On The Fence Between Game and Story

(This entire post is in response to a fellow blogger of Crystal Prison Zone. I would suggest reading his entry first before reading my own not only because mine is simply a comment that had gotten too big for the comment box, but also because he’s a pretty dang good writer and makes his points rather well.)

Monkey and Trip from Enslaved's Art Book

There’s a gameplay mechanic in Ninja Theory’s Enslaved, a game which plays as a somewhat clumsy hack ‘n slasher with some auto-platforming a la Uncharted, that works much, if not completely like an escort would in most games. Due to a helmet placed on Monkey’s, the player, head, the player must protect a girl named Trip and escort her back to her home, and if the player fails to ward enemies off of Trip, she and the player will die. Thankfully, Trip can pull her own weight by providing the player with an upgrade system that ups basically all of the player’s abilities, decoys that will distract enemies, and tech-saviness that gets the duo through many a door and obstacle, all of which are unavailable to a player if Trip is not around. Better than most escorts, but still typical? Perhaps, if not for the fact that this mechanic links up with the story in a fascinating way. In a chapter about halfway through the game, a grief-stricken Trip leaves the player and runs through an enemy-infested area. With the threat of Trip and subsequently the player’s death looming overhead, the player must charge through the enemies and work their way back to Trip before the worst can happen to her. This is just one of many examples in video gaming in which narrative and gameplay are intertwined, and it’s an example that I use quite often in defending a game that tells a story that is not part of point ‘n clickie or unInteractive Fiction. Read the rest of this entry »


A Brief Overview of the Video Games of 2011

Some people might excuse themselves from their obligations with unrelated things like “tiredness” or “school” or “real life”, but don’t worry my zero readers, I’ve been away for the very reason that brought me here in the first place: video games.

All my 2011 computer games.

My computer games of 2011

Yep, video games, and that’s about half of what I still got out of last year. Not entirely sure how I got a hold of this many, what with me having constantly no money throughout the year, but regardless I’ve got quite a few more games to finish up from good ol’ 2011 (for a full list of what I’m working with, check out the About page). But what did I think about 2011’s gaming overall? Well, I’ll go more into detail after the break, but three words automatically come to mind:

Too Dang Good. Read the rest of this entry »

Word Up Wednesday – Firsts

And here it is, folks, the first ever Polypinion Word Up Wednesday! This week, special The Gaming Guild guest Pipo and I discuss our first video games in honor of this being the first ever Polypinion Word Up Wednesday.

Do forgive the extreme informality of this one; this week’s Word was thrown together haphazardly and the guest was not informed of this until about 20 minutes prior to recording.  Future Words will be much more structured and thought-provoking (and, you know, actually be on Wednesday CST), but this recording was fun nonetheless. Feel free to suggest ways to make this feature better either in the comments and via email, and, as always, happy gaming!

First Step

Banner Courtesy of Jetcell, a cool artist friend o' mine whose deviantart is linked to by the banner.

Hello, and welcome to the never pedantic and the hopefully thought-provoking palabra of a pretty plain and pure place called the Polypinion! What is a Polypinion, you ask? Well, besides being a miserable pile of opinion, the Polypinion is a small-time blog to be filled with many opinions about the video gaming industry, be it the trends, the announcements, or the games of yesterday, today, and tomorrow-day, and a bit of a personal blog about my own forays into game and story development. And I, the S.M.N. Fly of a variety of places, will be your humble host on this journey down Gaming Opinion Lane. Read the rest of this entry »