It’s been a long while since I wrote anything other than reflections on this page. Not that there has been a lack of material – I keep a closer eye on the industry now than I used to, and I partake personally in more events since I live closer to them – it’s just difficult to say something that is relevant but unsaid elsewhere. Not that the reflections have any particular value, but I do it mostly for my own sake and the public nature of the format only serves to make me think more about the words.

That said, in 2014 I will attempt to only write positive things about the games I play. This is not too big of a stretch since intriguing me is usually a requirement for me playing a game in the first place, but it is a useful focus in rooting out the successes of each game, the inspirational pieces of them. More importantly, there are far too many instances in the gaming culture focusing on negativity and ridiculing flaws – certainly, some thoughtful critique but there’s also a large chunk of people writing hostility for laughs. I’m not in a position to singlehandedly change the tone of the conversation, but I can at least experiment with the tone of my own voice.


Monaco is an interesting beast that invites you to find exploits, shows you why the exploits do not work and invites you to try and outsmart it. It is a brilliant exercise in asymmetric gameplay and a sandbox not in size but in options – every level is a stage for a myriad of heist movies. Most importantly, Monaco truly shines in multiplayer, constantly causing incidental synergy and making every player contribute without handicaps.

Kentucky Route Zero

Still in development, but the first two chapters have been something out of the ordinary. While there’s a lot to be said for the melancholy and mystery of the settings and aesthetics, the characters really sell it.

Tomb Raider

I can probably name a few games I liked more than Tomb Raider, but everything from the technology to the design and writing was surprisingly good. Making a modern Tomb Raider game and telling a human origin story for Lara Croft was difficult for so many reasons but Crystal Dynamics managed to pull it off.

…Honorable mentions go to GTA V and Rayman Legends (which I really liked but did not have much to say about), and Papers, Please. And a bunch of other games. It’s been a good year.

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Posted on Jan 03/14 by Saint and filed under Meta-blog, Reflections | No Comments »