RE:BIND

Browsing category: Overviews

[Image by MOYA Horror]

Disclaimer: Catherine Brinegar is a contributor to the Haunted PS1 Demo Disk, with a game in the collection.

The demo disk. A forgotten byproduct of a simpler era where consoles lacked one distinct feature we now take for granted; namely, internet connections. Magazines were the marketing avenue de jour for promoting upcoming releases, and what better way to instil hype for these games than collecting them into a little disk of demos packed in the magazine? A revolutionary way to boost subscriptions and games sales all in one tidy package

As we moved into the modern era of consoles that could always be online, demo disks became unnecessary since the demo could just be downloaded. Online journalism slowly killed the gaming magazines of the day, further paving the way for utilizing the internet as the means of distributing information. Demos too have slowly fizzled away, as games become far more complex and intricate than a demo could reasonably convey.

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Driving games have a sort of uncategorizable mystique, which has over the years come in myriad flavors. Something about the experience of driving, or perhaps its situational surrounds, serves as a passage ritual, representing a journey not merely through space but also through the psyche.

The Interlude, on the other hand, self-identifies as an anti-thriller and is all about the space between those dramatic highs and lows found elsewhere, it is the eye through which we needle our narrative thread.

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Red Desert Render‘ – by Ian MacLarty

The American West is not exactly a unique landscape given the ubiquity of Eurowesterns like Western All’Italiana or Osterns, which were Soviet produced films imbued with alternative underlying political subtext to counter capitalism’s individualistic narratives.

Yet despite the inexplicable fixation the global imagination has for of the genre’s impact on our culture having redefined our perspective of Cinema endures to a point of spilling over into video games long past parody.

Enter Red Desert Render.

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(Final Fantasy XIV [1.0], Square-Enix, 2013)

Countless times through the ages, hundreds of thousands (if not more) fans and players of a multitude of MMOs have congregated in streets, fields, and other such spaces across their worlds; banded together in solitude against the breaking of the light as their preferred online space/game is forever shut down. After a night of dancing emotes, tearful goodbyes, exchanges of contact info, finally, the servers are turned off, and all goes black. Months and years of memories shared amongst friends, old and new, are lost to the ether of time.

The end never comes the same: a meteor collides with the game world, admins summon a legion of demons to murder the players over and over, or a silent simultaneous worldwide death descends on the remaining few. Regardless of method, the end of an MMO always feels like the end of an era for its playerbase. Many pump endless hours into these games, build massive social networks, and eek out every ounce of fun the game could possibly contain — and, when necessary, make their own. The freeform play of MMOs brings together all kinds, and when the bills can’t continue to be paid for upkeep, all of these people unite once more in the face of loss.

That is until those fans rob the grave and prop the body back up to keep the fun going.

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Today, January 8th, 2019 RE:BIND posted its first article ever.

What once started life as a quirky experiment to see if one could outmaneuver the discourse, has rapidly turned into a life-changing media extravaganza. What a lovely community we’ve developed over the past year in our Discord, as well as recently breaching 2,000 followers on Twitter.

None of this would be possible without your enduring support!

As we take a short rest from our year-long sprint to close the chapter of ‘Volume One’, I highly advise you take a look through our archives! Catherine examined some of our best hits that she’s produced over the last year worth taking another look at, and it is unwise to overlook the fantastic works of our editor: Mx. Medea

What’s next?

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Trying to summarize an entire decade’s worth of releases is a futile effort; the amount of interactive media dropped for public consumption across ten years is a vast wealth of gems that can’t simply be picked apart for objective “bests,” yet everyone outlet under the sun attempts to wrangle together their picks for some projects that stayed with them over the years.

Following in the footsteps of their Sisyphean task, I’d like to highlight a few titles that resonated with me when I initially played them, and still do in retrospect.

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It’s hard to say if we, at RE:BIND, really believe in a ‘Game Of The Year’ or even a ‘Game Of The Decade’

What we do believe in are important artistic works, the individual contributions to the greater cohesive whole, cultural context for the way we live and the things important to us.

So join us for the games we think helped to define 2009 – 2019, we largely believe these works to be of great importance, and that you should play them. By no means is this comprehensive, or intended to assert the primacy of these games over all other works.

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Hive Time – by Cheese

Edutainment…. EDUTAINMENT! a frankengame meant to EDUCATE, striking cringe into the hearts of all young gamers everywhere, shudder. The only thing we’ve ever traditionally learned from school is the many ways which lessons are painfully dull, to the point that games like Frog Fractions have famously riffed on their ineffectiveness.

But what if we could envision a world that was different? A world where you could have fun….. AND… learn something, without making a mockery of both the subject and you as a person?

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(Sky: Children of the Light, thatgamecompany 2019)

Games as a Service has been a much discussed experiment established by the AAA industry, one that has been wildly successful. As the arms race of technical advancements forever bloating development budgets races onward and the tightening of development cycle lengths to meet growing profit demands continues, games release at a dizzying flurry that is at once suffocating yet celebratory. Each year, a new pantheon of titles are added to the record, miles of scripts that inspire and renew, or simply experiences that last wordlessly; a breeze of mechanics and flow fusing into a torrent of fleeting endless memories.

“But,” the corporate mind may ask, “how do we make this profitable for us, a massive corporation wielding the labor of hundreds within our hand? How can we ensure consumers will flock to our products and save their purchasing power for more of what we have?”

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It’s become something of an in-joke within the greater games community that Nintendo is not an entity to be trifled with. Between DMCA notices against ROM sites and fangames utilizing their IPs, attempting to tango with the corporate monstrosity has a predictable end. It makes sense from a business perspective: Nintendo doesn’t want anyone marring the oh-so-marketable franchises they’ve produced over the years, and they certainly don’t want anyone accessing their creations without paying for them, regardless of the ability people have to legally play them.

Enter the bootleg. Where demand was not met by the official channels of distribution, pirate groups took it upon themselves to fill the niche. Creating their own cartridges with ripped games implanted, these groups would sell their wares on a black market at a far more affordable price and with a greater selection than typically available in these areas. Naturally, the companies these pirates were profiting off of were none too pleased with their actions.

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