Saints Row: The Third | PlayStation 3 Review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 30, 2011 12:00:00 PM

Saints Row: The Third

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(originally published November 30, 2011)

". . .[Saints Row: The Third] a super-deformed, weaponized-speedball that knows the difference between good and evil."

There has been serendipitous fun in videogames for more than 25 years. Beating The Legend of Zelda in one sitting is serendipitous fun. Running through a grand prix cup in Super Mario Kart with the always-tiny cheat is serendipitous fun. Juggling a velociraptor with a quad rocket-launcher in Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is serendipitous fun. Doing backflips off the highway median in a stolen Yakuza sportscar in Grand Theft Auto III is madness and all-consuming and fun. These things are special because we discover them within a defined, but easily violated, set of rules that the videogame has laid out before us (. . .rules like gravity). This madness becomes ours and becomes true, golden escapism. Even if we are told somebody else discovered that exact same bar of gold, it's never theirs, it's ours. As far as we're concerned, dad invented speedruns when he accidentally beat Super Mario Bros. in 1989 in eight minutes.

Saints Row: The Third was probably made by a covenant of college students that spent a lot of time avoiding responsibility for their actions in Liberty City, probably the GTA3 version, and they learned where serendipitous fun came from, challenging us now with the question: "Why brew our game from anything that isn't instinct, projected?" That's freedom -- not being given the ability to do anything and told to find your fun, but rather anticipating what people will want to do with the dark materials given to them.

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Topics: Review, Game Review, PS3 Review, video games

ExciteTruck | Nintendo Wii Review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 9, 2011 12:00:00 PM


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(originally published November 9, 2011)

"ExciteTruck is the best game created for the Nintendo Wii."


With the grace and civility displayed by a boxcar dweller performing "King Lear" while on acid, the Nintendo Wii, despite its side-show freakery, did not need to exist. It was an inelegant success for a year and a half. You could control it with a bathroom scale and pretend to ski-jump with Bowser and Sonic the Hedgehog. The best thing about the Wii was that it reminded lapsed videogame players that they had once been children that were capable of grinning. The system's design had the word "nostalgia" written on top of every brainstorm document and it was always written in pen. Lines shot out of that one big word, leading out to smaller bubbles that held words like "Mario," "Mario Kart," and "Your Older Sister." The system was based around the same idea that Brad Pitt's character, Tyler Durden, thought up in Fight Club -- level the playing field and take everybody back to zero.

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Topics: Review, Wii Review, Game Review, video games

Dark Souls | PlayStation 3 Review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 2, 2011 12:00:00 PM

Dark Souls

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Topics: Review, PS3 Review, Game Review, video games

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus | PlayStation 2 Review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 27, 2011 12:00:00 PM

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

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(originally published July 27, 2011)

"If [Sly Cooper] The Thievius Raccoonus were a real eBook, its marked-down $99.99 price would crash the Amazon servers, this all after a 52-week stint as a bestseller with a sticker price of $firstborn."


The best videogame in the world is a mixture of Red Bull, vodka, smelly ink, velvety poetry, half of those good notes a jazzman isn't playing, and that one girl across the room. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is several of these things, retold as a music video. It is the best piece of fan fiction that you wrote based on your favorite Saturday morning cartoon, as edited by Paul Krugman. A lot of the time, you're re-enacting Walt Disney's bold, visionary remake of Shigeru Miyamoto's 1996 platformasterpiece Super Mario 64, and the rest of the time, you're Scotch-taping your older sister's cheap scarf to your lower back and waving a lacrosse stick, shouting: "Broken glass! Broken glass is the gift for the man who has everything!"

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Topics: Review, PS2 Review, Game Review, video games

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