Michael Thomsen


34 games reviewed
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Sep 27, 2016

The latest in the series is proof that ‘Destiny’ will never end

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May 12, 2016

"A Thief's End" is less a conclusion to Nathan Drake's story than an affirmation of the inconclusive wreck it has always been.

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Unscored - EA Sports UFC 2
Mar 31, 2016

“EA UFC 2” is an effective tribute to of professional sport fandom, the spirit that causes the crowd to roar to life not in appreciation of another person’s actions but because they believe it means something for them to have witnessed it.

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I found "Twilight Princess" to be even better than when it was first released. It felt like coming home to one's childhood bedroom, revealing the impermanence of "home" while affirming the life-giving importance of having such shelters to return to from time to time.

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Dec 29, 2015

In hindsight, many of the game's grueling lessons feel remarkably anti-climactic. Getting to the end feels like a definite achievement though the relative uselessness of its rewards make it hard to feel anything but stunned remorse for having gone to such lengths to achieve something of so little consequence. This kind of ego-centric delusion is essential to the spirit of video games, works that are often as terrifyingly wasteful as they are wondrous and energizing. "Xenoblade Chronicles X" manages both in equal measure.

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Dec 9, 2015

Games like "Siege" flatter these desires by letting them play out in simulation, endlessly repeating on the screen. Stripped of the vanities of many other shooting games "Siege" is both unforgivably callow and inarguably satisfying. Like parades or fireworks, it's a vision that's only fun if you can forget where it comes from and where it points to.

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Nov 20, 2015

In good moments, it feels like you're heading somewhere promising, halfway to getting a gun you really want. In bad moments, getting what you want is a pleasureless anti-climax, that leaves you even further away from the next upgrade milestone.

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Nov 11, 2015

In a way, "Black Ops 3's" landscape of weaponry and corpses and layers of upgrades and economics signal the game's disposability, something meant as kindling in a bonfire of collective obsession and forgetting. Nothing this big and loud is meant to last, but nothing meant to last could bring this many people together.

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There's an echo of this sentiment in the sweetly childish tones of "Minecraft: Story Mode," a game that uses the mimetic architecture of storytelling to produce nodes of contemplation and self-inquiry. It's a subtle and sweet work made with an awareness that the best part of a journey comes when you realize that you are the story.

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Sep 15, 2015

"Super Mario Maker" feels like the antithesis of this spirit. "Mario" levels begin to feel like traps that can't be escaped. As with many digital tools that seem to liberate us from the laborious demands of creation, "Super Mario Maker" is primarily an engine for circulating bad ideas and broken gimmicks as if there weren't already an overabundance of them.

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