Gaming commentary and news for the week

There are too many games out that I don't have time to play. This is the most common lament when the average entry in your entertainment medium of choice takes 15 hours to experience. Killzone 2, GTA: Chinatown Wars, Halo Wars, Resident Evil 5, Resistance: Retribution, Mad World, and more have all been released this month. Add these to the dozen or so games from the fall season that I wish I had played, plus the 50-ish from the last 15 years that I would love to pick up some day, and it becomes clear that I will never get to play all the games I would like to play. It also doesn't help that I am still engrossed in Fallout 3.

Anyway, due to everyone who would normally be writing interesting things about video games being busy actually playing video games, there is not much to write about this week, so I guess I'll just talk some more about Resident Evil 5. Sigh.


I hate to beat a dead zombie, but the RE5 racism debate continues. Actually, I love to beat all kinds of zombies, so let's talk about it some more. The game was released last Friday, and so far reviews have proven that it's not for everyone, though long-time fans of the series should find little to be disappointed with. The only thing that has me feeling disappointed is the mainstream media's general ignorance and unquenchable thirst for finger-pointing when it comes to gaming. Luckily, Seth Schiesel, the games journalist for the New York Times, has written one of the most well-thought out analyses of the game's supposed racism that I've read yet:

"So Resident Evil 5 exposes the perhaps uncomfortable truth that blacks and Arabs can become zombies too, just like anyone else. Blacks and Arabs do not have a secret anti-zombie gene. And just like all the thousands of white, Asian and Hispanic zombies that have been dispatched in innumerable other games before them, the African zombies must also be destroyed, or at least neutralized."

Well put. Read the full article here.

In this article on, Scott Sharkey discusses why the user-generated content revolution we were promised by game developers and journalists in 2008 never happened. He blames over-hype and lack of interest, while I would like to add that most user-generated content sucks and is a waste of time. Spore was lame-lame-lame, and Halo 3's "map editing tools" are hardly more than glorified content-moving-around-tools. The only game that delivered what it promised in my opinion is Little Big Planet, although it's not easy to make something worthwhile from the huge amount of tools you're presented with there. Hell, I spent most of Christmas break lovingly crafting my own level, and that thing is barely playable.

Puzzle games can't hold my interest for long, which is why the ridiculous Tetoris is useless to me. Any Tetris-obsessed gamers out there, however, including my mom, should at least find this as interesting as I do, and maybe even try to clear a single line, which I am guessing takes hours. The playing field is huge, and the pieces are so small I can barely see them. To me, playing this is as much fun as when you can feel a really long hair on your tongue but you just can't freaking pinch it between your fingers, and your hand gets all covered in spit, and your girlfriend wonders why you stopped making out with her, and you have to go wash your hands, and the mood is totally killed. It's a cool idea though, I guess. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, play the game here.

Lastly, and I honestly don't even know why I'm including this, Nintendo has apparently teamed up with Nike to make sneakers designed after their various consoles, including the NES and Wii. I don't really know much more about it because I don't care. If you do, maybe you can find out more here.

-- Mike Rougeau


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