Video games: It's all about the story

I saw an article recently where someone wrote about the fact that he had realized he wasn’t going to finish any of the half dozen video games he had started playing – and that he was OK with that. This surprised me, so I looked for statistics on how many people finish video games. An item from 2011 suggests that 90% of the time people don’t finish a video game, but that’s based on an industry anecdote.


“So, tell me about this video game ‘Unravel’.” “Well, you play an escaped ball of wool who has to go out into the world to collect an old woman’s scattered memories.” “A what?” “There are all kinds of stringlike physics puzzles. We’re marketing it as a whole new genre, the ‘string-em-up’.” “You might want a different name for that.” “Well, the game is proving very popular in playtesting.” “I didn’t think we had the budget for playtesting.

Myst 4

[Very minor puzzle spoilers.] As a piece of graphic art, Myst IV should win awards. Unfortunately, as a game it leaves rather a lot to be desired. The most immediate problem is the speed–or rather, the lack of it. While my computer was comfortably over spec and could easily handle scrolling the screen around even with all the effects turned on, each transition to a new location involved the game freezing for a few seconds while it loaded in the next set of graphics.

Silent Hill 2 review

Finished Silent Hill 2. It was something of a disappointment. The graphics are clearly better than the original, and the fog effects are lovely… but it relies heavily on the stalest of clichés and arbitrary restrictions to railroad you. Entire buildings gratuitously have all their windows boarded over so you have to wander around in the dark. I lost count of the number of times I had to jump into a pit, uncertain of what was at the bottom.