Category Archives: 300 Words

300 Words is a segment about the industry of video games and my opinions or reviews only in 300 words. Do a word count… it’s 300.

300 Words – IMPRESSION – Chrono Trigger

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3 hours into Chrono Trigger for the Super NES, I’m glad I waited to play through this game. As a child, I use to watch my brother play it marveling at the brilliant pixel art and musical score. But now that I’m older, I feel like I’m getting more out of my gaming experience than I would have as a child. My experience shows that Square has done more work into the character development than is let on initial.

During the Millennial Fair, you clash with Marle whom, later, you discover is actually a princess of the kingdom you hail from, the Guardian Kingdom. Better known as Princess Nadia, she continues to be referred to as Marle even after this new information. Granted, you have the ability to change her name upon first meeting, but this namesake stays. As a character, Marle renounces her royalty. Even her given name. This small piece of character development gives Marle hope for an adventure to become something more than she is and is able to act out only by coming in contact with Crono.

Another noteworthy break into character comes when Crono, Marle, and Lucca pass through a gateway into the future. Upon entering the Proto Dome, you come across a decommissioned robot. Lucca, being the engineer that she is, places the right circuits and wires to bring him back online. During so, Marle makes the comment about the robot possibly attacking them. Yet Lucca reassures her that it’s the people who created him make him evil, not the robot itself. Later, Robo is confronted with other robots he considers friends and they reject him stating he has brought them shame. Robots feel shame? You immediately feel tied to Robo. He walks an alternate path of Marle yet with the same end result.

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300 Words – REVIEW – World 1-1

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An extensive retelling from those that have spent their waking hours in the industry including Nolan Bushnell, Al Alcorn, Dona Bailey, and gaming historian Patrick Scott Patterson, World 1-1 is a documentary about the rise of the video game industry from the inside to its inevitable fall.

There have been quite a few of these documentary style films to come around recent years, but the majority of them speed through the true innovators of video games to get to the flashy first-person shooters we are overwhelmed with today. And there always seems to be a disconnect for those viewers that were born before a time there weren’t such a thing as video games. World 1-1 feels like it was directed and edited by someone who reminders this time and does an amazing job bringing you up to the fold.

Nolan Bushnell and Al Alcorn take such an intimate approach in telling their story that it’s hard not to root for them against the ignorance of big business and dollar signs. Bushnell not only created an entire medium from the ground up, but also reset the conventional business tactics and hired based on charism than a traditional resume. So much in fact that it influenced some of the great minds of our time such as Steve Jobs and Apple Computers.

A fight from all sides, Bushnell found success in a lack of technology and money to create an empire. World 1-1 documents the fascinating passion these pioneers of the industry had to fuel their own futures despite naysayers.

Highly recommended either for download or stream for only 9.99 (USD), World 1-1 will stand the test of time as a light inside the minds that have been apart of many of our lives but at a quiet distance.

Buy/Rent World 1-1

300 Words – Opinion – 2nd Dimension Paradigm

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How do you spot an indie game in a crowd? 2D, “8-bit” graphics, side-scroller. Sadly this is a common perspective from those outside of the indie community. Yes, there are quite a few games that fall into these set categories. Yes, there seems to be more of these similar types that scream the loudest than any others. But why?

I will admit from my failed attempts at developing, that it appears to be the easiest, most attractive game to create. Static images, simple mechanics, it makes sense really. Yet there are others that stand out from the pack. Titles like Limbo, Braid, and Pid seem to take the framework of a traditional 2D platformer and do something wonderful with it.

I believe that the genre has yet to see its full extent. Much like hardware for consoles, usually the games that come out towards the end of a system’s lifespan are the most technologically astounding. Wario’s Woods for the NES, Shantae for Gameboy Color, MotoRodeo for the Atari 2600 (well, I think it’s a marvel). This can also be true about genres, but more in a paradigm shift.

With titles like Limbo and Braid, developers have taken a tried and true style of video games (platformers) and have taking it a step farther that no other AAA developer would have imagine. These types of games exist outside their mold because they don’t have investors or board members breathing down their necks to create sales. They have time to create. Taking the same structures and restraints to create something new that’s beautiful and awe inspiring.

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It shows that one genre is never dead. Anything can be rekindled and made anew again that can bring a new audience. So where’s my Gladiator arcade rebirth? That game was total kick ass.

Looking for in-depth reviews for the games I mentioned above? Check out the links below.

Limbo

Braid

Pid