RE:BIND

Browsing category: Overviews

Hail Eris.
(FAITH, by Airdorf)

[Content Warning: Discussions of death, murder, trans/queerphobia, exorcisms, religious and familial abandonment, and teenage pregnancy.]

Disclaimer: Mx Medea was apprenticed under a pastor in the protestant church for several years.

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

There is a monster here, although not the one charging at me from the treeline, nor the one hovering towards me with supposedly murderous intent, instead the monster is more austere, more insidious, more indignant. This demon wears a clerical collar, waves aloft a crucifix, and is absolutely convicted that what he is doing is not only acceptable, but the will of a completely just and loving God. Today, his God says to kill.

FAITH, by Airdorf, is a retro-styled game that leans heavily upon Exorcist horror tropes that compliment the simple style quite well by framing the expected archetypes clearly within the mind of the player by evoking already established characters. It’s a well-made horror game that stays true to its roots and will definitely make you more afraid of a white pixel-monster charging towards you than any game since Ski Free.

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An incessant churning strikes the ears, a hidden note obscured from your senses as you pass a metal hatch cold to the touch. Vivid, unspeakable colours flood through your retinas into the cones of your eyes, refracting a garish disco of bygone excess and artificial hostility manifested in defiance of any natural order.

You, adventurer, for better or worse, are now in a place far beyond your comprehension.

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A porcelain doll staggers up from a menacing crouch over something ambiguously corpselike, two blackened holes where eyes normally are meet your gaze as you aim down the sights of a police issue pistol. It’s hard to distinguish the cacophonous shattering of ceramic from the sudden crack of a .32 ACP round discharging from the chamber, the shell casing hitting the floor blending seamlessly with the clattering of shards against hard wood.

Golden gears glisten in the gaslight, catching your eye as you return to your senses. It’s not like you’ve never seen action in the line of duty before, but the tight confines of the study and the horrendous acoustics seemingly unravel your nerve, leaving you more disoriented than ever. After coming to terms with the fact that this house is inhabited by malevolent clockwork automata, you begin to formulate a plan to escape not only the confines of this porcelain hell, but also this ridiculous outfit.

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‘The Last Day’ (Demo) – by Studio Kiku

Guy Debord argued in his 1967 work, La société du spectacle, that modern culture was subject to an ongoing impoverishment of authenticity, a controlled demolition of the boundaries that distinguish past and present in favor of the all-encompassing spectacle.

The Last Day is a dutiful exploratory adventure piece that illustrates this concept succinctly, presenting us with an experience that drives to the heart of how the bleak erasure of divisions between the personal and professional, even having lost within ourselves any sense of ownership over our private time, has affected us on a deeply scarring level. Through the sacrifice of unpaid labor and personal time upon the altar of The Commute, we cede our agency to uncaring concrete gods in hopes they will grant our meek wishes for modest fortunes in return.

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[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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