Line. It's an interesting listen given how much the Extra Credits crew seems to have really bought in to what Yager was selling.

[Contains spoilers for the game]

Source: Extra Credits on Blip

Consoleation: Signposts—The Nintendo 64

F-Zero X Screenshot

I don't think I gave the Nintendo 64 enough credit as a video game platform. I got the Nintendo 64 on launch day back in 1996. I was visiting a Lechmere store in Springfield, MA and saw that there was one unit left. I bought it—along with Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64—and brought it home. I'd played the import version of Super Mario 64 at Fantasy Realms, a local independent video game store, and wasn't particularly impressed… but it was a Nintendo system and I knew that I wanted to own it.

My wife, my life... and games

Emergency Room Sign

If you follow me on Twitter, then you're probably aware that my wife became very ill Sunday and had to be taken to the ER. I know that it's difficult to follow any given story from beginning to end in tweet format, so I just wanted to give a quick update on the whole thing for anyone who was wondering.

Extra Credits: Mechanics as Metaphor, Parts 1 & 2

The guys at Extra Credits discuss mechanics as a metaphor or "mechanics with meaning" and for a visual aid, they use an interesting game or non-game called Loneliness. A description wouldn't really do the game justice, but it is well worth your time to try it for yourself considering the game is free.

One of the more interesting things brought up in this two-part series though is the lack of trust game creators show the player. Modern game creators simply do not trust the player to fail, experiment or uncover any meaning (assuming the creators intend for there to be any) while playing. After playing Loneliness you might understand why. It is a pretty gutsy thing to attempt in a free game, imagine how it would be received should you require payment for a similar experience.

Consoleation: When enthusiasm became exasperation

New Super Mario Bros. U Screenshot

If you knew me back in 2005, I was a lot different. I was genuinely excited about console gaming, as I had been for decades before. I was still a big Sony guy, as I had been since the original PlayStation launched and won me over. I was also getting into the original Xbox, though late. A new generation of consoles was coming, and I was looking forward to it while also enjoying what was currently available. I was alternating my time between the Internet and reading video game magazines to stay as current as I could.

Your choices don't matter

The Walking Dead: Episode Five—No Time Left Screenshot

World War Z and The Walking Dead take a similar conceptual approach to the zombie apocalypse, but have fundamentally different views on human society. The basically optimistic World War Z suggests that social problems are a surface malady that the zombie apocalypse would strip away, letting the moral strength of mankind ultimately show through triumphantly. The Walking Dead, on the other hand, sees social order and altruism as artifice, a contortion of natural human behavior that falls apart once the zombies consume the social mass that held it in place.

Gamecritics.com Podcast Episode 82: Thanksgiving Giving and Wreck-It Ralph

It's a special 1/5 British edition of the Gamecritics.com podcast. This week we tackle Wreck-It Ralph, Thanksgiving shout outs, and what we've been playing during our long hibernation. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and special guest host Sinan "Redcoat" Kubba.

Download: Right click here and select "Save Target As..."
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Please send feedback and mailbag questions to podcast (at) gamecritics (dot) com.

Mad milk

The Walking Dead: Episode Two—Starved for Help Screenshot

Like many people who played Telltale's episodic game, The Walking Dead, I had read and enjoyed many of the comics beforehand. I appreciated that they took the subject seriously. I don't mean that in the sense of a John Romero film, where the zombies themselves are rather silly but serve to illustrate serious social questions. Rather, like World War Z, The Walking Dead decides on a set of rules about zombies and a premise about people, and unflinchingly follows those principles into the abyss.

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