Maneater is an exercise in sustained excess. Through every facet of the game, it washes itself with exuberance, with “too much” in every way a game or story about a mutated shark can do or be “too much.” It is a good game. It thinks that it is better and funnier than it is, but in the face of some of its worst jokes, there is a cynical honesty about the world we live in (and the world that will probably come to be).

When everything is played for a joke, it is safe to assume that a majority of…


Places hold onto us. Our memories are burrowed into them. Every floorboard of every building, no matter how old, creaks with the emotions and memories of everyone whose footsteps have left an imprint there. This is hard to express in the absolute since it is undoubtedly rooted in the abstract, but it also sort of just “is” for lack of a better way of putting it. The good thing about video games is that they can make the abstract absolute, whether they mean to or not. Expressing the emotion of Place often seems pretty simple—give somewhere a visual history and…


Nature happens around us. It ebbs and flows with or without us. As humans, we are a part of and apart from it. We destroy nature to create “habitable” spaces for ourselves—endless rows of apartments, strip malls, car dealership lots, parking decks, and all of the other concrete pieces that fit into the vast puzzle of endless urban sprawl. Our ingenuity is often a cruel thing. Charleston, South Carolina was built on a swamp. Entire biomes can be shifted, filled with dirt, and paved over. Thus capturing nature, as it really and truly is, has always been important. It is…


The original Assassin’s Creed is still one of the greatest games of all time, and it is only in Assassin’s Creed: Unity that the series has managed to top that original title. Its direct sequel cut back on the social stealth, abstraction, and assassination sandboxes that made the first game so special in exchange for open-world sprawl. And as the series has progressed the games have become less and less focused on what made the original game so special. In some cases this worked in the game’s favor—just look at Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag—and in other cases, this has…


The Evil Within 2 is a more coherent experience than the first game, and that is both a pro and a con. These games are defined by dream logic and the abstract. The central narrative is less a story and more a stretched piece of duct tape that holds everything together. You spend time in the virtual recreation of someone’s mind. It never makes all that much sense but it doesn’t have to. Dreams are dreams. Nightmares are nightmares.

The suburban neighborhood of Union folds in on itself. What was once a beacon of normalcy and peace now stands as…


The Far Cry series has always asked the player to have a transactional relationship with nature. Nothing exists just to exist. Every animal and plant is there to serve a purpose in relation to the player. Nature made unnatural. Forests filled with profit. Yet, no game has ever rendered this relationship as bluntly and cruelly as Far Cry 5. The game is a mess for a litany of reasons, but the way it renders nature is particularly egregious. Hunting and fishing, in the past, have been ways of life. Today, the practice has grown into a bustling economy of its…


Super Mario 3D World is far and away the best Mario game. This was true when it was initially released on the Wii-U and it is even truer today as we’ve just been graced with the re-release of Super Mario 3D World (and the new addition of Bowser’s Fury, which I’ve yet to play) for the Nintendo Switch. I’ve described it as “the most underrated game in ages” for a long time, but a big part of that is just because it released for the Wii-U, an amazing console that was only owned by myself and seven other people. …


“I think… What happens when you die? Well, you don’t really die. You come to a place like this. Except it doesn’t really feel like a place… It feels more like a memory.”- Jackie Estacado, The Darkness.

“I’ve been waiting to die for centuries.”- Anthony Estacado

There is a curse passed down through a family’s lineage that leads to undying. It is a burden made physical through snake-like tendrils and a demonic internal monologue. Hell is not a place but the baggage we carry. Or maybe it is a place.


Captain Toad is just a little fella, another laborer in The Mushroom Kingdom. They work, sleep and adventure. Mario might be off saving the entire kingdom, but Captain Toad is out there saving their own little corner of The Mushroom Kingdom. Their backpack bounces as they waddle through each level, the beam of their headlamp keeps ghosts and mud zombies at bay—there is a big bird that hates them that also can’t stop kidnapping either them or the pink Captain Toad. The big bad bird’s presence is rarely seen but always felt. …


Death is everywhere in Hitman 3. It is mostly found in silent, muffled gasps for air and the clicking of shoes attached to writhing legs. Death is meant to never be discovered. It can be creative or blunt. Agent 47 is everywhere, he can be one, and with him, he brings death to those he’s been tasked to kill. This is what Hitman has been since the start and Hitman 3 is no different. Maybe it has just taken this long for me to realize what I'm about to write or maybe it is just more obvious in Hitman 3

In The Lobby

Words on games, death and stuff like that.

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