January 8, 2020
- Just Cause Series - especially 3, and especially the "Sky Fortress" DLC that turns you into early, clumsy Iron Man attacking the Helicarrier, except instead of armor you have Wolverine's ridiculous healing ability. But overall, this series has such a beautiful sense of motion and physics - the whole gliding with your "flying squirrel" wingsuit, starting to lose steam, reaching out with a grappling hook then yanking yourself along to get an extra boost... so kinetically poetic.
- Saints Row - especially 4, where they use a Matrix-y world to excuse giving the player crazy superhero abilities, but also 3 that was just a fantastic over-the-top parody of GTA but with better music.
- Grand Theft Auto V - the scale of this game is just amazing, no other game I know does such a good facisimile of a living breathing city but is still fun to drive at break neck speeds or fly a plane around... the 3 protagonist story was hip as well.
- Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild I'm less a fan of fantasy or of games that are about gradual levling up, the whole from chump to champ path, but what a compelling world they made here.
- Super Mario Odyssey Great return to form, and a heavy dose of what I'm into games for - experience new methods of movement and control, which Mario gains with that (kind of creepy if you think about it as posession) hat mechanic...
- Earth Defense Force 2025 - limited and grind-y, but still some of the coolest B-movie material to make it into games, and an awesome buddy game. "Insect Armegeddon" was a fun westernized version as well.
- Blaster Master Zero - such a lovely return to my NES childhood. using your weheeld tank's leap to deftly get to a platform, then switching the other way to cut momentum is a lovely bit of classic game physics.
- Portal 2 - smart and funny puzzle - so well written - and with a great two player mode.
- Redder - really thoughtful indie retro-style exploration game, with just a hint of growing menace.
- iOS games in general: Desert Golfing / I'm Ping Pong King / Archero / ENDI Tank Battle / Tron / Picross / Scribblenauts have all had me spending a bit too much time staring at a tiny screen....
Thinking a little about taboos and sometimes violent reactions to protect that what's considered sacred - pictures of the prophet Mohammed for example, or the N-word from the mouth of anyone not African-American themselves.
On the one hand, there's the obvious free speech issue - how should people whose group doesn't see something as forbidden be compelled to respect the limits laid out by some other group? But I don't think it's too convoluted to view the free speech issue the other way: shouldn't groups have limited authority to declare some taboos that are universally respected, especially ones in the wheelhouse of that group and its history?
The most correct answer is probably not at the absolutes. And this isn't meant to justify, say, the killings at Charlie Hebdo after the Mohammed comics were published - I'm not going down the Onion's "ACLU Defends Nazis' Right To Burn Down ACLU Headquarters" rabbithole, nor expressing a willingness to live in de-secularized society where the restrictions all abide by have an overt Theocratic justification. But the fact remains, even when you steer clear of the taboos, the remaining possibility-space of conversation and thought remains vast.