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A Legitimate Art Form: Axel Reviews


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So one thing I noticed is a severe lack of game review threads. So I thought I'd get the ball rolling on this. Every week I will try my best to crank out a new review with my own quirky spin on them. So let's get this party started.



Many games these days earn the reputation of being "groundbreaking" or "revolutionary". Those words are thrown around quite often, and seldom do they mean much anymore. However, there is one game I can give the title of "groundbreaking" to and say it with the utmost sincerity. That game is Glover.





Glover was released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64, and though some thought the concept of an anthropomorphic glove was contrived doubts were quickly put to rest. Immediately hailed as a masterpiece, many critics praised it's colorful graphics and inspired gameplay. For me, the standout achievement of Glover was it's dark and original story. Full of unexpected surprises that left the player with a feeling of suspense, the gritty world of Glover was contrasted by the titular character's charming wit and dark humorous outlook on the events unfolding in front of him.


The game begins with magical power being bestowed to the glove of a four-fingered king, bringing it to life. This scene was created with such fidelity and craft that it immediately whisks you into the world of Glover. Once Glover is brought to life through this magic, it isn't long before this mischievous rag is on his own, learning about the world and what it means to be a hero.


One of the main hooks of Glover was the fantastic gameplay. Intuitive, sharp and revolutionary in the truest sense, it didn't just exemplify platformers, it redefined them. As you progress, Glover must guide his best friend, an inanimate rubber ball, around the game world. Using the stages in creative ways to get around, no two gameplays are the same, and encourages the player to use their imagination. Enemies can be dispatched in an incredible amount of ways. Water source nearby? Flick them into the pond. Trash can behind a baddie? Punch your rubber ball into their face and try to make the goal! The possibilities are endless in Glover. And even after the game ends the fun just begins. WIth a New Game + mode (the first game to ever do this by the way. Another innovation!) you can rediscover the story with a new twist! Glover is now worn on the hand of the King throughout the game in New Game+ and it is up to the player to try and navigate whilst being attached to the King at all times, adding a new layer of difficulty to an already challenging game. A real treat for those who wanted even further punishment after the main campaign.


On of the more controversial aspects of Glover was the use of a moral system, as alot of people didn't think it was necessary since gloves are known to have no morals. I thought it was an excellent twist to an already fantastic game. It gives the players freedom of choice, and allows them to play Glover the way they want. There is even a way to beat the game without defeating any enemies at all. You can use non violent approaches and many different dialogue choices to talk your way out of situations. Only the truly worthy need attempt this achievement!


With rich graphics, amazing gameplay, and a story that will leave you talking about it for days, Glover is simply one of the greatest games of that, or any generation. Talk of a sequel have been in the rumor mill for years, however nothing concrete has come of it, and unfortunately Glover fans may never get a true sequel to one of the most beloved games of all time.




Signing off and stay tuned next week for my next piece of A Legitimate Art Form.

Edited by Axels
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:lush: gotta admit; i grew up reading game magazines & always wanted to review


then i got older, the net got bigger, i saw more reviews & stopped wanting that


this was good though, and i look forward to more like it! if i was more sober id hijack your thread and talk about Blast Corps cause holy crap i finally played that a year or two back and its so good

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I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing ad campaign Glover had to further solidify it's stature as a major player in the hall of legends. It's commercials, while simple, did an amazing job of conveying the fun of the game whilst re appropriating many hit songs. My favorite?


"Might as well face it, you're addicted to Glove" being sung as game footage plays over the catchy tune.

Edited by Axels
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I think you might not be serious


You nailed the pretentious review voice, you've got all our tics and everything. Though one critique, use the word "problematic" more, people love it.


May I suggest this review by Ser Jacob Knight where he proves that looking up esoteric synoyms makes you sound incredibly smart and cultured and not like a snooty jagoff. An excerpt: "Hannibal was Scott’s chance to work with a beast after the hoi polloi had already fêted it; a romantic return to the rococo style he shot into space over twenty years previous."

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Another week, another review! Let’s get the ball rolling shall we?


This week I will be covering a game that generated a fair amount of controversy when it was released back in 1997.




Postal, released outside the US as Going Postal, was a top-down RPG akin to Fallout and Warcraft. Being the subject of a number of controversies, Postal was met with skepticism within the gamer community and protests from parents across the country. The controversial nature of the game made it a hot button topic for many news programs, garnering it negative, albeit a lot, of media coverage. This is said to have helped greatly with the game’s sales. Of the controversies one main aspect of the game that was controversial was the fact the player could create a character that was evil, marking the first ever usage of a Karma system.


In Postal, you play as a delivery boy that must complete various missions across a downtrodden city, and it is up to you whether to complete this quests heroically, or not. Many parents, as well as some game journalists believed that this sort of freedom might amass a panic amongst the youth. If these kids thought they could get away with the atrocities in the game (throwing dead fish at people among the villainous approaches) what was to stop them from doing this in real life? This was highlighted by the fact that Postal’s marketing campaign via television commercials used live action actors and focused on playing as a villain. These commercials featured a 13 year old boy running around a city, causing mayhem (think Dennis the Menace with a knife). The footage was overlaid with a re-appropriated version of the hit song “Simply Irresistible” whilst replacing the lyrics, changing it to “Simply Irredeemable.” However, many a critic promptly found their foot in their proverbial mouths once the game was released.


