Wednesday, March 16, 2016

McKinney Reviews: Firewatch, or as I like to call it "Only Forest Fires Can Prevent You"

When I first sat down to write this review, I found myself at a loss. Firewatch defies most expectations of what a game is supposed to be. There's no way to lose, the puzzles (such as they are) are very, very simple, and you have a map of your surroundings with you at all time so it's almost impossible to get lost. It's very, very close to what some on the internet have derisively named "walking simulators"; games where the player has nothing to do but walk through an (ideally beautiful, or at least visually-striking) area, poking objects in the environment to recieve a series of nuggets of exposition. And at first glance, it seems that's exactly what Firewatch is. I know, viscerally, that there's more to the game than that, but the appeal of the game is not one easily put into words. Still, putting things into words that aren't easily put into words is basically what I've built my life around, so here goes:

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Short Story: Kex's Blood Oath

So, as you may have noticed, the whole 2015 book challenge didn't really work out. Work has left me so emotionally and mentally drained that I haven't really been able to work up the motivation to track down all of the books I was going to read and write about. I HAVE been writing, though; whenever the mood strikes me I've sat down and written a bit, 300 words here, a few tweets-worth there, but nothing I really felt was good enough for this blog. (This is, after all, what I want to be able to point future employers to for samples of my work.) That is, until now. I'm actually pretty proud of this one; I banged it out in one marathon session, and it hasn't been edited at all. I might revise it at some point, or even make it into part of a larger whole, but for now I think it stands alright on its own. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Book Challenge 2015: World War Z

The first book I read this year could have fit several categories; I’ve owned it for over a year and hadn’t read it, it came with a recommendation from several friends, it’s been turned into an (execrable) movie, and with a bit of stretching it can be considered to be a collection of short stories. For the sake of simplicity (and because the other books-turned-hollywood-blockbuster-fodder I have access to are Twilight, Harry Potter, Eragon, or other overexposed or downright crappy titles) I elected to fill the Challenge’s #3 slot first.

McKinney's 2015 Reading Challenge - Master Page

So a few weeks ago I decided I’d try the 2015 Reading Challenge from Popsugar when it crossed my twitter feed. More out of lack of anything else important in my life than anything else, I decided to return to my oft-languishing blog and give my impressions of the books I was reading. As a result, I should be posting a new book review/overview every week or so this year. Wish me luck!

If you’re interested in keeping track of what book I read for what reason (and why would you be?) bookmark this page, which I’ll keep updated as I go.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Brief(ish) Dissertation on Trevor Philips

Full Disclosure: I have not finished Grand Theft Auto 4 or 5, and likely never will. (My GTA IV disk is AWOL and GTA V stopped working so I deleted it from my hard drive) While they are impressive feats of engineering, they are deeply lacking in a vital quality: respect. Respect for the player, respect for the player’s time, and respect for their own internal consistency. Foremost in my thoughts is Trevor, the third of three protagonists to be unlocked and by far the darkest.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Destiny - The Bad Bits

Last time I told you all of the ways Destiny was the best game I’ve played all year, but now the time has come to tell you all about the many ways it ranks the worst.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Destiny - The Good Bits

So…Destiny. It’s a big game. Four planets, plus another area, with more promised in the future. Three Classes, with two Subclasses apiece. Procedurally-generated loot leading two dozens of variant weapons and armor pieces. It’s SO BIG, in fact, that I’m not going to try to review it in one unified article. I’m going to talk about the good parts of Destiny in today’s article (as the title might lead you to suspect) and the bad parts in the next (which should go live by the end of the week.)