review

28
Jul
2010

Grace's Diary

Posted by Cha

My review this week is for the browser game Grace's Diary (the game itself is available here).

I was surprised by my reaction to playing Grace's Diary, and came out of it wondering if that's something I could write about. Then I realised there's no reason I couldn't. I tell a rather personal story, but I do have a lot of distance from it by now.

Grace's Diary focuses on raising awareness of teen dating violence. That isn't the term I would normally use. Firstly because "dating" sounds very American to my ear, so it feels more like television than something real people actually do.

Also, "violence" conjures rather extreme physical images, and I think Jennifer Ann Group are actually trying to target something broader than that.

21
Jul
2010

Rainblood Review

Posted by Cha

My latest review is for Rainblood: Town of Death. It's a cool little game, but explaining that proved more challenging than I expected.

I've been working a lot on my approach to reviewing recently, so I feel a bit mixed about my previous reviews going live. I notice things I didn't at the time. Game People are always happy to change things when I ask, but there's a point where I just need to let go and put it down to experience.

I also wrote this before the 'Microcosm Gamer' angle was really pinned down, so that stuff feels a bit tacked on. Or maybe it's just because those bits are not quite my words.

13
Jul
2010

Witcher Review

Posted by Cha

My latest Game People review is for The Witcher.

I've been intending to say more about The Witcher than just about the sex. A lot of it went into that review, which I really enjoyed writing. It's really more analysis than review, even by my usual standards.

I may just have played too much D&D, but neutrality is actually a personally important concept to me.

What I want to mention briefly is a mistake I made. In that review I use "who" to refer to monsters. I do consider it a mistake, but as errors go it's kind of perfect. After all, it's really the whole point. The scariest monsters are not external to humanity -- they are created from it.

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.

14
Jun
2010

Ocean Fears

Posted by Cha

I'm having a quiet long weekend, and so I've been on a bit of a game binge the last couple of days. This may have been a bad idea, as my shoulder now hates me.

I have another guest review up on Game people, for Endless Ocean 2.

Yes, I really am afraid of the ocean. I quite enjoyed writing about that. Thinking about it now, I suppose I'm interested in the relationship between games and fear. Not so much intentionally scary games, but how elements in games relate to facing fears. Is a virtual world an easier place to deal with things? I suppose Endless Ocean 2 is an example where this applies for me, though I wouldn't say it made me any more likely to seek out ocean experiences in the real world.

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