The Colossus of Patience

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I do not consider myself a patient man. I do not like the journey. I would much rather instantly arrive at the destination fully equipped to do what needs to be done. Perhaps this is part of my nature being a first born child? I can tell you though, that life is all about patience; life is all about the journey and waiting.

Recently, I’ve been playing through Shadow of the Colossus on the PS3. The game is about taking down monolithic giants in order to save the girl you love. Each of the giant’s deaths brings you closer to the day when she will awaken…or does it?

In defeating these in-game giants, I am slowly being taught patience. The game demands that you study your enemy. That you know how the colossi move, where their weaknesses are, etc. In learning about each colossi, the player eventually learns how to climb and annihilate each of them. Climbing is no easy task when you are climbing up a moving skyscraper. This is where the aforementioned patience comes into play. As the colossi moves, the player has the potential to lose grip and fall. If you get greedy, your greed will be rewarded with having to re-climb the colossi again. Sometimes climbing these creatures is easy; othertimes the experience is the worst thing in the world.

I never thought I’d have a video game teach me about patience. So far though, Shadow of the Colossus has done just that.

The Walking Dead: Episode 3 Impressions

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This past week, I downloaded and beat Episode 3 of The Walking Dead. Episode 3 reminded me once again that the series is often a hard pill to swallow. Excellent character development and story is stirred in with harsh language and gruesome violence. While I love finding out what is going on with different characters, I hate having to sit through the rancid profanity that often feels completely out of place.

As a kid, I remember Halloween being a time of having lots of fun and racking up insane amounts of candy. At the end of the night, my parents would sift through my candy, checking to make sure everything was “safe”. Apparently during this time there had been a scare due to someone placing razor blades within the Halloween candy itself. This random childhood memory is exactly what The Walking Dead series of games has turned out to be: An amazing sugar-coated outside filled with a potentially deadly center.

As a Christian, I go back and forth with myself over the things that I consume. I know from experience that what I take in eventually finds its way out. I have always evaluated what I consume by the following 1 Corinthians 6:12:

“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

How about you? Even if you aren’t a Christian, do you evaluate what you consume media-wise?

Date Night Idea: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

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About a week ago, my wife surprised me with a date night filled with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. We had a blast figuring out puzzles and blowing away spiders and other creepy crawly things. Our fun came to an end, however, when a summer thunderstorm rolled through. With the power flickering and almost killing the game, we decided to call it a night. So we watched the lightening outside instead!

If you have never heard of this game, picture a co-op puzzle-filled adventure through tombs and other exotic locals. The competitive/cooperative nature of Guardian of Light makes it a great choice for a fun date night. $15 is the price of admission via PSN.

Papo & Yo

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From Minority Media’s site:

Papo & Yo is the story of a young boy, Quico, and his best friend, Monster. Monster is a huge beast with razor-sharp teeth, but that doesn’t scare Quico away from playing with him. That said, Monster does have a very dangerous problem: an addiction to poisonous frogs. The minute he sees one hop by, he’ll scarf it down and fly into a violent, frog-induced rage where no one, including Quico, is safe. And yet, Quico loves his Monster and wants to save him.

Last night I downloaded the demo for Papo & Yo on the PS3. I had read a fair amount about how the game was based on the developer’s abusive childhood, at the hands of an alcoholic father, and I wanted to see how that translated into the game.

While the game featured an interesting aesthetic and puzzles that made me grin, I was bothered by the shoddy controls and poor level design. Not to give anything away but the demo ends on a tense note. I literally found myself wanting to buy the game despite my thoughts on its overall design. After going online and reading some reviews, which sadly turned me away from the game, I decided not to take the abusive journey with Quico.

For some reason, perhaps it was the sparseness of the level design, Papo & Yo reminded me of Ico. Ico was a game that I didn’t necessarily love but appreciated. This reminder then got me thinking about how I had never played Team Ico’s other game, Shadow of the Colossus. So, on a spur of the moment purchase, I bought Shadow of the Colossus off of PSN. Hours later, I was playing the game.

Shadow of the Colossus has a NeverEnding Story feel to it. I love it! Will write more soon.

A Worthless Journey

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” What happens though when the journey is beautiful but mundane and the destination turns out to be a complete waste of time?

This past weekend I journeyed through the lands of Journey on the PS3. When all was said and done, I had no clue what had just happened or what I had just played. So, I took to Wikipedia to make sense of my experience. The Wikipedia entry only confirmed my suspicions that not much had just happened. To further illustrate this, the following is a quote from the developer’s web site:

Journey is an interactive parable, an anonymous online adventure to experience a person’s life passage and their intersections with other’s.

I can admit that I thought it was cool to travel across the desert, plunge into the dark depths of despair, and finally rise above a wintry landscape onto the mountaintop of hope. What I disliked about the game was it’s stark simplicity. The interactions with other players, while nice, especially in the dark depths, were pointless. Beyond the amazing stylized graphics and tight game play, the narrative journey of Journey fell short to me. If Journey was a movie, I’d be asking for my $15 back.