Christopher Byrd


110 games reviewed
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Unscored - Bayonetta 2
Oct 21, 2014

As a friend and fellow writer advised me when he heard that I would be reviewing this game, we should take the creators of Bayonetta at their word when they tout the game's "Climax Action." This game is all about smothering players in a cloud of lust. If such a gambit falls outside of your tastes, "Bayonetta 2" will irk you.

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Nov 18, 2014

In sum, "Dragon Age: Inquisition" feels like a game in which the writers were set free to craft a story for contemporary adults. As I listened to the poetic diction of Cole, a character prone to alliteration and utterances such as, "The air smells like rocks," I wondered if the gaming industry might swell to provide a berth for poets as academia has.

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Unscored - Far Cry 4
Dec 2, 2014

Like jazz, open-world games promise the bliss of structured randomness. Developers load up games with multiple systems – traffic, pedestrians, wildlife, etc. – which players probe to create unique moments. Ubisoft's Far Cry series marries this open-world game design to a caricature of guerrilla warfare, the improvisational aspect of which fits well with the player's need to make the best of whatever is in his or her toolset.

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Unscored - This War of Mine
Dec 8, 2014

Though I certainly believe that video games are an art form, there are precious few games that I would hold up as works of art, which for me – in its narrative varieties at least – has something to do with extending one's capacity for empathy or adding depth to one's sense of the human condition. On both counts "This War of Mine" succeeds.

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Unscored - Never Alone
Dec 29, 2014

Measured solely as a puzzle-platformer, "Never Alone" has nothing on games such as "Braid" or "Portal," which offer far more intricate challenges. However, this is a game that transcends its gameplay. The bio of one of the game's scriptwriters, Ishmael Angaluuk Hope, mentions that in his younger days he was ashamed of his Native Alaskan heritage.

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Jan 6, 2015

If you haven't kept up with your metaphysical thinkers, you might need to play through "The Old City" more than once to master its storyline.  Personally, I find it exciting to think that video games have evolved to a point where they can sustain that level of scrutiny.

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Feb 3, 2015

Call me selective, but I wanted the comedy without the tedium which broke the cinematic effect. Perhaps this inability to fawningly linger over "Grim Fandango's" highly static environments is a product of time. Regardless, the bony truth is that our lives sometimes intersect with games at inopportune moments.

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To my immense surprise, I haven't fallen for a Zelda game like this since I played the "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past" (1991).

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Unscored - The Order: 1886
Feb 23, 2015

It is an unfortunate irony that a game offering a glimpse into the future of video game graphics should be so hamstrung by its limited, conventional gameplay. This is one anachronism too many — even for a steampunk game.

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Mar 3, 2015

While playing the game, I thought of my father, who is a far better sketch artist than I am. He is one of those people who is interested in video games but professes to be allergic to dual analog stick controllers. If the game's stylus-driven mechanics can win him over, I might owe Nintendo a heartfelt tweet.

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