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An elusive PlayStation classic is yours for the grappling

Welcome to Living in the Past, a weekly column about what's new in old games. Now get off our lawn. What if, in a parallel universe, Bionic Commando's ideas were expanded not into a behind-the-back 3D action game, but into a quieter, more puzzle-oriented game focused entirely on the mechanics of...

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The controversial, unbalanced narrative of Dragon Age 2

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. Dragon Age 2 is one of the most controversial role-playing games of recent years. Highly anticipated after the...

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Among Japanese developers, Sting quietly thrives

This is a column by Kat Bailey dedicated to the analysis of the once beloved Japanese RPG sub-genre. Tune in every Wednesday for thoughts on white-haired villains, giant robots, Infinity+1 swords, and everything else the wonderful world of JRPGs has to offer. In late 2008, Sony released the...

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Why skills are in, attributes are out in modern role-playing games

This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. It took four or five levels gained for me to realize something was different. I was playing the Diablo 3 open beta...

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East Is West: How Two Classic RPGs Prove the Stereotypes False

This is a weekly column focusing on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. "Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet," - Rudyard Kipling Conventional wisdom holds that role-playing games are easily...

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Do Japanese RPGs need good stories?

This is a column by Kat Bailey dedicated to the analysis of the once beloved Japanese RPG sub-genre. Tune in every Wednesday for thoughts on white-haired villains, giant robots, Infinity+1 swords, and everything else the wonderful world of JRPGs have to offer. I'm going to sum up all of the...

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Dark Side 'Cause It Looks Cool: The Failings of Moral Choice in Games

This is a weekly column focusing on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity. Morality systems have become role-playing. Or at least, a significant amount of people have come to believe this. To take one example, this review...

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What? Game Music is Evolving!

This is a column by Jesse Gregory all about his primary obsession, video game music. He feels that despite how core to the experience soundtracks often are, they aren't as large a part of gaming discussion as they should be. Let the discussion begin! While just another game to some, last year's...

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Remembering the best JRPG ever

This is a column by Jason Schreier dedicated to the analysis (and occasional mocking) of his favorite genre, the Japanese role-playing game. Whether it's because they're too antiquated or just too niche, he believes JRPGs don't get enough attention in the gaming industry today. It's time to change...

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Game Music: Enhancement Through Limitation

This is a column by Jesse Gregory all about his primary obsession, video game music. He feels that despite how core to the experience soundtracks often are, they aren't as large a part of gaming discussion as they should be. Let the discussion begin! Game music has changed. It's no longer...

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