5 of the Most Important Songs of the Story

vagrant story

I write a lot about video games because, as a storytelling medium, I find it just as fascinating as film or literature. Much like film, games often mix music and visuals to create highly poignant moments.

Unlike films, however, songs that play over the credits (and sometimes during the endings) of games seem to have more of an effect, and often a longer-lasting impact. Where audience are often getting up to pee or whatever as the credits roll on a film, most players tend to hit the credits of a game and hang through them, reflecting on the experience they’ve just spent hours plowing through. For the most affecting games, these final moments of reflection can be extremely powerful — and music plays a big part in the experience.

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Six People Only: The Stakes of The Walking Dead

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I’ve got my pick for my favorite game released this year, despite a few more titles trickling out in the next few weeks. It is, far and away, Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead adaptation.

The thing that’s remarkable about The Walking Dead is how well it tells its story. There’s the zombie plague, of course, but much more frightening are the lengths to which the remaining humans must go to survive. Sometimes they save and help one another. Sometimes they form unbreakable, close bonds. Often, they’re forced to be incredibly hurtful to one another, and undergo some incredible tragedies.

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My 5(ish) Favorite Games of 2012

walking dead 2

We’ve been talking about Game of the Year stuff as a matter of course over at Game Front. Everyone makes their top picks each year, and while we’re streamlining the number of awards and hullabaloo that’s going into it for 2012, we’re still doing it.

At Game Front, the system is democratic, and certainly a few of my favorites aren’t going to get mentioned. But I played a lot of really solid games this year, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to run them down and bring back the Tuesday Top 5 list convention, which I’ve fallen off from lately.

And so:

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In the Brainholes: Call of Duty, Works In Progress

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I’ve been playing an inordinate amount of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for the last week, both for reviews (I worked on reviews for both the Xbox 360 version and the PC version) and for various other reasons, like helping out Game Front’s video team as they try to make walkthrough videos.

The game is definitely not lacking for weirdness. Its story jumps back and forth between the Cold War and the near future, in which a revenge-driven Nicaraguan drug lord takes out his grudges on America and specific American soldiers alike. The villain, Raul Menendez, excels in being super-powered and apparently capable of seeing the future, and while the story isn’t always great, it gets kudos for going to some really dark places.

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I Wrote a Fake Interview With Bruce Campbell About Wizards

this is my boomstick

Through the course of working on So You Created a Wormhole, I created a lot of content that eventually got cut from the book. A number of these were excerpts with a more narrative bent, which were meant to illustrate a number of time travel scenarios and concepts by telling goofy little fictional stories.

One such narrative piece was one that I never finished was one based on the cult film Army of Darkness. Fans of the film will recognize it for a time-travel epic, stemming from the closing events of Evil Dead 2, in which main character Ash (Bruce Campbell) is swept back in time by evil demons known as Deadites. Army finds Ash in Medieval Europe, fighting the Deadites alongside knights as they defend a castle from the undead hordes.

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Guess What: Don’t Care If You Voted

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It’s Election Day and the entire Internet is supercharged with people talking about their votes. Not how they voted or why they voted or what that vote means. And I really don’t care if you got a sticker for voting, and I really don’t care for this “Vote because people you’ve never met died to make it possible.”

Voting for voting’s sake is stupid and we should not be patting ourselves on the back for it as a country.

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