Here’s my problem with Spec Ops: The Line (and Far Cry 3, for that matter): they’re berating you for playing a game. “Dude, you shouldn’t be enjoying this!” is a difficult message to make pleasant in a marketplace where there are tens of thousands of competitors that have a message of “I know that you’ve had a rough day. Here are some endorphins.”

So, with that in mind, I think I’m going to start playing Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. From what I understand, folks are comparing it to Dragon Quest VII and VIII as well as Pokemon.

Which, seriously, has my name all over it.

So… what are you playing?


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to


  1. it’s a bit oxymoronic but i thought spec ops did it well (despite being a lousy game mechanically) while far cry 3 did it really poorly and racist-y (despite being a better game mechanically)

    i really liked some of the touches, particularly the “you’re still a good person” loading screen. and asking moral questions about audience participation is fairly novel with this medium.

    • I just finished committing the war atrocity with white phosphorus and I’m stuck being really irritated at the game. Maybe I’ll see if I can’t go another fifteen minutes and see if it has any endorphins for me… or, at least, an explanation for why nobody wanted to parley.

      • well, i will say the payoff is worth it, but it will likely not offer the satisfaction you’re looking for. it doesn’t help the actual combat portion of the game is middling at best.

      • Apparently a lot of people were really irritated about the white phosphorus and the way it was presented, even if they liked the overall theme of the game.

        But it’s true that it’s not exactly a game that goes “I know that you’ve had a rough day. Here are some endorphins.”

        • i’d defend it like this: you knew what was going to happen if you’d ever played any of these games. the deconstructive nature of so:tl gives you a heads up about ten billion miles away. and yet you do it anyway.

          • Just beat it.

            Yeah… the game turned itself around. While it wasn’t a “fun” game, it told a much more interesting story than the one I thought it was going to. Every day since beating Far Cry 3, I’ve liked it a little less… I don’t see that happening with The Line.

            Now, I’m never going to play it again… but I’m glad I played it the first time.

  2. Temple Run. I can play it with one hand while walking the baby back and forth and it’s addictive as all get-out.

  3. You have to find games where you’re putting the moral choice system on yourself.

    As an example: Star Crusader. Loosely based off Roman history, you come into an inhabited portion of space to forcibly uplift the natives. All five have banded against you. The means to do uplift said races sometimes dip into “questionable” methods. Eventually, you will have to make a choice as to whether the ends justify the means or not.

    You can also put it on yourself without the game’s input. As I told you, I couldn’t get into Just Cause 2 because it plays the whole “Reduce the nation to abject poverty and starvation to save them” angle straight. Hell, at the end, after a silly Contra-esque fight aboard a set of nukes, you detonate said nukes off the coast to irridate the oil fields so no foreign powers will take an interest in Panau. You even admit that was your intention.

    Another pair would be MOH:Warfighter and COD: Black Ops 2. In MOH:Warfighter, your mission is to shoot muslims because …. I’m not actually sure. I think they’re terrorists. Months after you slaughter your way across a good number of Muslims, they blow up a train in Britain so I guess I was preemptively justified….I think. COD:Black Ops 2 is better in the sense that an African…. military guy …. tells me, the Great White Hope, to go slaughter a bunch of other Africans. I kinda cut the second one off after that but it did get me to thinking about the whole “They are a different skin color and they talk differently than you. Go shoot them in the face!” premise.

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