• bioshock audio diary

    Audio Logs

    Audio logs. I’m sick of them. Stop using them. Tell the story through the narrative, or don’t tell it at all. What is it with one good game using a mechanic, and every video game after it copies them, but totally misses why it worked in the other game. Not that it really worked in the other game. Okay, now I’m rambling. Here’s why audio logs don’t work. First, they don’t make sense in the world. They’re ludonarrative dissonance. Those things have got to be expensive. Who the fuck is lugging around these giant tape recorders and record players, and leaving them there in freezers, bars, barrels, trash cans? Just…

  • bioshock infinite title screen

    Late to the Game: Bioshock: Infinite — The Wrap-Up

    It’s not been too long since I wrote my “Initial Impressions” but I had some vacation, and this was a much shorter game than I thought. I’ve had some time to think about it, and I don’t think I’ll be saying anything new, but here’s my two Silver Eagles anyway. Why do I keep playing games like this? Here’s the thing. Bioshock games are well-put-together. You can tell someone thought about them. A lot. You can tell there’s a singular vision behind them, an author’s voice. You are promised a story that’s more complex than “Save the Girl, Kill the Big Bad”, and it is delivered. But that’s all content…

  • bioshock infinite

    Late to the Game: Bioshock: Infinite

    Hey, I’m not that late. Am I? Am I? I haven’t accidentally read any spoilers yet, so I must be okay. After 10 minutes of benchmarking (gotta get that frame rate just right), I was able to dive in. The first thing that happens is you’re on a boat. No, not that kind of boat. Yes, that kind. Someone is rowing you out somewhere, and you appear to be in the middle of the ocean. I sure hope we launched from ashore, because these guys are going to have some tired arms. Given that we’re going to a lighthouse, that appears to be the case. And immediately images of Bioshock…

  • bookshelf books

    The Books I Read: November – December 2012

    Room by Emma Donoghue Oh my god. This might be the best book I ever read. Certainly the best book I read this quarter, and maybe the best all year. From the moment I saw its description, I was too intrigued. Room takes place in just that: a room. The entire novel revolves around a woman locked in this 12×12 space that she never leaves.  Just that alone had me hooked — what happened?  Was there an apocalypse?  Is this a survival story?  How do you write an entire book that takes place in one room? Much less a book that keeps getting onto “best of the year” lists. How…

  • games for windows live logo crossed out

    Bioshock 2 and Windows Live Can Suck My Big Fat One

    Dear Windows Live and Bioshock 2, Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you and your broken-ass, DRM-filled, update-begging, time-sucking software. I bought Bioshock 2 a few weeks ago on Steam, and was looking forward to playing it on my night off from the kids.  The first time I tried it, I hadn’t installed it.  Then I found out I had to download 9 gigs worth of data which takes 3 hours, so the first night…

  • Rapture Radio is Now Off the Air

    So I heard on Joystiq there was this thing called Rapture Radio–a broadcast coming from Rapture (the city under the sea in Bioshock) that plays the music you hear throughout the game (lots of ’30s and ’40s hits from Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and other big bands). I guess it was the precursor to New Year’s Even 1959. And at 12 noon (12 midnight in Rapture), all hell broke loose, just like in the story. The problem is now, I tune to it and everything’s already blown up. I was all excited to listen to this, because I think just a radio station with this music alone would be awesome…

  • Bioshock: The Wrap-Up

    I have finished playing Bioshock and can now talk about it with some authority. If you read my earlier post, you know there was a lot of implausible things that were unexplained at the time – little sisters, plasmids vending machines, injecting yourself with a foreign substance for shits and giggles. Now that I’ve finished the game, I’ve discovered there are a lot of layers that I didn’t even know about, which is both a good and bad thing. Bioshock’s biggest flaw is that its too hard to deconstruct the story from tapes that are randomly distributed all around the level. They all take place at different times and with…

  • bioshock logo

    Late to the Game: Bioshock: The First Impressions

    I bought Bioshock on Steam for five dollars a week or two ago. I remember it won the GameSpot story of the year award, so I thought “Hey, five dollars. Can’t pass that up.” (Portal was $2.99. Jesum crow, now you have no excuse!) Unfortunately, my five dollars only went so far, as I found out my computer was too old for the game. So I had to buy a new video card to play the game decently, which cost me as much as if I’d bought the game new. Oh well, at least I’ll be able to play new games as well (where’s HL2: Episode 3? Come on, I…