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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.

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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.

Consoleation: Re: It only does disappointment

The Last Guardian Screenshot

When my rather scathing opinion piece about the PlayStation 3 was posted, some rather hyper-defensive comments resulted. I'm going to address these people en masse, directly and firmly.

Extra Credits: Games You Might Not Have Tried—16-bit

The guys at Extra Credits run down some underappreciated 16-Bit games on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis video game consoles. Those games include Starflight, E.V.O.: Search for Eden, Warsong, Shadowrun, Terranigma, Uncharted Waters: New Horizons, Inindo and U.N. Squadron. Feel free to leave a comment if you agree or disagree with this list or maybe add a list of your own.

Video: Ninten-blow (Possibly NSFW)

Adult Swim takes the innocent act of a child trying to make his NES cart work and makes it dirty... and funny.

Caution: Crude content

Misfits, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, Absolution and Sine Mora

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale Screenshot

GameFly sent me Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale the other day, and while I haven't had a whole lotta time to get into it, I did play a few multiplayer sessions with my youngest son. The time we spent on it basically amounts to me standing still while he beats on me with a variety of different characters, but he enjoys it and that's good enough for us.

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