Electric Cartilage And The Games That Don't Exist

Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est

Halo 2 is a vast expanse of nothing

halo two is nothing

A while back I wanted to write an article where I redesigned Halo 2. Basically, created a Halo 2 that would have actually done Halo 1 some justice. It was going to be two parts, a critique of the real Halo 2, and then then a design article about a better, hypothetical Halo 2. I never finished either, and I probably never will. So here’s the unfinished first part, where I critiqued Halo 2.

If anyone wants more of this, let me know.

There are no images in this post, deal with it, if you dare.

For some reason I’ve been thinking about Halo2 recently. Thinking about what it did wrong, what I expected it to be, and what it should have been.

One of my major disappointments was how the Halo sequels didn’t actually continue the story.
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The story in Half-life 2 isn’t that great either

mad breen

So, I’ve always been annoyed by some terrible aspects of Half-life 2’s story. I’ve already talked about Half-life 1’s being pretty silly, and how I don’t think Alyx Vance is a strong female character, so here we go again.

Are there people who claim that HL2 has a well written story? I don’t know, but here’s why they’re wrong if they exist.

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Alyx Vance is not a strong nor well written female character


So, in a previous article, I briefly mentioned that I think Alyx Vance is a badly written female character, despite usually (although not always) being talked about as a being a well written and strong female character.

So, let’s just dive in.

We’re first introduced to Alyx when she saves Gordon Freeman when he’s unarmed and surrounded. She defeats the Combine police that are beating him up and leads him to safety. So, she’s being introduced as a strong character. She kicks butt and I guess quantity of butt kicked is how we measure strength of character in an action video game. I can go along with that, that’s fine, honest.

There are more moments like this later on (like when Gordon uses his flashlight and Alyx uses her gun) which demonstrate how useful Alyx is to Gordon and how they work as a team. But! These moments really only happen when Gordon is unarmed and vulnerable. Whenever Gordon has weapons, Alyx is really only helpful in terms of unlocking doors with her magic wand, which kind of relegates her to the role of Red Key Card from Doom.

That’s not so bad in and of itself, so let’s continue.
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Half-life doesn’t have a good story

halflife face

So, sometimes I see people claim that Half-life has an amazing story, one of the best stories in video games.

I think these people must be mistaking story for storytelling technique. Because, while Half-life might have some very interesting story telling techniques, let’s remember what Half-life’s story actually is:

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Free iPhone Game Review: Sinbad by Rebellion

dance off

Sinbad is a game on the iPhone. Maybe it is on other phones as well; I don’t know.

The game is free.

The game starts with an unskippable cutscene.

In the game, you play Sinbad. Sinbad looks a lot like Disney’s Aladdin. He also sails a ship without a name, and he is always barefoot for some reason. Your goal is to sail to different places and gather pieces of ancient relics for a mysterious stranger. Presumably this will save the world and stop evil.

One of the things you do in the game is upgrade and maintain your ship. The other thing you do is run around levels fighting bad guys.

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Analysis of Bungie’s Destiny preview: too many chefs in the kitchen

I’m excited about Bungie’s upcoming game Destiny although I really don’t think I should be. On paper the description and explanation of the game seems awesome, but when Bungie shows off what they actually have it just looks bland and homogenous.

I think the best example of what I mean can be found in this video from GDC ’13 where Destiny’s writer and design director Joe Staten and art director Christ Barrett discuss the process they went through designing and implementing choices for Destiny.

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Aliens vs Predators that don’t exist


People seem to be pretty disappointed with the recent Aliens: Colonial Marines game. That reminds me, I’ve been pretty disappointed with every Aliens vs. Predator game that’s come out. In my opinion they aren’t really AvP games at all and a true AvP game does not exist… yet!

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