Giant Bomb News


Worth Reading 02/15/2013

With a little bit of Siri's help, Worth Reading is now the FANCY pile of links you've come to expect every week.

I survived. Mostly.
I survived. Mostly.

I would like to start out this edition of Worth Reading by thanking everyone for the kind, funny, and ridiculous comments about my recent collarbone injury. You need a really good laugh when it's three in the morning and you can't get to sleep for the second night in a row because your arm is screaming in fiery pain. Too bad laughter feels like a knife jabbing me over and over.

(That part is getting better, though!)

The most awkward part about a broken bone is figuring out new ways to do things. Take this story, for example, which I dictated most of using software on my Mac. I didn't even know this dictation existed before a few hours ago! While it's a little weird to literally announce punctuation when crafting a story, I'm able to save the moments where both hands are required, which is awkward and painful over a lengthy period of time. (As much as I've been enjoying marathoning Fire Emblem: Awakening, I really want to get back to Dead Space 3!)

I won't know more about my body's healing process until sometime next week, so the meantime, I'm trying to come up with new ways to cover games that doesn't necessarily involve long form writing. More short audio interviews with game developers, perhaps? A Fire Emblem spoilercast? Answering more questions on a couch? I'm open to your ideas. I wrote features ahead of the site's relaunch, and those will roll out next week, including looks at the creation of Spaceteam, a history of Dark Sector (?!) and others.

Hey, You Should Play This

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This is another one of those games where I don't really want to say much, but how about this: it'll take less than five minutes of your time, and it's from the creators of the upcoming horror game starring a baby, Among the Sleep. Needless to say, these guys have some pretty, uh, interesting ideas for games.

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It's not often a game elicits a genuine "whoa" moment, but the gameplay hook for 400 Years, which involves holding down the space bar to fast forward through time, does that more than once. Manipulating time pushes the game's world through seasonal changes, which impact the environment in fun and surprising ways that are crucial to solving the game's few but worthwhile puzzles. Much like The Plan, 400 Years won't take you long to see through to the end, but the various eureka moments are worth it.

And You Should Read These, Too

  1. Virtue's Last Reward Postmortem Q&A with Kotaro Uchikoshi
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It's going to be a couple of years until we have another entry in the Zero Escape series. In the meantime, we have these wonderful interviews with the games creator, Kōtarō Uchikoshi, that shed some light on the complicated storytelling decisions made for the most recent game, Virtue's Last Reward. If you followed my response to the sequel, you know I wasn't particularly happy with some of the broader decisions made about the growing mythology, but that doesn't mean I'm no longer addicted--I totally am. An important note: please be careful regarding spoilers for 999 or Virtue's Last Reward in the comments, since most people probably haven't played either game.


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Reviewing games has become a lot more complicated. When is a review considered criticism? What kind a review do people want on the first day a game is out, or prior to its release? Does the score attached to a review actually mean anything anymore, or just serve as useless fodder for the comment section below? The games that push these questions to their breaking limit are the more esoteric releases like Journey, Dear Esther, or more recently, Proteus. Academic Ian Bogost tackles this in a unique way over at Gamasutra by writing three reviews of Proteus.

If You Click It, It Will Play

Kickstarter Has Promise, Hopefully Developers Don't Screw It Up

Yeah, Greenlight Still Has Issues, But Some Games Look Pretty Cool

Let's Read Positive Reviews of "Bad" Game, Alien: Colonial Marines

(Note: I do not feature these reviews to mock them, especially since I have not yet played the game. Reading contrary opinions, especially ones on the polar extreme, is profoundly educational.)

"Even if Gearbox Software could craft an enjoyable sequel to Aliens in video game form, what could it hope to show players that they haven’t seen before? Yet, the developer stuck to its guns, believing all the while that it could create a quality first-person shooter based on a license that Gearbox obviously loves. And the really weird bit is that Gearbox was absolutely right."

"The visuals are subpar in places, but the overall aesthetic makes creeping through the shadowy, blood-soaked wreckage with a group of Marines a real nail-biter. While the core Soldier Xenos should probably figure out that ramming bullets with their face isn’t the best strategy, Gearbox’s other baddies offer up a great deal of variety. This sets up some dreadful moments of anticipation, fearsome firefights, and even a few harrowing escapes, making Colonial Marines’ campaign an intense experience that’s sure to appeal to franchise buffs and shooter fans alike. Sure, you’ve got some definite dents in the hull here—such as the occasionally oblivious squadmate AI, the training-wheel cover system, and the woefully heinous cinematics—but the hits far outweigh the misfires."

