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Strong Feelings: or, for the love of the hate

Someone once told me that the ‘easiest’ game reviews to write are the scathing ones, and I agree. Except, by ‘easiest,’ I think he meant “interesting enough that it writes itself.” If done well, hatred, cursing, surliness, and foulmouthery are maybe more engaging—for their writer, especially—and as a result, criticism is a lot more fun and interesting for its readers when the writer is gleefully hating something.

I think because feeling ambivalence toward a game is too much like feeling sad and all mixed up, and because being happy with a game is somehow showing too much intellectual deference, the giddiest thing is to write as if you hate something. In fact, maybe the pleasantest thing is to castigate things you secretly love. Someday I will create another alter ego, register another domain, and post only scathing game reviews, even if I secretly like the games I am pretending to hate. I might post to that blog infrequently, or not, depending on the season: some days I sincerely love everything, and some days I hate everything. (If there weren’t so many people who do wrathful criticism so well, my idea would have a future.)

Because on the day I played it I loved everything, I thought Dead Space was an OK game. But Action Button’s scathing Dead Space review made me smile (it went up last month, but I’ve only just seen it).

He’s probably literally thinking: “Man, I hope there are some dead people in there.” It’s said that the art team of Dead Space researched photographs of car-crash and train-wreck victims in order to achieve a command of the accent of death; we wonder if the game designers didn’t do similar research, like, maybe by visiting actual car-crash sites and jumping up and down joyfully on the dead bodies while wearing football cleats.

It’s not your fault if the guy in the TV is stomping so many innocent corpses, either. The game designers of Dead Space want you to stomp the corpses. The evidence of this is that you are able to stomp corpses, by pressing the R trigger. Usually in an Xbox 360 game, the R trigger fires your gun. In Dead Space, you have a gun. The game designers of Dead Space obviously consider corpse-stomping more important than gun-firing. Dismembering corpses by stomping them on their articulation joints is so important to the game that the box art shows a detached hand floating in zero gravity.

One response to “Strong Feelings: or, for the love of the hate” »

  1. More people to join the "Action Button is the most retarded game blog on the internet" club. http://tinyurl.com/8u88jv

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