Published by aaron


Games of the Year 2014

It has been an interesting year, for gaming and myself. Perhaps not the best for either. Having been plagued by health problems that began with my back, extended through my neck and extremities, resulting in some ongoing conditions, has left me with little time for gaming. I decided to take some time off and work on […]


A Study in the Sociopathic: ‘Moebius: Empire Rising’

This is an interesting piece that eventually morphed from what it was intended to be. This piece was meant to be a standard review for Moebius: Empire Rising, which can be easily identified when read. Another PopMatters writer took it upon himself to review the game before I had a chance to finish my review. So, […]


‘Cloudbuilt’: The Devil Is in the Design

Can be seen on PopMatters Cloudbuilt is a high-speed, self-described parkour-platformer. While it evokes many games and genres that came before it, most notably Mirror’s Edge, it is definitely in a class all its own. One part Samus, one part Sonic the Hedgehog, this action-adventure hero, Demi, aims high as she runs over and through […]


Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Can be seen on PopMatters It’s a tale as old as time. Father rises to power by saving the world from the minions of Satan and the underworld. Father is slain by son in a fit of Oedipal rage. Father returns from the dead for vengeance and the chance of eternal peace. And, oh yes, […]


‘The Banner Saga’ Is Worthy of the Name ‘Saga’

Can be seen on PopMatters The gods are dead. Building on the ancient tradition of Nordic storytelling, Stoic Studio’s The Banner Saga manages to tell a story that is both epic and intimate. The Banner Saga doesn’t bombard the player with backstory as many RPGs do. That isn’t to say that there isn’t a well-fleshed out world to explore, […]


Games of the Year 2013

It has been an interesting year in gaming. There have been many milestones in the triple A space and the indie scene continues to boom. It is also the first year in my adulthood that I have been active enough a gamer to put together some sort of “best of” list. My list will not […]


First Impressions: The Walking Dead: Season Two

Contains minor spoilers Clementine is growing up before our eyes. The Walking Dead: Season Two has begun, and just in time for the holidays. If The Walking Dead doesn’t say holiday season cheer, I don’t know what does. Telltale had revealed that Clementine would be returning as a playable character, so that isn’t so surprising. I […]


Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition

Can be seen on PopMatters With so much to say about Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, it is difficult to know where to begin. Originally released in 2000 by BioWare, which was based on the 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeon & Dragons role-playing system, Baldur’s Gate II became widely praised as one of the greatest role-playing […]


Now Playing: Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition

Currently I’ve been playing Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition in order to review. While I am an avid RPG fan and a fan of BioWare in general, I must admit I am new to the Forgotten Realms universe. And my first  observation is, wow, modern RPG players are really very spoiled. Baldur’s Gate II uses […]


‘Deadfall Adventures’ Misses the Mark

Deadfall Adventures begins with a voice over in the past tense, a narration foreshadowing an unbelievable tale and an unlikely hero. It begins ina manner appropriately similar to the beginning of King Solomon’s Mines, in which Allan Quatermain apologizes to the reader for his blunt way of writing but that he is “more accustomed to […]


‘Shadow Warrior’ Respawns a Classic Shooter

Shadow Warrior is a game with one foot in the past and one foot in the future of the first-person shooter genre. Shadow Warrior is a reboot of the 3D Realms cult-classic PC shooter from 1997 and in many ways retains much of the same spirit as the original. Shadow Warrior is a game that faces its racial past, acknowledges […]


‘Memoria’ Deconstructs the Fairy Tale

Memoria is a balancing act. The duality in Memoria runs through its narrative, overall themes, and even its design. Memoria is Daedalic Entertainment’s follow up to The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav and the company’s second foray into The Dark Eye universe. The Dark Eye is Germany’s highly successful role-playing franchise, a franchise that rivals even Dungeons & Dragons. Memoria is a classic point-and-click adventure game that does little […]


Why Magical Realism Works in ‘Papo & Yo’

Contains Spoilers Papo & Yo is game designer Vander Caballero’s cathartic allegory for growing up with an abusive alcoholic father. The father is represented by a monster that is sometimes docile and sometimes lives up to his name. When Monster eats frogs, he becomes a raging beast and lashes out at the young male protagonist, Quico. […]


My Time with ‘Depression Quest’

After a lot of consideration I reluctantly played through Depression Quest. As a life long sufferer of depression, the idea struck a nerve that I wasn’t sure I wanted to be struck. Depression is a serious problem, with 40 million Americans reporting having suffered from depression and likely many more who never report it. I […]


‘Gone Home’: There’s More Than One Way to Tell a Story

Contains Mild Spoilers In 2008 psychologist Sam Gosling released his book titled, Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. In Snoop Gosling and a team of investigators rummaged through people’s homes, offices, and dorm rooms to decipher what their possessions said about them. This idea is also the main premise behind the critically acclaimed Gone […]


GaymerX: Why We Need a Gay Gaming Convention

August 3rd and 4th at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco marked the first GaymerX, a gay-oriented gaming convention. For the first time a convention was created, run, and devoted to gay gamers, as well as gay game industry insiders. The convention featured multiple panels, artist booths, rooms dedicated to gaming, game journalists, fan cosplay, […]


The Moral Gray Area of ‘The Walking Dead’

Contains Heavy Spoilers   Many games have morality systems implemented into their gameplay design. They often are represented in a good versus evil dichotomy. The Mass Effect series, for example, uses Paragon coded in blue and Renegade coded in red. The Fallout series uses Karma. The decisions the player makes will fall in either of these […]

Steam Summer Sales 2013

Steam Summer Sale Frenzy!

I have to admit something. I’m relatively new to PC gaming. Yes, I said it. I’m new to this WASD, mouse and keyboard thing. My parents didn’t buy us computers when we were young. They were luddites. I was raised solely on console gaming and good old-fashioned arcades. That being the case, this is my […]


Console Wars: Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 – Who Is the Real Winner?

Now that Microsoft and Sony have both made their sales pitches and the smoke has cleared, Sony appears to be the unanimous winner. I’m still not entirely convinced by either company that, from what they’ve presented, that we need another console. All current generation consoles are capable of being an entertainment hub, from streaming Netflix […]


Microsoft Press Conference Fails to Impress at E3

Microsoft has been having a hard time shaking it’s anti-gamer reputation as of late. After it’s disappointing Xbox One reveal last month Microsoft was surely hoping to turn consumers around with their E3 press conference, it’s hard to say that they succeeded. The backlash over offering no backwards compatibility, an ambiguous used games policy, and […]