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


I got NBA 2K21 for Christmas. Have I ever really been into sports games? Yes and no. I loved them on the original Xbox and PlayStation 2 but dipped out of them as time went on. But I asked for NBA 2K21 for Christmas because I hit a sort of stagnation period at the end of 2020. Very few games were doing anything for me. It didn’t matter whether they were new or old, so I took a little break between mid-December and Christmas. I still played some games but it was not for long and not that often. Like…


The Wii-U deserved so much better. That system, on almost every level minus its name and how Nintendo rolled it out, absolutely ruled. Killer menu music, amazing games, a fantastic controller (yes, the Gamepad was good actually), and a litany of backwards compatibility features. It is a shame the Wii name was tied to it because, well, it both confused people and undersold what the Wii-U was. At its core, the Wii-U was an integrated system, much like the Nintendo Switch, and in all honesty, it just seems like a (somewhat failed) test run for the Switch. …


Disc Diving is an essay series where I dive through my PlayStation 2 collection, replay the games that I own, and see how they speak to me now. The structure of these essays is a little more free-wheeling than what I usually write, as I just work through what stuck out to me in each game. The thesis is the game itself and each essay features multiple arguments and observations. This structure is malleable and will change if the game played calls for such change(s) to be made to the essay structure of this series.

“And when he gets to…


“Is your soul all spotless? Is it clean as the snow? Are you washed in the blood of the lamb?” — Washed in the Blood, a Christian hymn.

Wasteland 3 opens with chaos. An ambush, explosions, everyone on your side is more or less dead—it is what it is. Such is the world of Wasteland 3. There is a weird sense of humor at play in the cruelty of this world. All of your Ranger brothers and sisters are wiped out in an ambush by a comical caricature of cannibalistic backwoods killers a la something like Wrong Turn. It is…

In The Lobby

Words on games, death and stuff like that.

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