Last weekend I revisited Cave Story after almost 6 years, and it has proved an interesting experience. Even today, the thing that stands out of that game is its sense of consistency and confidence, as well as its sense of progression. A sense of progression that is spatial, insofar as it gradually opens you up to the mysteries of the island, and mechanical in the sense that that sense of discovery is finely adjusted to the challenges and your resources. I still think that last part of the test is a little bit too much, kinda like a drum solo…

I might be bad at graphic adventures. At leas the first-person ones. I wasn’t able to finish Amnesia or Penumbra until I forced myself to do so, and only because SOMA made me curious about Frictional’s backlog again. I had a somewhat ambivalent reaction to the, and even though I was able to appreciate a lot of things, there was a lot too that felt antiquated or unexpected.

It’s been a while. I’ve had to deal with stuff. I’ve changed apartments, but also had a heavy workload and the usual obligations with family and close friend. It’s not like this season encouraged me to write all that much. Every time I told myself “come on, write!,” something new that catch my attetion stood in the way. 2021 is not slowing on this trend, it seems.

Some gringos are calling this feeling of constant changes and upheaval “The Cool Zone,” which is a slightly more posh form of the old English curse “I hope you live Interesting Times.” It’s…

(what follows is an ode to my own frustration and sense of helplessness, and it was writen mostly for coping purposes. Read at your own risk)

I hate Super Meat Boy, I hate Edmund McMillen’s games, and I hate this entire ill-defined genre of hyper-difficult platformers that swarm the internet like traps for obsessives. I don’t think it’s anything specific about the game, although the bastard lends itself to being hated, with its ironic and detached tone, its pounding, loud music, its ProGamer© rhetoric and its childish devotion to the platforms of yesteryear. It’s undeniable that the bastard has earned…

I’ve been playing Nier (2010) these days. A lot. And it has left a strong enough impression on me to begin writing and never stopping.

Now, with the last finale still fresh in my head, ideas are cobbling together in my head, and after a couple days of rest I’ve finally reached a conclusion about the road travelled until now.

Spoilers below.

0) Brief intro

It would be best to start with a brief summary of Nier’s experience, at least the American and European one. In this version we star in a strong, gray-haired, morose forty-year old that wants to…

Hi there! You can browse my articles here. This webpage will be updated regularly and as soon as I translate my Spanish stuff. Unless otherwise stated, individual essays follow a chronological publication order, while specific critiques are distributed alphabetically.


Criticism during Interesting Times

The Importance of Decentering

What’s in a Metroidvania anyway?

Game Criticisms


Penumbra Saga

Super Meat Boy

Yume Nikki (2018)

Estos días he estado jugando bastante a Nier (2010). Mucho. Y me ha afectado lo bastante como para empezar a escribir sin parar.

Ahora, con el final aún fresco en mi cabeza, hay muchas ideas que se mezclan, muchos conceptos que se contradicen en mi cabeza, pero tras un par de días de reposo he podido llegar a cierta conclusión sobre el camino andado hasta ahora.

Spoilers a partir del próximo párrafo.

Breve introducción

Lo mejor sería empezar con un resumen de la experiencia de Nier, concretamente la versión americana y europea. En ésta protagonizamos a un señor fortachón, canoso…

Ha pasado un tiempo. He tenido movida. Más que nada una mudanza, pero también una jornada laboral que se apretó bastante y un cierto agobio por estar al día con la familia y amigos cercanos. Tampoco es que haya sido una temporada que animase a escribir demasiado, por razones obvias. Cada vez que me decía “a escribir, que ya toca,” algo nuevo sucedía que me drenaba la energía. 2021 no parece que vaya a ralentizar esta situación.

Algunos gringos están llamando a esta sensación constante de cambio y convulsión constante “The Cool Zone,” que es una manera un poquitín más…

Estos días, he estado planteándome cada vez más abandonar el curso que estaba siguiendo desde hacía un par de años y concentrarme en textos independientes. Esto se ha debido a que le he dado muchas vueltas al papel que tiene la prensa escrita de videojuegos a la hora de validar, legitimar y enaltecer algunas de las cosas que me repugnan de este medio. Nuestra obsesión por construir un presente constante o por seguir lo que la industria ha decidido abanderar como símbolo de “avance” ahora me hace pensar que el fetichismo en los videojuegos es tan culpa suya como nuestra.

These days, I have been seriously thinking about abandoning the course that I was following for a couple of years and focusing more on independent texts. This has been due to the fact that I have been severely disenchanted about the role that video game journalism and video game criticism has had to validate, legitimize and exalt the things that disgust me the most about the medium. …

Tomás Grau de Pablos

Jugador, Doctor y estudioso de los videojuegos/Player, Phd. and Video Game Scholar

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