tv/film

02
Oct
2012

The Hypercube Is Hollow

Posted by Cha

[This post contains spoilers for Fez, such as they are]

Fez reminds me of the puzzle books I used to enjoy as a kid. I genuinely delighted in unravelling the puzzle logic and secret places. This is pure, simple pleasure for me. Unfortunately, after collecting all 67 cubes (with some hints) I was left with a hollow victory. I loved playing Fez but sort of wish it didn't exist.

One major issue is just how deeply embedded Fez is in game history and culture. The blatant references to Zelda, Tetris and so on make it clear this is a game for gamers, in the most backward-looking sense of the term. Hey listen! It assumes its audience will appreciate a game reference on its own merits with no other reason for being there.

23
Sep
2010

Superficial Batman Character Analysis

Posted by Cha

This post was inspired by Mark "Mr Ak" Johnson's recent discussion Danananana Batman! An in-depth case study of archetypes in different media formats. Batman! Batma-an!. Because it's an interesting topic, and sometimes I just can't leave well enough alone.

I agree with Mr Ak that Batman: Arkham Asylum (game) is more enjoyable than The Dark Knight (movie) – less so about his opinions being objectively correct. I (deliberately) don't have as much confidence in my own opinion, and trying to understand why I agree in this case is almost bringing me undone. I'm not sure I should be right – 'should' is the wrong word, since opinions are all valid, but my reasoning and my gut reaction are at odds this time. Can I back up my own opinion, then? I'm going to try.

21
Apr
2010

First Person Shooter

Posted by Cha

If you are bothered by ten-year-old television spoilers you might want to skip this entry.

I have a large X-files box set, which I've been working my way through at a rate of approximately one episode per day for, well, quite a while now. I am currently in Series 7, and just watched the episode "First Person Shooter". In this episode, Mulder and Scully investigate a virtual reality game which has somehow started killing people for real.

The X-files is not a show that always takes itself too seriously, and that is fine by me. I'm happy to ignore the ridiculousness in a lot of the cases investigated. However, in this particular example they really missed their mark for me, and First Person Shooter may well be my least favourite episode. Which is sad, given my interest in gaming, and love of geeky episodes and the lone gunmen. The episode is even written by William Gibson, which I would have thought was a good sign.