[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzyhpigFMKE] Sorry every other contender for the title of Summer Jam 2013, but we already have a winner.
A week late, but it's time for another portfolio dump, this time with more video game-ary in one batch than pretty much ever. I don't get around to playing many games these days, mostly because the average playtime to clock-in a complete title is well over a single season of television. When you start breaking down the numbers, and you don't have a lot of free time at your disposal, the only thing I'll get out of bed for when it comes to games is a really good story...or something that's free. Both of which are present this week, so let's jump right in:
-The mystery project I teased two weeks back is out and about, and it's yet another sprawling think-piece, the informatively titled essay, Bioshock: Infinite, Choice And The State Of Storytelling In Game. Like my Bond article from last year, this was a case where the predicted length and time investment for the piece was a gross underestimate. Luckily, that let the article hit right around the time a lot of other really thoughtful analyses of the year's biggest game were coming out. I've been meaning to hash out some thoughts on the gaming industry's continued inconsistency in storytelling, and Bioshock: Infinite was the perfect catalyst for getting all those thoughts out in the open. Check it out if you've played the game, want to know what exactly is so wrong with video game storytelling, or see both those things made all the nerdier by an extended analogy based on the "Han shot first" meme.
-A decidedly less ambitious new addition to the site is my more meat 'n potatoes review for Injustice: Gods Among Us, a new comic book fighting game that I was fortunate enough to get a review copy of. This was only my second game review, and I really enjoyed both playing the game, and writing about it. And the review confirmed a lot of what I suspected about certain, let's say, more vocal, parts of the gaming community. Whereas to me, a 3 out of 5 says "fun, but flawed," to others, that can apparently read like "THE THINGS YOU LIKE ARE TERRIBLE AND YOU SHOULD HATE YOURSELF." Getting into a whole "Scores as a Review Metric is Fucked" article is something for another day, but sometimes the gaming community can really bum me out. Guys, video games are pretty well accepted in this day and age, so criticism of a single game is not damning of you, or your interests. The war for whether video games can be respectable or not is over: we won. Now start acting like it.
-And finally, it's a Mad Men, Mad Men, World, so here's a double dose to tied you over until next time. I gotta say, I'm loving this assignment, despite literally having nightmares about watching episodes, and coming away with nothing to say. Luckily, that hasn't happened for real just yet; in fact, it's been easier to spit out 1500+ words on Mad Men within 2 hours of its airing than anything else I've written under a time crunch. I'm pretty happy with how the reviews for weeks 2 and 3 turned out. I mean, I got to spend all last Sunday comparing the show to Game of Thrones, and even forced in the word "genuflecting" again. Plus, I hit the minor milestone of 1,000 views on a recap in under 24 hours. What's not to love?
That's all for this week. Slate is looking pretty clear at the moment, but we'll see what the new week brings. Sundance's Rectify is picking up some good buzz, and Amazon just clusterbombed the internet with about three dozen pilots, so there's probably something to review in all that. Or maybe I'll just go see Pain and Gain this week. I may not be a huge fan of the guy's catalogue, but I feel like Michael Bay is finally using his powers for good, instead of Transformers.
Oh, and just for good measure, here's the link to that Daft Punk song again. Mankind doesn't deserve something this joy-inducingly groovy, so it's a good thing we have French robots to make it for us.