Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Art Style: Rotohex

The damned problem with reviewing these great games is that there is so little to say. My Orbient review ended up being mostly a giant argument about when a game's challenge shifts from passive learning to skill. I didn't really feel like cooking up some new critical game theory for this one because its simplicity didn't really afford it.

It's Tetris with triangles and music rewards.


pixelvixen707 said...

Nice clip. I had that problem with Pixeljunk Eden. What do you say? "It's fun. Tough, too." You've been writing about Pauline Kael, but I wonder if we should turn to back issues of Maximum Rock 'N Roll for inspiration: how do you explain, with style, why these three chords are better than those three?

But you have talked me into making it a Wiiware night - I still haven't tackled Goo ...

L.B. Jeffries said...

The more I dig around and study other critics, the more I realize that each one is using a different toolset to gauge their medium. At Popmatters I see a ton of music, film, and book criticism so those are the three I end up watching in action.

And yeah, weirdly enough it's the film critics who are the worst at gauging video games. You wouldn't think this since they handle visuals all day but movies are also perhaps a medium that's absolutely devoid of audience participation.

With books, the reader participates a great deal. They form images, voices, sounds, and staging all in their minds. Music, to a certain degree, takes even less control than a book. The multiple layers of engagement like lyrics, instrument, or volume are all occurring simultaneously and the player can engage with the work in any number of ways and control its outcome as well. They can control which parts they hear.

So yeah, of the lot, music critics seem to be able to make the jump into talking about the experience a game provides.

I gotta finish these damned exams off but then I'm going to dive back into this topic full steam.