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The Invisible Pigeon-Holing Council – Beat ’em Ups

This entry was originally published on February 10th, 2010 at CouchAthletics.com. Since then, a site redesign lost the record of the original version of this article; posted here is a copy recovered from my original drafts. The original post contained reference images and may have been edited after the version maintained in my personal records. Enjoy!

If Chuck Palahniuk (author of the infamous novel Fight Club) has taught us anything, aside from the tragic negativity of the human condition, it’s that there is a visceral pleasure in punching the ever-loving shit out of anything that happens to be in your way. This is the essential idea behind the Beat ‘em Up genre, a sub-division of action games made famous in the 16-bit era that has found a resurgence in recent years. Like its older brother Shoot ‘em Up, Beat ‘em Up is a pure expression of the action genre – the ideal Beat ‘em Up pushes you into battles of ever-increasing intensity with minimal downtime or maintenance. It is not a genre without flaws, but a finer understanding of what makes up a Beat ‘em Up game can do wonders to improve one’s enjoyment of a quality example of the genre.

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The Invisible Pigeon-Holing Council – MMO

This entry was originally published on January 27th, 2010 at CouchAthletics.com. Since then, a site redesign lost the record of the original version of this article; posted here is a copy recovered from my original drafts. The original post contained reference images and may have been edited after the version maintained in my personal records. Enjoy!

As gamers, we live in an exciting time. The technologies that drive the games we play are advancing at a breakneck pace to the point where we have created entirely new kinds of games in the last few years. One such example is the MMO game. Though many principles of the “genre” have been set since the dawn of online gaming, the rise of publicly available high-speed internet connections has allowed it to flourish into one of the defining examples of modern gaming. But like any new genre, MMOs have a long way to go in defining themselves to the point where the moniker is actually a useful tool. So what can we, as gamers, do to stay for-armed against the trappings of a bad MMO?

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The Invisible Pigeon-holing Council – A Reflection on Genre

This entry was originally published on January 13th, 2010 at CouchAthletics.com. Since then, a site redesign lost the record of the original version of this article; posted here is a copy recovered from my original drafts. The original post contained reference images and may have been edited after the version maintained in my personal records. Enjoy!

In a time where every other game release seems to be either a sequel or a thinly veiled knock-off, it is easy to bash the system for being unoriginal. Dante’s Inferno, Darksiders, and Bayonetta all tread ground that has seen more than its share of games. It would be easy to discount these games, and others like them, as the same old game with new packaging. But there is another way to look at all of these game series and “homage” games. Consider instead that all games, new and old, stem from common expressions of core models – every game can be seen as a reflection of much larger video game genres.

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Games of the Year – 2009

This entry was originally published on November 30, 2009 at CouchAthletics.com. Since then, a site redesign lost the record of the original version of this article; posted here is a copy recovered from my original drafts. The original post contained reference images and may have been edited after the version maintained in my personal records. Enjoy!

This has been a rough year – economic problems will do that. When I sat down to make a list of every game I played in the last year, I was surprised and saddened – the list was a far shorter list than I anticipated. Of the twenty or so games released in 2009 I managed to get my hands on, it was a real challenge to choose my favorites. But every crowd has its standouts, and after much tribulation, I landed on my three favorite games of 2009, in no particular order. Hit the jump to find out what I thought.

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