The controversial nature of the controversy was quickly laid to rest when Postal hit store shelves. Players found themselves immersed in a living, breathing world. With revolutionary gameplay mechanics such as a weighted inventory, and a dynamic day/night cycle, Postal proved to be a cut above the rest. Many, including myself, found the story to be nothing short of a work of art. The relationships you built with the large colorful cast of characters had a heft to it not seen before in the medium. The weight was felt even more when tough decisions arose… and not everyone was going to make it out ok. Depending on your choices you were rewarded with 4 different endings, which I’m not about to spoil for you right now.


A sprawling world, filled to the brim with memorable friends and foes, brought to life one of the most beloved RPG’s of all time. Tune in next week as we explore the world of another fantastic work of A Legitimate Art Form. Until then, I’m Going Postal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just as Final Fantasy VII's Barret, one of the greatest video game characters of all time, once said "There ain't no stopping this train" so let's keep chuggin'!


This week we come to a small title some of you may not have heard of, yet created a few ripples in the indie game world.





Portal is a 2007 independently published point-and-click adventure game that, while having a fantastic concept, was not received very well in the mainstream gaming industry. The featured a young girl named Shelly, who has retreated inside her own mind, and in order to get out must solve a series of puzzles. Described by many as "Alice in Wonderland meets The Cell" our protagonist meets an eclectic cast of character looking to help, or hinder, her progress.


One might have the impression that releasing a point-and-click game in 2007 may prove problematic, and that turned out to be the case with Portal. The development was an arduous one. Originally the game development began in 2001 under the working title "Windows". Rendered with 2D environments and released free as a Flash game, "Windows" in its earliest form still showed a certain shine to it. The creator recruited some friends and they began to expand the game and renamed it "Portal". The team redesigned the graphics from scratch, and crafted a stunning, for the budget, world full of color and interesting characters.


Gameplay was your typical point-and-click fair, however it used a choice system that branched the story off into many scenarios. Depending on the player's choices, they could unlock one of 6 endings. This is one of the things that garnered some notoriety as Portal is noted to be the first game to include multiple endings. Each click has consequences and if you weren't careful Shelly would often meet a gruesome end. The game followed a more hardcore "trial by fire" approach than most other games of the genre.


After Portal was released it was well received by critics, but quietly faded into the background. More prominent releases such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and the much anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog reboot overshadowed this humble yet engaging game. This wasn't due to the lack of a clever advertising campaign which saw the main character exploring the minds of other children. Shelly would enter the minds of other kids and show them a world full of wonder all to the tune of the re-appropriated version of the classic song "Don't Stop Believin'", whilst changing to lyrics to "Don't Stop Me Dreamin'".


A less than stellar release and poor sales didn't stop Portal from being fondly remember by critics and a cult following of devoted fans. Shelly's journeys in Portal were only the beginning, as the creator has recently come out to say that he is hoping to make a sequel and will be putting the project on Kickstarter soon.


Well friends that's your week of exploration into the world of A Legitimate Art Form. Want me to review a particular title? Leave me a comment with the suggestion and I will! Farewell, until next week!

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  • 5 months later...

Welcome back friends and apologies for the hiatus! I figured we have gone long enough without another look at a fantastic game, so I bring forth the glorious return of A Legitimate Art Form.



For this installment I'll be getting a little bit funky and fresh with a little number called Grim Fandango released way back in 1998.





Grim Fandango was a blockbuster hit musical rhythm game that actually featured a rich story populated by a colorful cast of characters. The story revolved around a family of skeleton gangsters that, in this reality, were at war with a rival gang. Basically it was Romeo and Juliet without any lovers and alot more funk.


The game is divided into 5 chapters, each chapter has 3 acts.


Act one is usually a solo song or monologue by one of the character. The player's goal is to hit each button in time with the music. Relatively simple by today's standards, but revolutionary at the time.


Act 2 is usually a battle scene featuring members of rival gangs.


Act 3 is the reprise/boss battle. Each of these intertwined to give some simple yet extremely exciting levels of gameplay that could be excruciatingly difficult.


The main characters of Grim are the notorious crime family the Ulna's (one of the many tongue-in-cheek references to their skeletal appearance.) The Ulna's had a penchant for good cuisine, sharp style and above all else, great music. This is where the game introduces you to the rhythm mechanic.


The game features a plethora of amazingly catchy original tunes composed by different members of the development team. What the game lacked in musical coherence it made up for in sheer playability.


Some of the most unforgettable pieces include fun tunes like "Bonecrush Boogie", "Locked in this Ribcage" and my favorite piece and the one that generated the most feels, "Tibia Honest, I Love You". Due to some extremely strict copyrighting the music is, heartbreakingly, not available to download in any form or fashion.


One of the most fascinating aspects of the game is the story on how it was named. Grim Fandango isn't exactly musically inclined and some may argue it doesn't even make sense. Well the story goes that due to a simple typo the game was misspelled and the original title was Grim FanTango. This would make much more sense given the game's heavy reliance on music and rhythm as made abundantly clear in this review.


Grim Fandango was a monster success on release being the first game in history to break the one million dollar mark just after 15 days. This led to developer Double Fine to create other such gaming staples such as Psychonauts and the Overlord series. Though many fans have wanted to see a sequel to this beloved game, no such news has been made. The likelyhood of this happening may seem.... Grim, but as the Ulnas famously said "You can't go breaking my heart, cause I don't have one!"


Stay tuned for more installments of A Legitimate Art Form and keep on gaming all the time!

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