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Agent CoolerHow is it already Saturday? This week has just flown by, and it is already time for another Community Spotlight. Or is it that I simply don’t remember Wednesday at all? 

Cameron Pershall starts us off with his look at the development of characters and romance in Deadly Premonition. Allistair Everett continues his report from ScreenBurn with the details of two panels, one including Peter Molyneux and his obsession with minutia in character interaction.

Jacob Hinkle jumps into the captain’s chair in Star Trek: Bridge Commander and relates the experience in a tense narrative. Ben Haenni feels that alignment systems are too rigid and guiding and looks forward to a day when tracking morality isn’t stat but simply an experience.

Finally, Marcel Hoang examines Mass Effect’s protagonist in the hands of his friends and how no two Commander Shepards are truly alike.

Deadly Premonition: Gaming’s Greatest Love Story?
By Cameron Pershall
When I first saw Deadly Premonition, all I could do was crack endless Twin Peaks jokes and talk about how David Lynch’s short-lived series obviously influenced the story. Since I couldn’t avoid sitting through this game, this also forced me to pay attention to the finer points of character development. Despite all the crap people give this game, Agent York and Emily Watt are astoundingly thought out characters in a game that feels rushed and underfunded. Cameron makes the case for why their love is slightly less contrived than most video game romances.


Bitmob at ScreenBurn: Day 3
By Allistair Everett
After skipping over the less-than-thrilling happenings of Day 2 at ScreenBurn, Allistair returns with a rundown of the curious events of day 3. The AAA game design challenge seems absolutely ridiculous, but the panel on whether or not a video game can speak to the heart makes me wish I had made the trip to Texas to see it.

First Person – Star Trek: Bridge Commander
By Jacob Hinkle
Star Trek: Bridge Commander is the pinnacle of spacecraft command simulation. Jacob delves deep into the complexity of the game with a short but action-packed narrative. You’re making me want to track down a copy of this, Jacob!

A Proposal for Alignment Systems in Games
By Ben Haenni
Alignment systems and meters are all the rage from RPGs to action games these days, but Ben feels the systems are a little too cut-and-dry. Morality is a very debatable thing, based on both the characters and the world around them.  He believes action should be a matter of personal choice rather than a player sticking with the good or bad dialog options and quests to the exclusion of all else.

A Tale of Two Shepards
By Marcel Hoang
Commander Shepard is the main character of Mass Effect, but as Marcel proves in this quick look at how he and his friends play Mass Effect 2, no two Shepards are the same. One Shepard is a cool and calculated killer, another is a devoted lover. Perhaps I should change my stance that the series is dull and repetitive and jump back into Mass Effect. Today is just the day for making me want to play games set in space.