Forbidden West and the Challenge of Sequels

Financially, making a sequel to a well-liked game is pretty safe. There's a proven audience that payed for and enjoyed the type of product you're putting out. This is part of why there are so many sequels. Artistically though, making a sequel is hard. The best games are often the ones that show us something … Continue reading Forbidden West and the Challenge of Sequels

Metroid Dread: The Weight of Legacy

The “metroidvania” genre owes much more to Metroid than Castlevania, even if the namesake includes both. The labyrinthine maps and power-ups that peel back said maps’ layers have been present since the beginning of Metroid, and the series built on these ideas, even successfully bringing them to 3D with Metroid Prime, one of the finest … Continue reading Metroid Dread: The Weight of Legacy

OELVNs and Japan

Visual novels are usually associated with Japan. While early western adventure games like Mystery House share quite a bit of their DNA with visual novels, the conventions we associate with visual novels today were cultivated in Japanese adventure games, while western adventure games largely explored other modes of presentation (you can read a fascinating deep … Continue reading OELVNs and Japan