"The fact is, Alien Colonial Marines doesn't stand a chance if you compare it to James Cameron's seminal 1986 flick. Aliens is filed and receipted as one of the greatest horror films ever made, one of the best sequels ever made and an iconic entry in the canon of science-fiction cinema. Aliens Colonial Marines is a patchy shooter standing on the shoulders of a giant."

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Here in video games we invented a new word, "permadeath," to describe what in real life is called "death".

— Matthew S. Burns (@MrWasteland) January 23, 2013

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
122 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for bacongames
Posted By bacongames

Usually I'm not a fan of Worth Reading and only clicked on this one because it was a giant box on the front but I gotta say I think you've finally hit on something with this one Patrick. Specifically I'm referring to the increase in sub-section variety. Somehow you've changed it up enough and thrown in enough flavor text that this was really fun to scroll through. I think the few links per the variety of sub-sections works better than here's a long list of articles.

Related to that, I totally went hmmmmm after reading that tweet. Like I said, you may be into something here. Of course this is relative to my opinion of this feature ordinarily, so interpret this how you will.

Oh, before I forget, stick in there man. You don't realize how many muscles you use without realizing (had a sling after a shoulder dislocation.)

Avatar image for dropabombonit
Edited By dropabombonit

Hope you feel better soon Patrick. It is good to see that you are finding ways to work around the injury. NOTHING STOPS THE KLEPEK!

Avatar image for mattdragn
Posted By mattdragn

Septerra Core was fantastic although I never did finish it

Avatar image for morten81
Posted By mORTEN81

Another great worth reading.

Get well soon Patrick!

Avatar image for david
Posted By David

The Longest Journey is well worth getting into!

Avatar image for morningstar
Posted By Morningstar

Septerra Core was fantastic. It still hold's up somewhat.

Avatar image for icantbestopped
Edited By ICantBeStopped

So I downloaded and played "The Plan". I held W for a few minutes, and was done. Whoop.

Avatar image for turboskerv
Posted By turboskerv

The Kotaku story about the Virtual Console games losses is saddening. It's too bad that companies can't get their act together, I hope this is NOT a sign of things to come with the all digital future.

Avatar image for echoecho
Posted By EchoEcho

No, you're not, dammit! I enjoyed Septerra Core too! I loved it to bits. I just wish I could get that game to work on my Windows 7 PC, though. Feels like I've tried everything.

I'm in the same boat. I tried to reinstall it about a year ago to show my GF, and couldn't get it to run properly. I loved that game way back in the day. Have no idea if it still holds up or not, but I'd like to revisit it for nostalgic reasons at least.

Avatar image for redhorn
Posted By Redhorn
Avatar image for pr1mus
Posted By pr1mus

That bolded text on Chrome looks hideous.

Avatar image for butano
Posted By butano

The Kotaku story about the Virtual Console games losses is saddening. It's too bad that companies can't get their act together, I hope this is NOT a sign of things to come with the all digital future.

What I thought was scary was all the comments defending Nintendo and how the guy was an idiot by returning it to the store he purchased his Wii U from. Blows my mind that Nintendo is innovative enough to create really neat, and somewhat gimicky, hardware, but they're completely backwards on how the internet works.

@pr1mus said:

That bolded text on Chrome looks hideous.

Glad I wasn't the only one that could barely read that tweet quote. It's pretty gnarly.

Avatar image for pickassoreborn
Posted By pickassoreborn

Get well soon, Mr. Klepek. Always love the Worth Reading articles!

Avatar image for jordanarama
Posted By JordanaRama

Cyborg patrick fights for the GOOD of mankind.

Avatar image for williamflipper
Posted By williamflipper

Thanks Mr. Klepek

Avatar image for scrawnto
Posted By Scrawnto

Hell yes! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Septerra Core is a better game than Final Fantasy 7.

Avatar image for armedpatriots
Edited By armedpatriots

Thanks Patrick! Love this part of the week!

Avatar image for slither_maggot
Posted By Slither_Maggot