Posts

Hyper Light Drifter Review

We all have our demons to face down, and sometimes words fall short of expressing what is existentially wrought. In fact, often times words would only muddy what otherwise exists in a state of perfect and serene clarity.  And even 16-bit sprites can’t always outrun the shadows. Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine is a hack-and-slash pixel art adventure that offers no words but instead...

Moon Hunters Review

Does every story have just one interpretation? Or does one learn something new with each telling? The answers to these questions form the crux of the story in Moon Hunters: The Personality RPG.  This beautiful pixel art based RPG is deceptively short and sweet, veiling a deeper story and exploration-based unlockables behind multiple play-throughs. In fact, this game is intended for lots of...

Seasons After Fall Review

If you were an innocent forest creature suddenly possessed by a spirit intent on jettisoning the cycle of seasons in favor of her own misguided ends, what might you be feeling? And if that disembodied spirit looked down over your now lifeless body, would you wish for it back? These are a few questions not exactly posed by Seasons After Fall, a 2D puzzle-platformer released by Swing Swing...

UnRavel Review

UnRavel is a part-platform, part-puzzle game for Xbox One. The protagonist is Yarny, a self-aware bundle of yarn attempting to reclaim lost memories and piece together the joys and losses of a family through a lifetime. Your journey takes you through fields and forests and industrial waste dumping grounds, all suffused with beauty and regret. Gameplay  The game mechanic is fairly simple...

How Pop Culture Makes the Church Stupid

It’s that time of year again. Summer is in full swing, the sun is blazing in all its effulgent glory, and churches turn to Hollywood to supply the spiritual content for their dwindling summer contingent. That’s right, it’s time for the dreaded At The Movies series that will be performed in some fashion or another at an ungodly number of churches at some point during the dog days of summer. The...

Abzu Review

Every so often you have a chance to play a game that is so unconventional that it really stays with you. Abzu is one of those games. I recently had a chance to play through it, and wanted to write a mini-review. While there are some elements of conventional gameplay in Abzu (some light puzzle-ing, do this action to open this door, exploration etc.), at its core it feels much more like an exercise...

RiME Review

Imagine that you awoke washed up on an unfamiliar shore. Your memories lie fragmented, reawakened in flashes of loss and regret. A mysterious land sprawls out before you, dominated by an immense tower which reaches towards the sky. You don’t know why you are here, but the tower draws you near. In such a situation, what would you feel? Fear at the loss of memory and the unfamiliarity of your...

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

I confess to being a newbie to the Mass Effect series, having little to no familiarity with the previous installments beyond what my friend Brandon has explained to me. However, I recently had some downtime and a couple Xbox gift cards to spend, and Xbox was doing a summer sale on games, letting me pick this one up for a nice little discount. I had, of course, heard about many of the early...

Ori and the Blind Forest Review

Some video games are captivating because of the game mechanic, while others are able to bring emotional catharsis to bear. But Ori and the Blind Forest, by Moon Studios (released by Microsoft Studios), is a game that is able to weld breathtaking beauty with a minimalistic yet deep emotional pathos, all while continually improving upon its fundamental game mechanic. You play Ori, a young Spirit...

How Creativity Murders Worship in the Face

In his remarkable book The Spirit of the Liturgy, Benedict XVI draws out a fascinating insight from the story of the Exodus. Generally we tend to perceive Moses’ confrontation with Pharaoh as entirely concomitant with the ultimate result of the Exodus, which is the Hebrews’ freedom from Egypt and the eventual goal of the Promised Land. But in looking carefully at Moses’ encounter with Egypt’s...

Learning Theology with Carmina Gadelica: The Communion of Saints

Part One: The Trinity Part Two: Christ Part Three: Christian Hope Part Four: Holy Spirit Gaelic lands were infused with saints: Ireland had its St. Patrick and was deemed the land of ten thousand saints; Scotland was evangelized by St. Columba (Colum Cille) and St. Brigid (Bride) of Kildare. These figures infused the imagination, both elaborating and embellishing upon their real and/or legendary...

Learning Theology with Carmina Gadelica: The Holy Spirit

Part One: The Trinity Part Two: Christ Part Three: Christian Hope As is plainly apparent in the previous installments, the theology of Carmina Gadelica does not treat faith or theology as an abstraction, but tends to concretize it into everyday life. We see invocations of the Trinity, of the Father, Christ, and the Spirit intermingled with seemingly innocuous everyday tasks like smooring a fire...

The Noise Outside

Nearly every time I listen to Spotify, I am assaulted with the same internal ad. I’m not a premium subscriber, so Spotify is constantly trying to get me to upgrade- for a low monthly fee, of course. But I’ve found it interesting how they set the bait. Many of the ads deal with someone in various situations trying to find the “perfect song.” Whether at work, working out, on the road, at a party;...

Learning Theology With Carmina Gadelica: Christian Hope

Part One: The Trinity Part Two: Christ In the previous installment, it was seen that Christ in the theology of the Carmina Gadelica was viewed not merely as a historical figure engaged in historical acts, but rather those acts were understood in an also-happening-now sense. Theology was something that permeated life as it was lived in all its myriad facets, and no more so than in death. Hope has...

Dealing With Yourself as a Designer: Creative Blocks

My biggest frustration as a designer has always been the dreaded creative block. I’m all set to work on a project, and as I sit down (or stand up, with my new standing desk- woohoo!) to start working on ideas, and suddenly: Nothing. I’ll spend the next hours (or sometimes even days) banging my head against this creative wall, hoping that something jars loose and I can actually get started. And of...

Jason Watson

Be Social

Subscribe to deviantmonk

Recent

Categories

Secret Archives