It’s been almost three months since my last linkdump: I’ve had a few interesting pieces posted at my regular haunts since then and managed to creep into some new outlets, too.
I don’t often wade into polemics, but I felt compelled to share my thoughts on racism and torture in two pieces for Destructoid, both of which were met with a predictable slate of comments. The first was in the guise of a review of “Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt,” the third piece of DLC for Borderlands 2.
I broached torture in a more straightforward op-ed on Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
Other reviews during the past three months include a crop for TouchArcade — Repulze, Kairo, Beastie Bay, and Liberation Maiden — as well as a look at Bit.Trip Presents … Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien for Paste Magazine, an outlet with which I’d love to work again.
I also reviewed Simogo’s Year Walk for TouchArcade, which in turn spawned a column for BitCreature that attempts to take stock of the game’s psychological drama as it relates to its mechanics and platform. It’s kind of a messy thought process, though, and I’m not sure I ever put my finger on why the game is so effective.
The BitCreature column led, in turn, to a series of Twitter exchanges that I’ve since Storified. There are layers and layers here, and Year Walk remains one of the most fascinating games I’ve ever played.
The highest-profile game I’ve reviewed since January was Gears of War: Judgment, which I covered for MTV. Like Year Walk, my thoughts on the game extended into a column for BitCreature, which addresses some of my thoughts on the series as a whole and possibilities afforded by the game’s narrative structure.
Continuing on the BitCreature train: in February, I wrote about the intersection of the puzzles and narrative in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, a story I’ve been holding onto since I first played through it in a rush a few Thanksgivings ago.
And finally: I published my first piece of personal writing ever last month. Inspired (and emboldened) by Adam Rosenberg’s piece on Final Fantasy VI for Unwinnable (a site to which I’ve contributed once), I wrote a piece about my grandmother, college, and Final Fantasy IX for Escapist Magazine.
The editors over there had savaged a few previous pitches with helpful criticism that allowed me to rework the pieces and sell them elsewhere, so finally getting one through was a treat.
Lastly, I guess I should mention that, at the beginning of February, I made the transition to full-time freelance writing with a gig blogging for MTV Multiplayer. For a day to day look at the games and news stories I’m most interested in, that’d be a good place to start. You can find my articles here.