Transistor

Transistor is gorgeous to behold. Every visual element—from the city and its citizens to the cut scenes and menus—exhibits an impressive mastery of graphic design. The palette alone bears mentioning: In the same way that elaborately beautiful counterpoint in a fugue might motivate a person to take up music appreciation, Transistor fosters an inexplicable urge to study color theory.

All of which makes it the prettiest game I never care to play again.

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Pixar’s “Inside Out”: Not for the Emotionally Squeamish

The feels!

My family and I saw “Inside Out” yesterday. We don’t go to the movies often, but a Pixar film is a must-see for us.

On the surface, Inside Out is a simple story about a young girl, Riley Anderson, who struggles to adjust to her new life after her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. It’s a story that’s been told thousands of times before. This time, with Pixar’s Pete Docter at the helm, that plain tale is transformed into a wonderfully insightful and affecting tour of human emotions.

Fair warning: Bring a box of tissues.

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Sony at E3 2015: My Top Three Most Anticipated PS4 Games

For the past three years, every time E3 has rolled around, I’ve been sick and had to stay home from work.

No, I’m serious. It’s not what you think. I’ve simply had the good fortune to have had head colds and bronchitis at precisely the right time each year, allowing me to lounge about my living room for days watching live streams of all the latest AAA offerings.

Sadly, this year, I’m in good health. :/

That’s not to say I can’t still catch the occasional broadcast between meetings and after work. Last night, I watched Sony’s E3 Press Conference (most of it, anyway; see below). From what I saw, 2016 is shaping up to be an awesome year for the PS4.

Here are the top three PlayStation 4 titles I’ll be looking forward to…

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Burial at Sea Episode 2, Part 2

This game is taking much longer than I expected. There are too many writing topics piling up as I play. If I save them all until I’m done, I’m either going to write a 20,000-word blog post or walk away leaving many ideas unvoiced. I don’t much care for either option.

So let’s dig in, and let’s start with something that’s bothered me from the start:

Am I supposed to understand why Elizabeth is so fixated on Sally? And if I have to ask that question, isn’t that a sign of a flaw in the game?

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CounterSpy

CounterSpy is a fun little gem of a game from indie studio Dynamighty that draws on a rich stylistic history of espionage in 1960’s cinema. It starts with excellent graphic design inspired by the likes of Saul Bass, then layers on a cool, “spy jazz” soundtrack that would have made Mancini proud. Add some fun, light gameplay combining side-scrolling action with simple stealth mechanics and you have an experience that will have you longing for the simpler times of cold war espionage.

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