matthewblackwell Comments

  • Digital Foundry vs Mario Kart 8

  • matthewblackwell 24/05/2014

    @Lync Just to piggyback off of this for a second... I think it's also worth pointing out that while the Wii U has not been the success that Nintendo might have hoped for and they are losing money on it, they would still have a long ways to go before running into any trouble. You don't release two of the most popular consoles of all time (the Wii and DS) and currently have the best-selling console (the 3DS) and get out of the game.

    Nintendo's doing just fine and I imagine that even if the Wii U remains a total failure from a sales perspective (which, honestly, I don't get, considering it has the largest and most critically acclaimed stable of "next gen" games), they will keep doing what they do. Having their own idiosyncratic hardware is part of their total design ethos, and as long as Miyamoto continues to make games (PLEASE NEVER DIE, MAN) that's not going to change.
    Reply +7
  • Killer is Dead review

  • matthewblackwell 27/08/2013

    Obviously having not played the game yet, I can't comment in particular about the Gigolo mode. I can certainly see it being exploitative, sexist, and demeaning (given just how unimpressed I've been with Suda51's games since NMH2) but I also know that Killer7 was pretty much a deconstruction of the video game form itself. I always vacillate about whether Suda51 is including this exploitative stuff (which has been present in most of his games) because he's earnest about it, because it makes his games more like a grindhouse film, or because he's secretly needling the player, giving them "too much of what they want" as a sort of statement. Or maybe it's all to opaque to even process.

    Anybody who's played the game like to comment? My buying decision may actually rest on this... haha
    Reply +1
  • Lollipop Chainsaw Review

  • matthewblackwell 15/06/2012

    You know, Suda51 didn't always used to just make exploitation fantasias, and his games were a lot better off for it. I'm still waiting for him to build on killer7, easily his best game and the one with the most thematic consequence. When he stops piddling around with these self-consciously "hip and weird" genre experiments, I'll be listening to his voice again. It's just unfortunate to have someone who I consider to be a true visionary mucking around with something that seems so trivial and borderline misogynistic (even if it's a satire, having Juliet called a "slut" and a "whore" (a la Arkham City) so many times gets seriously offputting.) Reply +3
  • Tomb Raider studio addresses Lara controversy

  • matthewblackwell 13/06/2012

    To be fair, though, the game is still entirely predicated around the idea of "woman as victim." As Sean Bell put it on twitter, "DO YOU LIKE THE SUFFERING OF WOMEN? YOU’LL LOVE THE NEW TOMB RAIDER." It's still weird and offputting and uses some of the most tired of anti-progressive tropes, so while the fact that it isn't going to try to deal with the subject of rape is probably a good thing in the end, it doesn't automatically make the game NOT a gender stereotype trainwreck. Reply +30
  • Was E3 2012 the grisliest games show ever?

  • matthewblackwell 08/06/2012

    I think the real problem is that designers aren't finding ways to make killing have any impact anymore, or don't have the creativity to make combat a less-important aspect of games. I'm thinking of, say, Mass Effect 3 (or the entire series to be honest, though Mass Effect isn't even the worst offender), which as a role-playing game, should give you the option of actually playing a role other than "intergalactic murderer." And yet, everytime the game needed to push forward, the only option you have is to mow down hundreds, if not thousands of disposable mooks.

    It's like, "here's all of these interesting moral quandaries! Now shoot at them!"
    Reply +85
  • E3 Reaction: The Next Generation Arrives at E3

  • matthewblackwell 08/06/2012

    I won't consider it a "next-generation" until we start to see more developers coming up with game designs that aren't simply "how can we shoot all the dudes?" Reply +25
  • Final Fantasy real-time tech demo offers glimpse at next-gen

  • matthewblackwell 06/06/2012

    Seems as though gamers won't be satisfied until we all have mansions and gardens in the Uncanny Valley, hey? Reply -2
  • Nintendo's E3 2012 Conference

