It seems like only a few hours ago I was guiding the young Ramza Beoulve through his first military campaign to defeat and scatter the Death Corps (in reality it was last week). Now, the renegade high born, less naïve but no less idealistic, has just encountered his first extra-dimensional demigod, Cuchulainn, the Impure. […]


There is no other video game I’ve gone back to more in my twenty years of playing them than Final Fantasy Tactics. When I heard that USgamer had chosen it for their first virtual video game club meeting, I took it as an excuse to dive back into the world of Ivalice myself. In an era of […]


Microsoft Pulls its Punches On the one hand, it’s kind of surprising just how satisfying one of these E3 press conferences can go when the company focuses on showing rather than telling. Microsoft didn’t try to let market-tested messaging get in the way of the actual games it wanted to show off. While still awash […]


“Recovering critic” and essayist Arthur Krystal writes a “defense of the canon” in the pages of the latest issue of Harper’s. Though his is an encomium for “Great Literature,” a number of the points he makes apply equally well to video games. Krystal traces the origins of the “canon” to the Greek meaning “measuring stick” or “rule.” Contrary to […]

guilty pleasure

Jennifer Szalai takes to the New Yorker to rail against the invocation of “guilty pleasures.” Since the idea is often associated with video games, I’ve decided to excerpt it at length with my own questions and comments inserted along the way. To really understand my concerns with her take, you should read it in its […]


With all of the energy surrounding the release of Sony’s PS4 and Micrsoft’s Xbox One, it’s especially glaring how much the video game industrial complex can skew games coverage. Most gaming news and reviews sites are busy right now pushing out content on next-gen consoles and the bevy of mediocre launch titles released to accompany […]


At the end of last week it felt like everything was conspiring against me. As Friday drew to a close, last minute assignments at work kept me late. When I finally made it out of the office, traffic was unusually heavy, leading to one slog of an evening commute. An empty fridge meant I had […]


That’s the question with which Luke Karmali begins his recent article on how the franchise will try to stay relevant going forward. And though he doesn’t answer it outright, the response embedded in the piece seems to be something to the effect of: Final Fantasy is nothing…Final Fantasy is everything. At least that’s what Motomu Toriyama (FFXIII: Lightning Returns […]

gotham 6

I popped Arkham Origins into my Xbox 360 on Friday and haven’t looked back since. It’s been said before but things this truth always bear repeating: few things have ever been as satisfying in a video game as combat feels in an Arkham game. It’s fluid but bombastic; challenging without being downright frustrating. There’s a […]


The first thing about Tracy Lien’s micro-documentary that caught my attention was the title of the post it accompanied, “How Indie Games Went Mainstream.” It’s been a common refrain these last couple of years. With the critical and financial success of games like Braid, Super Meat Boy, and Minecraft, “indie” has become increasingly identified as […]

Grand Theft Auto V

I haven’t played the game yet. I might never play it. But here’s what I think about it right now anyway.


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