Nov 232014
 Posted by at 3:00 pm No Responses »

Laser Time, ludonarrative dissonance

A while back, the games industry got itself all in a tizzy with ‘ludonarrative dissonance.’ The problem seemed to be discussing whether it is an actual issue worth addressing. For those who don’t know, this ‘dissonance’ is what occurs when actions in gameplay do not ‘jive’ or fit with elements established in the game’s narrative.

Continue reading »

Nov 222014
 Posted by at 3:00 pm 7 Responses »

Laser Time, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, Playstation, anniversary

Sega released the Saturn in Japan 20 years ago today. in Japan. Their consoles were never really big in their Japanese homeland, and Sonic was (and remains) pretty much a non-factor. It was international markets that helped keep the Master System and the Genesis (or Mega Drive outside the US) viable.

But in a complete reversal of fortune, the Saturn found some success in Japan, even beating out the Nintendo 64 (though still lagging behind the PS1 after Final Fantasy VII blew up sales). In the rest of the world, however, the Saturn was a huge failure, planting the seed that would ultimately result in Sega getting out of the console business shortly after releasing the Dreamcast.

Continue reading »

Nov 212014
 Posted by at 7:14 am 12 Responses »


Everyone loves “what-if” scenarios, and games are a great way to explore them, particularly when it comes to alternate views of world history. What if, for example, two warring, medieval secret societies had survived to spread their influence across the world? What if World War II had been fought by anime teenagers? These and other questions are answered by the games in this week’s Top 5, followed by some talk about Grand Theft Auto V (again), Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and WWE 2k15, and a look at the franchises you got sick of first.

Continue reading »