09
Jul
2010

Loving Feeling

Posted by Cha

A while ago I tweeted about the browser game Loved. I said it felt like being challenged by a thirteen-year-old, and isn't nearly as clever as it thinks it is.

Having only just played Loved I was in the mood to be snarky and defensive. It seemed like the game's creator was getting off on making me dance to his tune. I felt dirty and tried to rebel, which only made things worse.

It's worth noting that this isn't quite a criticism. It's a game that set out to prompt a reaction, and clearly it worked on me. Maybe a little too well.

Alexander Ocias interviews quite well, though having a face to put to the name creeps me out a little given how I reacted to his game. Nice to see a small-time Aussie developer getting so much coverage though.

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.

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