June 6, 2014
I’ve written a few things for Salon lately.
Georgia State University is gutting its student-run radio station WRAS 88.5 FM by handing 14 hours of airtime a day over to Georgia Public Broadcasting, who will mostly air syndicated NPR programming that is already available in Atlanta. I wrote about how losing this particular station, which is one of the most powerful and influential college radio stations in the nation, is further proof that college radio is dying, and why that’s bad for students, universities, communities and the independent music industry.</a>
I wrote about Box Brown’s graphic novel Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, and how worthwhile art about wrestling was hard to create until wrestling stopped lying to the public about its real nature.</a>
Obama mentioned the videogame series The Witcher during a press conference in Poland. I explained what The Witcher is, why Obama would talk about it, and why it’s weird and surprising that Obama would talk about it.</a>
March 29, 2013
I wrote the cover story for Issue 86 of Paste’s weekly digital edition. It’s a feature on Bioshock Infinite, including an interview with designer Ken Levine.
March 1, 2013
And here is a link to my writer’s page at Paste Magazine, where I edit the games section and contribute regular comic and TV reviews. This page does not list or link to any of the content in Paste’s subscription-only mPlayer, so a number of features and editorials I’ve written won’t appear on that site.
March 1, 2013
Some I write reviews for Joystiq. Here is a list of everything I’ve written for that site.
March 1, 2013
Earlier this year I had a member of the band Neutral Milk Hotel play a fan-made RPG about his band. I then wrote about it for Polygon.
Times New Viking’s tour of America’s legendary indie-rock labels continues with their first release for Merge after a few albums on Matador and then Siltbreeze. By 2015, they’ll be on SST, and by late 2015, they’ll be suing Greg Ginn. But right now, in 2011, they’ve done the inevitable and tidied up just a bit. The overwhelming fuzz and full-blown levels of past TNV joints have given way to a slightly more presentable sound. The fidelity’s still low — this ain’t no Mutt Lange production — but Dancer Equired doesn’t scrape out your eardrums when you listen to it on headphones. The album feels less urgent and reckless, but you may also find it easier to focus on the songs, which are a vital part of the record-making process that Times New Viking have excelled at. The always-present kiwi-pop influence — these folks obviously love the Clean — is more blatant with the band’s new-found noise reduction. The continuous hitmaking of Present the Paisley Reich might be gone forever, but Dancer Equired offers up enough catchy pop jams to warrant a listen.
June 25, 2011
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of “The Legend of Zelda,” Nintendo is releasing a “Zelda” game for every current Nintendo system this year. All but one of those games are remakes, but that’s not a problem, as for most of its 25 years the “Zelda” franchise has been one of the absolute best.
The first “Zelda” of 2011 is the 3DS remake of 1998’s “Ocarina of Time.” “Ocarina” took the epic adventures of earlier “Zelda” games and transported them to a 3-D world that felt surprisingly live and interactive at the time. It remains many fans’ favorite game in the series, and is a legitimate contender for greatest game ever made. Of course it’s now 13 years old and has already been reissued for the GameCube and through the Wii’s Virtual Console. Is there any life left in the old girl?
Yeah, there is. A whole lot, actually. “Ocarina 3D” is the same great game made just a little bit greater.
“Ocarina 3D” fashions a more user-friendly experi-ence. The touch-screen removes the hassle of constantly pausing to cycle through your weapons and items. The 3-D graphics makes Hyrule feel more alive than it already does. And like the AR games that come with the 3DS, you can aim Link’s weapons by moving the entire system until you’ve locked on to your target.
It’s also a much easier game to look at. The blocky, fuzzy images of the Nintendo 64 original have been replaced with gorgeous new graphics that are greatly improved even with the 3-D effect turned off
“Alice: Madness Returns” is in no way affiliated with “Zelda” or Nintendo, but there are a few minor similarities. It’s a sequel to a game from 2000, and like “Ocarina 3D” it feels like a throwback. The combat resembles that of “Ocarina,” with Alice (of Wonderland fame) autolocking onto enemies and using a combination of strikes, ranged weapons and defensive ducks and shields to take down enemies. The Gothic, Hot Topic aesthetic is slightly off-putting, and the linear and repetitive levels mostly remove any chance for exploration. It’s not full of wonder, but “Alice” is a competent 3-D platformer.