Justin McElroy asks his wife a special question.
From Episode 182 - Yogi the Stareater
Original 24” X 19” oil painting and 19” X 13” prints available HERE.
No way. When it came out on Xbox, I made it to the ice caves before moving on to other things. The “daily challenge” feature on the PC, though, sounds like it could be a fun way to give it a shot more regularly. This article by designer Doug Wilson, in which he breaks down a Spelunky run, is what got me interested in seeing more of what the game can offer.
checking my phone in the middle of the night
This shit….fighting perfection
I’M TWENTY YEARS OLD AND I STILL LOSE MY SHIT AT THIS EVERY GODDAMN TIME
#1 - The Last of Us
I wrestled with my number one for a while but no matter how I justified it no game this year suited the spot better than Naughty Dog’s latest title; The Last of Us. To get the obvious out of the way The Last of Us is a stellar example of a linear narrative driven experience. The Last of Us is able to tell a singular well crafted story that is thematically pinned to its game-play in a manner that feels natural and non-obtrusive, it never feels like going through the motions in the way many other linear action games do. It’s ability to maintain a consistent tone throughout both interactive and non-interactive sequences is remarkable, making it feel like a genuine cohesive experience and not two disparate elements. The Last of Us reminded me that bespoke interactive content is not inherently inferior to its more systemic brother. The Last of Us is an experience unlike any other I played this year.
#2 - Spelunky
Technically, Spelunky came out last year on 360, and before that it was an even smaller indie game on PC too. Somehow I never managed to play any of those other versions, but Spelunky is such a clever piece of game design that I’d be remiss if I couldn’t represent it on this list somehow. Spelunky is basically a loop of both short and long term risk/reward scenarios under time and perma-death pressure. It is such a simple and elegant way to elevate the stakes of even the smallest encounter and it is full of decisions with enough ambiguity to them that you will debate with yourself over and over until you find the perfect way to handle it. The Daily Challenge combines the best of procedurally generated madness with a sense of persistence that allows you to share and communicate your experiences with others. Spelunky is brilliant game design.
#3 - Fire Emblem: Awakening
Fire Emblem has always been one of Nintendo’s stronger franchises that never really got the attention I felt it deserved. This year that changed when a perfect storm of sorts brewed right around the time of Awakenings release; The 3DS was booming, XCOM had just come out a few monthes prior and had created a strategy thirst that a lot of gamers wanted to quench, and Intelligent Systems created one of the best Fire Emblem games in recent memory. Awakening is successful in its ability to bring a lot of the more interesting and complex background systems of the series to the forefront and make them feel like core systems. In this way Awakening manages to take what makes Fire Emblem great; high stake character driven strategy, and add a sense of player expression through how you shape your army and their relationships. While I have reservations about the new art direction and the plot, Fire Emblem Awakening feels like the franchise breaking through its midlife crisis to rediscover what it is.