While driving to Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac mastermind Edmund McMillen's home in Santa Cruz, California, I find myself navigating winding highways to the tune of loud, aggressive ska-punk. The music raises a defiant fist against society's ills and screams of fearless rebellion - and while I don't doubt that the inspiration behind those lyrics is sincere, it gets me wondering: how do people who've hit it big going against the grain and making no secret of their disdain for mainstream society actually live? Do they change once the system starts working in their favor? How do they occupy themselves day-to-day? What are their houses like? Do their cats have fur, just like ours?
Shooter. Racer. Fighter. Platformer. Farming simulator. Games, the grand majority of the time, are about actions. We run and jump and kill and collect. We conquer entire worlds - sometimes in the span of an afternoon - with their wondrous works of architecture and natural beauty flying by in a blur of blood, guts and glittering prizes.
On paper, 2008's Prince of Persia revamp was a pointless game. Don't get me wrong, it had every reason to exist, but its story and mechanics were essentially a long, meandering path back to square one.
I've played roughly a billion games with moral meters that paint in broad black and white stokes with the occasional sloppy shade of grey, but only one has ever made me turn. See, I usually stick to the straight-and-narrow goodie-two-shoes path on my first playthrough of these things, but in Jade Empire, I just couldn't do it.