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Gamer, professional writer, and self-described “handsome fat man.” Ponders entertainment.

Location:Edmonton

stories by Carlos Alexandre

First-person shooters: divisive, flexible, timeless

DISCLAIMERS: 1) Spoiler alert; fair warning given. 2) For the purposes of this article, a first-person shooter (i.e., FPS) encapsulates various similar games not specifically presented in first-person perspective, including awesomely addicting second-person shooter Zato (link leads to David Sirlin's description of the game) and third-person shooters like Gears of War.

What Mars Matrix does with one button

Capcom's shoot 'em up Mars Matrix found its way to only one arcade I frequented at the time, and it was never hard to get on the machine. I swear I'm the only guy who played it. When I did, though, I tended to gather the attention of at least one passer-by, amazed I could somehow survive its sea of bullets. My chest puffed out in pride, I didn't have the heart to tell him the game gave you a very powerful survival tool that made trivial all those crazy patterns.

The hardcore-versus-casual gaming debate needs to end

When someone asks me if I'm a casual or hardcore gamer, I tell them I despise those terms. I take some titles more seriously than others, and sometimes I play games that I take less seriously (MMOs) more often than those I'm really passionate about (2D fighters, 2D platformers, Bastion). So the over-simplistic "casual" and "hardcore" labels don't really apply to my diverse tastes involving multiple genres and both sides of the Pacific.

Classic games: yesterday’s lessons

Once thought a hobby strictly for children and the socially awkward, gaming has exploded into a viable medium for both thoughtful narratives and engaging competition, telling great stories and providing deep, multi-tiered mechanical playgrounds for self-improvement and competitive betterment. Yet we can't forget where gaming once was, and both the brilliant ways and arguably necessary missteps designers made due with both limited resources and cultural impact.

Levels of shame: Sonic CD

I previously wrote about how Sonic CD is not only overrated, but almost laughably bad, a puzzling fact given how much it's loved. So in response to this month's Bitmob Writing Challenge, I'm discussing a level showcasing Sonic CD's shoddy design at its finest. As in literally finest, because it's all downhill from here.

Sonic CD: why so beloved?

So apparently Sonic CD is coming to Xbox Live Arcade. This is a good thing; new generations of gamers who may have missed it the first time around can sit back, relax, and experience what is by far one of the worst, monstrously overrated 2D platformers ever made.