The Oberlin Review

Andrew V. Uroskie, Filmmaker and Professor

Andrew V. Uroskie, Filmmaker and Professor

November 30, 2018

Andrew V. Uroskie is an associate professor of art and the director of graduate studies in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook University in New York. Uroskie specializes in late modern and contemporary art with a focus on postwar and contemporary artists that work in durational mediums such as video, film, and sound. On Nov. 29, he presented a lecture at Oberlin titled “Beyond The Whole Earth?: David OReilly’s Everything (2017),” about how OReilly’s work traverses the traditionally se...

OReilly Offers Players Chance to Be “Everything”

Avi Vogel, Columnist

April 28, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Video Games

Games are an ever-evolving medium as developers try to stand out in an increasingly competitive and saturated market by creating new games and mechanics. But with all games, new or old, one thing is universal: They let you be something that you’re not. This is the core concept of Everything, created by artist David OReilly, which was originally released back in March on PlayStation 4 and just became available for Mac and PC. Everything is a game about just that — everything. If that sounds impossibly complex, it is, and explaining the game requires some detachment from what a game is “supposed to be.” I began the game playing as a camel, exploring an expansive desert. After playing for a while, I learn som...

With “Blackwood Crossing,” Players Find Beauty in Sadness

With “Blackwood Crossing,” Players Find Beauty in Sadness

April 14, 2017

Loss is a difficult concept to grapple with. We dance around the issue, often refusing to acknowledge it. Even when forced to face it head on, we try to ignore the facts and pretend that whatever is causing the loss we feel never happened. But eventually, we hopefully make a change. This is the central theme behind Blackwood Crossing, a game released April 4 by British developer Paper Seven. Blackwood Crossing is a “walking simulator” — a form those who have played games like The Stanley ...

“Heroes” Brings Pared Down Version of Classic Nintendo Title

Avi Vogel, Columnist

March 31, 2017

Filed under Uncategorized

Nintendo released Fire Emblem Heroes, its second game for mobile devices after December’s lackluster Super Mario Run, on Feb. 2. The game is part of a series of five mobile apps created in a partnership with Japanese e-commerce company DeNA intended to help grow Nintendo’s core fan base, which has aged and waned in recent years. Much like Super Mario Run, Heroes is a simplified version of a major franchise, the Fire Emblem series, which has gained massive popularity in recent years after releases for Wii and 3DS. As a series that has previously prided itself on massive fights, short but well-written character interaction, strategy and intricate battle mechanics, there was some question as to how the games would translate...

Heroes Brings Pared Down Version of Classic Nintendo Title

Heroes Brings Pared Down Version of Classic Nintendo Title

March 31, 2017

Nintendo released Fire Emblem Heroes, its second game for mobile devices after December’s lackluster Super Mario Run, on Feb. 2. The game is part of a series of five mobile apps created in a partnership with Japanese e-commerce company DeNA intended to help grow Nintendo’s core fan base, which has aged and waned in recent years. Much like Super Mario Run, Heroes is a simplified version of a major franchise, the Fire Emblem series, which has gained massive popularity in recent years after releases...

‘Night in the Woods’ Navigates Complex Emotional Landscape

‘Night in the Woods’ Navigates Complex Emotional Landscape

March 10, 2017

Night in the Woods, released February 21, provides an intimate window into a microcosm of human narrative drawn directly from real-world struggles. The game presents an unassuming but enjoyable experience centered around character interactions, rather than grand story lines and epic battles. The early and middle sections of the game don’t cry for attention or churn out one plot device after another to drive the character forward. That’s not what the creators care about. Behind the stylized town a...

Despite Technical Problems, “For Honor” Provides Solid Gameplay

Avi Vogel, Columnist

February 24, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Features

A hundred or so blue-and-white-clad medieval knights storm a castle gate, streaming toward a pack of samurai in red armor; as the two armies meet in the center of the combat field, a hectic battle breaks out and swords fly in all directions. This was the spectacle audiences witnessed on screen during the 2015 demo of For Honor. For Honor is the most recent big-budget game to come out of publisher Ubisoft’s Montreal studio, most famous for developing the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry series. It’s best described as a tactical melee-fighting game, in which you choose to play a hero from one of three different factions based on ancient warriors: The Legion, The Chosen and The Warborn, loosely representing European k...

Year in Review: Video Games Broaden Indie Scope in 2016

Avi Vogel, Columnist

February 10, 2017

Filed under ARTS

At the end of 2015, most game publications argued that it had been the best year ever for gamers. It was a year of incredible RPGs, indie darlings that came out of nowhere and big titles reclaiming their former glory. With 2016 now behind us, it seems like that pattern continues. On the whole, games in 2016 were even better. I didn’t play every high-profile game of 2016 and most definitely wasn’t able to get around to every indie hit. But 2016 might be the year in which I played the most diverse assortment of games to date. There are some games I didn’t review this past year that are emblematic of what an incredible year it was for games. First is VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action — pronounced Valhalla ...

Lineage Twist Keeps Dungeon Hunting Fresh

Avi Vogel, Columnist

September 18, 2015

Filed under ARTS

Rogue Legacy is a 2D action-platformer with aspects of the bullet hell and rogue-lite genres that randomly generates dungeons for the player to move through. Although the game seems to be just an amalgamation of popular genres and successful series, developer Cellar Door Games has done more than just borrow elements of these genres — it has taken the time to polish the game and add a unique flavor. The game follows a knight — or whichever class you choose — who ventures through a castle. Inside, the character comes across monsters that drop money and require varying degrees of strategy to take down, culminating in a huge boss that sprays pellets across the entire screen. If you happen to beat all four bo...

In-Game Purchases Support Online Card Game

Avi Vogel, Columnist

May 8, 2015

Filed under ARTS

When I first picked up Hearthstone, developed by Blizzard Entertainment, I thought I’d just play every once in a while when I wanted to take a break from schoolwork. Now, more than a year after its release, I still find myself popping in every day to do my daily quests and participate in the game’s impressive Arena mode. All in all, I’m still having fun. Hearthstone, for those who don’t know, is an online Collectible Card Game, or CCG. Blizzard is renowned for releasing games that are not only incredibly successful but that also have staying power well after their release through patches and a plethora of free updates. Hearthstone is a free, downloadable game that has microtransactions built in. I use real...

Delayed Walking Dead Game Release Detracts From Seamless Play

Avi Vogel

April 24, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Features

Imagine that you’ve been trapped in a camp and, not having been able to loot much in the town over, you have only four items of food that you can divvy up between your parties. Do you share the food with your enemies, hoping that they’ll be more cooperative later on, or do you reward the individuals who have been more integral in your journey up until now? Do you let yourself starve to feed the children, or do you let them stay hungry so that you’ll have the energy to help the group when trouble inevitably strikes? This is one of the many scenes that Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season One presents to players. The game, based on Robert Kirkman’s eponymous comic book, takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ta...

Standout Gameplay Elements Separate Darkest Dungeon from Crowd

Avi Vogel

April 10, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Features

You look at your roster. The last mission you played through wiped out all of your high-leveled heroes. You try to recruit some new ones, but they all have traits that would make them a detriment to any mission you might undertake. With reluctance, you take four level-zero adventurers with you, cross your fingers and hope they all return. In 10 minutes, they’re all dead. Situations like these are common in Darkest Dungeon, a video game that was released this February on Steam, a prominent platform for releasing independent computer games, via the Early Access program. The developers at Red Hook Studios, who created the currently unfinished game, have released Darkest Dungeon with the aim of getting fans’ reactions...

Established 1874.