I did indeed go out trawling during and after that last review I wrote. I’ve been around Terry Cavanagh’s blog and twitter, and around Souleye’s site, reading about games and music, and blasting the PPPPPPowerup! album of VVVVVV OST rearrangements into my ears. It’s probably beyond time I should be in bed by now, but I wanted to leave you this little (bloody long) gem I stumbled upon in my travels.
I was linked here from Terry Cavanagh’s twitter. Seems he’s playing Dark Souls currently, a game I’ve not had chance to play yet. Chris Dahlen has written an excellent article about the game which stands, imho, as a work of art in itself. It takes an approach to game journalism that I have seldom seen, and then only in the closing paragraphs of standard reviews. I see my own feelings for games past experience reflected so sharply in this article, and now long to tackle Dark Souls more than ever. Sadly, the new semester is soon to start and I think it wise not to start of something that sounds so all-consuming.
I’ll take the liberty of quoting a paragraph of the article here, one that really struck a chord with me. I hope Chris Dahlen won’t mind, especially since I’m referring you to the full thing – and I do heartily encourage you to read it, though the article itself is a challenge to approach.
When I caught sight of him I backed up and raised my shield: was he going to attack me? Then I noticed what he was doing: he was hard at work throwing boulders down a hole. I had seen the device that caught the boulders, the tracks they rolled down, the holes where they broke through the walls, the lizards they crushed. I knew that the tracks ran through the entire Fortress, and now I could see the giant creature that kept the boulders rolling, moving like clockwork: lift, turn, drop, lift, turn, drop. He’s the coldly beating heart of this puzzle box, the engine that drives the entire machine, the creature that just keeps dropping rocks on your head to see if you’ll quit. He’s the most obvious metaphor for a game designer you’ll ever find. Is he making your life miserable—or richer, and more exciting? That’s for you to decade.