Review: Minotaur Rescue

Does it matter why these minotaurs insist on riding asteroids straight into the sun? Maybe they are the victims of a tragic intergalactic mining accident. Or perhaps, long ago, Hercules banished them from their home on Crete by tossing them into space. And why have we, the players, been condemned to die along with the stupid beasts, throwing away the last moments of our lives in a farcical attempt to delay their extinction? The answer seems to be that these situations exist so that things might explode, thus incrementally advancing a cosmic scoreboard that gives pleasure to some cruel god.


Popping Smoke

?The Call of Duty series represents the extreme forward guard of “hyperrealism” and technological might in contemporary game design. It’s a bombastic, McBay take on American foreign policy. Parents, commentators, and critics look on in horror as frenzied gamers lap up each new entry: Call of Duty games are a prime culprit in good taste’s case against gun porn. They’re desensitizing players to acts of violence, or their glorification of American foreign policy redefines jingoism, or they play a dominant role in crowding any game that isn’t a AAA first-person shooter out of the market.


When a Bell Tolls

In a year when almost every critic gave Red Dead Redemption a near-perfect score, why didn’t anybody tell me that I needed to play Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood? I get it: You enjoyed the sense of place created by Redemption‘s open range. You got to ride a horse that felt natural, its animations smooth and intuitive in reaction to the environment shifting beneath you—maybe, like I, you grew to love your horse more than the human characters around you. You could hunt and skin critters; some of them fought back, ambushing you while you picked flowers. You were given a choice between playing the tragic hero or the reckless desperado.