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Tycho / on Mon, Sep 21 2009 at 12:00 am

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Penny Arcade (By Kazu Kibuishi)

Containing Kazu Kibuishi with language would be difficult.

I can, on occasion, produce a unique sentence - and it’s made me almost insufferable.  Kazu creates powerful work with a frustrating regularity, and then fixes you with a perfectly flat expression, as if to say, “oh, those old things.”

He was assisted in the production of today’s offering by Jason Caffoe who “laid down a foundation for colors,” which sounds suspiciously like an art thing.

I’ve been playing ODST the last few nights, and it sees Bungie playing around with their universe in some very satisfying ways.  Having a million billion selling franchise is pretty nice as problems go, but from a creative perspective it’s got to be absolutely stultifying.  It’s the kind of problem that you can’t complain about without sounding like a Goddamned jackass, but for a company virtually defined by its ballsy plays and its indomitable culture, it’s the polar opposite of a creative opportunity.

There are many reviews of Halo 3: ODST available, or reviews which purport to be about Halo 3: ODST, but are actually elaborate equations or populist broadsides or some other thing - they’re available, and you can read them.  At this point, I feel like you know if you want more Halo.  You don’t actually need top level assertions.  Instead, let me give you useful advice:  play the game’s campaign solo.  If you can’t resist the lure of co-op, don’t play with more than one other person.  The atmosphere they’ve tried to build (particularly the music, whose piano recalls survival horror’s anguish and famine) won’t penetrate with any more than that, and exploring and enjoying the game’s parallel storyline won’t have punch it should with random social interjections constantly projecting into the space.

Bungie has clearly tired of hearing people say that ilovebees - which is, at root, an advertisement - had more narrative power than their actual games.  Choosing to fold a robust narrative into the game itself (in the form of progressively unlocked graphic novel slash radio drama) recalls the best kind of Terminal fun, uprezzed and thoroughly modern.

(CW)TB out.

nothing was done for me

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