  • matthewblackwell 05/06/2012

    @Widge It is bluetooth but you can use IR for using the Wii U GamePad as a TV remote. Reply 0
  • Sakaguchi claims the Wii's SD resolution held back The Last Story

  • matthewblackwell 01/06/2012

    Again, people are confusing graphics technology with the art behind them. Shouldn't we assess all graphics on the merits of what their technology allows them to do? More importantly, shouldn't we recognize that style trumps any simulacra of reality any day? The Wii has, quite simply, some of the most outrageously gorgeous games ever made, and so too does the PS2 and the N64 and the SNES and the Genesis, etc. It all depends on the vision of the people making the game, and not the technology itself.

    It's like criticizing a painting for not looking enough like a photograph, for pete's sake.
    Reply +4
  • New Star Wars franchise to be unveiled next week

  • matthewblackwell 25/05/2012

    A new sequel to TIE Fighter with a script by Brian Moriarity. BOOM. Reply +1
  • The Cave Preview: Double Fine's New Game for Sega

  • matthewblackwell 24/05/2012

    If you'd told me that Ron Gilbert was making a platformer/adventure game hybrid fifteen years ago, I would have lost my mind.

    It's fifteen years later and I'm still lose my mind. This sounds wonderful.
    Reply +2
  • Going Hardcore in Diablo 3

  • matthewblackwell 23/05/2012

    I think permadeath is an interesting feature of gaming, but I don't think we'll see games moving forward until they're more willing to make this an aspect of the game design entirely and not simply a "mode" to be activated. I'm not saying that Mario should start dying forever when he falls into a pit, but when a game is all about survival - as it is in Diablo - then permadeath of a sort should be built into the fabric of the game. I realize that that's commercial suicide, but when permadeath is done correctly (I'm thinking of most Fire Emblem games, for instance), it can make the game so much more rewarding. Reply +1
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale screenshots

  • matthewblackwell 17/05/2012

    I mean, I'm obviously going to choose Smash Bros. when I want to do some party brawlin', but I think there's a way that Sony can make this appealing to people outside of those who only own PS3s and don't have access to Smash Bros. - go with some deep cuts. You know, bring in some characters from Klonoa or maybe try to get some Square Enix characters (who aren't being used in Dissidia - I'm thinking some Brave Fencer Musashi action or something). A big part of the appeal of Smash Bros. was using characters like Lucas or Roy alongside Mario and Samus. If Sony tries to make it a mix of accessible, milking what few major mascots they have for all its worth, while offering something for connoisseurs (OK, nerds) like myself, it could give this game some relevance outside of "Smash Bros. clone" Reply -1
  • Epic unveils Unreal Engine 4 with stunning in-game screens

  • matthewblackwell 17/05/2012

    The best technology in the world can't account for the sheer creative bankruptcy put forward as "art design" in a good portion of video games. The most beautiful games of this generation and every one before it haven't been defined by the tech running underneath it. I don't know, I just don't get the excitement over something like this. We can get closer and closer to simulacra of reality, but I'd still say that something like Chrono Trigger or Okami or The Wind Waker are far more beautiful than anything I'm seeing in these screenshots. Reply +15
  • Row over Beyoncé video game goes to court

  • matthewblackwell 11/05/2012

    For a second I thought this was a kayaking video game where you "Row over Beyonce." Colour me disappointed.

    (Though I imagine that game would be horrifying, and Beyonce's just so cute! Would have been a problem.)
    Reply 0
  • Nintendo defends Kid Icarus: Uprising controls

  • matthewblackwell 04/05/2012

    I kind of want to make like a "how-to" video for this game, as I can't believe the number of people who are seemingly confused by this. First, if you're ever saying, "man, it's hard to hold the entire 3DS in one hand and aim with the stylus!", DON'T DO THAT. Instead, use your analog stick hand normally and put the bottom-right corner (or bottom-left for lefties, obvs.) in the crease of your palm. Then you can still easily reach the screen with the stylus. Playing this way, I could play for extended sessions and have the 3D turned on. Reply +1