Lorna Mills and Sally McKay
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Joe McKay's top video game stuff of 2010
If you’ve ever said, “modern games are obsessed with graphics at the expense of innovative gameplay” and/or “sandbox games offer such promise yet never seem to really let you explore, interact and create in a fun way” then you must play minecraft. In fact, it’s about to come out of Alpha and go into Beta on the 20th which will mean a higher price so now is really the time.
You need to learn the basics (surviving your first night, finding coal and crafting) — http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Minecraft_Wiki — but I’d recommend against watching too many youtube videos (there are zillions) and explore the game on your own. Seriously - dude - this game is “emergent gameplay” at its fucking best.
Survivor mode is the only way to play, btw. All other modes are for posers.
You’ll need to be on the Xbox, and you’ll need to have the xBox Live, but if you have all that get a download of Limbo. It’s a puzzle based side scroller with real innovative level design. You will die, a lot, and there’s real comedy/horror when you do.
Red Dead Redemption
The West done right (mostly). Rockstar realized that in the end, story is what makes a good western not horses and guns. A story about redemption and revenge and stuff. It’s the first GTA game that I actually finished, and the first game with cut scenes that I never skipped. Second best video game of the year (although I didn’t play Reach, Left 4 Dead 2, Masse effect 2, Grand Tourismo, or the new Need for Speed, so I’m not exactly an authority).
Peggle on the iphone
I’m still not sold on the iphone as a gaming device, but peggle was pretty fun.
Hey Ashley Whatcha Playing is a very clever video-cast about games by brother and sister duo Anthony and Ashly Burch.
If you need to watch just one try this. It doesn't require any video game knowledge to get the jokes.
In anticipation of having my childhood candy coated and turned 3D, I watched the original TRON again. My thesis has been that a remake will be impossible because the original was actually a crappy movie and our love for it is based on geeky nostalgia not actual movie goodness. But I was wrong. TRON is great! (Apologies and a hat tip out to Marisa - you were right, I was wrong, don't get used to it). There’s some seriously weird stuff in this movie and it handles the virtual world shenanigans with tongue in cheek cleverness, and NOT the naive 80’s optimism I was remembering. It’s refreshing to see after all the super seriousness post-cyberpunk Matrix / dark City / Johnny Mnemonic stuff that came later. Plus the graphics have that "they will never be this good again" feel vector graphics give you. It's hard to describe, but you can bet the new one is going to be ugly in comparison.