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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.